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Showing posts from June, 2021

Fire Season Arrives in My Neighborhood

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Thank God the school bus was late.   I was standing on a busy corner, looking for the school bus to come down Black Mountain Road when I heard crackling and saw a plume of smoke rising out of a canyon about 100 yards away.   It took maybe 30 seconds for it to register, and when it did, I pulled out my phone and dialed 911 to report a brush fire. A small one at that point. I was connected to CalFIRE and told a crew was on its way.    Ten minutes later, with no sign of any first responders and the fire now growing, a woman walking up the street saw the smoke and called 911 again. She got the same response and so we both stood and took photos until the bus finally arrived. By the time I got our boy inside and texted my husband to come home from the gym, flames were flying up the hillside. Sirens could be heard…in the distance. A police car was coming down the road and I flagged it down, pointed to the fire. A couple of minutes later, ambulances, police cruisers, and news crews were finall

California Unmasked

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I was about 15 minutes into my morning run when I saw the lady with the golden retriever and waved. She waved back and agreed it was going to be a hot one today. About five minutes later I was climbing a big hill when a couple walking their black lab gave me the thumbs up. “You got this, girl,” the woman said, and smiled.   I felt a little naked without my neck gaiter, but I also realized with each friendly encounter that when people see your entire face, they are more apt to engage. Today’s the first day Californians can move about our state more freely, with vaccination rates high and COVID-19 cases very low now. Most restrictions over the past 16 months are now lifted, with exceptions.   You still need a mask at schools and hospitals, dentists and doctor’s offices. And you need to mask up when riding on public transportation, cabs, trains and planes. This is going to make it even stranger (and more dangerous) to travel, at least until Sept 13 when those masks can be removed too. Air

My Training Log Just Woke from a Deep Sleep

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  For many, many years (like, early 1990s to the late aughts) I kept track of my training on paper calendars. First, I used those pocket-sized calendars you could get for free with a Hallmark store purchase and later for $1 at a Dollar Tree. I was quite diligent about documenting my runs and cross-training, if only out of habit. Rarely did I consult the logs; I just enjoyed those few seconds of satisfaction recording my commitment.   Then I migrated to  a now-defunct social media platform for runners and triathletes . It was even easier to keep track of how much mileage I logged. But the social component had me veering off course. I’d make “friends” with high-mileage runners and suddenly feel less adequate. I commuted by bike to my job at the time, riding 10 miles each way with most of the return 10 all uphill. And still, I didn’t feel worthy because  Penelope was for amateurs  (even local police told me this!). Some people I followed appeared to do little but work out when they weren’