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If you have great knees, consider yourself lucky.  And take care of them.  Here’s a couple of articles in the NY Times regarding knee health.

Article 1.

Article 2.

~ Happy Trails ~

Jessica

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I found out tonight that on of my friends got hit by a car in Evanston – luckily he is completely fine.  This place is not a buzzing metropolis, but sometimes drivers make really stupid mistakes.  As I pointed out earlier, accidents happen.  Hedge the risk and wear your helmet.

~ J

Chicago Marathon IGood morning running enthusiasts!  The Chicago marathon is in full swing.  The field is full and the spectators have packed the streets – making for a fun race to run as well as see.  I popped in at the most northern part of the route, between miles 7 and 8.  The runners looked strong and for those few who looked like they were hurting, I really hope they get the strength to reach their goal.

I’ll capture some key stats from the event later.  Currently, the Chicago Marathon website is overloaded.

~ Happy Marathoning ~

Jessica

View of Downtown ChicagoI bike to school.  It’s awesome.  If you haven’t gotten on a bike since your childhood, you should definitely get back on.  However, what is a little disconcerting to me is the number of people who are making their commute without without a helmet.

So what?  Well here are some choice stats from the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute:

  • A very high percentage of cyclists’ brain injuries can be prevented by a helmet, estimated at anywhere from 45 to 88 per cent.
  • Direct costs of cyclists’ injuries due to not using helmets are estimated at $81 million each year, rising with health care costs.
  • About 540,000 bicyclists visit emergency rooms with injuries every year. Of those, about 67,000 have head injuries, and 27,000 have injuries serious enough to be hospitalized.

So, is it worth wearing a helmet?  I’d say yes.  Are you going to school and investing heavily in the future of your brain to support you?  Maybe you should spend the $20 and hedge your risk of getting a head injury.

~ Happy (and safe) Biking ~
Jessica

Academic institutions are finally getting on the blogging bandwagon full force.

What I find interesting is that schools are resisting the open blogging of students.  But it’s the giant elephant in the room.  With a little searching, savvy perspective students are going to find students’ blogs anyways.  Embrace it.  Use the enthusiasm of your students to market your product!

In other news, it’s getting chilly in the Second City.  How’s the training going?

~ Happy Trails ~
Jessica

I’d also claim the news is older than the NY Times article.  But there’s all these apps that you can use to motivate yourself to workout more.  The only thing I have some personal experience with is the Nike+iPod.  Overall, I found it to be a solid product.  It’s super convenient to walk out the door with just an iPod and shoe pod – no watch.  I found that running sans watch (while still timing myself through the iPod system) allowed me to really enjoy my run rather than cycle down the minutes.

Anyone use some of these other apps?  Thoughts?

~ Happy Trails ~

Jessica

Listen to this new Jay-Z song!

Maybe he got inspired by my blog.  Either way, it’s nice that he’s back on the music scene.

~ 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

For an embarrassing period of time, my blogging was neglected.  It all started with the tragic idiotic loss of my camera.  Then, life got a little busy – I’m preparing for a move to Evanston, IL, just outside of Chicago, to attend business school.  And now finally, despite my athletic stamina, I’m having knee problems that are preventing me from running.

All of this makes one wonder what’s happening with the blog?

Well, for starters – I have a temporary camera right now and will be getting another camera in a couple of weeks.  Whew. One thing taken care of.

Next, if I’m in Chi-town, it’s going to be hard for me to write about DC.  So after I put in my thoughts about some different cultural things I’ve done recently in DC, I’ll be blogging about life in the Second City Suburb.

Finally, if this not running thing lasts for a while, I’m not quite sure.  I love running.  It’s a phenomenal sport, activity, way to keep in shape, see a city, connect to your surroundings, be outside, challenge yourself and see results… and the list goes on.  In the meantime, I’ll be blogging about some running topics I wanted to discuss before and will write some about the circuit training I’ve engaged in.  Seriously.  I’m crediting these hard core circuit training workouts that I am doing with putting me into the best shape of my life.  Ironic though that I’d injure myself again while feeling that way about my physical fitness…

I hope to create something you’ll still find interesting and reliable.  Any thoughts?  Leave your comments below.

~ Happy Trails ~

Jessica

Well, I’ve been warned that I’ll loose any readership base I might have mustered since I haven’t posted anything in a while… I’m afraid that’s likely true.  I’d say a main driver of my lack of postings relates to the loss of my camera.  The second large driver is I’m getting ready to pack up and leave this fine city.  I’ll be relocating to the Chicago area in about a month.

Don’t worry though.  I’ll keep blogging blog, and I still have some material on some DC sites to share with you before I head our from the nation’s capital.

~ Happy Trails ~

Jessica