Category: Running

Shoes, shoes and more shoes!

It’s no secret that I am a fan of Brooks running shoes.  In the past I’ve worn the Ghost, Ravenna, Adrenaline, Pure Flow, Pure Connect, and Pure Cadence.

Lately my all time favorite is the Launch.  I remember my first pair of the Launch 2.  They hurt my feet and I sent them back.  Months later I decided to give them another chance.  Cannot remember the reason.  I mean, they hurt my feet so why would I try them again?  I am very glad I did because those were GREAT.  I was upset when they weren’t available anymore.  Then the Launch 3 came out and they felt different.  I trained one summer in them and then sent them back to Brooks (they have a wonderful 90 day return policy).  They just didn’t feel as good as the Launch 2.  Then the 4 came out and they are just as good as the 2.  

They are so good that I am stocking up.  I have 3 pairs in rotation and have 10 new pairs in boxes.  They’re still on sale at Running Warehouse and I am tempted to get more pairs.  That’s how much I love them!  I know the Launch 5 is available but I am going to wait a few months before trying them out.

I don’t just own running shoes.  🙂  I teach 2nd grade and am on my feet all day long so I need comfortable shoes.  Last summer I invested in a pair of Tieks by Gavrieli ballet flat.  I’ve been wearing them almost everyday and like them a lot.  They’re comfortable but I am not too crazy about the price (the cheapest is $175 and the most expensive is $265).

Each pair comes neatly packed in a blue box with a cute bow.  Tieks are sold in whole sizes only.  Tieks typically suggests going down if you’re a half size unless you have a wide foot or sometimes size up.  I’m an 8.5 but I have wide feet but ordered an 8 and a 9.  Included in the box is a black pouch to store your Tieks and a small tote bag.  There was also a handwritten personalized note which I loved.


I tried both pairs and kept the size 9.  I love that they have FREE shipping.  And if you want to return or exchange them, they also have free return shipping.

You’re probably wondering if they’re worth the price.  For me they are.  I’ve worn shoes from Aerosoles and Naturalizer but after a while my feet hurt.  Plus, they don’t last long.  I will admit that when I first started wearing them, when I went back to work in August, my feet did hurt.  I thought about sending them back.  I couldn’t so I kept wearing them and after a few more days they were comfortable enough to wear all day.  Now, I am very pleased and happy with them.

I know they’re expensive but the next pair I want to get is the Chestnut.  Black and brown are shoe colors that go with pretty much every outfit.  But check how pretty the red, purple, and blue shoes!!  



What is your favorite brand of running shoes?  How many pairs do you have?

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



Illinois Marathon Training Recap, Week 8

Illinois Marathon-2

Week #8, January 15-21

T Ran 3.09 miles
W Did not run
TH Ran 3.17 miles
Ran 100 minutes for 8.45 miles
S Ran 3.35 miles

Even with a 4 day work week, it felt like a LONG and exhausting week.  Two tests (MAP) were given this week and my kids were all tired from them.  

We got more snow on Monday so there was plenty of it still on Tuesday.  I took it slow because I did not want to fall and actually enjoyed it.  The sunset was beautiful!!

I had to do a quality session run on Wednesday (1.5 warm up and cooldown and 8×2 minute intervals at 10:02 pace).  I changed clothes at school and made my way to the airport.  I started running and then all of a sudden I got really cold and simply gave up.  I did not want to deal with the cold weather.  I did try to convince myself that it would get better and to just run.  Nope, didn’t work.  I went home.

Lola wondered why I was home early.  She was not pleased with my decision.

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By Thursday most of the snow had melted.  It made the run a little easier.  I have a Nathan headlamp but cannot find it.  I have an old one I used during Ragnar a few years ago but don’t like it too much because it isn’t as bright like my other one.

I was supposed to do my long run on Sunday but asked my coach if I could do it on Saturday because it was supposed to rain on Sunday.  It was GORGEOUS on Saturday!  I wore my Oiselle Wazzie Wool top and a vest.  I was a little afraid because I thought I was going to be cold but I was actually comfortable.  The sun helped too.  

I wore shorts for Sunday’s run!  It wasn’t as warm as yesterday and cloudy but it still felt really good.  Can you tell I love my Brooks Launch 4?  🙂

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Another great week of marathon training.  The warmer weather makes me happy and made my runs more pleasant.  I am enjoying my easy runs and have managed to stay on pace.  Just less than 14 weeks to go till the Illinois Marathon!

Total mileage for the week: 18.06
Total mileage for this training cycle: 139.28
Total mileage for the year: 60.50

How was YOUR week?  Any suggestions for a headlamp?

