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1) Give one adjective of how you felt before your last workout.
2) Give one adjective on how you felt after that same workout.
3) What is one of the last things you do or say to yourself before a hard workout or race?
1) Not to be morbid, but finish the sentence in a humorous way: “When I die I want to be buried…
2) What’s your favorite kind of chocolate?
Can’t really go wrong, but I love me those chocolate chips inside some pancakes.
3) What are your running plans today?
I’ve run in some pretty crappy conditions, but today marked a first for this runnerchick. I literally had to run/swim, like stop the watch and doggie paddle kinda stuff! California goes from the golden winter to flash-flooding my bike trail today…it was craaaazy!
Actually the episode was actually quite comical. I almost tripped and went full-submersion style. [side-note: I have a phobia of leeches, visions of them stuck to my legs and torso riddled my mind the whole run] So a toast to you, Winter, you pulled a fast one on me today. You done good, but I still won out. I’m pretty sure that was hail there between those bullet rain-drops and I came out looking like a wet, sewer rat but I got that run done.
And hey, I’d still take a bucket of rain over some of those well-below zero temperature readings from other states. You runners over there, good gracious, seeing icicles in your beards, eyelashes, and hair!! But I did have to make a cartoon for my run today because, quite honestly, I’m not doing one BIT of over-exaggeration for comedic effect.
Sometimes reality, in it’s own sickly sense, is way more hilarious.
Go on, run on…run/swim on??
——— HUGE NEWS!! If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw the Spoiler Alert! My latest running shirt design has dropped! The Peacock Runner…check out my Mommy-O model, the first runnerchick to don this one.
Full details on this one to come and it will be available to buy at my store soon…but my excitement bubbled over and I had to give you the sneak peek.
1) What’s the deepest water you’ve had to cut through during a run?
Today was well above my waist.
2) Worst conditions you’ve ever run in?
3) Are you pretty good at keeping a secret if you’re excited?
———– BIG NEWS is coming tomorrow!! You excited, yet? You should be. In fact be CrAzY excited! It has to do with THIS!!
I HATE to have to do this but I need to add another disclaimer. I’ve gotten lots of questions from people asking to save or download my artwork and cartoons. I ask that you PLEASE do not, I sell prints of all my artwork. Art and writing is how I put food on my table. Be kind, respect the amount of time, creativity, and work that goes into the work that I share with you. Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org to order a print or purchase rights to download and share. Thank you.
1) What’s some exciting news you have to share?
2) What are you looking forward to this weekend?
1) What’s another demand you’d like to add to the list?
2) Give me the det’s on YOUR priority treadmill or particular exercise equipment at the gym? The one you’re always scoping out and want to kick anyone off of if they DARE use it.
Running can put you in some awkward situations. At a certain point all runners realize that control over our bodily functions can only go so far. Whomever happens to cross our paths at just the wrong time…well, that’s on them. Maybe a hazard of living within a 10 mile (maybe 20+ mile) radius of a runner.
The thing is, be a runner long enough and we tend to have a warped perspective on just what IS socially awkward…and how awkward it rates…the lines get blurred. Farts, spitting, talk of all that, it become just commonplace. Business as usual. Ducking into a bush to avoid an ‘in your shorts’ disaster…there’s not shame in it.
Runners united, at least WE can laugh at ourselves…the rest of the ‘normal’ world and their standards of social etiquette be da**ed!
1) What’s another hazard of living within a 20 mile radius of a runner?
2) What’s been a scenario where you did get embarrassed or at least felt bad for some ‘normal person’ bystander you happened on while running?
3) Who’s racing this weekend? What are all you other runners doing??
1) Do you decide your workouts in advance? How far in advance? Are you following a training program at the moment or have a coach?
2) Do you pick out your clothes the day before?
I always lay out my running clothes the night before…I like every extra second of sleep.
3) Do you tend to plan your dinner and meals in advance or just wait to see what you feel like?
For once my running cartoons will be used and I’m deathly serious. Stretching, Runners, is no joke. I used to HATE stretching, I’d do it begrudgingly, but ever since my little revelation in Boulder I’ve pulled a total 180.
