Category: Tuesday Topics

Tuesday Topics: Elmhurst 4 on the 4th Race Recap

Happy Tuesday!  I hope that everyone had a great weekend.  It finally cooled down in Chicago but we are expecting more HOT weather tomorrow.  I hope it cools down for the RnR Chicago Half Marathon on the 21st.

This week’s Tuesday Topic:  What are your tips for a strong training cycle?  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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For this week I am going to write about my race on Thursday – Elmhurst 4 on the 4th.  It is one of my favorite races and highly recommend it race to everyone.  It is cheap, plenty of free parking, and somewhat in a central location for those living in the Chicago area.  

I got home later than I wanted to on Wednesday night and I didn’t not want to get up.  I thought about sleeping in and missing the race.  I guess I must have been feeling guilty because I couldn’t go back to sleep and so I quickly got up, got ready, and drove to Elmhurst.  Google Map said I would arrive around 6:45am.  Yikes, that was the time for the Oiselle group photo.  Oh well.

Somehow I made it to Elmhurst about 6:38, found a parking spot, and sent a message to one of the girls letting her know that I was on my way.  I found the group and while waiting for a minute or two in case someone else showed up, I picked up my bib since packet pickup was located next to us.  I got number 23.  I was happy!  It is Michael Jordan’s number so it must be a lucky number, right?

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After the photo I went to use the port-a-potty and then lined up to wait for the start.  I saw a few friends and chatted with them for a bit.  I was happy to meet/see Becca.  We both looked at each other and stopped because we recognized one another from reading each other’s blog.  

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I remember hearing the National Anthem and then still waiting a few minutes for the start.  The race director had a countdown going.  Finally it was a minute to go and we all got ready to run.

Finally at 7:15 it was time to run.  I started close to the front knowing that many people would pass me.  And yes they did.  The beginning of the course has a slight downhill and coming back it is an uphill leading to the finish line.  Definitely no bueno.  It was humid and I was sweating already, but surprisingly I was feeling good. 

My 1st mile was my fastest.  I thought I could run the whole race at that pace but soon realized that I couldn’t.  

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The first water station was 1/2 mile into the race.  It was much needed.  The next one was about a mile later under the underpass (??).  I got two cups of water, one to drink and another one to dump over my head.  I walked to catch my breath and then continued running.  I was slowing down and I could not make my legs go any faster.  I saw Kathleen at the turnaround point and she encouraged me to keep going.  

I am smiling because I saw some friends but inside I was struggling.

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Halfway through the race I had a headache and was shivering.  Definitely not a good sign.  I was dehydrated and overheated.  I just wanted to be done.

With a mile to go I picked up the pace a bit.  Not much but anything to get me closer to the finish line.  The volunteers were encouraging.  I knew I was close to the end but I had to go up a little incline.  Right before the incline there was an ambulance and a girl on the stretcher.  I think I remember seeing that girl on the course ahead of me but I’m not sure.  I hope she is OK.

Almost done!  I ran as fast as I could.  Smiling because I was almost done.

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I did a bit better than the year before.  

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After the race I got some water and then went to get my bag at gear check.  The only thing I had there was my shirt.  Not sure why I picked up the shirt since I don’t keep them anyway (I gave it to my mom).  I saw a coffee company giving out free iced coffee and got a cup.  Yeah, coffee after a HOT race is probably not the best idea but the ice was so good and the coffee was delicious too.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love this race.  This is the only 4 mile race I run since not many are available.  It is a competitive race but I know I will never win nor place in my age group.  🙂  It is cheap ($25 then $30 after the price increase) and easy to get to.  Perhaps one day we will get a medal?  

Tuesday Topics

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Tuesday Topics: My DEXAScan experience

A few weeks ago someone reached out to me about getting a DEXAScan.   I’ve been intrigued since I read Marcia’s post but never got around to making an appointment.  Now that my schedule is a bit “flexible”, I made an appointment.  

What is a DEXA Scan?  It stands for dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and is a body composition test.  This test measures fat, weight, muscle, and bone density.

