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Showing posts from November, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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Family Hike Atop Torrey Pines

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The way it works each Thanksgiving is I select a place for our annual "Black Friday" family hike, only I don't announce it until that morning, or maybe the night before. Then I grab my camera and watch as the walk unfolds. At least one child will complain profusely the entire time. Two, if both of them go. But this year was different in a few respects. I let everyone sleep in until 10. Normally, we'd be done and already at brunch by then. My first two choices were ravaged by the wildfires. So I picked a place I knew would be open and would impress a nephew visiting us from landlocked Arizona. I could already 'picture' the snapshots of everyone walking along the cliffs just as the last vestiges of marine mist released their grip along the rocky coastline at high noon. Then someone "misplaced" my camera while I was making one last trip to the bathroom. They thought it was really funny to watch me freak, then pout. So, what you have are an opening shot

Locals & Visitors: Take Note

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I love running on the Balboa Park Bridal Trail, but I rarely did because it was just a little too creepy. Then I started to warn other women to be careful down there after a tourist was raped around 9 in the morning. Another runner even saw the attack but waited until he'd finished his run to call police. Most of our summer hill repeats that aren't done on the 6th Street hill are done in these woods, and I'm delighted to see the city's made some much-needed improvements to make if feel a little safer. Not sure I want to see the dirt covered with gravel, but I'm eager to check it out in a couple of weeks when I'm in the park for a special orientation for newcomers to the track club's marathon training program. Here's the article: Park volunteers blaze a new trail [Photo courtesy of the Union-Tribune's Web site]

Post Holiday Hangover

No, not the alcohol-induced variety. The one where all of the kids and company have cleared out and you survey the damage, to the house and to the wallet, and you decide no aspirin can alleviate this. Only a little Windex and a lot more shopping will do. It was a good four-day weekend, one we shared with a young nephew in the Air Force, currently stationed in Arizona. We hit a coastal trail for this year's traditional post-turkey family hike, but I left my camera behind by mistake and now am awaiting photos I took with the phone cam to magically arrive in my inbox. They won't do justice, though, to the glorious day we had to walk the beach at low tide and then climb to the top of the Torrey Pines Preserve. Hours after the college kids had left very early this morning for Northern California, I was doing a 'test run' of a 5-Miler I'd just created using Stepwhere.com. It's still very much a work in progress, but numerous homeowners along Christmas Card Lane alr

My 3:45 a.m. Surprise!

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They asked me to wake them at 3:30-3:45 a.m. to start their 10-hour drive from UC-Davis to San Diego. Only when I called, they weren't just already awake...they were about 10 miles away! I guess I oughta be upset they drove all night, and with a missing tail light. But right now I'm not. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone. Whether it's a holiday for you or not, be grateful for everything you have in your life instead of stewing about all that you don't. (Wordless Wednesday will resume next week.)

Our Ryan Run at Los Pensaquitos Canyon

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We held our Saturday run this morning at Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. There was initial confusion, since my message with a change of start and notice to carry water was supposed to be forwarded to everyone but didn't get done by the group's leader; so, some people initially went to the wrong starting place and some ran a long way on the trails without hydrating. We all kept to the "easy side" of the preserve in which no one could get lost, though that leader I just mentioned did forget a turn and went the extra mile. Some of us wore signs on our back that said "Running Today for Ryan Shay." Today was the day to run 5.5 miles in the 28-year-old's honor. The distance is where he collapsed and died during the Olympic Marathon Trials earlier this month. I'd by lying if I said I thought of Ryan Shay the entire hour we ran. I did when another group of runners saw our shirts and asked about him. But otherwise, I was chatting it up with new and longtime

The Pros and Cons of Postponing Children

Here's something for everyone to chew on. Earlier this month Duke University researchers released a scientific model they've created to help women decide when its optimal for them to give birth, depending on their career and life aspirations. One tidbit that's getting plenty of feedback is this snippet from the official news release : The model suggests that, especially in cases where both family life and career are important to the woman, having a child much earlier may be a better long-term solution than waiting until she is more established in her career. "It may seem surprising to suggest having a child at a younger age, even if the woman places no importance on having a child until a certain age," Vernik said. "But the model takes into account the fact that taking a maternity leave has less impact on the future career of a woman who is a student or in the beginning of her professional life. This woman’s child will also be older and slightly more indepen

Are You Heading for an Energy Crisis?

