Category: Running

Illinois Marathon Training Recap, Week 9

Illinois Marathon-2

Week #9, January 22-28

T Ran 3.76 miles
W Did not run
TH Ran 2.52 miles
F Ran 3.81 miles
S Ran 8.98 miles

Tuesday’s run was done early in the morning.  The temperature was in the low 30s but it didn’t feel too cold.  There was some snow coming down so I was extra careful to as not to fall.

My students were coughing and sneezing early in the week and I ended up with a cold.  On Wednesday I was feeling horrible and couldn’t wait to get home.  Once home I kept taking medicine with Emergen-C and went to bed early.  I missed my quality session workout but did one on Saturday.

I ordered a new headlamp (Black Diamond Storm) from Amazon and received it on Wednesday.  I got a chance to use it during Thursday’s run.  It is bright and I love it!

I had plans after school on Friday so I did my run in the morning.  A 5am wake up call to get this done.  I felt great!  It was in the high 30s and I did get warm on this run.

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I was a bit nervous about my quality session run on Saturday.  I had to do a 5 mile warmup, 2 x 10 minute intervals @10:45 pace with 3 minutes recovery then 1 x 5 minute interval @10:02 pace and then a 15 minute cooldown.  I was afraid that I wasn’t going to hit the paces.  It was sunny and a perfect day for a run.  I hit all of my paces!  I was so happy (and almost cried) when I saw my stats (10:34; 10:35; 9:47).  I’ve never done a 5 mile warmup and was actually kind of bored with it but I simply took my time and enjoyed the warm weather.  Oh, and I noticed this at the end of my workout but my run ended at 8.98 miles.  If I would have seen this before, I would have kept on running to make it out to an even 9 miles.  

Another great week of marathon training.  My run on Saturday gave me a MAJOR confidence boost and that was exactly was I needed during this marathon training.  I cannot believe that the Illinois Marathon is in 3 months!!

Total mileage for the week: 19.08
Total mileage for this training cycle: 158.36
Total mileage for the year: 79.57

Here’s how training has gone so far:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8

How was YOUR week?  Have you been doing your runs inside or outside?

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 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.


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.

Illinois Marathon-63

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

Here’s how training has gone so far:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7

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.

Illinois Marathon-48

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.

Illinois Marathon-52

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.

Illinois Marathon-57

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

Here’s how training has gone so far:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6

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.