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Showing posts from February, 2006

This One Is By Request

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A few friends have privately noted the lack of family news lately. I’ve had trouble finding the right blend of boasting (because that’s what it amounts to when things are going well) that keeps people tuned in, not turned off. I’m also aware of others going through difficult times, something that becomes more common as everyone ages. But by sparing these folks, I may also have given my daughters the short shrift. And, if you noticed one of the comments in my last post, this hubris apparently is hereditary. So, for those interested: My college kid is keeping it all together: the harder courses this semester; the demanding dance team; the part-time cafeteria job she dislikes; and the part-time job teaching ballet and street jazz she loves. She’s auditioning to be a Golden State Warrior Girl, though how she’ll commute from the Napa Valley to Oakland without a car seems not to matter at the moment. Ah, youth. I asked yesterday what she wanted for her upcoming birthday and she responded

And Speaking of Our Real Estate Market

This item caught my eye in today's newspaper : Edging ever closer to the $600,000 mark, San Diego finished the year as the country's second most expensive place to buy a house. But the gain there was just 11 percent, from $532,500 to $591,100, an indication that buyers are starting to pull in their horns just a tad.

Horse Trails Run: Me and the Millionaires

Okay. Let’s just get this over with. I got us lost. I bonked big time. I finished completely spent. Today our marathon training group set out on a new course that began and ended at San Dieguito County Park in Solana Beach. Don’t let the “beach” fool you, this was all inland and featured plenty of butt-busting, lung-burning hills to humble everyone. But it also was a gorgeous treat to run among the beautiful people, or at least their high-priced properties. You see, the route ran through the gated-and-guard-dogged countryside of Rancho Santa Fe , home to rock stars, sports moguls and just plain super rich people. The Eagles’ Joe Walsh lives here. The late McDonald’s heiress Joan Kroc did, too. Bill Gates has a vacation home he probably doesn’t even know about. The map had my group doing a 10-mile loop with a 2-mile “lip” to add on mileage. We were expected to finish in 2 hours, time-padding provided for those walking the steepest of the trail hills. I’d gotten up early to drink my

The Best $29 I Ever Wasted

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Coming to a certain women’s sports catalog near you: ANNE Occupation: News director Book: The Great Gatsby Movie: Hand in Hand Favorite Moment This Week: Discovering the nonrefundable Royal Robbins hiking shorts bought at a Title IX blowout sale in University Heights were way too big . [I was busy celebrating, so a model stood in for me on the photo shoot.]

And They All Go Marching Down to the Ground...

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In addition to tremblers, Border Patrol checkpoints and corrupt politicians, San Diegans are accustomed to certain insects popping up almost overnight on baseboards, countertops, bathtubs, laundry baskets, furniture and even walls. This is especially true in times of rain and nearby construction. Both unearth armies of ants. I used to take their presence as an indictment of my housekeeping until my daughters told me the families they babysat had the same problem. That was reinforced one day while visiting a well-heeled friend who apologized in advance and then periodically squirted her granite countertops and sink backsplash with glass cleaner as we talked. (That liquid is preferred to poisonous Raid for obvious reasons: ants can’t stand a Windex shine.) I mention all this because the recent wet weather has pushed these pests to the surface again, and my fingers are trigger-happy. Not sure if there’s a connection, but since their return, my throat’s been constantly sore and my head’

My Nightmare is Another's Dream Run

One of my recurring nightmares is to show up for a race after it's started and either get lost or never find the finish. A number of running bloggers have written about the poor road conditions that caused delays getting to last weekend's Freescale Marathon in Austin, but this one in particular caught my eye because of the unique perspective on why it's not necessarily a bad thing to be late to the start.

And the Sun Shone Down Upon Them

I woke at 2 in the morning to the sound of rain. The same patter sounded at 3 and 4, when I finally got up, made myself a cup of tea, forced down a banana and turned on The Weather Channel. By 5 I was so bored I took a shower. Still raining. I did not want to run 12 miles in this. I truly didn't. I was tired, crampy, bloated and freezing depite turning up the thermostat. I had an idea. Based on the previous night's viewing of the thoroughly excellent movie Saint Ralph , I put in a request with a certain higher power for a break in the rain. As backup, I summoned my patron saint, Bernadette of Lourdes, to help me out. At 6:30 I walked outside to meet my carpool at Starbucks. Thick clouds, but no rain. By the time we arrived in Hospitality Point, it was sunny. And it stayed that way during the duration of our run through East Mission Bay -- despite every meteorologist I'd seen or read predicting otherwise. Coincidence? You tell me.

