Now What???

What does one do the day after a marathon?  It’s crazy to think that running 26.2 miles has completely consumed your life for so many months, that when it’s over, you’re not quite sure what to do.  As the BOY pointed on, I have NO DIRECTION…ha ha!


I am all for a lazy Monday and spent the first half of the day in my PJ’s.  And since I didn’t have to plan my day around a workout, I could have a long drawn out breakfast.  I enjoyed some tea, a tasty breakfast, and was able to put together my race recap blog post.



Some time around 1:00, I was able to motivate myself out of my jamies (they needed to go into the wash with the other laundry) and head out into the beautiful day.  It’s a little sick that I was thinking what a nice day it was to go for a run!  I headed off to Kohl’s to spend my Kohl’s Cash. Having spent my month’s clothing allowance at the expo, I was happy for some ‘free money’ the BOY kindly donated to me after his recent shopping spree for school clothes. 



I headed to the grocery store and returned home to catch up on Grey’s Anatomy.  I spent a little more time on the computer, threw dinner for the week in the crockpot and made wonderful tasting Mac ‘N Cheese for dinner with pumpkin ice cream for dessert.  If you haven’t tried this yet, it is the BEST ice cream EVER!

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I have never felt so stiff in my entire life, and I officially HATE the stairs.  Doing laundry was quite difficult.  I also found this random chaffed area on my right clavicle.  Seriously…who chaffes on the their clavicle? 



It was a nice relaxing day at home, and I was sad that I only had one day off before heading back to work.  As for my future athletic direction…I haven’t quite decided, but for now I am taking the week off to catch up on reading and TV, blogging on the couch, and eating pumpkin ice cream.  (And possibly looking for my next race online!)  I’ll keep you posted!

Post Race Treats and Relaxation



After finishing the marathon, I was happy to have some time to walk my stiff legs to the train station.  We worked our way through the crowds west towards the red line.  One port-a-potty stop and a long flight of stairs later (that myself and another finisher took 1 step at a time) and I found myself sitting on the subway with a few other marathoners.  The BOY brought up the episode of How I Met Your Mother where Barney rides the subway after running the marathon.  He tries to get off, but can’t stand on his legs.  I could only find it in Spanish, but it is still funny if you want to watch it HERE.  Luckily, I was able to get off the train and make it to my brother’s condo for a warm shower.



My family was tired and hungry after walking all of the city, so we were all happy to crash on the couch.  The boys were content to turn on the TV and catch up on some football (the Giants were playing) with a cold beer.  After my shower, I was happy to see that I hadn’t gotten sunburned or chaffed too badly.  My face was bright red (from heat I think), but I told the boys it was probably wind burn.  They laughed at me and said that they didn’t think I was actually running that fast.  Ha! Ha!

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Like pasta is my pre-race tradition, pizza is my after race favorite.  We ordered some pizzas and fried appetizers and opened up some of my brother’s homemade brews.

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Around 4:00, my parents drove the BOY and I back out to suburbia.  Instead of going home, we went straight to Dairy Queen for the pumpkin pie blizzard I have been talking about all week.  The perfect dinner on marathon day!

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Everyone was happy to join me and order their own delicious treats.

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Check out how amazing this pumpkin pie blizzard looks?  With extra whipped cream!

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I dug right in to my first pumpkin pie blizzard of the year!  Please excuse my hair…my sunglasses got stuck and my dad didn’t bother to tell me.  I thought the pictures were too funny not to share though.

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The BOY and I returned home after a marathon-long day.  I was still in shock that it was finally over!  We sat out back and discussed the day enjoying a glass of champagne.  I was still pretty sore, mostly in my legs (that darn left IT band) and my shoulders (too much tension), but riding the runner’s high all day long!  Finally, I crashed into bed with a full tummy of tasty treats and an overwhelming feeling of joy (from all the support and encouragement I received from family and strangers) and success (having completed the race I decided 10 months ago to attempt).

After training for races for 6 straight months, I was left with

only one question… NOW WHAT?

Take a look at my trip to the Chicago Marathon Expo and my Full Race Recap!

A Marathon Post

It’s hard to squeeze 26.2 miles of thoughts and emotion into one post.  Hence, the marathon sized post to describe my first marathon!

In February when I signed up for the Chicago marathon, it seemed like October was so far away.  After months of training, foam rolling, and carb loading, the day was finally here!  I have been camping out at my parents, but I needed to head home to pick up my gear.  I ended up doing a dress rehearsal.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had planned to wear capri’s for the race.  Being that it was in October, I thought that would be fine with the longer, tighter running tights.  But with 70-80 degree weather all week, it looked like I was going to have to find some shorts to wear.

