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Monday, September 29, 2014

Weekend Recap

Another great fall weekend in the books. The weekends that aren't jam packed always seem to be the best ones.

Friday night started with dinner with K's cousins.  She and her husband are actually due with their first baby October 5th.  We are so excited to meet them and it is so weird thinking that the next time we see them they will have a baby boy with them!  The live in the South Loop - which is a neighborhood that K and I don't venture to very much so I suggested we try something new in their neighborhood. We tried an Italian restaurant called Gioco.  It had a very cool ambiance, but both the food and ambiance were less than impressive. The wine list was disappointing and didn't even have a chardonnay on the list. I ordered salmon which I thought was very good, but the rest of the group was pretty disappointed in their meals.

Ready for dinner Friday night

After dinner we heading to check out K's cousin new house that they are building in the South Loop.  It isn't expected to be finished until mid November so It was just the framing.  It was really exciting to see the lay out and we are really excited to see it when it is finished now that we have seen part of the process.

Constuction on K's cousins new house in the South Loop
Saturday morning I did something that I haven't done in a long time... I slept in.  I didn't jump out of bed and start my long run.  We actually stayed in bed until 9:30 which was so nice.  And then we walked to Wishbone for breakfast.  We used to walk to breakfast at least once a weekend, but since I have been training so much this summer we gone to breakfast much this summer.  We actually got to sit outside since the weather was so nice.

Our long walk/bike ride on Saturday
After brunch we put off our workout again and decided to take a walk and try out the Divvy bikes.  We walked through Michigan Ave and made a few returns and then found the closest Divvy bike locations.  Now to be perfectly honest we did have a little trouble checking out the bikes.  There seems to be some technicals errors and we have to enter all of our information and swipe our card 3 times before it actually worked, which was after we had waiting in a line to even get the machine to check it out.  But to Divvy bikes credit, it did eventually work and we checking out two bikes and took off along the lake.  I have to say with K being so tall and me being so short it is somewhat of a miracle to have the bike fit both of us pretty comfortably.  We started at Oak Street beach went up north past Belmont and then turned around and went all the way past Navy Pier and ended around Randolph and Lakeshore. I think it ended up being around 8 miles. I do regret not taking any pictures while we were on the bikes; the weather was perfect and the scenery along the lake is so beautiful.

After biking we walked to lunch at Hannah's Bretzels which K had never had, but I have had a few times at work.  It is all organic and the sandwhich's come on pretzel bread which you can never go wrong with. On the walk home from lunch we treated ourselves with some gelato from Marianos.. my favorite. After some digestion and our food comas, we set out to finally get our workouts in.  My legs were feeling the bike ride and long walk, but I still managed to fit in 10 miles.

Hanna's Bretzels Menu

Saturday night was spent in our PJ's and ordering take out.  We are creatures of habit thats for sure.  My ideal Saturday night.

Sunday was spend catching up on life-- lots of laundry, vaccuming, quick work out, grocery shopping, and trying new recipes.

Trying a new recipe - Egg white muffins

And once again, Monday morning comes way too fast and I feel like I was just walking home from work on Friday.  The best thing I know I'm on my way back on Monday morning.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Running Update - Week of September 21st

2 weeks from tomorrow I will be running the Chicago Marathon!  I have to admit this marathon came much fast than the Nashville marathon.  I am definitely starting to get nervous.

Sunday - Rest day after my 20 miler the day before.  I did get my legs moving a little and walked on the treadmill which I think really helped me recovery.  I honestly wasn't as sore as I thought I would be especially considering that I ran the 20 miles faster than I thought I would. I did quite a bit of stretching on Sunday as well.

Monday - 5 miles on the treadmill in the morning. It was a slow 5 miles, probably the slowest I have done of this training cycle. Usually when I am on the treadmill I try to vary the speed as much as possible to help me not get bored, but I couldn't possibly go any faster than I was already moving so I stayed around 10/min miles for the entire 5 miles.

Tuesday - 5.5 miles. Again this run was slow. I just wasn't feeling it.  I had been trying to run in the morning to get my run out of the way, but this means that I have to run on the treadmill and not outside since it is still dark out now.  I already can't wait until the spring when I have sunlight in the morning again!

Wednesday - Rest day. Wednesdays are always a bit crazy for me so I rarely have time to fit a run in.  Hopefully another rest day this week will give my legs the rest they need to get my speed back.

Thursday - 5 miles after work.  I thought about getting up in the morning to get it out of the way, but I was just getting sick of running on the treadmill and I know the weather won't stay this beautiful for much longer. I can't run outside in the morning anymore, because it doesn't get light early either and it is definitely not safe for me to be running outside in the dark.  So I decided to wait until after work when I knew the sun would be shining.  I averaged probably 9 min miles for the whole 5 miles. I even saw a gorgous sunset..

