1. image: Download

    Bag city! Volunteering at gear check for the Rock’n’Roll Chicago Half Marathon. Looks calm on this end but we JUST finished taking the last half-marathon bags and now the 5Kers are starting to come in. Craziness! Here are my free tips for bag check:

DO tie your bag at the top if you are bringing one of those string backpacks. 
DON’T come back for your bag unless you absolutely have to — it interrupts our groove! (And at some races you probably can’t get it back till the finish. We sorted and numbered all of these, so they are just sitting pretty with us [and hired security] until it’s all over.) But sometimes stuff happens and you have to do it.
DO know your last name if bags are organized alphabetically. You would be surprised…
DO trust that most of us have done races and care about you getting your stuff back in one piece. (By the way, coolest thing I’ve checked so far: A pair of prostheses. Gotta have your spare pair of legs!)

A lady just came up all excited because her family ran the 5K together and she wasn’t last. That’s the spirit.

    Bag city! Volunteering at gear check for the Rock’n’Roll Chicago Half Marathon. Looks calm on this end but we JUST finished taking the last half-marathon bags and now the 5Kers are starting to come in. Craziness! Here are my free tips for bag check:

    DO tie your bag at the top if you are bringing one of those string backpacks.
    DON’T come back for your bag unless you absolutely have to — it interrupts our groove! (And at some races you probably can’t get it back till the finish. We sorted and numbered all of these, so they are just sitting pretty with us [and hired security] until it’s all over.) But sometimes stuff happens and you have to do it.
    DO know your last name if bags are organized alphabetically. You would be surprised…
    DO trust that most of us have done races and care about you getting your stuff back in one piece. (By the way, coolest thing I’ve checked so far: A pair of prostheses. Gotta have your spare pair of legs!)

    A lady just came up all excited because her family ran the 5K together and she wasn’t last. That’s the spirit.

     
  2. 10:02 19th Jul 2014

    Notes: 21

    Tags: motivation

    Summer running tip

    When I get out of bed and I don’t want to do my long run, I make sure to put on sunscreen right away. Because I won’t get back in bed if I’m covered in sunscreen, and if I have to shower anyway I might as well go out and run.

    7.7 miles down. Pancake me please!

     
  3. Minutiae

    Outside: Next weekend I’m running a Big 10 themed race (Midwestern!!) where you wear the colors of the team of your choice. I didn’t go to a Big Ten school but I’m running for Northwestern because I went to camp there and have family who went. Go Wildcats! My PT is also running this race, I found out this week. She is okay with me running it, but not thrilled because she thinks I might push it too hard. She joked that she would be happier if I were running for her school (Michigan). 

    I just discovered this race starts at 7AM but we have to be in corrals by 6:45, at least 45 minutes from my apartment. This is why summer races are the worst; either you sweat to death or you get up in the middle of the night. Anyway, I had no idea it started this early, because apparently I can’t read. 

    Inside: I finally went for a tour of the big gym near my office. I had been putting it off for the following reasons:

    • Fear of being fat shamed or treated like I have never been to a gym
    • Superstition that as soon as I join a gym next to my office, I will lose my job and thus never go
    • Concern about being locked into a contract and/or affordability
    • Hesitancy about running into coworkers there 

    Anyway, I took some lunch time and went today after forcing Jocelyn to shame me into it. It is supermassive, supernice and pretty cheap compared to gyms near my apartment. Next week I’ll work out there for real, and then I’ll probably sign up. I was so nervous about going in there and getting suckered into something or embarrassed, but it was so low key it didn’t matter at all. 

     
  4. image: Download

    Great to see the lead singer of one of my favorite bands in Runner’s World! I spent the whole Brooklyn Half last year looking for him (no dice). My favorite Hold Steady songs to run to are “Hurricane J” and “Massive Nights.”

    Great to see the lead singer of one of my favorite bands in Runner’s World! I spent the whole Brooklyn Half last year looking for him (no dice). My favorite Hold Steady songs to run to are “Hurricane J” and “Massive Nights.”

     
  5. Just gotta shake it off

    There appears to be an H3rbalife conference happening somewhere near my office. I’ve already been approached by two “Wellness Coaches” because I forgot to put on my Go away forever commuting face this morning. I have no experience with the product, but the tactics sure are aggressive!

