Tag Archives: TRAVEL

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 28

Welcome to today’s post in the continuing saga of Running, Writing, and Traveling for Life.  If you are interested in listening to this, please click on this link:

I’ve been running competitively, off and on, ever since Junior High School.  I’ve probably had a bit more than my share of successes, some colossal failures, and several injuries, with some muscles and tendons breaking down more than once. 

The most recent have been calf cramps in both legs which I have had before.  I did rest, but even after a few weeks of rest and then gentle running, I experienced occasional twinges in both calves.  But when we left for a Stanford Study/Travel Tour of Italy a few weeks ago, the twinges had not occurred, and I planned to do some running, interspersed with touring.

Alas, that was not to be!  This turned out to be a “cross-training” trip.  I had failed to catch this fine print in the tour brochure:  “You must be capable of extensive walking-two to four miles-in historic centers, in museums and on city tours, as well as extended periods of standing on excursions.  Participants will encounter uneven terrain, including some dirt and cobblestoned paths, and must be able to walk at least 20 minutes up and down hills in the Tuscan towns and at Gargonza.  At the Palio, participants must be able to sit outside for several hours on metal bleacher seats with limited legroom.”  I really should have paid attention to this last bit about the Palio, but more about that later.

SANTA MARGHERITA PANORAMA FROM OUR ROOM AT THE CONTINENTAL HOTEL
SANTA MARGHERITA PANORAMA FROM OUR ROOM AT THE CONTINENTAL HOTEL

On the first full day of the tour we took the train from Santa Margherita in Liguria to the coastal town of Camogli, part of the Italian Riviera.  We toured the town, had lunch overlooking the beach, and then took the ferry to the Benedictine Abbey of Santa Fruttuoso.  I had planned to participate in the 3 hour walk, up and down the mountains that separated Santa Fruttuoso and Portofino, the most famous town on the Italian Riviera.  I took one look up at the steep inclines, my jet lag exhaustion kicked in, and I decided to save myself for the famous Cinque Terre hike the following day.  I joined the majority, who took the ferry from Santa Fruttuoso to Portofino.  I was glad at the time I had chosen that option, because the one hour tour of hilly Portofino pretty much wiped me out.  We saw lots of yachts, and while Portofino was pleasant, I wouldn’t call it trending!

PORTOFINO ON THE ITALIAN RIVIERA
PORTOFINO ON THE ITALIAN RIVIERA

We then took the ferry back to Santa Margherita, and it sure was a long, uphill walk from the pier to our hotel, the Continental.

That brings me to the next day.  It began with a near debacle of us getting on the semi-express to Monterosso by mistake (it was late), rather than the local, which we had tickets for.  The conductor removed most of us at the next stop, but some did not get the message and remained on board, including one of our guides who was looking for those still on the train.  We ultimately did get on the local, and were joined further down the line by the rest of our group.  One of our group said conductors do this regularly to collect extra money for their own pockets, but I only know he said it would cost an extra 11.50 euros to stay on the semi-express.  You can decide whether or not the allegation is true.   

During the brief tour of Monterosso, my right calf began to twinge.  I looked up at the steep climb up out of the town; the trail appeared to go straight up, not switched back and forth, the way the path was cut, rising out of Santa Fruttuoso the day before.  I was on the verge of bailing out of this hike as well.

Then, a tiny miracle happened.  The pain in my calf vanished.  I felt a surge of energy.  It was game on.

It wasn’t easy.  We did climb straight up for about the first twenty minutes, but then the trail swung to the left, along a ridge which had a lesser incline, leading further inland.  We began encountering lemon trees and grape vines, planted into the terraced mountainside.  We stopped and our guide, Marco, gave us a short history of the rise and fall of the lemon industry over the last 800 years, which was replaced eventually by the current wine industry.

OLD LEMON ORCHARD HIGH ABOVE MONTOROSSO
OLD LEMON ORCHARD HIGH ABOVE MONTOROSSO

 We moved on, and then mounted a series of very steep steps, until we ultimately reached the peak of the highest mountain.  From there on the bias was down, but there certainly were more steep ups as well. Along the way, we stopped at the “cat feeding” station.  As you can tell from the picture, this cat may have been past saving!   

