Showing posts from October, 2008

Wordless Wednesday



I can't believe you're 20 years old today, either. Happy Birthday, Alex!

Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior

I admit it took me much longer to read, let alone review, this book after I received it in the mail from Stefano . I had a vacation to enjoy, then a tough job to endure, a steady stream of visitors to entertain and a family crisis that continues to unfold. If only I’d sat down with this sequel by Dan Millman sooner, I would have handled all these situations differently. I never read Millman's earlier works, including Way of the Peaceful Warrior. Nor have I seen the movie version. But this latest installation in a series makes it easy for the uninitiated since Millman pulls scenes and sayings from an earlier work to introduce what was gained since he met a man called Socrates. That’s the guy who ran a gas station when Millman was attending UC, Berkeley and who became a guiding force in Millman’s life -- a life in northern California that seems on the surface quite ordinary, actually. If you’re up on philosophers like Alan Watts or even Buddha, then many passages will ring familiar.

A New Balboa Park 'Trail Mix'

Just saw in today's newspaper that the Balboa Park trail system has been enhanced with signs to explain the distance and difficulty of various routes. This is a great resource for both locals and tourists. And the article is so right: There's so much more to the park than the zoo and the museums and maybe now more people will discover that. Hikers Get a Trail Mix (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Get With the Program

Few people know this, but a group of dedicated runners and volunteers have been working since this summer to gain formal approval of a popular pilot program designed for half marathoners in San Diego. After many meetings, missives and revisions, we unveiled our grand plan Tuesday evening to the San Diego Track Club’s board of directors – and gained unanimous approval. I was due to deliver the final presentation, but a last-minute work project involving a presidential candidate prevented me from giving my PowerPoint talk. The group did a wonderful job in my absence. Beginning next June, up to 125 lucky runners will be able to train weekly with full support for a variety of summer, fall and early winter races. I intend to be one of them. For now, I continue to train on my own.

Since Technically I Am Not Speaking

I'll send you to Leslie's blog for the latest on the Nike Womens Marathon controversy .

Wordless Wednesday




The Winner and the Real Loser

If you haven't heard, the Nike Women's Marathon last weekend showed that it's an elitist race by awarding the top prizes to women in the elite field when someone who started with the masses actually bested them all and ran the fastest time. She left San Francisco emptyhanded. This apparently is the second time in a week that race officials have made that call. Last weekend in Chicago the Kenyan who finished fourth was shut out of prize money because he too started with the regular athletes and not a special pack. You can read about it here. One question I have is: Why do elite athletes even need a head start? I mean, aren't they supposed to be fast enough to split away from the others right out of the gate anyway? And what an audacious excuse was given: The elite women might have put in more effort if they knew someone else was on their heels, in this case a 24-year-old schoolteacher who never considered herself elite. That's the other incredulous claim: that

Running Bloggers Unite

One of the best parts of being a running blogger is meeting others that you instantly know share some of the same interests. Today I got to show Rae and Brent around some of my favorite parts of San Diego while they are here on a "babymoon." My camera battery was drained before I even turned it on, so we'll have to wait to see what the two of them post after their trip. When you follow someone's blog for long enough, you start to feel like you really know them. This couple from Nashville was just as nice in person as they are in the virtual world. As usual, I talked too much and, by my count, began at least four stories without finishing them. I think that's down from previous blogger meetups. We went to Torrey Pines, and I intended to just walk along the beach but Rae, despite being seven months, was game to hike to the top of the cliffs. For lunch, we lucked out on street parking in downtown Del Mar and ate at Americana Cafe, where the omelettes and chocolate

Running Late

My college kids were nice enough to supply some photos for Wordless Wednesday, only I never actually posted them yesterday. So, around 1 in the afternoon my husband called to let me know Alex had been trying to reach me while I was in meetings. I immediately called her and got this pregnant pause. "Where is your Wordless Wednesday?" she demanded to know. I had trouble trying to get the photos to fit in an apparently preassigned configuration. It's still a problem, as you can see. At least when it's Thursday, I can explain the photos. The first two are from the UC, Davis Homecoming game, which my other daughter Elise attended last weekend to see her sister perform. One features Alex's football-player dance partner at the previous night's bonfire rally. Do any of you remember Dominic from the third season of "So You Think You Can Dance?" Turns out he was sharing studio space with the dance team and watched a practice and, of course, posed for a

