Category: Tuesday Topics

Tuesday Topics: What I bring along on my run

Last week I mentioned that I was a morning runner.  I am a morning person.  I like the feeling of knowing that I am done with my workout and don’t have to “worry” about it later.

Besides a watch, there are a few things I bring along with me on my run.  I may add a thing or two (depending on the run) such as money, energy gel, or water.

• Oiselle Lightning Layer – I know I have mentioned it here in other posts, but it is one of my favorite items from Oiselle.  I can wear it over another top or a sports bra.  I love how bright it is to make sure drivers see me when it is dark.

Black Diamond Headlamp – I bought this last year and love how bright it is. 

SABRE Pink Pepper Spray – I understand why I have to carry it with me but I still hate that I “have” to.  Luckily I have not had to use it.  However, once I was testing it, and accidentally sprayed it in the bathroom.  Boy, that stuff is strong!

Pepper Spray-1

Fitletic Running Belt – I love their running belts.  I have a few other ones that I use for races or longer runs (one has two water bottles).  These belts are water resistant, do not bounce at all, chafe, or ride up while running.  The one I use for races also has toggles for my bib.  No more pins or holes on my shirt!

Running Belt-1.jpg

Running Belt-2.jpg

Wrist ID – There are so many to choose from, but the one I have is the silicone stretch.  Simple and stylish, right?  🙂  I feel better knowing that in case of an emergency, my sisters will be notified.  I also purchased one for my mother, because well, my mother is in her 70s and we want to be notified right away in case something happens to her.

Road ID-1.jpg

Tuesday Topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic:  What do you bring along on a run?  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!


Tuesday Topics: Happy to be a morning runner

Thank you again to everyone that has been linking up with us each week.  I am enjoying  reading everyone’s post whether it is on the topic of the week or a totally different topic .  I have updated the Tuesdays Topics Linkup page (as well as listed them below) to include our topics till June.  Kim and I hope that you’ll continue to link up with us!

19-What do you bring along on a run?
26-What are your favorite non-running or non-fitness hobbies?

2-What’s the best and worst race swag you ever received?
9-What’s your favorite cross training activity?
16-What are your favorite recovery tools?
23-What are some new fitness gadgets you’d like to try?
30-Free topic

7- What’s your favorite cheat meal?
14- How has running made you a better person?
21- Are you a solo or group runner?
28- What are your tips for surviving your first {pick a distance}?

4-How will you celebrate Global Running Day?
11-What are your Summer running tips?
18-What are your Summer running plans and/or race schedule?
25-Free topic


In previous years I remember doing my runs after work.  However, since about a year and a half, almost all of my runs have been in the morning before work.  I am a morning person.  Even on days when I don’t have to go to work, I am up between 5:30-6:00 am.  But there are days that I do like to sleep in.  Who doesn’t?  I also prefer running in the morning because then I am done with it and don’t have to worry about getting it done later.  Sometimes I have plans after work with no time for a run or sometimes I am too tired after work and just want to get home and rest.

I am not training for a marathon so my runs on the weekdays are no more than 5 miles.  My long run is on the weekends.  On the days I do run, I wake up at 4:30 am.  I hate rushing and waking up that early gives me enough time to make coffee, use the bathroom, and get ready.  Sometimes I sleep a bit longer for about 5-10 minutes.  I like to be back by 6am so I can shower, get ready, and leave for work.  I get to work by 7am even though my official start time isn’t till 8:30.  

There are days in which I have absolutely NO desire to run in the morning.  It is either too cold or I am tired.  In that case I run after work either outside or at the gym.  And if that doesn’t happen, then I don’t fret about it and see if I can run the next day.  My coach tells me to “Move on”.

Below is what I do to prepare for my morning run.  You may think “Well, duh”.  🙂  I know, I know.

• I have my clothes ready for the next day.  I check the weather for the next day so I’ll know how many layers I will need (during the winter).  Warmer weather is the best because all I need are shorts and a top!

• I have a mug and pod ready to make my coffee in my Keurig.  All I do is turn it on.  Sometimes I drink my coffee while getting ready.


• Along with clothes, I need my watch, belt, headlamp, lightening layer, pepper spray, and headphones.  I have a crate in the living room where I keep those items and put them on before walking out the door.  That crate is also Lola’s condo.  🙂

Morning Running Essentials-1


• I keep my shoes in the hallway.  Actually, I take them off before coming inside my apartment.  No sense in walking inside with them since I will use them again the next day or sometime that week.  

Brooks Shoes-11.jpg

• Go to bed early!  To me that means in bed by 9pm.  

Tuesday Topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic:  Are you a day or night runner?  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!

Tuesday Topics: My running wish list

I thought I had pretty much everything I needed for my running hobby.  I have a Garmin watch that I love.  I have great Oiselle gear for all of the crazy Chicago weather.  I also have beautiful and comfortable Brooks running shoes.  However, now that I think about it, there are a few more things I would like to have/get.

• A treadmill – I do have a gym membership but sometimes it is even too cold to go to the gym.  Remember the polar vortex we had last month?  Yesterday was another cold day and I did not want to go outside.  But I did go to the gym and ran 4 miles.

Chicago Weather-1

• A Peloton bike – I have heard so many great things about it.  I know Kim and Deborah have one and I want one too.  Yeah, I would set that up next to the treadmill.


• Race entries – I know many races are cheaper than others (I have paid about $40 for an ultramarathon) and then there are those that are just ridiculously expensive!  I have a few more half marathons to sign up for to finish my Race in the 50 states +1 goal (need GA, HI, ID, KS, NM, ND, SD, and WY). This year I signed up for 3 half marathons through BibRave and one that I signed up for as soon as registration was up on the website.  I paid $42 (not including fees).  Still a great price!

