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Showing posts from July, 2012

Time Off for Good Behavior

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Among American idiosyncracies is the fact that many of us never use all of our vacation. One recent report says the average American left 11 days of vacation on the books in 2011 . Even more strange to people outside our lovely nation is the fact that while we're on break, we stay tethered to our laptops, smartphones and email. In other words, we are addicted to work. I'm no different, especially when my vacation is spent at our home hosting visitors. Two of them were our daughters who now live in northern California. The others were a boyfriend and a puppy. It was a lot of fun showing them around; it also was more exhausting than I realized. Even more amazing was that I spent the same amount as if we'd gone away for a week. So much for cost-saving staycations. But I don't regret a single minute or penny of the past 10 days. We hiked, we ran, we read, we  drove, we drank and we avoided the news media camped a few blocks over, where a  mass murderer's moth

Wordless Wednesday

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How Do You Find Your True Friends?

Take an inventory of people you'd call your friends and ask: How did you find each other? The other week there was a fascinating piece in The New York Times about the difficulties in forging strong, lasting friendships once we hit our 30s and 40s. It struck me as strange in that most of my strongest bonds began when I hit my 30s and 40s. My life may not be typical. I was usually the fifth wheel in school. Our family moved frequently with my father's job, but we didn't live in military communities where there were lots of transients. So I normally had to find a clique to infiltrate. But with no personal history, I was forever the outsider valued by the group mainly for my brain. In other words, I stayed in good standing so long as I allowed people to cheat off me during test and term paper seasons. There are a few exceptions, of course. I was recently invited to a very old and dear friend's 50th birthday party from high school. My college friendships, grouted by c

Guest Wordless Wednesday

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Once again, thanks to Deborah J. for saving the day with a great photo from one of our local beaches.

Hollywood (Sign), Here I Come

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I don't know about you, but I've now got plans for November 18 and they involve me shakin' in my shoes and probably trying not to pee on my shorts. I just discovered I won Jeff's giveaway over at The Detroit Runner for a free entry in the Griffith Park Trail 10k ! I've always wanted to run in Griffith Park in LA and to finally see the famous Hollywood sign. It was endangered a couple of years ago, and I remember signing an online petition to save it. I'm not sure what to think of a course that makes no bones it's tough. I've done difficult trail races billed as easy, so this should be interesting. At least it says it welcomes walkers, just in case. So now I have my year's A race (or more accurately, a destination race since my performance will likely be a C). Thank you, Jeff!! I'll raise my Guayaki Yerba Mate Iced Tea and Whole Foods lunch to you when I make it through the finish.

Life Reboots

After seven months of unemployment, my husband finally found a new job. He started Monday and, now six days later, I'm the one making most of the adjustments. I no longer have to be quiet when I head out for my morning run. He's out the door an hour before me. I can watch the local news and not "Chimp Eden" as I prepare my breakfast smoothie. I also no longer can expect lavish homecooked meals every day of the week, or an empty laundry basket and a clean countertop when I get home on Fridays. The turtles are taking it especially hard now that I'm back in the feeding and tank cleaning rotation. But, of course, I also welcome the familiar cadence of the dual incomed. And the opportunity to run in the new Mizuno Ascend trail runners I scored as a founding member of The Mezamashii Running Project. More on that later. I didn't think the week could get better, but it did. On our wedding anniversary, our daughter called with great news: She got into physical th

Wordless Wednesday

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Run ... For Someone Else

Just read/heard a great ditty on how we perceive our time and how those who perform a selfless act with their free time perceive those minutes or hours differently than those serving only themselves. From the Scientific American podcast : In another experiment one group of subjects were given a period of free time to do whatever they wanted, while another group had to do something for someone else. Those who did something selflessly perceived themselves as having more time than those with no obligations. Those subjects also reported a stronger sense of personal power and effectiveness. Running in some ways is a very selfish act, especially if you have other people relying on you almost every hour of the day. More time is required to run a marathon or train for an Ironman. Perhaps one reason the training seems to be an imposition to some is because of how they perceive those hours.  Think of them in a different context, and perhaps the time will fly by. Well, in theory anyway.

Everyone Poops

Back before I started blogging, I kept an online weekly diary for my track club's marathon training program. The first few months, I never received feedback. Then I wrote the following post and everything changed. People started commenting - praising me, even - on a very active message board. After having a conversation this weekend with a friend who maintains you aren't a real runner until you pee or poop on yourself, I decided to rummage up that 9-year-old piece to repost here. File This One Under TMI (Too Much Information) Way back when my sister and I were planning our first marathon, we relied primarily on word of mouth for training tips. With each new piece of information, we’d mull over the possibility -- falling behind pace; overdosing on Gatorade; running in rain -- and adjust our expectations accordingly. (We would also, unfortunately, encounter all of these situations and then some that October morning.) About three weeks before the big day, my sister called.