Monday, September 26, 2016


Do you want health articles like I wrote for the Daily Pilot?

Can do.


Back from a 15 hour plane trip. OUCH! While my husband flew business class, I was determined to use my “miles” earned from my charge card which gave me an economy ticket. 

Did fine on the trip there but returning, I enflamed every tendon, nerve and muscle tissue from my back to my knees. 

Everything seized up so completely by the end of the flight that I unfolded my body from that cramped seat as the plane was in the last stage of taxi-ing in and exited my compartment. Determined to get out of the plane ahead of the people who were going to open the overhead compartments and fumble around with their carrry-ons, I hobbled right up to the bulkhead where the stewardess, yelled at me, “Get back to your seat!”

I did not behave myself, and held my ground. Plane hadn’t stopped yet. Stewardess was provoked but I forged ahead, desperate to be among the first to blow out of that plane.

My insurrection worked pretty well, I rendezvoused with my husband up in front business class compartment and we made it out the door rapidly. But all the achievement of breaking out was colored by the amount of pain in my legs and back. Hobbled, I limped to luggage. 

I’m unaccustomed to feeling the agony of movement. Upper legs burned, back signaled torment, calves throbbed. I refused the moving sidewalk, attempting to walk and loosen up my crushed sitting muscles…Nothing worked. I dreaded boarding the shuttle bus home.

Tried running on Friday morning, but could not lift my left leg off the road. I walked for an hour and a half. 

Desperate, I reached for the acetaminophen. Took with food but my stomach hurt. Took two doses of 2 pills.

“I don’t think I’ll ever get better,” I told my husband. Then I couldn’t sleep that night. YIKES, I’m exhausted and hurt!


Now it’s Sunday night. Every day I rolled and rolled every body part on the Rumble Roller—(the roller that looks like a tractor tire.) 

Hating hot water, I got in the jacuzzi at the gym. Actually my husband practically pushed me in. Then I got out of the jacuzzi, picked up a kick board and got in the ice water of the gym’s pool. I said some bad words at the shock of the cold but managed to spend 5 minutes kicking the pool’s length, then 5 minutes back in the jacuzzi. Repeated 3 times for two days. 

Kept on rolling and stretching. I lay down on the bed and Paul took his two powerful torturous hands and pushed on some pressure points to the accompaniment of my squeals. 

I’m almost “back to abnormal” as I always say. Going hiking with my relentlessly speedy hiking group tomorrow. Hope I can keep up.


Hiked fine! However we did not do our usual 9 miles due to heat. HERE’S THE CHALLENGE—writing, eating, and tomorrow’s art class are all accomplished sitting. MY BODY HATES SITTING.

Sunday, September 4, 2016


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Today’s stop-start

Met Ken at Junior High dirt track at 6:00 a.m. Walked a few revolutions with him, but then he left for home, and I faced the daunting task of accumulating 8 miles of speed-work. My whole being reverts to absolute resistance when he departs, and I look down to set my Garmin to “start” for the 8-mile speed-work,.

Dreadful! I’m at zero miles and I won’t leave the track until I’ve completed the whole grueling 8 miles. 
I could give up and go home. I want to give up and go home to EAT.

During the past few years my pace has sunk from relaxed 10:30 minute miles to 11:30’s to 12 and now to13-minute miles in weekly road work-outs. 

The only way I can pull off the six 91/2-minute-miles in a 10K race as I did in March is to DO SPEED-WORK. Under race-pressure, my body remembers how to zip along, learned and practiced during this speed-work drill.

So, I started out, barely moving, pushing myself against resisting muscles, tendons, bones and ligaments to a pitiful 14-minute-mile on the straight-away. Picking up speed on the next revolution, I spotted a creamy golden dog, ambling toward me, wearing a lab/golden black-lipped smile. Hodi!

My friend, Kim  and her much loved pooch joined me, just home from a trip. Her grandkids’ magical introduction to the family farm near Ashland, Oregon. Her grandkids, all preschoolers and all cousins chased chickens, picked apples and splashed in a real pond. These kids are growing up in suburban Southern California where ponds are as rare as chicken coops. They were captivated and the adults gratified to continue a yearly generational pilgrimage to the family fun farm.

