Every city, Alameda very much included, can be mapped in many ways: geographical, population distribution, fauna and flora, wealth, politics and religion. Its most important map for those of us who live here, however, is its commercial one. Food is the basic imperative of life where we go to not just hunt for food but where we go to gather it.
Photo by Marty Beene.
It was kind of hot here in The 'Meda earlier this week.
As those of you who actually live in Alameda already know, we don't get too many days when the temperature rises up over, say, 85 degrees. And most of those occur in the fall when our natural air conditioning (the fog) is on its annual autumn break.
For runners, heat can make training difficult. Even if it's only five degrees warmer than what we're used to, a training run can feel much harder.
So what can we do about it?
On Saturday morning we strolled up and down Park Street, taking in the delights of this past weekend's art and wine fair. We hugged some friends, bought a trinket and paused for the music at each end of the tent line.
There have been cavils about there not being enough art or wine at the fair, but our walls are full and our wine consumption is not what it once was, so we didn't feel any lack. One of the pleasures of life in Alameda is the number of friends one runs into in one's daily passage, and the fair is always a good place for a lot of that.
I hate running early in the morning.
Sure, many people are just not "morning people," so it stands to reason that non-morning people might not enjoy running in the early morning.
But that's not me. I love the early morning. I wake up without an alarm at 5:30 every day and willingly get out of bed. Okay, I sleep in 'till 6:00 on some weekend days. I get up, eat breakfast (something healthy, of course), drink my coffee, read the news, and so on. And I love doing that.
But run? I don't think so.
The weather has been wonderful this past week: warm days, cool nights, slightly foggy mornings, just bliss. Of course, it would be here in Alameda, the very center of the old philosopher's Golden Mean. Not too much, not too little, but just right! Come to think of it that's Goldilocks' standard as well. Nothing like being in the company of a world famous young woman.
All week long as we went from here to there, running errands, seeing health professionals, dining with friends, it's been done against a backdrop of this beautiful weather. So whatever the emotion, we can be sure that the visuals were stunning.
After age 30, we tend to lose muscle mass at a rate of three to five percent per decade if we don't do something about it, a natural process called sarcopenia. Once we hit around 65 or 70 years old, that loss accelerates.
Losing muscle mass is a big deal because that means we lose strength - and we all need strength, even for the most innocuous tasks of our day-to-day lives. Worse yet, if we don't do something about losing that strength, our chances of falling and injuring ourselves increases. Trust me, you don't want to fall and break something when you're old.
Summer has definitely arrived. The marine layer lives off shore once again, and the climate has provided several days of perfection in the minds of some of us.
With the fog at hand nights are cool and eminently sleepable, mornings are pleasant with a hint of cool and then the day mellows further in "the warm California sun." This weather pattern brings a feeling of "life is good" with it and encourages stopping to smell the roses and admire the sunsets and just sit on the porch and soak in the beauty of it all.
With many people headed off on vacations in the midst of the summer travel season, I was reminded of how I enjoy mapping out such a trip. But it's also a great idea to map out your fitness plans for the year, especially if running is your thing.
I have to admit, we crossed the estuary to celebrate the Fourth. We like the parade in Alameda, we've watched it from San Jose Avenue and Park Street for many years, we even participated one year. But this year, we received an invitation we couldn't refuse.
Just about 10 minutes away in Oakland is the Pardee Home Museum, which held its annual Fourth of July fundraiser. This year the featured performers were Frederick Hodges and Ann Gibson, who do songs written between 1890 to 1930. Frederick is a friend, so we decided to celebrate by listening to his music.
I mentioned the Tour de France in last week's blog post, as it's one of my favorite sporting events and it starts on Saturday. It's unfortunate that there's such a history of cheating, but I tend to enjoy it from the perspective of trying to imagine riding it myself, and how difficult that would be.