Cat Feeding Station Along the trail to Vernazza
Cat Feeding Station Along the trail to Vernazza

After 3 hours, we spied the village of Vernazza far below and the panorama made for a breathtaking photo.  We saw the ferry that was loading the rest of our group for the trip to Portofino, but it took us 20 minutes to get down the mountain to the dock, so we missed it.

The Ferry Leaving Vernazza With Our Group, Without Us
The Ferry Leaving Vernazza With Our Group, Without Us

Fortunately, Sylvia, another one of our guides, was hiking with us, and she arranged for a private boat to take us on to Manarola, where we met up with the rest of the group.  We had an extremely challenging hike around the uphill town, then further up to meet our bus.  We first came to the car parking area (no buses there!), further up a path alongside the very narrow road (a bus couldn’t make it), and then finally up to a wider road where the bus was waiting.  I was plenty glad they had bottles of water on the bus!

The next day we took the bus from Liguria to Tuscany, where my wife and I had been a few times before.  We stayed in Gargonza, just outside Arezzo, for the next few days, and the highlight during that time was the Palio horserace in Siena.  There are several Palio celebrations all around Italy, but nothing is quite like this 800 year old grudge match.  This is a 3 lap race, run on a trucked-in dirt track laid around the center of Il Campo, and there are no rules!!!

PALIO TRACK VIEW FROM OUR SEATS
PALIO TRACK VIEW FROM OUR SEATS

Even after I had read the warning to prepare for discomfort during the Palio, I did not expect 5 hours of regular waves of pain.  We were all packed into the stadium seats with our knees pressed against the backs of those in front of us and someone else’s knees digging into our backs.  We could stand, and we did frequently, but when the Contradas’ (Neighborhoods) parades began, with all their pomp and circumstance, we did so more sparingly because we blocked the view of those next to us and behind us. 

The worst part was waiting for the race to actually start.  All 10 horses had to be in the right starting positions before the restraining rope would be dropped, starting the race.  Believe it or not, this took over 1 hour to accomplish.  Various jockeys are paid huge sums to obstruct or facilitate the start of foe or friendly Contradas.  This was mainly accomplished by a jockey not guiding his horse into the correct starting position.  Countless times we heard the starter say, “Go out!  Go out!” and the horses would leave the starting area and circle around.  Then they would be called again, according to their drawn starting position.  And countless times, the crowd would emit its disapproving whistles, typical in Europe.  And it was getting darker and darker as twilight began to close around us!

PALIO STARTING LINE WITH ROPE PULLED TAUT
PALIO STARTING LINE WITH ROPE PULLED TAUT

Suddenly, the number 10 horse bolted into his slot, the starter dropped the rope, and the race was on!  In a matter of a few seconds the horses were in the straightaway right in front of us, and in several more seconds they flashed by and went into the next turn. 

Palio-Valdimonte (Ram) Jockey Unhorsing Nicchio(Shell) in Sienna July 2 2015
Palio-Valdimonte (Ram) Jockey Unhorsing Nicchio(Shell) in Sienna July 2 2015

Then, incredibly, the jockey riding for the Valdimontone (Ram) Contrada reached across to the Nicchio (Shell) jockey to his right and yanked him off his horse!  A roar of horror rose up in the crowd, and my mind was stunned by what I had just witnessed.  I thought, “How could this even happen….”  Then I remembered that there were no rules.  And I realized how easy it was to unseat the jockey, because they were all riding bareback, with no saddles or stirrups to aid them.  The others rushed on, including the jockey-less horse.  The second and third turns in the track were literally 90 degrees, and some of the horses actually careened off the far wall on those turns.  The pace was extremely fast and the three lap race was over before we were even over the shock of seeing one jockey unhorse another.

