Category: Tuesday Topics

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!

Tuesday Topics: What I love about running

What’s not to love about running?  Well right now the only thing I am not loving is the weather.  I am sorry but I cannot stop complaining about it.  Snow, cold, deep freeze, more snow, and ice storm is what we have been dealing with here in the midwest.  I know I can use the treadmill but that does get boring after a while.  

Last week I wasn’t feeling well and had to skip a few of my runs.  I’ve been tired and sometimes had an achy body.  My coach told me to sleep and get some rest.  I am feeling better and will attempt to run today.

Before I talk about today’s topic, let me show you the activity I did with my kids yesterday.  We did a 3D Hot Air Balloon Card.  It was so much fun!  Below is the video and pictures of the finished product.

3D Hot Air Balloon Card

Now let me tell why I do love running.  🙂

The gear –  I love treating myself to new gear.  It makes me happy and gets me excited to go running.  About 99% of my gear is from Oiselle.  During the warm wear you can find me running in the long rogas.  I have 24 pairs of the long rogas (and 5 of the regular rogas) and always get excited when I get another pair.

• Traveling to different states – I love travelling to various states to run a half marathon.  I’m at state #39 and this year I will be traveling to DE, MT, SC, and MI. 

50 states map.jpg

• FREE and easy to do – All you need is good running gear and the proper shoes and off you go!  No never know once you lace up where running may lead you.

• My time – Running is my alone time.  I usually run in the morning and it is the perfect time to clear my head and get ready for the day.

Tuesday Topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic:  What do you love about running?  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 favorite non-running products

How is it that we’re already in February?  The weather has been absolutely crazy here in Chicago.  We had snow a few times and then below FREEZING weather!  That weather was like that for two days and then it warmed up.  It got up to 46 on Saturday!  Most of the snow has already melted and now it is so much easier to run outside.

Outside running-1.jpg

I almost skipped my run on Thursday at the gym but decided to go since I had to buy my license plate sticker anyway.  I wonder if there is a way to change my renewal month?  I would pick April or May when it is much warmer and easier to replace the sticker.

Thanks again to everyone for linking up with us!  Today we are talking about our favorite non-running products.

Waterpik Cordless Plus Water Flosser – I went to the dentist at the beginning of January and the receptionist told me that I’ve been seeing him for 19 years!  Wow! Almost every time I see him, he tells me that I need to floss more.  I understand the importance of it but still hate to floss.  I decided to get a Waterpik Cordless Plus Water Flosser at Kohl’s.  I love it!  It is very easy to use.  It is cordless, comes with 6 flosser tips, and you can switch the water pressure from low to high.  I got it mid December and when I saw him last month, he mentioned that my mouth was much cleaner and healthier.

Waterpik Flosser-1

ChicoBag – In Chicago when we go shopping, we either take our own bags (and sometimes get a discount) or purchase them at checkout.  I take my own.  I have a few from Running Warehouse that they used to send with each purchase.  They don’t do that anymore.  I always have a ChicoBag with me in the car, my purse, or my school backpack.  They’re compact and easy to carry.  Once open they’re big enough to hold up to 40 pounds.  I love that they come in many different pretty colors. 

Speedo Large Teamster Backpack – Another item I love is my Speedo Large Teamster Backpack.  Mine is in purple and it comes in handy when going to the gym in the morning.  I add my clothes that I plan to wear that day, my running shoes, and toiletries (in a separate bag).  This backpack has so many pockets to hold my combination lock, keys, Apple airpods, and any other items.

Speedo Backpack-3.jpg

Tuesday Topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic:  What are your favorite non-running products?  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: How I deal with my stinky running clothes

After trying so many different brands of detergent, I think I have found the one the best one for me.  I’ve used Persil, Tide Plus Febreze Freshness Sport, Sweat X Sport Laundry Detergent, WIN Sports Detergent, Nathan Sport Wash, Penguin Brands Sport Wash, Seventh Generation Laundry Packs, and Arm and Hammer.  

The one I’ve been using for the past several months is Rockin’ Green Active Wear Detergent.  I swear by this detergent.  My clothes smell clean and there is no faint smell that reappears during my run. 

Rockin' Green Active Wear Soap-2

Product Description from their website:

•  Broad spectrum enzyme blend to remove stains and odors from fat, protein and starch
•  Cleans, and takes special care of high-tech workout clothes and micro-fibers  
•  Naturally extends the life of active wear
•  The scent of Tea Tree Oil rinses clean after washing
•  Perfect for all washing machines
•  Vegan and cruelty free
•  45 oz. bag cleans 45 loads in top-load machines; cleans 90 loads in front-load machines 

As a detergent, use 1-2 scoops to remove the toughest odors and stains in active wear clothing.  Do an extra rinse for added cleaning power!

Can also be used as a soak!  Add 2-3 scoops for intense build up.  Soak for 30-60 minutes. Finish up with an extra rinse and dry like normal.

I do laundry once a week (usually on Sundays).  I don’t have a machine in my apartment building so off to the laundromat I go.  In the beginning it wasn’t too bad but now I am getting tired of it.  I also hate going when it is very cold outside.  Anyway, I have no other choice but to go.  🙂  When I was running 6 days a week using the Hansons Method during the summer, I would do laundry twice a week.

After a run I let them air dry on top of my hamper.  During the winter I will usually wear my jacket, wazzie wool baselayer, and pants twice before washing them.  My runs are short so I don’t sweat as much.  Last year I trained for a marathon during the winter and my runs were longer so I would just wear those items once.


The machine I use is a front loader.  Never before had I used one till my trip to the laundromat.  I kind of like it.  When I first began using this detergent, I would use one and a half scoop in the prewash and in the main wash.  After a few months I would then just add one scoop again in the prewash and in the main wash.  Now I only use one scoop in the main wash.  I do this because I feel like my clothes are cleaner and not as smelly and don’t require that much soap.  

I never use the machine to dry my running clothes.  I have a heavy-duty metal drying rack from Target.  I love it.  It was so easy to assemble and it is big enough for all of my clothes.  The rack is in my apartment so my clothes are usually dry by Monday.  

Tuesday Topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic: Stinky running clothes, how do you deal with it?  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!