Kim, Hodi and I mostly walked around the track for about 4 miles until they had to return home.
Back to my solo work-out at the track, I faced the same 4-miles of speed-work I started out to conquer. 

I always complete 8 miles at the track. 
4 miles of intervals where I go fast on the straightaway and slow on the turns.
Then I time myself for a mile, 3/4 mile, 1/2 mile and finally 1/4 mile.

Soon Kim will return to work and I won’t see her in the a.m., so when she joins me, I skip the longer distances. and do only the interval-speed-work. Pressing myself to “surprise my cardio” with bursts of speed is more essential to my fitness than the longer segments.

Again, I started round the track.  “I should  be well warmed up by now!” I whined to myself as I struggled up to a blistering 14-minute-mile pace. I kept up my crazy turns around in circles, checking my Garmin until I hit an 8-minute pace on the straightaway. Found an ice-cream stick in the dirt and I scratched my progress in the sand. 

Go! Go! Go! I told myself, working my arms. I marked 6:45 next to the 8:00. 

I concentrated on leg turnover. Felt strong, pictured myself running in a race with competitors at my heels—6:30.

I looked ahead at ruts on the track—a leaf, a stone and told myself to “reel it in,”—reached 6:25. 

And finally when my watch read almost eight miles and I knew I’d be leaving the track, I worked my arms, visualized rapid leg turnover and forced a rhythm of the fastest footfalls I could muster: 6:15.

I marked the 6:15 in the sand and left the track to walk home. One more time, I completed a workout I dreaded. There’s a satisfaction in that.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Saturday Seashore Scenes

Saturday solo run from home, the morning after a full moon. When I don’t meet my fellow runners, I exit my door and follow my feet which, this time, took me to the beach——OH I remember why! I’d read a “big wave warning.” Yep, I wanted to see the crashing breakers. And the full moon pulled back the tide, so I was able to run on hard-packed sand one way out.

Planning to run thirteen miles preparing for a half marathon, I ran six  and a half miles from Newport past the Huntington Beach Pier, right along the surf. No particularly impressive swells, but I did see a group of “downward dog do-ers" taking a yoga class right by the surfline. Their yoga teacher walked among them, correcting. People of all ages took her morning class, their yoga practice enhanced by cool breezes off the water. 

Beside them were five “twenty-somethings,” athletic looking guys two in matching t-shirts. One shoveled sand into a garbage can, while others walked purposefully down to water’s edge, filling buckets with wet sand. Behind them in exacting straight-line order were dozens of buckets, arranged by size.

“What are you doing?” I stopped to ask one of the group, a tall rangy guy with beach-tousled hair. “We’re building a sandcastle,” he said and snapped right back to work. 

Still wish I’d have come back to see their creation which I’d estimate from the size of their bucket collection would grow to small-city-size.

At the Huntington/Newport border, just north of the river jetty I stopped. A big stainless steel 50,000 BTU gas grill, the freestanding kind weighing over 100 pounds, with two cupboard doors at the bottom sat in the sand under a pop-up tent.

“HOW did they get that thing out there?” I asked anybody within earshot. 

“Did you notice those three dollies by the pop-up?” a more observant beach-goer than I replied. 

Still, I marveled at their determination to give their friends a real Saturday dinner with an ocean view. 

Other days, running from Newport to Huntington, I’ve seen a paint-ball contest, surfing contests, and co-ed-football. 

On longer runs, I pass Huntington’s dog beach with it’s smiling canines showing anybody who’ll glance in their directions, what joy it is to be a dog, free of backyard fences and confining leashes. 

Look what you’re missing if you’re not out Saturday morning, ambling about the seashore. 

Oh, I didn't say that I finished thirteen miles exactly in front of my doorstep. Yeah, it took me a long time. NO, sand running is not a sprint. But, yeah, the scenery is unequaled and the salt air is magical. 

