Tuesday Topics: I am a solo runner

Yes, I am a solo runner and I am OK with it.

When I first started running back in 2005, running wasn’t a “thing”.  At least to me it wasn’t.  I didn’t know many people that ran nor were any of my friends runners.  Over the years I met more people that ran and now many of my friends are runners.

For my first marathon in 2006, I trained with CARA and would meet up with my group on the weekend for my long runs.  I did a few other marathons for charity and also trained with CARA. 

Picture below is from my first marathon – The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon in October 2016.  It was cold.  Then the following year it was blistering HOT and the race was cancelled.

4, 2006 Chicago Marathon 2

I also trained with Chicago Endurance Sports for a marathon and several half marathons.  I liked it so much that I became a pacer!  Still many times I doubted myself and thought that I wasn’t a good pacer.

I started training with Mary in November of 2017.  I did most of my runs by myself and outside in the cold weather.  In the past I would do many runs on the treadmill.  That winter was an eye opener for me because I ran outside (about 95% of my runs were outside) and I learned so much about winter gear.  I actually liked my runs.  This past winter was a different story as it was just a bitter and cold winter.

Cold Anna

There are so many running groups/clubs in Chicago.  While I do like the camaraderie of running with a group, I still prefer running alone.  Let me tell you why.

• Alone/quiet time – This is the time that I think about my personal goals, work goals, plans, etc.  I listen to music and actually enjoy listening to the songs on my playlist.  This may be mean but I don’t like listening to anyone’s conversation during a race, so for sure I don’t want to listen to anyone’s on a run.  Bottom line, I don’t like to talk to anyone when I am running.  🙂

Constance Zimmer Shut Up GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

• Set my own pace – My easy runs are “slow”.  I don’t want anyone waiting for me nor do I want to run faster just to catch up to other runners.  While running alone I can slow down (or walk) when I want to or pick up the pace if I want to as well.  

• Sometimes I don’t want to run – Life happens and sometimes I am too tired to get up and run.  I simply turn off my alarm and go back to sleep.  I won’t feel bad bailing on a group because there is no group.  

• I run very early in the morning – I don’t think anyone wants to run with me so early in the morning.  Depending on my run, I am up and ready to go by 5.  

However, I won’t say no if someone wants to run with me.  But who would want to after reading this post?  Haha.  I will make sure to tell that person that I will not be talking during a run.  Would YOU run with me?  Probably not.  🙂

Tuesday Topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic:  Are you a solo or group 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!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Weekly Run Down: 5 runs and a field trip

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I am so happy that I got my 5 runs done this week!  But boy was I tired.  

As usual the weather has been changing almost every single day.  I was cold on Tuesday when I ran 5 miles.


Wednesday’s workout was 3×3 minutes and 6×1 minute intervals with 2 minutes recovery.  I love how light it is earlier in the morning.  I can leave my house without wearing a headlamp.  I ran in shorts and compression socks.  Great workout but I was tired at the end.



I had to run 3 miles on Thursday but woke up very tired.  I slept in and felt much better.  I did my run on Friday morning.  Picture below is using the portrait filter in my iPhone.  🙂


Friday we went to The Field Museum.  It has been years since I’ve been there.  We thought the students would be bored but in fact they loved it!

Saturday morning was back at The Arboretum.  I had to run 8 miles with 6 miles warmup and 2 at a faster pace.  I will admit that I didn’t think I could do it with the hills.  I did 4 and then turned around to do another 4.  Mile 4 is mostly downhill so I struggled with mile 5 since it was uphill.  Mile 6 was mostly trying to recover.  I took a Huma Gel at mile 4 and it must have kicked in after mile 6 because miles 7 and 8 were my fastest!  Definitely a GREAT feeling!


Sunday was back at Lake Katherine.  It was cloudy and humid but still very pretty and peaceful.

Overall almost 25 miles for the week.  Pretty pleased with how I did.  Excited to see how I do next week.

Linking up with Kim and Deborah for the Weekly Run Down.

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Random Thoughts Thursday 72

Random Thoughts Thursday

• So maybe 5 million dollars is too much.  Just enough to buy a house and a car.  🙂

Hug and coffee 
• My coworker gave me this plate.  I have it in the computer room/office as a reminder of the many hours I put it in school.

Teachers and summer off.jpg• I saw this picture and it made me laugh.  I will be off on Tuesday and sent it to the sub asking if I can just do that.  She laughed.  And I laughed because she laughed.  🙂  With two weeks to go, teachers and students have checked out already.

May Sub Plans

• My little ones love me.  Yesterday one student brought some flowers and another one a bag of brownie brittle.  I was almost in tears and hugged them. 

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• Do you like bubbles?  Then you must see Ben’s Bubble Show.  He was at our school last week and I had so much fun.  I think more than the students.  🙂  One of my students asked him about his bubble soap formula but he wouldn’t tell us.  He said he mixes together several chemicals to create the soap to make the bubbles.

