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Showing posts from September, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

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From the Valley to the Mountain

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Normally when we meet every 18 months or so, my girlfriends and I find a road or trail race to anchor the trip. Afterall, when we first met about 18 years ago in North Carolina, our dedication to fitness is what brought us together. But with one of us heading into knee surgery as soon as we returned and another having just healed from injury (and not me for a change!), a 10k or even a 5k wasn’t an option this round. But hiking was, and we universally agreed while sitting poolside the morning after our sip ‘n’ cycle tour to head over to Skofield Park outside Santa Barbara city limits and climb Rattlesnake Canyon. It's near the Los Padres National Forest and well worth the trip, especially if you luck out and head up while the marine layer still hangs low. Heading out. We'd cross this same stream at several points upland. My guess is the stream picks up intensity in the winter and spring months. The first portion of the 3.5 mile round trip is mostly dirt with a canopy of

Our Sideways Adventure

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Word of warning to anyone who plans to sip ‘n’ cycle their way through the Santa Ynez Valley: Don’t start off with eight wine tastings at your first stop. We’d no sooner taken our last gulp of cabernet when I was on my last gasp of air trying to get up a small hill on a mountain bike in a radically wrong gear. I slowed. I stopped. I went sideways. Fortunately, I quickly learned how to pace myself on both the bike and the booze as did my friends Sue, Sarah and Tracy, traveling companions I’ve written about previously on Run DMZ. This trip they all flew west and we drove from San Diego to Santa Barbara for several days of R&R in “America’s Riviera,” and that included a day of cycling among the vineyards located along the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail. It’s located in Los Olivos, in the heart of wine country that received a huge publicity boost with the movie Sideways . That’s also the source of the background music in this video. Enjoy. There are plenty of ways to see California wine

Even the Turtles Want Outta Here

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Another Must Read, Courtesy of JohnF

I normally point out great blog posts via my Twitter feed, but today I am making an exception to send you all to JohnF's blog, Running and Travels . John has a lot of experiences the rest of us can only dream about, and he relates them in a way that is almost humbling. We sometimes like to exaggerate our experiences for effect when we blog, but John has never done that and it's one reason I love his posts. That and his beautiful photographs from his races and runs in way-off worlds. He sometimes goes AWOL on us, and it's usually because he's been traveling and working hard. His last "adventure" is amazing. I don't want to spoil his story, but I do want to point out two paragraphs that should resonate with all of us striving to stay healthy. His tale is one reason why we do what we do. I started marathon distance running and triathlons 8 years before this incident. Since then, I have been in almost continuous training for some type of endurance event. One

The Cautionary Tales of Type A Runners

Why do I always seem to stumble on great articles the day I am sworn to keep my mouth shut? Yesterday, a.k.a. "Wordless Wednesday," I discovered an article in the Wall Street Journal that every distance runner/triathlete should read - and heed. Runners Learn to Realize Their Training Limits As the title suggests, it's about the downsides of staying a little too focused on training and not really listening to your body when it is trying to tell you something. It's a place almost every seasoned runner has been in. A more-is-better mentality permeates the endurance-exercise culture. Novice runners in particular tend to think that finishing a marathon requires no end of training. In fact, however, under-training is rare. After all, more than 95% of marathon starters reach the finish line. But, as the article later makes us aware, getting to the start line is a different story. Of the tens of thousands of Americans who pay as much as $180 to register for marathons,

Wordless Wednesday

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Measuring Time by the Yard

This Labor Day began with me driving to the neighborhood I lived in 9+ years ago and retracing my old training route, even stopping in each restroom just to relive old memories. It starts at an elementary school that didn’t exist when we first arrived, and now it is no longer a public school (I think). The children go to the former middle school campus where I used to drop off kids during the morning carpool. The bushes lining the parkway are now trees that create a nice canopy along a shady walk. And the hill up Angelique is just as formidable, though to this day I cannot take the shortcut up Candy Rose Way without remembering that awful Sunday when I saw the fires consuming homes as I ran. These neighborhoods and parks were built in the 1990s and it shows. There are open public restrooms and water fountains that still work. Where I live now, built out the decade prior, no one apparently thought to build facilities for families attending soccer and softball games. The lack of publ

The Easy Street Route

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I just uploaded pictures from my position as a volunteer at this morning's 46th annual Balboa 4 Mile cross-country race. I love this opening shot not only because it looks like one guy is running on air, but because it also shows the age range in the open category. There were so many kids under 18, even 12, giving it their all today. I've long believed that volunteering as a course marsal or aid station worker is a great way to recharge and to revise your own race strategies. Plus, you do not have to worry about heat, hydration or the lines at the portable toilets. This is a tough course, which includes running up both of the biggest hills in Balboa Park (Powder and ZigZag) in addition to smaller hills. This year there was a new celebrity race competing for participants. But between the great turnouts at both events, I think it was a good day for one and all. I worked a well marked part of the course, which allowed me to take pictures while yelling, "Move on to the gr

Wordless Wednesday

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