Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Runner's Almanac Day 46, 4 miles

Today I did a tempo run – long sections at a faster pace – probably even faster than my fastest 5k, based on my final time. It’s true, one day, a run can be hard at only 3 miles, a week later 4 miles feels tough, but rejuvenating and purposeful. I was glad to have gotten this run in today, since I hadn’t run since the 12 miles on Saturday. I also want to keep training for the half-marathon I have scheduled this weekend. San jose, here I come! Do you know the way? (That joke may elicit groans)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 44-45, recovery

The soreness I feel in my legs reminds me of the pain post-LA Marathon. It's not as intense, but every time I get up from a seated position, it hurts enough that I slow down my walking pace until, a few moments later, I am back to normal. And then I sit, get up, and put on my old lady act again. The combination of Saturday's long run, the fall, and Sunday's yoga session, had a noticeable effect on my body. Of course, post-LA Marathon, I couldn't move at all for the rest of the day. The hurt was emanating from the inside out. So I take it easy these two days, ice and elevate.

Happy recovery!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 43, yoga

I go to kundalini yoga today as a much needed strength training session. I still have some discomfort in my leg from yesterday's fall posted just below, so I keep in mind not to do anything that will increase the pain. Today's class participants consist of my aunt and I and about 5 women in various stages of their pregnancy. This class is open to them and the instructor keeps their needs and bodies in mind. Some of the yoga is relaxing, but some is noticeably more intense. In one particular series of movements, we sit with our legs tucked under our bodies and then perform variations of a sort of vertical see-saw. Glad I'm doing cross-training today - Always worth it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 42, 12 miles

Today was our scheduled 12 mile long run. I have not run 12 miles since the LA Marathon, and only a few times before then, so I was apprehensive this morning when I finally got out of bed. It was a “race day” like feeling – excitement mixed with a little bit of fear, mixed with a little bit of “what the hell am I doing?”. I have a passing notion of not going at all. After the run, I have an afternoon of working my second job – a lot of standing on my feet after hours of pounding on them. But in my running, I am determined, and know I need this mileage before my upcoming half-marathon. When I do finally wake up, it is about half an hour past my intended get-up time. Yikes! My mind races on everything I will need to carry – strap on here, stick in that pocket there. Water, food, sunglasses sunblock, Band-Aids, alcoholic wipes. I grab extra Band-Aids just in case. You never know.

I hope the day is not as warm as the unexpected autumnal heat trend we have been having this week. Of course it is never that hot by the beach but even a little bit of sun can make the difference between slightly pleasant and slightly unbearable. Once there, I join my group – we are about 25 today – and introduce myself to my running partner, Theresa. Soon, we are off. Within a mile of our run, it happens, what we all fear (no, I didn’t get hit by a car) but I did I trip on a rock, fall down hard and scrape my knee. Luckily, my fall did not create an avalanche of other runners becoming beachside road kill. As I get up and prepare to rejoin Theresa, a runner behind me wisely recommends I take some time. I look at my knee. Blood is gently spilling from the small wounds. Hmmm… He’s right. I grab the alcoholic wipes and Band-Aids I brought and start cleaning it up. Unfortunately, the Band-Aids don’t stick since the blood hasn’t ceased. I decide to run the mile back to the senior center and get some additional first aid. Although I would have probably just run in that condition, I didn’t want to scare any of the children with my blood spattered knee. Not a good early morning sight. So I clean up and meet up with the group at the 3 mile mark. If I had to fall today, at least it happened early in the run – Now I have 9 miles to go!

Aside from that adventure, the run was great. Really really great. I had never run to the Marina and the way the sun sparkled off the water was truly pretty. We went a little further before realizing we missed our cut off point, so our total mileage for the day was a little over 12 miles. The last couple of miles was difficult, and it helped that I played musical chairs with my racing buddies – More distractions make for running to go by that much quicker.

Once again, the route was filled with different runners, most notably the various Roadrunner groups who recently started their training. You can’t miss them with their orange shirts. And you can’t miss us with our shirts either. But I gotta say, I do like orange. I guess that’s where the extra $60 in the roadrunner membership fees goes.

After the run, I meet up with a co-worker who happened to be in the area. After that? I collapse…as in fall asleep. I have the whole afternoon to work – so much for an all day recovery! But as far as being ready for the half-marathon next week? I’m sure I won’t be the only one with a scraped knee.

