Showing posts from July, 2009

One of Those Kind of Mornings

I am not sure how it happened, but this morning I had one of the best rides ever. Granted, I don’t have to dial back too far to find the last peak since Penelope and I are still relatively new to this cycling thing. But, still, time to try and figure out how to replicate it. Set Expectations Low First, yesterday I struggled through three miles of running. The calf that’s attached to the problematic achilles tendon ached the entire way, and I limped around the rest of the day. I held little hope of riding any better the following morning. Fuel Up Well Before I went to bed at a decent hour so I was sure to get up an hour before I started my ride. Thus, I unhurriedly ingested some caffeine and carbs and let them settle in my stomach. I also took my calcium tablet and vitamins, which boosted my energy level sooner than expected. Leave in Layers We’re back to seasonal weather, which means high 60s and overcast early in the morning. I wore a windbreaker on the way out, when I mostly coa

Wordless Wednesday


The Company You Keep

This morning I had the great pleasure of meeting Momo for brunch at The High Dive in Mission Bay. Our original, annual meeting place was supposed to be this Saturday at the Balboa 8 Mile starting line, but this year neither of us felt ready for such a rough race course. She asked the same question everyone’s been asking since my last day on the job: How are you doing? I was, and still am, riding atop a tidal wave of good will and kind gestures. I’m glad she asked, though, because it gave me another excuse to reflect on my final week of work. Those last few work projects I lingered over, just to have something to do each day between clearing out a cupboard here, a drawer there. I drafted a list of my regular duties for when I’m gone, and it came to five pages. I called together some So You Think You Can Dance fans for a very special afternoon tea time. My boss unknowingly picked my favorite restaurant in Del Mar for a farewell lunch. The weather, the day, the meal and especially

That Body on the Bikepath

It’s interesting what each of you would have done in the situation that presented itself last week on the bike path. Here’s what happened after I found a young man apparently passed out cold and lying on his side, cell phone nearby, just as a man in workout clothes approached from the opposite direction. I rode away. I didn't check first to see if the guy was OK. I didn’t call 911 soon as I could. Something just felt very strange, aside from the obvious obstacle. I got to work, told everyone what happened and was universally condemned. Well, maybe not everyone strongly disapproved. One other woman rode that bike path to work a little later that morning, and she too found the guy in the exact same position. Like me, she was spooked because she was in an isolated area. And because there was a guy in workout clothes approaching from the opposite direction. So, I may not have made that 911 call – but I believe, in the end, I did make the right call.

Help Or Hit the Road -- You Tell Me

It’s 6:15 a.m. on your bike commute to work, and you’re about three miles in when you notice something big in your lane on the asphalt bike path that parallels a busy freeway. You’re kinda in a barren area, with the highway on one side and a desolate canyon on the other. As you get closer, the image comes into focus: It’s a body. You slow way down and approach what appears to be a guy in his early to mid-20s wearing shorts, a shirt and a flannel jacket. He looks well groomed and is lying on his side in a slight fetal position, a cell phone just inches from his face. There’s no blood, vomit or other body fluids around him. But this is a high-traffic thoroughfare and he isn’t moving, either. You’re not even sure he’s breathing. An older gentleman on his morning walk is approaching in the opposite direction and staring you down, shaking his head. Do you dismount from your bike and try to wake the guy on the path? Move his cell phone so no one steals it? Call for help, even though you a

Wordless Wednesday


A Short Commute

My job ends on Friday. Already this doesn't feel like a normal week. For one, I can't ride my bike to work because each day I'll be hauling stuff in or bringing stuff home and saying good-bye to a lot of wonderful people. That's the part I dread even more than the prospect of long-term unemployment.

I, Chi

Several of you commented in last week’s post that what I described sounded very much like chi running. You’re correct. Today I decided to put some of what I learned last week into practice for a 6-mile run that began and ended on scenic Harbor Island. I ran the first half with Irene and made a conscious effort to slightly lean forward and to move my shoulders and free up some range in my hips. I thought it would both feel weird and hold me back, but it was just the opposite. I had no problem maintaining the form and I think it might have helped me with my pace – especially since I didn’t get much sleep last night and felt tired. This was especially true after the aid station turnaround, when Irene left a little ahead of me and I decided, once I had her in my sights, to catch her by a specific street light. I barely made it, but I did it without feeling winded. I think the modified running form really helped. After the run, Dawn the chiropractor offered to do a spot analysis of my

