Saturday, September 27, 2008


We're on a road trip for Steve's bike race. Since I'm not riding, I dropped him off at the start and set out to find a nice run.

As a woman, when I run alone I stay in very populated areas. Finding a relatively safe run here was a challenge. Most of the runs on for this area go through some barren locations. That's the problem with runs over 10 miles, it's hard to find a consistently good route.

I picked a route along the shoreline thinking that the beach is always nice. Fail. I ended up in what must be the most yucky beach town on the planet. Running isn't any fun here - lots of missing sidewalk, potholes and cracks, trash on the street and dog dookie on the sidewalks. I'm sure there's something nice about this place, but I'm at a loss to tell you what it might be. There was so much fog I couldn't even see the ocean.

Since mapmyrun has gone to a paid model, you must now pay to print maps. That's pretty much the end of my use of mapmyrun. Their service is adequate, but no better than some of the free services out there. I didn't print a map, but I did memorize a 12 mile route.

It was ugly, foggy and trashy, but I was strong - running hard through the beachside trailer parks. As I was at the midpoint of my run, I noticed that the same black Monte Carlo car was always behind me. After a mile or so, I realize, this guy's not looking for an address. Now we start a game of cat and mouse. I turn in the opposite direction and he takes the next turn and catches up to me. I run slowly; he drives slowly. I run though yards or against traffic, he catches me at the next intersection. Creepy. I finally lost him, but also had managed to get lost - without a map, off my memorized route and somehow on the other side of the canyon and the highway. Getting back to my truck added a few extra miles to my plan. As I got near my car, there he was again. I looked over and there was now a woman in the car with him and she snapped my picture (with flash). Why? Why do you stalk and snap a photo of a stranger running?

You annoy me creepy, cellulite fetish, Chevy Monte Carlo man and your freaky photographer girlfriend. You annoy me.

Michael Phelps and I - Twins?

Michael Phelps was interviewed on the sideline of today's Michigan game and I promise you he said this when listing his goals.

"Get back in shape"

Forty days after capturing his 8th gold medal in Beijing, Michael worried about his fitness level and needs to "get back in shape".

Clearly "Get back in shape" means something different to Michael than it does to me. Because getting back into shape is one of my goals too.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Went to spin class. Then went and ate two enormous cookies from the catering tray in the break room.


The only real limitation you ever had was your inability to see what you were actually capable of all along.
-Dawn Dais
The Nonrunner's Marathon Guide for Women

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Who's Down With ADD? Yeah You Know Me!

I'm so friggin' bored with my workout schedule that I'm not really working out all that often. I'm not feeling challenged or stimulated or well, anything. For an ADD person like me boredom=not going to bother. Also, I'm fat these days which isn't helping

In hopes that something will spark me to leave my office and go to the gym, I''m giving another shot at shaking it up with new workouts. Today, I rocked it old skool in the pool. Having swum competitively since I was 6 years old, the pool is a familiar place for me.

I hopped in and did most of today's Master Swim workout, but had to shave off a round of laps because I ran out of time. That happened because I'm so slow that I couldn't complete the full workout in the time allotted. It wasn't even a hard workout, a mere 2500 meters (1.5 miles) in a short course pool. Poop! Also, my butterfly which was always my strongest stroke has gone completely wonky. Double Poop Poop!

I suspect I'll be spending time with this book on short pool workouts.

Today's Workout:

Warm Up


500 Increasing



2 sets

5 x 25 Fly

30 second intervals.


5 x 25 Back

Each stroke restarts at the top.


5 x 25 Breast

Last in each series is an easy kick drill.


5 x 25 Free

Should have been 3 sets.

--100 Easy


Cool Down

800 Decreasing



Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Super Hero Power

The technical support team in our office calls me the Human Magnet. They're not sure exactly how I do it, but I make hardware die. The average life of my lifespan of my laptops is less than a year. Like milk, my laptop hardware simply goes sour one day.

Admittedly, my laptops get very hard (ab)use. I'm pretty sure these hardware failures have something to do with my never turning the laptop off and with throwing the computer in my purse. See also, dropping.

I've been using one laptop for about 9 months or about as long as we expect one of these buggers to last for me. Yesterday, on midway through boot up I got a new screen - not the blue screen of doom, but a bright green screen of doom. Our tech team was stumped. They hadn't seen a green screen like that before and couldn't locate any documentation that referenced a green death screen.

That's my Super Hero Power - I slay hardware.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Home Maintenance Tip

Don't throw pennies in the garbage disposal.

Sure a penny is almost worthless and maybe you're tempted to toss one in there. However, the two hours I spent diagnosing the problem and then jimmying the penny out of there was pretty valuable to me.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Like Job in the Desert

Today we did the train run/walk that we planned for 16 miles.

We hopped the Amtrak Surfliner train in Solana Beach and rode to Oceanside. Of course, none of us brought a map and instead we relied on our memory of the course to get us from Oceanside through Carlsbad then Leucadia then Encinitas then Cardiff by the Sea and finally back to Solana Beach.