Happy running!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 41, Water

It's already been 41 days since starting this blog? Wow, time flies when you're running and writing. I'm resting up today for our 12 mile long run tomorrow. Constantly reminding myself to drink plenty of water, before the afternoon. I've noticed that I don't drink as much as I should which can leave me dehydrated on run days. I remember to do this most of the morning, but realize well into the afternoon that I still have water left in my canteen, and that I have replaced my H20 intake with coffee. According to a nutritionist who spoke to La Leggers a few weeks ago, the appropriate daily water intake is measured by taking your body weight, swapping out the unit of pounds for ounces, and dividing that by half. The Mayo Clinic website addresses daily water intake here, and mentions the "8 x 8 rule", eight 8oz glasses a day. This roughly equates to the previous equation, if you weigh about 130 lbs. The Mayo website says that although this is not a scientific rule, it is a a good rule of thumb. They recommend more fluid intake for men than women, probably based on the fact that average weight in men is higher.

Happy drinking!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 40

The weather this evening had a slight smokey after taste. There are fires in Southern California, not in my area, but still the air seemed to carry that burn far and wide. I ran a little over 4 miles outdoors with short intervals. Boy, intervals aren't easy. Today was a reminder that no matter how "easy" it has become (easy is relative here), running is a difficult sport. No ball, no fancy choreography, no team members, no court necessary. In fact, its simplicity makes it harder. More focus required. Less distraction, apart from the distractions in our heads. But these harder days just make us stronger. Enjoy the ride.

Happy running!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 39, Charity groups

It is the season that two of the big charity running groups are starting their training in the next week or so. I have received mailers for both Team in Training and the National Aids Marathon training program. Team in Training raises funds for research against leukemia and lymphoma. Both groups offer mentor support and participants are usually required to raise a minimum of money toward the cause. I think $1500 is the minimum required for Team in Training. Team in Training has a variety of races and triathlons they take part in, and the Aids marathon program focuses on training for the Los Angeles Marathon. When I ran LA in May, there was a friendly group of the Aids program runners in my pace group. I don't remember noticing any Team in Training runners there, but I do remember the largest running group - Students Run LA. Anyone who was there remembers the ocean of bright green t-shirts that spotted the entire race. To learn about this group, there is a documentary about them that plays occasionally on public television.

Of note, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation also has a training program which started in August for the inaugural Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon.

Since October is national breast cancer awareness month, I'd be interested of any charity running training programs, local or national, linked to this cause. You would think there would be. Anyone familiar with a group I don't know about?

Happy running!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 38, Autumn is here

I ran outside today for about 2.5 miles mostly hills, nearly 1 mile on a steep incline, and pretty much the same going back down. Still warm outside despite the fact that today is officially the first day of autumn. I guess we can't always rely on the weather correlating precisely with the solar calendar. Nevertheless, it is officially a runner's favorite season, so enjoy!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 37

In anticipation of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month , please consider using any of your October races as an opportunity to raise money to find a cure for this disease. Or, donate an amount of money yourself that corresponds to the length of the race you are running - $5 for a 5k, $10 for a 10k, $13 for a half-marathon, and $26 for a marathon. Any little bit helps. If you are in the Los Angeles area, consider donating the money you raise to the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center or the John Wayne Cancer Institute Breast Center in Santa Monica.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 36

The map of 5ks, marathons, and everything in between has certainly grown this season in Southern California . Two upcoming inaugural events are the Malibu Marathon and Half-Marathon on November 15, and the Santa Barbara International Marathon on December 6. Both are beautiful and intriguing locales that promise spectacular views. By looking at its online promotional tools, the Malibu race already has it's own unique attitude - a blend of cool, laidback and trendy - a truly Malibu vibe. With autumn chock full of options, however, runners will need to be choosey on which races to participate in. Over-training and the cumulative cost of race frees, travel, and other incurred expenses, can make this sport expensive. But don't worry if you can't attend every race your heart desires. You could always attend as a volunteer or a spectator and cheer on your fellow runners. We all know how valuable that is.

Happy running!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 35

This morning's run with the Leggers clocked in at 5 miles. "It's only 5 miles!", a group mentor joked during our pre-run group talk, since last saturday we completed 10 (I did mine on Sunday). Although 5 miles seemed like not a lot, it had a noticeable effect on my body. Maybe it's the combination of two runs in a 14 hour period that makes today feel harder that expected. It's always fun to run Saturday mornings, even when the boardwalk is a traffic jam, as it is now, since the LA Roadrunners have also started training season. As long as everyone runs responsibly, I don't mind. And don't forget to cheer other groups on as you pass them by!