Now it’s good too because I don’t have a little bit of guilt writing about and telling runners just how crucial stretching is. I’m practicing what I preach, yo.
Areas that rank most common across the board for running injuries and the areas that runners are notoriously tight in are: the hamstrings, glutes, hips and groin region, and the psoas. I took my cartoons and put together a quick stretching routine that you REALLY should be doing as much as possible. Like daily…I’m doing them daily, so now I can say, fully absolved of any lingering guilt, that you should do the same.
[Click to enlarge so you can read text...but please respect a starving artist's work, you can always purchase prints, contact: email@example.com]
More posts on flexibility HERE
And a post on WHY flexibility will make you faster HERE
1) How often do you stretch? Be honest.
2) What’s one of your tightest areas?
Hamstrings and adductors.
3) What’s something you kinda feel a bit of guilt about when you tell others to do it because you don’t always follow that advice yourself?
For every runner athlete who’s gone shopping for jeans and wound up wanting to punch someone in the face.
I can’t take sole credit for this one. The AWESOME quip that gave me the inspiration for this cartoon came from Sally Bergesen, founder of Oiselle, a kickbutt running apparel company. Yesterday a few of us were tweeting on the frustrations of trying to find jeans that FIT when you’re an athlete, muscle-clad, kickbutt female. Usually you wind up with some problems:
* The jeans WOULD fit in the waist but you can’t get them above your quads. Literally.can’t.raise.them.
* Go up to a size that doesn’t cause your quads to hulk-out but the waist is super saggy. We have six packs, not kegs.
* There’s also an issue with the cut of the butt. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but for whatever reason any size that fits my legs causes this funky pooch in the back; I think it’s because the waist/butt/quad ratio is off and you wind up with extra denim at the waist, so when you sit it’s like a sideways tepee.
I’ve not worn jeans for years…now, to be totally fair I work from home and literally live in running clothes. Like, live in them. #SweatsandtheCity
AAAAND, I will also argue that running clothes can be quite fashionable, I mean just take a gander at my awesome shirts:
and we ALL love Oiselle who are keeping us clothed from our rundies out to our hoodies.
Photo Credit: Oiselle
But that’s not the point. Runnerchicks DESERVER to be able to go to the store and find a pair of jeans that fit without winding up a mess of frustration and wanting to punch someone in the face.
Wise up, World. We are runners, we are women, we are STRONG…we have muscles. And we look d**n good with them.
1) What’s been an issue you’ve had with finding a pair of jeans, or any article of clothing that clearly didn’t account for your runner bod?
2) What is your ‘normal people’ fashion like?
3) What’s another vent you’d just like to get off your chest so you don’t punch someone in the face??
Runners can never, ever fear ‘failure’. In fact, failures are NOT a bad thing. To fail means that you set a high enough goal. You stepped outside your comfort zone, you DREAMED you could achieve something great.
Failures are often the most powerful learning tools. Bad race, horrendous workout…you have to not only experience them you have to FORCE yourself to get through them. Soak up the experience, actually feel how much that suckiness that was.
Take those sucky feelings and channel them into:
Confidence, you say? Yes, confidence.
A runner who pushes through when things really suck should be brimming with confidence. It’s way too easy to run an amazing workout when your legs feel like gold. To have a phenomenal race when it happens to be one of those ‘magic days’. Magic days are the exception, legs that feel like they’re running on clouds are the rarity.
To grit out a workout and keep your mind IN THE RACE when things are tough, that is mental toughness. The same goes for obstacles and challenges you didn’t expect, sudden curve balls that really test you. Get through them, keep moving forward. Those experiences, those trials, the hard times, even when you put in your best effort and the clock is brutally honest…THOSE are necessary to build a strong runner.
You survive knowing you still put in your best and never mentally gave up when things get tough, and that should give you the most confidence in the world. Those should make you think, “Look, I got through it and stayed tough when I felt like crap. Just imagine how well I’m going to run when my body and my legs feel GREAT.”
