Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A Cyclist Shifts to 40km running in The Coastal Experiences in Costa RIca

Here's my first story about my week-long running adventure in Costa Rica with The Coastal Experiences. The article appeared in the sports section of the Santa Cruz Sentinel, on Friday, October 30, 2009. Click on the link or read my story, below.

 I got to climb up this waterfall during one of the most challenging days of The Coastal Experiences running vacation in Costa Rica.
Photo Credit: Eduardo Baldioceda

Spin City: Changing Gears -- A cyclist goes on a running vacation
By Karen Kefauver
Posted: 10/30/2009 01:30:02 AM PDT

My sister looked at me with incredulity.

"You're going on a running vacation?" she asked. "You don't run!"

She was right. But I had already signed up and was flying to Costa Rica for a seven-day organized trip called "The Coastal Experiences."

I hoped that my muscle memory would kick in and my body would remember all the 5-kilometer and 10k races I had run [slowly] during my seven years as a triathlete. But my swim-bike-run years ended in 2004. Since then, I have focused solely on cycling.

So why would I consider a trip that centered on running and promised on its Web site: "You will experience Costa Rica like few others have.... If you're ready to move from watching the Eco Challenge, Ironman, and NYC Marathon races on TV to actually stepping up to your own challenge, please join us."

I was eager to tackle an adventure radically different than my usual group road or mountain bike tours. Right before my 40th birthday, it was time to try something out of my comfort zone in a place I had never visited. I also liked the trip's multi-sport elements -- every day after running, there were additional activities offered, including ziplining, waterfall rappelling, volcano hikes, and snorkeling and scuba diving. Plus, on two mornings, all of us would try to stay in our rafts as we hit the white water of the Pacuare River's Class IV rapids.

That's how I ended up in San Jose, Costa Rica, the first week of October. I tried to play it cool on the first day of the trip. Our group of 70 guests and staff gathered to register and receive race numbers -- our running times would be officially recorded daily.

I braced for the potential shame of being last every day. Men and women, spanning ages 21 to 61, from all over the world -- England, Spain, Netherlands, Canada and mostly America -- were comparing notes on their recent marathon times, triathlons and adventure races. Though I was in shape, I was by no means in "race shape." I planned to walk, a lot.

I was also afraid of twisting my ankle in the jungle or stumbling upon a poisonous snake. I was relieved that there was a doctor on staff and that I was on the third annual Coastal Experiences. They told me everyone had survived so far!

The next day, which kicked off five days of running for a total of 40k off-road, I found a trio of women. They were old friends who had signed up for the challenge together, and they made running near the back of the pack seem like fun.

"We will sweep the sweepers," said Jenni, a lively nurse from Texas. She meant that our crew would be alongside the officials who were assigned to follow the last guests.

The next few days unfolded like a tropical dream, with just a few nightmarish moments. Each day, we started our run in a different location, making our way steadily toward our final stop in Puerto Viejo.

A highlight was a stay in the jungle lodge of Rios Tropicales, where we soaked in waterfalls after our run. It was also thrilling to see the plumes of gases rise from the active volcano of Turiallba. The threat of lava flows helped distract me from the searing pain in my quads: running or even walking downhill, day after day, really fatigues those leg muscles. As a cyclist, I was more accustomed to working my hamstrings.

Through the five days of the tour, I did a lot of walking and some running. My feet sank into spectacularly soft sand on the beach, slopped ankle-deep in mud that sucked off some of our shoes, and shimmied through river beds with slippery rocks. I got my hands dirty nearly every day, grabbing jungle vines and roots for steady footing. I watched colorful butterflies flit from the lush leaves.

Several times during the week, I welcomed overcast skies and gentle rains to keep me cool. It was hard. I loved it and sometimes hated it because I was out of my comfort zone. But I was not always last.

While many in the group camped every night, I was relieved that I had chosen the lodging option and slept soundly to the insect hum each night. The trip was not about watching wildlife or doing a checklist of tourist spots. It was about connecting with the beautiful land and sharing the experience with fellow travelers.

Since my return to Santa Cruz, I have had a joyous reunion with my mountain bike on the trails at Wilder Ranch State Park. It was nice to ride through mud rather than run through it and I had a renewed appreciation for the trails.

My friend Kim, a fitness coach, noticed I seemed stronger. "It must be the cross training," she said.

I'm not ready to give up the bike for my sneakers, but I have resolved to incorporate some trail and beach running into my bike workouts. And if I see you out running or riding while I'm on my bicycle, I'll be happy to raise my water bottle and salute you with Costa Rica's national mantra: "Pura Vida" = life is good.

If You Go
For more information on this trip and others offered by the same company, visit www.thecoastalexperiences.com.

