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Showing posts from April, 2009

Cloudbusting

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Five of us girls were studying the entrance trail map when a park employee named Carlos came over and in a thick Puerto Rican accent passionately explained the journey ahead. There was something about a bathtub and how we should expect it to take two hours to climb the 3,445 feet to La Roca del Yunque. Or did he just say El Yunque, in the other direction? He told us to be on the lookout for little trees, which someone translated as “bonsai.” Not quite what Carlos had in mind, we later discovered. The guide also cautioned us not to go the wrong way or we’d have to climb a steep-grade service road (something Sarah, who’d done this hike before, had warned of as well). He pointed to another part of the map. “When you get here, you hold out your hand and touch the clouds. Nowhere else you can do that.” Then he asked us to cross the street, back toward the visitor’s center, with him. When we resisted, he insisted. “Please! Ladies! I am trying to show you about this culture.” Then he poin

Wordless Wednesday

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Isla del Encanto

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First I eagerly unfolded the embroidered T-shirts bought from a souvenir shop in Old San Juan. And I rifled through the pockets for postcards that I never did send from Bayamon as planned. Then came the carefully wrapped decoration personalized by the artist, a Frenchman named Nico. I bought it for the foyer, but now I think it looks better closer to the kitchen. Next, I coddled the coconut confection bought from a street vendor who understood but didn’t speak English. Finally, I pulled out the book that I never did finish on the trip. These I’d cordoned off with my unused electronic devices and six boarding passes in a separate piece of luggage to keep them close. Everything else returned to San Diego worse for wear and well ahead of me due to significant flight delays in both Miami and LA. This one blouse did hold up well on the way to The Island of Enchantment. During one leg I shared cabin space with Bull’s Eye, the dog featured in all the Target commercials. Bull's Eye is h

Sneak Peek

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This is the view from a women's bathroom . I got home last night much, much later than expected and will need time to reacclimate to regular life and especially work. I stayed away from all electronics except the occasional cell phone call and my handy point-and-shoot camera, which was a constant companion. That nifty little Nikon got in some good shots, like this one from San Juan. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a lot of catching up to do.

A Run to Remember

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This is how folks at my alma mater chose to commemorate today's anniversary of a terrible day in our modern history. I only wish I could have joined in. From PilotOnline: 3.2-mile run to remember 32 victims

Wordless Wednesday

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Photos courtesy of my daughter Elise M. (featured on the left in the second photo) with her sister, who both attended youknowwho's concert last weekend

Runner's Blessing

Kurt in Boston has created a beautifully crafted song just for all of us runners. I think he truly captures the essence of why we do what we do. Here's the footnote at the bottom of lyrics: This song is for runners everywhere. For everyone who hears the word — and puts flesh into motion. It is especially for those for whom running is a way of life; a way of being and acting in the world and embracing all that it means to be a part of this creation. Run in harmony. Go over and listen to it and then go to his music site and download it so you can take it with you on your next long run.

The Energy Within

If you experienced a brownout over the weekend, it might have been from all the light bulbs beaming in my head. I offer no apologies. I listened to a Webinar at work on Friday about how to harness positive energy to get through tough times. It sounds New Age-y but it wasn’t. And all weekend long I thought of how I could incorporate those teachings into my daily life. Then I thought: why not share what I learned because I read your blogs and your emails and your tweets and I know you’re sometimes stressed out and not sleeping well and then stressed out about not sleeping well. Am I right? Basic Needs First, you need to understand that human beings need four sources of energy to be at their best: Physical energy is the foundation and includes fitness, nutrition, sleep and renewal. Emotional energy influences how we approach everything, from our work to our relationships. Mental energy comes from the ability to focus on one thing at a time, really absorb it. The human spirit co

Music to My Ears

I'm listening less and less to music these days and more to the spoken contributions of journalists, authors and plain ol' folk on podcasts and the public airwaves. I'm lucky. I have both an iPod with plenty of playlists and my old Rio Cali that has an excellent antennae to pick up radio stations while I run. This morning I was so engrossed in this personal essay from the "This I Believe" series on NPR, that I failed to notice the flashing red lights on the fire engines heading out of a station in front of me. It made me think of home, and it made me think of hard times. It also made the five miles of hills fly by. From NPR. org: The Art of Being a Neighbor P.S. Even though I'm not a big fan of hockey, I gotta give it up for my alma mater, Boston University, for winning last night's come-from-behind, Disney-movie-like national championship victory over Miami (Ohio).

When You're Right, You're Right

We got a notice from the IRS saying we owed a considerable amount of money. It should be noted we did our taxes Feb. 4, and the so-called error was discovered a week later. They waited until Saturday, April 4 to notify us, no doubt hoping we were unprepared to find all of the needed documentation or time to contest it. I knew this because there's a place you can go to find out the status of your refund . (Hat tip to my friend Annie for telling me about this site.) One entire day was spent trying to find someone at the IRS who could tell us what we needed to do to correct it, believing our tax preparer somehow had made a mistake. He was adamant he hadn't messed up. The IRS reps were just as sure they hadn't either. Yesterday my husband, with some legwork by our daughter, finally got someone at the IRS to very reluctantly right the wrong -- their wrong. So I celebrated this tiny victory but major cash saver the only way I knew how: I signed up for a 5k.

Wordless Wednesday

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Death Match: Triathlons vs. Marathons

Triathlons apparently win when it comes to the number of sudden deaths during a competition. From the LA Times: Triathlons deadlier than marathons From the short report: Although the deaths occurred during all races, not just long ones, nearly all happened during the swim portion. That led study authors to theorize that, during the swim, competitors may have little opportunity to rest or signal for help. They also could be difficult for rescue workers to see. During the two-year period, there were 14 deaths: 13 in swimming, one in cycling.

I Can So Relate

I was heading into work this morning when I heard a health piece on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" about aging long-distance runners. After my internal heart-to-heart this weekend, I felt like someone was reading my mind. NPR: Staying Fit After Marathon Days Are Over An excerpt: For some long distance runners, scaling back on mileage to ease the pressure on aging joints is an even tougher test of willpower than running a marathon. But doctors and coaches say there are plenty of good ways to stay fit and get the rush of running without pounding the pavement.

This Recession's Eating Into Ambitions

Yesterday was supposed to be my A race, but instead of pulling ahead of people struggling up the steep hills on the El Cajon 20k, I was talking myself into walking just a wee bit along the 56 freeway bike path near my house. I had two goals: (1) get in some miles before the start of a hectic day; and (2) get rid of the angst from troubling talks and insights of the prior work week. At least I added 5.5 miles to my weekly total. Like most long distance runners, I use running to process issues – mostly mine but sometimes others’. It's the main reason I prefer to run alone. Sad to say, I’ve actually added mileage in recent weeks, not because a training schedule told me to, but because I wasn’t ready for the therapy session to end on time. Not only does this put me at risk for re-injury, but I’ve also noticed I’m not covering as much ground, either. Fear of losing my job, losing a friendship and losing my mind now has started to literally drag me down. In December, like a lot of run

Wordless Wednesday

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