I went to the Naperville location after work.  I arrived a few minutes early and checked out the place.  The office is shared with another office which I thought was weird.  You have to go through one office to get to the other one.

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After filling out some paperwork, I was taken to another room for the test.  There was a table with a scanner attached to it.  The machine can be intimidating but don’t let it scare you.  The receptionist asked me to remove all metal jewelry and when I was ready, to lie still on the table.  Then an x-ray wand passed over me several times and then I was done.  The whole process took about 5 minutes.

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Then I waited for my results.  This is what I found out:
• My bone density is good.  I have to thank all of my years of running for this.

• My BMI puts me in the overweight category.

• Overall body fat is high.  It is 10% higher than what it should be based on my height and weight.

• Most of the fat is in the stomach.  I knew that already.  I can see it.  Hahaha.

I am glad I took this opportunity to get this scan.  I have a good idea of where I am at bodywise.  I would like to go back in a few months to see if there is a difference, especially the body fat.  I definitely have lots of work to do.  🙂

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There are several locations you can go for a DEXA Scan.  Check here to find one near you.

Tuesday Topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic:  What are your tips for a strong training cycle?  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!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Tuesday Topics: 2019 Missoula Half Marathon Race Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Missoula Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find and write race reviews!  

On Sunday I ran the Missoula Half Marathon.  It was also state #41 in my goal to run a half marathon in each state.  I am hoping to be done with this goal next year.  

I left Saturday morning on a direct flight to Missoula.  The airplane was small.  The Missoula Airport is also small, definitely different from Midway or O’Hare.  I was staying at the Hilton Garden Inn Missoula and they had a complimentary airport shuttle so as soon as I got my luggage, I called the hotel and there was a van waiting for me in about 10 minutes.

My flight arrived early and luckily a room was available for me.  I went to the expo at Caras Park to get my bib.  There were a few vendors but I did not buy anything.  Well I did buy a small bag of donuts.  

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Then I tracked down a friend of mine and met up with him and a few others at Big Sky Brewing Co (they were one of the race sponsors).  I had a flight (they were all delicious) and then went to dinner at Kobe Seafood and Steak.  Then we parted ways since we had to wake up early the next day.

Sunday morning I got up at 4am.  A friend of mine, Rebecca, was also running and she said her boyfriend could pick me up at 4:40am and take us both to the shuttle bus.  There is no drop off at the half marathon start so you have to take the shuttle bus.  We didn’t wait long for a bus and soon we were on our way.  It was about a 15 minute bus ride to the start line.  It was chilly but not cold.  I knew it would warm up later.  There were plenty of port-a-potties and I must have used them about 4 times before the race.

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There were no corrals but I lined up close to the start line.  I don’t remember hearing the National Anthem but soon it was time to start running.  Sure enough by then it had warmed up a little bit.  It was definitely perfect running weather.  

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The course is gorgeous!  You run through the country side and along the river.  I saw cows and horses.  The course is flat with some downhills.  The views were spectacular.  About a mile into the race I saw the 2:20 group and ran with them for about 2 miles.  I was feeling good but then took a break and then couldn’t catch up to them.

I saw a guy playing the piano in his yard!

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I kept running but eventually I was tired.  My left leg began hurting.  I also felt some discomfort in the bottom of my left foot.  I was frustrated because I had trained for this race (and did really good).  For about 2 months on Saturday mornings I ran the hills at The Arboretum to get ready for this race.  I knew it wasn’t a hilly course but figured training on hills still wouldn’t hurt.  I couldn’t understand why I was struggling.I decided then to just keep running and enjoy the race.  There were water stations about every 2 miles.  The volunteers were wonderful in motivating us.  

By mile 9 I was done with the race.  I was tired and sore.  By this time I was focusing on each mile and each one was slower than the previous one.  I saw the 2:30 group but had no desire to run with them.  It was sunny but I never felt very hot.  I did sweat a lot though.

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I saw a group of spectators with a table outside their house full of various adult drinks.  Mimosa?  Sure, why not?  At about mile 10.5 is when the first marathon runner passed me.  He was flying!!  

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With less than a mile to go I asked someone how much longer I had and he told me less than 1/2 mile.  At that moment even 1/2 mile seemed like a long time.  I told myself that it really wasn’t and tried to focus on my morning runs and exactly where 1/2 mile was from my house.  It helped a bit.  I remember then turning left and then right and then a bridge (downhill) to the finish line.  I ran as fast as I could and was finally done.  I think about 5 or 6 marathons runners passed me up by the time I was done.  😉  I did not stay long because I wanted to get back to the hotel to shower, get something to eat, and head to the airport.  My flight was at 12:30 and I wanted to be there by 11:30.  I know I had plenty of time but I hate rushing when going to the airport.  

I was at the airport by 11:15am.  I checked in and sat down to relax.  At 12:00 there was an announcement that the flight was delayed because of the bad weather in Chicago.  Later we were told it would leave at 2:30, then 1:30, then 3:30, then 5:30.  It finally left after 4pm.  However, the plane arrived at 9:10pm in Chicago but we didn’t get to the gate till 10:45 because there were other planes that were also delayed and were waiting for a gate too.  

My coworker picked me up at the airport and she sent me the information she got from the website which of course is different from what actually happened.

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I didn’t get home till almost midnight.  Lola was happy to see me!

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• I should have done a better job of researching hotels because I regret selecting that hotel.  It was a nice hotel but not close to Caras Park where the expo was held nor close to the Adams Event Center where the shuttle busses were to take us to the start line (it is a point-to-point course).

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• Uber/Lyft is expensive.  Once I figured out how much it was going to cost me to go to the expo and and come back and also to and from the Adams Event Center (this was before Rebecca asked me if I wanted a ride), I realized I should have rented a car.  I checked online and of course no cars were available at the airport.  I will confess or runfess that I cried.  How could I have been so careless about this whole trip?  When I made my hotel reservation for Michigan, Kansas, and Georgia, I picked one close to the start and finish line.  I booked the first hotel I saw on the race website but I should have looked for one closer to the start line.  Oh and to top it off, the hotel was $300. 

• Missoula is expensive.  My flight was almost $600.  I did book it at the end of May so maybe it would have been cheaper if I had booked it earlier?  A few people did tell me that it is expensive to fly into and out of Missoula.

• I had high expectations for this race.  Many people raved about it.  The course is very pretty and flat.  There are also great views but I wasn’t that impressed with it.  I thought the course was nicer at the Delaware Marathon Running Festival.  Sure it was hilly but there was more to see in DE.

• It is a well organized race.  I liked that there were plenty of water stations and volunteers.  There weren’t too many spectators but the ones that were there did a wonderful job of cheering for us.

• Gear bag drop off and pick up is a breeze.  There was a bit of a line at the start line, but it still moved fast.  When I was done with the race I went to get my bag and one of the volunteers saw me walking towards the truck and quickly retrieved my bag.

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• I like the shirt but hate the color.  The marathon runners’ shirt was blue.  

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• Finish time is 2:40:56.  I am disappointed in my time.  The weather was perfect and the course was flat.  I was aiming for a 2:30 finish time but wasn’t even close.  The last time I did a half and got a “decent” finish time was the Covered Bridges Half Marathon in 2015.  I finished in 2:19:51 and that is my second best time after the Hartford Half Marathon.  Oh, and the course in VA was hilly.  

Would I do it again?  Maybe but for sure I would pick a different hotel.  I would also plan to stay longer and do more things in Missoula.

Tuesday Topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic:  Your 2019 mid year review.  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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Tuesday Topics: Day in the Life of a Teacher on Summer Break

How is it that it is almost the end of June?  And then it will be halfway through the year.  The past few months have been interesting and challenging.  As I mentioned in this post, my mother had a stroke at the end of March, and our lives completely changed.  Luckily she is doing better and we are taking it day by day.  

I am on summer break but also working summer school.  That sounds weird.  Or should it be that my summer break will start when I am done with summer school?  By the way my last day is July 3rd.