Karen Kefauver is a sports and travel freelance journalist. She blogs weekly about bicycling for the Sentinel at www.santacruzlive.com/blogs/outside.http://www.santacruzlive.com/blogs/outside.

Feat of the Feet
The top tip that I have for cyclists, like me, who want to start running on vacation or otherwise: Be prepared to pay special attention to your feet.
On a bike, feet are important, but since they don't bear all your weight, they are not as vulnerable as when you're pounding the trails. Know that your foes will be blisters, toe nails that fall off and spots on your foot that rub and become "hot spots," a warning from your body that is best heeded. Blister treatment prevention includes lubing the feet, monitoring hot spots and treating with bandages.
Ask for more foot care details at your local running stores.

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

The High-Flying Life of American Expat and Pilot Art Dawley - An Interview

When I met Art Dawley in San Jose, Costa Rica,  in early October 2009, I asked him about life there as an American ex-pat and the charter plane business he launched, Paradise Air. It was fun to talk with a pilot who spent years flying Hollywood’s top executives, including Steven Spielberg and his partners at Dreamworks movie studio, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Art said Paradise Air, with three planes and five U.S.-certified airline transport pilots, is the first air taxi company to be certified under the new, stricter aviation laws of Costa Rica. The company offers aerial tours, air transportation and transfers, safaris and executive services.

Art and I had tea and talked at the lovely patio of the historic Hotel Grano de Oro in San Jose, Costa Rica, on October 11, 2009.

1. QUESTION:  How did you choose to live in Costa Rica?
ANSWER: I am from Ohio and grew up in California. My former brother-in-law told me that there was a small airline charter business for sale in Costa Rica. I was looking for a new challenge. The opportunity could have been anywhere in the world, but it was here in Costa Rica... I moved here in November 2004. I didn't know Spanish.

2. Q: What do you like most about living in Costa Rica after nearly five years here?
A: I like the people…As a pilot, you get to know many people. In addition to my work, I have also helped with search and rescue and medical flights. I also like the physical beauty of the country. I prefer the mountains and the cloud forests for their cooler temperatures.

3. Q: What were you doing before you came to Costa Rica?
A: I spent my whole life in aviation - 24 years. For seven years, I worked as a pilot for Steven Spielberg and before that, 17 years with Petersen Publishing Company, which owned about 47 magazines including Motor Trends and Hot Rods.

4. Q: What was it like flying for Spielberg and the others?
A: I really enjoyed flying Spielberg and my non-disclosure agreement doesn't prevent me from saying that! I enjoyed the travel and excitement of the job not to mention flying the most advanced equipment (airplanes) in the world.

5. Q: Why did you leave what some might consider an ideal job?
A: I wanted to pursue my dream of owning my own aviation company.

6. Q: What’s been the biggest challenge living in Costa Rica?
A: Doing business here. For one thing, the language barrier. Very little is done in English. When I got here, I discovered an amazing maze of inefficiency. All the forms and data were entered by hand; nothing was computerized. Getting permits and licenses was nearly impossible.

7. Q: Why did you choose to stay?
A: I had no choice. I had sold everything I owned - two houses – and I left a full -time job.

8. Q: What else are you doing?
A: I have two other companies. I run a helicopter corps maintenance facility and SEACSA, which are helicopters that do maintenance on electrical lines. That’s where I am putting a lot of energy right now.

9. Q: What is most rewarding about building your own aviation business?
A: With Paradise Air, I brought a new level of customer service to the business. I set the bar higher in providing high-end customer service. And I also brought a new internationally recognized standard of aviation. On a personal level,  I enjoy flying with families who have young kids. I’m a dad myself – my son is 13 and my daughter is 10. I love seeing how excited the kids get when they see the forests, the turtles…

10. Q: You have built three companies in the time you have been here. What’s next?
A: I don’t plan on retiring! I enjoy my work too much. I truly love living and working here. I have my eye on expansion through the Caribbean and Central and South America.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Cyclist Changes Gears and Goes on a Running Vacation - Day 1 of The Coastal Experiences

Did I sign up for a running trip or dance class? Keep reading to find out why samba dancers and runners are parading poolside on the opening day of The Coastal Experiences.

 I AM AFRAID -and excited! I am safe here in the Best Western Irazu hotel in San Jose, Costa Rica, but tomorrow I - along with 70 others from the U.S., Canada, Germany and Great Britain -  will embark upon a challenging, week-long adventure called The Coastal Experiences. 

  These tents served as our registration and check-in area today at Best Western Irazu here in San Jose, Costa Rica. I felt like I was about to do the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon World Championship.

During the course of seven days, I will run 40km total, all off-road, through the jungle and on rocky, volcanic land. The company's website says this adventure trip for the active traveler is geared towards those of us who have competed in community 10k (6.2-mile) races - perfect, that's me! But wait! The last time I ran a 10k was nine years ago. My muscles will remember my triathlon days, right?

The organizers of The Coastal Experiences gave us a fabulous SURPRISE welcome by having a troupe of dancers come perform, then dance with us! A brilliant ice breaker.

I am scared that I will be the last runner, that I will be bitten to a pulp by insects and that I might melt in the tropical heat. But most of all, I am concerned about the running. My goal is to walk-run each day and avoid injury. I have discovered there are others who plan to walk the entire week. Maybe those are My People?  The competitor in me resists the idea of being at the back of the pack, whether I am walking or running.  But at this point I have little choice since my training plans fell by the wayside.

I am an avid cyclist - I have 5 bikes - and I left them all at home in order to come on this running vacation. I kept meaning to train for this event. But somehow the siren call of singletrack mountain bike rides with friends was stronger than my plan to go for a solo run.

Back in August, it seemed like a great idea to push myself out of my comfort zone of bicycling just before my 40th birthday, October 26. What better way to greet a new decade?

Maybe I can pick up a few new dances steps while I am here!

We shall see what happens tomorrow! Here is what is on tap for me - it's the longest day of running with a 10k (6.2-miles). It's midnight now and I am getting up at 5 a.m.!

Monday, October 12, 2009
Race Day 1
Depart the Best Western Irazu in San Jose and head for the volcano. The 10K run will be near the volcano of Turrialba.  A narrow unpaved road will take you through the hills and past small villages that sit above San Jose.  Your finish line is the home of Turrialba Lodge, where we’ll be staying that night.  Relax at the indoor pool, go horseback riding or trek up to the volcano.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Photo essay of my day in San Jose, Costa Rica, exploring downtown!

This afternoon I set out from Green House Hostel and walked many blocks. My goal was to reach the Mercado Central (Central Market). But as it so often happens, getting there was more fun than reaching the destination. I was disappointed the market was inside so only stayed a little while.

One of several cut-out carvings up the street from my youth hostel. 

 I enjoyed people-watching, admired the sculpture and plazas and especially liked seeing the lovely Teatro Nacional. Another highlight was returning to the hostel and playing with adorable 4-year-old Loana. We used my Apple laptop's Photobooth to take our picture, the final photo.

Friday, October 09, 2009

My First Trip to Costa Rica - where to stay in San Jose, the country's capital?

Three Cheers for Spontaneity
How I "downgraded" from Spa to Hotel to Hostel and am Very Happy!

Map courtesy of Lonely Planet

It was a little nerve-wracking not to know where I was staying my first night here in San Jose,
the capital of Costa Rica. After 14 hours of travel on Thursday, Oct. 8, from Santa Cruz, California, I was tired and regretted I had not made any lodging reservations.

My last-minute attempt to book online at Tabacon Grand Spa (three hours' drive from the airport) had fallen through. Bye, bye pampering and luxury.  I had three nights - Thursday, Friday and Saturday to rest and relax before starting my active vacation, which includes running every day! My next blog post will be all about this trip: The Coastal Experience.

At customs, I told them I was staying at Best Western Irazu, though I had no reservations there. That's where I will meet my group on Sunday.

"Aburrido," proclaimed the official. ("Boring.")

I agreed - Best Western was boring. Why would I stay in a chain hotel? Mostly, because I was so tired and had not researched other options since I was working up until the last minute.

Fortunately, outside the airport, Ines found me waiting for the Best Western hotel shuttle. She talked  me into staying at the Green House Hostel,  30km from the airport.  After 20 minutes talking to Ines and determining that she was not a psycho killer and her establishment was legit. I climbed into her taxi and we drove half an hour to the Green House Hostel. She gave me a great tour along the way, told me about her three kids and growing up at the base of the mountains outside the city.

I checked into the hostel  last night and met the owner Orietta and her son Marco, who run the place. They have been so warm and welcoming. I am thrilled I landed here and will stay three nights. It's humble for sure, but for $20 a night for a private room with bathroom, including wireless internet and egg breakfast, I couldn't be happier.

 The breakfast room. There are 53 beds here at the hostel, but it's nearly empty now - it's off season.

Today was cloudy and overcast, the perfect excuse to stay close to the hostel and adjust to Costa Rica. A few things I noticed wandering around the neighborhood:

- Colones - the name of the currency here. Converting has been tough - 600 colones equal about one dollar.

- "Sobrepesado"  means "overweight." From scanning headlines of the daily paper, La Nacion,  I  learned 60 percent of adults are overweight here! American influence, no doubt.

- Casados - the common dish that is a mix of white rice, beans and meat - chicken, pork or fish.

