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Showing posts from June, 2008

Get With the Program

My running's again been out of synch with the rest of my life, mainly due to time-consuming projects at work and a visit from my 94-year-old grandmother, a recent refugee of one of the bigger northern California wildfires. My college kid in Sonoma reports that some days are better than others, and I'm sure that familiar smell and smokey haze gives her flashbacks to the fires that ravaged our old suburb. My heart goes out to Donald , one of those who was ultra-primed to run his first Western States 100, which, as most of you know, was cancelled due to the poor air quality created by the fires. I ushered again last night, this time for a one-man production about the American composer George Gershwin. I again was put in charge of programs and this one guy who was dressed more like a stagehand than patron smiled as he walked by me, so I gleefully offered him a program. During the encore, the actor/composer called the director onstage to sing "Embraceable You" and, wouldn

Wordless Wednesday

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Race Report: Aflac Iron Girl 5k/10k

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Ordinarily I don’t include the title sponsor in my race report, but insurance provider Aflac went so far above and beyond what I typically see at big races that they get special mention here. The Iron Girl is part of a nationwide series , and I highly recommend those with the XX chromosome sign up if an event comes near you, no matter your ambitions or abilities. This was the second of my summer “fun runs,” in which camaraderie and companionship supersede competition and clock times. And this one I ran with my younger daughter Alex as a mother-daughter team. When I saw we were starting and finishing at the Del Mar Racetracks, I assumed we were outside the fairgrounds – mainly because the race coincided with the San Diego County Fair, which is a huge local attraction. Much to my surprise, the race began and ended on the actual track, which meant we got to go by dormant fair exhibits and sneak a peek at the livestock displays as we picked up our numbers, technical shirts, and major swag

Long Day, Indeed

I am sitting in an otherwise pitch-black room with very angry intestines and a wary mind that’s been in an all-night power struggle with sleep. I’m sick, but it’s the worst kind of sick: It’s completely self-induced. Truthfully, I didn’t drink that much wine. And if mixing reds and whites causes both upset stomach and scratchy throat, this is news to me. Yesterday morning I had to abort my run due to too many bathroom visits. That should have been my warning to watch what I ate. Technically I did as I wolfed down wild salmon and baby greens for lunch and then post-meal popcorn and muffins and cookies that someone ordered for an offsite meeting. That was followed closely by calamari and more booze as we ate and drank our way to a $500 minimum food and drink tab. Within 30 minutes of everyone leaving the bar, I was pulling into a private parking area in downtown Del Mar for a summer solstice party featuring more wine that the host served with assorted grapes and cheeses. I was highly en

Wordless Wednesday

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What a Year's Worth of College Gets You

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BEFORE: AFTER: Happy Father's Day to all you dads!

A Second Tri

Everyone in San Diego has golf fever, thanks to the U.S. Open taking place closeby. The scene this weekend reminds me of when the Super Bowl was here and people were always buzzing about who they saw, where and with whom. I will say, from what my friends have witnessed, I may have underestimated the golf fan. Maybe it's the conservative attire that threw me off, but these folks can absorb a lot of alcohol, even if it comes in exotic bottles and brandy snifters instead of Bud cans. A side benefit of all the action at Torrey Pines has been a ghostly presence in the gym. As such, I had no problem this morning securing equipment for my second fitness test, a.k.a. 20-20-20 gym triathlon. The tension seemed tougher on the rowing machine, which may have helped me up the meters. The bike portion went really well, with me adding another mile in the same time frame with little additional effort. But, once again, I couldn't find my flow for the run on a treadmill. The console said I ave

Wordless Wednesday

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A Running Meme

Here are the rules. If you’re tagged, you will find your name at the end of this post. You should then copy the rules (or your version of them), and the set of questions onto your blog post, provide your own answers, and then tag 5 new people. Just to be sure that everyone tagged knows they have been invited to play, go to their blogs and leave them a special comment letting them know, and refer them to your blog for details. One more thing, according to my tagger Juls, once the chosen have answered the questions on their own blog, they should come back to yours to tell you. Here are my responses. 1. How would you describe your running 10 years ago? In decline, though it would take years for me to realize it. In the summer of 1998 I still believed my best running was ahead of me and futilely chased PRs. I ran among the coyote and tourists and dead people. Yes, that’s the summer I incorporated the National Cemetery into my long runs on Cape Cod. It was perfect. Not only was th

As You Head Out to Your Next Race

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I've had a spectacular couple of weeks at work, where I'm getting things done and embarking on my next big project. A lot of runners who love following training schedules also are project-driven in other areas of their lives. Me too. Unfortunately, it's left little time for life's other pleasures. I'm looking forward to tidying up the house this weekend, restocking the refrigerator and then kicking back and catching up with everyone in blogland. (Including contributing another meme for Juls!) The price of regular unleaded gas came close to $4.50 here earlier in the week. It's now back down to an average $4.39, as if that's an improvement. There's also strong talk about mandatory water conservation by this fall. Add in soaring costs of food, thanks in part to ethanol production and the aforementioned fuel inflation, and I've got to wonder if road and trail race entries will inch or shoot up as well. I pondered the cost of out-of-town races in an earli

Wordless Wednesday

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Moving Ahead by Going Back

It’s now officially the midpoint in the year, and I celebrated not by helping out with everyone else at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon this morning, but by going back to my old neighborhood and running a favorite Sunday solo route. It was a little quieter than I remember, but that may be because all of the attention in the San Diego running community was focused on the 20,000 running in the other end of the city. Our old home finally sold, apparently to a couple with a son attending a local college. I still don’t like the new landscaping, but I guess not everyone enjoys fruit trees and billowy bougainvillea buds. All along the streets, the yards looked fuller. Then I remembered a conversation at a party last month, where I learned most of the wild rabbit that normally feed on the flowers had not yet returned since last October’s wildfires. No coyotes on the course this trip. No awkward encounters with migrant workers. No water at the elementary school fountain anymore, either. It was eas