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Showing posts from March, 2012

Thank You for Being So Nice

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Today this blog turns 7, which means it now has outlasted half of all U.S. marriages and 90 percent of blogs begun the same year. It's not the same blog it was in 2005, nor should it be. Everything evolves. When you start blogging, comments can be hard to come by. And even after all these years, I still get a little rush when I see someone took the time to read a post and let me know they liked it or disagreed with my opinion or point of view. So I want to take today to thank the 92,000 of you who stopped by in the past and especially those who kept me on their blogrolls or favorites lists and those that took a few minutes to leave a comment. I manage a blog at work and I must spend at least an hour a day filtering out spammers and nasty, hurtful people. I now realize how very lucky I am to have the readership and the friendships I do. Thank you.

Wordless Wednesday

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Tanning Really Is Addictive

When I first moved to San Diego many years ago I was struck by two superlatives: at the time, at least, it had more gyms and more tanning salons per capita than any other major city in the United States. I would have thought everyone preferred to be outdoors since it's sunny and in the 70s almost yearround. But after reading a New York Times report on how tanning may be addictive, the second stat may finally be explained. It turns out “people who frequently use tanning beds experience changes in brain activity during their tanning sessions that mimic the patterns of drug addiction, new research shows.” This conclusion comes after doing actual brain tests while people were all aglow. They even tricked some tanning booth clients by blocking UV rays, and their brains (and bodies) instinctively knew the difference and demanded more. Sun damage and particularly skin cancers are a real concern for runners and other outdoor athletes. And I’ve written before about testing sunscreen pro

Race Review: Black Mountain 5k

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Trail races are a different breed. The fields are more laid back, the courses more difficult and the scenery more appealing to compensate for the high-grade hills, ankle-turning ruts and isolation. Some people love trail runs for all of these reasons, and I'm one of them. That said, this race that takes place just a couple of miles from my house remains the hardest I've done, and this year I even downgraded to the 5k. Like the 15k, the distance is imprecise and at the start the announcer told us to think of it more like a 4-miler. It was excellent advice to keep from giving your all too soon on the final mile up a long, winding and steep hill to the finish line. The elevation chart made it appear the first half was downhill and the last half was all up at an eventual 10 percent grade. But that must have been net elevation because we encountered our first serious hill about a half mile in. And when we finally got a good downhill, I often put on the brakes to keep my ankles fr

Wordless Wednesday

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Running May Be Good for Your Wallet

We went to get our taxes done this morning and now, of course, I'm consumed with all things financial after getting some very bad news. I like to complain about the expenses associated with running: the not-cheap technology that is suddenly a "must have"; the never-on-sale running shoes; the exorbitant race fees just to earn a technical t-shirt (that serves as free marketing for the organizations you overpaid!); and the visits to health care providers to fix us when we go too far for too long. But apparently running (and many other forms of exercise) may actually keep us from overspending. So while I figure out how to take out a McMansion-sized mortgage and adopt three children before the next tax bill is due, consider listening at your leisure to this Marketplace Money report: Sweating out bad spending habits .

Like Fine Wine

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When you turn 25 just days before giving birth, you don’t necessarily realize that 25 years later you and your daughter will both celebrate milestones the same week. Nor can you imagine that the celebration will take place in a tony California town when, at that moment in 1987, you are living just above the poverty line in rural North Carolina. We decided to drive this trip so we could bring back a lot of bottles. First, though, we made a stop in Davis to meet our granddoggie, Axel. Then it was on to Santa Rosa for dinner at Mary’s Pizza Shack, a tradition in our family the past seven years. That's our birthday girl on the left. Downtown Santa Rosa is really delightful at night. I regretted not staying in a hotel closer to the core, even if it cost us more. The next day we prepared for that night’s party and snuck in a wine tasting and private tour that served as a primer for the next day’s big event (see video ). Siduri is different from wineries I’ve visited. For star

Wordless Wednesday

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While You Were All Training. . .

Wine Barrel Tasting in Sonoma County from Run DMZ on Vimeo .

Guest Wordless Wednesday

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Photo from our Torrey Pines hike courtesy of Tracy R.

When You Hit a Half Century, I Hope...

You have friends who fly across the country to share it with you. (And one who can’t because she’s busy winning her community’s version of The Biggest Loser, even though she’s anything but.) You have friends who take you out to the Gaslamp, where you stay out way past your usual bedtime and dance more in three hours than you have in the last three decades. You have friends who gather to run and then for breakfast and serve special cupcakes that are delivered by another birthday girl. They are older than even you are now but are also more fit than you. You realize as you splurge on eggs benedict that they have taught you how to be driven without taking life too seriously. You are serenaded on stage by professional opera singers in front of a large room full of people that include some of the best friends in the world, and one husband who has once again earned your undying devotion. You have friends who agree to give up an afternoon of their vacation to head up the freeway so you ca