Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Run Like A Child

On Saturday I "ran" the Southern California Half Marathon in Irvine. Actually, I only ran the first 3 miles, then I walked. I'm really focused on getting my butt to fit into my jeans which means I need to cut calories. By the end of the first mile, I knew the I didn't have enough gas in my tank to run for 13 miles. I ran to mile 3, then I decided to conserve energy and walk the race. Discretion is the better part of valor and all that.

It was really sweet race. Probably a quarter of the 6,000 participants were kids from Students Run L.A (SRLA).  The organization works with at-risk kids and helps them train to run the Los Angeles Marathon. Endurance sports teach personal discipline and mental toughness; both are skills that at-risk kids need in abundance.  I was a little worried because endurance running is hard on developing bodies and some of these kids were elementary school aged.  Most of the kids did fine. As in any group of first-time endurance athletes, there were certainly a few who needed to be better prepared but most of the kids completed the course.  (Also, my pet peeve - none of the kids had a water belt or hydration backpack.) 

It was incredibly sweet seeing the kids receive their finisher's medals. Most of the race  volunteers were students at a local high school from a fairly affluent neighborhood.  I hope they respected all those "at-risk" kids for completing the challenge.  In the last 3 years, I've seen thousands of people cross marathon and endurance ride finish lines.  Finisher's have a look of personal satisfaction that's hard beat.  Here's hoping the SRLA kids carry that sense of accomplishment with them for rest of their lives.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


This is exactly what I'm trying to focus on this year.  No less than the Wall Street Journal agrees that it's time to slow ourselves down a bit.

Given that our days are limited, our hours precious, we have to decide what we want to do, what we want to say, what and who we care about, and how we want to allocate our time to these things within the limits that do not and cannot change. In short, we need to slow down.

- John Freeman from his book "The Tyranny of E-Mail"

Hat tip to the About.com Contemporary Literature RSS feed for the link.

Monday, January 04, 2010

A Night Not At the Opera

This is my annual post to kick-off the new year. Luckily, I didn't make a resolution to be on time since I'm already a few days late. Actually, I don't make resolutions. Instead, I try to let go of things that aren't making me happy.

For 2010, I'm letting go of my proclivity to schedule every minute, day and weekend. If there's a slot, I'll fill it. Even that's not enough for me. On the way a scheduled activity, I'll squeeze in a trip to Starbucks, then stop by Costco to return something. It's no wonder I get to the end of the day frazzled and frustrated by half started projects. This was especially apparent to me in the month of December when I was too exhausted to even blog. I had posts written in my head, photos to share. I just couldn't focus long enough to post.  I was simply overwhelmed and over-scheduled.  Overwhelmed by wonderful things, but overwhelmed nonetheless.

If there's one moment the symbolizes my over-scheduling problem in 2009, it was the night not at the opera. In 2009, we had season tickets to the opera for the first time. I've never had both the money to spend and partner who'd go to the opera with me.  I'm grateful for both.

I was really looking forward to the final opera of the season, Madama Butterfly. Unfortunately, I gave Steve the wrong date and he put the wrong date in his calendar.  On Friday the night before the show, I said I thought we had tickets.  He said, no next week.  I was pretty sure we had seats for Saturday, but I just couldn't get myself to get back in the car and go get the tickets out of my desk drawer.  I was home, exhausted and I already had my jammies on.  Steve always keeps a more accurate calendar than I do anyway.  The next day I started my Saturday grind - long run with the marathon team, something in the afternoon, etc...by the time I remembered to go and check the tickets it was Wednesday.  Butterfly floated away and we'd missed it.

A lot of things could have gotten us to that opera.  I could have checked the date before I gave it to Steve.  I could have put it correctly in my calendar.  I could have remembered to go to get the tickets after my Saturday run.  I didn't do any of that because I was simply overwhelmed, over-burdened, over-scheduled and damn near exhausted.

So that's what I'm going to let go of in 2010, my need to over-schedule and over commit.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Hot 100 - Final Update - Warm Memories Edition

My final check-in with South Beach Steve's Hot 100.  A huge thank you to Steve for hosting the challenge and encouraging all of us to stay focused on our goals during the holidays.  I certainly did much better than I would have without the challenge.  I didn't hit 100% completion, but I was pretty good despite 2 major colds, moving, and extended holiday and business travel.

Thanks Steve!

Weekly Goals


This week
Final Result
No wheat or potatoes Sunday – Thursday.

I've been surprisingly good with this goal.
Hill or Interval training every week.

And not so fantastic on this one.

Each week do 2 sessions each of Upper Body and Core.

Or this one.

Year End Goals

Final Result
Prepare to run a personal best at either the San Antonio or Las Vegas Half Marathon.

Lose 15 lbs (bumped up from 10)

As of January 1, I hit the target.  Fifteen pounds - gone!

See all the updates here.

Friday, January 01, 2010

2010 Race Calendar

SoCal Half Marathon
January 9, Irvine, California

Rock N Roll Mardi Gras Half Marathon 
February 28, New Orleans, Louisiana

Solvang Century *Steve's Event*
March 13, Solvang, California

Rock N Roll Dallas Half Marathon 
March 14, Dallas, Texas

Lehigh Valley Half Marathon
April 25, Allentown, Pennsylvania

Rock N Roll San Diego
June 6, San Diego, California

Tour of the California Alps - Death Ride *Steve's Event*
July 8, Alpine, California

Wine Country Half Marathon
July 19, Napa to Sonoma, California

Cool Breeze Century *Steve's Event*
August 21, Ventura, California

Rock N Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon 
September 19, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Rock N Roll San Jose Half Marathon 
October 3, San Jose, California

Rock N Roll Denver Half Marathon
October 17, Denver, Colorado

Rock N Roll Los Angeles
October 24, Los Angeles 

El Tour de Tucson *Steve's Event*
November 20, Tucson, AZ

Rock N Roll Las Vegas 
December 5, Las Vegas, Nevada