Category: Tuesday Topics

Tuesday Topics: My Summer running tips

Well, Mother Nature hasn’t made up her mind because the weather has been crazy these past couple of weeks.  Or has it been months?  It was a long and cold winter.  Then Spring came along and it was still cold.  Then it rained almost every single day in May.  Now we occasionally have a warm/hot day but then sometimes it rains the next day.  Will Summer be here soon?

Mood GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

You know I enjoy running in the morning.  It is tough waking up early but I like to have my run done and then have the rest of the day to do other things that I need to do.  Now I am loving that it isn’t as dark at 5 am.  I don’t have to wear my reflective vest (which I still love) nor my headlamp.

Maybe Summer will be here soon or maybe it won’t.  Who knows?  However, here are some Summer running tips that work for me. 

• Run when it isn’t hot.  I know, pretty obvious whether it is running early in the morning or in the evening once it has cooled down.  I used to run in the evening and loved feeling the cooler weather and seeing the sunset.  I remember during marathon training in the summer our runs would start at 6:30 am in order to be done before it got too hot.  If you cannot make it in the morning or in the evening, then run on the treadmill.  I’ve done numerous runs on the treadmill because I would wake up “late” and by then it would be too hot to run outside. 

• Hydrate.   Normally I don’t carry water with me on a run less than 5-6 miles unless it is very hot or I am thirsty.  Two weeks ago I did a 6 mile run and took a water bottle with me because it was warm and I drank the whole thing!  I have a Nathan Hydration Pack and for my runs at The Arboretum, I fill half the hydration bladder with water and leave it overnight in the freezer.  The next morning I add more water to it.  Throughout my run the ice melts and I always have cold water to drink.  

Wet Water GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

• Listen to your body.  Running in the heat will make you run slower.  Nothing wrong with that.  If you start to feel awful and need to stop then do so.  If you need to walk then walk.  I remember one run in which I was shivering (despite the heat) and was feeling a bit delusional.  I took a long break and drank water with Nuun.  Eventually I felt better and ended up walking back to my car (about 2 miles away).  

• Wear a visor or hat.  I have a couple from Headsweats and love them.  They block the sun from your eyes while at the same time allow the heat to rise from your head (visors).

• The less you wear the better.  I love running in shorts and always look forward to when it is warm enough (after winter) to wear them.  I also wear a tank or short sleeve top.  My favorites are the Oiselle flyout tops.  They’re light, comfortable and sweat wicking – perfect for the hot summer days!  The best part is that they don’t stink with all of the sweat.

Flyout Tops-1

Tuesday Topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic:  What are your Summer running tips?  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: Celebrating Global Running Day

I will confess that I’ve never done anything “special” to celebrate Global Running Day.  Last year I was in a professional development class and signed up for two RnR races (which I ended up not going to).  And honestly I don’t remember what I did in previous years.  I might have gone running but don’t know for sure.

This year Global Running Day is Wednesday, June 5th.  At the moment I am not planning to run that day.  Wednesdays are my days off.  Tuesdays and Thursdays is when I go to my mom’s and get home late.  Because of this my coach schedules the next day as an off day.

I missed my run yesterday (I spent the night at my mom’s because we were going to my uncle’s funeral and I realized I didn’t have my running shoes) so maybe my coach will have me run on Wednesday?  Or I can just do an easy 3 miles that day.  Haven’t decided yet.

At the moment I am excited to get these shoes!  They’re supposed to arrive today.

Global Running Day-1

For 24 hours Rock ‘n’ Roll will have their best prices of the year beginning on Wednesday, June 5, 12am PT.  More information is HERE.

I would love to run in Dublin, Mexico City, Santiago, Cancun, Medellin, Oaxaca, and Madrid!  The prices are pretty cheap but airline and hotel will definitely be expensive.  Which race would you want to do?

Global Running Day-2

For those in the Chicago area, there are a bunch of events taking place that day.  So whether you live in the suburbs, or north, or south part of the city, there will be something for everyone.

Tuesday Topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic:  How will you celebrate Global Running Day?  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: Life updates

Thank you everyone that has linked up with us this year.  I’ve enjoyed reading all of your posts and look forward to many more.  Let us know if there is a topic that you would like us to add it to the list for next year. 

Did everyone have a good weekend?  I did.  I spent Sunday and Monday with my mom.  Her brother isn’t doing well so it was nice to be close by in case something happened.  Sunday night I watched the Memorial Day Concert on PBS.  It was my first time watching it and I loved it!  I cannot believe I’ve never watched it.

On Monday we were supposed to see “Aladdin”.  The movie was about to start when my aunt (not my uncle’s wife but his sister) called to tell us that my uncle wasn’t doing well.  We left the movie theatre to go see him and were tell till about 5pm.


