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Showing posts from August, 2006

X-Ray Vision

I nodded off while undergoing today's latest round of diagnostics at the hospital. I think that proves I've grown way too comfortable with this procedure and staff. Another MRI scheduled for Sept. 15 will either confirm that my stress fracture of the femoral neck is healed, or reveal that the bone's splintered again. Apparently my description of the lingering pain sans crutches indicates either. I, of course, hope it's just muscle atrophy and not a further fracture. One thing is certain, to the orthopedist anyway. I'm done running marathons. His parting words: "Maybe you should consider riding a bike instead." Then I'd have to change this blog to Ride DMZ. And that just doesn't sound good to me.

Music to My Muscles

I thought I’d share the latest hour-long playlist that I use when I’m working out (and remember to bring my MP3 player) at the gym. It doesn’t sync as sweetly as the Nike techno CD that Dianna and Juls both wrote about recently. But it sets the proper pace where needed, keeps me going towards the end and then mellows me out for crunches and stretching. And, someday, these songs will remind me of the summer I didn’t run, and for awhile didn’t mind. 1. “Red Light” by Jonny Lang 2. “Suddenly I See” by KT Tunstall 3. “Time Bomb” by Goldspot 4. “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol 5. “Everybody’s Changing” by Keane 6. “Mama’s Room” by Under the Influence of Giants 7. “Oh Mandy” by The Spinto Band 8. “Who Said” by Hannah Montana (yes, from the Disney Channel…) 9. “4ever” by The Veronicas 10. “She Doesn’t Get It” by The Format 11. “Move Along” by All-American Rejects 12. “I Like to Move It” from Madagascar 13. “London Bridge” by Fergie 14. “Ramalama (Bang Bang)” by Roisin Murphy 15. “Co

Are we pursuing the wrong personal records?

Go to Complete Running today and read the opinion piece by Adeel that leads today's lineup at the moment. He claims the running blogosphere shouldn't praise mediocrity as it does. He also notes that it's now easier to run a marathon than to run shorter distances at an impressive speed. And he dings both Dean Karnazes and Sam Thompson for their grandstanding, which I find especially interesting. Most running bloggers who've noted both men's achievements have called Karnazes a media whore, while lavishing kudos on Thompson.

More Photos from Chicago

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I really should bring my camera on more business trips, because it's far more fun than just trying to describe places with words. Last time I was in town, tulips were in bloom everywhere. This time, it was more your 'garden variety' plants. Loved the little architectural touches around the Hershey's store, located, not so coincidentally, right across from a Ghiradelli shop. Like most major cities, there are parks everywhere. This is the one where I sat to have my breakfast. Lots of tourists stopped to have their picture taken with the historic water tower building to the left as a backdrop. This photo, taken from an ornate courtyard at a Presbyterian church, and the one below offer a bit of that blend of old vs. new architecture I mentioned in my last post.

Now, Where Was I...

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I always viewed Chicago as being a lot like Boston. Same sport fanaticism and emphasis on architectural excellence, with a nice mix of historic and high-rise buildings. Both have similar greenways and awesome cityscapes lining a waterfront, as well as popular public transit systems, marquee colleges, world-class museums and long, bitter winters. Whenever I visit Boston, I return home fat and happy. Chicago, I’m learning, is no different. I already mentioned that the flight tuckered me out. But I got my second wind just in time to join co-workers and some pretty cool executives for a dinner of deep dish pizza, antipasto salad and wine and, back in my Omni Hotel suite, a hand-delivered pint of the best peach ice cream I’ve ever tasted. I devoured half the carton while watching a movie on one of two giant televisions in my room. I also wondered if those chatty, well-dressed women carrying O magazines in the elevator had been guests of the Oprah Winfrey Show. The next afternoon, a

On the Trail of a Killer

My sister and her husband in Blacksburg, Va., split up earlier this year, and he now lives in an apartment behind The Huckleberry Trail, just several blocks from the Virginia Tech campus. I wrote about my reminiscent run along that pathway last year . Around 7:15 a.m., he heard two pop sounds and ran out back with his neighbors to find a body on the trail, just yards from where the photo in that earlier post was taken. An escaped inmate who’d already killed one security guard and injured another had just scored his second fatality, a sheriff's deputy. That meant that as everyone rushed to the dead officer, this guy was still among them. I’ve been watching CNN all morning for updates and thinking how very creepy it must have felt to anyone running or cycling along that trail at that moment. Not to mention people like my brother-in-law and nephews who witnessed this. Let’s hope the guy’s in custody very soon. UPDATE ON MONDAY AFTERNOON: My sister just called to say the police ha

Big changes coming where everyone loves running

I'll be chiming in later in the week with pictures from my trip to the Midwest. In the meantime, I wanted to alert anyone who hasn't heard yet that Mark and Aaron, along with editor Jeanne, over at Complete Running tomorrow unveil their remodeled site. If you haven't checked it out in a while, or ever, you'll be impressed. [I know because I got a sneak peak.] A lot of hard work's gone into making it the most comprehensive online community for runners of all stripes.

