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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.

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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!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


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Weekly Run Down: One more week of school and running at the lakefront

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Last day of school is this Friday!  I spent this week packing up more things in boxes and lockers.  If I could, I would finish packing up (would take me less than one hour) everything else, and I’ll be done.  🙂

Tuesday’s run was back at Lake Katherine.   I was at my mom’s and it was raining on and off.  I was cold too.  I asked myself how hard can 3 miles be?  🙂  I went out and got it done.  It was a beautiful evening.

Wednesday was 5 miles around my house.  It was quiet and peaceful but HUMID!  I made the mistake of overdressing.

Thursday’s workout was a hard one.  I had to do 1.5 miles warmup, 3 miles, 3×2 minutes, and 1 mile cool down.  I was out the door at 4:40 am and it took me an hour and 20 minutes to get it done.  

For this run I decided to take a water bottle with a BottleBand.  I left it once in the bushes in front of the airport because I did not want to carry it with me during my whole run.  I did pick it up on my way back.  There are some train tracks about .86 mile from my house.  Before getting to the train tracks I try to pick up the pace to beat any trains that might pass through.  Today I wasn’t lucky.  I decided to run the opposite way for a bit.  I left my water bottle and started running.  A guy in a car stopped me and asked why I had left my water bottle when there was a garbage can “there” (pointing to it).  I replied that I had every intention of picking it up.  I explained that there was a holder with it and I wanted to get that too.  I was at loss for words because I was shocked with his question.  But in a way am glad he did because it would bother me too if I saw someone leaving a water bottle on the floor.  It truly amazes me how people can be so inconsiderate and leave so much garbage on the floor.

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I had to run 10 miles on Saturday and I was actually looking forward to it.  These past 3 Saturdays I’ve done really great so what could go wrong?  My plan was to go to The Arboretum but at the last minute decided to go to Waterfall Glen.  I’ve been there before so it wasn’t a new place to me.

It was during mile 1 that I knew it was not going to go well.  I stopped various times.  I felt hot and tired but still kept going.  I also struggled during the next mile and still kept going.  I finally stopped at 2.8 miles.  I sent a text to my coach, stopped my watch, and walked back to my car.  I felt a bit sorry for me but then got over it.  Lola and I spent the rest of the day in bed relaxing.

Sunday morning I went out again to run 10 miles.  The weather was great, cloudy with a chance of rain.  It has been a LONG time since I ran along the lakefront.  Loved it!  Mile 9 is when I was struggling but kept going knowing that I would be done soon.

Overall, pleased with this week.  My run yesterday didn’t go as expected but did good today.  Let’s see how it goes this coming week.

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

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Random Thoughts Thursday 73

Random Thoughts Thursday

• Any cat lovers here?  Aren’t these shirts cute?

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• Do you have an iPhone and have used the portrait filter?  Wow, I tried it and the photos are so much nicer.  Below is an example of a photo.  What do you think?

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• This made me laugh too.  My students will come to me for every single cut.  Sometimes I fall for it and sometimes I tell them that they’re fine and to go sit down.

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• Can’t wait till Friday.  Yes, I am very tired. 

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• What was your first cell phone?  Mine was from Sprint and I remember that I did like it.  Over the years I’ve had different phones.  I would get a new one every time I renewed my contract (I’ve been with Spring almost 20 years).  Facebook reminded me a month ago that 7 years ago I got my first iPhone.  I actually remember that day!

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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!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


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.

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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.

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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.  🙂

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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!

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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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