Tips from my Apple Store Los Gatos Talk: "Using your Mac and Social Media to Build your Brand"

As a big fan of all things Apple, it was a thrill for me to present my talk on social media at the Apple Store in Los Gatos on Wednesday, October 7. The focus of my talk, titled "Using your Mac and Social Media to Build Your Brand," was how to set up an account on Twitter and how to use it effectively. I have posted "The Golden Rule of Twitter" and some tips, below, on what to tweet about for your business.

 I felt like a superstar with this promo made by Apple.

COMING UP in November at the Capitola Book Cafe in Capitola, California!
My next two talks on social media are set for Wednesday, Nov. 11 (evening) and Saturday, Nov. 14 (morning). Please check the with store for details on class topics and times. Call to register: 831-462-4415.  Prepay is required to reserve a spot.  I hope also to have dates soon for my next Apple Store talks!

Golden Rule of Twitter
Don’t use Twitter to talk about yourself and your services constantly.
Your Tweets should be:
• 80% about others
• 20% about yourself and business

Keep reading to find out what you can tweet about!

Special thanks to Apple's Mari Anderson, Mark Macsurak, and Andrew Kaiser for making my first talk at the Apple Store Los Gatos so much fun and run so smoothly!

 What to Tweet about In Your Own Business:
• New product release
• Significant changes to existing product
• Changes in corporate name or logo
• New website
• Events, e.g. open house, awards, presentations
• New funding
• Major personnel changes
• Increase in market share
• Corporate philanthropy, e.g. volunteer work, donations
• Hiring of agencies, e.g. PR, accounting, law
• New partner or significant new customer
• Milestones, e.g. customers served, anniversary

What to Tweet About Otherwise:
Think about topics that are related to your business and/or area of interest that your customers/clients/friends on Twitter will find of interest. The majority of these Twitter posts, called "tweets," will contain links to articles. To find articles of interest you can:

• Read your local news online
• Monitor websites and newsletters of groups and professional associations you belong to
• Keep an eye out for breaking news in your industry online (i.e. New York Times tech section)
• See what your colleagues are tweeting about and "retweet" them
• Look out for general business advice and tips that others will find useful

To Shorten the URLs that you Tweet:
• Use http://bit.ly

Still confused by Twitter? 
One of the best resources to learn about Twitter is right on its website:

Sunday, August 30, 2009

NEW! Photos posted + date set to talk about Twitter in Santa Cruz

I can't stop talking - or blogging - about Twitter!
And if you find these posts on social media helpful, please share my blog link
Date for my next talk on "How to Use Twitter for Business:" September 3, 2009, in Santa Cruz, California.

I will present again on the topic of Twitter for Business for the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce's Women in Business Caffeineighted Series, at 8 a.m. on Thursday, September 3, at the Santa Cruz Chamber offices, 611 Ocean Street.
Please register here in advance!

I have found Twitter useful in my own business and want to help demystify it for others.

CHECK OUT THE PHOTOS! Taken by Chelsea George at the Santa Cruz Culinary Center from my Twitter event. I posted a few of them here and visit the photo sharing site, Flickr.



Here I chat with Kirsti Scott, standing, right, of Scott Design, an award-winning company that creates online marketing communications for technology companies.

Bonnie Lipscomb welcomes the audience to the Women in Business event hosted at the Culinary Center of Santa Cruz downtown in August.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Responding To Negative Social Media Posts - What to do!

In my continued research on Twitter, here are three posts that I found interesting.

If you are new to Twitter, please refer to my previous blog posts — Part 1 and Part 2 — introductions on how to use this fast-growing social media network.

Responding To Negative Social Media Posts
1. Social Media Response Plan
2. Ink Foundry's 9 tips

Social Media Growth Soars - list of stats from Aug. 2009
3. The Stats On Social Media Today Will Astound You! | InventorSpot
- Or at least you may find them interesting, like I did!

At my August talk on "Twitter for Business," Judy Stevens of Santa Cruz, discovers the magic of tweeting at our meeting.
Photo credit: Chelsea George

Sunday, August 09, 2009

How to Use Twitter - Part 2: Tips on How Tweeting on this Social Network & Microblogging Service Can Promote Your Business

5 More Resources for Learning to Use Twitter for Business

Here are resources I researched and found helpful for my presentation to the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce Women in Business forum last week (see comments on my presentation, below). My previous blog post offers Tips on Twitter - Part 1.

As much as I love social networking on multiple forms of media, nothing beats face to face contact. Here I present tips on Twitter to business women in Santa Cruz, California.
Photo Credit: Chelsea George

And just for laughs:
The Royal Opera House produces Twitter Opera!

1. 62 Ways to Use Twitter for Business
August 3rd, 2009 Meryl Evans

2. Twitter Guide
Twitter recently published its own guide addressing these questions:
How do businesses use Twitter? How does it work? How do I get started?

3. Learn Twitter Lingo! (Karen's favorite!)
"Twitter is pretty simple: send and receive short messages. But what’s with all the symbols and strange terms. Learn the terms so you can use Twitter like a pro."

