Posts

Showing posts from August, 2009

Baking in Pacific Beach

I'm home, icing my ankle after our Saturday training group did a new run along the bayside of Pacific Beach this morning. PB is an urban-beach area whose residents tend to be young and hip, so I don't have many excuses to come down here on weekends. That made this morning a treat, that and heading down the freeway very early this morning and discovering a spectacular sunrise in my rearview mirror -- the kind with candy cotton clouds against a deep turquoise backdrop. The course was mainly along the concrete boardwalk at Crown Point Shores and beyond, a site familiar to those who've run the roadside path on the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon here. I had Irene as company on the way out but turned early and ran back by myself, distracted by rowers loudly practicing in dragon boats and my constantly-fogging sunglasses. It's been extremely hot here, like 90s along the beach and 100s inland. I stopped at one point to use the restroom, and with the poor air circulation, m

Heading Into 21-Day Territory

Research supposedly shows it takes 21 days for a new habit to stick . Which must mean that after 21 days it's also hard to break that new habit, especially when it involves getting good sleep and getting things done, right? I always intended to take it easy in August and try to finally heal my achilles tendinitis once and for all. As a result, this will be one of my lowest mileage months in years. And the ankle still hurts. I'm considering switching to a different running shoe. My Mizunos have held up well for the past three years, but I can't help but think they now play a part in my very slow recovery. Our bodies and our feet change; so should our footwear. In the course of my research, someone sent me information on this shoe . It's called the Ambition Powerbounce and it's black. Here's how it's described: The newest Ambition PB™ release combines style and fashion, along with the latest evolution of PowerBounce technology. Developed in association w

Wordless Wednesday

Image

The Other Side of Evening

I always run very early in the morning, when the streets are quiet and so are all of the homes on them. Aside from the occasional baby cries from an opened bedroom window and the early-bird dog walkers, there isn’t much to see and hear. That’s why for two years now I’ve long held the belief that I moved to a very quiet place. I’ve even told people my “new” neighbors keep to themselves and aren’t all that friendly. Then last week we took in two four-legged guests (see last week’s Wordless Wednesday photo ) and it turns out I am the one who keeps to herself and isn’t all that friendly. These two miniature Yorkies need their exercise, so instead of cocooning each evening, we now take them for walks and I’ve discovered my neighbors do congregate nightly in driveways to share gossip and police children at play. Couples often sit together on benches in our greenway, and young dads like to use a wide dirt path to teach their preschoolers to ride a two-wheeler. And all wave, say hello and,

August Rain

Image
When you plan an August run for about 30 to 40 runners, you worry about the heat. Which is why I arrived at Lake Miramar this morning with a cooler full of post-run frozen fruit. I also went home with at least half of it, all still frozen. We had limited resources, human and otherwise, so I kept everyone doing loops around the lake instead of sending them up into the hills and upland trails. I can’t recall it ever raining in August, but the light showers did have one benefit: it kept weekend congestion to a minimum and reduced the number of cyclists on the path as well. One cyclist that did show up slid on the slick road and couldn't get back up. He left in an ambulance. Hosting these runs is a lot of fun. And I’ve now done it enough times with my half marathon training program that I could go out the night before to see a play and then stop by a party and not worry about last-minute details. I also have my wonderful friend Louise as a volunteer, manning her usual post in Natali

Wordless Wednesday

Image

Review: Midnight Madness Ride

Image
Well before I ever owned a bike, I bookmarked the Midnight Madness Fun Bike Ride on my computer because everyone who'd done it had raved about it. Which is how I ended up cruising with a couple of thousand other cyclists last night around some of San Diego's most scenic spots. I went with my friend Justin, another Midnight Madness first-timer. Justin has a lot of experience with bikes and was even a bike tech on a transcontinental tour. He's basically my Penelope's general practitioner -- doing routine check-ups upon request to make sure all her body parts are functioning properly. We ran into another friend, Peter (below), who's a speed demon. He was riding with his brothers, who looked equally fast. We never saw them after the start. Around that time I ran into the executive director, who turned out to be someone I run with on Saturdays in our track club training program. Who knew! Prior to the ride, Hostelling International San Diego organizers held two co

No Ifs, Ands or Butts

I’ll let you in an a little secret. Each summer I suffer from a raging case of heat rash on my tush. I also chafe something terrible under my breasts once my sports bra is thoroughly saturated. Ever run a marathon and had your butt cheeks rub together until raw? It’s not pleasant, especially if you mistakenly decide to take a post-race bubble bath. So when I read a review of a product called Anti-Monkey Butt Powder on Kara’s blog , I was intrigued. (And thanks for the sample, Kara!) I got my own bottle and after a couple of weeks of testing, I’m ready to endorse it for a variety of issues common to recreational athletes like me (and you too, I bet). It’s marketed as a sweat absorber and friction fighter. Check on both counts. The company recommends you apply the powder prior to activity, which makes sense. I applied it to my bra region, my feet, and my bum before a run or a ride. No chafing to report. And, after five days of steady application after post-workout showers, no more hea

Wordless Wednesday

Image

The Run That Started It All

It was a Saturday in late spring, with the economy out of gas like it is now, when someone named Sue invited me to Field Day. She attended community college and aspired to be a teacher; I was in eighth grade and praying I would pass. That day I discovered I was her secret project. Our dads worked together, and Sue must have heard what was happening at my house. My mom was battling cancer, and me. My younger sisters did poorly under my stand-in care. No one even noticed I never went out on weekends after my friends refused to repair a rupture in our relationship. Field Day brought the townspeople together in this big park near the high school, in an actual field. I immediately noticed there weren’t many people from school (much to my relief). We watched men try the shot put and toddlers do the diaper derby. We ate popcorn and snow cones, and I think because of that I assured myself we would remain spectators until it was time to go home. Then came the final event, a 5k run in a suc

Think Fast

Image
Adidas just came out with new videos featuring elite track runners and sent me clips to share with all of you. Hope they motivate you to get out there as the heat wears on and the training gets harder and you start to question your natural abilities and your ingenuity. The first features Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix , who doesn’t appear to be the natural choice as a sprinter -- until you see the length of one of her strides. Jeremy Wariner developed asymmetric spikes with the shoe company to help him take corners faster than most. This one's really cool as you discover how many breaths it takes Tyson Gay -- "the fastest human on the planet" -- to cover 100 meters.

Filling the Void

My older daughter flew in for a visit, which has had a significant impact on my wallet and my workouts this week. We're also down to the last few weeks before my younger daughter heads back to college with a little more experience and a lot less money. I had a long list of things to accomplish by this point in my unemployment, and it's still a long list. Maybe even longer than the original. I don't know how it is that I can be so busy now that I do not have a paying job to fill 9 or 10 hours of the day, but I am.

Wordless Wednesday

Image

Soak It Up

Just as I was convinced that Friday's otherworldly-like ride, much like similarly euphoric runs, was due mostly to good nutrition and proper preparation, I came upon this beautiful post on the New York Times site . The author describes how once miserable moments in our lives over time are remembered far more fondly. And that every once in awhile we achieve by deliberate effort what he calls "the condition of absorption." "It is this state that all rock-climbers and pinball players and libertines are all seeking: an absorption in the immediate so intense and complete that the idiot chatter in your brain shuts up for once and you temporarily lose yourself, to your relief." Now, everyone, go and read Mr. Kreider's entire post , and hang on to every word in that last paragraph like I did.