Category Archives: running

Photographic Evidence of the PART 5K

Hello. Oh, I’m sorry- do I blog here?

You might not know considering I decided to take an unplanned two week sabbatical.

I’ve been a little consumed with all the details of my life. And even though I’ve had multiple entries queued in my mind, the motivation to actually write has been difficult to find.

While my thoughts on this topic are extensive , I want to share a few more photos from my April 9 race. Remember when I talked about a theatrical performance piece featuring a purple spandex clad superhero, a gas guzzler, and a kangaroo? Well, feast your eyes on some visual proof.

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I suppose I was feeling festive enough to pose for a photograph…with a kangaroo…and people I don’ t know. Papa Bear Stanley is cheesing over my left shoulder.

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Apparently the official photographer was creeping on our camera phone photo sesh with my little brother.

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So….the purpose of the race was to encourage alternative forms of transportation in the triad. So of course, the ARCHNEMISIS of the alternative transportation movement is The Lone Rider, a triad resident who cruises around town alone in a gas guzzling vehicle. Apparently, The Lone Rider also has a gas pump for a tail.

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Who are the only creatures in the land that can save our community from The Lone Rider? A purple spandex clad superhero and a kangaroo wearing sneakers, obvi. Yeah, I couldn’t explain the relevance of either character, but their “showdown” with the lone rider was almost too much for me to handle.

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Action shot of the environmental ass kicking. No really, who could keep a straight face during this madness? I kept looking at my brother in shock, expecting it to be a dream.

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But…apparently they are all bros in real life. What a jip

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Downhill is always the easiest.

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(organic!) Post race refreshments provided by Earth Fare. See those bananas? I probably ate about 26626827 of them. And by that I mean 2.

What a great day. Because of the epic Southern rainstorm last weekend, my second race (15th Annual Hospice Hope Run) was cancelled Sad smile. I didn’t schedule a race for today, but I’m thinking about doing a race next Saturday to make up the difference.

Anyway, enjoy these photos until I can summon the energy to fully explain my blogging departure (and finally talk about the sick Melting Pot dinner I ate during my absence.)

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Filed under blogging, couch to 5k challenge, exercise, goals, races, running, walking

Jessamyn Tackles The PART Commuter Dash 5k

In spite of my wallet/camera theft, I was determined to do the PART Commuter Dash 5k yesterday. For one thing, it was free. For another, PART is really focused on promoting alternative transportation methods in the piedmont. In an area which desperately suffers from urban sprawl (in the worst possible way), it’s great to see the transportation authority really start focusing on educating people about alternative transportation methods. I mean, the American South is not renowned for its public transportation options (this can be attributed to a myriad of reasons, ranging from the Civil War to sketchy bus patrons), but PART is definitely making the effort to create a culture of public transportation in an area dominated by single drivers.

Anyway, yesterday’s race took place at Bur-Mil Park, on the outskirts of Greensboro. It was very chilly and it misted rain through the entire race. However, I was determined not to let the weather get me down. Even though I was out late the night before (word to the wise- DON’T STAY OUT LATE THE NIGHT BEFORE AN EARLY WAKE-UP), I managed to wake up before my first alarm.  I was very excited that my dad and brother accompanied me to the race, and even MORE excited when my dad decided to race with me! Since my camera is probably in a Winston-Salem pawn shop( Sad smile), I made my brother take a camera phone photo of my dad and I pre-race:

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You can see that my big teeth smiles were hereditary.

Before the race, there was a veritable theatrical performance piece featuring a purple spandex clad superhero, a gas guzzler, and a kangaroo. No, I’m not speaking metaphorically or telling a riddle. Gabriel wasn’t able to get any photos of the action, but I’ll be sure to post some of the official PART photos when they are tacked on the facebook page.

At the start of the race, my dad and I parked ourselves close to the back of the pack. I wasn’t planning to run this race (“mall-walk” would be a more accurate description), and we wanted to stay out of the way of the serious runners. However, when the starting gunshot went off, I was slightly surprised to see us both weaving through the crowd of slower runners (we tried not to be obnoxious). We kept very different paces, but we both managed to run the last leg of the race. My dad finished about five minutes before me, so now I have a new personal goal- besting my physically fit papa bear.

