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Showing posts from October, 2009

Bringing It Home

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Our Saturday training runs typically are held in either East County or near the coast, but not near my coast in La Jolla or Del Mar. The exceptions have all been races or those runs I've hosted. That includes this morning's trail run in Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. It was nice to not wake extra early and not worry about mysterious car sounds or consuming so much gas to basically go for a run. All I had to do was grab my handheld water bottle, a few copies of the map and do a slow-jog warmup to our gathering spot at Canyonside Community Park (where it's FREE to park and open early, by the way). I wasn't ready to christen my new Nikes, so I wore my old Mizunos, which removed any doubt that they were at least partially responsible for my prolonged achilles tendonitis. A mile into the run I felt that old familiar ache. And seven miles later, under otherwise perfect conditions, I couldn't stand the stabbing pain any longer. Once everyone had returned safely to

You Talking to Me?

Most of you don't look at my online training diary, but if you did you'd notice I'm in the throes of another online rowing challenge. This is my first since February and it requires me to row 31,000 meters between Oct. 25 and 31. Doing this using gym equipment creates an additional challenge because sometimes both machines are in heavy use and sometimes the 30-minute rule is enforced. So I'm essentially doing this in four days instead of seven. I took on the challenge because, after almost a full year without racing, I need new spark plugs and this is the best way to get a cheap tune-up. And, if this morning is any indication, my body's running much better already. Usually if I'm going to row long, I run short. But I woke to perfect 45-degree weather and decided to run 5 miles around Lake Miramar first. A mile into it, a guy in a warmup suit heading my way did a U turn in front of me, and I figured I'd use him as a rabbit. Only I caught him a half mile la

You Guys Are So Smart

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To those who guessed yesterday's mystery man was Robert Englund, a.k.a. Freddy Kreuger: Congratulations. You are very wise and know your warped characters. I felt incredible guilty taking that photo because it was very obvious the man wanted to be left alone. His dog was much friendlier once he realized I wasn't part of the papparazzi. I bet he'd have liked a copy of this photo, too, but I wasn't about to ask for his email address. Ah, well.

(Not Quite) Wordless Wednesday

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I took this photo while we were at Laguna Beach a number of years ago and thought it apropos for the week of Halloween. Try to guess the 'gore porn' character this actor played. (I had to scan the photo since I couldn't find the CD holding the image, so the photo is not as crisp as I'd like.)

A Long Way From Alaska

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Happy 21st Birthday, Alex! In case you can't remember, this was our front yard and this was your favorite time of the day. The neighborhood no longer exists, but fortunately the mountain still does.

Perfect Beginning to the Weekend

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A large group almost is guaranteed every time we meet to run in Coronado. It is, hands down, one of the best places to run in San Diego. It's flat. Highly scenic and not prone to extremes in weather. This morning I ran the circumference of the "island" while a lot of people extended the run out onto the strand that connects Coronado to Imperial Beach. I ran the first three miles with some women who are faster than me, and it felt great to keep up with them. The second half I ran most of the way with a woman on the master's team and finished a few minutes ahead of her (of course, she ran the Nike Half Marathon last week and I didn't). The sun burned through the fog just as I was coming off the bike path and into Tidelands Park where we started. Total distance was 6.6 miles and average pace per mile was a confidence-boosting 9:14. I think the computer program may have been too generous but it was definitely the fastest I've run since my injury and I'm ho

Do You 'Participate' or Run In a Race?

Yesterday at lunch my friends Louise and Jeanette and I were discussing race cut-offs and what some race officials do once a deadline has passed, particularly for really labor- and resource-intensive events like big-city marathons and Ironmans. Then this morning I saw this piece in the New York Times, which, as it does around this time every year, features numerous articles on running and marathons. Plodders Have a Place, But Is It In a Marathon? Here's an excerpt on the different attitudes: Purists believe that running a marathon should be just that — running the entire course at a relatively fast clip. They point out that a six-hour marathoner is simply participating in the event, not racing in it. Slow runners have disrespected the distance, they say, and have ruined the marathon’s mystique. Slower marathoners believe that covering the 26.2 miles is the crux of the accomplishment, no matter the pace. They say that marathons inspire people to get off their couches, if only

Guest Edition: [Mostly] Wordless Wednesday

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(My friends Louise and Rolly recently helped out at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. This week we're featuring some of Louise's photos from that event.)

A Friends and Family Post

And I'm going to be magnanimous and not point out which one of these talented dancers is my kid. And only link to the homecoming rally dance that also features the football players.