I did a Day in the Life of a Teacher post in 2016.  I decided to do another one now that I am done with the regular school year.  I hope it isn’t too boring.  🙂

Here is a typical day for me (I chose Tuesday):

4:30-5:00 AM
I haven’t been sleeping well so I wake up at this time.  I remember when I needed an alarm to wake me up.  I make coffee and get ready for my run.  Sometimes I do an easy run (4-5 miles) or a speed workout. 

Since it is Tuesday I double check my Tuesday Topics post and publish it.  

6:00-6:30 AM
Depending on my run I get home around this time.  I shower and get ready.  I also make more coffee and my breakfast (usually overnight oats with fruit or greek yogurt with fruit).  I get to school by 7.  There is NO reason why I should get to school at 7.  I guess it is just a habit. 

7:00-8:15 AM
I check email, Facebook, and Instagram.  I also chat with some coworkers.  Sometimes I put my head down for a little bit to rest.

8:15-9:00 AM
I go downstairs to wait for my students.  I started with 14.  Then I had 12.  Then 13 and now I have 12 again.  🙂  We then go inside to get breakfast and take it upstairs to the classroom.  The students eat breakfast while watching “The Magic School Bus”.  They love it.  I take attendance and get my copies ready for the day.  

9:00-10:00 AM
We have reading and small group instruction.  Six of my students cannot read and I sit with them to help out as much as I can.  I think reading in Spanish is “easy” because it is phonetic, but I guess it is difficult for some of them.


10:00-10:10 AM
Break time!  We either do a GoNoodle, go outside to the courtyard, or down to the STEAM Room.


10:10-11:00 AM
I do a math mini lesson and also have small group instruction. 

11:00-11:50 AM
The students work on an art project.  They use tempera paint, watercolors, markers, crayons, felt, and tissue paper for their project.  They are very creative and I love seeing their work.

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I want to make colored pasta for my students.  I think they will love it.

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11:50 AM-12:00 PM
The students get ready to go home.  We then head downstairs.  Half of my students get on a bus to go home and the other half have parents waiting for them outside.

12:00-12:15 PM
I go back inside to use the restroom and sign out.  Then I head over to my mom’s.  

1:00-8/8:30 PM
I am usually there by 1pm and that is when the caregiver goes home.  My mom is eating lunch so I join her.  When she is done I make sure she takes her medicine and then we take a nap.  🙂  My mother takes medicine 3x a day.

After our nap we watch TV,  go to the store, or do errands.  We take advantage whenever we have nice weather to be outside.  Last week we went to Lake Katherine because it was finally nice enough to go there.  We were there for about 2 hours.  Sometimes she isn’t in the mood to go anywhere so we stay home.

At about 6 or so we have dinner.  I wash the dishes while my mother watches TV.  Sometimes she likes to sit in the balcony and listens to music.  If there is time I’ll check the post for comments and respond back. 

At 8 she takes her bedtime medicine.  I also give her an insulin injection and check her glucose level.  We check her glucose level 3x a day and write it down in a sheet of paper.  We started doing this because her doctor asked as to.  She also wanted us to inject her with 5 units of Novolog (a rapid-acting insulin) before every meal.  We no longer give her Novolog but still keep a record of her glucose level.  We’re hoping that based on the daily numbers we won’t have to check her glucose level 3x a day. 

I hate having to prick her fingers to check her glucose level.  Currently she has the FreeStyle Libre which is a “small, water-proof, fully disposable sensor worn on the arm. When scanned over the sensor, the reader shows a real-time glucose reading.”  It is easy to use and we don’t have to prick her fingers.  However, it is expensive.  I paid about $150 for the reader and the sensor.  The sensor is only good for 14 days and then it needs to be replaced.  Since we already have the reader, for the next time we only need to buy the sensor.

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Between 8-8:30 pm I pack up my things and go home.  I get there around 9.  I wash my breakfast container and coffee mug and go to sleep.  It’s been a very long day.