Also, the race route was beautiful. It crossed through residential northwest Greensboro, and over Lake Brandt. There were some inclines, but nothing too ridiculous- I’m definitely going to keep this path in mind for future bike rides.

However, I’m sure doing this race was a great birthday gift for him- he turned 46 this week, and there’s nothing like physical activity to make you feel young again. Even though, for the record, 46 is the new 36.

All in all, it was a great day. Yeah, it rained through the entire race. But it felt really nice to be up and active early in the day. Earth Fare provided the post-race snacks (bananas and organic pretzels, OH yeah!), and my dad (and brother) and I loaded up on all the free gifts from the race sponsors.

Next week I’m doing the 15th Annual Hospice Hope Run in Winston-Salem, and even though it’s going to be sunny all week, it’s supposed to rain on race day. Oh well. After yesterday, I’m ready to run in every element.

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Filed under couch to 5k challenge, cycling, exercise, goals, parents, races, running, walking

The Trouble With Food Tracking and My Wish List

I learned a valuable lesson today. It’s a lesson I’ve been forced to learn about 187391092779 times over, and I hope this time the true meaning will stick in my mind so that I’ll quit making the same mistakes.

If you are monitoring your food intake, ALWAYS TRACK YOUR MEALS.

I know, it seems obvious. It is obvious. It’s also the cornerstone of the Weight Watchers philosophy. But I am the laziest tracker in the history of the world. I spent the month of March being really lazy about my tracking habits- partially because I was fasting, and partially because I’m just really freaking lazy. As a result, when I stepped on the scale two weeks ago, I wasn’t very surprised to be pissed off by the number it gave me. However, I was a little surprised to be even more upset by the number I saw last week. In my defense, I was on my period and I always weigh really heavy when I’m menstruating. But I also didn’t track very well last week. I always start the week strong, and then I taper off toward the middle of the week. When I stop tracking, it becomes infinitely easier to impulsively eat the foods which sabotage me and my goals.

This week, however, I really focused on my tracking- even when I didn’t feel like it. And I saw definite results on the scale this morning. I need to maintain this momentum- sometimes tracking my food is just such a F-ing hassle. But I have to remember that the long term goals are worth the extra five minutes of effort.

In other news, I’ve been accumulating a wish list of items which will improve my blogging/cooking/athletic life. While the list grows steadily every day, there are a couple of items that are really key:

canon rebel1. New Camera- I love my camera. I really do. It’s small, and I can take it everywhere. But I need to get serious about my photography, especially in regard to my blogging. I mean, I’m well aware that a fancy camera does not create great photos- there’s no substitute for good lighting and composition. But I want the quality of my photography to increase, and I don’t want to invest more money in another point and shoot when I’m pleased with the point and shoot I’m using. I need to upgrade to dslr. My ideal model is the Canon Rebel– of course, it’s really expensive. I’m looking for a used canon, and I’m actually looking primarily at older models. I spend quite a bit of time scouring ebay for viable options. At this point, it’s just a little too far out of my financial grasp. But I’m hopeful- if you know anyone who is upgrading to another model and wants to get rid of their dslr, let me know!

garmin heart rate monitor2. Heart Rate Monitor: I think I need to be monitoring my activity level more vigilantly and I think a heart rate monitor will really help with this goal. I’d like to kn0w exactly how many calories I’m burning while exercising and I’d like to get more precise heart rate calculations. This will help me determine how I should be increasing/decreasing my exercise levels, especially as I reach weight plateaus and finish couch to 5k. At this point I’m battling between a garmin and a polar– price is an obvious factor, but I’m still just trying to decide between the two brands. As always, I’m really open to any insight you guys might have.

running shoe fitting guides3. Running Shoes: I actually already talked about this, but it’s become a true necessity. I don’t know how I’ll make it through the summer running season (especially since I definitely plan to run/race when I’m in Boston) wearing the shoes I have right now. These are great sneaks for general exercise, but I need to take better care of my tootsie wootsies if I’m going to keep up this hobby. I’ve received some great running shoe store recommendations in both GSO and Winston-Salem, but I still can’t quite decide between Fleet Feet and Off’N Running. In fact, I might have to get fitted after Saturday’s race– but maybe I’m being too impulsive. Thoughts?

citrus reamer4. Citrus Reamer: Self-explanatory. I bite my nails, and citrus juice+ bitten cuticles= LAME.