Moon Shadows

My fears from about 10 hours ago were unfounded. Not only was the fire near us extinguished quickly, but I woke to clear skies without even the faint trace of smoke. It's still brittle dry out, so though it was 15 degrees warmer, I didn't sweat -- or if I did, it evaporated immediately. With the moon full, I could actually see my shadow as I ran along a few streetlight-less avenues. It was pretty cool, until I caught something in my periphery vision and realized it was not one but two coyotes tearing across a canyon -- towards me. I quickly did a 180, though I think they were after something else anyway. About a mile later, I saw what looked like a cat scoot across another moonlit area toward a storm drain. As I approached, I knew the tail was way too large to be a house cat. (Plus, what cat heads toward water?!) Sure enough, it was a big ol' raccoon staring at me.

Here We Go Again

As I type, we can hear helicopters overhead as they help douse one of the first wildfires of the season. The biggest fire is in Oceanside, a safe distance from here. This one near us is less than a mile away but contained already. We got the milder end of the Santa Anas, unlike LA, but the extra dry air, high temps and smoke have caused the air quality in my neighborhood to drop considerably. One day into the new running schedule and already it's threatened. The Oceanside Fire The Rancho Penasquitos Fire

Politics and Pocketbooks

I started the first day of a new eight-week 10k plan with a wonderful run under clear skies, lush moon and 49-degree temps. The mid- to upper-40s is my ideal running weather. Always has been. I’ll take 50s if I’m properly dressed, and 30s are good for trails since snakes and big kitty cats stay put. I’m going to make a concerted effort to really watch what I eat and stay within 200 calories of my recommended daily allowance to lose 10 pounds by Dec. 6. This whole following a plan is a bit of a sea change for me and harkens back to when I took running a little more seriously. I had a restful weekend and didn’t leave the house yesterday after I did my long run. So I was surprised to see so many political signs on everyone’s front yards early this morning. Judging by all the Republican candidates and “Yes on 8” signs, I live in a very conservative neighborhood. Prop 8 would overturn a court ruling that now allows gay couples to marry. It’s certainly the most polarizing issue on the bal

The Onion

This week I was a victim of sexual abuse. Actually, I pretended to be one for a video testimonial after the videographer asked me – and only me. After deciding not to be insulted, I really got into the role. I didn’t even need to inhale a cut onion to bring on the water works and, despite there being no audio, I found myself sobbing loudly and heaving heavily. I clenched my tissue wad on the hand close-up just as I would in real life – and with no direction. Finally, all those Lifetime movies paid off. And who could blame me? I’m a bit surprised that few running blogs I’ve read the past two weeks mention the now-worldwide financial crisis that should have every one of us nervous. I guess no one I read needs to borrow money or tap into their dwindling nest egg in the next few years, or works for an employer with cash-strapped customers. Now our Governator wants a $7 billion “bailout” – which, trust me, will be the top word for 2008. At least his request would pay for state nursing hom

Guest Wordless Wednesday

Photo of somewhere in Sonoma County San Francisco taken by my daughter, Elise.

What Would You Do?

Say you’re a course marshal at a cross-country 5K this past Saturday and, due to some park resodding, the course is changed. It’s basically a new course to everyone. You have two assignments: make sure runners stay off the road on the way out and make sure they come all the way back to your spot and negotiate a sharp turn right at the 3-mile mark, just before the finish ahead. Complicating the return are chalk lines for another event about 200 feet away that can confuse someone unfamiliar with the new course. Most of the runners handle the final stretch just fine, but eventually the back of the pack folks, now few and far between, are following people cooling down and cutting the course. So you move up to get their attention and show them the way. That works until the last three women, all walkers, come through. You see them turn with the chalk lines and you run over and shout, “Here! Here! The course is over here!” Unlike the others, they ignore your shouts and another woman who’s

New Carnival of Running

Mike A ., a columnist for Complete Running , is starting a new Carnival of Running. For those new[er] to blogging, “carnivals” are collections of blog posts from the past week or so and can be focused on a theme, such as different impressions of the Boston Marathon or a roundup of run-ins with nature. Typically, though, someone is assigned to just jot down highlights and hyperlinks to their favorite blog posts. Mike’s blog is called Running is Funny and, thus, he’s taking carnival at its word and asking for running bloggers to submit strange, weird, wild and uproarious runs or encounters with runners that they experience during the week. You can send them to

Wordless Wednesday