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Category: Running Gear

Tuesday Topics: What I love about running

What’s not to love about running?  Well right now the only thing I am not loving is the weather.  I am sorry but I cannot stop complaining about it.  Snow, cold, deep freeze, more snow, and ice storm is what we have been dealing with here in the midwest.  I know I can use the treadmill but that does get boring after a while.  

Last week I wasn’t feeling well and had to skip a few of my runs.  I’ve been tired and sometimes had an achy body.  My coach told me to sleep and get some rest.  I am feeling better and will attempt to run today.

Before I talk about today’s topic, let me show you the activity I did with my kids yesterday.  We did a 3D Hot Air Balloon Card.  It was so much fun!  Below is the video and pictures of the finished product.

3D Hot Air Balloon Card

Now let me tell why I do love running.  🙂

The gear –  I love treating myself to new gear.  It makes me happy and gets me excited to go running.  About 99% of my gear is from Oiselle.  During the warm wear you can find me running in the long rogas.  I have 24 pairs of the long rogas (and 5 of the regular rogas) and always get excited when I get another pair.

• Traveling to different states – I love travelling to various states to run a half marathon.  I’m at state #39 and this year I will be traveling to DE, MT, SC, and MI. 

50 states map.jpg

• FREE and easy to do – All you need is good running gear and the proper shoes and off you go!  No never know once you lace up where running may lead you.

• My time – Running is my alone time.  I usually run in the morning and it is the perfect time to clear my head and get ready for the day.

Tuesday Topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic:  What do you love about running?  You can write about this topic, or feel free to post any running related blog post.  Remember to Link-up with Kim and Zenaida!  Visit at least two of the other linked posts – the more the merrier!  Remember to come back for later linkers!


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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 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