Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Starting a New Chapter

     After six years as digital services librarian at the Kings County Library, I've accepted a position as Senior Librarian-Adult Services Librarian at the Beaumont Library District in Beaumont, California starting on Monday, April 19th. As I finished my last workday on Friday, April 16th, I felt grateful to have been able to work with such great people and will miss all of my co-workers very much! Here are photos from my last my last workday. 


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

My First Race Since COVID-19 & Race Recap: Havasu Half Marathon

      This past Saturday, I completed by first in person running event in a year which was the Havasu Half Marathon the took place in Lake Havasu, Arizona. I was excited to run this race since this was my first in person running event in a year and it was also this provided me with an opportunity to run in a new state and get closer to run a half marathon in all fifty states.

     I was bummed when the race was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 and was glad that since vaccines are now available, the race was able to be held this year with safety precautions. A few weeks before race day, I received an email from the race director clearly explaining the ways in which he was working to make the race a safe experience for all runners.

     The first safety precaution was that all runners were assigned a specific time to attend the race expo. The expo was held outside and everyone was required to wear a mask when attending the expo. When I arrived at the race expo, I was greeted by two masked volunteers who took my temperature before I was able to enter the expo. Each runner was given twenty minutes to pick up their bib and race shirt from the expo. 

     The second big safety precaution was that runners were assigned to a specific start time on race day and were distanced by number safety cones leading up ti the start line. The third safety precaution is that all runners were required to wear a mask when crossing the start line as well as when crossing the finish line. After crossing the start line, since runners tend to run at a distance, runners could take their masks off. Below are photos from race day.  

Waiting at start/finish line

Mural on race route

Dune buggy on race route

Landscape during the race

Me at halfway marker

Sidewalk smiley face on race route 

Patriotic supporter on race route 

     One of the coolest things about the Havasu Half is that some of the race is run on the London Bridge which is actually a portion of the London Bridge which was purchased by someone in Arizona and then moved from London to Lake Havasu.

Running towards London Bridge

The view of London Bridge

Me with Lake Havasu Half medal
     Overall, this was a very enjoyable race and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to run my first person race as well as check off a new state to have run in. I also think that a new part of racing in the COVID-19 era is that in addition to giving out race medals, race companies will also provide branded racing event face mask as a souvenir of the running event. 
Havasu Half medal and event souvenir facemask

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Light at the End of the COVID-19 Tunnel

     It's hard to believe that it's been a year since the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe. It's sobering to think of how man lives have been lost due to this horrible virus. Last week, I received an email at work saying that library workers were now eligible to receive that COVID-19 vaccine aka the Facui Ouchie.  After making our appointments online, we were able to get our first of two shots yesterday at the local health department. Below is a photo of me and hubby after getting our first shots holding of vaccine cards. 

     Our second and final dose is scheduled on April 7 which I is timely since my 42nd birthday will be the next day on April 8.I feel happy, grateful, and blessed to be able to get the vaccine and hope that this is the first step in ending the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

March Athlete Spotlight From Fleet Feet Fresno

I was recently surprised by being honored on the Fleet Feet Fresno Instagram and Facebook on March 1st for their athlete spotlight! I am flattered and honored to have my running journey and experience with Black Girls Run (aka BGR) highlighted by first Black Girls Run Central Valley last month and now Fleet Feet Fresno. Below is my finisher photo from the Honolulu Marathon in 2019 (aka my first marathon) followed by my running journey and experience with BGR.

 My running journey started in 2007 with the Winter Winds 2K (1.243 miles) in my hometown of Huntsville, Alabama. Unfortunately, I was under this mistaken impression that you could run a race without any training at all-just willpower and happy thoughts lol. After barely finishing the 2K, I belly flopped on some grass and told my husband I’d never run again and I didn’t run again for four years.

In 2011, after many life changes (moving from Alabama to California, becoming vegan, getting Sisterlocks,) I decided to restart running as a way to move my body regularly, set goals & see them through to completions as well celebrate what my body can do. I re-entered the running world by completing the Conquer the Bridge 5.3K in 2011 then in 2012, I ran my first half marathon (Tinkerbell 1/2 Marathon). After having the Tinkerbell 1/2 marathon medal placed around my neck, I was hooked on running!

I’ve completed over 80 in person and virtual running events ranging in distance from 5Ks to 10Ks to 1/2 marathons. Thanks to encouragement from my BGR sisters, I completed my first full 26.2 miles marathon last year in Hawaii!

I joined BGR in 2011 and what drew me to BGR is the sisterhood created based on movement and that this group is about support, encouragement, positivity, and lifting each other up.
Since joining BGR, I discovered a strong and diverse group of women from all walks of life constantly working towards taking charge of their health and life through movement. I love that BGR! One of my favorite race memories is from after the Wine and Dine 1/2 Marathon in 2012 and being introduced to Florida BGR members as well as participating in a group photo.
I feel blessed that a chapter has been created in the Central Valley and value the lifelong friendships I’ve made through being in this group. Thanks for allowing me to share my run journey & know that I feel honored to be traveling on this walking/jogging/running health journey with all of you!”

Sunday, February 7, 2021

February Goals & Life Updates

     I'm happy to say that I'm still following the goals I set for myself in January and have only 17 miles left to complete the Slow AF Run Club Winter Warrior 100 miles challenge that runs from January 1-March 31. Below are the two latest mileage trophies  I recently unlocked by completing running and walking workout. 