All this talk about running has made me pretty pumped about my run tonight. It’s weird how I’m sort of starting to like it.

…I hope I didn’t speak too soon. Smile

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Filed under blogging, body issues, couch to 5k challenge, exercise, food, goals, money honey, races, running, shopping, weigh-in, Weight Watchers

Fat Girl Running- A Letter To My Fellow Gym Patrons and Looking Toward My Future as a Runner

Dear Person Running Next To Me On The Treadmill,

I see you staring at me. You’re not very discreet. I might not be looking directly at you, but my peripheral vision has yet to fail me.

I get it. You’re competitive. You like the thrill of racing next to someone. Trying to run faster than them. It gets your blood pumping, your energy racing. You know what gets my blood pumping?

Running at this pace. Consistently. For several minutes. Without stopping. It makes me feel unstoppable. Even when my breath is waning and sweat is pouring down my back and I’m swearing that I will never step back on a treadmill again. Even when my side starts to cramp. Even when my calves burn like the Fourth of July. You know what doesn’t get my blood pumping?

Competing with you. Just because we’re next to each other doesn’t mean we’re in a running club. And if we were in a running club, I wouldn’t be competing against you: I’m competing against myself. I’m beating my own records, I’m out-timing myself. I’m not tempted to creep my pace up to meet your neck breaking pace (which you can’t seem to maintain for more than a few seconds, but that’s neither here nor there.)

You see, a couple of months ago, running for one minute felt like it would be the end of me. This week, I’m mentally preparing myself to run 20 minutes without walking. That mental preparation is more important to me than any mini-race you want the two of us to engage in.

So keep your eyes to the front, listen to your own breathing, and stop looking at me- I’m not your competition. You are your competition.

(By the way, for the sake of your personal safety, I’m going to assume you’re staring at me for the fun of competition and not because you can’t believe a fat girl can run for so long. If that’s the case, your real concern should be whether or not I’m going to yank out your treadmill power cord when you’re mid-sprint.)

Love,

Jessamyn

Since we’re on the topic of running:

I’ve learned quite a few things about running in the past couple of months. Since I haven’t been doing this my whole life, my learning curve is pretty intense. However, since my personal racing season is about to begin, I’m thinking about a number of things I need to do in order to maintain this hobby after I finish the Couch to 5K Challenge.

running shoe fitting guides1. New Shoes- I’ll admit it, I never thought shoes made that much of a difference. I’ve read countless articles and blog entries where people swear by the importance of proper shoe fittings. I’ve rolled my eyes and thought, “ I can run in these kicks, so what’s the problem? Yeah, it hurts a little, but I can’t afford to buy news ones and certainly not from a running store.”

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Don’t get me wrong- I am very grateful for these shoes. Without them, I would be running in old converses or even older kangeroo sneakers. But after a few months of running, I’ve started to think that I need shoes which actively accommodate for my foot arch. Also, the backs of these shoes rub against my heels in a way that is not very pleasant. And every time I start to think my calves are feeling the burn more than any other part of my body? That could be directly related to my shoe choice. Basically, new running shoes are fairly high on my list of priorities. They might not happen before summer, but I need to meet up with a running shoe specialist ASAP.


go belt2. Road Running Accessories- Another confession: I am scared to run outdoors. As in, I’m truly afraid. I love walking- I could walk to California and back. But running  outdoors freaks me out. I’ve developed an unhealthy dependency to the treadmill. I know it probably sounds weird, but the treadmill comforts me. It might be really boring, but I find comfort in the fact that as long as it is moving, I can’t stop moving. I’m scared to run outdoors because I can just stop running whenever I “feel tired”. If I stopped running every time I “felt tired” on the treadmill, I would never accomplish any of my daily goals. I don’t have a problem participating in outdoor races (probably because there other people present to motivate me), but running alone makes me nervous. In short, I haven’t conquered the mental aspect of running at all. However, I know that the time for me to focus on road running is near- the weather is brightening up, and I can’t stay indoors forever. Plus, if I really want to take my running seriously, I need to take it outside and try out different types of terrain. Therefore, I need to get a couple of accessories to make things easier. For instance, I am always saddled with too many handheld objects– cell phone, keys, etc. I’ve been eyeballing the go-belt for some time now (pictured above), because it’s an obtrusive way to carry all my stuff without causing problems.

running shorts3. New Clothes- I’m pretty happy with my sports bras, and I own about 308710821 tops which are appropriate for most running weather (though I should probably find a good under armour long sleeved top). However, I need to invest in new running bottoms (pants/shorts). Since I’m losing weight and my butt is (and probably always will be) larger than my stomach, I’m constantly dealing with droopy pants waistbands. Further more, I ( like most people who are blessed with hefty inner thighs) have a problem running in shorts because they always rise up into my crotch and I spend the entire run thinking about readjusting the crotch of my shorts. Therefore, I primarily enjoy running in capri pants.