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I had made a list so that I would remember everything that I needed.  As I was packing up, I remembered that I had gotten a new heroes jersey this year and packed them both.  I threw everything into a bag and crossed my fingers that I wasn’t forgetting anything important.

Shot blocks CHECK

Coconut water CHECK

Sunscreen CHECK

Body glide CHECK

Pack to hold everything CHECK

Camera CHECK

Running shoes CHECK



All of this packing made everything seem quite real.  Would I really be able to run 26.2 miles?  I wavered between self confidence (you have been training, your body is ready for this) and self-doubt (your IT band will hurt, you’ll never make it) and I was starting to feel butterflies in my stomach.  The second picture was during the thoughts of doubt. LOL!




The night before the race, I barely slept.  I dreamt about the marathon a few times and even woke up at 2:45AM because I thought I had overslept.  A little before 5AM, my mom came in to wake me up.  It was pitch black outside, but I popped out of bed and started getting ready.  I am so lucky to have such a supportive family and this morning was no exception.  My brother had volunteered to get up early with me and drive me down into the city.  My mom got started making coffee (for him) and a scrambled egg for me.  She also turned my sweet potato overnight oats into a smoothie so that I could eat it on the go.  And, she had a map prepared so I would know where to look for them along the route.

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We made it to Grant Park by 6AM and my brother was able to drop me off on Michigan Ave.  It was still dark and the city was swarmed with runners and their families.  It was a beautiful and warm morning and I made my way over to the Charity Village.  I tried to snap some photos, but I had my old camera and the flash isn’t as strong.

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I had no idea what to expect as I made my way over to the St. Jude Heroes tent.  In my mind, it was one of those small overhead covers, so I was shocked to see a full white tent with volunteers outside holding signs and bells cheering for me as I walked in.  I must say it was an incredible feeling and I got a little choked up. 

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The tent was filled with coffee, breakfast, water, Gatorade, Band-Aids, body glide, shot blocks and anything a runner would need before and during a marathon.  The people, some of which I had met at the expo yesterday, were so friendly.  I learned that there were over 200 heroes running and that together we had raised $250,000.

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When it was time to head to the start line, the runners exited the tent together in celebration followed by words of encouragement. 

Heroes on the Run

I stayed behind to meet up with some of my friends and took one last picture before checking my bag and heading to the start line.



We had planned to try to make our way towards the front of the line, figuring the less time we spent standing around and waiting, the less time we’d spend in the heat later.  Personally,  I was also hoping to run between a 4:00 hour and 4:15 marathon (a lofty goal I know), so I wanted to be near those pace teams.  I was impressed that we were able to see the huge START sign from the open corrals and only waited a a few minutes before crossing over the starting line on Columbus.  My friend took this picture on her phone right before we took off.

Karen and Jen

It was crowded, but not as constricted as I expected.  The streets were packed with runner and the sidewalks and medians full of people cheering and holding up signs.  I must say Chicago is an exceptional city, but the support that the residents showed throughout the entire 26.2 miles was incredible.  We headed around the loop chatting and weaving our way through other runners.  I was surprised how calm I felt starting off.  We headed north through the Lincoln Park zoo and all the way up to Addison running at ~8:30 minute/miles.  Unfortunately, I needed to do an early on potty break.  I spotted the port-a-potties on Broadway near mile 8 and told my friend I would catch up with her.  I made a quick stop, grabbed some water and my first round of shot blocks, and picked up my pace looking for a pink headband on the right side of the road.  I caught up but was fatigued from increasing my pace (a 9 minute/mile with the stop) and was happy to fall back into an easy rhythm. 

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We had both missed our families in Lakeview.  My fam had just missed me since I had thought I wouldn’t be starting until closer to 8:00AM.  That didn’t stop them from cheering on all the runners as they passed by.  And, taking tons and tons of pictures.  I had asked them to really capture the event and with two cameras they were able to get some spectacular pictures, more of which I will share in the upcoming week. 


Thanks to the text alerts, the fam was able to track me and head over to the West Loop.  I was looking forward to the halfway point where I knew my brother, parents, best friend, her husband, and their baby would be waiting for me.  Miles 10 and 11 were tough and I was surprised by how early my legs started to feel tired.  I had pain in my right ankle, something I had NEVER felt during training.  What was fun was winding through the different neighborhoods hearing people call your name or cheer for St. Jude.  I also saw some random people that I knew watching along the way.  We crossed the 13.1 mile sign on Adams.  I was halfway done with a time of 1:54:34.


