a left-eyed girl

living in a 2 dimensional world

Archive for January 2009

Useful sites/tips for runners.

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These sites are probably useful for bikers too!

For mapping your route:

  • GMap Pedometer: A neat little hack that uses Google Maps and can track your route along streets or freehand. Comes with calorie approximator and shows you mile markers. This is my most recent find and has been incredibly useful!
  • GMaps, the original yo!: Before I found GMap Pedometer, I used good old GMaps to plot my route. It’s freehand and you can also save a series of maps for future reference. Super useful if you don’t follow streets during your route.
  • MapMyRun: So I tried using this back in 2007 when I first started running (wow, has it been that long?), but the interface kinda sucked big time. They’ve had many improvements and it’s a good tool for looking at where other local runners go. Like GMaps, you can log in and save maps. The bonus is being able to search for other runners’ maps.

So you’re new and don’t know what to do:

  • If you have no idea what you’re doing, check out the online sites for magazines like Runner’s World. They have sections specifically gears towards beginners and answer a lot of questions like, “How do I find shoes?” and “How fast can I increase my speed/mileage without hurting myself?”
  • Check out the “Couch to 5K” training program from Cool Running. It’s one of the best programs for people who have seriously never run before in their lives. I can personally vouch for the usefulnes of this program (I started on it myself) and I know plenty of other people who have also used this with much success. It starts out nice and easy, but if week 1 is still too hard, you may want to just have a couple weeks of just walking to break yourself into it. I cannot endorse it enough!
  • Get yourself some good shoes for god’s sake! When you start running, it’s a good idea to have a good foundation to help prevent injury and downtime, so check out some local running stores. Also remember that sometimes the shoes that are best for you aren’t necessarily the best looking and it’s better to feel good running than it is to look good. Yelp is a good tool, but if all else fails, look for a Fleet Feet shop. Also remember that if it seems expensive going to a store like that, you can always buy the replacement pair online for much cheaper.

To supplement your running:

  • Since you’re healthy and taking your body out for a run every so often, it only makes sense to make sure that you’re eating healthy too. You don’t have to lay off the burgers completely, but maybe a few more vegetables and nutrients would be good to help your body run as well as it can! I kinda like going to Cooking Light and Spark Recipes to browse through and get some good ideas for meals.
  • This link is a bit female-centric, but Self Magazine has a great site with tips for strength exercises and recipes too. If you subscribe the printed magazine, it’s a nice reminder to keep your body moving and it has lots of encouraging articles to help get you motivated.
  • If running partners motivate you, check out Exercise Friends or a local running club for a running mate. If you know that someone else is counting on you to go running with them, it makes it harder to be lazy and blow off a workout!

I know it seems tough starting a brand new workout program. It’s tough keeping it up sometimes, just because you get bored and need constant stimulation. We’re people, not machines and we need a little variety in our lives, but you can totally do it if you keep at it. Keep up the good work!

Written by Reese

January 26, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Posted in on being fitter

It rained.

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I stepped out of the warm, crowded store and into the cool, damp air. The bags were heavy in my hands, filled with all the essentials like orange juice, bread, and cans of cat food. The cashier had filled the bags unevenly, putting most of the heavy things in one and only a few light but crushable things, like bread and eggs, in the other. Why did they always do that? I had the feeling that they had the intention of trying to fit all the groceries into one bag, but when they were halfway through and it was clear that one bag would be incredibly heavy, they took to filling the second bag with the light things they had originally intended as toppings for the first bag. I groaned softly to myself, shifting the bags slightly in my hands and rolling my eyes.

I walked around the store towards the parking lot, doing my part to keep the pedestrian traffic going outside. People were constantly milling in and out of the store on this busy Sunday afternoon. Watching a girl hobble past me on crutches, the bags suddenly felt light in my hands, the crisp brown handles pressing into the deep brown creases of my palms, somehow feeling like they had found a home.

It was raining outside and the large raindrops pelted my face with an uncertain drumbeat. I lowered my head, but not before a large raindrop hit my glasses, shattering itself into three smaller drops like a glass bottle against a brick wall. I quickened my steps, the stiff material of my skirt beating about my bare thighs and knees; the skirt was always so full and puffy, no matter how many times I smoothed it down.

I smiled to myself, thinking of a lovely compliment a friend had paid me earlier that day. The smallest bit of encouragement from her always inspired me to do more, to try more. Ducking into the car, I wiped my glasses off on my skirt, the thick muslin effortlessly erasing the rain’s existence. Still half-grinning to myself, I picked up my pad and pen and started to write in my messy, smeared handwriting, the rain beating against the cool glass and metal of my car.

Written by Reese

January 25, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Posted in writing

On the train.

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I feel like riding a train today, watching the world pass me by while I sit wrapped up in a jacket, clutching my bag on my lap. Maybe I’ll slouch down and lean my head against the back of the seat, watching the plants and buildings swirl past me in a messy green and brown blur. I’ll have my music streaming into my ears, my hand half in my bag, touching the smooth metal edge of my camera. I find it comforting to have my finger on it when I’m alone.

Maybe I’ll listen to Secret Stars’s “Some Sinatra,” the sweet guitar and crooning voice filling my head and spilling out onto my face. That track always makes me feel this amazing mixture of sadness and happiness. It reminds me of my roommate in NY who was friends with the band and gave me a copy of the CD; I’ve played it to death ever since. (You can listen to the track on the MySpace page.)

There’s something comforting to me about riding a train. I used to do it a lot, but haven’t had the occasion to do it lately. I guess that when I’m feeling like I want to be alone, I want to ride the train. It’s usually a solitary activity for me, and it’s always been something very enjoyable. Maybe I’ll get myself a 2 hour ticket and joyride the lightrail for a while this afternoon.

So I lied when I said mañana; ’cause our tomorrow never came…

Written by Reese

January 25, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Posted in writing

Help me eat it, SF-ers.

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So I’m interested in finding new and fantastic eateries in and around SF, the must-eat kinda places. Have any suggestions?

Written by Reese

January 13, 2009 at 11:46 am

Posted in shooting

Stranger Danger!

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I was poking around on my iGoogle page today and found this helpful link to an article on How to Talk to Strangers. Very interesting. I used to be quite shy and had a lot of trouble talking to strangers, but I seemed to have turned into that kind of person who talks to strangers for absolutely no reason at all. I say hello to homeless people, nod hello to people on the street, and discuss the weather with people in line at the grocery store. When I’m feeling particularly good about my conversational skills, I even go out asking people if I can take their photos on the street. Usually people say yes, but I’ve had plenty of people say no.

My very favourite street shot of a stranger is of this guy who told me his name was Lucky. He’s from Brooklyn.


He was a cool guy. Do you talk to strangers on the street or on the bus?

Written by Reese

January 12, 2009 at 6:48 pm