Month: May 2018

Random Thoughts Thursday 22

Random Thoughts Thursday

• Monday is my last day of school.  It would have been tomorrow but we had one snow day.  So Monday it is.  I can’t complain too much about it.  One year we had 3 snow days.  Below is the picture from our snow day in February.

Illinois Marathon-96

• Snow sounds good right about now.  It has been very hot here in Chicago.  We went from winter to summer.  I live on the 2nd floor so it gets even hotter here.  The temperature inside has reached mid 80s.  Yes, we’ve turned on the AC.  Even Lola gets uncomfortable.

• I am a big fan of Ticonderoga pencils.  I went to Target the other day and saw those pencils in metallic and pastel colors.  Love, love, love them.  If you have kids in grade school, please buy these for them to take to school.  Their teacher will appreciate it.

Ticonderoga Pencils-1

• Speaking of Target, their customer service is phenomenal.  I accidentally left a bag with 4 items and didn’t realize it till I got home.  I called the store but no one had turned it in.  The next day I stopped by to check.  Still no one turned it in.  However, they let me get those four items again and take them home FOR FREE.  How amazing is that?

• Have you heard of Imperfect Produce?  It is a subscription service that fights food waste by finding a home for ‘ugly’ produce.  They source it directly from farms and deliver it to customers’ doors for 30-50% less than grocery store prices.  The subscription produce box is affordable, convenient, customizable, healthy, and delicious.  (Source:  I ordered a box today and am expecting it next Friday.  If you live in the Chicago area, save 50% off your first box by using code FIFTY%.  I used that code for my order today.  Also, if you do decide to order, use this link:  Each of us will get $10 in Imperfect credit when you sign up using my personalized referral link.


Soldier Field 10 Mile Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Soldier Field 10 Mile as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find and write race reviews!

This past Saturday I ran the Soldier Field 10 Mile.  This race is one of my favorites.  The first time I did this race was in 2009 and this year was my 7th time running it.

I had to stay late at work on Friday so I couldn’t go to Fleet Feet to get my bib.  Thankfully my friend, Claudia, got it for me.  I like the color of the shirt.

It was supposed to be a HOT one.  Man, we complained for so long about the winter and Mother Nature came back with a vengeance.


Saturday morning I woke up, got ready, and drove to Soldier Field.  I love that they offered FREE parking to race participants.  I met Claudia to get my bib and then we used the bathroom.  There were plenty of port-a-potties outside but we went inside the stadium (the start line was inside).  No line…ever better!

My left leg had been bothering me so I wasn’t sure how do running 10 miles.


The race began at 7am.  I was in corral K but moved to L to start with Claudia.  We had to wait about 15 minutes before we could start running.  It felt good inside because it was shaded and there was a slight breeze.

As soon as I got outside, I could feel the heat. I knew it wasn’t going to be a good race.  I don’t remember it ever being this hot on race day.  I was feeling OK for about 3 miles and then it went downhill.  The sun felt so hot and I took my time by walking and running.


At the runaround point the announcement teased us by saying that we looked like we could use some ice (while the song “Ice Ice Baby” was playing).  I thought for sure we would get some ice at the next water station.  Nope.  It was Nuun and water.  I did get an extra cup of water to pour over my head and that helped a little. 

At this point my goal was not to pass out and just to finish.  I didn’t care about my time.  My left was hurting even more but I kept running and walking.

Did I tell you how hot it was?  I was happy to cross the finish line and to get my medal.  It was cool to finish inside Soldier Field. 


I stayed for a little bit to see Heather and Claudia by the finish line.  Then I went home.  I was hungry and tired.  In the past I’ve stayed a bit longer to hang out with friends and enjoy my free beer.

Love that Athlinks provides FREE race photos.  However, I will admit that I cringed when I saw the photos and almost did not post the one below.  All I see is my big, bloated and round stomach.  🙁2018SoldierField10Mile-18

My finish time is 2:17:21.  That is definitely my worst Soldier Field 10 Mile race.  According to Athlinks, my worst time was 1:55:45 in 2017 and my PR is 1:41:56 in 2015.  

Facebook reminded me of the first time I did that race.  I was thinner back then.  Sigh.  


Another race done and another medal.  I have now completed 160 races.

Linking up with MarciaPatti, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.


Friday Five 2.0-Yes to Athlinks!

Disclaimer:  I am promoting Athlinks as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find and write race reviews!

I’ve been running for over 10 years.  Thanks to Athlinks, I have a record of every race (159 races) that I’ve done.  


I also have a record of my PRs in all race distances.

Athlinks-2.jpgWhat is Athlinks?  It is a database that houses results for all athletes.  These include pretty much all timed endurance sports (running, swimming, and triathlon).

I don’t know how long I’ve had my account.  It is a FREE account so if you haven’t set one up yet, do so right now.  You can sign up with an email address, Facebook, or Google Account.