One Way to Realize You're Out of Shape

...is to host a run for your half marathon training program that includes three big hills and two scenic trails and lots of rolling terrain in between. We had about 20 takers this morning for a challenging course that I created for the group three years ago . It's based on a longer course I used to do regularly when I lived in Scripps Ranch, which remains my favorite place to run in San Diego and probably always will. It's a deceptively simple course but it does require people to pay attention and to review a map if they are first-timers, and everyone but me was this morning. I served as the sweep, which meant I lagged behind everyone so when I pulled into an aid station, the volunteers knew they could break down and head home. [This didn't work as well this year because of a defiant late-comer who unknowingly set into motion a chain of frustrating events.] Moving up the first hill I suddenly realized: Wait a minute, I really am the slowest runner here today. The h

Wordless Wednesday

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Note to Self: No Rogue Water Bottles

OK, I'm almost a week late on this, but I just saw that the first two women to finish the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee last weekend were disqualified. One grabbed a water bottle between aid stations. The other used an iPod. I guess the elites really are different than the rest of us. Two Runners Disqualified From Top of Lakefront Marathon I am impressed that the woman who finished first didn't try to say it's a stupid rule and instead admitted she did not read the fine print well enough. The other "winner" wasn't as gracious . The iPod rule's been around for awhile now (though it's been amended to make it a race director's perogative); I wasn't aware grabbing water in between aid stations was a big no-no too. (And a hat tip to where I first saw this item: The Running is Funny blog)

Hello, Old Friend

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I've been on a quest to find a new running shoe. With each passing week, I grew increasingly anxious knowing this week I otherwise would resume running on a bum pair of shoes. My Mizuno Wave Riders served me very well after I fractured my hip and ankle, but this year that shoe loyalty has cost me in prolonged injuries. More than a month ago I started looking in earnest for a new shoe. I read a ton of reviews, asked women my age what they were wearing and kept a pair of running socks in my purse in case I was shopping and found a great deal. But the inexpensive ones didn't feel right. Neither did the pricey brands. Or even the ones in between. So I thought back to my glory days - what I ate, what I wore and where I ran. And I ordered a pair of Nike Pegasus online. They've been in production 25 years now, which about how long ago I bought my first pair. Just about every one of my PRs included a Pegasus. This lightweight shoe fits my foot comfortably, even snugly since it r

Wordless Wednesday

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And Speaking Of Deals...

I just saw this piece in the New York Times that all bloggers and consumers of blogs should read. Soon, Bloggers Must Give Full Disclosure And an excerpt: The F.T.C. said that beginning on Dec. 1, bloggers who review products must disclose any connection with advertisers, including, in most cases, the receipt of free products and whether or not they were paid in any way by advertisers, as occurs frequently. The new rules also take aim at celebrities, who will now need to disclose any ties to companies, should they promote products on a talk show or on Twitter. A second major change, which was not aimed specifically at bloggers or social media, was to eliminate the ability of advertisers to gush about results that differ from what is typical — for instance, from a weight loss supplement. For bloggers who review products, this means that the days of an unimpeded flow of giveaways may be over. More broadly, the move suggests that the government is intent on bringing to bear on the I

Making Good on a Bad Deal

I wrote earlier about a newspaper investigation that found the organizers of the wildly popular Rock 'n' Roll franchise had made illegal charitable contributions to itself. That organization is now owned by the Competitor Group, which has since been paying for past misdeeds done by Elite Racing. The full article is here . And here's an excerpt: Organizers of the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon sent about $212,000 to the city and county Monday, reimbursing taxpayers for inappropriate discounts and payouts received over the past decade. Race officials mailed refund checks for $173,000 to the county and about $39,000 to the city of San Diego Monday, the last of a series of payments. In all, the Competitor Group has returned $344,176 in public funds since The San Diego Union-Tribune reported in February that the private business profited off the marathon while receiving thousands of dollars in discounted police services and county grants through an affiliated fo

Good Karma By the Bucketful

Friday I gave a pint of my blood to the American Red Cross to help save someone's life. The nurse had trouble with my one good vein and the procedure hurt, a lot. And then I was woozy all afternoon and evening, which is rare for me. Saturday, since I was told not to do any strenuous exercise for two full days, I volunteered at our track club's 5k in Balboa Park. I worked with a couple of last-minute recruits from the UCSD cross country team, which was fun. Sunday I got up extra, extra early with my husband to drive down to Father Joe's Villages and help serve breakfast with dignity to homeless families. I can't think of a better way to spend a couple of forced rest days, can you?

Recipe for Success

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Last week I had a friend over for lunch and decided to test a recipe on the POM Wonderful site with some of the pomegranate juice I received. I made a simple spinach salad infused with a pomegranate vinaigrette. It tasted terrific. You can mix together any ingredients, but because I knew this would be a sweet dressing I selected: 4 c. fresh baby spinach leaves ½ c. honey-roasted almond slivers ½ c. dried cranberries 1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped 1 cucumber, sliced thinly Dressing: 1/3 c. POM Wonderful juice ¼ c. olive oil 1/3 c. red wine vinegar 2 T. grated red onion 1 tsp. sugar ½ tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper