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I-55 BridgeWell it’s time to trade in the city on the river for a city on a lake.  Goodbye to Memphis.  Hello to Evanston.

I’ve got some great pictures from the road trip below.  The most notable thing about the 551 mile journey was the US makes a lot of corn.  Seriously.  A LOT of corn.

Some first impressions of these new environs.  1:  it’s windy.  really rather windy.  2:  the lake and view is fantastic.  3:  Evanston is pretty tiny.  Chicago is huge.  It took me around an hour to get from my place into the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago.

For the active-life enthusiast, there’s a lot of options.  Lakefront mixed-use trails offer great views of downtown Chicago – both from E-ton and Lincoln Park.  Commuting the 12 miles into the heart of Chi-town is possible by bike.  Also, there’s rowing here!!!

Since I’ve spent some time in Memphis and Chicago, both music meccas, I leave you with a few youtube videos:

~ Windy Trails ~
Jessica

Artsy, huh?

Artsy, huh?

As a running enthusiast, I’ve gotten tired of people knocking the sport.  “It’s so bad for your knees.”  Hmmm… Erroneous!!!

This New York Times article highlights a Stanford University study that followed runners and non-runners for 20 years.  The study’s Conclusion:  “Long-distance running among healthy older individuals was not associated with accelerated radiographic OA. These data raise the possibility that severe OA [osteoarthritis] may not be more common among runners.”  Booyah.

One of the points made in the NY Times article rings true with my own experiences.  The stronger your leg muscles and your core, the better your knees handle the impact.  Injury prevention/joint protections should be the top reason to hit the strength training at the gym.  Through strengthening quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles in weight training, you better prepare your body to handle the impact.

Keeping all of these muscles strong is integral to making sure your body stays in alignment throughout your entire running workout.  When you get tired, your muscles stop absorbing the impact and your form becomes sloppy.  So then all the happy pounding the pavement starts to become the unhappy pounding the knee joint.

I hope to place a few exercises to incorporate into your running routine in the future.  So check back!

~ Happy Trails ~

Jessica

Virginia Countryside

Virginia Countryside

I recently made the trek from DC to Memphis and really enjoyed some facets of the drive.  For starters, Virginia is just beautiful.  Maybe it’s cause I hail from the flat part of Tennessee, but the different colors of the hills in the distance is awe inspiring and so calming.

Some other highlights of the trip included passing by the Sun Sphere in Knoxville, spotting the Cherokee Naiton’s bus, and saying hi to Nashville’s Bat Building Motorola Office Building from afar (see below).  Scanning the radio on the approach into Nashville, almost every station was country.  Man, I love it – connecting to a culture and a regional identity.  Country music, southern accents, and thunderstorms.  I am here.

While I’m soaking in the southern-ness, I’m planning to continue blogging about a few places in DC I visited before I left and have some exercises that I’d like to share. As I mentioned before, the blog is moving into a temporary state of flux.  Let me know if there’s any direction you’d like me to go, and I’ll see if I can work that in.

~ Happy Trails Ya’ll ~
Jessica

Sun Sphere

Sun Sphere

Cherokee Nation Bus

Cherokee Nation Bus

Bat Building on the Left

Bat Building on the Left


More Virginia Countryside

More Virginia Countryside

CapitolLast December, the Capitol unveiled its $621 million visitors’ center.  I got around to checking it out in May (thankfully when it wasn’t flooding…).  Visiting the Capitol is pretty easy – as long as you have reservations – more on that later.

The Capitol visit starts with a brief 20 minute video about the United States and the Capitol building.  Construction of the Capitol began in 1793 with its much anticipated conclusion in 1892.  Let’s just say a couple wars got in the way… As I mentioned earlier, the building used to house the Library of Congress as well as the Supreme Court.  Most striking of the building is the dome which is topped by the Statue of Freedom.  Now, I think it’s near impossible to tell what the statue is when looking at the Capitol, but you can see a replica of it inside the Visitor’s Center.  (Warning:  the replica is a little ugly.  See pictures below.) Read the rest of this entry »