Sunday Randoms – Go See a Doctor, Safety, Pandas and Other Fun Stuff

Running Stuff2

OK, since I jumped back in, I figured I would just continue as long as it lasts … and as I mentioned I had a bunch of drafts going anyway. This is really like a ‘wandering mind’ or ‘thinking out loud’ post, but let’s just roll with it!

Sexual Violence – Must Read Stuff

I have put myself out there pretty strongly in favor of just treating everyone fairly and equally … which apparently makes me a ‘social justice advocate’ and ‘feminist’ and a lot of other terms that I whole-heartedly agree with … but which shouldn’t be needed. I mean, isn’t it all just basic human rights and decency?

Anyway, I am also a big support of Laura and her Run Across America 2015, which is seeking to promote “sexual violence awareness and prevention”. This week she wrote a post called “Sexual Violence”, which was pretty cool but honestly what I thought of as common sense stuff. She said:

As I start to talk more and more about next summer’s Run Across America, I’m realizing that there is some confusion that revolves around exactly what sexual violence is, let alone why it is important to raise awareness. Understanding what sexual violence is, what it looks like, and how it affects the victims is an important first step in this awareness campaign. As I talk about sexual violence over the next 10 months (and hopefully longer), I’d like to make sure we are all on the same page. This is the first step towards a national and global understanding of what it is and why it is so important that we all work together to raise awareness and work towards prevention.

But then the next day she wrote about “Perpetuating the silence?” where she noted that:

Yesterday, after I posted an informative post on what sexual violence is, I watched as my number of blog followers dropped.

And THAT is what surprised me! First off because the basic post is pretty simple and obvious stuff … but also because the whole issue of sexual violence is at the core of why Laura is running across the country and doing her PhD. I mean, how could you even read her blog and not know this? Anyway, check out her posts, they are good stuff.

Foggy Vision1

Fall Safety – Remember YOU Are Responsible

Last month we got the news of a woman in a Central Park crosswalk struck and killed by a racing cyclist. It is a tragic accident but only the latest reminder of how fleeting life can be – and that we must take responsibility for our own safety.

An article from earlier this year talked about how distracted driving is not just responsible for more crashes and fatalities, it is also responsible for more loss of life for runners, pedestrians and cyclists.

The image above is from one morning a week or so ago when it was super-foggy, like National Weather Service fog alert level foggy. I ran (of course), but with headlamp and reflective gear and was super safe … and had no issues. But the next morning it was clear … and I was nearly swiped by someone who wasn’t looking while backing out of the driveway – and to be clear, I was on the opposite side of the street, and ended up well on the grass as his rear wheels nearly went off the road!

But I was alert and present throughout – and could see the potential for danger, and took action in advance and throughout. I never assumed he would see me or behave safely. I assumed I had to stay clear, and as a result all that happened was I uttered a few remarks and he drove off looking at his phone and listening to music and oblivious to the person he nearly seriously injured.

So as the days get shorter and people adjust to their commute being in the dark, take extra time and responsibility to keep yourself safe. Because all I want to read about for all of you is how great your running and health and life is going …

Running Stuff1

Words for Runners to Remember From the T-Rex Runner

Sometimes it hurts having your own words turned around on you, and other times it is the absolute best possible thing. This week Danielle wrote a post called ‘Negative Nancy, Be Gone!’ where she whines discusses how her pessimism has gotten out of hand lately and is worried it might impact her going into her marathon this weekend.

One comment threw her own words back into her face … and they are absolutely perfect:

I’ve never regretted a race I’ve entered – even the one marathon that I did not finish. Every race is a learning experience, whether it feels good or feels bad while you’re out there. Remember, running is a pretty incredible gift that we’ve been given, and it can be taken away at any second, as this week’s events have proven. Celebrate the luxury of running while you have it, and don’t get too bogged down in worrying about the outcome of the race. All you can do it get out there and do the best you can do that day. If your best is a lot of walking, but a finish, then it is what it is. You can do it!