Wordless Wednesday


Getting Down With Gravity

I love when someone offers a different perspective on something fundamental. Take this morning after we ran around the perimeter of Coronado, when we got a lesson in running mechanics and gait from a chiropractor and acupuncturist who is part of our training group. Dawn explained how it is the Kenyans run so differently, and maybe why. Running is often their only form of transportation between villages, so it makes sense that they would instinctively focus on fuel and form efficiency to not only continue, but to do so quickly. She told us that to prevent injuries, most of us likely need to change the way we run to take better advantage of gravity and to ensure we are using major muscles most effectively. This involves running at a slight angle (but not bending forward) to free up movement in the hips and hamstrings. We should also rotate our upper body slightly, rather than keep our shoulders rigid as many of us do. Now here’s the part that really stuck with me: If you find you a

When Sleep Eludes You

One option is to quietly head downstairs, turn on your laptop, brew some tea and soon discover a great article in the Wall Street Journal -- written by one of your former students. Slow Economy, Faster Marathons Americans might be poorer, but they certainly aren’t slower. With the economy in the doldrums, more people are discovering that without those 12-hour workdays, they’re able to pursue fitness goals like never before. Marathons, triathlons and road races are filling up in record time. Some evidence suggests that laid-off marathon runners are actually helping push up the level of competition within their age groups. Olympic-level competition could even go up because more elite athletes coming out of college are opting to pursue their athletic goals rather than look for work in a dismal job market.

Wordless Wednesday



Tomorrow provides a unique situation that I must tell you about today since it'll be Wordless Wednesday. That afternoon, for one second, the day will officially read: 12:34:56 7/8/9 That's all.

Today I Blame on Jellyfish

Last night we attended the Chinese wedding banquet of our friend Peter and his bride, Sarita. It was a wonderful reception and we were treated to an eight-course traditional Chinese feast – no General Tso’s Chicken or pot stickers for this bunch. Despite feeling rundown earlier in the day, I was ready for a culinary adventure and gratefully lapped up the fish soup and then tangled with some jellyfish – not easy with chop sticks, I’ll have you know. My favorite was the fried squid, Peking duck sandwiches and bok choy covered with some viscous sauce of unknown origin. The evening ended just as a nearby fireworks show began, and we left the restaurant with a prized centerpiece and images of everyone dancing the night away. Eight hours later, I was struggling with digestive issues on a usually easy 4-mile run, but I’ll gladly take it because last night was so worth it. Thank you, Peter and Sarita, for letting us be a part of your very special day.

5 on the 4th

Just got back from a 5.5-mile run around Lake Murray in East County. There was a lot more activity than usual for that hour of the day due to everyone setting up for a 4th of July festival and people already getting dibs on prime park real estate. I really struggled on this one. Maybe because I hadn’t run since Monday. Maybe because I ate an extra extra helping of my homemade onion rings last night. Maybe because I’m on the cusp of that time of the month. Maybe because I wore a flimsy white technical shirt and not-so-supportive sports bra. Maybe because I had to stop four times to use the facilities. Maybe because I didn’t sleep well. Then again, maybe I just had a lousy run. I'd heard about this woman marathoner who ran down a rapist last week. I'm not sure I'd have the strength to do the same, especially on days like today. San Diego Union-Tribune: Woman didn't hesitate to run after attacker Happy Independence Day, everyone!!

Top EcoFriendly Energy Bars

A hat tip to my friend Annie in Elizabeth City, N.C., who sent me a link to a Sierra Club taste test on energy bars. In case you're wondering which were deemed the best tasting and best for the environment, here are the top five: 1. LUNA White Chocolate Macadamia $1.39 | "Luna bars, marketed to women by the makers of Clif Bars, are 70 percent organic." 2. OLYMPIC GRANOLA Almond Chocolate Trail Bar $2.99 | "Olympic Granola's corn-syrup-free bars are made of non-genetically-modified ingredients that are grown without chemical sprays." 3. ONE LUCKY DUCK Chewy Almond Crunch Bar $6.50 | "Handmade in small batches, this pricey bar is from a company that sells only raw, vegan, organic products." 4. CLIF BAR Cool Mint Chocolate $1.39 | "Clif Bars are 70 percent organic, and the company engages in many sustainable actions, including diverting most of its waste and using biodiesel for i

Wordless Wednesday