When we ran down Adams and finally crossed Halsted, I clung to the left side of the street looking for my JEN signs.  I immediately saw my mom sporting her Heroes gear and I was overwhelmed with excitement (although probably too tired to show it).




I can’t describe how wonderful it was to see them waiting for me.  I tried to say Hello to everyone, but knew that I was on pace for my 4 hour race with not a lot of leeway on the back half AND that if I stopped, I was feeling so tired that might just stay with them watching the race instead of finishing it.

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My best friend and my youngest fan!

After the race, the fam said that I looked strong as they handed me a cold coconut water and I continued on my way towards the Charity Block Party.   Having never seen the Chicago Marathon, there were a lot of things that I didn’t know to expect along the way.  The Charity Block Party is a stretch near mile 16 where both sides of the road are lined with the charity tents blasting music and cheering everyone along.  It really comes at the perfect time, as I think mile 15-16 were my slowest of the whole race and where I started running the last 10 miles on my own.

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I took the second half of the race one step at a time attempting to focus on the breathtaking views of the city and the unprecedented support I was feeling from the spectators.  I smiled at some of the signs…




THE MARATHON: 99% Mental 1% Physical



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Doused myself in water, ran through every sprinkler I could find, and thanked the volunteers profusely for handing me a sponge that I could rub all of my face and tuck into my top.  I couldn’t believe the different things people were handing out on the side of the road, gummy bears, pretzels, dried fruit, tootsie rolls, beer, and more.  I made it to mile 20 feeling hot and exhausted.  My left IT band was screaming at me and I thought my right big toe was bleeding.  I was having trouble getting any of my nutrition down.  I tried blocks, Gu, a banana, and dried dates but spit them all out.  I was able to eat one tootsie roll (always a Halloween favorite) and just after mile 21 (after celebrating a new distance PR) I begged some man on the side of the road for an orange slice, which I had been craving.  It looked like he was giving them away, but maybe just to his friends.  When I asked, he pulled the bag of oranges away.  Feeling desperate, I yelled “I ran 21 miles for this orange, can I PLEASE have it” and he reluctantly agreed (as his friends laughed at me).  The orange tasted incredible and made me so happy!

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I ran through Pilsen and Chinatown which boasted positive energy and a party atmosphere.  My miles stayed steady around 9:30.  I had heard that the real race started at mile 21 and I started to countdown the last 6 miles.  I was too tired to really even think, but around this time I was able to decide that I couldn’t wait for my pumpkin pie blizzard, that next year I would be watching or volunteering at the marathon  not running in it, that the human body was not meant to run 26.2 miles, and that I wanted to take the entire week off from work to recover.  I passed mile 22 and headed south towards Comiskey.  The sun was hot and there wasn’t much shade.  I saw one man start to get dizzy and pass out and two other people receiving medical attention on the side of the road.  It was scary!  Although I felt ok, I knew that I hadn’t taken in the nutrition that I wanted and vowed to stop for water at every chance along the way.  I was running 9:45-10:00 minute/miles and walking through the water stations sipping a little Gatorade, chugging down water, and dumping it over my head.  At this point, I knew I would finish the race, but I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to run the last few miles.  I was so tired, I wanted to cry, but didn’t have the energy.

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Finally, I turned onto South Michigan Ave with just the last miles to go.  Around this time, the 4:00 pace team passed along side me and I stayed on their heels as the spectators encouraged us to shoot for the that 4 hour time.  I gave the end of the race what I had left knowing that I would be proud of my finish no matter what the time, but that I wanted to finish strong and healthy. I felt like I was running slow, but my last two miles were just under 9:15.  I passed mile 25 where the majority of the racers were walking and I knew that I would wasn’t going to walk now.  I finally came across a big sign that said 1 mile to go.  When you think about a marathon, you picture relief in seeing that last mile sign, but all I really felt was fatigue.  I was 11 minutes shy of 4 hours and close to the finish.  I turned right on Roosevelt and headed up the one ‘hill’ crossing the 26 mile mark at the top.  I ran down the hill passing the 400 meter and 300 meter signs before rounding the corner onto Columbus and seeing the FINISH sign up ahead.  Both sides of the street were packed and people were standing in the bleachers.  I knew my family was there watching even though I couldn’t look around as my legs kicked in carrying me across the finish line in 4:00:37!!!  Everyone stops the second they cross the finish line and you are greeted with a foil wrap and your medal.  A nice man finishing next to me even complimented me on my race time and finish.  Every muscle in my body hurt and I was afraid I would start to cramp up.  I kept moving, grabbing some water, some snacks, and of course my 312 beer.