Suddenly a man who was sitting behind us charged down the steep steps, dashed out onto the dirt track and up to the jockey who did the unhorsing.  He and a couple of others helped him off his horse and spirited him away through a tunnel to safety.  Immediately thereafter a swarm of men from the unhorsed Contrada charged onto the track from our right and the Contrada whose jockey did the unhorsing spilled out onto the track from our left, with the abandoned horse trapped between them.  Fists flew and security forces quickly drove a wedge between the two Contradas.

The next twenty minutes were super-tense.  A groom kept the horse moving back and forth between the opposing forces who continued to scream at each other, while some tried to breach the security line to get at their enemy.  Nobody actually got through, but the security line appeared to be weakening.  Finally the Carabinieri National Police forced their way in, with full riot gear.  Gradually they pushed each Contrada further and further back from the other, giving more room to the horse and the groom.  Eventually they reached a space where they could leave the track for the safety of the stables.  We then made our way down the steep steps of the stands, out onto the track, and through the closest exit, thus ending our long summer afternoon of discomfort.  I’m glad we had this incredible experience, but I don’t believe I’ll do it again!  This must be an example of what people mean when they say, “It’s a once in a lifetime experience!”

The balance of the tour lacked the excitement and tension of the Palio, but certainly worth visits.  We toured the Etruscan Hill Town of Cortona which predates the arrival of the Romans.  The Etruscan Museum is comprehensive and demonstrates the power of women in their culture.  Much of their sculptures, ceramics and other art were copied by the Romans. 

ETRUSCAN POTTERY AT THE CORTONA MUSEUM
ETRUSCAN POTTERY AT THE CORTONA MUSEUM

Their tombs were reminiscent of the Egyptians, filled with possessions from this life for use in the next one.  On the day before we left Italy we did visit an actual Etruscan Burial Ground in Cerveteri, about 50 miles north of the Rome Airport.  It was an incredibly peaceful spot and several of the tombs were filled with hunting tools, beds, tables, chairs, pots and several other useful items.  It was well worth the stop.

INSIDE AN ETRUSCAN TOMB NEAR CEVETERI
INSIDE AN ETRUSCAN TOMB NEAR CERVETERI

Another very interesting stop was the medieval town of Lucca.  It is the birthplace of composer Giacomo Puccini. There are several good restaurants, including Ristorante Puccini nearby.  The food is good and moderately priced, but they accept cash only. We also dined at the excellent Buca di Sant’Antonio which is premium priced, but worth it.  It’s a wonderful walking town, but take your map; it’s easy to get lost in the oval-walled town.  The wall is a good landmark, but it is, after all, round.  It all looks pretty much alike, particularly at night.   

The final tour stop that lingers in my memory is the gargantuan scale of the marble quarries at Carrara.  This is where Michelangelo found the huge slab of marble with which he sculptured his famous David into a figure way larger than life.  I can pull this mine into my consciousness readily.   A few pictures will do a far better job with this image than my mere words can do.  These remain captured memories in my mind’s eye.

I would like to share the good news with you, here at the end.  The rest and the “cross training” walking while we were in Italy, plus slow running when I returned home, have resulted in recovery from the calf injuries!  I am back up to my normal training regimen of running 3 days a week and walking and other cross training 2 days!!

Please let me know if you would like to know anything more about this monumental trip.  You can send a note to me in the Leave A Reply Box below.

Thanks for traveling with me in this vicarious way.

 

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 25+EPISODE 8-MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM

This blog post is also available in and audio and part video Podcast.  You can listen (and view part of) this by clicking on this link:

LINK TO RUNNING, WRITING AND RUNNING FOR LIFE +MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREECOM PODCASTS

A couple of years ago my brother, a cousin, and our spouses took day trip to Sedona, Arizona.  We had lunch at The Enchantment Resort in Boynton Canyon, and then toured the complex.  The food and service were okay, but the grounds, villas and surrounding mountains were spectacular.  We knew Sedona was a special place and vowed to return one day for a longer visit.

