Ugh, the dreaded summer cold. Running after several days of rest and recovery can be liberating in some ways and tedious in others. Those first few steps represent so much more than a return to a morning routine; they’re also the first few steps toward normalcy and toward resuming a way of life — one I often feels defines me.
That’s the thing about running every morning. Skip a day, and it’s as though you’ve lost a bit of your soul. Try not brushing your teeth, not putting in contact drops, not going to the bathroom (sorry for the visual; not really). Dramatic? Sure. But, like I suggested, try doing something almost every day that brings you a tremendous and irreplaceable sense of satisfaction and then quitting cold turkey. I sound like smoker. But ultimately, that post-run sense of elation really does become an addiction in a sense. Thankfully, if you’re going to find yourself addicted to something, running probably errs on the side of good. Unlike most addictions, at least this is both productive and constructive. It’s an exercise of both the body and the mind.
So when I woke up on Monday morning, ready to return to my morning routine, I figured, what better way to celebrate my first run in days than by breaking in a new pair of running shorts. I know; my celebrations have become lame in my old age. OMG THIS IS AWESOME LET’S RUN! What can I say? I’m a big nerd.
Not long ago, I was contacted by a representative at Janji, a running apparel company dedicated to the greater good. Their tagline, “Run for Another,” kind of sums it up. As a company, their ultimate goal is to utilize the money made from selling their apparel to fight the food and water crises around the globe. Kind of makes you think, what have I done lately for mankind?
Their mission is simple. In their words:
Janji is a running apparel brand that provides food and water to those in need.
Runners require proper hydration and ample nutrition to train, run 5Ks and finish marathons. At the same time, millions of people around the world lack the basic necessities for survival.
We can change that.
Through each purchase of Janji’s distinctive running apparel, a portion of proceeds funds organizations that are alleviating the worst problems related to food and water. By funding solutions and raising awareness through our apparel, Janji wants to create a nation of runners that run for another and eliminate the global food and water crisis.
Come run with us.
I love it, I love it, I love it.
Needless to say, I was stoked to have the opportunity to check out such an awesome brand and, what turned out to be, such an awesome pair of shorts!
The pair I received to try out were Janji’s Haiti Running Shorts (retail value, $38). While, admittedly, I didn’t purchase these myself, the proceeds from shorts that are bought by consumers fund Meds & Food for Kids’ Medika Mamba, which as the website describes it, is a peanut butter-based nutritional medicine that can help nurse a severely malnourished child back to full health in just six weeks. How’s that for perspective? So much for my summer cold.
The fit of these shorts was spot on — in fact, I’d dare say better than most other pairs I’ve tried on.
Not only were they extremely light and flexible, but the waistband was loose-fitting and comfortable (I’m a size 27 jeans and fit very nicely into the medium, though I like my running garb slightly baggy). I loved that the colors of the shorts represent the beginnings from which they came, reflecting the colors of the Haitian flag, in addition to the silhouette of the Hispaniolan Trogran — Haiti’s national bird. This is probably my favorite part of the design; the entire concept of running with a bird at your side carries with it this inherent feeling of freedom and lightness, doesn’t it? Maybe that’s just me. Like I said, big nerd.
A few other technical details about Janji’s threads:
• 100% polyester moisture wicking outer shell & inner lining
• 3.5 inch inseam with interior pocket
• Lightweight and breathable feel
My new Janji shorts accompanied me on Monday’s run through Central Park. While I woke up feeling stronger than I had since Wednesday of the previous week, I nevertheless found myself struggling to catch my breath and move one foot in front of the other during several points of the run. As fate would have it, despite the beautiful summer air (much cooler than the week before), I wouldn’t be able to make it five whole miles as I otherwise would.
Instead, I entered the park at 59th Street and 5th Avenue and made my way through the zoo.
Not long after, I made the executive decision to cut back south down the mall and avoid the full lower loop.
It was a tough decision, and I may or may not have run back and forth, back and forth before finally resolving to listen to my body. But ultimately, I know it was the right choice. Better to preserve my energy than overdo it and risk spiraling back into bed. After all, there is always, always tomorrow.
Monday’s run came and went, and on Tuesday, I set my sights toward the High Line. Again, I have to say it’s been a tough return to running after a six or seven day head-cold, but I’m really just focusing on taking it one day, one step, at a time. I know I’ll get back to where I was soon. Fortunately, the High Line offered up some dewey plants…
…and some incredible views that made the time fly by as swiftly as the bird on my Janji shorts. For that, I’m grateful. Tuesday’s run turned out to be surprisingly peaceful as I trudged on and on.
In the meantime, the folks over at Janji were gracious enough to offer you all the chance to win some sweet sweat swag of your own. Because it’s summer, and it’s hot, and it’s sticky, what better way to cool off than with this great — and exclusive (it’s not sold on the website!) — water bottle.
Thirsty? Enter to win a Janji water bottle by leaving a comment below (yep, that’s it!) offering up your No. 1 secret for beating the heat on summer runs.
1 random winner will be chosen on Monday, July 29th, 2013.