Gut Check along the Guadalupe River

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So my sojourn to San Jose is over. As I stood last night in an outrageously long airport security checkpoint line, I reflected on how much my work in information security has helped me in my daily life, including, of course, running. Before leaving the capitol of Silicon Valley, I did indeed run in Guadalupe River Park as planned. It turned out to be the coldest morning of the year (27 degrees), and I was underdressed with just my long-sleeved Tufts 10k shirt and thin running tights, but all but my ears felt fine as I crossed into the urban park anchored by a museum. After a warm-up that included Discovery Meadows, with its unique Monopoly in the Park , I headed down a path leading to the riverbanks, which had a 2.4-mile trail. I saw no other runners or walkers at 6:30, perhaps because of the hour and the sudden cold. Still, something didn’t feel right and I kept startling myself by mistaking duck honks for human sneezes. About a half mile into it, I saw a shadow underneath a brid

Seeing a Different Side of the Silicon Valley

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I just filed my final deadline story (but far from my final story) from the RSA Security conference. The last time I was here was shortly after the dot-com bust, and it was a very different San Jose. I saw a lot of barren shops and worn facades. Pessimism hung heavy in the air. The party scene was pitiful, too. Now, the place is thriving again: buildings have been brought back to life; restaurants and bars team with patrons; and I’ve managed to make the rounds to no less than seven parties in the past two nights and still be in bed by 11. RSA is the granddaddy of all information security shows, and coming to it generally gets me jazzed about my job again. Last year, the buzz was all about phishing and spyware and how security companies could combat identity thieves. It was also when everyone realized that hacking was no longer a hobby but a job with a big payoff through theft and fraud. ChoicePoint that month became the first in a long line of companies forced to admit they did a l

This Week, It's San Jose

I just arrived in beautiful downtown San Jose for the annual RSA Security conference. Flights like the one I just endured remind me of a recent Washington Post story that really resonates right now, after being whopped in the head by some a**hole's overstuffed carry-on and having all of our bin space taken over by some woman's way-too-big bags. How'd she get on with three of them anyway??? Lose it, people, before I go postal on the plane! Burdens of the Modern Beast.

Race Review: SDTC Couples Run

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When I woke early this morning, I turned on The Weather Channel to find out the latest on the nor'easter in New England and saw on the local updates that it was windy in our canyons and passes. Given I felt none of that breeze as I left, I was unpleasantly surprised to arrive at the start of today's Guys and Gals 4-Mile Couples Run in Pacific Beach to cold temps (like 20 degrees colder than my house just 20 minutes away) and strong winds. I thought I'd died and gone to Bismark. Weather not withstanding, my running partner Mark and I turned in admirable performances, especially when you consider the trail run we both did the day before. In fact, not only did I average 8:29 per mile, but I was pretty consistent with those miles and was complimented afterward by a woman who paced off me. Talk about making my day. My friend and faithful Run-DMZ reader Cindy E. also made my day by photographing the event so that I'd have pictures to share with everyone. Cindy, you rock!

Dusting Off Today’s San Dieguito River Trail Run

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Next time I need a good night’s sleep, remind me not to do anything remotely stressful, like fill out computerized forms for next year’s college financial aid. You will wake shortly after finally falling asleep and wonder for hours how the system figures you can easily afford to pay full freight again despite one parent not having worked since last July. Between that and the pizza cheese I forgot to neutralize with a Lactaid tablet, I gave up on sleep at 4 and was housecleaning by 5 before heading to pick up my training partner for a 7 a.m. long run. This morning our marathon training group was treated to some trail running within the San Dieguito River Park in Escondido. Inspired by one of Rob’s recent postings , I’m branching out after this year’s race commitments and planning to run my first 50k trail run on this same course a year from now. With that in mind, I set out with a couple of hundred others towards a creek turnaround, keeping a keen eye on elevation and surface changes