These are things to remember regardless – doesn’t matter if it is for a race, running for fun, or whatever … our ability to go out for a run is a gift, and one we should cherish. It is something I talk about a lot, because I see it around me. For me, approaching 50 years old with the ability to just ‘go for a run’ is a very precious gift, and I take it seriously.

The Luckiest Cyclist EVER?!?

After hearing about the Central Park accident I also came across a video at Buzzfeed that shows a cyclist who should have died two or three times during a terrible course of events … yet ended up helping others instead. Just check out the video:

An Interesting Look at Two Types of Marriage Equality

I love the web comic xkcd, as it often talks about either very technical or very important issues in ways I find both hilarious and engaging. Last week he had one that looked at marriage equality, and used inter-racial marriage as a contrast. I have mentioned that growing up I knew that so-called ‘mixed marriages’ were still rare and somewhat taboo, and this comic puts that in perspective:

Once again xkcd nails the essence of a critical point.

To me this tells a pretty great story. And while I am (obviously) strongly in favor of marriage equality, I have to applaud those who are opposed on moral grounds, because UNLIKE when I was growing up, it is rare to hear about violence committed against gay married couples unlike the violence against mixed-race couples. So I guess that is progress?

Don’t Say No To Panda

And to finish up … there was a great video Jonah Berger (also on Twitter) shared with us at the JMP Discovery conference as part os his talk … and then the subject of Pandas came up with my boys and I searched it out to show them … now it is your turn:

More Tech Fun

There is always something new to talk about, isn’t there? Here is some new stuff I am playing with these last couple of weeks.

New Tech 2

This is the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, a great Android tablet – and the Zagg Universal Bluetooth keyboard, which is just awesome and very portable. I always like having Android as well as iOS, and the Tab Pro has excellent performance and plenty of features … though I have hit the ‘phone vs. tablet’ wall a number of times already, which is frustrating after so many years.

New Tech 1

These two will have reviews coming soon – the Garmin vivoSmart and the Wellograph. Each is a fitness band that tracks steps and calories and distance, and reports to your phone via Bluetooth.

The Wellograph is amazingly stylish and has a sapphire crystal screen, and also has a multi-LED system for tracking your pulse in real-time. It allows for activities and a wide number of options. It stores up to four months of data, and the battery is supposed to last a week. And it costs ~$350.

The Garmin vivosmart is the next generation from the vivofit – not only does it track your steps and sync to your phone, it also acts as a smart-watch by reporting notifications (with vibration) from your phone by maintaining a low-power Bluetooth connection. It connects to an ANT+ heart-rate monitor for activity tracking (and real-time display). It costs $169 or $199 with a heart-rate monitor.

Each has pros and cons, and I will get into more detail in the coming weeks.

What great new stuff did YOU read or hear or do this week?

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27 thoughts on “Sunday Randoms – Go See a Doctor, Safety, Pandas and Other Fun Stuff

  1. Thanks for linking to my post – and a lot of good stuff here! The safety thing is a huge deal, and it is actually the reason I decided to post a recap of the marathon I ran yesterday. Not my favorite race and definitely unsafe – we need to be aware of cars, and I think race courses should be mindful of that too! I think we all can learn a lesson and realize that safety is more important that a fast split (not that I ever worry about speed… but still. Safety first).

  2. I enjoyed this and such a variety of topics!! Since My first injury, I’ve never taken for granted the ability to run. Simply put, I GET to run!! And I learned a lot about being positive just yesterday. Post coming soon on my first swim race.

    • I think there are definitely some who are happy to dismiss it as ‘feminist political correctness’, but many just don’t want to discuss it. Again, it is fine, that is their choice … but for Laura’s blog (her run is focused on sexual violence, duh?!?) it struck me as odd that someone wouldbe surprised enough to unfollow her.

    • Thanks Lisa – I think it is true with so many things, that we get so busy and focused on what is in our face that we forget some basic stuff like how lucky we are to be able to run.

  3. That comment regarding racing really does slap things into perspective. When training for a big race it’s easy to forget how lucky we are to be able to do what we’re doing. I feel like I need to remember to be thankful that I can run at all.

