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Showing posts from February, 2010

Make Your Intentions Known

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Our yoga instructor always begins by reminding us to mentally announce our intention for the class. It could be to use the hour to work on a physical issue, like flexibility or balance, or work through an emotional one, such as a strained relationship. What’s important is that the hour and the poses are purposeful. If you wish to be competitive, your training should have a similar mental strategy. Before you step onto the track or the trail or the sidewalk or street, you should know exactly what you want your body to do and then work with it to get there by the end of the session. For instance, if you want to run faster, then you must train faster. You must set aside one or two days, with at least one rest/recovery day in between, and focus exclusively on running as quickly and efficiently as possible. This means you mentally must be in the moment, concentrating on your posture, your breathing, your leg turnover and your arms to perfect that economy of movement. Do not instead try to

Run Alone = Run With a Cell Phone

A local high school distance runner went for a run yesterday and never came back, prompting an ongoing, substantial search in the Lake Hodges/Rancho Bernardo area today. You can read the latest: Search continues for missing Poway teen As much as I'd like this blog to play a very small role in the search, I also think the circumstances serve as a reminder for all runners who head out alone. Authorities were able to locate the girl's locked car because she left her cell phone in it. It begs the question: Why wasn't she carrying with her on her run? I've mentioned it before, but I'll say it again: Anyone, but especially women, should always carry a cell phone when they run. And make sure it's charged and on so the GPS function can locate you if you are abducted or knocked unconsious in an attack or a fall. This is especially critical on trails and parkland because you have unique dangers and may not be found if it isn't a busy area. Also, make sure your

Wordless Wednesday

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Last 'Lost Weekend' ... I Hope

This past weekend was a bust in terms of doing healthful activities, unless you consider my contributions to a better balance in our bank account. I had a slew of freelance and new-job projects to complete and not enough time to do them all. This made the rare couple of hours spent at a book club meeting, yoga or watching the thoroughly creepy "Paranormal Activity" DVD (filmed, if I haven't mentioned already, in my suburb of San Diego) feel like an intrusion. In all other waking hours, I constantly was tied to a computer here or in a college classroom. Needless to say, I woke this morning with that same feeling of a weekend lost to inactivity, alcohol and a void in memory. It's rare for me to go that long without getting fresh or even stale gym air on a walk, a hike, a ride or a row. It's not rare, unfortunately, for me to fuel work binges with sugar, caffeine and way too many carbs. The frenzied freelancing continues for at least another two weeks, but next we

Wordless Wednesday

Elfin Forest Hike from Run DMZ on Vimeo .

Hiking Through The Elfin Forest

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This morning my husband and I went for a hike in The Elfin Forest, a preserve located between Escondido and Encinitas along Harmony Grove Road. Our plan was to just do a couple of miles and call it a morning, but we ended up going longer because one of us refused to slow down or turn around, and it wasn't me.  We weren't even a quarter of a mile in when all of the marital good will built up over Valentine's Weekend dissipated in one fell swoop. All it took was for me to land wrong on a board in the crossing above and slip into the creek. I then refused to move forward without assistance ( "Will you at least take the camera in case I fall in again?!" ). My husband was in no mood to witness this, let alone coach me.  Somehow I mustered the motor skills to get to the other side with only one additional drenching, and from there we just kept moving onward and upward, my soggy shoes and socks filling in for small talk. The beauty of this place in its wintertime prime

You Are My Sunshine

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Fellow San Diegan Laura recently honored me with a Sunshine Award, which made my day. Now it's time for me to do the same to some other bloggers. This one's easy. Select 12 bloggers to honor for bringing a ray of sunshine to your day. They can then grab the graphic to post on their blog. Let them know they were chosen in a comment. Then they can pay it forward. Since this is all about sunshine, and I know such is lacking this time of year in different parts of the continent, I'm going to select some of bloggers who live where it's bitter cold (by California standards, anyway) or snowing. So, here's a little warmth and sun for.... Canadians: Miglena of Running in 2010 and Beyond Anne of Asthma and the Gift of Running Laurel of Lily on the Road Linda of Just Another Day on the Prairie Coloradoans: Lara of Saturday Morning Zen Leslie of Triathlete and Triteacher (we miss you!) Deene of Tenderfoot Diaries East Coasters: Terri of Middle-of-the-Pack Girl

The Trouble With Turtles

They poop. A lot. Their waste all-too-quickly turns aquarium water to an unsoothing color and clogs the filter, which means when you clean their tank, you also must pull apart every single piece of that filtration system to scrub as well. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time, and as cute and otherwise low-maintenace as they may be, you sometimes can't help but call their original owner in Davis to remind her that you did not sign up for this. There may also be extra agitation if the call is made on your way to Petco to replace the aquarium you cracked when you fell carrying it on a slick floor, possibly pulling a hamstring muscle in the process. It's hard to tell if the pain is from the fall or from yesterday's yoga flow class that focused on the hamstrings and hip flexors. And here you are, on a rare Sunday that isn't spent in an all-day Web design class and that is expected to be sunny and 75 degrees at its peak, debating between staying warm and eating homema

What's Too Hot to Handle?

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It seems a little strange to most folks to consider extremely heated (literally) races, but yesterday's post in a Runner's World blog has got me thinking: What would you do if your big marathon was canceled due to hot temperatures? Peak Performance: What's Too Hot to Handle? In shorter races, it's easy - and it's been done - the race directors take a Web Bulb test about an hour prior and if it's at or above the threshold, they declare it a "fun run." The first time I saw this in play personally was in the mid-90s at a July night-time 8k in Rockville, Md. With heat and humidity, it was still near 100 degrees by 7 p.m. and four times the safe limit to race, so the competitive part was canceled and the race money given out by random drawing instead. The fastest runners were told to stay with or behind Jeff Galloway , who would be doing 7-minute miles. The original Richmond Marathon was a different story. It used to be held much later in the day to ac

It's a Jungle Out There

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A Primer on 'Portion Distortion'

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One of my most popular columns when I wrote for The Complete Running Network was on how frequently marathoners gain weight, rather than lose it, during training . To date, it's garnered more than 50 comments , which is a lot for that site and especially when you consider it was written years ago and still gets feedback from fellow souls. I thought I might again look into why some of us bulk up when we are in the throes of heavy training. In that piece, a then-new study showed we eat more when we exercise and tend to justify the extra calories as an offset of those expended earlier in the day for a net-zero gain. But it doesn't balance out. We also tend to indulge in foods that satiate (pastas, breads), rather than those that leave us hungry within a couple of hours (like many raw fruits and vegetables). Anyone who has kept a food and calorie log quickly realizes that the serving sizes on a lot of packaged foods and prepared meals are completely unrealistic for a typical appe

My Scion Is a Supinator

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Alissa at A Runner’s Balancing Act honored me with a Beautiful Blogger Award. As with all memes, this one requires me to both think of 7 random things about me and then bestow the honor onto more folks. Here’s part one, composed after an awfully trying Wednesday (when I couldn't say a word). 1. My sports coupe supinates. Runners should be familiar with that term for people who wear out the outside of their running shoes first. That’s me, and that’s my car, which had three bald tires and one overworked spare when I pulled into a tire dealership this afternoon. Second flat tire of the week, third in two months. There went my final unemployment check, and then some. 2. I loved this week’s return of “Lost.” I won’t say more in case you haven’t seen it yet. 3. I now work for a non-profit located in Hillcrest, a part of San Diego you can’t help but love for its quirks, cool factor and diversity. Today I passed a sign on my way to the tire place and said to myself, “That’s Wordless W

Wordless Wednesday

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