Friday - Rest day.  I keep telling myself I'm supposed to be tapering so I should rest a lot :)

Saturday - 10 miles.  It was supposed to be 12 miles, but we actually had a really active day on Saturday so I didn't want to push it too much.  Plus, I did something I haven't done in a long time -- I slept in on Saturday morning.  I didn't get up first thing and get my run over with.  I didn't want to get out of bed and K and I actually went to breakfast which we used to do all the time, but haven't done much this summer. We probably worked around the city around 8 miles and we then we got Divvy bikes and biked almost 8 miles as well.  So by the time I got around to running my legs were already feeling it. 

Total Week Miles: 25.5
September Miles: 126
Total 2014 Miles: 1091.5

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fashion Fridays

Happy Friday!  I can't believe I survived this week.  It seems awful long for by liking. I'm really looking forward to the weekend.  We don't have much on the agenda which will be nice and the weather will be gorgeous in Chicago.  Have a great weekend!

Fail! No picture!  It was a hectic morning!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

To Do List for Fall 2014

Fall in Chicago is so bittersweet sometimes.  It is pretty with all of the leave changing and still so many activities going on within the city, but we all know winter is coming.  Which means everyone in Chicago is getting ready to hibernate for the Winter so they need to get outside as much as possible before the Winter temperatures take over.  Our weekends this fall are pretty free which means we have plenty of time to fit in all of the random fun activities that make us remember why we pay such high rent to live in such a beautiful city. 

My List:

1. Run the Marathon - This one is a little bit of a given, but it definitely counts as enjoying the city and seeing the sights.  The marathon route goes through so many different neighborhoods of Chicago, I am sure there will be neighborhoods I haven't even had a chance to visit yet. 

2. Go to the movies - My list of movies I want to see this fall seems to be growing by the second.  A lot of the books I have read lately have been turned into movies so I would love to be able to check them out on the big screen.  To list a few:  If I Stay, Gone Girl, and Mockingjay - all come out this fall and I can't wait to see them!

3. Visit the Art Institute of Chicago - I have actually never been to this museum and it just got ranked one of the top museums.  So I think it is a definite "must go" as some point this fall. It is very reasonable to get in - especially for Chicago residents ($18/person) and is a little bit of a walk from out apartment, but on a cool Chicago day it's definitely possible.

4. Rent a Divvy Bike - Preferably just along the lake front.  It makes me so nervous to bike down in the loop where the taxi's are crazy.  I want to test it out though - they seem to be getting more and more popular.

5. Go to an apple orchard - and maybe.. possibly.. even attempt.. to make a pie with all the apples! How fun does that sound - I really do need to improve my baking skills...

Monday, September 22, 2014

Loving Lately

Here is a few things getting me excited for fall!

1. Crockpot - borrowed from my mama.  I made pulled pork on Sunday and it was delicious.  I'm loving this design too!  I need to do some research to come up with some fun fall recipes for the crock-pot.  I know Chicken Chili will be in our near future as well.

2. Fall scents from Yankee Candle - our apartment has been smelling like fall lately and I love it. 

3. An organized.. fully stocked fridge.  I love going grocery shopping just to see the fully stocked fridge after. I feel like the week goes so much more smooth is we have plenty of good food in the fridge. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Weekend Recap

The weekend was definitely not something to write home about.  Rest - Recharge - Get organized - Finish 20 miles was what this weekend was all about.  

Friday I was actually productive after work since it was a rest day so I ran a few errands, which for someone without a car consisted of walking to all my errands.  And then I met K at the grocery store to get that out of way before my 20 miles Saturday morning.  We ended up ordering dinner after getting home from the grocery store - why does that always seem to happy - you bring home all this great food and then prepping it just seems like way too much work after being at the grocery store. So once again - twice in one week - we ordered Roots Pizza and I ate way too much and went to bed way too early for a Friday night.  We were sleeping before 10 pm on Friday night and it was awesome. 

View during my 20 mile run Saturday morning
Saturday morning came way too early, but 6:45 my Jawbone was buzzing and I was out the door by 7:05. I talked about this on my last post, but the 20 miles went well. They just ticked away and before I knew it I was laying on our living room floor stretching.  After I ran and K worked out we headed out to lunch and to do a little shopping.  We ended up decided on Uncle Julios - which was delicious, but our service was just terrible.  The rain held off for us a little longer to be able to have lunch outside which was probably one of the last time this year that we will be able to do that.  After lunch we made some returns and hit up target before head home just in time for the rain to hit.  We had an awesome nap with the rain on the window and woke up to sunshine.  We ended up going on a long, long walk and ordered for in for dinner once again.  We actually found a place with sweet potato tots and they were awesome.

