Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chubby, Underachieving Runner's Bible

In the summer I started pushing myself towards a goal running.  I track my progress on my phone.  I learned a lot about myself and about myself running.  I am not sure what I learned is universal, but just true for me, which is nearly like the real Bible (up for interpretation) .  My list of lessons is way shorter than the real Bible.

On January 1, 2013 I'll reset my iPhone app to zero miles, and see how far I get next year.

Before I list what I learned, there are some self deprecating caveats.  I am not a real runner, or what you might think of as a runner.  I see folks who are good at stuff and get intimidated.  DO NOT get intimidated by my running.  I ran 350 miles, which is less than a mile a day.  You, most likely, went that far as well.  I happened to have run the miles.  I am not lean.  I don't have long legs.  I don't run fast.  I'm not sporty.  I'm fumbly.

Here is my list:

  • Run up hill as much as you can, then walk until you recover. 
  • Push yourself a bit downhill, but not so much that you fall.
  • Tip your tailbone under and engage your abdominals while you are running.
  • Relax.
  • Lead with your toes and your head.
  • When your feet or knees start to hurt, get a new pair of shoes.
  • Relax.
  • Your shoes will wear out. 
  • Dress for weather that is 15 degrees warmer than it is outside.  This is good in the winter, and bad in the hot summer.
  • Do not run and listen to Verdi's Requiem.  It is not relaxing.
  • Stevie Wonder really is a wonder!
  • If you have to, walk.
  • If you can, go faster or farther, but not necessarily both.
  • Run with someone you love. 
  • When running alone, remember running with the people you love. 
  • When running alone, listen to music, but not when you have a friend along.
  • Not all people I know who run are good running partners.
  • Carry a cell phone and pepper spray.  The cell phone, if you need help, the spray to ward off dogs and make you feel safer in the woods. 
  • If you fall down, get up.  
  • If you are really injured, use your cell phone and don't try to get up.
  • Drink a lot of water.
  • Run when you go new places.  Get up early and see a place before everyone wakes up!
  • Say hello to everyone you see on your path.
  • Don't push yourself too hard, or you'll get a headache and not be able to run tomorrow.
  • Don't compare yourself to other runners.  Comparison is the thief of joy.
  • Your body is stronger than you think it is.
  • Running hurts a bit, but the more you do it, the easier it is.
  • If you don't feel like running, get ready and go before your mind tells you not too, you have about 5 seconds.
  • If you run at sea level you will feel like a rock star for about a week, then it will feel just like your mountain elevation.
  • Don't get caught up on time and distance and miss the beauty outside (I take photos).
  • Have fun.

If I were you, I'd hold loosely to my observations.  They are probably a moving target, except for the running to the Verdi Requiem.

I'm really proud of myself and running so much this year.  I worked hard at it.  I have nothing but this photo of a number to show for it on the outside.  On the inside, I can't wait to go on my next run.  I can't wait to get all my wiggles out.  I can't wait to see the woods on the trails in my town, or the streets of a new town or park.
Took a spill on the trail below.

My favorite run.

A run this fall in Central Park.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Nerd Protege

Our clan is pretty hooked on the written word.  My parents read to me, and started with AA Milne.  We did the same for our two.  While in New York City this fall, we visited our friends from our imagination.  It turns out that Pooh Bear is a real stuffy toy.  He and his friends live in the NYC public library in the children's section.  It was 'as it should be' to meet them in person with my parents and my children.

My son, who was a gifted reader at age five, has now read half of the books in this library (okay, maybe paternal hyperbole).  We did enjoy the smell, architecture and quiet of so many books.  We maybe were too happy to be there.

Grandma, Pooh, and the Kids!

P.S.  I hate this gui google!  But am too lazy to edit the HTML.  Sorry the pictures are all jumbled.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I love mushrooms. I'm not going to eat any of these.... yet. I think one is edible, but not worth the risk.
I live/run in the woods, and these beauties all came out after it rained. They're gone with the frost now.
They are as beautiful as roses to me, which makes me just like Oscar the Grouch, in a small way.

Friday, December 14, 2012


I took these at a street fair in Albany, California.  They caught my eye because I enjoy Art Neuveau.  A selection of roots is different than a selection of seasonal goddesses,  in a more down-to-earth way.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Euchre Bar

I've been hiking with a group of geezers for a few months.  My favorite geezer is my dad, whose real name is Papa, but really they are all wonderful.

These are some photos of a hike we took today, to a footbridge on the North Fork of the American river.  What I love about hiking, with these guys especially, is that there is so much to discover.  There are small stories, big stories, and mysteries all around (which is why I brought my camera).

It was only a 4 mile hike, but it was 1700 feet down to the river and back.  Don't let anyone tell you down is easier than up!

Here is our hike from my perspective:
My dad makes a plan, because that's what he does.

Note the bit of mist in the river basin.

The fancy trial signage.

Down!  Give me a break, literally.

We caught up to the mist.

Forest service foot bridge for....a lady in her 30's and 6 guys in their 60's?
Your  (or your grandparent's) tax dollars at work.

Mystery memorial.  Don't look down