Not too many people know this but my mom had a stroke on March 27th.  I clearly remember that day.  I was in a meeting with my coworker when my sister sent me a text telling me that my mother was taken to the ER.  I was in shock and obviously didn’t really understand what was going on because I sat down and told my coworker what had happened.  No, I didn’t leave right away.  🙁  A few minutes later she told me to leave.

At the hospital we were told it had been a mild stroke.  I wasn’t sure what that meant.  All I knew was that my mother was in the ER and she wasn’t talking.  My mother is a talker.  She isn’t quiet.  Hours later she was finally moved to a room in the hospital.  The nurses came, took care of her, and got her ready to go to sleep.  It was time to go and leaving her there was the most difficult thing I had to do.  To this day I regret leaving her instead of staying with her that night. 

My younger sister and I made plans for the next day.  She would be at the hospital the next morning and I would be there in the afternoon.  The next morning I went out to run and I cried during my run.  I had to stop a few times.  I was also angry.  How could this happen to my mother?  Later at work my principal asked me why I was at school and not at the hospital.  I explained the plans with my sister.  She still told me to leave and I left about 9am.

For the next couple of days I was on a repetitive mode.  Work, hospital, home, and repeat.  I wasn’t able to run much because I was exhausted and had no desire to run.  I was training for the Delaware Half Marathon and my training didn’t go well.

My mother got better and was moved to a rehabilitation hospital.  She was there for about 2 weeks.  From there she was moved to a nursing facility.  The hospitals were about 20 minutes from work and the nursing facility was about 45 minutes away or more (depending on traffic).  I went there as much as I could after school and on the weekends.  It pained me to see her there.  However, I knew it was the best thing for her.  There were doctors, nurses, and therapists helping my better to get better and stronger.

Finally on May 5th she came home.  My sister found someone to stay and take care of here during the day until we could get someone from the state/agency.  That person backed out and we had no one to stay with her.  Luckily, my cousin’s wife agreed to help us out but couldn’t really start full time until Thursday.  I took a few days off to take care of my mother.  It was hard and it made me sad.  She could walk but very slow.  She is still not strong enough to walk by herself and uses a walker inside the apartment or a cane when going outside.  Sometimes she forgets what she was doing or was about to do.  She cannot cook or pick up a cup or plate because she will drop it.  She cannot always use the bathroom and has to wear a diaper.  She is also stubborn.  

My mother lives with my sister and they live 45 minutes-1 hour away.  I’m not trying to complain but it is hard to go there after work, stay there for a few hours, go back home, and then wake up the next day to go to work.  I didn’t want all of the responsibility to fall on my sister (I have other siblings but for various reasons most of the responsibility falls on us). 

My cousin’s wife stays with my mother till 4pm when my sister gets home.  I told my sister that I would go after school on Tuesday and Thursday and then go again on Saturday after my long run, spend the night there, and go back home on Sunday.  My mother cannot be alone for she might trip and fall.  She is diabetic, has high blood pressure, and takes a bunch of medicine.  Since she is diabetic, she needs insulin (which she cannot inject it herself) and needs her glucose level checked three times a day (also cannot do it herself). 

So far this routine is working out for us.  I am liking it.  I do get home very tired.  I am glad school will be over soon.  Even though I will be teaching summer school, it will not be as hectic as it is during the school year.  I won’t be stressed out about lesson plans, grading, or planning for 6 subjects for 20 students.

As for my runs, now more than ever I enjoy them early in the morning.  Things are hectic throughout the day and these runs help me focus and think.  I have so many questions about life and during this time I try to come up with an answer.  My runs are definitely my ME time.  I enjoy the quiet and dark morning (well now it isn’t dark for too long).  I enjoy my long runs at The Arboretum.  My coach has been very supportive and accommodating when I’ve had to skip a run.  When scheduling my runs, she took into consideration the days I come home late.  She checks up on me to see how I am doing.  

I still cannot believe that all of this began 2 months.  It seems longer than 2 months.  It’s been nerve wrecking, painful, and sad.  On a positive note, I am glad my mother is doing much better.  I keep reminding myself that it could have been worse.  She is alive.  She can walk and talk.  With time she will be back to her normal self.

If you are still reading, THANK YOU.  I am writing this post late at night and I’ll probably won’t get up early in the morning to run.  🙂  I tried to write everything important from the past two months but some stuff I cannot remember.  There are probably some mistakes in this post and I might fix them later in the week.  Right now I need to get to sleep.

An update: My sister sent me a text a few minutes ago to tell me that my uncle passed away.  🙁

Tuesday Topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic: What are your tips for surviving your first {pick a distance}?  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: 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!

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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.

Detroit Half Marathon-1.jpg

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