Posted 5 days ago

Sitting at work, the day after completing my first triathlon, feeling okay (mild lower back pain), I’m amazed that I was able to complete the half-mile swim.
Between hyperventilating 150 yards to the first buoy, treading water to rest, swimming on my back and a modified breast crawl with spurts of freestyle thrown in, I finished the first leg in almost an hour. It didn’t feel that long, oddly.
LA County lifeguards were their amazing, cheerful, professional, helpful selves, keeping an eye on me and helping me out of the water. It was a humbling experience. I struggled, but my desire to see this through was greater than any desire I had to quit. That thought didn’t cross my mind, actually. I recalled the friends I know who have done this before and asked myself, “How would [friend] handle this?” I also reminded myself that I did train in the pool, that I had the skill set to do this.
Even so, swimming in the ocean for the first time was the most foreign feeling I’ve experienced, and especially those first 150 yards. I was overwhelmed. But action paired with positive thinking worked.
My first transition was a wobbly-legged moment in slow motion. I didn’t remember my bib number, but luckily had no trouble finding my bike as it was one of the last ones remaining in the transition area. Everyone else was on the road. I’m here to finish, I kept telling myself, don’t beat yourself up too much, just keep going. That’s where the mental aspect of marathon training comes in handy. Just keep going.
After overcoming the swim, the rest of the race was almost anticlimactic. Running was more of jog, and I was able to pass a couple of people before the final, 90-degree turn to the finish line.
A day later, I’m left with a sunburn, a little pain, and a big desire to do better. Who knows, maybe a half ironman?
Just keep going.

Posted 1 week ago

staff:

Today’s the day. The day you help save the internet from being ruined.

Ready? 

Yes, you are, and we’re ready to help you.

(Long story short: The FCC is about to make a critical decision as to whether or not internet service providers have to treat all traffic equally. If they choose wrong, then the internet where anyone could start a website for any reason at all, the internet that’s been so momentous, funny, weird, and surprising—that internet could cease to exist. Here’s your chance to preserve a beautiful thing.)

You can save the internet, take a moment to add your voice.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Cedar Breaks National Monument

August 22 was Cedar Breaks NM’s 81st anniversary, an excuse as good as any to share what a surprise it was to discover this hidden gem. It’s also surprising that it’s eight decades old as part of the National Parks system, maybe because it lies in the shadow of its bigger, more popular neighbors, Zion, Arches and Bryce Canyon national parks.

I came upon the Cedar Breaks campsite, one of the best I encountered on my recent road trip, completely by accident.

Driving south from Yellowstone on I-15, I was looking for a campsite to spend the night, having left the Norris campsite at dawn on August 13. The miles ticked away, from Montana, into Idaho and then Utah, and lunch was at the Red Iguana in Salt Lake City.

There was room at a KOA in Cedar City but I wanted to check out Cedar Breaks before I got there. It didn’t seem that far off the freeway, and there was still daylight. Using the Passport to Your National Parks (I’m a big stamp nerd, but that’s another post), I saw that there was a National Monument less than 20 miles from the town of Parowan, so I took that exit hoping to get my passport stamped before the visitor center closed for the day.

The winding road, Utah 148, traverses the Dixie National Forest, crossing the town of Brian Head, which looks to be a popular ski resort in the winter. The chalets, ski lifts and restaurants catering to winter visitors were quiet as I drove by.

Surprise, shock and delight, came all at once as I turned a bend in the road and through the pine trees, saw what looked to be the Grand Canyon in the middle of a forest. The “breaks” in Cedar Breaks referred to the eroded red soil that’s a trademark of Zion, Arches and other Utah national parks. I didn’t see it coming, not in a forest!

Stopping at the sunset point overlook, I crept up slowly on the walkway that hung over the canyon, holding out my phone to take a few photos.

Just ahead was the entrance to a campsite, with a registration board showing several vacant spots. Score! It was at an elevated spot in the forest, surrounded by flowering meadows and hundreds of braying sheep. The campsite had no more than 20 spots and, with flush toilets, free showers and a quiet road, was a steal at $14 a night (they accept credit card payment too).

The visitor center was closed, but after dinner I walked over to check it out, and take in the last rays of sunset.

Posted 1 month ago

Home. What a trip! A lot of scenery in those miles. More to come.

Posted 1 month ago

If only.

Posted 1 month ago

Earlier today through northern Nevada, Idaho and Wyoming.

Posted 1 month ago

If only.

Posted 1 month ago

Drove through Nevada today, starting at state line in South Lake Tahoe, through Winnemucca and Elko. Getting closer to my destination …

Posted 1 month ago

I love this place! Lake Tahoe has great views and, judging by the boats, biking, hiking and gondola riding, keeps people busy year round.

Posted 1 month ago

Pinnacles National Park: Along the Rim Trail, Bear Gulch area and Reservoir. About a 2-mile loop.

Posted 1 month ago

Levitated Mass, ca. A Gazillion Years Ago. #bigrock #pinnaclesnationalpark #nps #roadtrip #seeamerica @usinterior #nationalpark #hike #merica (at Pinnacles National Park)

Posted 2 months ago

For Women Who (Want to) Travel Alone

This comes at the perfect time, when I’m planning a big road trip, as a reminder that seeing the world around us, alone or with company, is a worthy endeavor.

Posted 2 months ago

21 Reasons Mexico's Head Coach Should Be Your Favorite Human Being

Posted 3 months ago

thinkmexican:

Mexico’s Political Cartoonists Question Citizens’ Priorities During the World Cup, Legislator Intentions

Mexico’s best political cartoonists have been working extra hard recently to get people to pay attention to an energy reform bill currently being debated in the Senate. The bill would open Pemex (Mexico’s state-owned oil company) up to private investment, risking, many say, one of the government’s largest sources of income.

With so much at play, it’s not a coincidence that PRI and PAN legislators didn’t take any chances and scheduled debate of this bill to coincide with Mexico’s World Cup games. A cynical move if there ever was one. Analysts say the Peña Nieto administration and members of the PAN have agreed to a mutually beneficial pact that would allow high-ranking members of their parties to profit financially from this bill.

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Al pueblo, pan y circo.

Posted 4 months ago

Lunch was oven-roasted brussel sprouts with tofu sautéed in garlic and marinated in Goya’s Mojo Criollo.