• To be a Brooks Run Happy Ambassador – I know I will never be picked as one but it is an ambassadorship that I really, really want.  I love their shoes and wear them on every run.  Currently I have 3 pairs in rotation and yesterday ordered the Glycerin 17.  Those are the shoes Desi Linden runs in so if they are good enough for her, then they are also good enough for me.

Brooks Shoes-10.jpg

Tuesday TopicsThis week’s Tuesday Topic:  What’s on your running wish list?  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!

Tuesday Topics: I walked 610,966 steps in the StepBet Challenge!

StepBet-1I first heard about StepBet from Kim in this post.  But it wasn’t till later on when she wrote about her experience that I actually signed up.  I asked myself “How hard can it be?”  Well, it wasn’t easy but it wasn’t hard either.  🙂

What is StepBet?
“StepBet is a fitness game that motivates you to be more active.  Players “bet” on themselves to meet their personalized step goals during every week of the game, and win money if they do.  The cash prize, accountability, and community support help you build a more active lifestyle.”

Each game is $40.  If you win, you automatically get it back.  Depending on the number of players and the money in the pot, you can also win more money.  I cannot remember how many players and money was at the beginning of the game, but when it was over, there were 365 players and $21,680 in the pot.  StepBet retains 15% of the gross pot to pay referees, transaction fees, game hosts, and administrative support.  For this game I received $50.49.  Overall, I made $10.49!!!  🙂


How does it work?
Your weekly goals are calculated based on previous data from your FitBit, Apple Watch, Garmin, Apple Health, Google Fit, or Samsung Health.  You will get an Active Day Goal and a Power Day Goal.  You need to hit your “active” steps at least four days a week and “power day” steps at least 2 days per week.  You also get one free day per week.  My step goals were 15,310 for an an active day and 18,511 steps for a power day.  The first week is a warm-up week to get you used to the game.  You do not have to meet any of the goals.  The next 5 weeks are the interesting and challenging ones.  


• I enjoyed the accountability and support.  When you sign up for the challenge, you are in a group (similar to a Facebook group) where you can post and “talk” to other members.

• It got me walking more than usual.  As a teacher I do walk a lot.  However, there were days in which I left school with less than 10,000 steps.  I would then walk for about 1-2 hours to meet my daily goal.  Luckily the weather was decent and nice enough to walk outside.

• Is it worth it?  Yes!  I didn’t do it for the money.  Well, maybe just a little since I didn’t want to lose my $40.  There were days that I was exhausted (especially the day of and after a power day) but I didn’t want to quit.  I am glad we had one free day to rest or simply not worry about meeting the daily goal.

• Will I do it again?  Maybe.  For now I am taking a break from my FitBit (haven’t worn it since January 1st) but might start wearing it again in the upcoming months.

I’ve been wanting to do a RunBet and signed up for one hosted by Deborah at Confessions of a Mother Runner.  It is a 4 week challenge where you’ll need to run 4 days each week for at least 30 minutes.  Interested?  Sign up HERE.  The challenge starts Monday, March 4th.

• People get injured and couldn’t participate anymore.  They would submit a doctor’s note and would get back their $40.  With this the money in the pot would decrease and there is less money available for the winners.  I know this is wrong (and greedy) of me to say it, but I think that money should have been left in the pot.  More for the winners!  Or maybe half of it should have been refunded?

Tuesday TopicsThis 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!

Tuesday Topics: My cold weather running essentials

For the past week or so, I’ve been in a running funk.  I love working with my coach, Mary, but recently have not been motivated to run.  My last run was 2 weeks ago and I remember that I didn’t want to run but ended up running and ran better than expected. 

The weather has been driving me CRAZY.  Just on Sunday and Monday we got more snow.  

I remember that last year while training for the Illinois Marathon, I did almost all of my runs outside.  Some days were cold, some were snowy, and some were both.  Regardless, I was out there.  I made sure to have the right gear in order to survive outside that long in those weather conditions.

Below is the gear I use to run during the cold weather.  Yes, pretty much everything is Oiselle gear.  🙂

Wazzie Wool Baselayer –   I have 4 of these tops.  They’re made of merino wool so they keep me warm, absorbs and wicks sweat, and is water repellant.  Plus, I love that I can wear this top a few times and it doesn’t smell.  

Vim Jacket –   I have one in black but am waiting for the yellow one to go on sale (that color is perfect for running when it is dark).  This jacket is lightweight, breathable, and water repellant.  It has kept me warm when paired with the wazzie wool baselayer.  If I ever get too warm, I can tuck it into the pocket and carry it with the strap.

Flyout Jacket – I love that it is insulated and has a weather-resistant shell in the front which provides protection from the wind.  I own two of these jackets (in blue and in black), but also wear them on non-running days when it is cool enough for just a jacket.

Oiselle Gear-12

• Super Puff Mittens – These are no longer available online but these mittens keep my hands very warm because of the Polartec Alpha™ insulation and weather-resistant sheet (similar to the flyout jacket).  I have one pair and am hoping they’re available again so I can get another pair.

• Power Stretch Running Beanie – This is similar to the Trailheads Women’s Running Ponytail Hat.  It is insulated, soft, and covers my ears.  My favorite thing about it is the opening for my ponytail.  

• Tights – I wear the Moto Lesley Tights and the Classic Lesley Tights.  They’re both fleece lined but the Moto tights are thicker and warmer for colder days.  

• Wazzie Wool Gaiter – Same material as the baselayer.  Perfect for windy days!  I also use one from BibRave (not wool material).

Smartwool Women’s PhD Run Ultra Light Micro Socks – I actually wear these year round.  They keep my feet warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  I also like the crew socks during the winter to cover up my ankles.

Tuesday Topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic:  What are your cold weather running essentials?  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!