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Slowly but surely, I managed to walk my way back to the Charity Village where my family and the BOY were waiting for me at the St. Jude tent.  I think I would have started crying when I saw them except my body was too dehydrated to produce any tears.

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I immediately began spewing out my thoughts from the past 2 hours making no sense at all. My big message was that this was quite the adventure and that my body hurt EVERYWHERE!  I think they were laughing at me as they tried to follow my thought process, but they definitely got the message that I was sore.  It is really an odd feeling to be pumped up on adrenaline, but so sore and tired you can barely move.  I am so happy to cross the Marathon off of my bucket list and LOVED that I got to experience this inspiring event in Chicago!!!


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Race Reflections:

This was the HAREST physical task I have ever done.

I am thrilled that I was able to complete my first marathon in Chicago.

I still can’t believe that I finished in 4 hours!

Those were the longest 4 hours of my life that went by in a flash.

St. Jude is such a wonderful organization! I couldn’t thank the employees and volunteers enough for their support throughout training and especially on race day.

I am so lucky to have such amazing family and friends who emailed and texted their support, tracked me during the race (knowing this kept me going through some tough miles),  walked all over the city on a hot day carrying signs and taking pictures for me, stocking me with coconut water when I needed it the most, and encouraging me through every step of this marathon even though they all think that I am crazy!!!

Race Results:

Half Marathon Time 1:54:34

Marathon Time 4:00:37

Place Overall: 8902

Distance PR and Time Goal Accomplished!

Chicago Marathon Expo Recap

Although it was a holiday, I was eager to see the marathon expo at McCormick Place downtown.  This is the biggest race I have ever run (45,000 people), and I knew the expo would be HUGE and exciting.  If the Nike Own Chicago video didn’t pump you up for the race, the expo certainly will.  I was excited with my mom said she would drive me down on Saturday afternoon.  On the way down, I tried to snap pictures of the Bank of America building, but I only got half the athletes and some blurry kids.

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We parked at McCormick and followed the Pace Team to the expo.

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The place was alive with athletes and their families! 


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My mom and I were super psyched!  I couldn’t believe how many people were at the expo.  We grabbed my packet and then hit the large expo room for samples and shopping.

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But first, we picked up my packet and official marathon gear.  I must say I was slightly bummed with the white Tshirt, but I made up for it at the massive Nike shop with two adorable long sleeve tops (pictures to come).



We also swung by the St. Jude Heroes booth, where we picked up some signs and this fabulous sticker that I have been wanting since February!



My mom found some amazing shoes at the Brooke’s display that she just HAD to have.  She told the guy…’you had me at patent leather’.  Tell me these aren’t FABULOUS shoes?!  She threw her old ones in the box and modeled her new shoes around the expo.  I was tempted to get a pair myself, but I am hoping to do a gait analysis before I buy new running shoes.

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All in all, the expo was pretty incredible, and my mom and I had so much fun chatting with people and playing at all the booths.  We even found my name on the Nike wall.  And my brothers, which is funny because he isn’t running the race…it’s a common name!

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My mom was looking for a larger map (she was having trouble with the tiny one that I found online), so I asked if I could take this one with me. LOL!



We left the expo with bags of loot, my tracking chip, and of course my Mom’s new shoes.

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After dinner (which was pasta, some tuna, kugal, and a few other carbs), we headed home early to pack up, braid my hair, and my mom made some colorful signs so I would be able to find the family during the race.

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It was such an exhilarating (and exhausting) day.  I was just hoping that I would be able to fall asleep before my 4:45AM wake up call (from my mom since I have been crashing at the P’s since Thursday).  I was pumped for the race, but starting to get nervous. 

Coming tomorrow…full details as I attempt to OWN CHICAGO (and all 27 neighborhoods) during my first marathon!

Winding Down and Gearing Up

I had planned on a calm week before the marathon in which I would be able to relax, keep my feet up (as the articles suggest), catch up on sleep, down lots of carbs, and enjoy the taper…blogging along the way.  Instead, I got a chaotic and overwhelming week of long work days and bad traffic.  With 1 day and 10 hours to go before race day (I just checked out the website), I am excited and nervous.  Since I have never even watched the Chicago marathon, I am not exactly sure what to expect.  Although the weather men are telling me to expect HEAT…which does not excite me one bit( and means I will have to do a last minute wardrobe change).  


I am looking forward to tomorrow’s marathon expo and a friend sent me this video, which totally pumped me up for the race!

Own Chicago

I was hoping that the actual UTube video would appear above, but couldn’t figure it out.  If you know how to do that, please let me know!