     
  6. So ha ha, I won’t talk to my coworkers about weight, but I will definitely bore all of you about it. 
In January I started a weight-loss challenge with the aim of losing 10% of my weight in 6 months. I am not a doctor nor am I qualified to give out weight loss advice, but I looked at where I was and where that would put me and decided that was a safe goal for me. For me. 
The challenge wrapped up last week and I lost about 11%, represented by Business Pug up there. (Wish it were mine!) How I did it was pretty boring but in brief, I used MyFitnessPal to look at what and how much I was eating, and I exercised 4-5 days a week. (I could write a whole ‘nother post on this… maybe I shall.)
I am both happy and dissatisfied with my progress. I fit into almost all of my clothes now, and clothes that fit me in January are satisfyingly loose. I feel better running (and might be a little faster as well). My legs look good! Some other parts of my body don’t look as noticeably good. (I actually think my stomach looks worse, which must be a problem between my ears.) I would like to lose a little more weight, maybe 5%, in part because I am between pant sizes which is INFURIATING and in part to see how it affects my running. I set my half-marathon PR when I was about that much lighter than I am now, and that is just ONE aspect that might help me break that. Worth checking into, anyway.
For the past week I’ve just been eating haphazardly and not working out that much, because I felt like I needed a break from having a goal. It’s been fine. I ran my long run last weekend (gross, humid 7-miler in a weird neighborhood near my parents’ house) and that was about it. Now I’m just about ready to get back to healthier eating, but I’m going to focus on my half-marathon training more than weight for a while. I’m running at least 2 half-marathons this fall, the first one over Labor Day weekend (Magnificent Mile Women’s Half here in Chicago) and that is more exciting. 
If you made it this far, thanks for caring about my minutiae and here’s a funny post I found about a pug owned by a triathlete. Just adding that to the pro-dog-ownership list… 

    So ha ha, I won’t talk to my coworkers about weight, but I will definitely bore all of you about it. 

    In January I started a weight-loss challenge with the aim of losing 10% of my weight in 6 months. I am not a doctor nor am I qualified to give out weight loss advice, but I looked at where I was and where that would put me and decided that was a safe goal for me. For me

    The challenge wrapped up last week and I lost about 11%, represented by Business Pug up there. (Wish it were mine!) How I did it was pretty boring but in brief, I used MyFitnessPal to look at what and how much I was eating, and I exercised 4-5 days a week. (I could write a whole ‘nother post on this… maybe I shall.)

    I am both happy and dissatisfied with my progress. I fit into almost all of my clothes now, and clothes that fit me in January are satisfyingly loose. I feel better running (and might be a little faster as well). My legs look good! Some other parts of my body don’t look as noticeably good. (I actually think my stomach looks worse, which must be a problem between my ears.) I would like to lose a little more weight, maybe 5%, in part because I am between pant sizes which is INFURIATING and in part to see how it affects my running. I set my half-marathon PR when I was about that much lighter than I am now, and that is just ONE aspect that might help me break that. Worth checking into, anyway.

    For the past week I’ve just been eating haphazardly and not working out that much, because I felt like I needed a break from having a goal. It’s been fine. I ran my long run last weekend (gross, humid 7-miler in a weird neighborhood near my parents’ house) and that was about it. Now I’m just about ready to get back to healthier eating, but I’m going to focus on my half-marathon training more than weight for a while. I’m running at least 2 half-marathons this fall, the first one over Labor Day weekend (Magnificent Mile Women’s Half here in Chicago) and that is more exciting. 

    If you made it this far, thanks for caring about my minutiae and here’s a funny post I found about a pug owned by a triathlete. Just adding that to the pro-dog-ownership list… 

     
  7. If you eat the same and move the same, but then you get a Fitbit and it tells you you can eat more due to your level of activity, and then you eat more, you might gain weight. That’s because your body is already used to doing a certain amount of activity on the fuel you give it, unless you are 100% sedentary (I doubt you are). 

    The way Fitbit figures out “calories burned” is just an estimation, like MyFitnessPal uses, or the treadmill at the gym, or Jillian Michaels, or anyone else you ask. My Fitbit is linked up with MyFitnessPal and the difference between what the two systems say I “can” eat can be hundreds of calories. Witchcraft! Or, clearly they work off different systems. I know in general what goal I want to hit, foodwise. And I know if it tells me I have “X calories left” I want to eat those (but that’s more of a psychological trick than an estimation error). 

