Friday, September 28, 2018

Tools for my Journal (Friday Five Edition)

There are several tools I use in my journal to personalize it and make it fun. 

As I stated in my post about my journal, I used a discbound notebook.  This allows me to add pages when needed, sort of like a three-ring binder.  But within this, there are several different types of paper you can use, ruled, grid, and dot are the ones most used.  I like to use the dot paper.  It gives me options I need to create my trackers as well as write with a rough strait line to follow.

I like to use colored pens when I create my pages and write my thoughts.  But I have found, not all pens work well for journaling.  I love the gel pens that I use when I color, but they do not dry quickly and smudge easily.  What I have found online is to create a pen test page.  I keep it at the back of my journal and test out new pens to make sure they do not smudge or bleed through the page.

I have a lot of stencils from when I did a lot of scrapbooking.  I have found them useful for when I create my mood tracker as well as when I want to make titles formal.

I had never heard of washi tape before I started journaling.  I use it to mark the beginnings of months at the top with the theme of the month and my race recaps on the side with the theme of the race.  I find it makes finding those pages a lot easier.  I really enjoy looking for washi tape that matches the themes. 

I have no artistic ability, so I rely on stickers to decorate my pages.  I also like to use punch-outs.  Like the stencils, I have a lot of cut outs from my scrapbooking time.  I usually use them that match the month – snowflakes or winter things for January, heart or Valentine’s for February, shamrocks or St. Patrick’s for March, etc.  For the punch-outs, I use double tape that rolls on easily.

While creating things in my journal, mistakes happen more then I like.  The OCD in me likes to have everything perfect, but I know that won't happen.  For the most part, I use stickers and punch-outs to   But when I do make mistakes that I need to fix, I use Wite-Out tape.  It's easy to use and covers very well.

I had found that my checklists rarely get done throughout the week.  So instead of copying them from week to week, I find these inserts much easier to keep track of my tasks.  With the discbound notebook it's easy to move it from week to week without re-writing everything.

To easily find the current week I use tab pages.  I have even found some that I can color when I find the urge.

Do you use anything to personalize your journal and make it fun?

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

My Journal and Running (Tuesdays on the Run Edition)

Last week I went into some basics of the journal I have been keeping.  A big part of it revolves around my running.  Here are a few items that are specific to that.

I have my 2018 Race Calendar.  I list all of the races that I have done or plan to do throughout the year.  If there is a race I'm thinking about, I list it with it's date in pencil.  For next year (2019), I want to add an extra row at the bottom for the 2020 race dates that I'm interested in.  That way I'm not always looking up a specific race/date online.

My plan in the next couple weeks is to create a list of races that I want to do again, or interest me and the month that they are usually run in.  That way I can do a quick glance of races and the time of year.  And the great thing with the discbound journal is that I can slip that right in after my 2018 Race Calendar as well as put it into my 2019 journal.

Right now I am just running 2-3 times a week with nothing specific to train for.  Before, when I am training for a race, I would use different things to track my schedule.  Mostly, I would print out calendar months and put the mileage on them.  I do like having it in my journal better because I always know where it is and it's not all crumpled up cause I put it in my work bag or something like that.  I had put what I planned to do in pencil (since that seems to change every so often depending on my schedule or injury) and then came back and put the mileage in pen.  I don't think I really want to change much to it, except, maybe making it neater. :)

On a weekly basis I track two things that have to do with my running.  The first is my mileage.  When I was in training, I would put how many miles I planned for the week, but now it's just a plan to run that day.  I also list my Functional Training class that I take at the gym.  The R/S to the right is if I rolled and stretched.  I like to keep track of that because when I am sore, I can look back and see if I did my stretching and if not, that's probably why.  And it's a good reminder to do it every day.

The other thing I track on a weekly basis is my water intake.  While I'm usually really good about drinking water, there are days that I just don't get enough in.  Tracking it helps me remember to keep drinking as well as looking back from a bad run to see if I had enough.

On a weekly basis, I don't really comment on my runs.  I use a separate log for that.  I've used this log for the last few years and like the format that tracks my stats.

I have thought of just doing the list of stats somewhere in my daily journal to see if I can see fluctuations between heart rate, spm, average pace, etc.  I created a page, but never got very far with it as I'm not sure if I like the format I set up. 

The last thing that I do keep in this journal is my race recap.  A race recap is too long to keep in my running journal.  They are also too long to include on my weekly pages, so I have separate pages for them.  I like to hand write my recaps before I post them here on the blog.  Mainly because I can put all the boring facts and feelings in there that would bore most of my audience.  I want to keep my race recaps for the blog to be the fun and interesting things.  The fun part of my handwritten recaps is that I try to find fun washi tape that matches the theme of the race to mark the pages so that they can be found easily.  For the Run and Ride, I found amusement park washi tape.

