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Category: Friday Five 2.0

Friday Five 2.0-5 New to Me Things That I Like

How is it that it is almost February?  January is definitely going by fast.  We’ve had our share of very cold but also mild days in Chicago.  I am definitely looking forward to warmer days.  Then I will probably be complaining that it is too HOT!  That is why fall is my favorite season for running.  

I always get excited when I read about something in a blog/Facebook/Internet/etc that someone else likes and recommends.  Recently, I’ve learned about some new items (to me) that I like and have been using for running or everyday use.

1. Lily Trotter Socks.  These compression socks are easy to put on and come in fun colors.  They have the right amount of compression and are also comfortable.  I’ve been wearing them on my runs and also to recover from my workouts.  My legs feel great!

2. Detach.  As a BibRave Ambassador, I have the opportunity to try out this product.  Detach is is a coconut water-based drink with only a subtle coconut flavor, improved electrolyte balance, low glycemic energy & a micro-protein blend to help you have a great workout.  The drinks are certified paleo, low GI and gluten free.  I like that it isn’t sweet, with a very light flavor, but not artificial or overpowering.  I’ve used it on a long run (100 minutes) and never felt thirsty.  I actually found it to be refreshing and it was just what I needed on that run.

3. Smartwool Socks.  I love the Women’s PhD® Run Ultra Light Micro Socks.  They’re thin, they have enough cushion, protect against blisters, and feel comfortable.  I can wear them for a few days without washing and they don’t smell.  🙂  However, these are not long enough and do not cover my ankles when running in tights during the winter.  When wearing tights, I use the crew socks.  They are just as comfortable as the micro socks and my ankles stay warm.  I also have a pair of the Light Elite and these have more cushion and also keep my feet extra warm during the cold winter days.  I was afraid that with the extra cushion my shoes would feel tight but that isn’t the case.

4. Black Diamond Storm Headlamp.  Depending on how I feel or what I have going on after work, I do my runs in the morning or after school.  I have a Nathan headlamp that I thought I lost but then found in my car.  Someone recommended this lamp and I love it.  It has 350 lumens of power, three-color RGB night vision and improved peripheral lighting for close-range tasks.  I haven’t figured out all of those features but I just know that it is bright!

5. Orgain Organic Protein Powder.  A few friends recommended this to me.  This is plant based with 21 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and no added sugar.  I love the Creamy Chocolate Fudge but the Vanilla Bean is delicious.  They both have a clean taste and is never too sweet.  I make a shake in the morning for breakfast and it keeps me full till lunch (I drink it around 7am when I get to school and eat lunch at 11:35am).  Another great thing about it is that with this protein powder you have proteins from grains (brown rice), seeds (hemp, chia) and legumes (pea) and is also gluten-free, soy-free and non-gmo.  I purchased mine on Amazon but I know they’re also available at Target and Costco.

Orgain Protein Powder-1

Have you tried any of these products?  Any products you like that you can recommend to me?

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

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Friday Five 2.0-5 Things I Am Looking Forward to in 2018

Happy New Year!  How did you celebrate?  I kept it very low key.  Nothing exciting at all.  My sister came over with my nephew.  We ate and watched TV.  Then they left and I went to bed at 10pm.  Felt great to go to bed early and wake up early the next day.  🙂

Happy New Year 2018

The other day I was thinking about things that I am excited about and looking forward to this year.  There are a few but for now I am picking five of them.  Here they are in no specific order or importance.

1. The Illinois Marathon.  This will be my 9th marathon.  My last marathon was the Chicago Marathon in October 2016 where I ended up with at 5:12:59 finish time.  I am working with a coach to get me to the finish line in April.  I am hoping to finally get a sub 5 finish time.  My training is going well.  Most of my runs have been “easy” and short (30 and 45 minutes).  I know this will get my body ready for when I need to do hard and intense workouts.  This week I ran “specific” miles (3 and 4 miles).

2. Rock ‘n’ Roll Races.  In 2013 I ran 14 RnR races.  While it was fun, it was also tiring and expensive.  As a BibRave Ambassador, I have the chance to run again a couple of these races.  I picked Washington DC, New Orleans, Chicago, Savannah, Denver, Las Vegas, Seattle, and San Diego.  There is no guarantee that I will get selected for all of them but I’ll be happy with 2-3 races.