Redefine failure in your mind. After a bad workout or race, yes, you are allowed to be miffed, to be peeved. But channel all of that into a productive mindset. Rather than think as a defeatist, use the burning embers of anger as fuel for motivation and determination. Then look for any lessons you can learn from the race. (Did you go out too fast…again?? Wise up! haha)
Then COME BACK. The only time a failure SHOULD make you embarassed is if it’s the end of your road. You give up and stop your story right there.
I want you to now share with me YOUR epic fails turned epic wins. Share your stories about an obstacle you faced, overcame, and came out a stronger runner and person because of it. Tell me also about your epic fail of a race, and either tell me how you came back later to make it a ‘redemption race’ epic win…OR…if you just had this epic fail tell me how you’re going to use that in a way to reach an epic win.
You can blog about, post a picture, make some artage (you know how much I’d really love that!) and then tweet me @caitlinchock with the hashtag #epicfailWIN and a link to your epic fail win moment/story/picture/etc.
So, Runner Friends, embrace your failures because they make you stronger.
1) You know what to do, get to gather your epic fail win moment…I can’t wait to hear all about them! #epicfailWIN
That long run brought to you by dreams of PaNcAkeS!!! Or insert your favorite post-run food there. Actually, you can swap out the long run for a race. Scratch that you can preeeetty much just swap that out for any run. Any distance…any food. #runners #workforit #reward #bait ??
While us runners certainly can eat more than a football team, amongst those pancakes, Pop-Tarts, burgers, fries, milk shakes, etc…we DO know that in order to run our best we need to fuel our best.
The beautiful thing though, is that eating to PERFORM doesn’t mean you can’t have your cake and eat your apples too. It’s all about balance. There are some KEY elements that all runners in training should be mindful of:
getting enough and timing that intake * 30 Minute Recovery: eating protein and carbs within 30 minutes of finishing a run * Healthy Picks: insert your fruits, veggies, whole grains, quality carbs here * Vitamins and other nutrients: IRON is sooo important for runners and ensuring they get enough! * Hydration: it’s crucial runners ensure they drink enough fluids and more than just water, replacing those electrolytes too
But it’s ALL about balance, and even professional distance runners are allowed their cookies and burgers too. Hey, when you’re burning all dem calories you earn those treats!
1) What’s your ‘drool dream’ food while running?
2) How do you keep track of your protein intake and ensuring you get enough?
3) How do you track your fruits and veggies and make sure you’re getting enough?
Whether single or alone, you can always find love.
Okay, Happy Valentine’s Day…whether you find this a jank holiday or not probably has more to do with your relationship status than anything else. But we can all agree that the love between a runner and their legs is something sacred. To be cherished and adored, to be respected and never taken for granted.
Be you loving your legs in pairs or rocking solo, grab a chocolate heart and bite it’s flipping head off…you ran, you deserve it!!
[Hearts may not have a head, but you get the picture.]
1) Finish this sentence: I love my legs and today I will show them that love by…
Forcing them to run. They know they like it…bwahahaha.
2) How are you treating your legs right so they rebuild and repair?
3) Favorite chocolate treat?
Any and all. S’mores Pop-Tarts are always a choice I fully endorse!
When my legs are REALLY tired they can only manage thinking of my run in 1/4 mile increments. So I play this game in my head where I count to 4. One…two…three…four. Yay, we’re done!! Well, no, the cycle just starts again.
Don’t bag on the formula, it works; yesterday’s 9-miler was brought to you by the ‘count to four’ method. Oh us silly runners and our mind games.
You want another peek into my crazy? Well the the little game gets better because I don’t look at my Garmin during my easy runs. I’ve told you guys, easy runs should be EASY…and not to get sucked into getting overly competitive on our easy days, or mad at yourself if the times are slow. I’m not quite brave enough to go fully naked (aka watchless) so my compromise is I let the Garmin beep my miles but I don’t look at the splits.
So then I make this whole 1/4 thing into an even MORE fun guessing game. I picture myself on a track and then think, “Hmmm, I definitely think it’s been a lap. One. Now we’re getting close to two laps I bet. Two…etc.” So I try to predict the 4th beep and see how close I can get.