Friday, January 29, 2016


Original Article by Carolyn [Carrie] Slayback, Writer, Daily Pilot Fitness and Health Column:
Brought another first place home from the Carlsbad Marathon. That's one part of the story, I ran my slowest marathon by an hour, coming in at 5:28 (five hours and twenty eight minutes,) that's another part, but before I tell you the conclusion, here's the way it all "went down," as they say.
Our Team Evie Shirts: "Run Now, Wine Later."
Don, Evie's partner picked us up at 10:30 Saturday. Cristina, Evie's daughter-in-law, celebrating Evie's first ever marathon, made us all shirts saying "Team Evie" and "Run Now, Wine Later."
Rolling into Carlsbad, Don dedicated his day to taking us sightseeing along the marathon route. Curled up in the backseat of Evie's smooth driving Mercedes, I didn't notice the rolling nature of next day's marathon, but Don's reaction was, "Just driving this exhausts me."
Lunchtime, we found an organic taco place where we befriended a six-month-old mastiff puppy with size-eight-feet and watermelon sized head. Cristina and I cooed over his soft cuddly coat, while he focused on our fish tacos. Tantalizing organic beans came with lunch, but we couldn’t risk eating beans, day before the marathon, nor could we toss them, so we packed ‘em into our water cups. Yum, post-marathon bean snack! 
Night before the race. Our style of red carpet. 26.2 miles tomorrow!
Next, Don good-naturedly accompanied us to the EXPO where we picked up our “goodie bag” with race numbers, shirts and an unusual marathon perk—a fitted athletic jacket. Then he tagged along as we meandered through booths of energy bars, racks of running socks, sunglasses, displays of upcoming races, and sign-ups for adventure vacations.
Finally Don dropped us at the hotel, hurrying home to watch football. Instead, he watched break lights, stuck on the 405 for four hours, due to a vehicle fire.
That night’s pasta dinner, we met Cindy, a local runner whose parents, glued to the Green Bay game on the restaurant's tvs, were in town from Wisconsin to cheer her on. Cindy said, “I run this race for the jacket.” I reminded her we’d paid, between $95-$145 to participate, making a pricy workout jacket. 
Bedtime at Best Western, Evie, in silk PJs, Cristina and I in T-shirts, were determined to sleep. Alarm set at 4:00 A.M for a 6:15 marathon start. Sleep took turns with trips to the john. We’d “hydrated” at dinner. 
Spandex on, numbers pinned, breakfast downed, we set out for the start in pitch-black Carlsbad. No streetlights, Evie ignited her iPhone flashlight. A scant two miles from the motel to race, our desk clerk and a policeman we met, judged it an impossible distance to walk. For “Team Evie” two miles was a light pre-race work-out.
The morning of the race. Dark outside at 5:00am.
Arriving at the marathon line-up, we jumped into Port-O-Potties, dropped post-marathon warm clothes at “gear check” and stepped into a crowd of 1,500 runners listening to the National Anthem. Horn sounded. Evie and Cristina flew off, 26.2 miles to go. I’d see them at the finish.
I’ve seen more than one racer take a spill at the start, so my head’s down for the first half mile, dodging hundreds of running feet. With the temperature at about 60 degrees, I finally got my wish for a cool race day. I set to work to keep a pace at 11:30 which I achieved for the first 13.8 miles.
Though Evie and I had run 10 miles of the course weeks ago, racing it was “a whole new ballgame.” There’s only one real hill at Mile 19, but the course undulates, slowing runners on the many inclines. I liked the inclines because they gave my feet something new to do but uphills break my pace. Downhills require short steps—potential knee damage.
Mile 9, I got high fives from Evie and Cristina. At Mile 11, a young man joined me saying, “You move your left foot, to the rhythm of my right foot and we’ll finish this thing.” I agreed, having no idea what he was talking about, but soon, I outran him with my fastest 2 miles at 10:22. Hours later he showed up again, accusing me of “Kicking his butt.” By then, I felt like kicking myself in the head for doing this marathon.
I forced my feet on, eyes glued to the horizon searching out the next mile marker. This is a scenic course, beside the blue Pacific, but I wasted no energy gawking at whitecaps. I keep to myself on race day, but when a lanky gray haired guy passed me, I read his shirt out loud, “Leona Divide 50-mile-race!” “Yeah, he said, “and it was yesterday.” I laughed through my weariness.
A young woman thanked me for my even pace which slowed to 11:48 by Mile 18. Then I found an empty port-o-potty for a dreaded stop. Thinking I’d go lots faster post-potty, I willed a second wind but instead, slowed to 11:54.
I’d taken a hint for marathon food from the book, Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes. He runs 100 miles+, all night, keeping a rapid pace with handfuls of chocolate-covered-coffeebeans. Giving myself chocolate/coffee doses every five miles, I now hate them.
Approaching the end, I agreed with a guy who ran past me saying, “The ONLY thing that keeps me going is that I have to get back to my car.” I shuffled along convinced I had only one mile to go when I saw the Mile 24 sign. Drat! 2.2 miles remaining. Approaching the chute, another young man who’d been at my pace for miles, shot ahead, calling back, “SPRINT IN! You’re not tired, it’s all mental!” “Yes!, I agreed, GO!” Only my feet ignored my command to dash.
Evelyne being awarded a medal after crossing the finish line.
Recovering in the medical tent after the race. 
I crossed the finish line, Cristina greeting me, fresh untried. I hit the chain link fence with grabbing links with both hands to remain upright. An hour before, Evie and Cristina crossed the finish, holding hands. Evie headed straight for the recycling bin with dry heaves. A paramedic saved the recyclables, diverting her to the medical tent where she recovered, replenishing her electrolytes.
Don found us collapsed on folding chairs outside the medical tent. I looked like a bedraggled waif and the glamorous Evie’s skin was the color of her platinum blond hair. Watching gurneys of fellow runners wheeled out to ambulances, IV’s attached, Don commented “Isn’t this a great sport!”
We hobbled over to find our times, discovering Evie’s name was nowhere. Her time matched Cristina’s, so we knew it was 4:30. Searching out the guy with the computer, compiling race results, we asked about Evie’s time. He found it and announced, “You’ve won third place.” Team Evie celebrated, a winner in her first marathon!
Then we asked my place. “You got a first,” he said.
“How many in my age group?” I asked.
“You were the oldest women on the course,” he said, “the only one in the 70-74 age group.”
Nice to be first, even when you have no competition, but I just looked up the 65-69 age group and I would have come in 4th there. I’m signing off to eat my left-over beans for lunch.
Cristina, Evelyne and Carrie at the finish line.
Shocking news when we returned. Evie’s dad hospitalized, far from her helping reach, in Switzerland.
By Wednesday, his condition improved greatly and he spoke to Evie, feeling much better.
No sooner had Evie cleared her mind, relaxed with the good news of her father’s speedy recovery than I got two texts:
 “I’ll pick you up to run Friday.”
“We going to run Huntington Half Marathon, 2/7/16?”
I texted back, “I’m not prepared to answer.” 
View More Pre and Post-Marathon Photos Below: 
Evelyne, Cristina and Carrie in front of the Marathon "Pace Car" the day before the race.
Evelyne and Cristina, at mile 20.
Evelyne and Cristina after crossing the finish line.
A medal makes all the hard work worth it.
Cristina, Evelyne and Carrie on a 10 mile hike the Monday after the race.

