Posts

Showing posts from August, 2007

Here's How Every Week Should End

Sitting at a table for four, then five, then more at the Clubhouse Terrace Restaurant at the Del Mar Race Track , where your horse just won and your margarita just arrived – and just in time to neutralize that spicy guacamole that you generously consumed along with sizeable samples from the cheese platters and fruit trays that are all on someone else’s tab. You can run it off this weekend cruising around Coronado with your training group, injured ankle be damned. It’s sunny, but you’re cool. There’s parking lot gridlock, but you found the perfect spot. You think that you might have told the best “best drinking story,” but you aren’t sure. And you don’t care, not after learning the woman across from you is having a baby girl and the guy next to you used to be an actor and had parts in shows you know, like CSI , and movies you don’t, like some indie film starring John Malkovich. And here’s the best part: on Tuesday, he's going to work just two cubicles away from you – you with the

There's Still Hope for Us Menopause Moms

A story in today's New York Times looks (very superficially) at why older women are smoking younger women at races, while men aren't. There isn't any mention of one key factor for why a 45-year-old might be a stronger runner than a 25-year-old: child-rearing. Pregnancies and early motherhood temporarily knock a lot of women out of competition in their 20s and 30s. And the long rest tends to do a body good, so when they do come back in a few years (or longer) they are stronger in their 40s and 50s. Men might lose some sleep and add some stress while starting a family, but their bodies don't undergo the same significant shifts as the female. See Jane Run. See Her Run Faster and Faster. Hat tip to Sandy at Painted Hand Farm for pointing this one out to me this morning.

Wordless Wednesday

Image

The Dark Side of the Moon

Image
I don’t know what you were doing at 3 this morning, but I was among insomniacs admiring the total lunar eclipse. I watched the midnight moon’s radiance loosen, then gradually turn golden before the finale: a Mars-like reddish orb that made its way from one end of my backyard to the other. At one point, I thought of running up to the 24-hour CVS for camera film and sifting through the garage for my magnifying lens. The scene was just so perfect with the calm air, clean skies, shooting star and glorious globe framed between palm fronds. Oh, this would have blown all past and future Wordless Wednesdays out of the water, trust me. But sometimes you just need to live in the moment, especially if it otherwise requires wearing a bra. So I sat there in my still yard, marveling at the universe and wondering if motorists on the nearby freeway were aware of what was unfolding. I listened to an owl hoot and was lulled by the assuring cadence of the next-door German Sheppard's snores. And then,

A Tentative Return to the Fold

I’ve given that Achilles tendon three weeks to heal thyself, and it’s being mighty stubborn about cooperating. As far as running injuries go, this is one that always takes awhile. That particular tendon is a real workhorse, so it can be hard to give it much time off if you are required to walk, which I am. And as sturdy as it is, it’s blood-poor. That also impedes the healing process and makes all the icing and massaging less helpful than if you were nursing, say, an inflamed IT band or pulled hamstring. But I also know that if the Achilles tears, you’re done. Not just for awhile, but forever. Runners do not come back from that one. I’ve been devoting considerable time the last couple of weeks to riding the stationary bikes at the gym. It’s starting to grow on me. Hanging out Friday night with cyclists at my friend Mark’s 50th birthday party, I momentarily wondered if I could make the switch and actually ride outside. Then I realized it was just the Gordon Biersch brew messing with me

Wordless Wednesday

Image

What’s a Provencal French Villager To Do?

As much for practical as poetic reasons, this summer I took to daily walking into our “town square” to run errands – the post office, the library, the grocery store, Blockbuster,… -- and maybe a smoothie for the road. I was inspired by watching old VHS tapes of my favorite French films, where all these fit and (eventually) happy characters walked wherever they went. So I began to walk when I could or when I must to, you know, leave less of a carbon footprint. Besides, with everyone else working this summer, there often wasn’t a spare car. Then I noticed my ankle ached a lot, and then during a Tuesday night hill repeat, the tendon pain grew intense. I stopped running and soon realized I had to also stop walking. In fact, far as I can tell, it was the walking up and down the hills here, coupled with all the running on the same hills, that brought on this latest bout of Achilles tendonitis. It’s been two weeks now, and all this rest, ice and sitting around isn’t working as well as I’d ho

More Than You Should Want to Know

Thanks, Steph , for tagging me. Job's I've Held: Restaurant hostess/server Amusement park cashier and ride operator Business manager Newspaper, magazine and web journalist College instructor Adult Education and ESL teacher Editorial director Movies I Can Watch Over & Over: Jaws Small Change (and any other classic French film) The Birds Heartburn Saint Ralph Guilty Pleasures: Long, hot, energy-wasting showers after a very sweaty run Mochi ice cream Rhianna’s “Umbrella” Buying only one item and still getting the full 2-for-$1-off discount The Young & The Restless Places I Have Lived: New York South Carolina Connecticut (2x) Virginia (3x) Ohio Maryland North Carolina (2x) Alaska Massachusetts California Shows I Enjoy: Law & Order House Survivor Project Runway Top Chef Lost Barefoot Contessa Vacation Spots: Yosemite and New Hampshire’s White Mountains are my favorites. Then again, nothing beats Cape Hatteras/Ocracoke Island…except maybe Edisto Beach, S.C.