Yes, this whole, entire game is purely a distraction. It’s crazy, mostly senseless…but aren’t all of us runners just that??
Imagine a running world much different than our own.
Get up, lace up, and regardless of what’s actually on your feet…get running.
So lots of exciting things to share here!
My friend, and distance running’s #1 Fan Girl, Lynn Cox and I just launched Shoeprints Ink!! It’s a greeting card line devoted JUST FOR RUNNERS! Yea!! Go check out all the action and there will be more cards being continually added. Visit: Shoeprintsink.com
1) Speaking of shoes and spikes, what running shoes are you currently loving at the moment?
2) What kind of food related shoe concoctions would you toss into this comic remix?
3) Anxiety and all that jazz…what do you do when you are feeling stressed, anxious, nervous, etc.? What keeps you sane and balanced?
Well, besides what I already shared…can I state the obvious: #runforsanity
Please clear the track, we’ve got some runners coming through, and they’re taking care of business!!
Running is not a sport for the excuse-makers of the world. It takes lots of motivation and dedication to improve, but the glorious thing about that is the power to get better is RIGHT there, in your hands (eeerr…feet?), and within your control.
In a sport where work ethic is more important than your height, shoe size, or inborn talent, the mentally tough, refuse-to-give up runners are the ones who come out on top. And after all, it’s watching those kind of runners overcome obstacles and odds that in turn inspires US to follow our own goals. Dream bigger than our running shoes and put in the work.
*Cue the African Safari Music* “It’s the circle of runner-life.” *Bamboo lifts your racing shoes to the heavens above.*
Running is also a state of mind. It’s mental. I’ve had people call me a jogger, and I joke about being heinously offended. Then I’ve had people be offended that I’m offended about the j-word. Like I’m a runner ‘snob’ or sometimes people feel judged saying, “I’m not a runner, I’m not fast enough to be a runner.”
In both of those instances, my reply is the same:
* The difference between a runner and a jogger ISN’T pace, mileage, or numbers related.
* Earning ‘runner’ status is in the mind, the spirit, the dedication.
You’re a runner if you LOVE it.
You’re a jogger if you feel ‘forced into it’, like it’s a chore, or you’re only doing this to lose weight.
Runners are self-motivated and if anything have to have someone else beat/talk ‘sense’ into us at times, to hold us back, learn the times when not to run.
Joggers aren’t all that worried about skipping days. They celebrate any ‘excuse’ not to go jogging.
So you see, me NOT wanting to be called a jogger isn’t being a snob. It’s just that I know I’m a runner in spirit. And others, regardless of their pace or point in their running life journey thing, shouldn’t force the jogging title on themselves.
As a runner, you’re a runner. You know it. You can’t lose your running license during injuries or setbacks.
You’re only NOT a runner the day you decide to stop. Until then, keep on running, My Friends!
1) What is one of your criterium for being a runner?
2) Do you get offended being called a jogger?
3) Do you care either which way at all? hehe.
We’ll call it crossing past the comfort zone on the treadmill and into the fear zone. This is my face when the intervals on the treadmill are just TOO SHORT and FAST for my liking!!!
Hang on, Dear Runners. When doing speedwork on the treadmill, there’s always the extra incentive to keep up or risk turning into a treadmill causality.
Tips and training for all things treadmill running HERE!!
1) What mph or lenght of intervals on the treadmill is your comfort zone to fear zone barrier??
2) Have you ever been hurled off the back of the treadmill?
I decline answering.
3)What’s going on for you this weekend??
Because we’ve ALL had those prickly bush fantasies in the middle of a workout or race. “I’ll bet hucking myself into that tangle of nettles will be a LOT less painful than what I’m doing now.”
It may not always be a prickly bush, but the mind certainly has a crazy way of looking for any excuse to get you to stop running. Fighting those ‘excuses’ and telling yourself to IGNORE that whiney voice inside your head is something ALL runners deal with. Constantly.
