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Showing posts from November, 2012

Survival of the Fittest

A hat tip to my friend Deborah for sending me a link to this fascinating piece in the Wall Street Journal that should give older athletes some pause when it comes to training hard after training for so long. What the new research suggests is that the benefits of running may come to a hard stop later in life. In a study involving 52,600 people followed for three decades, the runners in the group had a 19% lower death rate than nonrunners, according to the Heart editorial. But among the running cohort, those who ran a lot—more than 20 to 25 miles a week—lost that mortality advantage.   Others in the article question whether data is being manipulated to prove a point, but I keep thinking anecdotally of men who die of heart attacks during races, including one exceptionally fit man who was well known to many here . And even though the research focuses on older runners, a younger professional triathlete is mentioned for repeatedly passing out during competitions and requiring &q

Wordless Wednesday

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The Tour of California Returns to San Diego

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Just learned that the Amgen Tour of California, the largest bicycle race in the nation, is returning to San Diego County after a four-year absence. The last time, the tour ended here (we went to the Rancho Bernardo start of the final stage and then loved watching the Tour de France style climb up Palomar Mountain on televison) and there was a massive turnout. Next May, it'll start here and run north to Santa Rosa. I hope there's another great turnout so the Tour comes back. I know a lot of the star cyclists have been tainted by doping charges and convictions. It's still exciting to be part of a live event of this magnitude and I hope many of my fellow San Diegans will be there to support the cyclists during the first stage of a great race.

Your Brain on Exercise

While we were all coming down from our food comas this weekend, researchers were gathered in Chicago to discuss the latest studies on the aging brain. One study that stood out (to me, at least) was one that showed Alzheimer's Disease progresses differently in women and men. I always knew Alzheimer's was more prevalent in women and assumed it was because there are more women and especially more women who live into their 80s and 90s. But it seems the disease actually may attack more gray matter (which you need) in women sooner, while men show signs of cognitive decline from Alzheimer's sooner. That's based on a small sample - a little more than 100 people recently diagnosed with the disease. The other study of note reinforces something that's been discussed repeatedly on this blog: staying active and exercising regularly can stave off non-genetic dementia. This time it is a UCLA study of 876 seniors, average age 78. Those who maintained an active lifestyle - wal

Happy Thanksgiving

"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings."   ~Eric Hoffer, Reflections On The Human Condition

Wordless Wednesday

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Just Not Tough Enough

Used to be race officials tried to mask a course’s difficulty with euphemisms like “rolling landscape” and “negative net elevation” for a very hilly, challenging route. Nowadays they play up those rigors, whether it’s natural obstacles, like steep, rut-filled trails, or manmade ones like the electric shock treatments in a Tough Mudder race.   So it was when I read that the inaugural Griffith Park half marathon and 10k trail run would be tough, I figured I would rise to the occasion. I looked at the course, the elevations, those crazy directions and as time drew near I fixated on one of them: Come prepared. I won a race entry in Jeff’s giveaway over at Detroit Runner . And I didn’t want to let him or the race director down. I also told everybody and his mother I was doing this. So for weeks leading up to today, I told myself I could do this. That I would do this. But my body wasn’t responding in kind. I’ve neglected my running pastime (and, let’s face it, blogging) for months

Wordless Wednesday

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Can You Follow This?

Here are the course directions for next weekend's 10k in LA . . . . Follow the paved road down 100 yards, and on your right you will notice Fern Canyon Nature Trail . Take this trail. Follow it up through the canyon, and onto several sets of old wood steps. Follow this until it reaches back up with the "Mineral Wells Trail".   Turn right here, and follow down about 50 yards until you reach a three way intersection where you will then go left at East Trail or Old Zoo Trail as some call it. You ascend north as views begin to open up to the east. In a few minutes you reach an outward bend that cuts back sharply southwest to begin a traverse through Spring Canyon. You get glimpses below of the road coming from the old zoo, which will be your return route. Soon you get your first look at Bee Rock high on the slope above. The trail begins to descend to Spring Canyon stream. In few more minutes you arrive at a four-point junction, 0.7 mile from the start. Straig

Wordless Wednesday

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Should New York City Hold a Marathon Right Now?

I've been reading about the "controversy" surrounding the NYCRR's decision to hold the marathon this weekend despite the past week's devastation from a superstorm. There's a movement to have it postponed, but that's impractical. And there's an offer for anyone who can no longer make this year to be automatically entered next year, but you'll have to pay again. Officials say a lot of infrastructure issues will be resolved by Sunday, and the police and fire officials will be more easily diverted because it's a slow day for them otherwise. Politicians keep noting that this is a huge economic driver for the city. And fans say the event is needed for a morale as well as money boost. I had an online poll in my original post, but it messed up everything else on the blog so I took it down. So, are you a "Yes" or a "No"? Get the Poll">http://www.widgetbox.com/i/b39de1ed-d762-41ac-9cd8-39ad5eb92748">Poll Creat

The Point

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Stonington Point   When I first saw “Visit Anne’s Childhood Home” on the official vacation itinerary, I secretly worried this would be a major letdown. The visit along a narrow, rural road would take all of 10 seconds, maybe less if there were cars behind us. And while a significant chapter in my own personal history, the place on Pequot Trail hardly registered as an attraction to others. But it turns out I can claim not only the modest yellow house but all of Stonington as my personal domain, and so it came that we four spent an entire day within my former hometown’s borders. And, we got to spend more than mere seconds trespassing visiting the place where I grew from a toddler into a teenager. We started with apple picking on a farm, a first for me. The first thing that struck me was that the trees were pruned to bushes to make access easier. The second oddity was payment. A half peck was a very reasonable $5 but there wasn’t anyone to collect the cash. Just an unsecured b