The opportunity arose this month for my wife and me.  We had swapped a time-share week for one at Sedona Summit Resort.  It is a large complex, with several two story buildings which house the units.  Our 1 bedroom suite was spacious and included a decent-sized kitchen and living room.  The only real drawback was we could hear the footsteps from the unit above us when the occupants walked around.  If you go, request a second floor accommodation. 

We had heard that Sedona was a spiritual area, and I noticed in the literature we received when we checked in that there was a talk about vortexes encasing several summits in the Sedona Area.  We attended the presentation, liked what we heard, and decided to hike up to a few of them.  The presenter was Barbara Korte who is an accomplished Spiritual Practitioner.  I have experienced some Shamanistic and Lifespring Meditations and have come to believe “Non-Ordinary” Reality can be real.  Some of Barbara’s experiences really stress my rational mind, but my intuitive self believes extreme experiences are possible.  For more information, visit:

BARBARA KORTE’S WEB SITE

 

Over the next couple of days we climbed trails to various heights, up Cathedral Rock, Wilson Mountain, and Warrior Rock in Boynton Canyon.   I felt serene and very “present” during these adventures in the rugged, beautiful, and rocky environs, and perhaps sensed a “spiritual electricity” in some instances.  I felt the force more strongly as we approached the base of Cathedral Rock, manifested in my vision; the two spires in the center seemed to radiate against the sky in a surreal fashion.  I had not stopped and adopted my meditative state; it just happened as we were walking along.  Later, we ran into a lady who explained that the “force” was the result of lightning hitting sandstone and fusing it into silicates, which become positively charged. What tends to happen when lightning strikes ground, is it fuses dirt and clays into the silicates, one of which is quartz.  Perhaps this does logically explain why people feel an energy in Sedona, but it seems like “Non-Ordinary” Reality to me.

However, when we climbed the base of Warrior Rock and reached the beginning of the pinnacle, we did stop, and sit, and meditate for a while.  Then along came a friendly person whom you might call a Spiritualist.  He welcomed the two of us, and then gave each of us a hand-carved red rock, in the form of a heart.  Then he climbed the last 50 feet to the pinnacle and began playing his flute.  What emanated from that flute was hauntingly beautiful and we continued our meditations.  My wife and I did capture some of this magic on our iPhones.  Please listen to these now; perhaps you can burn them onto your own DVD, if you are inspired by them:  

This was the absolute highlight of our spiritual search in Sedona.

After a while, we descended, and then headed back to the parking area.  All the way back we could hear the melodic flute.

We then drove the short distance to the Enchantment Resort.  We had made a lunch reservation and, unlike our experience 2 years ago, we were seated right away, and we thoroughly enjoyed a garden-fresh chicken salad and a hearty beef-burger with French fries, both of which we split.

In fact, we enjoyed our entire experience in Boynton Canyon so much that we decided we will stay at The Enchantment Resort when we visit Sedona again.  If you are interested in further details, please open this link in another window:

LINK TO THE ENCHANTMENT RESORT, BOYNTON VALLEY, SEDONA, ARIZONA

I had been fighting the flu, complete with aches and runny nose, and the altitude ranges from 4,000 feet to 6,500 feet at Sedona, so I limited my exercise to the hiking.  I felt mostly healed when we returned home so I did a tempo workout, rested one day, and then did a long run the next.  The runny nose returned with a vengeance, so I began allergy medication, which I believe is beginning to work.  The nasal flood has slowed to a drip.   I’m hoping to begin running again this weekend.

Now please go to the link below for the next exciting Episode of Mr. Wugidgem and the Faces of Freedom:

 

 

 

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 24+MR. WUGIDGEM AND THE FACES OF FREEDOM-EPISODE 7

Stanford University Track
Stanford University Track

For three months now, I have incorporated a long run in my weekly training. In the past I would include easy runs, but they were not generally long. My focus was on short, fast workouts to increase my speed. More often than not, I would incur an injury sometime during the year, probably because I wasn’t allowing my body to fully repair muscle tissues broken down during the speed sessions.

