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Showing posts from September, 2012

3 Miles in Stockton

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I think the first time I heard of Stockton, California was in 1989 when a lone gunman open fired on an elementary school .   Much later, it was featured on “60 Minutes” at the start of the housing crisis, when people talked of walking away from their homes.   For five years, it was just another city we passed through on that dreaded drive up the I-5 to UC Davis. Then, earlier this year the city filed for bankruptcy . So maybe my mental picture of Stockton was tainted, but after spending a couple of days there last weekend, I now think I misjudged the place. I flew up for my daughter’s white coat ceremony at University of the Pacific.   Our other daughter drove down from Sonoma County to join us.   It’s a pretty campus, though we spent little time there. Instead, we hit a lot of strip malls and department stores, de rigueur for my visits. The students like to talk of how ghetto Stockton is, and how limited its retail, restaurant and recreation options are, but I

Wordless Wednesday

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Shortest 5k Ever

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  When is a 5k as easy as can be? When it's actually 1.4 miles, not 3! I participated in a walk around Liberty Station in Point Loma this morning and we had two options: 5k or 1 Mile. The vast majority picked 5k but the course ended at 1.4 miles. I suspect we were supposed to do a second loop and then some but it was hot and it was late in the morning and no one wanted to be stuck in traffic when the mega Rock Church service got out. It was still a great event, a Remembrance Walk put on by a local hospice. I put a note in the memory quilt for my grandmother, but I could have filled the entire thing with as many people as I've lost in recent years. Recent months, even.

Sleeping on the Job

Sleep - and specifically how to get enough of it - is a frequent subject here at Run DMZ. So when I find a piece that either reinforces or defies the 8-hour conventional cycle, I want to share it. Today's New York Times has such a piece in which the author argues that it may be time to stop thinking we need big blocks of sleep to function properly when shorter bursts of good, quality sleep may do. Robert Stickgold, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, proposes that sleep — including short naps that include deep sleep — offers our brains the chance to decide what new information to keep and what to toss. That could be one reason our dreams are laden with strange plots and characters, a result of the brain’s trying to find connections between what it’s recently learned and what is stored in our long-term memory . Rapid eye movement sleep — so named because researchers who discovered this sleep stage were astonished to see the fluttering eyelids of sleeping subje

Are 30 Minutes of Running Better Than 60?

Shorter workouts may help you lose more weight than longer ones, according to an article in yesterday's New York Times. A Danish research group took three groups of sedentary, overweight men in their 20s and 30s and assigned each a level of structured exercise to perform for 13 weeks. They also were required to keep detailed food logs. The group that didn't add exercise to their regime, didn't lose any weight. No surprise there. The group that worked out daily for 60 minutes lost an aveage of 5 pounds. But the group that worked out 30 minutes daily (burning 300 calories jogging, compared to 600) actually lost more weight, an average of 7 pounds. Researchers think the 60-minutes group actually ate more and were less active other hours of the day to compensate for the fatigue from running or cycling for an hour that day. So if weight loss is your goal with running or cycling or swimming ... or whatever aerobic activity you choose, shorter workouts may be the way to go

Wordless Wednesday

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Wrong Side of the Moon

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This morning as I headed out on a familiar running route, I thought the moon was all wrong. I couldn't recall seeing it just above the horizon where the sun would rise in another hour. I haven't been running much lately, but I have noticed it's darker in the morning and warmer during the day, currently 106 degrees outside my air-conditioned room. Of course, the moon was in the right place. I wasn't. Every once in awhile we all are hit by circumstances, planned or otherwise, that just throw us off our game. Could be bringing home a new member of the family or learning to live without someone. Could be a new job or new commute. Could be an unexpected trip, like to the doctor or Discount Tire. I went to both this week. The doctor was for my husband, who has a troubling and mysterious foot injury. Then I was on my way to work when my front tire split. Add learning that a beloved member of the San Diego Track Club passed on top of an old friend's death and some p

Wordless Wednesday

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'Your Body May Be Your Best Coach'

I'm long past chasing PRs in running, but for those of you who are still seeking new bars to cross, consider this experiment written about in New York newspapers and summarized well on The Brilliant Blog . Basically, beginning runners were given 10 weeks to train for a half marathon. None knew much about the art, let alone science, of running and so they just did what came naturally. And, guess what, they steadily improved. Their bodies instinctively learned how to economize their movements and improve their endurance and speeds. They did it by listening to their bodies, rather than generic magazine articles telling you how to run a faster 5k. And they remained uninjured even if their gait and foot strikes were not the norm. The results "raise an interesting question in regards to teaching people to run," Isabel Moore, head researcher at the University of Exeter, told The New York Times. “If runners can self-optimize [then] maybe we should teach runners to learn to un

Higher Than Any Bird Every Flew

I’ve been thinking a lot about my wedding. I planned the entire thing in an hour while I was bored at work. I remember going to visit the priest, Father Kenneth, to see if I could get married at the church about a block from my office after learning a Catholic had to get married inside a Catholic Church – not the Sheraton two miles down the street as I had outlined on my Reporter’s Notebook. Father Kenneth began reading from a mental punch list. Bridesmaids? Just one. Groomsmen? One again. Formal? No, an afternoon wedding. With a mass? No, definitely without. Photographer? I’m working on that one. Flowers? Any recommendations? Music? For some reason, it never dawned on me that we’d have to actually hire someone to play the organ and sing. I obviously hadn't been to many weddings. The priest put me in touch with an organist, who picked all the songs she wanted in her wedding.   And I only knew one wedding singer, a woman my age, 24, that I worked wit