     In addition to the Slow AF Winter Warrior Challenge, I also signed up for the free February Share the Run 20 mile running/walking challenge sponsored by Fleet Feet Fresno and Black Girls Run. By completing this challenge, each participant finisher receives a $15 Fleet Feet credit to be used to purchase an item in the future. Below is a photo of my virtual race bib followed by the finisher's badge I entered today.  

     In reference to life outside of exercise, work is going well in that our library system is now providing contact-free pick up service and our library patrons are happy to be able to come by and pick up their library holds a couple of times a week. 

     I recently had the opportunity to check something off m bucket list by being a model in a professional photoshoot. I follow Russo's Books which is a Bakersfield bookstore in California and recently one of their employees, Jason Frost,  who is also a photographer posted on Instagram that he was looking for women to participate in his #blackwomenread photo series.  After looking at his past photos for this series, I decided to contact him to participate. Below are two of twenty-two photos taken by Jason Frost of Jason Frost Photography. If you want to see all of the photos, visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/tamaradjohnsonevans. 


Saturday, January 2, 2021

New Year, New Goals


Happy 2021! Although 2020 was a tumultuous year, I am excited about what 2021 will bring. I stopped creating New Year's resolutions some years ago and instead focus on obtaining goals for each year. Having said this, here are my list of goals to achieve in 2021:

  1. Start each day by completing devotional reading 
  2. Increase my run/walk intervals by 2 minutes (currently doing 4/1 - 4 minutes running and 1 minute walking)
  3. Run three days a week (preferably Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday)
  4. Shift from a junk food vegan diet to a plant based whole food vegan diet
  5. Remove junk food sweets from my diet (and eat fruit instead.)
  6. Break weight loss goals down into 5lbs increments (to prevent being overwhelmed by large to number of weight to lose)
  7. Work on having more date nights with Den
  8. Take time to practice self care daily (by doing something not tech related such as word search puzzles)
  9. End each day by writing in my journal (as a way to decompress from day)
  10. Add strength training to my workout routine.
  11. Write two blog posts a month (aiming for at the start of the month and at the end of the month.)
  12. Support black owned businesses (both physically and online)
  13. Support vegan businesses (both physically and online)
  14. Establish a better work/life balance (aka only do work during work hours)

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge

 Each year, I take on different reading challenges as a way to get outside of my reading comfort zone. For 2021, I plan to complete the 2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge which contains a total of 50 books as well as the 52 Book Club Reading Challenge.

Below is a list of reading prompts for the 2021 reading challenge. After I finish each reading prompt, I will update this list. If you want to see more of the books I've read this year, you can check out my Goodreads profile at: https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/15431036.

2021 Popsugar Reading Challenge:

  1. A book published in 2021:
  2. An Afrofuturist book: My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due
  3. A book that has a heart, diamond, club, or spade on the cover:
  4. A book by an author who shares you zodiac sign: Ribsy by Beverly Cleary
  5. A dark academia book:
  6. A book with a gem, mineral, or rock in the title:
  7. A book where the main character works at your current or dream job: Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha
  8. A book that has won the Women's Prize For Fiction:
  9. A book with a family tree:
  10. A bestseller from the 1990s:
  11. A book about forgetting:
  12. A book you have seen on someone's bookshelf (in real life, on a Zoom call, in a TV show, etc.:)
  13. A locked-room mystery:
  14. A genre hybrid:
  15. A book set mostly or entirely outdoors: 100 Hikers 100 Hikes by Andrew Camani
  16. A book with something broken on the cover:
  17. A book by a Muslim American author:
  18. A book that was published anonymously:
  19. A book with an oxymoron in the title:
  20. A book about do-overs or fresh starts:
  21. A magical realism book:
  22. A book set in multiple countries:
  23. A book set somewhere you'd like to visit in 2021:
  24. A book by a blogger, vlogger, YouTube video creator, or other online personality:
  25. A book whose title starts with "Q," "X," or "Z:" Quirky by Melissa A. Schilling
  26. A book featuring three generations (grandparent, parent, child:)
  27. A book about a social justice issue:
  28. A book set in a restaurant:
  29. A book with a black-and-white cover:
  30. A book by an Indigenous author: Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese's by Tiffany Midge
  31. A book that has the same title as a song: Between You and Me by Mary Norris
  32. A book about a subject you are passionate about:
  33. A book that discusses body positivity:
  34. A book found on a Black Lives Matter reading list: The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
  35. A book in a different format than what you normally read (audiobook, ebooks, graphic novels:) Hidden America by Jeanne Marie Laskas (large print)
  36. A book that has fewer than 1,000 reviews on Amazon or Goodreads:
  37. A book you think your best friend would like:
  38. An book about art or an artist:
  39. A book everyone seems to have read but you:
  40. Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: book based entirely on its cover - Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages by Ammon Shea 
  41. The longest book (by pages) on your TBR list:
  42. The shortest book (by pages) on your TBR list: I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel (149 pages)
  43. The book on your TBR list with the prettiest cover:
  44. The book on your TBR list with the ugliest cover: All Systems Red by Martha Wells
  45. The book that's been on your TBR list for the longest amount of time:
  46. A book from you TBR list you meant to read last year but didn't: My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
  47. A book from you TBR list you associate with a favorite person, place, or thing: A Pictorial Guide to Biltmore by Rachel Carley
  48. A book from your TBR list chosen at random: Rediscover Jesus by Matthew Kelly
  49. A DNF book from your TBR list:
  50. A free book from you TBR list (gifted, borrowed, library:) Secrets of a Former Fat 
    Girl by Lisa Delaney

Starting a New Chapter

     After six years as digital services librarian at the Kings County Library, I've accepted a position as Senior Librarian-Adult Servi...