I believe the long, medium and slow (including walking) runs over these past three months have boosted my fundamental muscle strength to the point where I can change my intervals distance from a minimum distance of 400 meters and higher to 300, 200, and even 100 meter repeats. I will pay particular attention to being sufficiently recovered over the next day, or more likely the next two days, before doing the next running workout.

This week I did pay attention to getting sufficient rest between my runs. On Sunday I went for my long run, with plenty of walking breaks. On Monday I walked for 33 minutes, going 1.6miles. On Tuesday I did a Tempo run. On Wednesday I played 9 holes of golf. Thursday I did 200 meter speed intervals. Friday I walked for 35 minutes, covering 1.55 miles. Finally, on Saturday I walked for 31 minutes, up a steep hill and back down, 1.5 miles.

The highlight of the week was Thursday. After the golf on Wednesday I was quite tired and my lower back was stiff. I’ve been playing golf weekly with some stiffness and fatigue afterward, but this was more than normal. I had more than a little misgiving about transitioning to faster speed intervals the following day.

I felt better in the morning, although I did not feel fully rested. But I did finally convince myself to go to the track, warm-up, and then decide if I felt up to it. I started with my slow walking and jogging 1 mile warm-up, followed by 7 minutes of stretching, and then two wind sprints. I felt pretty well, so I decided to start with four repeat 200s, and then see how I felt after those.

The workout went very well. I felt relaxed from the very first repeat, with my core relaxed, good leg turnover, high-pump arm action, and full toes push-off. I did the first four repeats at my 800 meter race goal pace, and then decided to do at least two more repeats, and perhaps two more after those. I continued to feel good, so I completed four more. I had done 8 x 200s twice earlier this year, but this workout was the fastest and my maximum heart rate was 21 beats per minute slower than during one of them and 15 beats slower than the other.

As I have mentioned before, this year I am focused on having one long and slow run each week, building slowly and resting sufficiently between running workouts to minimize the risk of injury, all too common in my past.

I would say now, “So far, so good.”

 

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE16

Stanford University Track-Another View
Stanford University Track-Another View

I have been reviewing my workouts since the beginning of the year, in an attempt to unearth progress and setbacks during this 5 month period.  Because of hernia and eye operations during the first half of last year, I had spent the second half of 2013 doing a lot of easy running.  I was injury free. 

In January of this year, I began to do some speedwork, but at a 2 mile pace, rather than an 800 meter one.  I was doing 200s, 300s and 400s, usually 4 or 5 repeats, with a 2 to 3 minute rest interval, depending on how I felt.  I got through January injury free.

At the beginning of February, I began to increase the speed of my repeats to my 800 meter pace and I dropped the rest interval to the 2 minute range, but still did 4 or 5 repeats.  I felt very good during these repeats.  On February 27 I felt excellent, having rested 3 days, but on the 4th 200 meter repeat, my left glute cramped at about the 80 meter mark, so I stopped.  I rested 90 seconds, then ran 100 meters at my slower 2 mile pace, rested 2 ½ minutes, and then ran one more 100 meters at the 2 mile pace.  I prayed I wasn’t injured too seriously. Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE16

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 12

At San Dieguito Park-Solana Beach, California

I’ve had a lot going on with my day job since I last posted.  It appears I may have a breather as we head into the weekend, so let’s see if I can finish this and post it today.  We shall see….

While I have been busy with my business, I have been thinking about running in the spare moments – and when I have actually been running.

One major theme that has come up for me is the mental part of the entire gestalt of running.  In the October, 2013 issue of Runner’s World there is an article which places extreme emphasis on the mental side.  If you would like to read it, please click on this link:  Train Your Brain Hard0001.  For me, this is radical, not gradual.  I believe the strongest and longest lasting method is steady, gradual development, both physically and mentally.

 I recommend the book Psychocybernetics, by Dr. Maxwell Maltz to give you a better idea of this longer term approach to the mental side of life, including running.  This book was the foundation of the mental approach to training I learned at Stanford University when I was in school eons ago.  Dr. Maltz was a plastic surgeon who noticed over the years that many of his patients who had improved their appearance physically through surgery had not improved their internal self-image.  Negative “self-talk” continued to dominate their thoughts. 

