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Category: Running Gear

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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Brilliant Reflective, my latest favorite running song, and I am still running.

Disclaimer:  I received Brilliant Reflective Safety Strips to try and review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I rarely run when it is dark.  During the summer it is bright as early as 5am and doesn’t get dark till about 8:30pm.  The few times I run while it is dark, I wear a reflective vest and a headlamp.  I was more than happy to test and review Brilliant Reflective Safety Strips.  The company sent me both Iron-On and Stick-On strips.

Brilliant Reflective 1

So what exactly are these strips?  They’re pieces of tape that you can stick on to your gear so that when light hits you, you are seen.  They’re easy to peel and can be placed on pretty much all of your running gear such as shoes, shirts, hats.  They’re available in black, red, blue, and purple so they either blend in or stand out.

My niece liked them on her shoes.

I used them in my shirt, shoes, and running hat.

Brilliant Reflective 4

Brilliant Reflective 5

Brilliant Reflective 6

I will admit that I removed them from my shoes to put on another pair and somehow one of the strips fell off during my race.  However, they stayed on the shirts even after washing them.

Brilliant Reflective 7

I haven’t used the Iron-On strips but am excited to use them on my Oiselle Power Stretch Beanie and Softshell Gloves.  <<Definitely not ready for cold weather as I am enjoying the cool and fall like weather we are having in Chicago.

Join us on Tuesday, September 12th as BibRave and Brilliant Reflective will be hosting a #BibChat at 8pm CST.  Come by and chat with us about this great product and you’ll have a chance to win some of your own.

My latest running song is “Mi Gente”.  Have you heard it?  Not a big fan of the video but I do like the beat and it makes me want to dance too.  🙂

I had some great runs this week.  Monday and Tuesday was 5.02 miles.  Fall weather is here and that makes the runs much more enjoyable.  I was pleased and surprised with my negative splits!

On Saturday I ran the Run Mag Mile 10K.  It was so much fun!  The weather was perfect and it was fun running down Michigan Avenue (it reminded me of RnR Las Vegas when the strip was closed for the race).  I didn’t get a PR (old one is from 2010) but I ran faster than I thought I could and also had a blast.  I think that definitely counts more than a PR, right?  🙂

So what did you think of the song “Mi Gente”?  What is your favorite running song now?

I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap.  This week’s host is Sara @ Sara Runs This Town.  Please stop by her blog and show her some love!

Hoping everyone had a good week!

WWGuest

Under Armour Horizon RTT shoes, back to work, and a giveaway!

Disclaimer:  I received a pair of Under Armour Horizon RTT Trail Running Shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I don’t normally run on the trail.  However, when I was training for the Lake Michigan Marathon, I would do my long runs on the trail.  I wanted a different place than running along the lakefront.  Also,  I realized that I would recover much faster when running on the trail.  Plus, there is a certain smell (dirt) that comes with it.  It may sound weird but it is true and I actually enjoyed it.  

Last month I received a pair of Under Armour Horizon RTT trail running shoes.  Under Armour reminds me of Michael Phelps (and his cool video) and running clothes. Definitely not running shoes nor trail shoes.  I was still very interested to check them out.

The Horizon RTT comes in 5 colors.  I picked marlin blue/neptune and I love the color .

UA Horizon RTT Trail Shoes 1

Product DNA (from the UA website)

  • Durable PU & textile upper for breathability & reliable protection
  • Reinforced welded synthetic material in critical areas for increased durability
  • Mesh heel with dual protective welds
  • Molded collar foam package for added comfort
  • Charged Cushioning® foam puck placed under the heel for responsive comfort
  • Lightweight, full-length EVA midsole for optimal cushioning
  • High traction rubber lug outsole for dependable traction on a variety of conditions
  • Offset: 7mm
  • Weight: 9.2 oz.
  • Imported

While they weren’t heavy, they felt more stiff than my regular running shoes.  My first run in them hurt my right foot.

UA Horizon RTT Trail Shoes 2

A few more runs in them and the shoes feel a little bit more comfortable.

UA Horizon RTT Trail Shoes 7

While they’re primarily trail shoes, they also did well on the road.

UA Horizon RTT Trail Shoes 3

I also wore them to work (in my skirt).  🙂  I like that they’re wide enough for my feet.

UA Horizon RTT Trail Shoes 6.jpg

Check out these lugs!  I have a feeling these will be great to run in the snow.

Overall, I am pleased with my shoes.  My only regret is not sizing up.  I wear a 9.5 and remember reading some people suggesting to size up.  I don’t know why I didn’t.  I have been wearing thin socks and no longer run more than 5 miles in them.

Monday was my first day back at work.  In the morning I worked in my room and then parents dropped off school supplies from 9-10 am.  Then meetings, lunch, and another meeting in another building.  Long day.  Thankfully we had a break to see the eclipse.  It was cloudy but did manage to see a bit of it.

Eclipse glasses

Tuesday was more meetings.  It went by fast.  I couldn’t stay late because I had a doctor appointment for my yearly checkup.  I had to step on the scale and was very surprised at the number.  No, it didn’t go down but instead went down.  I was tired so I didn’t really care.  But now I do.

My first day with the kids was Wednesday.  Some of the teachers used chalk to write messages for them.  Pretty cool!

I have 24 students in my room.  Wow!  At the end of the day I wanted to cry.  I was exhausted.  My back, feet, and legs hurt.  I have a rough group of kids.  I remember my first year and it wasn’t that bad.  These kids talk a lot and don’t know when to stop talking. They’re also distracted and looking elsewhere but me.   

