Heckel Lodgic run1

Participants in the first Monday Runday on Sept. 9, 2019, stretch in front of Lodgic in Champaign before heading out on their 2-mile route.

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Michelle Tushevski has a new workout routine to start off her week. She and other parents get together for a run on Monday evenings at Lodgic, while their kids either join them or play at Lodgic’s Kids Camp.

“It combines health and fun. I’m excited about it,” Tushevski said.

After she and her husband moved to Champaign a couple of years ago to be close to her parents, Tushevski joined her father at Second Wind Running Club’s weekly runs. But her family’s schedule often makes it difficult for her to find time to run when someone is available to watch her daughters, ages 7 and 3.

“I was thinking, how can we make it easier for parents to get out and be part of these events during the week,” she said.

Tushevski thought about ways she could connect with other parents with young children and find time to run while their kids played together. She considered organizing a Second Wind run with parents meeting at a park and alternating childcare duties, but there were safety concerns.

At the same time, Angela Balcor, Lodgic’s Workplace and marketing director and the mother of a 2-year-old and a 4-month-old, was talking with other mothers who use Lodgic’s workspace and childcare about how hard it was to find time to exercise. They agreed to begin meeting on Monday nights for a run.

Balcor learned that Second Wind was trying to organize a parents run and proposed a partnership. The Monday Runday was launched three weeks ago. Runners meet at Lodgic, 1807 S. Neil St., C., for a warmup at 6:15 p.m., led by Pursuit Fitness, which is located at Lodgic and is also a partner for the parents run.

The run begins at 6:30. Second Wind mapped out a 2-mile route for the run. Parents can run or walk while their kids are being cared for, or their children can join them. The run has included kids, parents pushing strollers and adults without young children who happened upon it and joined in, Tushevski said.

Lodgic provides a special offer for childcare for the Second Wind members participating in the parents run. The rate for childcare during the Monday Runday, from 6 to 8 p.m., is $8 per hour rather than the usual $12 per hour drop-in rate. To comply with Lodgic’s state licensing requirements, parents need to pre-register their children to use the drop-in childcare during the runs.

The run is open to anyone, whether they are parents or not. Those who plan to participate regularly are asked to join Second Wind.

For Tushevski, Monday Runday is as much a way to connect with other parents as it is to get in a workout.

“I try to run three times a week, but it’s usually on a treadmill at the YMCA because they have childcare there. It’s good I’m still getting a workout in, but it’s not the same as running outside, and it’s not the same as being able to meet other parents,” she said. “When you run together, you really get a chance to have a conversation with someone.”

Afterward, parents sit outside and socialize.

“It’s a nice chance to sit down if you want to afterward to grab a juice or wine and have some social time after the run,” Balcor said.

She has been trying to get back into a fitness routine since having her second child, and she also has found it a good way to kick off her week.

“It starts the week off with the feeling like you’ve done something productive but also have some social time with other parents,” Balcor said. “It’s a nice family and social time.”

Jodi Heckel, a writer for the University of Illinois News Bureau, is a runner and triathlete. Her email is jheckel@news-gazette.com, and you can follow her on  twitter (@jodiheckel).

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Jodi Heckel, a writer for the University of Illinois News Bureau, is a runner and triathlete. Her email is jheckel@news-gazette.com, and you can follow her on twitter (@jodiheckel).