He ultimately discovered that positive thoughts, vividly imagined in the mind’s eye, are perceived by the mind to be every bit as real as actual events.  He believed a person’s outer success could never exceed one’s internally visualized success.  From this he developed a template which his patients could customize to codify areas of life they wanted to improve.  Here are some of the positive affirmations we used on the track team:

  1. I am a relaxed, fast runner.
  2. I enjoy my workouts.
  3. I am a winner.
  4. I am a good student and I complete my assignments easily.    
  5. I focus on my breathing to distract myself from pain during strenuous workouts and races.        
  6. I enjoy doing my affirmations every day.                                         

We were instructed to find a quiet place, close our eyes, and relax.  We then repeated each affirmation aloud and focused on evoking a vivid mental picture of ourselves in action, executing the affirmation in as much detail as possible.  For example, when you repeat “I am a winner,” see yourself coming down the final straightaway, pumping your arms, legs strong and churning, then leaning forward, first to break the tape.  Of particular importance is seeing yourself enjoying doing your affirmations every day, because this ultimately overcomes the negative thought that doing the affirmations is a waste of time.

This approach is alive and well today.  Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 12

Running, Writing, and Traveling for Life-Episode 11

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 11

For the last several weeks, I have been doing a modest amount of running, but not feeling prepared to write about.  I’m still tired much of the time, and I’m stiff the days following the gym workouts, interval training and the tempo runs.  I’ve cut back to these two running days and one gym workout per week.  I do some walking and easy running on the other four days, but most of them are rest days.

But I really feel good when I am running, and for several hours after the workouts.  Some of this “feel good” phenomenon is the endorphins my body produces, but I think the majority is just the relaxed movement.  I think in former times, every stride was tense, and probably I had muscle groups working against each other.  Now I try to relax my stomach, keep my elbows tucked in slightly, shorten my stride, and land mid-sole.  I feel more fluid, and I really enjoy this kind of movement.  Perhaps I’m just fooling myself, but I haven’t sustained any injuries since I resumed training six months ago.  This is the longest I’ve ever gone after a layoff without injury.

Stanford Oval View Of The Quad
Stanford Oval View Of The Quad

Continue reading Running, Writing, and Traveling for Life-Episode 11

EPISODE 10.TEN DAYS IN TUSCANY-THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

VIEW FROM VILLA LE BARONE IN TUSCANY
VIEW FROM VILLA LE BARONE IN TUSCANY

Alas, it’s been another dry spell in my blogging.   I can’t think of a particularly good excuse other than I’ve been really busy with running, work, and in particular, travel.  That is why I am focusing on travel in today’s blog.

My wife and I just returned from ten days in Tuscany, Italy.  Most of it was Ecstasy, but there were times of Agony as well.  The pain started immediately after leaving the car rental lot.  I had gotten Google directions from the Florence Airport to the Villa Le Barone in Panzano and turned right, looking for Via L. Gori.  When got to the first intersection, we could not find it.  I turned around and retraced our steps, facing one lane of oncoming traffic.  Then suddenly I saw one, then two, then three oncoming cars, so I pulled off to the side right away.  I finally realized the exit road from the car rental lot is one way!  We knew we had to find the A1 towards Rome which we eventually found after a few more false starts.

We were able to follow the Google directions along the A1, then onto the Raccordo Autostradale Firenze-Siena with no difficulty, but when we took the Cassia exit, our Agony returned.  The problem was simply there were very few street signs.  By that time, my wife had been able to connect her GPS, so when I made one wrong turn, she was able to see we were going off course.  We finally found Route 118, which was also pretty hard to follow, because there were many forks in the road and Route 118 wasn’t always signposted.  Anyway, I won’t bore you any more with the rest of the details because we ultimately made it to Villa Le Barone.  If you do this trip, be sure to specify in your trip search engine that you are leaving from the car rental facility, not the Florence Airport.  Also be sure to choose both the maps and large map options if you go to the print screen at Google Maps.  The maps option will show you all the turns.  Hopefully this will reduce the Agony.