Pink Fuzziness For Sale

One of the most open, honest and fun-to-be-around running bloggers I've met is Angie , she of the one-woman One Pink Fuzzy franchise. The Tuscon trail runner has had a rough time of it lately and poured some of that hurt and hope into her own brand of artwork that everyone can finally see -- and purchase! -- now that she's just opened an online shop. Check it out.

Wordless Wednesday

Image

Not Another Word, Chris

Image
I’m discovering there are perks to being the mother in a budding collegiate romance. Your daughter’s boyfriend will (a) convince her to quit being a brat and appreciate whatever car she gets; (b) not utter one complaint when summoned out of bed Saturday morning to get his butt – and his roomy Chevy Tahoe – to IKEA a.s.a.p.; and (c) help loosen the last of those maternal strings. This is Chris, a very sweet teacher-to-be who said he wanted to run with me while he was here the other week and then never did because of their itinerary and my achy Achilles tendon. Then last night I was informed that Chris finally checked out this blog and was disappointed to not be mentioned more. I think he’s worried we don’t like him. My bad, young man, for trying to protect your privacy. You are part of the reason I recovered so quickly from this latest parent-letting. She wants to be with you now, not us. You make our daughter happy, and that makes me happy. I know you are there for her, which also mean

She's Gone

Image
We had a good summer together. With most of her friends staying at school and her sister in Europe, I got her to myself for a while and made the most of it by going to the movies, the beach and other places that I thought she might like. She got up at an ungodly hour for a 20-year-old night owl to teach preschoolers for six weeks and sacrificed one of her last weekends to help me with my Lake Rim Run. I forgive her for not wanting to talk to me when I called long-distance while So You Think You Can Dance was on. Then her boyfriend flew down from Marin last week, and then the two of them were heading out of town in a recently repaired VW to start their junior year of college. But not before indulging me one more time and going on a hike she hated. Her dad and I drove up Saturday to help her get settled, arriving tired and 90 minutes ahead of them at the East Bay IKEA to buy a new bed for her Cotati condo. You don’t complain, though, when you’re down to hours before you say good-bye. In

Today's Public Service Announcement

Another popular trail system, another attack. This time it's Mission Trails Park in East County. Note in this story the police advice for women runners, regardless of their chosen terrain. It's nothing you probably haven't heard and have (I hope) heeded. Here's another news account , courtesy of a local television station. It also includes a supplemental video interview with the victim.

Wordless Wednesday

Image

The Divine City of Davis

Image
I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like the college town of Davis, and really, what’s not to love (besides a very long car ride if you’re from San Diego). After spending three days there last week, I too am a member of its fan club -- and I hit town during a hot spell. Both incoming freshmen and their parents stayed in dorms, but different dorms. I ended up in a hallway of four single rooms that shared one communal toilet/shower combination. I’m not the most modest person, but the idea of someone else’s father walking in on me showering led me to daily bathe quickly and with a constant ear to the sudden opening of the lock-less bathroom door. If nothing else, when it opened it blew the flimsy shower curtain out. (And I know there was another male there because he kept leaving the toilet seat up!) But enough about my personal hangups. This is a running blog. The night before my first run, I asked several students and faculty members if running at the Arboretum was safe very early in th

Race Review: Balboa 8-Miler

Image
I’m not sure what race preparations yield good results in general, but I am pretty sure they don’t include 10-hour car drives in 108-degree heat, with stops for various fast food and soda. Not to mention numerous applications of BioFreeze to the butt and Motrin. Lots of Motrin. That’s how I spent my waking hours leading up to this morning’s Balboa 8 Mile race. And I would say my finish reflected that, but in reality results likely would not have been that different on what is a difficult, mostly cross-country course. The race starts and ends near the Pan-American Plaza inside Balboa Park. It was warm and muggy at the start and…and – oh, hell, I’ll just say it – I peed on my shorts trying to go au natural behind a hill instead of staying in a long portable potty line. Not a great way to start, let me tell you. The course for the 8-miler is all over the place: around museums, up sidewalks, along asphalt roads, inside parking lots and on grass, mulch and dirt trails. The hills were steep