For my runDisney Star Wars, I found a ton of cool Star Wars washi tape.  I also like to use themed or running stickers as well as cutouts from handouts that might be passed out during the expo/packet pickup.

If you keep a hand written journal, what do you keep track of for your running?

Friday, September 21, 2018

My Journal (Friday Five Edition)

Over the years I've started many journals.  Most never lasted more than a week.  Mostly because in some aspects I'm a perfectionist.  I would forget to add something to my journal and it wouldn't be perfect and I would just give up.  Back in January I had started yet another one and to my great surprise, I'm continuing to use it.  For those interested in journaling I thought that I'd do a few posts on it.  This one will just be about the basics of how I chose the journal and process.

Back in January somehow I stumbled upon a post talking about Bullet Journals.  I had never heard of it and it intrigued me.  As I'm typing this out, I'm having a hard time trying to boil down what it is.  This is probably because it's an outline of what you can use to help you journal, plan, keep track of tasks, and even doodle.  Watch the 5 minute tutorial for more detail.

I love notebooks and have tons at home, but wanting something new for this lead me to a trip to one of the big office stores.  I LOVE office supplies, so I try not to go often as I always come out with something fun that I don't need.  While there I found something else that I had never heard of - a discbound notebook.  These allowed you to be able to add and remove pages as needed.  Lightning must have flashed as the combination of Bullet Journaling and discbound notebooks were the answers to what I knew lacked in me keeping up a journal.

I bought what I needed and headed home to start on my new journal that evening.  With ideas from the official Bullet Journal site and googling blogs, I had a basic setup.  I created the year calendar.

Then I created the Future Log.  When I first created it, I only did the first 6 months.  I created the last 6 months when we got closer to June.  This lists the items that I know.  Once I know something I'll add it to that list.  Sometimes it's not in date order and that bothers my OCD a little, but not enough to redo the page.  And also, the items I'm not sure about, but don't want to forget I put in pencil.

As I searched blogs for ideas, I liked the idea of tracking moods.  I have a page at the beginning of each month that is dedicated to   Over the long run, I ended up with a page that tracks my mood, sleep, and how tired I am throughout the day. Each month has it's own themed design to color in.

Then I have a monthly calendar at the beginning of the month.  Like the Future Log I add in the items I know and fill in others as I get them.  I like to decorate this page with stickers or punch-outs.

And then there is the weekly calendar.  Each week includes what exercise I plan for the week, tracking the medicine I need to take daily as well as my water intake. Then a place to journal events that will happen, tasks I need to do that day, what happened each day.

I also create pages for my running.  I have a race calendar.

When I was in training, I kept a training schedule, which includes planned miles and the miles I actually ran.

And I create pages for my race recaps.  I usually am able to get my thoughts down right after the race in the journal which helps when it takes me a few weeks to get the recap here.

It has evolved over the last 9 months, but I have come to a fairly consistent layout.  I look forward to creating each month and tweaking things as needed.  To me it feels like a cross of a journal, planner, and a place I can be artistic (in my own way since I can't draw).  I want to do a few more posts and go into detail in some of these items, like really how I use for my running, how items evolved, and the tools I use.

Do you keep a journal?  

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

Friday, September 14, 2018

Summer Photography Workshop (Friday Five Edition)

This past summer I took a 6 week photography workshop.  The workshop was for those who used a DSLR camera and knew how to use the manual settings on them.  The plan was to have minimal classroom time and go out to different parts of the James River most weeks to take photographs.

I took a couple of photography classes in high school and have a fancy (even though it is 10 years old) DSLR camera.  I haven't used it much in the past several years, especially after getting an iPhone, so this was a way to get me out there to use the camera.

The first week was in the classroom going over basics of photography: ISO, aperture, shutter speed, etc.  Also what to expect for the rest of the workshop. 

The second week we went to Pony Pasture (where I ran the Pony Pasture 5k).  My favorite pictures from that evening were from me playing with the settings.  This is the same spot, the first was done with a faster shutter speed (water frozen in time) and the second is with a slower shutter speed (the blurred water making it look like cotton candy).

ISO1600 - f/5.6 - 1/400
ISO800 - f/22 - 1/13
The third week we went down to Bell Island and the T-Pott Bridge.

 This is one of my favorite from the night.  I love the lines and the focus into the unfocused.

The park area have these odd circles.  I love how the light just comes through the trees.

The fourth week it was a very hot night with a good chance of storms so we had a classroom evening and looked at and discussed the groups pictures.

