Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hello From The High Sierras

The drive to Lake Tahoe from San Diego was nearly perfect. We had the lovely weather and we reached Tahoe just as the sun began to set. California is an incredibly beautiful state. Sometimes people think of California and they think about Los Angeles, San Francisco, traffic and smog. It's so much more that. It's beaches and deserts and forests and redwoods and mountains.

I snapped this somewhere along Highway 395. Instead of taking the slightly shorter trip on the 5, we took the rugged inland route through the mountains and the national forests. We were only a few miles from Yosemite and Sequoia, but I couldn't convince Steve to detour to let me see them. It would have taken hours and we'd have never reached Tahoe. On the way home, we're definitely going to take a quick trip to see Devil's Postpile.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Suddenly, it was 1988

We went to see The Police Reunion tour last night. Wow, just wow. We hung out on the lawn for a song or two, then migrated to a box for most of the show. Reunion tours can be a dicey proposition, but The Police did it just right. Just the three of them - no additional musicians or back up singers. It was a lean, pure production - very simple stage, simple lighting - with the music just pouring.

I didn't realize it until we got to the venue but Elvis Costello opened the show. I love me some Elvis (Costello and Presley). Elvis did a great set, especially Sting coming out to duet with him on Allison.

As it often happens, one thing is a microcosm for another. Watching the show I couldn't help but note the impact of fitness on the artists.

Elvis Costello is 53. He looks like this - kind of, well, lumpy.

Sting is 56 and a long-time proponent of fitness, yoga and healthy diet. He looks like this.

Both Sting and Elvis are looking a bit scruffy with the beard, but check that bicep on Sting. I would not describe him as lumpy unless by lumpy I meant delicious.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Chi Running - Results

More on Chi Running next time. For now, I went out today and ran a bit more than 2 miles. Two miles sounds paltry since I can easily walk about 15 miles. Normally, I'm a run-a-step, walk-2-steps girl. Today I ran solid with the exception of 1 short hill. My form wasn't great and I was slow, but it was still a good showing for a first time Chi Runner.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

These Are The Problems Of Living in Paradise

It's been cool and damp here since Friday morning. It's not something we really deal with in San Diego and everyone has been pretty short-tempered about it.

Steve got us seats to the Padres game Friday night. All Friday afternoon I worried that we'd be rained out; I also worried that we wouldn't get rained out. It's a week before Steve's Century Ride and really did not want him sitting out in the cold wet weather for hours and getting sick. My enjoyment of Rock N Roll Marathon was killed by the fact I had food poisoning days before the event. Sick=dehydrated. Dehydrated=sucky endurance event.

We went and the game was played but we did have a rain delay mid-game. We were nestled into a spot in the ballpark where rain didn't really reach us. I felt a drip every minute or so, but that was it.

The rain delay was interesting nonetheless. The grounds crew pulled the rarely used tarp over the field and everything. The Padres have had 2 rained out home games in the last 25 years. The tarp doesn't even have a logo printed on it. I guess they figured you can't sell advertising on a tarp that gets used in front of spectators once every decade or so. You could tell the ground crew was pretty excited to get to pull out the tarp in front of the fans. This is it boys! This is the moment we've practiced for! This is "The Show". Imagine the disappointment of the grounds keeper who called in sick that night.

The other thing was they were completely unprepared for what music to play during the rain delay. It started with Clint Black's "Like the Rain"and ended two songs later with Milli Vanilli's "Blame It On The Rain". Milli Vanilli was met with confusion and then a collective groan. After that they gave up and put the Dodgers game on the big screen. I think we were all relieved, because I'm pretty sure "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" was next.

But that's San Diego for you. We are completely unprepared for rain - we don't have a logo on our tarp and our rain delay soundtrack is from 1990.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

You Call It Crazy, But I Call It Fabulous

The new bathroom chandelier.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Can She Chi?