Link back to the host and let’s support other bloggers linking up as they train for a marathon,  half marathon, or any other event.

Illinois Marathon Training Recap, Week 7

Illinois Marathon-2

Week #7, January 8-14

T Ran 3.32 miles
W Did not run
TH Quality Session (1.50 miles warmup, 5 x 3 minute intervals with 2 minutes recovery, 1.50 miles cooldown)
F Ran 2.53 miles
Ran 5 miles
S Ran 100 minutes for 8.46 miles

I went back to work this week and it was tough!  Even my kids struggled.  Lots of coffee helped me get through the school day and my workouts.

Tuesday’s run felt warm compared to the earlier in the week.  It actually felt great out there.

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I missed Wednesday’s workout (30 minutes).  Somehow I did not see it in my training calendar.  I was focusing and planning for Thursday’s run.  It wasn’t until 9:30pm that I checked my calendar and noticed that I had a run that day.  Ugh!  I actually felt bad for missing it and sent an email to my coach.  It would have been a perfect evening to run because the temperature was in the high 50s.

I had a meeting on Thursday so I knew I didn’t have to get to school early.  I went out for my run and it was awesome!  I did overdress and I could have worn shorts.  The goal for each interval was 10:02 and I nailed each one–even if almost all of them were positive splits!  It was definitely a confidence booster and next week I get to do 8 x 2 minute intervals.

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Since I missed my workout on Wednesday, I ran on Friday after school.  Cold again.  Thanks goodness it was “only” 30 minutes.

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Saturday was my last day pacing my group.  It wasn’t too bad.  It was cold and windy and there was one section of the lakefront that was covered in ice.  While it did look pretty, it was very slippery.  I walked very slowly and finally made it to the end of the icy path.  On the way back, I took another route to avoid that path.  

The past few weeks Sunday has been my day off from running.  Today’s plan was to run 90 minutes.  Somehow I made a mistake and saw next week’s run and ran 100 minutes.  The sun was out and with all of my layer I was warm.  I did get cold when I had to wait for the train to go through.  Once home a hot shower and cup of tea warmed me up.

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Overall, it was a great week.  I am pleased that even with the cold weather (except on Wednesday) I did all of my runs outside.  I participated in the lululemon 40/80 Challenge but managed 63 kilometers.  But let me complain again.  I am tired of this cold weather.  And I am also tired of complaining.  Sigh.  I’ll stop.  🙂

Total mileage for the week: 24.69
Total mileage for this training cycle: 121.22
Total mileage for the year: 42.44

How was YOUR week?  What’s the weather like in your city/town?  Did you participate in the lululemon 40/80 Challenge?

Link back to the host and let’s support other bloggers linking up as they train for a marathon,  half marathon, or any other event.

Illinois Marathon Training Recap, Week 6

Illinois Marathon-2

Week #6, January 1-7

Ran 3.01 miles 
W Ran 4.01 miles
TH Ran 3.01 miles
Ran 90 minutes for 7.72 miles

This week I was excited that most of my runs were “actual” miles instead of minutes.  Started off the week and the New Year with a run on the treadmill.  My gym wasn’t crowded but definitely more people than usual.

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Tuesday was a rest day but I couldn’t believe that last year there were leaves on the ground!

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It did warm up a little for Wednesday’s run and I actually enjoyed it!  While I enjoy running along the lakefront, I also like running around Midway Airport.  It is easy to get to, plenty of parking, and one loop is 4 miles.  Earlier that day I made my first batch of Vegetarian Bean Chili.  It wasn’t out of this word but still good.  My mistake was that I added too many beans.  Haha, now I know.  🙂

On Thursday it was sunny and that made the run even more pleasant.  Still cold but better than negative 0 degrees.

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Saturday morning I woke up cold and tired.  I was supposed to meet up with a few other Oiselle girls at 10:00 for a run but decided not to go.  Then I waited for it to warm up.  I finally went out at 1pm.  I wore 2 pairs of socks, 2 pants, 2 pairs of gloves, 3 tops, and 1 hat.  The sun felt wonderful.  There wasn’t a lot of wind and that definitely helped as well.  At the end of my run I was tired and hungry.  And then I was very cold.

Another great week of running!  Sad that it is my last week of winter break.  However, I enjoyed my two weeks off and am looking forward to seeing my kids tomorrow!

Total mileage for the week: 17.75
Total mileage for this training cycle: 96.53
Total mileage for the year: 17.75

How was YOUR week?  What’s the weather like in your city/town?

Link back to the host and let’s support other bloggers linking up as they train for a marathon,  half marathon, or any other event.

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

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.