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jet lag

July 16th, 2009

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After 7 o’clock breakfast this morning I went back to sleep.  I woke up at 10:30 and went wandering the hutongs for a while but am feeling sluggish again, not wanting to stray too far from the hotel though I’ve already checked out.  So I am back again to eat lunch, use the free wifi and chill, under motivated, not wanting to shop or sight-see but mostly wanting to get to Mongolia and the mountains and go running.  I haven’t seen any runners in Beijing.

the above picture is an image painted onto a shop door on Nanluogu hutong.

lotus

July 16th, 2009

I’ve seen lotus in bloom in the little lake in Echo Park (Los Angeles) but that did not prepare me for the vast watery field of blooming lotus in Beihai Park.  The constant Beijing haze added to the visual romance.  For reasons beyond my grasp (do kindly consider a jet-lag handicap) to gaze upon the lotus filled lake was a relief to the eyes after hours spent ambling about The Forbidden City.

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Narita airport

July 15th, 2009

Flying in over Japan, shifting my gaze back and forth from looking straight down to looking back at an angle the landscape turned hologram, flashing from rich shades of green to mirror, water reflecting late afternoon sun. The strong wind was visible in the endless rice fields, like running your hand across real velvet, revealing the erratic push of the wind across the landscape.

Ate noodles and drank Yuzu citrus drink at a little stand up shop next to my gate.  The flight attendents on my flight from SFO were very kind, giving me a gift bag of Japanese sweets to wish me luck in the race.  One had done the Honolulu marathon 10 years ago and was very excited that I was going to Mongolia.

I board the next flight in 20 minutes.  3+ hours to Beijing……

it begins

July 14th, 2009

I’ve just arrived at SFO and thanks to my lovely husband I am treated to a relaxing wait in Japan Airlines business lounge…free snacks, wifi and friendly people.  Yesterday I watched my son on the other side of the security glass window walk toward his own adventure with my Mom.  He was already half way to Boston in his eyes, a traveler just like his father.  And much closer to embodying that than the baby he was just a few years ago.  What a ride parenthood is.

So here I sit, eating my rice and seaweed snack like the barbarian American I know I am.  I wonder if a 40 year old can sign up for “finishing school”.  Everyone in this lounge is well, rather business-y with tidy roller carts and fancy shoes.  I, on the other hand am clearly a bay area Mama with my cloth satchel and shoulder bag and (Mother would kill me) flip-flops.  I suppose embracing the barbarian is the only way.

I’ll be in Beijing in 18 hours!

Pick-up run

July 8th, 2009

I have a thing for old pick-up trucks. They are utilitarian in design yet there is a certain flash often enhanced by a shiny new color though even the rusty bucket version can be mouth-watering, flaking paint like lichen across granite!  I guess what I’m really saying is I think they are sexy.  Recently I’ve been thinking about opening up a tea bar/junk shop that I would call pick-up and design it with old pick-ups in mind.

Today was my last long-ish (11 miles) training run before Mongolia so I decided to let the wind take me every which way and I would focus on taking pics of all the old trucks I came across.  Here they are!  Enjoy:

white wall tires

white wall tires

for sale, 8900$

for sale, 8900

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vice grip lower right

vice grip lower right

fried eggs

June 28th, 2009

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The Matilija Poppies are in full bloom.

dogs on trails

June 28th, 2009

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We met Lucy, the constant motion 4 year old Bernie on the Bayview trail in Joaquin Miller Park.  Que cute.

a tribute

June 28th, 2009

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Long distance running is a solitary endeavor.  It challenges an individual to gently over time test one’s physical, mental and emotional limits.  And then it challenges one to push beyond and find new limits. This multi-tiered task is at the core of my personal paradigm of how the world works and what makes us human.  But we can not always do it alone.  In fact, being social creatures we need the encouragement and attendance of others.  I have spent the majority of this training period running alone but this week have had the pleasure to run with my running partner, Dee Williams, visiting Oakland  from Singapore.  Dee is a natural runner with great strength, endurance and best of all humor.  The miles tick by as I find new lung capacity limits while laughing and running at the same time.  With the first stride to the last, running with Dee is always easier and always brings the world in as we are both rather friendly runners inclined toward striking up little chats with others runners, walkers, cyclists and the ocassional dog.   Today we did 18.3 miles in 85-90 degree heat, soaked in sweat and caked in a fine layer of Oakland’s finest dust in prep for Mongolia.  It is one of my hopes to have a partnership of running spanning many more decades with this great runner and friend.

June 22

June 22nd, 2009

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Back in the Bay Area on my Redwood Regional trails: East Ridge out and back 8 miler this morning under the eternal blue sky of California.

altitude training

June 22nd, 2009

a run in the Sierra’s last week near Alpine Lake.IMG_1196