4. Ken Ramirez of Axys Technology Group posted a helpful video of his webinar here:
Advantages of using Facebook and Twitter for Business

5. New York Times explains Twitter Hashtags
Hashing Things Out
By Virginia Heffernan
How those curious words and mashed-together phrases known as hashtags are remaking conversations on Twitter.


COMMENTS on my Presentation and Blog on Twitter

At the Culinary Center of Santa Cruz/Fresh Prep Kitchens, I gave a presentation to 40 women on "How To Use Twitter for Business."
Photo Credit: Chelsea George

On Aug 6, 2009, at 5:34 PM, William Tysseling wrote (via email)
"Karen… just want to thank you again. This was a real hit. So good there was conversation about letting you ‘finish’ in September. Well done and much appreciated."
— Bill Tysseling, Executive Director, Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce
On Aug 10, 2009, at 10:30 AM, Kirsti Scott wrote (via emai):
"Great job on the presentation! I tweeted your blog post last week after the presentation and I'm going to add it to my blog post. Thanks for putting together such a comprehensive list of ideas and resources!"
Kirsti Scott, Founder, Creative Director, Scott Design, Inc.
Become a fan of Scott Design on Facebook!

On Aug 6, 2009, at 4:04 PM, Camille Smith wrote:

"Thanks, Karen, for your presentation this morning. Great energy, super info."— Camille Smith, President, Work In Progress Coaching
On Aug 9, 2009, at 6:06 AM (via blog comment) Fiona Leonard has left a new comment on your post "How to Use Twitter - Tips on Tweeting for Business"
"Thanks so much for the Hootsuite tip. My very old mac won't support tweetdeck and I have been suffering without some sort of platform to manage twitter. Hootsuite is a great solution."
1. For LINKED IN users: I suggest doing a search for, then joining this group:

Twitter Power for Business.

Don't become a full time BOT poster!
If you automate your Twitter posts, make sure you don't ONLY use automated service!
An In-Depth Look at the 5% of Most Active Users reports that almost a quarter of Twitter’s updates are done by bots (automatic posting tools).
"Of the most active Twitter users updating more than 150 times/day, nearly all of them are bots operated by sources such as hotels offering deals, regional and national news services, regional weather services, the top news within Digg, games, anim services, tags within del.icio.us and financial aggregators. These very active bots account for one-quarter of all tweets."

Let your humanity shine through! That's what social networking is all about!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

How to Use Twitter - Part 1: Tips on How Tweeting on this Social Network and Microblogging Service Can Promote Your Business

(click here to Read Part 2 of "How to Use Twitter for Business.")

What do Barack Obama, Lance Armstrong, the election protesters in Iran and a food delivery truck in L.A. have in common?

They have all harnessed the power of Twitter and so can you! As the world’s fastest growing social media network, Twitter is a tool that can be used by small businesses and sole proprietors just as effectively as by celebrities and politicians.

Beginning and intermediate Twitter users: Learn what you can gain from a free Twitter account, when to Tweet, and tools to maintain it for a few minutes a day. This is an excerpt from my presentation today, August 6, 2009, for the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce's Women in Business Caffeinated Series.

Compiled by:
Karen Kefauver
Freelance journalist & website consultant
Visit my Website:
Check out my Blog:
Follow me on Twitter:

Golden Rule of Twitter:
Don’t talk about yourself and services constantly!
80 percent – Tweet about and for others
20 percent – Tweet about yourself and your business

When to Use Twitter to Promote Your Company
• New product release
• Significant changes to existing product
• Changes in corporate identity - company name or logo
• New web site
• Events (open houses, trade shows, speaking engagements, awards)
• New funding
• Major personnel changes
• Corporate philanthropy (volunteer work, donations)
• Hiring of agencies (public relations, accounting, law firm)
• New partner
• Significant new customer
• Milestones (customers served, years in business)
• Increase in market share or revenue

What Tweeting Can Do for You
• Reach media outlets locally, nationally and online
• Reach investors and prospective partners
• Message thousands of potential customers
• Increase traffic to your web site through search engines
• Increase online sales
• Enhance credibility – be viewed as an expert in your field
• Fast and free form of a press release
• Potential increase in viral marketing
• Reach social media and bloggers

16 Free Twitter Tools to Help You

1. http://www.twitip.com

2. http://search.twitter.com

3. http://hootsuite.com

4. http://tweetdeck.com

5. http://www.tweetlater.com

6. http://twitthat.com

7. http://twitthis.com

8. http://www.hashtags.org

9. http://dossy.org/twitter/karma

10. http://www.twitpic.com

11. http://www.tweetphoto.com

12. http://twitvid.io

13. http://12seconds.tv

14. http://logpost.com

15. http://tinyurl.com

16. http://www.hashtags.org

More about these 16 tools and how to use them

How to Use Twitter

TwiTip, edited by Darren Rowse (@ProBlogger) from ProBlogger Blog Tips is all about Twitter. Subscribe here to get daily tips about how to use Twitter:

Search on Twitter
Search, filter, and interact with volumes of news and information being transmitted to Twitter every second. Twitter Search helps you filter all the real-time information coursing through the service.


