Tag Archives: running

Running From Dogs


Between the news reports of runners being attacked and some recent encounters with hostile drivers and animals, I have become more concerned with personal safety. Not just while running. Start the conversation and listen as the stories pile up. Close encounters, narrow escapes and moments of terror. The universality of these experiences is shocking. Then there is my mom. When does your mom ever stop worrying about you??

Yesterday, on my favorite trail, I narrowly escaped an attack by dogs. I saw something looking like this:

round a building near the trail at top speed barking, growling and snapping as he tucked his ears back and fixed his gaze. The owner, thankfully present, began to yell him back but he was too far away and the dog, while a beautiful animal, was in the red zone where they are functionally deaf.  Having grown up with dogs, and loving dogs, I knew not to try to outrun them. As I cut pace and turned to face it, I saw two more of it’s pack bearing down and two more screaming owners laying chase.  With the gap closing to thirty feet, the dogs  menacing and the owners screaming, I took the safety off my electric shock ring, widened my stance, extended my arm out toward the dog now ten feet away and discharged the ring. The dog had started to prepare to lunge but the 100 decibel, 18 million volt high powered electrical arch that formed over the top of the ring when I squeezed the trigger as a warning, had the dogs skidding to a halt. The other two dogs stopped barking and slowed to a walk. I discharged the ring again as a warning. It never shocked the dogs and I am glad it didn’t. It was enough to get them out of the red zone and listening to the owners who had them in hand a few seconds later.  Surely it didn’t hurt that, due to having a ready defense, I didn’t radiate fear. The owner asked me what the loud sound was and how I got the dogs to stop. He apologized for them, told me he had just moved in yesterday and was glad I had the ring. Me too.

I carry this $23 piece of mind with me everywhere.

In case it might help you or someone you love, they can be purchased on Amazon here but not shipped to all locations as local ordinances may have laws against shock weapons. For example, in Philadelphia you can have a shock weapon as long as it doesn’t launch a projectile. In NY it is a misdemeanor to have anything capable of delivering a shock. Check the rules of your location. Personally, I would rather suffer a $300 fine (my health insurance deductible for the mauling would be much higher than this), a summary offense or misdemeanor than a mauling by dogs or humans but YMMV.  If something requires engagement of my shock ring, it is likely violating the law itself.  It, like many things, is a very individual choice which I respect.

Wishing you all many safe adventures 🙂

Running HITT with Pokémon Go


It will not be the first time it has been said that I am in touch with my inner adolescent. This week, my teen and her friends introduced me to Pokémon Go. I have dim memories of Pokémon cards littering the floor and getting stuck in couch cushions from her siblings. I thought I had this. Wrong! This is MUCH better.
Never one for card games, this appeals to my ‘movement with a purpose’ motto. Although the lack of game directions is particularly vexing to my brain, I figured it was an opportunity to lean on my intuitive side. For anyone who has not yet started to play, I recommend checking out some basic tutorials like you can find here, and here online, to help you get the most out of early game decisions.

Catching the Pokémon in my yard was easy and fun but what to do with this game? I had a scheduled interval run planned and a HITT (high intensity interval training) session to complete for the day.


My mom multi-tasking mode engaged and I started  Map My Run and Pokémon Go simultaneously. One of my teen friends told me it was ‘cheating’ to run and play Pokémon. To that I say, haters gonna hate dude- you should start running. Here’s what happened.

About 10 mins. into the run, I started getting vibrations of nearby Pokémon. Hunting down the first 1 or 2 was quick- they were standing on the roadside. After having to stop to catch them I did a few burpees, high knee jumps or push ups off my HITT program then sprinted to keep my run times in line. I would just start to tire when another Pokémon would magically appear! A few times, a Pokémon would require me to deviate from my planned route into a neighborhood. Running up to a house where there was an Oddish in the front yard, I hesitated. Do I ring the doorbell and try to explain my urgent need to stand in their yard with my smart phone??  While deliberations circled my brain and my heart rate fell, I heard a man clear his throat. The next door neighbor was sipping his coffee with a bemused look on his face. “Pokémon in the yard right?” he queried. Mutely I nodded. He took a long drag of his coffee then said, “Owner says it’s ok. Go on in. I sit out here every morning now just to see who comes by. You’re a bit older than most”. I thanked Captain Obvious, shrugged and grinned as I caught my prey. In 4 miles I caught a ton of Pokémon. I ran the prescribed  intervals, did my HITT training, met some cool people and laughed out loud during my run like I haven’t since I tried the Zombies, Run! app.


