Monday, September 25, 2006


I ought to not let September pass without mentioning that I have now turned 30. September 15, to be exact. So far, being 30 hasn't been half bad. I don't feel any different, nor do I think I look the way 30 ought to look. I may be in denial, but I only cringe when I see the number written out. Otherwise, it's never in my mind. But when the elliptical machine forces me to declare my age, then I have to do a double-take.

As for the festivities, the big party never materialized. I was planning on a party with Marisela, but something else came up that took the place of that. I celebrated early on the 10th of September by organizing a group outing to the Hollywood Bowl for a concert by Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Neko Case.

We enjoyed a picnic before the show then sat a million miles from the stage and hunkered down for some good music under the stars.

My actual birthday was a quiet affair. I had the day off and went for a massage. My family took me out to dinner the night before. Another birthday dinner took place on the 16th, Spanish food at La Luna Negra in Pasadena.

Instead of the big bash I considered for my 30th an idea came to me a couple of weeks ago to take a trip to Europe. Tomorrow I leave for Spain. I'm surprised at how quickly and how easily everything came together for the trip. Just two weeks ago the idea of going to Europe was just something tucked away in the back of my head. Now I'm packing my bags and heading off to a continent I've never visited and I'm doing so all by myself. I'm alternately excited and nervous, but more so the former.

I'd go on and on about the trip, but I'm too tired and the best parts of it have yet to happen. The plan for the trip is to eat, walk, and take lots of pictures. I also hope to keep a journal of my travels. But the main thing is enjoying myself. That shouldn't be too hard.

On Tuesday I will arrive in Madrid for a three night stay, followed by Bilbao for a couple of nights, then to Barcelona for three evenings. After Barcelona I take an overnight train to Paris for a four-night stop. I then make my way to London, look around for four days before flying back home.

I hope I make it back!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Will I ever run again?

Oh, the frustration!

I haven't run in a week all due to the fact that I have a shooting pain in my hip that sometimes radiates down my thigh. I first felt it a week and a half ago, but I ran on it twice--a 5.5 miler and a 9 miler--with little problems. I could feel something tight in the region but it didn't hobble me or slow me down. Last Monday I still felt it but decided to run with the Nike folks anyway. All was fine until the end of the run when it started to hurt. It didn't hurt before. I made it to the finish but began to hobble. I thought I may have pulled a groin muscle and took the rest of the week off. Now I'm beginning to think it's not a muscle problem. It only hurts when I step or stand on my right leg, a shooting pain that I can also feel down my thigh to my knee.

It's times like these that I realize how much an active lifestyle I have taken on in the last couple of years. Not being able to run or do other exercise activities has bummed me out. Before I was the guy who loved to just sit around and do nothing but watch TV and eat. While I still enjoy such moments, I can only bear doing nothing for a short period before I crave going out for a run. I'm hoping it will go away, but it doesn't seem like it will soon. I have an appointment on Thursday afternoon and hopefully the doc can figure out what to do. I've been tempted to run on it regardless of the problem, but I have to resist the urge or else I may wind up damaging myself for life.

Let's hope it's a quick recovery and I go back out for a run. It's sick that I miss running so much. Sick!