EVENING AT VILLA LE BARONE
EVENING AT VILLA LE BARONE

We got our first taste of Ecstasy as we caught a glimpse of the Villa, driving past the gated entrance, up on the hill to our right.   We could see the Villa through the open arched gateway, a serene, stately edifice against the rich blue Tuscan sky. Once inside the Villa we checked in, climbed the stone stairway to the European first floor, and then we found our way to our spacious room, with great views of the orchards and vineyards in the serene valley below.  Later, as we toured the ground floor of the Villa, we found a sitting room, complete with a fireplace, a library, game room and lounge.  Immediately we felt at home.  Continue reading EPISODE 10.TEN DAYS IN TUSCANY-THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

RUNNING, WRITING AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 6

Stanford University Track-Another View
Stanford University Track-Another View

This working for a living sure gets in the way of life!  I’ve been trying to start this week’s blog all last week, and the next thing I knew it was the middle of the following week.  Anyway I have managed to find time to run, but today’s comments and observations will be short.

As I have mentioned, I decided to skip this year’s Masters Nationals in Berea, Ohio and focus on a slow rebuild to avoid injury.  But I probably have been pushing a bit too hard, particularly in my cross training at the gym.  On second thought, I overdid golf at the beginning of training resumption, after the long layoff.  That’s when I aggravated my knees.  My trainer modified the glutes, hamstrings, quads, upper body, and core exercises to avoid undue pressure on my knees for several weeks.  This did allow my knees to heal, and now I experience only an occasional twinge.

Then I read in Runner’s World that strengthening inner (adductor) and outer (abductor) hip muscles would lead to a more consistent foot landing with each step.  This, in turn, would reduce the stress on your knees.  Therefore this week I did 3 sets of 15 reps each on the inner thigh and outer thigh machines, with probably too much weight.  Both my inner and out adductor muscles were sore for the next 2 days.  I probably should have followed Runner’s World advice and used resistance bands instead of the machines.  Well, live and try to learn!  Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE-EPISODE 6

RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE

Third in the 800 meters – 2012 California Senior Games

As I was thinking about this new blog on Running, I wondered where to begin.  The answer fought its way up from deep in my subconscious:   “At the beginning, Grasshopper!” 

I thought about that for several moments, and then finally the ancient Latin admonition from the Roman Poet, Horace,  drifted into my consciousness:  “In medius res, or in English, In the middle of things.  So ignore these two paragraphs, and let’s begin.

I am aching from yesterday’s gym workout.  This flu is sapping my energy.  It can’t be the flu because my doctor says I had the flu shot last fall.  Must be some other flu, like STP, or some other three letter designated disease.  Anyway, I’m busy thinking up excuses why I can’t run today:  I’m still sick; my eye pressure has gone up; got to go to Church this afternoon….

Hold it!  I’ve really got to think up excuses why I can run today:  I’m feeling better today than I did yesterday; my fever is gone; I feel even better after a run.  Don’t go away; I’ll let you know which side won the argument… Continue reading RUNNING, WRITING, AND TRAVELING FOR LIFE

EPISODE 30 TALKING TO THE WORLD FROM PAN AM’S CLIPPERS

Thanks for joining me for the final Episode from my Dad’s book, Talking To The World From Pan Am’s Clippers.  Last week Dad wrote about Mom, my brother Ken, and my sister Jeanne, plus our Church in Los Altos, California.  Today he will wrap up with a tribute to our mother and then shares his excitement when he finally earns his Pilot’s License!  Enjoy!

PAN AM CLIPPER

EPISODE 30 TALKING TO THE WORLD FROM PAN AM’S CLIPPERS

I hope you enjoyed this final Episode from my Dad’s book.  Please be with me again week for Episode 1 from my children’ fantasy, Mr. Wugidgem And The Phoenix Journey.  If you would like a print copy of this expanded adventure, please go to:

https://www.createspace.com/3951665.

Thanks again for listening!