Adults who run (or walk) errands cover a lot of ground and find themselves in many a parking lot full of targets. This advantage deserves respect. Just saying- the Silo by Walmart, the library and the mall are great spots for Go fans:) I plan to make my to-do list a bit more entertaining and my runs laugh-out-loud fun for awhile.  This may require upping my data plan 🙁 I’m thinking  team Mystic… How about you?

Learning to Run & Tarahumara Pinole Cake


I am new to running. For most of my life, running was something one did if chased or needing to get somewhere fast without a car. It has taken me until now to see it’s merits and there are moments that I still have doubts.

On the plus side, running is cheap, accessible, infinitely customizable for time constraints and intensity and provides a great calorie burn. On the down side- it hurts. Well, for me, the first mile really hurts. It is what happens after that first mile that compels me to run. Somewhere around a mile, the pain eases, my breathing relaxes and I can get outside the protests of mind and body to appreciate the beauty of nature. The best part is after the run. No matter how tired I am at the start, the run energizes me for the rest of the day. Nothing seems impossible and there is a level of joy for life that does not seem to follow my elliptical workouts. All of these up-sides will probably keep running on my self maintenance list for the foreseeable future.

Like most new activities, I dive in with body and mind. I am trying to learn all I can about running. After reading the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, that details the amazing athleticism of the Tarahumara tribe of Mexico, something stuck with me. How they fueled their runs. Of course- the take home point for me would be about food. They swear by a special kind of corn meal cake made with corn meal that has been treated with lime water called Masa Harina. The soaking of the corn in the alkalizing lime, allows it to form a dough when handled and makes it more nutritious by freeing the niacin for digestion and radically improving the amount of calcium, iron, copper and zinc the body can get from the meal. Many grains, seeds and nuts can be infected by potentially harmful mycotoxins (I am looking at you peanut butter. I love you but- why must you be infected with mold??), but are reduced 90-95% after lime water soaking.

I tried a handful of different recipes for these cakes known as Pinole. Most were a disappointment. Too bland, boring, hard or dry. How can chocolate pinole fail to please??  The best recipe I found was by a favorite blogger, The One Ingredient Chef, Andrew Olsen. If you want some great plant based recipes and pretty pictures, check out his blog and Pinole recipe here at One Ingredient Chef. So I started my recipe adaptation using his and making it sweeter and more exciting with the addition of pumpkin seeds, peanut butter (I still love you) and fruit. I also simplified the process to eliminate the food processor and make it a one pan endeavor. Who wants to clean more stuff? The result is a portable, nutritious, high energy snack that travels well. It is not a cookie, but more a snack with a purpose that you can feel good about.

Pinole Cakes for Athletes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2 cups Masa Harina

4 tablespoons Chia Seeds

6 tablespoons agave or honey or rice syrup (whichever you like)

1 very ripe mashed banana

1 tablespoon nut butter (I used peanut butter)

¼ cup pumpkin seeds (I use the salted variety)

¼ cup dried cranberries (or any dried fruit of similar size)

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup water

Begin by placing the masa harina and chia seeds in a large skillet and stir to combine. Toast over medium heat stirring constantly for 5-8 mins. until it smells sweetly toasted. This can over-toast (AKA burn) quickly so turn off the cell phone and pay attention.


Once toasted, add everything else except the water. I find it easier to mix the sweetener with the nut butter separately on the edge of the pan or in a cup. Stir to combine.


This mixture will be thick and may be easier to mix with your hands. Here is the consistency of dough you are looking for. As with all baking, humidity levels effect flours so you may need slightly more or less water to achieve this dough:


Spread the dough out onto a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet to a ¼ inch depth. Pat into a rectangle. This makes a 11 x 12 inch rectangle for me.


I keep a plastic ruler just for cooking. With it, I shore up edges to be straight and score dough for even sized portions.  Here is the dough sectioned into 30 portions:


Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 mins. until lightly browned with small cracks formed on the top. Cool for a few mins. before slicing.


Stored in a cookie jar, these keep for a few days. They also freeze well. They are sturdy enough to wrap up and put in my running pack or purse. When made with honey and peanut butter, they come out to about 45 calories each. You can make these with regular corn meal but the results will not be as tasty or nutritious. I have tried it both ways.

Hope this snack helps keep you energized without ruining your healthy eating plan. Keep moving forward 🙂 I would love to hear how readers fuel their workouts and what you do with this recipe!