Search for people you know who already have a Twitter account.

Manage your Tweets and Social Networks
Manage multiple Twitter accounts
Personalize the layout of Twitter by organizing the info into tabs and columns
Track statistics and brand monitoring


This free download serves as a personal browser for tracking what’s happening now, connecting you with your contacts across Twitter, Facebook and more. Can be used with Iphone. TweetDeck shows you everything you want to see at once, so you can stay organized and up to date.


Schedule tweets and have them appear automatically even when you're not in front of your computer.
Track keywords on Twitter
Set up alerts and track keywords in the public Twitter stream
Automation: Word of Warning!
Send welcome DMs to new followers.
Follow those who follow you.
Unfollow those who unfollow you.

Other Social Networking Tools
Between our straight forward posting methods and advanced custom triggers, we make it easy for you to post your messages exactly where you want them to go. Ping supports over 40 social networking sites.

Create a Tweet
Just drag this (Twit That) button, up to your Firefox toolbar. Then share interesting links to Twitter easily.

This is an easy way for people to send Twitter messages about your blog post or website. Visitors to your website click on the TwitThis button to post to Twitter.
Look under Tools to get code to post on your blog.

Manage Followers
A tool to determine who you are following (only) and who you is following you (only) and mutual followers.

Post Photos to Twitter
You can post pictures to TwitPic from your phone, our API, or through the site itself. Use your Twitter account to log on.

Photos are automatically geo-tagged
Filter photos by Twitter or Facebook friends
Automatically publish photos to Facebook

Post Video on Twitter
Share videos on Twitter. Upload from your computer,
email video to u@twitvid.io from your mobile phone
Record straight from your webcamera to your followers

Santa Cruz County-based company that also provides lnks to Twitter. Article about them: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_11467159

Tweet from your Phone or Mobile Device
You can post your Tweets for free using Logpost, a free Twitter client for mobile phones (Iphone, Blackberry, etc.)

Tiny URL
Shorten a long link to a shorter one so that it takes less space n Twitter

Search this site to find out what's happening right now on Twitter.

Twitter in the News
New York Times
July 23, 2009
Marketing Small Businesses With Twitter
By Claire Kain Miller
For many businesses with no ad budget, the microblogging service is their sole means of marketing.

Wall Street Journal
March 13, 2009
How to Twitter
The social rules and tips for gaining 'followers'; why opinionated people win

August 3, 2009
For Companies, a Tweet in Time Can Avert PR Mess

Time Magazine
10 Ways Twitter Will Change American Business Aug. 2009

Other Twitter Resources
Social Media Quickstart Guide - 6 Tools You Need
By Kirsti Scott of Scott Design

10 Stunning (And Useful) Stats About Twitter
By Rohit Barghava, Influential Marketing Blog

Is Your Social Media Expert Really an Expert?
Ways to tell your Social Media “Expert” Might Not Be An “Expert” After All
Co-written by Peter Shankman and Sarah Evans

B.L. Ochman's blog: How to Pick Your Social Media Guru

Twitter Glossary
Source: Julia Angwin, Wall Street Journal.com's senior technology editor

@: At reply. A public tweet directed at a fellow Twitterer, such as @Barack Obama, that shows up in their Twitter stream.

DM: Direct Message. A private message that appears in a Twitter inbox. You can only direct message people who follow you.

RT: Retweet. A tweet that you like so much that you are resending to your followers. Usually includes credit to original tweeter, such as RT @BarackObama, followed by the tweet.

Whale Icon: The iconic blue whale that pops up when Twitter is down. It appeared frequently in Twitter's first year and a half.

#: Hashtag. Used to designate a topic such as #SanDiegoFire so that people can easily search for tweets on a topic. (It is totally unnecessary, though, because a search on a keyword without the # returns the same results).

Nudge: A feature that lets you send a note to a Twitterer encouraging them to tweet more frequently. You can only nudge people who are tweeting from a mobile phone.

(click here to Read Part 2 of "How to Use Twitter for Business.")

Special Thanks to:

Bill Tysseling
President Annette McGarrity
Project Director
Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce

Kirsti Scott
Scott Design

Margaret Rosas

Jennifer Karno and Bonnie Lipscomb
Women in Business Caffeinated Series

Jody Lombardo, Judy Johnson, owners, and staff
Culinary Center of Santa Cruz/Fresh Prep Kitchens

Chelsea George
Writer, photographer and videographer

Leslie Kefauver
Mom, for support, encouragement and help with Apple’s Keynote.

