06 July 2013

Reading, Running in Big Sur, and a Brain Scan

A side effect of taking running less seriously is taking my running blog less seriously. It's been a busy few weeks and I've started writing with a pencil, on paper, which means less writing here. Last Thursday I flew out to San Francisco and visited my Big Sur friends Chuck and Erlinda. Being in Big Sur was amazing. The eucalyptus, the air, the light, the views. I had breakfast at Deetjen's, walked on Pfieffer Beach, and ran in Molera SP. It was a quick trip, but worth every minute. Big Sur hasn't changed much in ten years. They paved our old road, which used to be a 15-minute drive up a 1000-ft hill on a dusty dirt road. Now it's 10 minutes and dust-free.

Windblown me at the top of Clearidge
Since I got home on Jet Blue's Monday-Tuesday red-eye, I've been doing a lot of sleeping. I missed a couple of speed workouts, so I've been slowly catching back up with my training. Today I ran 6x400 at the track; a substantial 0:10 off my target mile pace on average, but it felt great to be back out there. I am also perfecting my "the-bathroom-is-closed-and-I-forgot-TP" technique. I'm a pro -- not at the actual running part, but I defy anyone to find a better cop-a-squatter.

Yesterday I had my yearly 2-hour MRI, and after dizzily climbing out of the claustrophobia-inducing casket, I had another one of my realizations, almost as good as the email one from a few weeks ago. Three years ago I quit my MS medication. I was happy to submit to the yearly MRIs because I wanted to avoid the meds, and I thought the neuro would be happy if he could see that my brain seemed stable. Anyway, I realized that I could quit MRIs, just like I quit meds. There hasn't been any change in my symptoms or my brain scans in over three years. Even better than quitting the MRIs; it seems like I can quit MS too.

Maybe the quitting realization was brought on by my recent speed-reading of the book The Man Who Quit Money. I am probably never going to drop out of society, but it is an irresistable thought. I tend to vacillate between ambition in the traditional theme-park sense, and a bowel-loosening urge to quit my job and plant bok choi in the desert. See, it's obvious why I keep my day job.

I also just finished Light in August, which was not my favorite of Faulkner's opera, but was a welcome departure from all the poorly written nonfiction I typically read. Two nights ago I found Infinite Jest on sale for $1.99 for Kindle, so I'm reading that now. It reads like a Wes Anderson movie; I can hear the soundtrack to Rushmore in my head while I'm reading, which is not unpleasant.

Maple wants me to "make clothes" with her. Today's installment: we'll turn tissue paper into colorful frocks for her dolls. And then I'll take a nap. Sean will be home soon with kitty litter made from corn, and garbage bags. It's a fine Saturday afternoon, made ever finer by the two days of vacation that preceded it.


  1. Big Sur sounds lovely, I want to run the marathon there some day! Yay for quitting MS. I'll support that! I had an MRI two weeks ago. I don't get the results because I'm in a clinical trial right now, but I have not had any relapses this year, so that works for me. I'm glad your MRI has stayed looking good for the past few years and no change in symptoms.

  2. Sean O'CallaghanJuly 8, 2013 at 7:00 AM

    Clear Ridge! The first place we lived together.

  3. Oh I love Big Sur! Great news on the MRIs and no changes too, yay!

  4. maggie.danhakl@healthline.comJuly 2, 2014 at 11:42 AM


    Healthline just launched a video campaign for MS called "You've Got This" where individuals living with MS can record a short video to give hope and inspiration those recently diagnosed with MS.

    You can visit the homepage and check out videos from the campaign here:

    We will be donating $10 for every submitted campaign to the National MS Society, so the more exposure the campaign gets the more the videos we'll receive and the more Healthline can donate to MS research, support groups, treatment programs, and more.

    We would appreciate if you could help spread the word about this by sharing the You've Got This with friends and followers or include the campaign as a resource on your page:

    Please let me know if this is possible and if you have any questions. And, if you know anyone that would be interested in submitting a video, please encourage them to do so.

    Maggie Danhakl • Assistant Marketing Manager
    p: 415-281-3124 f: 415-281-3199

    Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
    660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107 | @Healthline | @HealthlineCorp

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