Thanks for Bearing With Me

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Finally, I’m ready to retell one of my favorite running stories, inspired by the documentary Grizzly Man . The acclaimed film focuses on Timothy Treadwell, who spent his summers in the wild with Kodiak brown bears, the largest of its kind in the world. After seeing the film, you wonder how Treadwell managed to live so many years in the bears’ natural habitat before being eaten by one. I lived on that same island for five years and had a couple of bear encounters myself. We lived in a military housing complex midway between the town and the Coast Guard base, and there was a nearby stream that sometimes drew hungry bears, especially if the salmon run was late and salmonberries were abundant. Usually, if you were upwind, you smelled the creatures before you caught a glimpse, which was a good thing when you had a baby and toddler in tow. My husband once joined two other friends for a week in Karluk to shoot (with old-fashioned manual cameras) the bears in their native environment. I noti

Another Great Idea from Another Runner

Jennifer G. over at The Learned Foot just let everyone in on a special run she and a fellow runner and Civil War buff recently completed. The duo ran the entire Gettysburg Battlefield this past weekend. She provides an excellent rundown of their Gettysburg "Marathon" on one of her Web sites.

Race Review: Super Run 10k

It’s official: I can turn back time. For the past decade, I’ve watched my race times at all distances decline, just like my memory and metabolism. And until late last year, I resigned myself to curtail pre-race calculations and just focus on finishing “well.” Well , those expectations may be easy to meet, but they don’t always seem satisfying when the decade before you routinely brought home medals and trophies in your age group. And they certainly don’t lead to personal records of the type I now chase. So, this morning I wanted to do better than my last 10k in December (55:09), which was better than my 10k the time before that (56:03). The thick marine layer in Mission Bay kept things in the high 50s/low 60s with a faint wind, and several Super Run racers (like Run DMZ regular commenter Louise R.) agreed with me that the conditions couldn’t have been better. The course was good too: mostly flat with two bridges and a minor incline here and there. No chips for this one, so I paid

The Latest, Sad Twist on 'Traffic'

This isn't the second movie-related entry (with a running tie-in) I'd alluded to earlier. That one will come after tomorrow's Super Run 10k review. Several years ago, I celebrated running the Vermont City Marathon by eating greasy KFC chicken in a Burlington hotel bed while watching the movie Traffic . It was a disturbing movie, especially for someone destined to move to the movie's setting in a few months. I mention this because of the lead story on last night's local news . If you ask me, drug trafficking has hit a new low.

For Those Wary of 'Unsubscribe'

I just stumbled upon a cool and easy-to-use tool on the Web to help determine if submitting your e-mail address to Unsubscribe from an e-newsletter actually generates more spam by selling the list of requests to third-parties. This, as most of you know, is a huge problem. I just fiddled with it and was sad to discover one of the abusers is a fitness newsletter I value. On the bright side, in addition to not planning to unsubscribe to it, my own company is "clean." Whew. Lashback's Unsubscribe Lookup works by entering the domain or IP address and then seeing if it's "good" (with no abuse incidents found) or worth avoiding (and listing just who they sold the lists to, I believe). Now if I can just track down the fools sending me all these fake stock faxes, it'll be a grand day.

I Managed to Get to Frostbite Falls on Time Afterall

Karen in Calgary had a great idea to keep runners, especially her fellow Canadians, motivated during the dead of winter. She invited everyone to join her on a virtual trip to a fictitious place called Frostbite Falls. Runners of all stripes picked how many miles it would take to get there and then tracked their progress. Noticing a lack of entrants from areas where the climate's the same, be it January or July, I decided to join for the sake of diversity. I discovered some other terrific running bloggers like Dawn and, I just now realized, actually hit my goal yesterday with just a few hours to spare. I wanted to average 30 mpw since I was just starting my next round of marathon training and, despite a slow start, I finished with .5 miles extra. And, I will confess, on a couple of occasions, hitting my weekly mileage goal was what got me out the door at 5:30 in the morning when it dipped into the high 30s here. Now Karen's got a new motivational challenge for anyone, especial

We Feel Your Pain

I stumbled across this interesting study linking pain and dehydration that I thought worthy of sharing. Essentially, if you're a little low on water, all of your aches (presumably physical) can be amplified. Therefore, scientists suggest soaking up water to help ease the hurt. This passage was particularly interesting: Dr. Farrell says the team had speculated there might be circuits in the brain that allow one sensation to modulate another, which is important from the point of view of survival. "Hunger, thirst, tiredness and pain, for example, don't conveniently happen at the same time, so it's important for the body to prioritise," he said. Um, I think anyone that's run the last six miles of a marathon or triathlon might beg to differ, doctor. Cheers!