Views From Here: running, health and the world around me

October 23, 2014
by shalama jackson

Are you in the Loop?

polar loop shalamaNumbers.  They have become a larger part of me and how I measure things on a day-t0-day basis. And my latest wearable device, the Polar Loop paired with the H7 Heart Rate Monitor falls right into this category.

I have been wanting them for some time, but decided on waiting after winning a Fitbit Flex this summer at Fitbloggin’ 14. And since I am living in the gym trying to drop body fat and increase muscle, I wanted to be better at tracking food, workouts, calories burned and sleep. The ultimate goal is to step onto a NPC Figure competition stage before June 2015.

I know that tracking so many things can take the fun away, but it is a necessary evil if I am going to meet my goal. Sometimes I don’t do what I am suppose to, but I am making a new commitment to myself at one week at a time.

I am still new to the Loop, but a few of the things that I like about it so far are:

  • The Loop is designed to be worn 24 hours a day.
  • The device tracks activity goals, calories burned, steps taken and more (it also shows time of day so it replaces a watch).
  • It can connect with Polar Flow, a free online tracking service and iPhone app that syncs via Bluetooth.
  • It’s waterproof and can actually tell the difference between activities like sleeping, walking, running, swimming and more.
  • Using it with the optional and additional heart rate monitor to get “credit” for exercises that the bracelet might not pick up.

polar heart rate session1I’m still working out the kinks of it reading a full workout session. I think I know what I have to do to make sure it reads, which will help me and it accurately measure how I am burning calories.

polar loop activity

The loop also gives you inactivity alerts if you’ve been sitting to long. I didn’t do much on Sunday. My quads are sore and on fire from incorporating IFBB Pro Cheryl Davis’ Cardio and Quad Burn on Saturday.

polar loop congrats

One of the coolest things is that as you reach your goal, the Loop celebrates with little fireworks. I can use all the support that I can get because this training is no joke. Many days it is a lonely battle. There are some days that I hit my daily activity goal. And there are other days when I don’t hit it. There’s no real rhyme or reason. I do try and get out to walk around the office or around downtown, but sometimes I get stuck at my desk.

I’m looking forward to learning about my body and fine tuning what I am doing to achieve a couple of my goals in the next seven months.


What wearable devices do you use?

October 17, 2014
by shalama jackson

Do you ever look back or are you always looking forward?

me looking back on progressHave you taken the time to acknowledge how far you have come along in your personal journey towards a goal? Or are you focused on how far you still have to go?

This morning I thought about that as I was getting dressed in a new pair of pants and top, both smaller than I could have ever imagined six months ago.

Earlier this year I was ready to add a new challenge of stepping on stage as a bodybuilding bikini competitor, but first I needed to lose weight. I had been progressing, but wanted a trainer/coach to help me achieve my overall goal.

When I look in the mirror I typically see how much more I have to achieve. I have lost weight and gained some muscle mass, but because I want to get on stage before June 2015, I see what I have not achieved.

However, while getting dressed, it hit me of how far I have come. It’s always good to look forward to where I am going, but doesn’t hurt to look back on where I’ve come from.

Do you look back on how far you’ve come? Or are you always focused on how far you still have to go?


October 16, 2014
by shalama jackson

Ragnar Relay: Doing it again!


photo: courtesy Ragnar Relay Florida Keys 2014

I can’t believe that I am saying this, but I am doing another Ragnar Relay. Seriously. I have agreed to join a team for Ragnar Relay Florida Keys in February.

After running Ragnar DC, I reached out to a running friend who I knew already had a team and told her that if a vacancy were to come up on her team that I would be interested in joining. Well, I got the call earlier this week that someone has dropped out. That calls means I get to slide right on in.

As far as I know, I will be joining Van 1. My fitness partner in crime, Eboni, will be on Van 2. Yes, we are doing it together. I’m a glutton for punishment like that.

I had a good time with some of the people in our van for DC, but I am looking to have a better overall experience. After this, I’d love to be a part of the Hood to Coast Relay. However for now, let me focus on one relay at a time.

What relay race have you run?