K's Chicken Sandwich and my Greek Wrap - so yummy!

Sunday K went to watch football all afternoon with his friends while I caught up on things around the apartment. It ended up being a really productive day for me and I didn't get leave the apartment.  I probably should have got outside and enjoyed the nice weather, but it was really nice to get things done.

So comfy in slippers and sweats!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Running Update - Week of September 14th

Only 3 more weeks until the Chicago Marathon and it's getting down to crunch time!

Sunday - 8 miles.  I took it light on Saturday so I figured I could get a longer run in on Sunday.  It was a gorgeous day.  I really wanted to not get off the couch, but knew I would feel much better being a bum the rest of the day if I just got the run over with.

Monday - 2 miles.  I almost didn't go at all, but then I just told myself to go out and at least sweat.  It thought maybe if I got out there that I would feel inspired to keep running further, but that just didn't happen.  It was such a dreary day and I over dressed so was way to hot.  2 is still better than 0 for the day so I'll take it.

Tuesday - 5 miles.  After work.  8:15 pace - one of my best 5 milers I have had in a while. I had an event in the morning so I couldn't go before work - not that I would have because I have been so lazy in the mornings lately with it getting cold and staying dark longer. For this run I just had keep telling myself "don't think, just do".

Wednesday - Rest day.  Wednesday are crazy for me so I knew that I didn't want to rush in the morning to fit my run in.  Plus my legs were feeling the 5 miler the night before to be honest. 

Thursday - 5 miles. Not quite as good as my run on Tuesday, but I checked the box at least. I didn't want to push it to hard since I had my big long run on Saturday.

Friday - Rest day.  Had to rest up for my big run on Saturday.  I did walk quite a bit after work and still ended up get my 10,000 steps in so it was good to get my legs moving.  And I laid out all my clothes for my big run in the morning.  K and I were sleeping before 10:00 on Friday night which was basically like a work night for us.

Saturday - 20 miles.  I was so worried about the rain.. I thought for sure that I wouldn't make it the full 20, because of the rain.  There was an 80 percent chance of rain and a high of 82 degrees. I started at 7 AM, hoping to get as far as possible before the rain hit and then I figured I would finish the rest on the treadmill.  But the rain actually stayed away all morning and it ended up being a gorgeous morning.  My pace was already 30 seconds per minute faster than my last 20 miler which was a huge shock.  I think it is, because I started out faster than usual, because I didn't think that I would finish the full 20 outside.  The miles just ticked by and before I knew it I was on the riverfront path back to my apartment.

Total Miles for the week: 40 miles

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fashion Fridays

1st ever addition of Fashion Fridays!  Happy Friday!  Now I know my picture taking, posing, lighting, awkwardness needs work, but I love the idea of being able to look by at different outfits to see what I like and don't like.  I also think this may make my morning easier if I already have some outfits to choose from.  We are in that awkward time of year when it is not blazing hot anymore, but still not could enough to break out the boots- atleast for me.  I am trying to hold on to summer with every last drip of me, although I have to admit that running with this cool breeze lately has been golden.   One other problem with these weekly wardrobe pictures is that of the time I leave my shoes at work and wear my "commuter" shoes. So the outfit is not exactly complete, but maybe that will have to change. I have at least 5 pairs of shoes in my drawers at work at any given time. :) So excuse the sock wearing pictures, I promise I dont' actually go to work like that. I am realizing as the weather gets cooler that I don't have as many dress pants as I remember.  You see at my last job I could wear jeans everyday - which I did and it was nothing short of awesome.  But with this new job - although I could wear jeans, some people do - I think I'm still too new to try pulling off something more casual. That may change when the weather is -20 and I and stomping through snow to get to work.

Oh an happy happy happy birthday to my Grandma today!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Favorite Running Accessories

1. Oakley Running Sunglasses - Oakley Overtime -K got me these for my birthday along with my running watch.  I love them, because they don't look like running sunglasses.  I still feel stylish when I am running on the lakefront :) They have extra gripping to make sure they stay on my face and I'm never moving too fast so I didn't want anything that looked extra sporty.  We got these at Sunglass hut, because I wanted to be able to try them on to make sure they fit my face, but you can find them online as well.

2. Running watch - Garmin Forerunner 110 GPS-Enabled Sport Watch with Heart Rate Monitor (Pink) K also got me this for my birthday this year.  It is so nice being able to see my pace right on my wrist when I am running, although sometime that can be a bad thing. I have yet to use the heart rate monitor on this, because I have used a polar heart rate moniter in the past and it rubbed badly.  Garmin no longer makes this exact watch, but you can find the latest version of this watch on amazon.