Winded in the Windy City

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It figures. Now that I’ve got the time to explore downtown Chicago, I haven’t the stamina. Traveling as a disabled passenger is harder than I expected. The cane allows me more leeway with luggage but very little support for my hurtin’ hip. For some reason, I feel wiped out. There was a moment of excitement on the way to Lindbergh Field, when our shuttle was suddenly surrounded by 15 (yes, someone counted) police cruisers heading to the U.S. Coast Guard base on Harbor Drive. Being taken into custody at that moment was Mexican drug kingpin Javier Arellano-Felix . DEA agents and police everywhere. Media, too. It was all very Miami Vice. Anyway, the flight itself was uneventful and may be one reason I was in a talkative mood when I made it into the cab at O’Hare. And after we listened to an NPR report on the arrest, I may or may not have cavalierly told the cabbie, “Yeah, I was there and saw it goin’ down.” And about 10 minutes later, when the cabbie finally spoke again – this time int

Season Finale

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Night's nipping at the edges of the day again. Our favorite summer TV show's top dancer is announced tonight, leaving a void in our weeknight family routine. And, most importantly, the nest again is less crowded now that The College Kid is enroute to Sonoma State to start her sophomore year. Excuse me while I deal with some serious separation anxiety.

In this context, there's no disrepect

Remember last month how I mentioned that I got to listen to a popular 10k from my backyard ? Well that same park one Sunday evening each month hosts a community concert. Residents line up their blankets and beach chairs hours in advance and then wine and dine and dance and play cards until the sun sets. It's a nice tradition. Winding down from a very hectic weekend here, I was washing dishes in the kitchen and listening to a band sing the Black-Eyed Peas' "Let's Get it Started," which started out as the politically incorrect "Let's Get Retarded." I used to hum guiltily the latter version all the time during long runs. It made me wonder what those unaware of the original must think the opening lyrics mean. "In this context, there's no disrespect."

How did I miss this?

A few hours ago my husband called me over to watch a Discovery Science show where the topic was hip replacements. They interviewed patients whose injuries and pain sound too familiar and whose outcomes I want to avoid. "You see that? That's going to be you if you aren't careful," he angrily warned. I think he's mad my hip pain always 'worsens' whenever it's time to put away laundry or make dinner. The show sent me online to see just how long this exile is expected to continue. I'm starting to get antsy. Could be from regularly writing on this running blog without actually running. I found an article written by the same medical team now treating me here in San Diego . In the rehab section was this (with my added emphasis): As the patient’s pain decreases, gradually increase from non-weight bearing to touchdown weight bearing to partial weight bearing and eventual discontinuation of crutches. This usually takes 4-6 weeks. Coordinate rehabilitatio

Now this is how to work it

My friend Louise passed along a clip of a music video featuring a treadmill ballet while band members lip synch the song " Here We Go Again ." And I thought watching TV while maintaining a decent speed took skill....

Ratting Me Out

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I’m in love with the gym again, and this time it’s different. I’m not shopping for cute outfits at The Sports Authority, hoping the hot looking Lycra fools folks into believing I can’t be the woman who fell on her face during step aerobics or broke wind in the middle of yoga. No, now I dress like everyone else at my gym – strictly for comfort. Here, only effort counts. So now I count on warming up on the rowing machine, especially if someone’s next to me that I can try to “out row.” Then it’s on to the stationary bike, where I try not to be discouraged that peddling steadily around 100 RPMs on Level 6 only burned 200 freakin’ calories. Lately, the cardio’s been followed with a few core exercises done by everyone in the family. The Nautilus machines are next. Now that I’m weaning myself from the crutches, my biceps and triceps need more attention. I’m working up to one of those spin classes, too, though at the moment just looking into the room intimidates me. Of course, I really look

How to Boil Water

I'd just finished reading in the Sunday newspaper that the mayor was asking everyone just north of my ZIP code to boil tap water or buy it bottled when Tara, my old training partner, called to see if "my" Starbucks was opened. "Hers," less than two miles away, was not. Everything, she told me, was closed. Our little shopping village was indeed packed, with the line for mocha choca lattes snaking out the door. Later, when we returned some movies at the local Blockbuster, I saw for myself that every restaurant -- from McDonald's to Chili's to the tony Mesquite Grille -- was closed just up the freeway from us. This outage extended into Escondido, impacting hundreds of thousands of people -- many of whom, I assure you, eat out on Sundays. They dine out every other day of the week too. Nobody cooks in this town, which must be why raw foods are all the rage. It seems e. coli and another coliform , indicating fecal matter's in the water system, were discov

The Best Medicine

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I’ve been running mighty low on endorphins this summer, so I was all too ready to join my neighbor last night for a humorous talk on Simpsons family values from an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer of that long-running show. His mom convinced him to speak for free at the swim and racquet club, which was packed for the occasion. The jokes were, of course, as politically incorrect as the show. Everyone in the decidedly older audience loved it and the clips he brought. (Typical offhand remark: “I’m not really a Jew. I’m more Jew ish .”) Afterward, we all wondered how much of what he said was accurate versus artistic license. Some of the things he mentioned: After 17 years, the show still works with the original cast, a handful of people who do more than 200 voices for $250,000 a week. The woman behind the voice of 10-year-old Bart is now 48. Bruce Springsteen’s one of the few musicians to repeatedly refuse show offers. Celebrity he least liked working with: Oprah. (Whom, he s

To those halted by the heatwave

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We Californians were just in your sweaty shoes. Two words for you: frozen grapes.

I think I cane, I think I cane

Not quite the good news I was expecting, but the doctor says there are signs of new bone where it should be. The x-ray tech still can't believe I didn't do this by falling. I still can't drive, though. But if I religiously use my crutches, rather than continue to behave like the lapsed patient I've been the past week, then in two weeks, when it's time to fly to Chicago for a business trip, I can use a cane he gave me today. I did groan when I saw the thing, and he did admit, it makes me look older. Then again, it could be worse. It could make me look fat.