    If it bugs you, you can always turn off calorie estimation for your Fitbit. Go here when you’re logged in and scroll down to “Preferences.” Then it won’t tell you anything about calories burned, if you don’t want to know or just don’t care. Go for it! But it’s not your metabolism gone rogue and it’s not because your device is faulty.

    Really it’s all about the 13th paragraph of this article: “Weight loss is more an art than a science. While we might like to think it’s a simple calculation of calories in and calories burned, most of us have numerous, fluctuating variables in our personal weight-loss equation.” Or, to paraphrase my former doctor, if there were truly a gadget that helped people lose weight 100% of the time, wouldn’t everyone recommend it already?

     
  8. 12:15 11th Jul 2014

    Notes: 2

    Tags: exercise

    More like, “The joys of exercising when you do the things you like when you want, not what you hate and are made to.” Great essay!

     
  9. Just read the schedule. It is a marvel. So many overlapping fandoms.

     
  10. Time to stop being polite and start getting real?

    As of this week I have been at my job for a year. Is it okay to stop responding to my coworkers when they talk about how they’re “omg such a fatty” and the size of their asses when the even look at a cookie, etc.? 

    It’s not reassuring them, nor does it seem to make them like me any more — and it makes me feel bad about myself, because they are all a substantial amount smaller than me. Yet, I seem to be getting along just fine! And I don’t really feel like being the fat expert. 

    At the end of the day, there are so many other things we can complain about together, like the lack of decent cheap places to eat near my office, or how Matt Lauer clearly hates his job and should go away.

     
  11. To the left, to the left

    Trivial yet mind-blowing: Last night at PT I found out that one of my legs is 1/4 inch shorter than the other.

    This is major news in my world, and to no one else, because it’s my left leg, AKA my bad/tight hip side that I have been working on for the past few months. Meaning, all that time I was running and tightening up, it wasn’t just because of running too much, or marathon training, that my hip went haywire. It probably would’ve caught up to me eventually anyway because of that discrepancy which was a major cause, which I never even considered — because, who thinks of that? But it’s highly correlated to hip and IT band problems in runners.

    I have been given a lift to wear in one of my shoes (just call me Tom Cruise [but I won’t answer]) for the week and we’re going to see how that affects the system. It’s been much better already thanks to forced stretching and smart running, but this might be the final fix that I needed. Bodies are super weird, yeah?

     
  12. You don’t have to look like an Under Armour mannequin to be an athlete. A lot of people probably think I’m not athletic or don’t even try to work out or whatever, but I do. Just because you’re big doesn’t mean you can’t be an athlete. And just because you work out doesn’t mean you’re going to have a 12-pack. I work out to make sure I can do my job to the best of my ability. Other than that, I’m not going up there trying to be a fitness model.
    — 

    Prince Fielder posed for the front cover of ESPN's “Body” issue and some people are upset about it because he is a big guy and they didn't hide him behind a shrubbery or shoot just his face, Adele in Vogue style. At least I think that’s the argument. Well, I always liked him even though he defected from the Brewers to the Yankees (rude). 

    The cover is NSFW but it is down at the bottom of the article where this quotation comes from so scroll carefully.

     
  13. How to beat the rest of your family at a holiday fun run

    1. Make sure the fastest runners in the group, who have beaten you before in this very race, are totally uninterested in getting up for a 7:30 start on a holiday 3-day weekend
    2. Wait for the fluke year when it’s 10 degrees cooler than normal 
    3. Don’t look back, they could be gaining! 
     
  14. He had recently discovered a love of dancing, which he practices with sweaty avidity in a yoga studio near his home. Never one to do things halfway, Ira Glass has suits that now hang loose; he has danced away 30 pounds in the last year.
    — 

    — from “This American Gamble,” New York Times, July 2, 2014

    The Onion, October 19, 2012:

    My dream of Ira Glass fitspo:

     
  15. 08:25

    Notes: 6

    Tags: snacks

    image: Download

    "Forget Dinner. It’s Always Snacktime in America," from the Wall Street Journal. This is fascinating!

    "Forget Dinner. It’s Always Snacktime in America," from the Wall Street Journal. This is fascinating!