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Showing posts from October, 2010

The Trilogy Begins

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You’ve probably heard this one before, but everyone wants to be a television (or radio) weather forecaster. Why? Because it’s the only job where you can get it repeatedly wrong and still not get fired. This time, though, even the normally accurate weather.com and weatherunderground.com were way off, leading to a very wet opening to the three runs I’m hosting this fall. Just an hour before the run, the forecast was for rain in Scripps Ranch between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. One television meteorologist said the rain would miss us entirely. And yet the skies opened just as we started the 7 a.m. warm-up stretch. It was pouring by the time everyone hit the first of three hills on a 9-mile route I call the Lake Rim Run because you climb up and around the perimeter of Lake Miramar. It also includes two short trails, one of which qualified this as a mud run too. Everyone in my track club's fall training program took the conditions in stride, considering it good training if they encounter a ra

Guest Wordless Wednesday

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Taken by my daughter Elise last weekend driving in Sonoma County.

A Walk to Remember

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This morning I did something different (for me) and participated with my co-workers in the 20th annual Memory Walk in Balboa Park. Walking 3 miles, especially in light rain, beats running when you want to savor every moment. Alzheimer's is the 7th leading cause of death in the USA and, unfortunately, expected to move up in ranking because of our aging population. Right now someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease -- the most common form of dementia -- every 70 seconds . There are 5.3 million people with Alzheimer's, a disease that currently cost caregivers and employers and taxpayers $172 billion. Consider this comparison of Alzheimer's to other diseases: Source: Alzheimer's Association Here's a video I made of this morning for work:

Wordless Wednesday

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When Encircled By Police, Look Sharp

My morning routine goes something like this: wake without an alarm, drink a cup of hot tea while checking the weather online and then getting dressed to run in the dark, grabbing my cell phone and setting my stopwatch on the way out the door. On this morning's run, I wished I'd checked the crime blotter too because I was immediately joined by a police helicopter circling overhead and focused on the same area that I was running. Lots of things go through your head, especially if you've been mistaken for a bad guy in the past . Do they think I did it? And since I know I am innocent, that means whoever they are after is presumably hiding nearby. I noticed the helo was circling the area where I was heading and decided to change course. It could have been my imagination, but it seemed the helicopter changed course too and continued to tail me. So I did what any respectable runner who forgot her reflective vest would do: I started to run with great form in the hopes I looked

Race Review: Buffalo Alley 10k

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Know someone who could stand to be humbled by hills? Send ‘em to this trail 10k deep into Camp Pendleton’s northern realm. It’s beautiful. It’s tough. It’s already part of our race plans for next year. This was the final race in the U.S.M.C. Hard Corps endurance series, and the moniker Hard Corps was just one indication that this would not be easy. Another was universal advice from past participants to beware of big, big, big hills, both going up and down. The Start You must drive about 8 miles once you are on the base, but parking was not a problem. There were plenty of portable toilets (with sinks!) and a very well organized expo to pick up race bibs, D tags and T-shirts. We gave ourselves plenty of time to arrive, which made a big difference in helping quell pre-race jitters. Once we were all corralled, there were the obligatory instructions livened up with a lecture from the morning’s emcee. He warned that no one was allowed to die on the course, and he urged those afrai

Wordless Wednesday

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I Got Your Back

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See the father and daughter trailing everyone at the start of this morning's Ursula Rains Balboa Boogie? I thought they'd be my rabbits, so to speak. I thought wrong. That duo finished well ahead of me in today's cross-country 5k, as did every other child and adult except a Vietnamese high-schooler hoping to join the foreign service and her classmate, who wants once day to be either the first or the most famous Jewish-German character designer in Japan. I had the pleasure of being "the sweep" in today's open race. It's one of the few volunteer positions I'd never held within our track club and when I was assigned the open division, I was a little worried. This is part of a highly competitive cross-country series that draws very fast runners from throughout the county. (And, remember, my county is the size of Connecticut landwise and the nation's eighth largest by population.) It also meant that everyone in the field was at least 10 years and mo

Wordless Wednesday

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5 Things No One Tells You About Running

Not initially, at least. Here are a few things I've discovered in my many years of running. 1. Technical clothing stinks. Yes, it wicks away moisture better than cotton and it generally makes you look more slim, but synthetic fibers hold in smells. They also don’t respond well to regular detergent. If you don’t wash your running clothes quickly, with special cleansers and often, the smell sets in and is “reactivated” next time you sweat. 2. Headphones are uncool in races. The USATF has relaxed its headphone ban in most of its sanctioned races, leaving it at the race director’s discretion unless it’s a championship race. The same safety issues remain, but enforcement proved too difficult so now we usually are free to move to music. However, the earlier ruling and vocal opposition and non-compliance from primarily mid-pack and back-of-the-pack runners created a division within race ranks. Fair or not, there’s an unspoken perception that frontrunners don’t need the assistance for

Now I'm Nervous

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Today a group of us tackled the steep Torrey Pines hill in preparation for a 10k trail race in two weeks. We all made it to the top without walking and had plenty of energy to spare to the end. This training cycle, because it's a hilly race course and uneven surface, I've been focused on conditioning for endurance and strength, not speed. My plan appeared to be working this morning, and we all definitely left for various breakfast points much more confident. Then I met up with another group for breakfast and mentioned my upcoming race. My tablemate was familiar with it. This guy is one of the fastest in his age group throughout all of San Diego County, and he said that you essentially run up the side of a mountain and once you finally descend, you will feel like you are going off a cliff ("because essentially you are."). The good news: the last half mile is flat and fast. Here's the thing: this guy does not exaggerate. He's very literal, which means that hi