Category: Tuesdays on the Run

Scenes from my gym

Last month I joined a new gym – Fitness Formula Club.  Not only do I like it but I LOVE it!  I’ve been going a few times already and pretty much have figured it out.

The two locations I go to are South Loop and West Loop.  South Loop is closer to my house, has one floor, does not get crowded, and is located closer to the parking lot.  West Loop has an indoor and outdoor pool and has two floors.  Both locations offer free 2 hour parking.

As a new member, I received 4 “free” personal training sessions.  I did have to pay a “more than I wanted to pay” enrollment fee.  But if I go at least 36 times within 90 days of signing up, I get back my enrollment fee in FF Bucks which I can use for spa services (massage, manicure, pedicure, facial) or more personal training sessions.  Love it!

Now let’s look inside the gym and the locker room.

  • Lots of counter space and plenty of mirrors.


  • Rows and rows of lockers.


  • Love that my big water bottle fits here and I can fill it up to the top.


  • Each locker has its own lock that you can set with your combination number.


  • There is body lotion, cotton balls, and arm deodorizer.  The showers also have shampoo, conditioner, and body gel.


  • A hair dryer AND a flat iron.


  • Lots of towels to use for your workout and to shower.
  • You can order a smoothie and/or lunch to eat onsite or take it with you.  They always have smoothie samples and they’re delicious.  


    • Plenty of treadmills, bikes, ellipticals.



      • Free computers and a TV.
    • A variety of group fitness classes to choose from throughout the day.  Depending on the location, the earliest will be 5:15 am and the latest will be at 7:30 pm. 


      • The outside pool.  I know you cannot really see it but it is there.


  • A bathing suit spinner/wringer and bags to take said bathing suit home.

So, can you tell I am excited about it?  This summer they have a great referral program.  If a friend joins by June 30th, you get a free month of membership.  

Do you have a gym membership?  How often do you go?  Do you like it?

I am linking up with Marcia, Erika, and Patti for today’s Tuesdays on the Run.



May 2017 in Review

I cannot believe May is almost over.  Even more I cannot believe we are almost halfway through the year.  I have not done a monthly review in a long time so here is one for May.

Miles Ran/Last Month:  115.45/90.22.  I did 19 runs this month for a total of 23 hours, 21 minutes, and 41 seconds.  

Highest Mileage Week:  38.13.  This was during the second week this month and it took me 7 hours, 45 minutes, and 41 seconds.

Races Planned/Completed:  2/2.  The Cinco de Miler was for a friend to celebrate her getting a Master’s Degree in Counseling.  She did not attend commencement but instead asked her family and friends to run with her.  I also ran the Soldier Field 10 Mile which I signed up for back in November when it was $59.  I’ve run it in the past and have always enjoyed it.  This year was no exception.  The weather was perfect, plenty of parking and I felt great for most of the race.   

Current Ache/Pain:  Sometimes my knees hurt.  I need to do a better job of icing them.  On the positive side, my IT band does not hurt as much when I foam roll.

Current Challenge:  None.

Current Book:  None, but I need to get a copy of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck for book club next month.  Have you read that book?

Current Song:  Won’t Go Home Without You by Maroon 5.  I can listen to this all day.

Current Treat:  Cold Brew Coffee from Starbucks.     xSo good.

Next Race(s):  Utah Valley Half Marathon on June 10.

Current Excitement:  I am excited about my race in Utah.  I will be running with Holly, Marcia, Mary Beth, and Teresa and am looking forward to meeting them (I met Marcia in March 2015 at a race but have not seen her since that race).  My last half marathon was the Buffalo Half Marathon last year so it is time to do another one.  Also, in July I will be in Seattle for one day and then head out to Alaska for a running cruise in which I will also run a half marathon and cross off AK off my list for state #38.

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


Summer Scenes from my Run

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


I am currently training for my 8th marathon, the Chicago Marathon.  For this marathon training I decided to use the Hansons Marathon Training Method.  In a nutshell, this training is based on the concept of cumulative fatigue.  You train your body to run often so that you are frequently running on tired legs.  The idea is to run this way so that during the last miles of a race you are prepared to push through the final miles.  These plans are 18 weeks and have you running 6 days (easy, speed/strength, tempo, and long runs) a week with one rest day. 

What I’ve learned so far is that I am CONSTANTLY TIRED.  I mean, definitely more tired than usual.  I try to go to sleep no later than 10 and have been sleeping in till almost 8.  When I go back to work next month, I need to be up at 6; so it will be interesting to see how that goes.



