Ultras and Derby Dolls

Any ultra marathoner and any woman that has competed as a “Derby Doll” have my highest praise. For those of you not in “the know”, Derby Dolls are those fabulous women that battle for points in a roller skating rink. Ultras, short for ultra marathons, are any marathon above 26.2 miles, i.e., 50 or 100 milers.


The fierceness of the Derby Doll league thrills spectators; and while many of the ladies have attained local celebrity status, they are badly beaten in the rink. At a recent event, the count of injuries after the first half was eight, Dr. Michael, one of their many on-staff doctors confirmed. If you are a Derby Doll, you are physically pounded, but, from event-goers receive nothing short of admiration.

The non-runners strange fear of running long distances is fascinating. A non-runners reaction to an ultra is akin to having told them you plan to take a nap on top of railroad tracks, immediately followed by voice over health concerns. It is amazing that this concern exists in the country with the highest rate of obesity. A significantly greater amount of people in the U.S. have more back, knee, and ankle problems due to lack of exercise and obesity, than due to running. This makes sense, the extra weight stresses and injures the joints.


Non-runners most often recall Pheidippides, an injured Greek soldier who ran 25 miles to tell the people of Marathon the news of the defeat of the Persians, and to warn of a surprise attack. It is said that Pheidippides collapsed and died immediately after delivering the information. Many forget that Pheidippides was injured from the battle before he ran the long distance, which could explain his death.

So apparently, the non-runners fear of running is grounded in the stories of marathoners that have suddenly dropped dead during or after a marathon. Research suggests the reason people suddenly die during athletic events is attributed to a genetic disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCOM, which can be detected by an echocardiogram. All serious runners should also screen for Phidippides cardiomyopathy, a non-genetic disorder that has been attributed to endurance training andcan be detected by a cardiac MRI. More information can be found in the following link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkroll/2014/04/15/why-do-healthy-people-die-running-marathons/.


To all athletes, get proper heart screenings, so you may continue to inspire us to stretch the limits. My favorite marathon story is that of Amber Miller; about 7 hours after completing the 2011 Chicago marathon, she delivered a healthy baby girl; she ran at 38 weeks pregnant. Amber had signed up for the marathon before she knew of her pregnancy; a veteran runner, she had prior clearance from her Dr. to run the marathon. http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/8136835-418/woman-gives-birth-after-running-chicago-marathon.html#.VCx6Svk7uSo.

The One With The Snake

Angelenos flocking to the Coachella Valley have a mind to bask by the pool, and when doing nothing is exhausted,

Palm Springs Rededicated Marilyn Monroe's Star for her 86th Birthday

sightseeing includes looking up giant Marilyn Monroe’s dress in Palm Springs (excellent idea Seward Johnson).

For the active insider, hiking trails are the real treasures of the Valley.  Indian Canyon, Tahquitz, and other canyons, are beautiful escapes to the 100+ degree heat into lush and rocky revenes carrying streams of crisp mountain water powering into gorgeous waterfalls.  The Oasis, is flat, sandy, with streams running through to the Chocolate Mountains and leads to a mirage that becomes a reality where towering palms overhead create a shady haven for large ponds teeming with flora and wildlife.

My running problem recently took me to a hiking trail known as “the one with the snake”; as my friends’ who introduced the trail to me explained, the name came about after they saw a rattlesnake there on one of their early morning hikes, how clever.

The one with the snake trail begins right off of Hwy 111 behind the Vons in Palm Springs, how’s that for keeping a theme for precision?  The hike is an immediate steep incline, persisting for just under a mile, great for practicing running toe first and with rewarding dramatic views of the valley and into the pass brimming with windmills.

Bob's House
Runners should be cautious of mountain bikers on their downward ascent, I would have died to have seen one of them riding up.  For hikers, it seemed a requirement to bring your dog, often times leashless, and I observed an almost 1/1 ratio of dogs and humans, however, my little maltese, not climatized to the desert heat, and to the satisfaction of my running partner, insisted we walk most of this one, and take plenty of water breaks.

Bob is Dead

An unusual side tour is on a road, seemingly leading to Bob Hope’s house, but, as the sign educates, actually does not, and sadly reminds us, that Bob Hope is dead anyway.

No Trespassing

And because our terror of extreme nasal hair outweighed our spirit for discovering new hiking trails, or, seeing Bob Hope’s house up close, we abandoned our attempts and contemplated whether we had actually discovered the road leading to the “tiny town” that is rumored to exist “behind Bob Hope’s house”.

I am a runner and trademark and copyright attorney.  I volunteer with my best friend and running partner, Monty (a Maltese) at Huntington Memorial Hospital’s Pet Assisted Therapy program and am a co-chair of the Technology Section of the Pasadena Bar Association and a board member of the San Gabriel Valley Bar Association.  If you have trademark, or copyright questions, or know someone that does, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation.  Email or phone at 626.831.8077.

Calls for a Narrative – Secret Weapon for a Runner

“Objection! Calls for a narrative!” During normal business hours, that is, during deposition, or, trial, that is how an attorney would normally respond to a question tailored to elicit an answer that narrates a series of occurrences, or, as we refer to it in plain English, a story. That is not the case for me on my long runs. In fact, on my long runs, especially those that take you up a ridiculously steep hill, like the one in Griffith Park that we call, “trash truck”, my secret weapon is that question that calls for a narrative. It is not uncommon that I can’t catch my breath and am struggling to keep up with the running veteran beside me, so, to avoid the feeling I hate the most, the one I get when I am holding someone up, I ask my running partner a question that calls for a narrative, and it sends them on a story, always a fascinating one, such as travelling to all forty-eight states in the U.S. on a motorcycle in a month. And what happens? My mind wanders away from those miserable blisters and aching muscles and I imagine myself riding carefree on a motorcycle. But, more importantly, my partners breathing pattern is affected, and I catch up (because they slow down); sneaky to you, but, to me, it is a symbiotic running relationship.

My Running Problem

I am past the first step, denial, and now freely admit that I have a problem, a running problem.  The goal is to get out into the open air and run until my heart’s content, but, outside circumstances interfere; an ankle injury, bronchitis, an avalanche of work, fatigue from too much running.  Join this IP attorney on […]