Tired cat

The next two days were rough too.  Something new this year is that the kids eat breakfast in the lunchroom.  They come in at 8:30am, grab breakfast (if they want), and go to the classroom.  They have 15 minutes to put stuff in their locker and eat.  It isn’t enough time because they like to talk which in the morning is fine but they also need to eat.  In the meantime I take attendance and track who ate breakfast and who brought a lunch.  The kids need to stop eating at 8:45, throw away the garbage, and clean up because at 8:50 they have a special (gym, media, art, gym, or computers).

I know the first couple of days/weeks are rough.  I am ready for that.  I need to remember those moments that make teaching so worth it.

Teacher Inspiration

Now time for a giveaway!  The winner will receive a Momentum Jewelry inspire-ring.  I have one and love it.  

Momentum Inspire-Ring

Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter.  This giveaway will run until September 2 at 11:59 pm.  The giveaway is open to US residents only.  The winner will be contacted via the email address associated with their Rafflecopter account and will have 24 hours to claim their prize.   All entries are verified, so please be sure to complete them or a new, random winner will be selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you prefer road or trail running?  Or both?

I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap. This week’s host is Teresa @ Finding Fabulous at Fifty .  Please stop by her blog and show her some love!

Hoping everyone had a good week!

WWGuest

My Marathon Training Must-Haves and a Giveaway

Now that I am halfway through my Chicago Marathon training, there are a few items that I reach for help me power through each run.

Brooks PureFlow 4 and Brooks Launch 3

I love Brooks shoes.  I’ve also worn Asics, Newtons, and Mizuno but always come back to Brooks.  I’ve run in Pure Connect (discontinued), Ghost, and Glycerin but now alternate between PureFlow and Launch.  They don’t feel heavy and are very comfortable.  

SmartWool and ProCompression Socks

The right socks are important.  Definitely no cotton socks.  I usually wear compression socks on runs longer than 6 miles.  I love the different colors and my legs/calves feel great during and after each run. I also wear SmartWool (ultra light or light elite) and even though my feet have been completely wet after a few sweaty runs, I’ve had NO blisters which in my book is definitely a winner.

Oiselle Long Roga Shorts and Tops

I love running in shorts!  I wear them as long as I can before it gets too cold.  These shorts are long enough and for the most part do not ride up.  I’ve had them ride up only when I’ve worn a Sparkly Athletic skirt (weird).  I have a few pairs and love wearing them with a Oiselle top.

I have more pairs than shown in the picture.

OiselleLongRogaShorts

It wasn’t until a few months ago that I began running in a tank top.  I’ve always worn a short sleeve shirt.  But now I LOVE and do each run in a Oiselle top.  They fit well and no chafing.

Body Glide

You definitely need to stock up on this item.  I apply this between my thighs, under my arms, and in the back of my running bra.  I did chafe big time between my thighs at the 2015 Chicago Marathon that it hurt to walk.  That was the only time I’ve chafed in that area.  It must have been the shorts with the combination of the sweat (I did not reapply at all) that caused it.  You bet I will make sure to reapply at this year’s marathon.  

Victoria Secret The Player Sports Bra

I am not well endowed in the chest area but it is comfortable when my boobs are bouncing around during my runs.  My favorite VS bra is the open back version.  Unfortunately it has been discontinued which makes me sad.  I love this bra because it provides the right amount of support.  I have 6 pairs and have worn them for over a year and they’re beginning to smell bad.  I know I need to replace them but have not found something equivalent.  I’ve also worn bras by Champions 9 (not enough support) and Moving Comfort (ALWAYS chafe in the same area).  

Source: Amazon
Source: Amazon

NUUN Tablets

I add these tablets to my water bottle and drink this all day and at every run.  I am not a big fan of the Nuun Energy; so I am stocking up on the previous version.  

Garmin 225 Watch and Fitletic 16oz Hydration Belt

I use my watch mostly to get the basic information (lap pace, average pace, mile splits, and distance). It comes in handy during my weekly runs as a pacer because I am responsible (with another pacer) to make sure we meet that 11:00 minute pace.  I like that it syncs with my Nike +Running App.  I know I could get more usage out of it (like heart rate) but for now it works just fine for me.

I wear my belt low on my hips and I swear it does not bounce, chafe, or ride up.  It has two 8 oz bottles and a pouch which fits my iPhone 6.

ChicagoMarathonTrainingRecap40

Headsweats Hat/Visor

Thanks to Marcia’s code (TEAMARCIA for 25% OFF) I ordered two visors and hat.  I love that they’re light, comfortable, so many options to choose from, and keeps the sweat off my face.  Plus, it washes really easy.  I add it to my weekly load of running clothes and air dry it along with the rest of my clothes.

2016ChicagoMarathonRecap51

I have an extra visor and you have a chance to win it!  To enter, click on the image below where you will be directed to Gleam and enter several different ways such as leaving a blog post comment, commenting on any of my Instagram posts, or tweeting about the giveaway.  I will also include a tube of Nuun (I have various flavors you can choose from).

Headsweats Marathon Giveaway

This giveaway will run until September 6 at 11:59 pm).  The winner will be selected on September 7th. The giveaway is open to US residents only.  The winner will be contacted via the email address associated with their Gleam account and will have 24 hours to claim their prize.  All entries are verified, so please be sure to complete them or a new, random winner will be selected.

Best of luck to everyone who enters! 

What are your running must haves?  Anything else I can add to my list?

I am linking up with Erica and Smitha for this giveaway!

WednesdayGiveaway