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Showing posts from February, 2008

Is It Possible to Be SAD in San Diego?

Seasonal Affective Disorder is supposed to plague sunshine-deprived people who endure long winters, not here where the sun routinely works overtime to keep things clear and crisp. Yet as we emerge from the wet season, and I can now enjoy sunrise runs and energized evenings, I feel a little something stirring inside me: contentment. Until this week, I may have underestimated how down I’d been despite a job I love, a husband I adore and two grown children who continually do me proud. It is not, unfortunately, that way in the family I was born into, and as the oldest child I’m often saddled with situations well beyond the normal realm of dysfunction. For months now, when I could muster the energy to head out into the dark, I fantasized between footfalls about ways to put my former boss out of business or keep someone I love dearly out of jail. I’ll also have a new nephew this summer, if my troubled sister’s life-threatening illness doesn’t claim both her and the baby first. Nothing has

Wordless Wednesday

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Some Safety Tips from San Diego

Authorities have identified someone in the attacks on female runners, but the suspect is still at large and apparently on a suicide mission . The following safety tips were provided in the article: SAFETY TIPS Ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim of a sexual assault: Don't walk or jog by yourself. Carry a cell phone. Let someone know where you are going, the route you are taking and when you expect to return. Stay in well-populated areas. Always be aware of your surroundings. If you think you are being followed or are in danger, get to a place with lights and people. Sources: San Diego County Sheriff's Department, California Attorney General's Office.

Two Attacks on Popular Routes

The local newspaper's reporting a female runner was raped in Solana Beach near the entrance to San Elijo Lagoon . It doesn't say when it happened, other than it was at night. Stay safe, everyone. UPDATE: There's another close call outlined in Sunday's paper, showing once again that it doesn't matter when or where you run -- always be alert. (And yes, Sandy, I carry the pepper spray on almost all of my runs.) Teen Jogger Escapes Man Matching Rape Suspect

How This Week's Shaping Up

First, I got lectured on keeping my Blackberry with me at all times. "Even when I'm out running?" "I'll let you make that call." "And by 'with me' does that mean it also must be turned on?" " Anne! " Then, I went to comment on a blog over lunch yesterday and discovered our IT guys now block anything with the word "blogger" in the URL. A formal protest is being crafted, right after I calculate how much comp time I deserve for running with a Blackberry. Let's just be glad this blog uses Wordpress .

Wordless Wednesday

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USATF National Cross Country Championships

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What better way to test drive the new digital camera than today's USATF National Cross Country Championships, held right here in San Diego for the first time since 1971. It provided a rare opportunity to see so many current and former Olympians from all over the country, and from some seriously spectacular vantage points. Of course, I learned a few lessons the wrong way, such as when you mistake the "sports action" symbol for the portrait shots, you end up with some funky photos. Oh, and if you want to use the telefoto feature, it's probably a good idea to read the manual before you just start hitting buttons -- and still don't discover how to bring images closer. But even with my elementary skillz, I think I got some decent shots. Above is just a minute before the start of the women's master's race. That's Sally, our track club's stretch coach and a former 3:15 marathoner. We worked an aid station for the Rockin' 'n' Runnin' progr

Oh, How Sweet It Is (Not)

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It's been almost a full week since I was leveled by the news that my daily Diet Coke may be making me fat. That and the "lite" strawberry apple sauce and nearly every low-calorie item I ingest. A new study in rats suggest my beloved Splenda and other artificial sweetners may actually be contributing to the obesity epidemic. In fifth-grade language, our brain releases a message to our digestive system whenever it senses (through taste, mainly) that a high-calorie item is coming down the hatch. This is because dense-calorie items need extra energy to be broken down. When you substitute fake sugar for the real thing, the sensors initially react similarly, but over time become accustomed to being fooled and shut off those digestive agents. So you don't feel as full after consuming it or anything you eat with it. Therefore, you eat more to feel full. Here's more: Metabolic syndrome II: Sweetness and Light (The Economist) While we're on the subject of sweet, I hope

To My Neighbors in Park Village

Including those of you over on Darkwood and possibly as far as Dormouse: Yes, that was me this afternoon, screaming at the top of my lungs, “NO! NO! NO! THAT IS NOT HOW YOU MAKE LASAGNA!!” And, uh, that wasn’t a minor earthquake you felt. It was just me stomping up and down on my tiled floor in my chocolate brown, furry Ugg slippers. I didn’t realize the dining room doors were open or else I’d have closed them before protesting the pasta preparations unfolding before me. Having my husband instruct me on the proper way to dice an onion was, I thought, the last straw. Then I caught him mixing the marinara with the meat – a la spaghetti -- and lost it. Obviously he isn't into layering, but invoking my mom’s limited cooking skills was too much. Toooo much , I tell you. I know the nosier of you neighbors have noticed I’m driving into work earlier and coming home later. It’s not leaving much time to do a lot of the things I enjoy. No, I mean the things I need . You’ve probably also n

Smile Like You Mean It

Japanese marathoner Kayoko Fukushi made a common rookie mistake and went out too fast during the Osaka Marathon. It's the clumsy-yet-graceful way she handles herself in the end that makes her stand out. Oh, if only I could bonk so beautifully. Well worth four minutes of your day to watch this one.

'Triathlons are the New Marathons'

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Just caught up with the news and came across this piece in the L.A. Times on the growing popularity of triathlons. Beyond the marathon There's a lot of advice in the section , from whether you need a coach to the basic nutrition guidelines that apply to most recreational athletes. This was my favorite piece of advice: "Someone once told me that a good day at Ironman is when you have two minor catastrophes," says triathlete Hillary Biscay. "The sport is really about the woes of the day, physical or mental, and it's how you deal with them that separates the best people in the sport. If you have to spend a few minutes at the side of the road, you can still make something of the day. I believe that if I keep running to the finish line and cross it, regardless of what my time is, I've done the best with what I had on that day. That's a victory." [Photo courtesy of the Associated Press]

How to Stay Cultured When You're Broke

Usher. I filled in for a friend this weekend and got to watch a terrific play about racism in the 1930s through 1960s as told through the story of Joe Louis . It's a tough scene to break into, given the turnover for ushers is low. I can see why: you help prior, watch at your liesure (usually from terrific house seats) and clean up leftover programs afterward. Then you're done. It works for concerts too at more refined venues. So long as no one says anything about me walking into the men's room by accident (and bringing fellow females with me), and handing members of the cast programs in the lobby (hey, how was I to know?!), and closing a side door too soon and annoying some longtime patrons, and forgetting to relieve other ushers during intermission, I should be good to go.

Oh, Hey, I Know This Woman....

My farming friend Sandy just sent me to a New York Times story on how taking up hard exercise in middle age can not just hold back Father Time but turn you into an enviable athlete. I was reading along and squeeled when I saw this passage: And there are people like Imme Dyson, a 71-year-old runner who lives in Princeton, N.J. She took up running when she was 48 and loved it, she says, from the moment she put on a pair of running shoes. Her daughter, who had been a college triathlete, told her how to train. “She said, ‘Mom, if your workout didn’t hurt, you didn’t work hard enough,’ ” Ms. Dyson said. “Working consistently really is the recipe,” she said. And it has made a difference for her, allowing her to run races, from 5K to marathons, so fast that she is consistently among the best in the nation in her age group. She has run a 15K cross-country race in 1:19:08, a pace of 8:29 a mile. And she ran a 10K race in 51 minutes 50 seconds, a pace of 8:20 a mile. I met Imme this summe