I do my runs on the treadmill, by my house, and along the lakefront.  On Tuesday I have a speed workout and on Thursday a tempo run.  For those two I run them on the treadmill because they help me stay on pace.  I don’t mind it too much.  I do like running on the treadmill.  Most people call it dreadmill but I don’t.  🙂  Time goes faster for me when I listen to fun music and watch a show on my Ipad.



Sometime I like to match.  Why not?



Saturday and Sunday are for easy/long runs.  I pace the 11:00 group beginning at 6:30 and we get to run along the lakefront.  Gorgeous views and I love it!  Lately, it has been hot outside that I’ve run some of my easy/long runs on the treadmill.  Just this past Sunday I ran 14 miles on the treadmill.  I was definitely exhausted afterwards.



I live close to Midway Airport and I love to see the planes take off and land.  Sometimes I think about where the plane is going to and where I would go if I had the chance to go anywhere at the moment (Answer: Greece, Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Alaska).




Loved my run on the trail.  Have not been back.  I was supposed to go this past Sunday but I overslept.

That time it was icy and slippery!

  I welcome this now but will be complaining when it is here.

I like a variety for my runs but I know I still need to explore a little bit more in this great city.

Music that moves me

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


I rarely run with music.  I’ve done 20 mile runs and my last marathon without music and it was pretty amazing.  However, I will listen to music on the treadmill while also watching a show on my iPad and/or the TV.

I have a running playlist on Spotify that I love.  I have 0ver 100 songs in both English and Spanish. Depending on how I am feeling I will listen to the whole song or skip it to the next one.  I like music with a good beat that sometimes makes me feel like dancing (even though sometimes the lyrics don’t make any sense).


A few of my favorite running songs are:

How do I choose my races?

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


Last week I wrote about how often I race.  Today I will write about the thought process that goes into selecting my races.

Well, basically I go for timing, location, and price.  

Timing-I do not race as often as before but there are a few races that I will do because they fit into my training schedule.  Last year I ran the Chicago Half Marathon because I had to run the same number of miles for my Chicago Marathon training.  The Rock ‘n’ Roll also falls perfect into my training but that one I will NOT do because it is in July and for some strange reason it is always HOT on race day.  The last time I did this race was in 2013 and I was very thirsty throughout the race.  I always have a great time spectating.  One year I saw Shalane flying by and last year I missed Meb.

photo (1)

Location-I like all of my races to be in the Chicago area.  I like taking the train downtown and it is cool seeing other runners in the train car going to the same place.  I don’t mind driving either and the farthest I’ve driven is about an hour for the Fort2Base Race.  I might still do this race this year since it is 11 miles and I have to run 10 miles that day anyway.  

To meet my 50+1 goal, I also travel to other states.  To date I’ve run in 36 states with 15 to go (I am counting DC as a state).  I did most of them in 2013 thanks to my TourPass.  Plus, I live close to Midway Airport and that helped in picking races that I could fly out from Midway.


Price-This is a tricky one.  Why are races so darn expensive?  And it seems like the more I pay, the less swag I get.  Yes, RunDisney, I am talking about you.  I hate paying so much money for races.  Yes, I’ve paid $180 to run 26.2 miles but have also paid $45 for 31 miles.  Insane right?  It has to be a race with good reviews, easy to get to (if I am traveling out of state), and I must really want to do this race in order for me to fork up the money to pay for it.

I also pick races because they’re fun and/or tradition.  I love running the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k.  That race pretty much starts off the running season in Chicago.  You run through parts of the course of the Chicago Marathon.  There are many spectators and there is free beer at the end.  Many runners get a group of friends to run this and it is always a blast. I love running this every year.  My first one was in 2016 but I’ve missed it a few times for different reasons.

Another race I enjoy running is the Elmhurst 4 on the 4th Race.  It is always on July 4th and I love that it is 4 miles.  This is the only race I’ve run that it 4 miles.  I ran this yesterday (4th year) and it almost fit perfectly with my training schedule (6 miles).  After the race I ran an additional 2 miles. 

The races I definitely will not do are those that are not chip timed.  And those races are the “fun runs” (Color Run, Foam Runs, etc).  Yes, I like to have fun in my races but I also want a finish time to go with it.

So I look at timing, location, and price when selecting a race.  It can be only one of those factors or a combination.  It may not be ideal but that is how it works for me.