This morning I took my first ever Tai Chi class. I'm not sure what I thought of it. It was sort of like the first time I took yoga 20 years ago. (20 years!) The Tai Chi instructor used a lot of silly names for moves which I'm sure aren't silly if you know what it all means. To someone with no background the pose names seem arbitrary. She calls out the movement White Crane Spreads Its Wings. To me it may as well be Porcupine Eats An Onion Ring or Child Tames a Rutabaga.

What inspired this interest in Tai Chi? This weekend, I'm taking a class in Chi Running. Chi Running is a modified running form that uses the principles of Tai Chi to make running more effortless. Lately, I've really enjoyed running. It's a big change from a year ago, when I found running to be a chore. I thought maybe some formal instruction on running form might be in order.

I don't know how the Chi Running concept came into my world. Last week it was just suddenly there ready for me to explore. When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Why I Broke Up With Lenny & Larry

I'm doing what I can to stem the tide of obesity that is sweeping this country. Since I'm only one prone-to-chubbiness woman I can't do it alone but I do two things: I keep my own weight in line and I refuse to reward companies that give misleading portion information.

My favorite pre-workout snack is was a Lenny & Larry Muscle Brownie - either in peanut butter or triple chocolate flavor. The brownies are very tasty and a caloric bargain at 170 cals per brownie. Or so I thought. Today, I really looked at the label - serves 2. Are you kidding me? Since when does an individually wrapped snack serve 2? Does a Snickers bar serve 4? Of course it doesn't. It's infuriating when companies fudge on their nutrition labels. It's hard enough to get people to pay attention to healthy eating. We don't need companies making it more difficult.

Would I have bought the brownies if I'd have known that they were 340 calories? No. But I would have happily bought a smaller portion at 200 calories - I'd have even paid the same exorbitant price for the product.

I'm betting other people won't buy them at 340 calories either. These are a popular item at the juice bar at my gym. Before I left, I wrote "340 Calories" on the display box in Sharpie marker.

Lenny & Larry, I'm so over you.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Home Ownership

Hey, home ownership is not all the fun of mortgages and property taxes.

I can tell you this about my first attempt at regrouting my bathroom. It's requiring a second attempt at regrouting my bathroom.

Ah well.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Did I Ever Tell You You're My Hero?

Dear Heavens this is an ambitious goal.

Nick Hollon, a high school senior, is going to run 3,000 miles in 10 months to raise money to cure blood cancers. Like many of us who raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, blood cancer his touched his life.

Three thousand miles in 10 months is a great goal, but he decided to make it even tougher. Next Saturday, he's running 100 miles. In. One. Day. I can do 26.2 in one day and it's tough. He's doing nearly 4 marathons in less than 24 hours.

Visit his website to hear more about his run. I'm planning to join him on the track and run a few miles to keep him company if he needs some support.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


{crosses fingers}

Following every superstition to increase my luck, I submitted my entry into the New York City Marathon today. Hopefully, I'll get picked for a lottery spot to participate.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Avenue of the Giants Half Marathon

I did not want this "race" to end; I wanted to walk another few hours in the Redwoods. The course wasn't crowded with runners; there was a lot of time to simply enjoy the woods.

I hope to come back and do this race again.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Heaven Looks Like This

After a hectic early morning of travel, I arrived in Humboldt, California for tomorrow's half marathon. We're staying at the cutest B&B, the Gingerbread Mansion. It's lovely here and smack in middle of the beautiful California redwoods. The redwoods are every bit as awesome as you might have heard.

The area has a very small town feel which I love. Well, except for the fact that medical (and recreational) marijuana is Humboldt's big industry due to the extremely high THC content in the local crop. In other words, Humboldt weed is the good stuff.

Still it's a conservative small town. I knew what I was getting as soon as I landed at the local airport and bait shop. Okay, it's not the bait shop, but it's a pretty darn small airport. In the ladies room there is the following sign:

Please notice the wording - not just California law but Common decency demands that you wash your hands. When is the last time you saw a sign that appealed to your common decency. In a small town, that's where you get signs like that.

Anyway, it's lovely here. A small, Victorian town snuggled in the majestic forest of redwoods.