Showing posts from February, 2012

Wordless Wednesday


This May Keep You Up at Night

Every once in awhile I read a blog post and someone will have used Ambien or Lunesta to get a good night's sleep before a big race. Others take these prescription drugs occasionally - hopefully, not routinely - when sleep eludes them for too long. A new study suggests these sleeping pills may have some serious side effects, like upping your chances of developing certain cancers or shortening your life by years. Sleeping Pills Linked to Raised Risk of Death, Cancer Insomnia is a serious issue. I've written often here about both the reprecussions from chronic sleep depravation and some possible solutions. If you are prescribed a pill to help you sleep, be careful. And if you take over the counter meds, like Advil PM or Tylenol PM, as a routine course, try to find the root cause of your sleeplessness. It may be another medication's side effects or it may be chronic stress. It could even be you are nodding off during the day more than you think or that your body can no lon

Mean Streets

I couldn't join my Saturday running group this morning in Carlsbad, so before the day got away from me I headed out for a quick 4-miler in my somewhat sleepy suburb. I was moving along, running against traffic like you're supposed. No iPod. No distractions. The speed limit is 45, but people go 60 at that hour, and since I was heading into a curve, I stayed on the sidewalk. I saw a big guy in a ball cap walking ahead of me. He looked like a regular on the route. He was maybe 20 feet away when he turned to jaywalk across four lanes of a deserted road. As he did, he flipped me the bird. I was shocked. I'd done nothing. Said nothing. I wasn't even that close to him and planned to run into the bike lane to move around him when the time came. Just to be sure, I looked back when he was across the street and he again gave me the finger. I'm still not sure what to make of it.

The Bicycle Thief

No, they haven't been caught. They won't be. I've been monitoring Craigslist to see if it shows up, but someone wiser than me noted the bike isn't likely to be sold in San Diego. This jibes with a fascinating Outside Magazine article I read about stolen bikes that Josh recommended via DailyMile. It's worth a read. Who Pinched My Ride

Penelope's Been Kidnapped!

Actually, my beloved bike was stolen since I don't anticipate a ransom. I was returning home from seeing a play around 10 last night when I noticed a late-model Jeep carrying two white guys with short-cropped hair idling near my car. I hit the alarm to let them know I was watching them (just in case my standing in the middle of the road wasn't enough) and they sped off. This morning, on my way to a funeral, I saw my Diamondback hybrid was missing. They must have cut both locks. Looking here and yon, there weren't any other bikes hanging from their HOA-mandated hooks either. I walked over to the police station next door, but they were closed for the holiday. On the phone, I was told to use an online form to report the crime. I also was told there wasn't much chance of finding my bike and no one was interested in what I witnessed hours before the theft. This is the second time since moving next to a police station last summer that I've been the victim of crime. T

Getting a Whole Lotta Grief

It's gorgeous outside, and I'm fresh off a great run around the lake that ended with lots of hugs from friends, some of whom I haven't seen in years. My grandmother's happy as a clam after going out for breakfast. Even the turtles seem excited by the major tank overhaul currently in progress. And yet, I'm thinking about depression. Specifically, I'm thinking about a piece I read early this morning in Time about whether mourning the death of someone should be reclassified as a mental disorder, therefore treatable with medications. Psychiatry differs from other medical professions in several ways, chief being the brain does not operate like other organs. As such, professionals rely on a dynamic manual that is periodically updated to reflect the general consensus of experts in the field. This is a powerful book. For instance, the spike in austism in the past decade is in part because the manual broadened the definition of the disorder, which allowed a lot more

Wordless Wednesday


I Stayed

Thanks for all the suggestions to this week's strange encounter, in which wrestling Marines kept colliding with me as I worked out on a rowing machine at the gym. I ended up doing c) Continued rowing as if nothing was going on. After the second hit, I saw I had 7 minutes left and dug in to make a point. I rowed even faster, as if that somehow was going to speed up time. But rowing machines are noisy and the extra volume, let alone my determined, stone-face expression, caused a couple of guys to move closer, if only as a symbolic gesture of protection. I probably reminded them of their mother. I left soon as my time was up, and I likely was a topic of a conversation. Or maybe not. These guys have dealt with much worse.

Would You Stay or Would You Go?

It's been awhile since we've had a real-life strange encounter while exercising. Thankfully this morning provided an excellent opportunity to make up for lost time. Here we go. You are using the rowing machine, located in a corner of your gym's "spin room" and immediately next to a giant mat used for a variety of exercises - both group and individual. No shoes allowed. About 15 minutes in, a group of 8 young Marines fresh off an Afghanistan deployment come into the room and start wrestling on the mat. This appears to be a survival exercise, though it also is helping with the post-war stress these young men may suffer. You are happily rowing along. Goyte and Florence and the Machine are pumping through your mp3 earbuds when out of the corner of your eye, you see a pair of wrestlers moving toward you. They flip a few more times and land right under your machine, after smacking into it of course. You stop. They stop. They disengage their holds and another pair

Sh*t Runners Really Do Say

Not sure if you've seen some of the latest videos in the popular Sh*t ______ Say series. Here are a few from the world of running for your viewing pleasure. Barefoot Runners Runners Ultra Runners Triathletes

Smart Mom

I was in the final stretch of my 5-mile run up and around Lake Miramar when a big group of women in pink came into view. The leader would periodically stop and mark the course and when I came up to the markings I was amazed at how big yet perfectly outlined the flour arrows were. So I caught up to the group and saw that the leader was using a water bottle filled with flour. Genius, I thought. Why hadn't I thought to ever do this when my former track club members ran this course? Especially after people failed to read their maps, course cards and even street signs? The leader soon caught up to me on the final stretch at the lake and as she passed, I asked about her group. It was Moms in Motion and she invited me to join them. Then she blew by me. What she didn't realize was that we'd met before. In fact, we'd run together and even carpooled for a few months. I was then the fast one in the group. But on one particulary bad morning , she was among my saviors. I caught

More Questions and Answers

Kate from up the freeway in Brea tagged me for the same meme I did earlier this week . No need to replay the first part, but I did want to honor her tag and respond to her questions and to thank her for thinking of me. 1. Where were you born? Upstate New York 2. What is your favorite way to relax? Sipping chai tea and watching CNN on Sunday mornings after an early morning long run 3. What is something you did as a child that you got in trouble for? Drinking orange juice after 10 a.m. I came from a large, single-income family with a limited food budget, and that was among the worst violations. My sister and I still feel funny if we drink juice later in the day. 4. What was the BEST race you ever ran and why was it the best? The Falmouth Road Race immediately comes to mind. I've run that hilly, winding course in sweltering heat and bitter cold, in the summer and in the fall. The field makes it feel like you're running Boston; the ocean views remind you it's anything

Does It Matter Who You're Running For?

One of the bigger news stories this week focuses on the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation withdrawing its financial support for breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood centers. The Komen Foundation receives millions of dollars annually in proceeds from its wildly popular Race for the Cure series across the country. There is no doubt that this organization has done more than any other to raise the profile of breast cancer and saved many lives in the process. I know the first Race for the Cure I ran in 1993 in Washington, D.C., brought me to tears as I looked out at all the survivors in pink caps and read the names of lost loved ones pinned to everyone's backs. I also know of women, usually young and without a lot of resources, who've benefited greatly by the services provided at a Planned Parenthood center. Abortions get the most attention, but Planned Parenthood provides much more - like birth control and breast cancer screenings - to promote women's health.