The Wharf to Wharf Race - The Biggest Little 6-mile race in Santa Cruz, California

Everyone chooses to run for his and her own reasons and goals.

Wharf to Wharf 2009 - Here are My Photos

I watched the 37th annual Wharf to Wharf Race in July from the comfort of the sidelines. For many years, I was a casual runner at this scenic six-mile classic that attracts 15,000 official racers and many more who tag along. I was deeply inspired watching the runners, walkers and joggers as they formed a mass of energy moving from the Santa Cruz Wharf to the Capitola Wharf. What makes this race really stand out is dozens of live bands along the way - everything from bag pipes, to drummers, to rock bands, to marching bands. I especially enjoyed one of the deejays!

You Go Girl!

If you are in the lead, then you don't have to deal with the crowds! These are the front runners early on.

Thousands of runners in the middle of the pack run over Murray Street Bridge.

Fortunately, it was an overcast morning so runners could stay cool.

The community spirit of the race makes it a joy to watch or participate.

I always find some of my favorite folks are at the end of the "race."

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Harvey Bear Mountain Bike Race Report - The 22 Hottest Miles Ever!

"It felt like my head was in a furnace," Tracy Moyle said cheerfully during our drive home yesterday from the hottest race we had ever competed in - Harvey Bear Ranch Mountain Bike Race in Morgan Hill, California.

"Uh-huh," I replied, zombie-like, in the passenger seat, suffering from the effects of racing for 2.50 hours under the blazing sun. I was grateful Tracy was driving because I was nauseous and had a big headache moving in like a tornado.

Speaking of turbulent weather, my friend Hank Coffin, who lives in smokin' hot Sacramento, checked on the temperatures yesterday in Santa Clara County where I was racing and reported: "Looks like it could have been approaching 95 degrees. That's nothin'!"

I feel certain it was at least 100 degrees by the time I crossed the finish line, ecstatic to find some shade and drench myself in water.

Miraculously, Tracy and I returned to my house in Santa Cruz around 1 p.m. Sunday without my having to use my new race goodie bag as a barf bag! But it took me hours to recover, hydrate and assess the race, the Harvey Bear Ranch Mountain Bike Race, which was a brand new event put on by th South Valley Bike and Run Club.

That's me on the podium, at right, still wearing my orange helmet for shade. I'm holding the hand of Julianna Perry, my friend on Team Santa Cruz, who is so speedy that she easily won the women's sport category title and was faster than quite a few sport guys, too.

Here are my thoughts on the Harvey Bear Ranch Mountain Bike Race, which I shared with the race director, who was wonderfully open and welcoming of feedback! There is another race at the same venue coming up! 8/2/2009: Mid Summer Mountain Bike Race at Harvey Bear.

The Good Stuff
• The volunteers at the aid stations were nice.
• Registration folks were friendly.
• Communication pre-race via email was superb.
• I felt like a celebrity out there with photographers on the course
• Very punctual delivery of race results - excellent. Though you are still missing listing my friend in the women's sport class. (*She has since been added).

Room for Improvement
• The course was fairly well marked - there was one major spot that needed clarification - in fact, a bunch of us went the wrong way until a local guy caught us in the nick of time to correct us. When you are out there, in my case, overheated and solo on the course, there should be a "wrong way" at every intersection - and there were two more spots, other than the one I just mentioned, where I seriously was unsure which way to go. Luck prevailed.
• The awards ceremony, (in which I got second in my women sport age 30-39.)
The announcer called up the winner in my category announcing her as the SOLE competitor in her age group, which was incorrect. (There were 3 of us in women sport 30-39). The third place winner in our group was overlooked altogether. I still enjoyed my moment on the podium, standing next to my friend and teammate, Julianna (see photo).

Harvey Bear Ranch Race Overview:
July 19th, 2009 - race begins at 9:00 a.m.
Classes for Beginner, Sport, and Expert.
10-23 miles depending on class
Space is limited to the first 100 riders
On site registration from 7:00 AM to 8:30 AM day of event if spots are available.
This will be a fun, challenging race at Harvey Bear Park. This is the first time a race has been allowed there so please respect the grounds if you would like to see more races in the area.
Harvey Bear is a Santa Clara County Park & Rec Facility

Course Notes:
The course includes several big hills over fire roads. The hills are challenging. There is a mix of single track in. Beginner and sport will run 10 miles and expert 23 miles. Total elevation gain will be 2000 ft and 3000 ft.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Back in the Saddle - Karen's cross country mountain bike comeback is Sunday, July 19!

I plan to look happy and content while sweating uphill during my race, the way I look in this photo from a Wilder Ranch mountain bike ride. Photo credit: Bird Emrick.