3.  Nike Plus Running App - This app is awesome and so accurate.  I love that you can set it to let you know every .5 mile, 1 mile, any incriment you want to let you know what your pace is. The app logs all of your mileage so it is easy to look back and see you pace. It will show each of your mile times once you finish a run as well as your running route.  On my long runs I will use this app as well as my running watch, I know it's a bit excessive, but I just love how it logs everything and can give me a summary after my run.

4. Compression socks for my calves - I swear by these.  I won't do a long run without them! I can't even remember the first time I tried these, but they were really game changing.  They have helped with overall soreness, not just in my legs, but all the way up to my hips.  Sometimes I will even put a fresh pair on after a long run as well, just to keep the blog moving and help recover faster. I love these brooks ones! - Brooks Run Happy

5. Nuun tablets - I typically don't use these during the run, because I don't usually carry water with me since there are so many drinking fountains along the lakefront path.  But as soon as I get home I pop one in a water bottle.  They taste pretty good and really help with recovery.  Plus, it just makes me chug a bunch of water when I get home which is never a bad thing.  Nuun makes a few flavors with caffine that they call "energy" which I love to use for a little pick me up after my morning runs.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Home Tour - Living Area and Kitchen

Our living area is even more of a mismatch than our bedroom.  We are slowing trying to upgrade our furniture, but still trying to wait as long as possible, because who knows how many times we will move before we are finally settled into something we own.  We have gladly taken hand me down and acquired some fun stuff from Target to hold us over until we are ready for something fancy.  Our couches are a hand me down from my mom.  She conveniently had moved and was no longer in need of them when I was moving to Chicago so they made the trip with me from Iowa over 3 years ago.  I have to admit they are really comfortable and fit pretty well in our living area so I have a feeling we will keep them for a while. I love West Elm so when planning our space I will really inspired by all of the light browns and greys that they have in their accessories.  All of our pillows and blankets are from West Elm as well as our coffee table. 

West Elm Rustic Storage Coffee Table - Was an awesome gift from K's parents for Christmas last year.  Our last coffee table was quite literally falling apart so it was something we just couldn't wait to get a new one.  It actually pops open and provides great stoarge inside as well as being easy to eat from, because it hieghtens the eating area.  We don't currently have a kitchen/dining table so this has been a great subsitutue.

Threshold Windham Desk - For almost the first year of living in our apartment we didn't have a desk and being that we didn't even have a kitchen table I was dying to have somewhere to sit down and work.  I wanted something simple and something that would follow the gray color scheme.  I played around with the location of the desk for the longest time.  The desk actually started out in the bedroom and then moving to the window in the living area and finally resides behind the couch.  I'm still not sure I love that location, because it is something in the way in the kitchen, but I love being able to still be in the middle of everything when I am sitting at my desk.



Front Bathroom


Living Area




Monday, September 15, 2014

Weekend Recap

Going into this weekend we didn't have single plan.  Those always seem to be the best weekends.

My walk home from work friday - made me even more appreciative to not sit in traffic anymore!
Friday night I knew K was going be late getting home and I was just set on getting my long run in so I dragged myself out in the rain and accomplished all 12 miles!  It was so nice having the lake front to myself and actually wasn't too cold - I bundled up perfectly.  I even saw a couple get engaged on the beach in the rain during my run - it was so romantic!

I was done with my run by 7 pm, showered and got straight into PJ's.  K got home and we made dinner at home.  We were sleeping by 10 which was a great way to spend our Friday night. 

Saturday morning we went our separate ways and both got a workout in.  Then we made the venture to Ikea - I wanted to get a full length mirror so I can start doing some outfit posts.  It is so easy to get lost in that store - it was like being in a maze.  I really wanted to got the extra big full length with the thick frame, but soon after seeing it in the store we realized there was no way that would fit in my car!  So we had a settle for a the smaller mirror and it barely fit in my car.  We made a pit stop at Buffalo Wild Wings and then made the trip back into the city.  

Following a nap we were invited to go to Cantina Laredo for dinner.  I have been before, but it was several years ago when it first opened.  It definitely did not disappoint.  We were with 3 other couples - all some of K's friends from high school  It was a great night and even kept us out past midnight!

Testing out our new mirror before leaving for dinner
Sunday I got up and did an 8 miler. I figured I could get a longer run in and then just have a few shorts one this week before my 20 miler next weekend.  The rest of Sunday consisted of laying on the couch, ordering Roots pizza, watching endless amounts of basketball and football, and blogging!

Roots pizza and garlic monkey bread - yum!

Sunday filled with football