Happy running :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 34

So It is Run@Work day today. As much as I would have like to, I did not run to work, or run during work, but I did run after work. The weather had a sort of heavy monsoon-like feeling. I kept waiting for the sky to erupt and shed a few tears, but that never happened. I did feel the results of a bad stomach ache from last night. Today's 3.5 miles was more difficult than Wednesday night's run - which was meditative and carefree! Our running is like a barometer for how our bodies are feeling, inside and out.

Healthy running!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 32

The beautiful runners. I had seen them from my car window before, huddled happily on Wilshire Blvd in front of Top to Top. Tan, blonde, athletic, happy. True, this is only an embellished description of the runners who gather in front of the Santa Monica store every Wednesday night. But when glancing from my car after a long day at work, anyone running, or about to run, looks pretty good from where I'm sitting.

Today, I finally planned on joining Top to Top for a Wednesday night group run. I had chatted with fellow LA Legger Leslie earlier today about trying it out. She has run with them before and likes it. So had another girl from our group. I like Top to Top. They have good running shorts, and they give Leggers a 10% discount. But adding another running club to the one I finally committed to this training season was a tall order. Ultimately, I knew I needed extra mileage this week, so I decided to commit. If I can mentally commit to getting there, then I will get my run in. Otherwise, it's a night on the couch catching up on Seinfeld reruns...for the fifth time. So off to the store I went.

Once I get there, a large group of people were chatting, stretching, and getting ready. Standing amongst them, it turns out that they all looked, really, just like me. They were just happy to run. Besides, aren't all runners beautiful?

I signed in, grabbed free Gu (bonus!) and took a little browse through the store. Outside, there were a few exhibitors including Saucony who had loaner running shoes available. As I waited for the "go", or however they planned to coral everyone into the 5k, 5 mile, and 10k groups, I spotted a familiar face from La Leggers. Good!

6:30pm came and went, 6:35pm, 6:40pm. Our start time was delayed by sales (which in the retail world is always #1 priority). The store rep gave a longish report of sponsors and other promotional tie-ins. Then, he started sending groups out like spitfire, first with the 10k group: "14 minute/mile, go!...13 minute/mile, go!" I looked around. No one was going. Was there a store representative supposed to lead them? Apparently not. I waited for the start for the 5 mile group. Before I knew it, my familiar face from Leggers grabbed my arm and commandeered me to join her friends in the 10K. I didn't want to do the 10K since I knew I would be stuck running in the dark with no light or reflective gear. But at this point, she took no excuses, besides "this way, you get to see the ocean!". So we started running north bound on a small incline. The group expanded from there, and soon about 12 people were spread out across the street. The familiar face pumped her arms telling me she likes to run hills fast to get them over with. So I let her. My mid-week run was about to become a 10K race! 14 mile/hour runners these folks were not! Runners slowly passed me as I kept to my roughly 11 mile/hour pace. I was just about 5-6 seconds behind the nearest group when they crossed a major street, or rather "jayran", to the other side. Oh oh. This group just committed my biggest pet peeve. I decided to continue in a different direction. My once upon a time running buddy Salome can tell you that I believe strongly in adhering to traffic laws. Run on a crosswalk, avoid jay walking, and wait for the appropriate cross signal. This is not only important safety wise, but it also gives runners the respect they deserve. If a runner doesn't abide by traffic laws when running, then that's one more person who thinks runners shoudn't be on the road, period.

So I detached myself from the group and went on my own familar route and back to the store for a little over 4 miles. night had already fallen, and numerous runners were navigating the dark streets, many of them solo. I later learned from Leslie that she too often ran on her own but simply adhered to the route set out by the store.

So my impression of the Top to Top running group? It's a good place to meet up with your friends, grab some free gu and be a beautiful runner adored by the passerbys driving on Wilshire Blvd. It is not an organized club with leaders and set pace groups. If you are looking for something structured, I would suggest looking elsewhere first.

For runners who do run the Top to Top run and for store managers as well, I advise two things: First, mind traffic laws, and second, wear reflective clothing or carry headlamps/lights. And please don't cross the street unsafely in the dark, now that would not be a beautiful runner.

