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Showing posts from January, 2011

A Good Question

The other day I got an email from someone who went on a well-positioned rant about today’s marathons. He noted that his finish time 20 years ago at the Carlsbad Marathon (then the San Diego Marathon) had him finishing toward the back of the pack; today, he’d finish in the top 5 percent. I saw he sent his commentary to a bunch of people, but paid it no mind until some of the others started to weigh in. I’m not going to name any names, but most of you who regularly read Runner’s World would recognize them. Why, some wondered, has the industry allowed Boston to stay the only qualifying marathon? Now I’m wondering too. Should we have more races that require qualifying times, particularly smaller marathons that could use a boost in prestige? And should we leave the bigger, sure-to-sellout events to anyone who can register quick enough?

Guest Wordless Wednesday

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Photos from Point Loma courtesy of Deborah Johnson.

A Life Cut Way Too Short

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I usually write about running and runners, but a very dear friend emailed me to tell me about a young athlete who lost her life while cycling. Her name was Carla and apparently she was on her way to becoming one of the best female cyclists in the world. Only last week she was riding in her native South Africa when she turned to retrieve a fallen “cycling computer” and looked over the wrong shoulder to see if it was safe to make a U-turn, momentarily forgetting she wasn't in the U.S., where they drive on the right side of the road. She was struck by a truck and died. Our friend Rodney has a son who is a competitive cyclist at a small college in North Carolina, and Sam and Carla had grown close. Sam even spent the winter holiday training and touring with her in South Africa. I’m sure her sudden death hit him hard, as it did everyone else who knew her. Rodney told me, "I know she had a temendous impact on Sam, and helped him see that being fiercely competitive and selfless a

A Saturday Morning Lift

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I live in the shadow of one of San Diego's best-known mountains, but until this morning I'd never hiked to the top mainly because this is not a great option for a woman who's both a lark and a lone wolf. The trails are surrounded by head-high chapparel and little traffic in the early mornings. Later in the day is much better if you go it alone. (And if you're wondering why I just didn't go later in the day, well, I'm now wondering myself.) So I was thrilled when my Saturday morning running group decided to mix it up and hit the trails so close to home. Black Mountain is located in Rancho Penasquitos and has several trailheads. We picked the Nighthawk Trail with an entrance just off Hilltop Community Park (a place I run to frequently on Sunday mornings). There's plenty of parking. Another popular approach is off Sundevil Way just beyond Mt. Carmel High School. But it's a little more of a hike to reach the trailhead due to a road closure. Both meet up

Wordless Wednesday

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The Danger of Darkness

You are running your usual neighborhood route and hit the crosswalk button at a traffic light to run across a quiet street. You have your reflective vest and cell phone and aren't wearing earbuds because it's only 5:45 a.m. and still pitch dark. You get the signal to walk and are midway across when you hear a car approaching. It is slowing but not enough to actually stop. The driver misses you by inches, then speeds off. Do you: (a) Call 911 on your cell phone, knowing the chance of a police chase is slim to none? (b) Make note of the car's make and model, knowing the chance of finding it later to leave a nasty note is also slim to none? (c) Use all that anger to power up the hills, ending the route 10 minutes faster than usual? Yes, I opted for (c) while obsessing about (a) and (b). This is the second time in a week I've almost been hit by an early morning motorist. I am doing everything right, but the past week just proves that staying aware is not enough. I pick

Take a Picture, It Lasts Longer

The singlet from a Falmouth Road Race was the hardest to let go. Same with a great-fitting track club technical shirt circa 2003, the one with a weird red stain that everyone thought was blood. I admit, I still wore it to get a reaction. On the other hand, my Boston sweatshirt proved a much easier parting. It had a big brown spot I'd never noticed. I have spent the last two weeks purging my possessions. Now that I can see a difference, I’m starting to feel it too. I’m not comfortable around clutter, having been raised in a home that friends use to call "House Beautiful." And yet over the last few months, I let everything -- and I mean everything -- pile up, leading me to conveniently ignore decisions and deadlines until I was in full-blown freak-out mode. So, for the new year I [re]committed to compressing my belongings. For inspiration, on Tuesday night I attended the book launch for a local author who whittled his personal possessions down to 100 or less . I won

Wordless Wednesday

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I'm Just Buying Some Blog Time

I manage the San Diego Track Club's Web site and produce a quarterly e-zine called San Diego Running . This was my third issue I created all on my own after taking four Saturday morning Web design classes exactly a year ago. I ran out of time and broke my own promise to always do my best. But sometimes, when everything seems to go wrong for you and those you love, you do what you gotta do. I had a fancy masthead like previous issues, but it wouldn't render correctly in Firefox and Safari. Then I had this crazy orange color where the masthead once was, even as Dreamweaver swore up and down it was white. So, since it already looked like crap I thought, "Why not pile it on. Make it look intentional." That's why the sidebar on the homepage is turquoise. And I just noticed some pages don't look right in IE8. Still. All this is my way of asking you to focus on the content. There may be something that helps you with your own running, whether you live in San Diego o

Wordless Wednesday

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Today Does Not Compute

This blog began almost six years ago as a way for me to chronicle my two major focuses at the time: running and information security. Once I changed jobs, I pretty much abandoned the security stuff. It’s too bad because if I’d stayed on top of things, I may have started my new year in better shape. I fell for a phish scam targeting Hotmail users with a false email message supposedly from Microsoft regarding my email account. The funny thing is Internet Explorer tried to warn me but I overrode the safeguard. As a result, my Web-based account was wiped out and most of my past emails are now floating in the ether. So what did I do on New Year’s Day? I slept in. I put away all holiday decorations. I cleaned my house. I caught up on laundry and ironing. I visited family in Riverside County. I talked to more family on the phone. I enjoyed a distraction-free dinner with my husband. I watched a lot of college football. Like most people, I now live a great deal of my life online. If I’m n