During the school year I would leave school at 3 and get to my mom’s at 4.  I blame it on traffic.  🙂  I do this on Tuesdays and Thursday.  I also go on Saturday morning after my long run and spend the night there.  Then I go home on Sunday evening.

This routine leaves me exhausted.  I am not complaining but simply stating why I am constantly tired.  It definitely does not help that I have not been sleeping well.  I know how important sleep is and how much better I feel and function when I get enough sleep.


My runs help me focus and think.  My runs are my ME time.  I look forward to them.  Sometimes I think about everything going on in my life and sometimes I just focus on the music.  I have a running playlist on Amazon Prime but recently started listening to Pandora.  I have a station (is that what it is called?) that I like but I hate the ads/commercials.  It is tempting to upgrade it to skip the ads.

Thanks again to everyone for your support and encouragement.

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Tuesday Topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic is a FREE topic.  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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Tuesday Topics: My Summer race schedule

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Missoula Half Marathon, the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago, and the Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find and write race reviews! 

Tuesday Topics

Maybe summer will be here soon or maybe it won’t.  In one day we can have 3 different seasons which is absolutely crazy.  Regardless of whether it is cold, rainy, or hot, I have a couple of races planned for this year.

• Missoula Half Marathon, June 30 – I signed up for this race on December 16.  That same day I also made my hotel reservation.  I’ve been training for this race since then.  At the end of May I realized that I didn’t have a flight reservation.  I looked and it was too expensive.  The cheapest from Midway was $619 (and it would take me 8 hours to get there) while the most expensive one was $1,060.  I almost decided not to run the race because I didn’t want to pay that much money.  Finally one day I found the shortest and cheapest flight.  I paid $557 for the flight to Missoula. <<<  In my opinion it is still too expensive.  Holy frijoles!  I am excited about it since many people have said it is a GREAT race.  It will also be state #41 for me.

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• Elmhurst 4 on the 4th, July 4 – This is a race I’ve been doing since 2013.  I love the distance and the location.  I would really, really like to get a PR.  I am done and in my house with plenty of time to participate in the holiday festivities.  

• Human Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago, July 21I’ve run the half marathon before but every year the weather is iffy.  Last year it rained throughout the entire race (I was spectating) and it was scorching HOT in 2013.  Thanks to BibRave I have the chance to run either the 5k, 10k, or half marathon.  I asked my coach for her 2 cents.  She told me that if I don’t run 13 miles that day, I would still need to do a long run.  I guess the half marathon it is.  Isn’t the medal pretty cool?


• Center of the Nation|Mainly Marathons, August 21-August 23I have not signed up but I will as soon as I can.  The registration fee is $115 per race till August 1.  I just realized that $115 is a lot of money for a half marathon.  I don’t want to wait too long either because of the flight reservation.  My first race is in Wyoming and Southwest doesn’t fly there so I would need to fly to Salt Lake City, Denver, or Boise and then take another flight or rent a car to Sundance, WY.  The next races are in South Dakota and then North Dakota.  I hope I can find someone to travel with me.  I don’t mind traveling alone for one race but this is 3 races.  I could use the company.  Want to join me?

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• Detroit Free Press, TCF Bank Half Marathon, October 20 – I am registered for the race, have airline and hotel reservation.  Whew!  If I end up doing the 3 races in August, this race will be state #45 for me.  I’ve never been to Detroit but am more excited to travel to both downtown Detroit and Windsor, Ontario and crossing the border at both the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.

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I might add to my schedule the Santa Fe Thunder in New Mexico on September 15.  Not sure how I would feel running another half marathon after running 3 of them 3 weeks before.  Someone did warn me about the elevation but she also told me that it is a fun and well organized race.  The race is point-to-point but with a 1,000 foot net downhill.  This race will be #46 and then a race in South Carolina in December (#47) will leave me with 4 half marathons in 2020.  Yes or no to the race in New Mexico?

Fortune Teller Gif Artist GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

This week’s Tuesday Topic:  What are your Summer running plans and/or race schedule?  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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