Showing posts from December, 2011

A New Focus for the New Year

I thought long and hard about what to do with this blog after spending yet another year essentially documenting my decline. As we age, our reasons for running change. Our bodies change too. My physical therapist last night told me that the older we get, the more we shift from being uber fit to just trying to stay flexible. It takes some people like me longer to transition, but I'm finally there. "Project Me" is still going strong, and running remains an important part of my grand plan to look and feel better when I turn 50 a few months from now. But I'm also going to return to this blog's roots and devote more posts to research I come across in my current profession. In this case, I'm going to write about the most important organ we engage when we run: the brain. I already do a lot of reading on cognitive science at work as it relates to Alzheimer's and dementia. But this upcoming year, I'm going to share more of what I learn because we could all

The Two Tornadoes

That's what my husband calls our daughters when they visit. Whether it's a weekend or full week, as it was this time, they almost immediately destroy what was once tidy and manage to both remove and release items that we find for hours, even days, after they leave. After awhile, you just avoid looking in that direction. It's easier that way. This time they borrowed heavily from my closets, usually without permission. They also raided our cold weather gear for the Holiday Bowl, but that time I approved. I just discovered they emptied my entire sock drawer but they left a Costco-sized box of healthy-ish fruit rollups. Someone forgot to pack a nice pair of jeans, and we're still scratching our heads over how my tweezers ended up in the Christmas tree. All this we took in after one boarded a San Francisco-bound plane without a few of her presents, and the other was on her way to a Tahoe cabin via Disneyland and Davis with only one earring in a pair . . . and maybe my b

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

My Favorite Things of 2011

Along with taking on a post-dawn mall with my prodigy in search of sales, we have another post-Christmas tradition here at Run DMZ. It's time to indulge in a little hubris and list some of the races, books, movies, plays and songs that I especially enjoyed this year. First, here's my list from 2010 . And now, on to this year. Favorite Race: Buffalo Alley 10k Once again, I didn't do a lot of races this year. But it never felt so good to hurt so bad as the 60 minutes I spent moving with a couple of thousand others through the hills of Camp Pendleton on a race-perfect October morning. I really enjoyed my video version too. Favorite Book: 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America by Albert Brooks It's impossible to read this Swiftian satire and not start worrying about where we're heading as a country. It is a fictional account of the United States 20 years from now, when we've found a cure for cancer and Alzheimer's Disease and we've continued to

Yes, This is Someone's House


Want an Injury? Sign Up for a Big Race.

I used to think it was just me. Then I started following a good many running bloggers and realized that I’m not the only one that seems to be struck by a significant injury soon before a big event. Here’s what I think happens. We invest a lot of hope and money into a big “A” race, or even a B race that sells out quickly, and we promise to follow the marathon or half marathon schedule to stay healthy. But maybe we get ambitious and ramp up the mileage ahead of schedule or start the schedule midway through without a proper base. Then, what starts as a niggling ache in our foot, ankle, shin, knee, quad, hamstring or hip becomes bona fide pain as we build up mileage. We realize this is maybe going to take more than a day or two off to heal. So we take ibuprofen and give it a week when we really need to give it two or three. But that long of a layoff could spell trouble so we “modify” our routine but continue to put undue pressure on our knees, hips, feet and thus make matters worse. Ins


I'm about to make someone mad. I want to know why men can't follow directions. And don't give me that bit about how it's not nice to stereotype. Case in point: this morning's 5th annual Christmas Card Lane Fun Run. I used to direct this run, and I designed the 5-mile course. This is the fifth time at least half the field has done it, though only the second from this particular start and finish point. Everyone is supposed to look in advance at the course map and carry a copy if they need. This also was the first time I was a course marshal with my husband. When I gave him his simple marching orders ("Make sure they turn right at the corner where you're standing."), he looked at me incredulously. "You mean these people can't follow a map or go right when I tell them to go right?" Then he called me at my post after the first two runners - men - came through. "They just crossed the street for no reason after they passed me; I have no

Wordless Wednesday


Falling for My Foam Roller

I’m in love with my foam roller. Since I started physical therapy for greater trochanteric bursitis , I’ve been self-massaging with the Trigger Point foam roller I bought from a local running store. It is one of the best $40 investments I may have ever made in my personal health. I realize many runners already are familiar with foam rollers, but I didn’t realize what an important part of my running and rehab arsenal one was until I actually owned one -- and, importantly, used it. Now, each morning and evening I settle in to do my prescribed floor exercises and end with a hip roll session to work out the knots and scar tissue built up from a year’s worth of neglect. The orthopedist warned it would hurt like an SOB, and she wasn't wrong. I also use it to get the kinks out of my back and shoulders after hours sitting in front of a computer. And sometimes I relax at the end of a long day with roller-induced foot massages while watching my current favorite television show, “Revenge.”

Over the Moon

I emailed my running/walking group to make sure everyone knew about this morning's total lunar eclipse. For those of us on the West Coast, we got a rare treat that won't be seen again until April 2014, and even then it might be obscured by clouds or occur in the middle of the night . This one began just before daybreak, and I wanted an unobstructed view of the northwestern skies. So I grabbed my camera, car keys and Mace and headed to Hilltop Community Park. Braced for hooligans, I instead encountered dozens of professional photographers, moon lovers, star gazers and dog walkers lining the rim of the park. Despite the hour, not one child cried and not one kid complained. My point-and-shoot camera was no match for the big guns on tripods. But I did manage to get a couple of decent shots. I also decided the lunar event was as good a reason as any to come out from behind my own shadow and start posting again. Feels good to be back at it.