Happy running!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 31

At the cusp of autumn, the weather is just too perfect not to go for a run. How lucky are we? I did some steep hills around UCLA. If the inclines on some of these were any steeper, and if you were watching me from a helicopter, I may have looked like I was just walking really fast. Hill training is a special process. I actually love to run hills. It's a rewarding challenge that not only strengthens us mentally, but improves our speed and endurance. I ran about 4 miles, completing the last mile or so at about my 10K pace, since I had to run to a meditation class. Turns out, running and meditation goes hand in hand. Or hand on foot. Whatever works.

By the way, Friday, September 18 is the National Road Runners Club's Run at Work Day. The website recommends 35 minutes of running or walking before, during, or after work. So run to it!

Happy running!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 30

I took a 10 minute break this morning to do a quick browse of the Westwood newsstand. I already have Runner's World and Fitness magazines since they are home-delivered, so I did a quick survey of the health mags and found the next magazine I keep in my mental reference that covers the sport - Women's Running. I leafed through quickly and saw that one of my favorite elite runners, Kara Goucher, is featured in an article. Great! Yes, I'll take it! So, I take the item over to the owner to ring it up, who glances at the magazine. Below, is a recreation of our conversation:

The newsstand owner, let's call him Lou (Imagine a middle-aged Caucasian man with dirty blond hair and a laid-back beachy attitude, a nice guy) in a relaxed semi-focused conversational tone, says: "It would be nice to find some time to go for a run"

Naz: Yes, the weather has been good for it.

Lou: I think it's both, you know, a mixture of the mind and body, more about the mind actually.

Naz: Yes, I agree.

Lou: You may not think so, but that's how I feel.

Naz: Yes, it's both!

I don't know if Lou is a runner, but his remarks, infers that he probably is - or at least has contemplated about it. I found his remarks to be almost Zen-like and very appropriate on the mental aspects of running. I think the mind-body running connection is important for at least two reasons. First, in order to run, to pick up that heavy foot and thigh and throw it, cautiously, in front of the other, the mind has to be strong enough to support that function. And not just the physical function, but the mental function. When you're running in the heat for hours, or just entering your second mile, how do you erase thoughts like "Why, am I doing this hellish act to myself?" It's easy to stop, and fall short of your goal. Your mental focus gets you to that place you need to get to. Second, running, especially long runs, are times when you can exercise your mind. I like to think of it as a time to meditate, but other runners may enjoy this time to reflect on anything from their daily task lists to the meaning of life. Truly is the skilled and peaceful runner who can pound the pavement and mentally multi-task at the same time.

Thanks "Lou"!

Also, I'm adding two new runs to my "Races to Consider" section that are new to the scene. The first is a nationwide half-marathon series called 13.1 Marathon featured in cities around the country including Los Angeles. The second I found in Women's Magazine - The Inaugural Women's Half Marathon series in St. Petersburg, Florida. Check them out!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 29

I used to get together with my friend Salome on Sundays when we were preparing for the LA Marathon. So since I had to miss running with the group yesterday, it was nice to reclaim my Sundays as a day to run long. The cool weather this weekend has been ideal. You can sweat all you want but you may never show for it, except for the redness in your face and the determination in your eyes. My goal was to run 10 miles today to keep on track with the group. I decided on my course in advance - A 10 mile expansion of my usual neighborhood route. Now I have not run 10 miles in a long time, so I felt the difference between 8 miles and 10 miles easily in my body. I just started to feel tired- not hallucinogenic - believe me, that'll come later - but just the beginnings of fatigue. Mental games are useful when your body isn't too happy - Mind over matter, one foot in front of the other, you're one stop closer.

My favorite part was running past the farmer's market - Once, twice, three times. Fruit, olives, flowers, coffee, arts and crafts - It's nice to look at something to change up the scenery. Next time, I'll by a flower and stick it in my fuel belt, but that'll mean I would have to stop. If I time it right, I could stop exactly at one of my one-minute walk breaks.

Afterward, I determined that the route was actually more like 10.6 miles which I finished in an average pace of 11:20. Now I'm icing my legs.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 28

I was at Phidippides running store in Encino today to restock on the Bonk Breaker peanut butter and jelly energy bars I have been raving about. Saturdays seem to be theit busiest days at the store - There is always a highly concentrated area of customers trying on shoes, or waiting to try on shoes. I ran into one of the ladies from the Moving Comfort bra clinic from several weeks back today. She had told me about track runs tuesday nights at Birmingham high school that I have been eager to try. Just recently she tripped and fell at a track practice, hurting herself to the point of needing to go to the hospital ( I think she said she had a concussion, but don't remember the specifics). The moral of the story is, no matter what surface, runners, on occasion, fall. So whether it's around in a circle on the track, between tree branch stumps and rocks on the trail, or even along the sand on the beach, watch out! It happens all the time. And for the possibility of cuts and scrapes, carry a few bandaides with you. It is also handy in the event of a painful blister on a long run.

