The Purpose of the "50-Mile Dolphin Dash"

Welcome to my blog leading up to the American Cetacean Society's 2nd Annual "50-Mile Dolphin Dash" fundraiser run on Wednesday, July 6th, Monterey, CA. I'm willing to shed 50 miles worth of blood, sweat, and (possibly) tears to raise funds to attend the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in St. Helier, Jersey (UK), where ACS will be speaking out against commercial whaling and compromises to international whale protection measures. I'm also the Executive Director of ACS, so I put my heart and "sole" where my mouth is.

Support the Dolphin Dash with a tax-deductible contribution:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Suicide... a morning routine

When I’m first beginning my run, I focus on external stimuli – lyrics of music, people I see regularly along my running route, whether or not I can spot any whale spouts in the San Pedro Channel. I notice every detail of my surroundings – the scent of blossoms, species of trees and flowers in landscaping and in chaparral communities along the cliffs (as a plant ecologist, this takes up a lot of head space), birds that inhabit the area. I’ve noticed lately there’s a daily morning “snail suicide procession” – snails big and small make the trek from vegetated habitats along sidewalks and roads to the other side...hopefully. I can tell you firsthand that the vast majority of them do not make it, but the birds are very happy to have a meal. I wonder how many people notice this ill-fated trek in urban environments. It seems important to me – to be aware of these seemingly lilliputian events.  They’re woven into the fabric of my day, and so are not inconsequential to me.  Besides, lately I can relate all to well to my doomed, slimy companions. If challenged to a race, at least half of them would likely beat me. I’m slowing down, in many ways... and I’m painfully aware of it.

Good things come slow - especially in distance running.
- Bill Dellinger, Oregon coach

After settling into a comfortable pace, I can think creatively.  I do my best thinking about my work and personal life at this time.  I’m not being bombarded by competing stimuli; not multi-tasking; not busying my mind in other ways – I’m free to let my mind wander in whatever direction it wants to go. This is the very best thinking time; I can work through a lot – or not.  If there’s nothing that I want to think about, I just put my mind on autopilot and eventually get into the “Zen head candy place”.  My favorite things to focus on are my work, of course – new programs I’d like to implement – how to inspire people to care enough about protecting whales and dolphins to get involved – how to constantly improve ACS and my own service to the organization.

Other things... are not for public consumption.

Happy running,



  1. Cheryl,

    Hey Brat, good blog!! Did you know that Australia is taking Japan to the world court over this Whaling? I'm sure you do. It is on the news over here quite a bit. Hang in there and fight the fight mate!!

    Jakeypoo (your long lost ?)

  2. We are nearing our date you and I! I wasn't aware of the goal - good luck with both your run and the conference. The latter seams a more daunting task! Now I will pay attention, watch and cheer you on. Canada wishes you success - at least this Canadian does - and is ashamed of how oblivious we all are. What are they thinking?!! Run well.