With Athlinks:
1. See your most recent race results and your upcoming races.  This is in the Overview tab.
2. You can check your race results.  All of these races are listed in chronological order so the latest one is on top.  This is in the Results tab.
3. Search and be friends with other runners.  This is in the Following tab. 
4. See how you did compared to your friends that also ran the same race.  This will be shown by either a “Win” or a “Loss”.  This is in the Rivals tab.

5. Find all of your personal records.  This is in the Statistics tab.

I use Athlinks mostly to keep track of my races and my PRs.  Maybe once in a while I’ll also check out how many wins or losses I have compared to my friends.  In my case, I have more losses than wins.  🙂  I also like filtering by race distance or a specific race and compare how I did.

Here are my results from the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle beginning in 2006.

2018 Shamrock Shuffle-22

2018 Shamrock Shuffle-23

There is also an Athlinks App you can download to your phone.  


I am pleased with my experience with Athlinks.  It has been a positive one since the beginning.  It is FREE and EASY.  <<Nothing to lose.  If you don’t have an account, set one up right now.  Don’t forget to follow me on Athlinks.

I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 2.0.


Random Thoughts Thursday 21

Random Thoughts Thursday

• Sock, sock, shoe, shoe OR sock, shoe, sock, shoe.  Definitely both socks first and then the shoes.  🙂  You?

Shoes and Socks.JPG


• I went to the zoo with my students on Wednesday.  It was a beautiful day for a field trip but man it was HOT and exhausting.  A few parents went with me and I was thankful for them going with me.  I took 20 students and cannot imagine being with them alone on this trip.  Parents that help out and/or chaperone on a field trip are the BEST!

• I’ve been experiencing some pain in the left leg.  I ran on Monday morning and then skipped Tuesday and today’s run.  I stretched and foam rolled and felt better.  I also applied some KT Tape on my calf and knee.  That helped.  But I wonder if it really helps or if it is just in my head. 

KT Tape-1

• Have you heard of Brandless?  It is company that pretty much sells everything from toilet paper to facial toner (no brand) for $3.  I haven’t bought anything yet but am very interested in it.  I like that when you make a purchase, a meal is donated to someone in need through a partnership with Feeding America.


• My car now has 99,000 miles.  I purchased it in June 2006 and it still runs great.  My car has a cassette and CD player and I LOVE it.  🙂  When I was in San Francisco last week, I rented a 2018 Ford Escape.  It was fancy for me.  It was keyless (took me a few minutes to figure out how to turn on the car) and had so many fancy gadgets.  It short of convinced me to get a new car.  Then I came home and got in my car.  I really like mine.  It works great and I don’t want to deal with a car payment.  No new car for met….yet.


Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find and write race reviews!

On Sunday I ran my 159th race!  I did this race mostly for fun and am glad I did it.  

The forecast mentioned rain on race day.  The weather continues to be ridiculously crazy here.  Even with that forecast, I planned to wear a singlet, shorts, and compression socks.  Not sure what I was thinking.  🙂

I signed up for the 10K but got a bib for the half marathon.

On Sunday morning it was in the mid 40s so I wore a long sleeve underneath my singlet, a jacket, and tights.

It was cold and cloudy.  The half marathon began at 7am and the 10K at 7:45.  I arrived at 7:30 am, dropped off my gear, used the port-a-potties, and got in line for the race.  Per my Garmin, I started running at 7:58 am. 

I ran by feel and paid no attention to my watch.  I would only look down when it would vibrate with my mile splits.  I wasn’t cold and was feeling pretty good.

For the most part I was consistent with my pace.  I HAVE no idea how I ran mile 5 that fast.  At least it is fast for me.

Chicago Spring 10K-6

The 10K started on Columbus Drive next to Maggie Daley Park.  We ran there for a little bit and then ran along the lakefront path.  I found the path to be crowded since there were the 10K runners heading back along with the half marathoners.  

Chicago Spring 10K-14

When I was done, I got my medal and then went to get my gear.  I got there just in time because after a few minutes there were a lot more people waiting in line.  I felt bad for the volunteers because they were working as fast as they could but could not keep up with all of the runners.

Post race there was a hot breakfast, Lagunitas beer, and a spring flower station.  I wanted to take part in it but I was just too cold.  I hanged around for a little bit and then went home.  But before I did that, I checked my finish time courtesy of Athlinks.  Not my best and not my worst either.  My last 10K was the Run Mag Mile in September 2017 and I finished in 1:07:09.  However, my PR is 1:04:02 from September 2010.  

Chicago Spring 10K-13

The medal is pretty cool.  It has a spinning Navy Pier ferris wheel.

Chicago Spring 10K-12

I wished the weather would have been nicer and for sure I would have stayed longer and enjoyed the post race activities.

Overall, I enjoyed the race.  I love the distance and the medal.  Many races do not offer food (only beer) and it is nice to see this offered to the race participants.

Linking up with MarciaPatti, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.