We know that complainer, that voice telling us that we can’t, will always be there. We start every race and workout aware that the time will come when the pain sets in, but we ALSO tell ourselves that we CAN push much further past what that whiney, compliany, snot-nosed little voice tells us.
Run mentally tough…abstain from hucking yourself into that prickly bush. Well, at least until you’ve gotten through all the repeats, then, well, do what you will.
Some things are so scary they can only be real…true tales of running nightmares!!
This story comes by way of a runner in Minnesota. You know, one of those states that actually gets REAL winter weather. No, the scary part isn’t the snow, wind, or temperature reading. That’s just freaking wrong.
With all the advancements we’ve made in the world, running and otherwise, one would think we’d have solved this whole ‘power outage’ issue. I mean, c’mon, we’ve landed on Mars. But I digress.
Minnesota. Dead of winter. Night. Running outside is clearly not an option, unless you want to wind up with frost bite on your nose and unconscious from slipping on black ice. Treadmill it is.
WHAT?!?!? Power issues, FIVE BLOWN FUSES?!?! What is a runner to do? Enter the Running Nightmare Zone. This quick-thinking runner, in what can only be described as a true Running MacGyver moment, rigged up the treadmill off of a remaining circuit and…
…got the treadmill working. No lights, no problem, that’s what a flashlight is for.
The runner was quoted, “You can take a lot of things away from me, but my sanity won’t be one of them.” AMEN!!!
Scary.As.All.He##. Stay safe, stay sane, stay running, My Friends!!
**Names have been omitted to protect the traumatized
1) What’s one of the craziest situations you’ve been in to get your run on?
I’m actually embarrassed to say…it’s crazy.
2) What’s a true running nightmare tale you’ve lived through?
3) What’s the last scary thing to happen to you on a run?
Just this shady looking dude I passed, it was dark, I definitely ran wide and picked up the pace.
It’s not a crime if you went running in the morning but have yet to shower by 5pm 6pm 8pm 9pm until right before you go to bed.
Happy Monday, Running Friends, and if that means you are one of the poor souls who have to leave home for work…theeeen, maybe you’ve gotten that shower. Don’t worry, you have the weekend to look forward to lounging around in running clothes all day!
More Running Cartoons!
1) How did your Monday start?
2) Are you a bit lax when it comes to the post-run shower RIGHT away??
3) Best thing happening for you this week?
I’m excited to share my first RUNNING book: “Effective Mental Strategy: Race better by out-thinking your brain”!!
Running hard hurts. In order to race and train your best you need to block out that pain and stay in an effective mindset.
This ebook will teach you strategies to refute those pain messages from your brain and refute that voice telling you to “Stop!” and “Slow down!” Also included are insights from professional distance runners sharing the tips THEY USE to stay mentally tough during workouts and races. These rocking runners, Sarah Brown, Sara Hall, and Jason Hartmann, your brain would go dizzy counting up all their accolades: World Championship Teams, Pan Am Gold, Marathon Titles, you name it!
I’ve chosen to use my cartoons as teaching tools to make the reading fun and engaging. I mean humor DOES make everything better and, after all, while training and racing does require an amount of seriousness, running IS fun. And running personal records are even MORE fun!
This ‘instructional comic book’ is written BY a runner; because who better to poke fun at our crazy quirks and thoughts than a runner herself?!!
BUY this awesome ebook in PDF form here! — $9.99
Sneak peek of what’s inside!
This running ebook will also be offered in a Kindle edition at the Amazon store shortly too!
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Many a time has a runner been told they’re ‘too obsessed’ with this running thing. I admit runners may be a wee bit on the crazy side, and obsessed isn’t such a bad term. [Better to be obsessed with running than meth...right?] But the reality is, rather than waste our breathe even trying to explain it to these people, who clearly will never ‘get it’…our precious O2 is much better spent oxygenating those hard-working running mitochondria.
1) Do you try to explain it to people who question why you run, or how you are so motivated?
2) Best funny quip you’ve given to a person who says with scorn that you’re ‘too into’ running or fitness?
3) What’s inspiring YOU this morning?