Today, I ramped up the training for my upcoming cross-country mountain bike race with a top-secret nutritional tool for high-performance. I can't tell you exactly how many Pepperidge Farm Brussels Mint cookies I consumed because that calorie count is a trademarked secret. This data will be revealed with the publication of my new book, "How Cookies Fuel Your Inner Athlete."

The new Super Food of elite athletes!

For now, I am cutting back on my workouts ("tapering") and eating my secret race foods (cookies) for my big comeback to mountain bike racing this Sunday, July 19, 2009, at the NEW EVENT: the Harvey Bear Ranch Mountain Bike Race in Santa Clara County, California.


July 19th, 2009 - race begins at 9:00 a.m.
Race classes for Beginner, Sport, and Expert.
10-23 miles depending on class
Fun, challenging course for every age.
Space is limited to the first 100 riders!
Onsite registration from 7:00 AM to 8:30 AM day of event if spots are available.

This will be a fun, challenging race at Harvey Bear Park and the first time a race has been allowed there at this Santa Clara County Park & Rec Facility. This 4,595-acre park - featuring a 635-acre lake, provides camping and boat launch facilities, showers, 19 miles of horse, bicycle and hiking trails. It is located in the Diablo Range east of the City of Gilroy.

Course Notes:
The course includes several big hills over fire roads. The hills are challenging. There is a mix of single track. Beginner and sport will run 10 miles and expert 23 miles. Total elevation gain will be 2000 ft and 3000 ft.

Here's what the race blog from organizers South Valley Bike and Run Club said about the Harvey Bear race this weekend:

"It's a challenging place for beginners because it has two abrupt climbs, and the first one is as soon as the race starts. Look at it like a tough training day! After 2 miles of up hill you get to go down. The only real tough area after that is San Ysidro, which I'm sure many people will walk portions. There will be an aid station at the top to refill your bottles. We will also have a spare first aid kit up there.

Make sure you carry enough fluids, even though we are starting early it could get warm."

Good luck and thanks,

Greg Richards

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Santa Cruz Cyclist sets off on 4,000-mile cross country bike tour - and I joined him - for 15 miles!

What inspired Bart Coddington, 65, to ride his fully loaded bicycle across the U.S. from his hometown of Santa Cruz, California, to his 47th high school reunion in Rye, New York?

I aim to answer that question and share Bart's passion for bicycling in two blog posts for the Santa Cruz Sentinel. I was so impressed with his endeavor that I got up at 6 a.m. today to see him off on his ride. (Many of you know that is not my shining hour). Now the rest is up to Bart!

To find out more, visit my cycling blog, Spin City: http://www.santacruzlive.com/blogs/outside/

Bart Coddington, the president of the Santa Cruz County Cycling Club, sets off with four loaded bike bags and three friends on Wednesday, July 1. He is pictured here, on Highway 1, near Davenport, about 19 miles into the 4,000-mile ride. Though one friend will ride with him for the first days, it is a solo journey.
Photo Credit: Karen Kefauver

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

My Big Adventure: I am on the move, but not in between counties!

Sometimes the biggest adventures happen in small spaces, not faraway places. Change and growth take a different form for me when I am staying put in one place instead of exploring new ones. At the moment, I am enjoying settling down, again, in Santa Cruz, California, where I have lived for 16 years. I moved out here from my native Washington, D.C. I landed here, by chance, when I was 23, with just a backpack, and have stayed thru my 20s and 30s - soon I will be 40! During the past 13 months, I have moved seven times; on June 1, I found a home I plan to stay in for a while.

This is how my latest adventure looks: going inward, reflecting and writing! Staying put is a different kind of trip!

Friends and colleagues remain eager to hear about my travels to Brazil and Peru (August-September '08) as well as rafting in Idaho and road biking in Montana (last summer). I have photos to share and stories to tell from those amazing experiences. Now that I am settled, I will be able to make that happen, at last!

Please stay tuned to my blog!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Santa Cruz County Cycling Team's Big Night Out and Photo Op!

I am a member of Team Santa Cruz, the racing component of the Santa Cruz County Cycling Club. I have not been active in club meetings or volunteering for a while (I blame traveling and moving six times within the past year). So it was nice to reconnect with friends and meet new teammates tonight at Olitas restaurant at the Santa Cruz Wharf. Photos first, then tacos and beer. Below are a few photos I snapped while we were setting up for the Grand Photo Shoot by Steve (his camera had a wide angle lens!) The next big club/team event is the annual road ride called the Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge. - Karen
Karen, Rita (wearing her 24-hour team relay 1st place medal) and Winona also race together as the Go Go Go Girls!

Mike Evans, center smirks at the camera.
I attempted to get everyone into a disco pose! It worked - sort of.

To see all 13 photos I took visit this Picasa album.