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But it would be nice to have a solid pair of running shorts, especially since it’s getting warmer. But if I’m going to run in capri pants, I need pants that don’t droop down under my belly. Actually, part of the problem (probably) is that the shorts I run in are the same shorts I use for biking– but they’re not even really tight enough to be great biking shorts. However, when I’m biking I don’t have to deal with them riding up in my crotch. Hmm. Maybe I should get some shorts that are already short enough to be in my crotch so I don’t have to think about pulling them down? I know a lot of people think Fat girls can’t/shouldn’t wear shorty shorts, but I’ve never really cared what other people think about my wardrobe- why start now?

Bottom line? If I’m going to get serious about running, I need to get serious about my gear. Any ideas?

Also, speaking of suggestions, I think this is the week I’ll work on transitioning to my self-hosted domain. Basially, any and all words of wisdom are greatly appreciated. Smile

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Filed under blogging, couch to 5k challenge, exercise, fat, goals, races, running, walking

Races 2011, Music For Blogging, and Giveaway Magic

One of the benefits of spending (literally) an entire day in bed is that I’ve been able to spend my time (well, the time I didn’t spend staring at the interior of my toilet) playing catch up. One of the things I’ve been meaning to do is officially plan out some of the races I want to walk, walk/run, and run this year.

After careful consideration and cross checks with multiple calendars, I’ve officially decided upon a couple of different races I’ll be doing this year. I’m going to do more but, like most people with responsibilities, it’s difficult to make plans too far in advance. For example, any races I do during the summer months (June, July, August) will be dependent upon my summer work plans and those are still TBD. Anyway, I’ve listed my ‘definite’ races on the My Races tab- check it out and track my progress!

Also, while my exercise music is important, the music I listen to while blogging is almost as important. It helps keep me focused, and colors the tone of my posts. Just like exercise music, the type of music one listens to while blogging/tumbling/tweeting/etc. is highly indicative of the individual and I’m fascinated by what musical choices say about us as people.

I almost didn’t want to list my favorite blogging music because I thought it would be really repetitive (Sia, Sia, and more Sia), but I can’t get past my own narcissism.

Albums Worth Blogging To and About:

Adele– Live From Soho

Cat Power– The Covers Record

Erykah Badu– Baduizm

Esthero– Breath From Another

Fiona Apple– Tidal

Fiona Apple– When The Pawn…

Jill Scott- Experience: Jill Scott 826+

Portishead– Roseland NYC Live

Regina Spektor– Songs

Sia– Lady Croissant

Sia– Some People Have Real Problems

What music do you listen to while blogging?

As far as giveaways go, it seems the internet is littered with opportunities to win cool new products. Here are two I’m especially stoked about:

The hysterical Elizabeth of On Tap For Today is giving away a full line of skin-care products created by an up and coming Massachusetts based company called Stages of Beauty. The concept of this company is really smart and extremely relevant- basically, as we age, the needs of our skin change. What a 21 year-old woman needs from a skin care product is not the same as a 55 year-old woman. With that in mind, Stages of Beauty has lines of skin-care products which answer the needs of women depending upon their age bracket. Seems genius, right? Well, check out Elizabeth’s post about their products for her review and for more information on how to enter the giveaway. A winner will be selected on February 18th, so hop to it.

Also, Krit over at Healthy Krit is giving away a GIANT Sampler Box of Vitatops. I’m almost hesitant to post about this giveaway because I want to win and I don’t want other people clogging up the entry box Winking smile . However, this is just too good not to share.There are multiple ways to win, and they are listed here on her blog. The giveaway ends at midnight on Sunday, February 20th. The winner will be announced on Monday, February 21st.

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Filed under blogging, couch to 5k challenge, exercise, Giveaway, goals, music, races, running, walking