3. Moving to a new apartment or house.  I’ve been living in the same apartment for about 8 years.  When I moved here, I told myself that that would be the last time I would move.  Wrong.  My landlord told me to start looking for a new apartment because he wants to remodel the apartment and sell the building.  Part of me wants to move to another apartment because it is just easier and less responsibilities.  However, another part says it is time to buy a house.  I’ve looked at a few houses and have not seen anything that I like.  My goal is to move no later than March/April (assuming that the landlord gives me till then to move.  What I am most excited about is the possibility of having a bigger bedroom than the one I have now!  🙂

New House Image

4. Run a couple half marathons in new states.  Currently I’ve completed 38 half marathons in different states.  If I get picked for the RnR races (#2) then I will be adding Colorado and Georgia to my list.  I am hoping to also add Delaware and Michigan.

Run all 50 states
Source: www.etsy.com

5. BibRave Ambassador.  I was selected for another year as an ambassador.  I am happy and excited about it!  I’ll have the chance to provide you with various product and race discounts.  I will also have the opportunity to run various races throughout the year and try out different and new to me race products.  I also hope to meet more Ambassadors whether in Chicago or from another state!

Anything exciting you are looking forward to this year?

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

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Friday Five 2.0-5 Best Races of 2017

Happy Holiday!  Just a few more days till we ring in 2018!!

happyholidays

I will end the year with 156 races (10 in 2017).  I didn’t race as much as I would have liked to but I am happy with the races I did.  I had a goal to run at least 1,000 miles but sadly I did not meet this goal.  Will try again next year.

So now let’s talk about my 5 best races this year in no specific order.  

1. Great Alaskan Half Marathon.  In July I went on  The Great Alaskan Running Cruise and ran 4 races but the half marathon was my favorite.  Running in Alaska was state #38 for me in my goal to run a half marathon in each state.  It was a small race and the view was spectacular!  It was on this cruise that I finally met Elizabeth.

2. Elmhurst Running Club 4 on the 4th.  I’ve been running this race since 2013 and absolutely love it!  It is cheap, not too far from home, plenty of parking, and the only 4 miler race I do.  This year I met up with a few Oiselle girls.  July 4th is extra special for me because it was on this day in 1978 that my family and I came to this country from Mexico.  Double the celebration!

Elmhurst Running Club 4 on the 4th 3

3. Run Mag Mile 10K.  This race was lots of fun!  I enjoyed running along Michigan Avenue and eating some delicious food after the race.  The hoodie and medal were cool too.  Oh, and I love that we got FREE race photos.

4. Utah Valley Half Marathon.  Utah was state #37 for me.  I met up with a few bloggers (Marcia, Judy, Teresa, Holly, and Mary Beth) and had a great time with them.  The course was downhill and beautiful but I was sore for days.  We had great weather and while it was sunny, I never got too hot because the course through the canyon was shaded.

5. Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle.  This is another one I do every year.  This race was my first one this year.  My goal was to finish it in under an hour and finish time was 56:26.  I knew I wasn’t going to PR because I’d been running here and there due to various injuries in the beginning of the year.  I already signed up to run it again next year!  I love the course and the medal is a plus!

2017ShamrockShuffleMedal

What was your favorite race this year?

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

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Friday Five 2.0-5 Things I Am Thankful For

Thank you to everyone for your birthday wishes!  I had a great time this weekend.  The celebration began on Friday with dinner and drinks with my coworkers.  I received a few gift cards while enjoying some delicious food at Miller’s Ale House.  Then on Saturday I met my sisters and brother for lunch.  The plan was to eat Thai food but the restaurant was closed!  It was 12:30!!  So we ended up going to a Chinese restaurant.  It was very good and hit the spot.  On Sunday I went out for a run and then met a friend for breakfast at Nana’s.  We had pancakes and a breakfast burrito.  Finally Monday was even more special.  I went out for a run and and then at school the administrators made breakfast for the teachers.  They do this a few times a year and it is always delicious.  I received a few more gift cards and donuts from coworkers.  That evening I went home to relax and to be thankful for celebrating another birthday.

Birthday weekend 6

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you ate a lot of food and enjoyed everything.  I ran a Turkey Trot in the morning and then went to my brother’s house for dinner.  We had turkey, corn, mashed potatoes, and rice.

Thanksgiving eat what you want

Now let’s continue with this post of things I am thankful for (in no specific order of importance).  However, there are many things I am thankful for but for this post only picked five.  It wasn’t easy.