This week for work I'm doing research into sustaining human performance and came across this "energy audit" that might benefit some of you that find it hard to get through the days. The key to knowing if you get enough sleep is how you end and begin the days. If you instantly fall asleep the minute your head hits the pillow, you aren't getting enough. It should take about 15 minutes to doze off. If you need an alarm clock to wake up, you aren't going to bed early enough. You should rise around the same time, seven days a week and be instantly alert. Another tell-tale sign you aren't effectively managing your energy during the day: You get sleepy between 2 and 4 p.m. Here's a link to the audit in the Harvard Business Review . Most of the information comes from a site/company called The Energy Project .

Wordless Wednesday

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Travelog: Time in New England

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Our hotel at the corner of St. Paul and Beacon streets in Brookline was just a few blocks from Boston University, where I attended graduate school. Last Friday morning, as we started walking down Comm Ave., the main road bisecting the urban campus, it dawned on me that my husband had never seen the place except the dreary day I graduated. That bit of intel was all I needed to declare myself in charge of our itinerary. First stop: breakfast at Trident Booksellers on Newbury Street. There are two sides to the famed “Rodeo Drive of Boston.” One end is trendy; the other funky. Trident Booksellers is a cafĂ© and bookstore definitely on the funky side. As we wolfed down our frittata and omelet, I told Gilbert how I would treat myself during cold months to a hot white chocolate from here and take it to the reflecting pool at the Christian Science complex off Mass Ave. Therefore, the tour continued with us going to that very spot, only this time to see the Mapparium . It costs $6 but is worth i

Memorial Run for Ryan

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Most of you by now are aware of Ryan Shay, the 28-year-old that died 5.5 miles into last weekend's Olympic Marathon Trials in New York City. There are numerous memorials being erected or created, including one conceived by my friend Jeff , that amazing hipster up in southern Orange County. Jeff would like anyone who can next Saturday to run 5.5 miles in honor of Ryan Shay. The details are on Complete Running.

Wordless Wednesday

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While I Can Get a Word In

I've got a picture to post tomorrow from the afterfire days, and soon I hope to come up for air and get back into a regular routine once a series of 14-hour work days pass.

The 35,000-Foot View

A travelogue on my latest Boston trip will be coming soon. I need to get my pictures developed and my brain back in order. For now, know that they were three action- and alcohol-packed days, with the cornerstone being a traditional Scottish wedding where the women weren’t the only ones worried about those hurricane-induced, gale-force winds. At both ends were long plane rides, the kind where somehow you do very little besides read, watch and nap and still find yourself exhausted by the time you get to baggage claim. On the way up, we shared a plane with a lot of American Red Cross volunteers going home after working the wildfire shelters. One retired gentleman sitting next to me explained how everyone flies around the country on short notice as part of a mobile disaster force. The more he talked, the more I started to think I may have found my “career” once we retire. I’m at the midpoint in my work life, and I anticipate needing something to do once I’m done working for The Man. I tho

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Recovery

Among the last things I threw into the car during the wildfires were my current running shoes. When it was time to return to the gym and then finally start running outside this week, I was too lazy or busy or without the car to retrieve them. Instead, I rummaged around the closet for the last pair whose soles looked in good condition. And guess what? No more achilles pain. Since switching shoes, it's gone. Coincidence? Perhaps. I mean, I have been in rehab for almost two months now. But when I finally pulled the newer pair from the car, I examined the wear and one was worse than the other. I'm now hypothesizing that one shoe may be just a tad defective -- a flaw no human eye could detect. Just my body after running with it for all of July and August. Every theory needs to be tested. So, I'm going to do a few short runs in the suspect shoes and see how it feels. I'm hoping some of the test runs occur over the next few days in Boston. I'll report my findings -- and