Ben's Bubble Show-4

Tuesday Topics: Changes in my training

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Missoula Half Marathon 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!  

I am excited about my races this year.  So far I’ve run an 8k and a half marathon.  My next race is the Missoula Half Marathon on June 30th.  Yesterday I signed up for the Elmhurst 4 on the 4th in July.  It is another of my favorites and have been doing this race since 2013.  My PR is from 2014 (39:39) and each year my time has been slower (40:47, 41:24, 42:37, and 44:17).  Can I get a PR this year?  Who knows since I will be running a half marathon a few days before.

The Missoula Half Marathon is flat, fast, and point-to-point.  The course looks so pretty!  Check out the video below.  If you want to sign up, use code BibRave19 to save $5 off your registration fee.  I am excited that this will be state #41 for me.

Another race I am looking forward to is the Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Half Marathon.  At the moment it looks like it will be state #45 (depending if I do end up running 3 half marathons in August).  I have never been to Detroit and am excited to run in the U.S. and in Canada (I signed up for the International Half Marathon).  I read online that runners will be required to run with their passport.  I am a bit nervous about this because it has been years since I have used my passport for travel.  What if I forget to pack it?  🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️

Want to run with me?  Use “2019DETROCK” for 10% off your registration fee.

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I don’t know what the course is like, but I’ve written about how I’ve recently started running in a new place (The Morton Arboretum).  I was so frustrated during my last race because of all of the ups and downs.  Chicago is FLAT.  See below for a comparison while running 6 miles by my house (top) and 7 miles at The Arboretum.  🙂  The Arboretum has lots of hills and my plan is to go there every Saturday morning.  For sure it will help me, right?


Another change I’ve been doing is watching what I eat.  My goal is not to lose weight (thought I could benefit from losing a few pounds), but not overeat so much and to eat more fruits and vegetables.  For breakfast I make overnight oats with strawberries, almond milk, and nuts.  For lunch I usually take spaghetti, beans, or a salad.  Dinner is where it gets tricky.  Baby steps.

I am working on drinking more water and getting more sleep.  I take my Contigo water bottle (32 ounces) to school and usually finish it by lunch time.  The problem is “going to the bathroom”.  I have a break in the morning and during lunch.  The rest of the day I either have to call the office for an administrator or ask a teacher to watch my class while I run to the bathroom.  Sleep is hard too.  I am usually in bed by 9pm since I need to be up at 4:30 to run.  Sometimes my body likes to play games and I wake up at that time even on the days I don’t run.

I used to be very good about taking a multivitamin every single day.  I don’t remember the last time I took one.  I need to read Wendy’s post again about the various supplements for inflammation.  With the hard workouts I’ve been doing, sometimes I’ve had to take a couple of pain pills.  No bueno.  I remember I was very sore after running the Delaware Half Marathon.  Kim’s mom gave me Motrin and while it did help, I don’t want to make it a habit of taking something after a tough run.

I am hoping these changes help in my training.  I know I could add a few more things but am OK with these for now.

Tuesday Topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic is a How has running made you a better person?  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

Weekly Run Down: More rain and a slow week

Happy Mother's Day

I hope everyone is having a GREAT Mother’s Day!  I feel like everyday should be Mother’s Day.  You are are AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL!!

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This week was just one of those weeks!  I was EXHAUSTED.  I spent the beginning of the week with my sister and mother and each day came home late and ready for bed (they live about 30-40 minutes away).  I didn’t run on Wednesday (5 miles) and almost skipped my run on Thursday.

So much rain in the Chicago area.  That really dampens the mood.  It was gorgeous on Monday and then rain and more rain on Tuesday and Wednesday.  There was a little rain yesterday afternoon, but thankfully none today.


On Wednesday the students made some Mother’s Day gifts.  So cute!  They also made a certificate and wrote a letter for mom.  I was a bit sad for one of my students because her mom died the last week of March.  I did talk to her (and dad) before to let her know what we were going to do and gave her the option of participating or going to another classroom.  She decided to do the activities with the rest of us.  I also asked again each time we did something new to make sure she was still OK with it.

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Mother's Day Flowers-2

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For Teacher Appreciation Week the students made cards for me.  Love each single one!  I love that some of them talk about Lola.  🙂

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This week consisted of 3 runs.  I ran 4 miles on Thursday (in another new to me place), 6.78 on Saturday, and 3 on Sunday.   Also, I ran at Lake Katherine, really close to where my mom and sister live.  Very pretty!

On Saturday I went back to The Morton Arboretum to do 1×8 minutes, 1×4 minutes, and 4×2 minutes with 2 miles warmup and cooldown, and 2 minutes recovery between each interval.  I really wanted to do this close to home because it is flat but want to get into the habit of running every Saturday at the Arboretum.  The workout alone is tough but add in the hills and it is even more tough.  I survived.  🙂  I will admit that I did have to stop a few times during the first interval because I received a few texts that I had to check and respond.  Overall, pleased with how I did.

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Linking up with Kim and Deborah for the Weekly Run Down.

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