Friday, January 8, 2016


In ten days I'll be out working my way though 26.2 miles of Carlsbad, California coastline/streets..

Naturally I caught the flu. Luckily it was only a two-day-thing and those two days were rainy. 
No running.

In any case, all the long runs are done, and I’m in what’s called “the taper.” 
I really tapered. I’d been running between 37-47 miles a week. 
I ran a paltry 4 miles this week.

However, I ran 22 miles last Friday. Then, Saturday, just because I didn’t want to miss the reunion hike with my Switzerland group, I trekked ten miles up “Dreaded Hill” in Harding Ranch.

I think the hike actually helped my legs recover from the 22-mile-run but the rest of my body succumbed to virus. Yes, I had a flu shot. I look upon this short period of illness as adding more to my immune system. I’ve been sick with flu’s so much worse than this one. I don’t even have  a lingering cough. What a miracle.

As far as whether I’m prepared for 26.2 miles a week from Sunday—I’m still mourning my loss of speed  in running. See my Daily Pilot article of 1/4/16. 

Secretly, I wish for a miracle—I take off at the starting line at a 10:00 pace and sail on though. I may expire at the end of that dream as it’s a couple minutes-a-mile faster than I’ve been able to do practice runs, but I can dream. 

Wonder if I should eat ice cream and cookies every night, put on a layer of fat to use up on the morning of the marathon? Maybe I should buy one of those big 1 pound dark chocolate and almonds hunks at Trader Joe’s and eat the whole thing. Nowhere in any marathon training guide does it say to pig-out pre marathon but I can dream.