All was okay until the group got separated, then it was just a wander of looking for each other. This included me backtracking for a mile to try to find everyone. I didn't ever find anyone and plowed along until Noel caught up to me. (And here I had been going as fast as I could because I was sure she and the rest of the crew had passed me.) Noel and I finished together, but she was definitely faster than I was.

All in all I ended up with 17 miles. Soreness may be my companion tomorrow. (Update: Not sore at all. My legs held up fine.)

Lessons learned:
  • Today, I carried trail mix and a nutrition bar which was much, much better than just my standard course nutrition of gels and sport beans. A bit of extra solid food really knocked out the bonking problem that I generally have at mile 12 or 13. From now onward, I'm carrying real food for long miles.
  • A course that spans five zip codes probably merits a map.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Marathons Are Nothing

My parents have been visiting for three weeks (which explains the lack of posts). Yesterday, for their last day in San Diego we went to the beach in front of the Hotel Del Coronado. Coronado Island is home one of the world's great beaches and of the Navy SEALs.

The water was a bit too cold to swim, but we walked along the shore and got our feet wet. Then we sprawled out on the beach blanket and watched military aircraft do some practice runs - touch-and-go's, short landings, the whole works. It was a nifty impromptu air show of small planes, a Gulfstream jet, a Hornet, and two different helicopters. Very cool, indeed.

As we were combing the beach for sand dollars we noticed a whole slew of guys in rafts. We ambled over to find 15 rafts of Navy SEAL trainees doing some sort of training exercise. I'm not sure what they were doing, but it looked arduous. Three rafts were selected out of the pack to race to shore. The winning crew would get out and heave their raft over some rocky shoreline. If the did something wrong and they'd get punishment of rolling in mucky water then in sand. Then they'd do push ups, squat thrusts and jumping jacks until the instructor got bored. Then it was back in the raft for another round. One guy had a ripped pants leg from his calf to his thigh. I can pretty much guarantee that it wasn't just he pant leg that ripped but his leg flesh too. He was rolling in sand and sea water without complaint.

The Navy sent a Public Relations Officer along with the training crew. It makes sense since this is a public beach and all. Poor guy had to spend 30 minutes answering my questions. I get my money's worth for my tax dollar.
  • How many men make it through the SEALs program? About 70%. Nearly all of the drop outs (90%) are voluntary; the remainder are medical or performance.
  • Do SEALs get paid more than Navy personnel of similar rank? Yes, mostly in the form of bonuses.
  • What is the usable life of a Navy SEAL? Some stay in the SEALs for 30 years, but they aren't the guy kicking in the door. They are planning missions.
  • So do those old SEALs get fat and unfit? No, all SEALs can pass the same physical standards.
  • How long is the training? About a year, but it can vary.
  • Are they done for today after this exercise? No, they'll run back to the base and train for another few hours at least.
  • How do the rafts get back to the base? They'll carry them as they run, balanced over their heads.
  • How long have these guys been in training? Less than three weeks. They aren't receiving any bonus pay yet, because they haven't hit the first milestone.
Sheet! These kids were doing this exhausting workout for no additional pay, a 30% chance of success and they'd have to do this another year.

I'll never complain on mile 20 of a marathon again.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

All Aboard

At 6 a.m. this morning, I ran into my friend Debbie at the Solana Beach train station. We were both there to train with our marathon teams. Is there another reason to be at the train station before dawn? She's with Team In Training and I'm with the San Diego Stride.

Debbie once called me the Queen of Mileage, because if there is even a few more feet of training distance available I'll insist on doing it. Today I was actually not running the absolute most mileage available. I decided to limit my run to 14 miles instead of 16. I've been really pushing myself to run more consistently, so it seemed like a good week to go with shorter run. Next week, I'm doing the train run again for 16-17 miles.

It was a good run today, but I started to bonk about 1 mile from the finish. Suddenly I was famished and then nauseated and then back to famished. I did a Gu and some sport beans, but that wasn't enough for 3 hours of running. I need to take a nutrition bar next week.

Of course, it's hard to believe I could possibly be hungry after a week in Las Vegas. The casino may beat me at the slot machine, but I make it up in the buffet line. It was nice to burn through some of the food coma sluggishness of the last week. Today when I was sweating, I'm pretty sure I smelled cream gravy.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Exchange Rate

Back from Las Vegas a bit heavier (in pounds) and lighter (in dollars).

Saturday, September 06, 2008

14 Miles

Of suckiness. When your morning run is an hour longer than your night's sleep it can't be good.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Same Sh*t, New State

After 3 years, my final Texas speeding ticket has been dismissed. Just in time since last week I got snapped at one of the stop light cameras here in California.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Labor Day Weekend Prototype

We had the prototype for Labor Day weekends.
  • Yardwork.
  • Went to the park.
  • Went to a baseball game (Padres v Rockies) and got sunburned.
  • Hung out with family.
  • Went to the beach, had a picnic and a bonfire.
  • Complained about going back to work.
Yep-that's pretty much the textbook definition of Labor Day Weekend.