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Showing posts from December, 2012

6 Steps to Forgiveness

As you usher in the new year with an orderly house, fresh mileage calendar, new calorie counter and commitment to save more money, I want you to consider doing something far more challenging this year. I want you to forgive. Forgiveness does not come easy. We all encountered people who hurt us ... boyfriends, parents, bosses, co-workers, best friends. Some are strangers we never see again, but most are people we once held close.  Chronic unforgiveness may make for great television dramas and novels, but in real life it is closely linked to numerous health issues like obesity, substance abuse, depression and anxiety. That’s why it’s important to learn to forgive, not for the people who hurt or offended you but for yourself. I recently attended a mental health conference session on this topic. “Forgiveness is a choice. It’s an act of your own free will,” the speaker told an overcrowded room. “It is an act of emotional release that brings some level of closure and peace. It also

My New Favorite Hike in San Diego

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I'd been wanting for years to hike up to the Mount Woodson summit but never got an opportunity until yesterday. It was so worth the wait.   This is one of the more popular hikes in San Diego, but not nearly as popular as nearby Iron Mountain (which I've blogged about numerous times ) or Cowles Mountain (which I've never done). That may be because it's not an easy trek, but it's not super difficult either. You just need some stamina, a lot of water and conditioned glutes and quads to truly enjoy this 7-plus-mile course. Boulder fields mark the course. Mount Woodson Trail is distinguished by the many boulder formations. It's fun, especially on the ascent, to give some of the big rocks names. One that didn't make it into the blog (at least in this post) is called "Butt Crack." Another is referred to as "Potato Chip" and featured in the photo below. Yes, it's as scary as it looks if you suffer from a fear of heights. No w

The Candy Canes and the Creche

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The Cardiff Kook decked out for the holidays. One of the (truly) bright spots of running this month has been the brilliant displays of holiday lawns on my early morning runs. The decorations and lights pale in comparison to the previous night’s offerings, but there are enough of my neighbors who through their generosity or forgetfulness leave their holiday lights on all night. One house in particular takes the cake for its juxtaposition of the secular and the sacred. A nativity scene – the kind that over the past two decades has gotten municipalities in trouble -- is surrounded by a fence of giant candy canes. Just beyond are neon palm trees with glowing globes, while up on the rooftop is a giant Star of David. Each time I pass it, I wonder if the homeowners are showing homage or humor for such a distinctive display. This inner debate keeps my mind off the leaden legs and labored breathing as I charge up a nearby hill, where other property owners show more creative re

Here's to New Beginnings, Mayan Style

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Wordless Wednesday

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Crowd[ed] Wisdom

Part of me doesn't want to publish right now while the nation continues to mourn for those killed on Friday. Sometimes running sounds so trivial, and this is one of those times. That said, I wanted to be sure everyone at some point takes a look at a New York Times piece  on a recent study that was addressed on this blog too about the marginal, sometimes even morbid, returns on running as we age. It's potentially bad news for anyone training for an Ironman in their 40s, 50s and beyond, provided health and fitness and longevity are what drives you. No surprise, that study generated a lot of public discourse. And, of course, there were plenty of other studies to trot out showing just the opposite. That's the problem with studies, and with runners. They come in all sizes and flavors and you don't have to look too hard to find one that agrees with your own stance. And that's the gist of the Times piece. That and why people exaggerate their pace when it's easy to

And Then the Clouds Parted

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It was a running joke (he he) during my tenure with the track club that if I planned a group run, it rained. I'm glad to see as part of my legacy that tradition remains. Drops fell right up to the start, but then the clouds parted and the brave souls who planned a rainy run were blessed with blue skies as we started the 6th annual San Diego Track Club Christmas Card Lane Fun Run. My participation was by invitation since I'm no longer part of the training group. It's a hard course. I know because I designed it and yet that didn't make me run any better up the steep hill at the start and gradual, grueling hill towards the end. But I got to reunite with old friends, like Irene and her husband, and meet a few new ones on the course. My conversation with a securities fraud attorney was especially interesting. The predicted time competition is still in place, and I was knocked out of contention by a lot of other women more intuned with their abilities. The guy who wo

20 Years of Road Races

Yesterday we celebrated the holidays and three birthdays all rolled into one terrific brunch at our friends George and Li's house in Carmel Mountain Ranch. Prior to pigging out, we ran 5 miles (well, I ran 4.7 and really I walked the last .2 because I was done with those hills). I had on the first race T-shirt I ever "won" -- from a Jingle Bell Run in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 6, 1992. Wearing it yesterday, I suddenly realized this was my 20th anniversary of entering a race. I'd been running off and on much longer than that, but that morning changed the direction of my running. I'd run for years but with no concept of pace or mileage. I ran purely for fun in high school and college and later to lose the baby fat after two children in rapid succession. I ran through historic neighborhoods of Antebellum homes, along demonic-dog-infested country roads and even once encountered a bear . It wasn't until we were again living in Elizabeth City, N.C., that my

Wordless Wednesday

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Benefits of Oolong Tea

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I'm a huge tea drinker. I have, like, at least 5 cups a day. And although tea is very subjective, I've become pretty good at distinguishing good teas from not-so-good ones. Lately, I've been consuming oolong tea as much for the taste as for the potential health benefits. Those benefits include: Reduced cholesterol in the bloodstream Weight loss Improved digestion Stronger bones Reduced tooth decay I'm not sure how many, if any, have been scientifically proven to do any or all of that, but I do notice that when I have a couple of cups, I'm less hungry and more awake. This is no surprise since oolong combines some of the best benefits of black tea and green tea. I personally think it tastes more like green tea, which is mild. Some people claim oolong tea helps improve their skin. And reduce their stress. Where you buy your tea counts. If you don't know already, the stuff you buy in most supermarkets is the lowest grade, the dregs of earlier harves

A Bright Start to the Winter Holidays

We did something unusual for our Saturday morning walk/run/hike group. Would love to embed the video but I guess Google, owner of YouTube, no longer plays nice with Vimeo. Here's the link: https://vimeo.com/54682517