The fifth week we went down to Rockets Landing.  It was an overcast evening, which made some photos tricky, but it was fun to help each other try and help each other try different settings. 

 Another picture with the lines I love with the in focus to out of focus.

I do love focusing on just the one thing in the picture.

One of the city with some great reflections in the river.

As it got darker, we played with lights streaking.  This is done by having a slower shutter speed, like the river that looks like fog.

The last week we went down to the Flood Wall to do some light painting.  We wandered around and took pictures while we waited for the sun to go down.

This was done with a macro extension on the end of my lens.  I zoomed in to where it gave me the circle framing.

Once it got dark enough, we went down to the water's edge and did some light painting.  Light painting is where you have a slow shutter speed (up to 30 seconds) and have someone move a light to look like it is painted.  You do not see the person moving the light because they are either still or move in enough away from the light that the camera does not pick them up.  The light painting was my favorite week.

This was done with a light stick (like a light saber).  He twirled it in a circle while walking from one side of the photo to the other.

This was done with a light at the end of the string.  He spun it in a circle in front of him and then turned in a circle.

This was done with cage holding something on fire on the end of the string.  He is spinning the string in the air and you can see the sparks flying in the circle.

This was a very fun workshop and I wished we had more weeks to go out to take photos.  While we had a shared Dropbox to post our photos each week, I'd also like to have a few more class sessions to discuss them with the class.  I got some very valuable feedback from them.  The leader of the class has different workshops through the year and I really want to take more.

Have you ever taken a photography class or workshop?  Have you ever done any light painting?

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Let's Finish This! (Tuesdays on the Run Edition)

As I continue my goal of doing at least one race a month this year, my pick for the September race was easy, the Speak Up 5k.

In 2014 I ran the Shamrock 8k and volunteered at the half.  I would learn that a 16 year old girl, Cameron Gallagher, passed away just after she crossed the finish line of the half.  She suffered from depression and anxiety and wanted to raise awareness of teenage depression by creating the Speak Up 5k.  Her parents, who did not know she was working on it, found the plans, sponsorship requests, and speeches for the race and made it into reality in September 2014.  I've wanted to do this race since, but each year I had a conflict.  This year I didn't.

The race was in Byrd Park, the same park where I did the Frostbite 15k.  I arrived there about an hour early so that I could find parking and do packet pickup.  I found parking just across the street from the park and went to pick up my bib and shirt.  The packet pickup was by bib number, not last name.  Thankfully they had a bib lookup board.  The shirt was so soft, I can't wait to wear it.

There was an after party and the booths were mostly set up.  I decided to walk around and see what was there.  I was amazed that this 16 year old girl had this dream and her family and friends made it come true.  It was sad that she was not here to see it come true.

It then hit me that there is that much support and help out there for those with mental illness today.  I started to tear up thinking that if there was this much support and openness out there when I was a teenager, I probably wouldn't have been in so much pain.  While I am fairly comfortable talking about my depression and anxiety now, it was much different when I was a teenager.  I teared up, partly because I was happy for those that have the resources but also sad that I didn't have the same thing.  To say the least this was a very meaningful race, even before it started.

They were also handing out this card. Take time to read it both ways, it’s very cool. 

I headed back to my car to put my shirt up and grab my race things.  I also wanted to get some cash to donate to the CKG Foundation.  I hung out at my car a bit and before I knew it, it was time to head to the start line.

They had pace signs lined up and I headed to the back of the start line.  Cameron's dad said a few words before the start, including letting us know that it was not a race, but an experience.  He said that before Cameron started the Shamrock Half, she turned to her friend and said "Let's finish this!".  And we were off.

The morning was overcast and very humid out.  There were so many walkers where I started and had to run off the path to get around.  I love walkers, but I think they should have had one more pace sign for walkers so that the runners could start ahead of them.

There were several cheer stations.  Some had high fives, others had water soakers and silly string.  and others had bubbles.

There was even a bag pipe group.

This park had a 3 lakes and we were able to go around all three.  There was also one water stop that we crossed twice.

I couldn't wait to finish, only because it was so hot and humid.  Everyone was drenched with sweat.  A couple of the people taking photos were from my photography workshop that I took over the summer.  It was fun to see them.

There were also a lot of inspirational signs.

Thankfully there was a lot of entertainment on the course to help distract me from how humid it was.  I was grateful to see the finish line.  I crossed the finish line and was surprised to see that they were handing out medals.  They also had cups of water and tons of food.

I walked around one more time through the booths in the after party.  They even had a bounce house set up for the little ones.  I was glad I did this race and know I will be back again.

If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, anxiety, or any thing else, Speak Up.  There are resources out there to help.  Remember you are not alone, help is available.