So at Phidippides, I purchased my box of Bonk Breakers (12 in a box plus discount) and learned about a new charity race in Pasadena called Race for the Rescues, benefitting seven non-profit animal animal organizations. The hillarious Jane Lynch from the new tv show "Glee" and the popular film "Best in Show" will be one of the hosts. 5K run/walk at the Pasadena Rose Bowl on October 4.

Check it out!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 27

No running today. And since I have to miss my group long run tomorrow for a dentist appointment, I have begun to mentally prepare myself for a 10 mile run solo on Sunday. Here's hoping that I wake up early enough to get out before my other Sunday commitments.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 26

After a few days off, I went for an early evening run outside. Using my internal GPS, I ran 5.25 miles. When I verified the route online, was happy to know my internal GPS is pretty right on - the online tool measured it at 5.29 miles.

Happy running!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 23 thru 25

Took a needed hiatus - Besides some strength training Monday, no running.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 22

It's Labor Day weekend. My plan was to get away on a road trip somwhere up the coast like beautiful Cambria or laid back Monterey. My friend Adam also has planned to get away this weekend to Mammoth with the hopes of cross country skiing. For our separate reasons, our weekend California adventures were not to be, so we decided to enjoy a daylong California trip somewhere nearby. We may not beHuell Howser, but we were both eager for get away for a few hours somewhere new in California. So Adam picked me up around 9:30a and we headed south, to Orange County.

Although a little over an hour away on the freeway, we both agreed that Orange County was foreign enough territory to be considered a mini-vacation. For me, it was the multitude of tanned blondes. For Adam, it was men in untucked Hawaiian shirts. But like Los Angeles, Orange County is a pretty diverse place. We were mainly in Alisa Viejo/Laguna Niguel so maybe the percentange of blonde Hawaiian shirt wearing locals is higher than the OC population as a whole.

Our trip focused on three activities. Hiking, yoga, and "other". The "other" consisted of checking out a popular Orange County natural foods store that Adam raved about called Mother's. If you are ever in the area (they have a ton of OC locations) and you are a health food afficionado, this place is awesome. Try the green goddess juice on the menu. I'd ask for extra spinach if I were you.

We took a class at Core Power Yoga. Now, Core Power yoga is one fancy studio. The bathrooms alone are spa-quality. The not so nice surprise was that all of the yoga classes are held in the heat. I had never done a heated yoga class before, so I was expecting passing out somewhere between the sun salutation and the namaste. Although we both made it through the induced heat exhaustion, I felt that the class was lacking in enough instruction especially for more beginner yoga practitioners. The teacher didn't offer enough variation for those of us who couldn't balance our body weight on our hands. New customers do receive a full week of classes for free. So if you're in the area and can pretty much do your practice on your own, check this place out.

After our yoga class, we headed for more fun in the heat, this time outdoors. We trekked nearly 4 miles in the Aliso Creek trail in the Aliso and Wood Canyon Wilderness Park which has approximately 3,900 acres of open land. In addition, it is home to plenty of many plants and animals. For me, the highlight of our walk was the delightful and unexpected sight of a beautiful deer up close and personal. The deer was so still when I locked eyes with it, it looked like a statue. Once I got out my camera phone, here's a a picture I took of the creature walking away from us into the cooler shade of the trees:

Despite the labor day weekend, we were one of very few walkers that afternoon and the trail was more popular among bicyslists. It was a hot summer afternoon but thankfully we were helped along with several cool breezes. Finally, I committed to a long walk after Saturday's long run. Orange county has many areas for hiking in the form of parks, trails,and marshes, all of which can be explored at the excellent website OC Check it out;

Happy walking!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 21

I look forward to Saturdays for one reason and one reason mainly - the group run with the LA Leggers. This is why I go to sleep early on Fridays and look forward to the weekend. Otherwise, I don't even like Saturdays. It's a day of recovery for me. I have activities and chores I would like to do, but the recovery aspect usually weighs out the chore aspect. I don't like to feel useless, but Saturdays have this effect . So when I go running early in the morning, I have accomplished and received more joy than the rest of the day will ever offer. And today was no exception.