    • I remember someone writing about a friend of theirs referring to training as their ‘job’, even though they had an actual job and family and so on. It is easy to lose perspective that this is a hobby – albeit one with multiple and far-reaching impact in our lives.

  4. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about safety too, especially since its still do dark out when I run in the am. I have actually being doing more treadmill running because of it, since I just don’t want to chance it. Every time I hear a story about a death or accident with another runner, it really hits home. It seems like its happening more and more these days (or maybe I am just paying more attention to it?) And the comment about racing is so true. We all need to be thankful we are just able to get out there and run everyday, some people aren’t so lucky. It’s all about keeping things in perspective!

    I’m glad you are enjoying your Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro, I have the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 as my personal tablet and I LOVE it and use it everyday! Samsung has done a great job with their tablets!

  5. I said this on Laura’s post but I haven’t commented on/read the Sexual Violence piece yet because as soon as I saw the name of the post, I knew I would want to devote my full attentions to it. I think we have to respect people’s rights to feel uncomfortable, but if that is the case, they simply need not read her blog (though I think that they are doing themselves a disservice by doing so). The right readers will stay. But I do think that the reader/commenter should have kept their mouths shut. Who are they to tell us what to write about?

  6. Thank you for the safety reminders, as always. It never hurts to have one more reminder! And, really good point about those who are opposed to marriage equality … at least they are, for the most part, expressing their views peacefully. I’ve never thought about it that way!

    • I know, even in Texas 😉

      I think it was that moment after 23 years of running when I was made aware of the potential perils of ‘running while female’ that safety became such a big deal for me … I mean, I’ve always dealt with the morons, but this is a different level.

  7. 1. Maybe the audience we hoped would be ready for education on sexual violence … just isn’t, yet. I was surprised to read about that dip in numbers, too. I’d advise someone taking on such a worthy endeavor to soldier on and deliver the message to those open to it, and let it grow.

    2. Distracted driving is a huge pet peeve. What tweet or text could possibly be so important? I’m trying to model 100% compliance to distraction-free driving to my oldest, who hasn’t yet gotten her permit. There’s just too much at risk to not pay attention.

    3. Negativity is an interesting motivator, isn’t it? And even tough runs or games or other activities have a value to us. A coach asked his team to stop shooting on goal after they were ahead comfortably, and I asked him to please keep shooting. Working through adversity is priceless.

    Great read here, my friend. Lots to think about.

  8. You are so spot on about fall safety.
    Over the past few weeks I have been doing a lot of training on the treadmill because I’ve wanted to keep my mileage up, but it’s easier on my foot. Yesterday morning I went out for my last outside run before my half on Saturday and omg…it’s SO dark. With the new job I have to go out a lot earlier than I used to and it’s black as pitch out there.

    I have never heard of the Wellograph before but WOW that thing looks AMAZING!!!!!! I can’t wait to read your review! (And I love those panda commercials.)

    • Thanks Lauren! I have thought a lot about safety for many years, but particularly over the last couple as I became more aware of the awful stuff that can happen (I was so oblivious!).

      The Wellograph is cool and they are making great progress with updates … I am holding back my review because they are constantly updating stuff for the better. Some of it is silly like they switched on the backlight using the buttons, but it also changed pages – and that was annoying! But most of it is pretty good stuff.

  9. Hi, totally off topic. You followed my old blog, “I’m a runner and so can you” a few months ago. Writing to let you know I moved to omnirunning.com. Still writing about running and figuring out the complexities of self hosted.
    Cheers – Andy

  10. I’m really feeling the need for more education about runner safety as we once again venture into these darker months. There are so many accidents just waiting to happen and it’s so important that us runners take all precautions and stay alert as we run. I’m definitely guilty of going into the ‘zone’ when I run and becoming oblivious to everything around me and it’s not good as I find myself often running in the dark and rain (hey, that’s London for you!)
    http://www.nessruns.com

    • I will be doing a full review in a couple of weeks, so I would hold off now They *just* issues a new update that seems very good and I like what they are doing in general … but $350 for a ‘maybe’ is pretty steep when there are other choices out there (albeit not ones as gorgeous as this watch!)

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