  • My health.  I’ve been lucky because for pretty much of my 45 years on this earth, I’ve been healthy.  The only “scary” thing I’ve heard is a few years ago when my doctor told me I was borderline pre-diabetic.  I was confused because I couldn’t understand how a runner could be pre-diabetic.  Yes, I was ignorant.  That was a wake up call for me and I made a few changes in my eating habits.  I don’t remember everything I did but it was enough that when I went back the following year, I was no longer pre-diabetic.
  • My family.  I have 5 sisters and 1 brother.  We don’t always see each other but do our best to have a good time when we are together.  I do have an abundance of cousins from both my mom and dad’s side.  Whenever we get together we eat 🙂 and laugh and always cherish our times together.  A group of them (and my brother) helped my sister move to a condo and her son saw how our family came together to make it happen.  
  • My cat.  Lola has been with me since June 2016.  She makes me laugh.  She is loving but sometimes wants to be left alone.  She definitely knows who her momma is and comes to me at night when it is time to sleep.  We also nap together.
  • My students.  As much as they exhaust me, I love my students.  I love it when they greet me in the morning all excited and ready to learn.  I love seeing their little faces when they are thinking about something I just taught them and the wheels are turning in their head.  I love it at the end of the day when they hug me before saying goodbye and going home knowing that I will be seeing them again the next day.  
  • My job/career.  I don’t love my job but do like it.  Well, let me clarify by saying that if teachers were left alone to simply teach, there would be some very happy teachers out there.  I do my best to enjoy it however I can.  I teach but also make sure my kids have fun and look forward to coming back the next day.  I know that at the end of the day I am making a difference in someone’s life.  <<That is what keeps me going.

How was your Thanksgiving?  What are you thankful for?

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

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Friday Five 2.0-5 Things I Am Loving

Happy Friday!  Any interesting plans this weekend?  My birthday is on Monday so I have plans on Saturday to get together with my sisters and my brother to celebrate.  Nothing fancy but we will be going to a Thai restaurant for some delicious pad thai and pad see ew.  Yummy!

happybirthdaycake

Next week I work Monday and Tuesday and then will be off the rest of the week.  You bet I am excited.  I will be running a turkey trot on Thursday and planning to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family.  I made a mistake and thought that the shirts were going to be blue.  They’re not.  They will be an ivory/oatmeal color.  It is still a pretty color.  Remember, there is still time to sign up and use code “17BIBRAVE10” to save 10% off all distances.

Art Van Turkey Trot-7

When I started writing this post I did not realize the topic this week was “Giving Thanks”.  I had initially decided to write something related to it for the day after Thanksgiving.  Instead in this post you’ll be reading about some of the few things I am loving.

  • Waves Micro Towel – I’ve been using these for a few years.  They’re fast drying and ultra absorbent.  I use mine to wrap my wet hair after a shower.  They are also perfect to take to the beach or on a trip.  I love that they’re not bulky and come in some cool colors.

Waves Micro Towel 1

  • Oiselle Lightning Layer – Thanks to the time change it is dark in the morning and after work.  I prefer to run after work because I know more people and cars are out there during that time.  My vest makes sure that I am seen.  Well, it is a top and a vest.  I’ve worn it alone with a sports bra during the summer and over a long sleeve top during the fall/winter.
  • iHome Color Changing Bluetooth Speaker – I love listening to music while working in my classroom.  I mainly listen to Amazon Prime and have a few playlists that I like.  I also enjoy Pandora but for some weird reason my school has blocked that site.  With my bluetooth speaker I can listen to whatever I want.  It is easy to set up and has great sound quality.  I love how it changes colors throughout each song.
  • Achievement – Do you want to get paid to be healthy!  Join Achievement, connect your apps, and start earning money.  Use THIS LINK to join and we both get 250 points.  For every 10,000 points you accumulate, you get $10.  I’ve connected it to FitBit, Strava, and Garmin accounts and already made $20.  Seriously, you have NOTHING to lose.
  • Eagle Creek Pack-It Sac Large– I originally bought this after I saw how my friend, Meghann, had neatly packed for our trip to Alaska.  I did not.  I’ve heard great things about their products but until recently had never own any of them.  You can use this to store magazines, computer cords, toiletries, etc.  I use it to take home my papers to grade.  Throughout the day I store the papers inside and make sure to grab it before heading out the door.

Eagle Creek 1.jpg

Any exciting plans this weekend?  What are you loving lately?

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

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