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Showing posts from August, 2010

Eating Someone's Dust (Again)

I returned to my track club's Tuesday night workouts after a month's absence, and boy did it show. Our workouts consist of three parts: Hill training (through mid-Sept) Strides Core exercises I really enjoyed tonight's workout, so I thought I'd share it with those trying to improve their time on shorter distances, especially if your upcoming race is on trails, as mine is. We ran along the dirt Bridal Path in Balboa Park, which consists of small hills bordered by freeway on one side and "nature" on the other. The workout consisted of running at 5k pace for 3 minutes, immediately followed by 2 minutes of recovery. Soon as we hit the five-minute mark, we start all over again. We did this six times. I picked a bad day to forget my stopwatch, so I had no choice but to follow the pace of people in front of me, many of whom seemed to not go that much slower in recovery mode. By the fourth repeat I was wheezing; by the sixth, I couldn't remember my name. B

May I Have Your Attention, Please?

I’m going to guess that as you read this you are also doing something else, like watching TV, listening to music, texting a friend or toggling between computer screens. Am I right? And I bet you call it multitasking because, in practice, you are doing more than one thing at once. But I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, and the thing is, unless you are fully focused on reading this post in a distraction-free environment, you aren’t really doing two things at once (listening, watching, reading, writing, etc.). You are trying to make your brain shift between tasks, and if you are like 97% of people , you are not doing it well. Ever since watching the Frontline program Digital Nation last winter, I’ve become fascinated with how our brains react to the enormous amount of data we now must try to absorb daily. In that PBS program, scientists discussed an experiment with Stanford University and M.I.T. students who claimed to be masters at multitasking. But the majority of them, presum

Wordless Wednesday

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Dog Days of Summer

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The summer heat we'd missed has returned with a vengeance here in San Diego. Once again there was no transition between cool and hot hot hot, but something tells me this weather is here to stay...until November. Meantime, I'm back to running most mornings in the dark, when it's coolest, but that's OK too. I hiked/ran with a new group on Saturday and really enjoyed it. We carpooled to Torrey Pines State Beach for a hike, followed by a run on the beach as the tide was receding. Best of all, it was followed by breakfast at a cafe in Del Mar. Everyone's thinking of doing a 10k in October that's described as "challenging" and opens with a 500-foot hill in the first mile. It's on trails, and this group of women now plan to incorporate some trail runs in their Saturday meetups and I'm thrilled. I have always been skittish about running trails alone early in the mornings. Seems every other week I read in the paper about a female "jogger"

5 Reasons to Hit the Trail This Weekend

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1. It’s good for your brain . No kidding, a University of Michigan study found people learned better by walking in the woods than on busy city streets. 2. It’s probably cooler than anywhere else outdoors right now. Even here in idyllic San Diego, it’s become really, really hot. Any shade is greatly appreciated. And trees are our friends, supplying us with oxygen instead of noxious car fumes and heat waves coming off the sidewalks. 3. You can try out that technique I mentioned in an earlier post . Actually, I looked far and wide on the Interweb and found squat about this, so I am starting to think it may not work well for people. It’s also hard to describe and I lack the talent to shoot myself on video while running up a steep hill. Essentially, slightly shift your hip to the left 10 steps and then to the right 10 steps and keep alternating until you reach the top. This changes up the muscles you’re using and serves as a distraction from the hard effort. 4. The races really rock. Tr

Wordless Wednesday

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Sitting Out This Year's AFC

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The two biggest road races in San Diego are the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in June and America's Finest City Half Marathon today. I haven't run the AFC in several years, but this morning I found myself maneuvering around traffic jams at 5 a.m. and then surrounding myself with AFC runners the rest of the morning. I volunteered to host the San Diego Track Club's post-race tent at the expo, which entailed buying select treats, loading up the car with items from the SDTC shed and hauling everything to our site before the first runners came through. That included the frozen grapes and chocolate milks in the photo above. Everyone was hard at work by 6:30 a.m., setting up displays and sorting fruit like these two young gentleman above. Our site, pre-setup. I needed three other hands to set up the tent and thank the complete strangers who came to my aid. After I had set up the regular and soy milk, frozen grapes (green and red), organic baked items, Red Vines and indivi

Chi-Chi-Chi-Chia [Seeds]

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I'm curious if anyone is now incorporating chia seeds into their regular diet or pre-run fuel regime? And, if so, what's been the outcome? There's a discussion on DailyMile.com about it. And a friend a few months ago made me one of those chia drink concoctions featured in the book Born to Run . It gave me terrible diarrhea the next day, so I haven't taken them since. But, I keep hearing how they create natural energy and suppress appetite. True? DailyMile conversation [you may need to be a member to access] What are chia seeds? Chia seed benefits Chia seed side effects Chia seed as a 'Pure Healing Food'

Wordless Wednesday

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Race Review: 2010 Balboa 8 Miler

This race is never easy, but this year I at least wasn't injured or ill, just not as fit as I first thought. The course includes some concrete, some asphalt, some dirt, some sand and some grass. It meanders through many of the main parts of Balboa Park and some that until today I bet folks didn't know existed. I ran the first 5.5 miles with my friend Alexis, who had her second child four months ago. Alexis and I used to run together regularly during my later marathon years, and running with her today really helped me maintain a decent-for-me pace. She even taught me a trick to help the quads on steep trail uphills that seemed to actually work. I really need to work on running down those same steep hills because that's where I noticed Alexis gained on me and I wished her well as I let her go and settled in behind some high school cross-country runners. My goal from the get-go was to run this one conservatively, and I did. That and excellent weather allowed me to pass peopl

The Reason for My Crappy Run Today

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One of San Diego's best-kept secrets is the annual "Concert Under the Stars" that kicks off the La Jolla Music Society's Summerfest. You don't have to be a classical music lover to appreciate the unique opportunity to gather at one of the area's most scenic locations and listen to virtuosos as the sun sets. Any other day of the year, people pay a lot of money to hear these performers in a more conventional auditorium. On this evening, we wine and dine ourselves as waves crash in the background and even the hollow notes of nearby seagulls seem scripted for just the occasion. Even the palm trees seemed to be swaying to the music. The music director opened by joking that this year's concert series was being renamed Winterfest, a joke among the locals as we continue to weather the coldest summer in almost a century. Note my friend Maxine's wardrobe and that of many others in the previous pictures. Of course, note also that the person directly behind

Wordless Wednesday

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