Thursday, January 28, 2010

An Ode to Coffee

I am a coffee aficionado. I am not one of those people you see drinking copious amounts of coffee all day, and I don’t order a Venti from Starbucks with 6 shots of espresso or super sweet faux coffee drinks. I savor one cup in the morning and rarely drink anything but decaf after 2 pm as it will keep me awake until the next day. That one cup is extremely important, though. It must have the right aroma, be of the correct strength, and flavored with the proper coffee condiments (no sweeteners with a splash of soy milk, a dash of nutmeg if it is a latte).Generally, I brew coffee at home with carefully chosen beans that I grind that morning. I have a ritual of sitting down with a coffee and tackling the New York Times crossword, or in this case drinking coffee while writing about its attributes.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's Like Riding a Bike

I grew up in San Diego. Our house was (actually, is, my parents still live there) situated at the bottom of a very steep hill that was connected to other very steep hills (hill repeat Heaven now, but a terrible grind at the end of a long ride). My father did his due diligence and taught my sister and I how to ride a bike, but the topography of our neighborhood and the amount of time spent swimming left little time for riding.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Inconveniences, Injuries and Illnesses

Injury is a dirty word in athletics (too bad it isn’t four letters). The connotation of time off, rehabilitation, searching for a diagnosis, or even the threat of ending a career is enough to make anyone recoil in horror at even the slightest niggle. I have been fully vested in athletics since my 7th birthday, so I am intimately familiar with injuries of varying severity on multiple body parts and illnesses both common and strange (have you heard of Ehrlichiosis? Well, I had it in 2003).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mental Healing

In the weeks since my shoulder surgery I have been fortunate to have the support from friends, acquaintances and well-wishers. The questions asked follow similar themes. How do you feel? Much better, although the hardware is a nuisance. Are you able to workout? Thankfully, yes. Can you swim? Yes, I am even back at Masters. How is the scar? It looks amazing, my surgeon trained with a plastic surgeon in LA where ugly scars are forbidden. Do you need a doctor’s note to pass through security at the airport?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Another Season

Yesterday afternoon I chatted with Coach Phil about the upcoming season. A race schedule was requested by sponsors and so it was time to concretely map out a plan for the year. Usually, this task is completed much earlier and with more enthusiasm. But, as I explained just that morning to a friend during a run, underneath the eagerness for the approaching season, I am quite nervous and apprehensive about racing again. Up until the moment I amassed a schedule, the season was a theory and training was for “health”.

Monday, January 11, 2010

High Energy

I have an affliction that was at its worst when I was in school, but still hangs around, even all these years later, despite efforts to shed the disease. This condition is prevalent in the population, although it is often misdiagnosed and overmedicated. The formal name is Ants in My Pants, or AMP. The best medicine, of course, is copious amounts of exercise.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Is It Almost Summer?

I am not one to complain about the weather (insert laugh track here), but now I must come forward and whine. Why is it so cold and snowy? I was duped. The first several winters we lived in Boulder, the weather was favorable, consisting of moderate temperatures and little precipitation. In 2009 I silently endured the horrible weather (ok, I was somewhat vocal about my displeasure) and I presumed that I was overreacting. Then, I read a piece in the Daily Camera vindicating my thoughts; 2009 was one of the coldest and wettest years documented.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

First Time for Everything

Embarking on a new sport is often viewed with trepidation. There is no way of predicting how the body will react, whether this new sport will evoke enjoyment or loathing, or if there is potential to excel. My initial rocky relationship with running evolved over time into one of respect and enjoyment. I hated running. It was hard. It made me sore. And, my water logged body was not prepared for a sport that required coordination, gravity, and heavy breathing.