Our goal today was 8 miles. I had re-stocked on the Bonk Breakers peanut butter and jellys from Phidippides and found, again, that it provides enough substance to fuel me up prior to a long run (and I didn't even eat the whole thing!). That and a few bites of an apple, and we were off and running at 7:00. Despite the long weekend, there were about 30 people in our pace group. The oceanside was also filled with various other running and walking groups (the roadrunners will start their training program next weekend and join us too). Although this high capacity can create traffic, it is also a treat to run past other groups in the morning. I have found runners to be a happy bunch, so we all wave and greet each other - strangers and friends alike.

The portion of our run through Venice beach is especially flavorful in this respect since it is full of the colorful locals. Whether you are a runner or not, most people out at the beach in the morning seems to be pretty happy. This includes one man, whom a runner behind me referred playfully as "the king of venice", who, shirtless, jogged along side us with his tall walking stick while singing something gleefully, though indecipherable. We ran as far as the Sidewalk Cafe and Smallworld Bookstore, and turned around back to Santa Monica. Thank you to the store proprietor who took a break from hosing his store front to spray us with some mist. It was hot this morning even though it was still early and Santa Monica is normally blessed with relatively fair weather. Our goal next week next week is 10 miles. Until then, happy running!

Also, this weekend is the Disneyland Half-Marathon race. I just finished reading Sue Ann Jaffarian's "Thugs and Kisses", the third installment of her enjoyable Odelia Grey mystery series. Jaffarian walked the 5K portion of that course. Check out her blog entry about it. And if you like mysteries, read her books - Her heroine is a walker who enjoys early morning treks in Newport Beach.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 20

The Pasadena Marathon registration fee is a steal at $72. Registration at this rate is available through labor day only. Pasadena is a lovely place to run. Here's hoping that this year's event will not be tampered by rain as it was last year. Check out the Pasadena Marathon website for registration information.

Also, I just received October's issue of Runner's World magazine. I was pleasantly surprised with September's cover which featured a gorgeously chiseled male runner, who is a local elite from Southern California. Most of my delivered issues feature women on the cover. Is this a marketing strategy, where women subscribers receive more women on their covers than men, or do most covers just feature women? October's issue is a great read so far; including an article on healthy eating from PBS and New York Times food writer Mark Bittman (turns out, he's a runner too). Blog readers may recognize him as one of the chefs who travelled with Mario Batalli and Gwenyth Paltrow to Spain for a PBS cooking documentary program. Interestly, this new issue mentions that the Sarah Palin "I'm a Runner" interview from a few months ago is now the most popular online story in history. Check it out here.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 19

If you live in Los Angeles or the vicinity, the warm weather and smoldering heat due to the firestorms may have affected your regular outdoor running plans. Though the fire has not affected the air quality around UCLA, the heat is strong enough that my planned lunchtime running was not to be. Instead, I opted to go on the treadmill at the gym. Treadmill running is useful since you can gauge your pace and distance and also add hills. I ran about 25 minutes between 10.5 and 11 minute miles with some fartleks (speed play) at my 5K pace which is 9:40. In the evening, I did some pilates at the Absolute Yoga Studio.

Happy running/strength training!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 18

It turns out Wednesdays are one of my favorite rest days, so no running today.

I have added two races to the "Races to Consider" section on the right. These are brand new races making their inaugural debut this fall. First, Women Against Gun Violence presents the "Victory over Violence" 5K/10K in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the shooting rampage at the North Valley Jewish Community Center in Granada Hills (the site doesn't mention that the shooter also killed a Phillipino postal worker on that day). The race will be held October 4, 2009 at CSUN. Interesting that the title is very similar to another Valley-based charity run called "Victory for Victims", a run that supports the Center for Assault Treatment Services, held in the spring.

The other debut run is in Riverside - The 5K/10K Citrus Heritage Run on September 26, 2009. The event supports "Smart Riverside Digital Inclusion Program" that provides computers and technology education for undeserved communities in that city.

Check it out!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Runner's Almanac - Day 17

Ran 4.2 miles outdoors - Mostly interval training. Mileage estimate courtesy of It's not my favorite mileage tool since the advertisements get in the way of the map, but it is still useful. As far as other online tools, I used to use which is now part of Their mapping feature is good except you need a username and password to login. In both of these sites, routes can be saved and shared with other online users. You can also purchase a Garmin watch with GPS, which continues to be on my Christmas list.

Happy running!