I did find time this week to catch up on carbohydrates (dry cereal…you are delicious), but the week has been anything but relaxing.  Luckily, I am heading off to bed early tonight in preparation for a busy weekend.  And I will have 4-5 hours on Sunday for introspective thinking as I wind through the streets of Chicago.  I am away from my computer for the night, but stay tuned for full marathon coverage to come!


Marathon Countdown: 1 Day, 10 Hours

Weekly Mileage: 6 miles

Monday in the City

The tapering continues this week…hooray!

This morning, I only had to run 3 miles.  It felt strange to have my run over so quickly, but it gave me time to make Challah French Toast for breakfast.  The BOY has been requesting it for days and who doesn’t love thick, sweet bread drenched in cinnamon and vanilla egg batter for breakfast?!


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I decided to head into the city today to play.  It was another beautiful, warm fall day, and I had made an appointment with Jessica from CHEW Chicago to chat about nutrition, specifically during endurance training.  If you remember, I met Jessica when the Ya-Ya’s and I did the Wellness Tour downtown last month.  I have read so much conflicting information about healthy eating that I thought it would be good to check in with a professional. 

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It was a clear day and the leaves were starting to change all around me.  I was looking forward to a quiet ride downtown  on the train to catch up on some reading.



I made it into the city just before 2:00 and had some time to burn before my appointment.  I walked through a few stores browsing, but believe it or not, I wasn’t in the mood for shopping.  I know…I wouldn’t have believed it myself.  But, I was truly enjoying walking around outdoors, window shopping, and people watching.  I did look around Top Shop though, which is new to Chicago.  I haven’t been since I was in London in 2002.  The clothes are just as cute as I remember!

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I strolled down to Lake Michigan for a few minutes before making my way to the Hancock building.



I had a wonderful hour long meeting with Jessica.  We talked about different food choices, my history of stomach issues, and my goals and concerns.  Mostly, how I can fuel for intense workouts and stay energized throughout my long work days.  She had some good suggestions for me, like adding more fish oil to my diet and eating farro and amaranth, both good sources of protein.  It was an hour well spent, and I look forward to incorporating some of her suggestions into my daily routine building upon the healthy lifestyle changes I have already made.



I was supposed to meet a girlfriend for coffee, but it fell through last minute.  I took a nice walk down Michigan Avenue, taking pictures (coming soon!), and playing tourist in my own city.  A few of the marathon banners were hanging, which definitely got me excited!



I decided to continue walking towards Union Station (as opposed to taking the “El”).  On my way, I saw a bakery with a bouncer.  I kid you not, there was a line outside of this bakery and a woman letting people in one at a time.  I had never heard of the bakery but had to take a picture because it’s not every day that one sees a line for baked goods.  Plus, I thought it would be a name worth remembering!  Has anyone every been here?  What is the deal?

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I had just enough time to grab an ARGO Tea latte and finish my book before meeting the BOY at the train station.  ARGO is one of my favorite places that I discovered when I lived in Evanston.  I only get there when I am back in the city (or at O’hare) to enjoy my favorite red tea latte with SF vanilla and skim milk.  It may sound odd, but it is FABULOUS!  They also have an amazing Pumpkin Chai for you pumpkin lovers out there.

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I met the BOY at Union Station after his school day and we commuted home together.  It was fun to chat about our days and I shared my fun explorations in the city.  He said he was jealous that I got to play in the city all day while he sat in class.




When we returned home, we found Emmy delving into some nutrition reading of her own.  After making dinner, I decided to join her on the couch for a relaxing evening.


Sunday in Suburbia

I had so much fun at the market yesterday. 



It was a gorgeous day in suburbia and all of my fall favorites were out!  Can you believe the squash was only $0.39/pound???  I bought a butternut and a spaghetti squash.

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There were like 7 different types of peppers, so I got a jalapeno for today’s chili along with some other produce.  Speaking of chili, I wouldn’t be able to write a Sunday post without talking about chili.  My best friend and her daughter were coming out to suburbia for Sunday Funday complete with chili and a BEAR’S game.  The BOY and I were up and at ‘em early this morning getting the chili in the crockpot so I could head off to HOT YOGA.  He was a wonderful sous chef, and so I told him I would give him credit for his work.  We used the All-American Chili recipe from Cooking Light’s website, but I turned it into a crockpot recipe so I didn’t have to stay in the kitchen.

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The chili tasted great, but was more watery than I would have wanted.  The recipe calls for canned tomatoes, chopped and undrained.  Next time, I would recommend draining the tomatoes (this might be different if you use the Dutch oven instead of the crockpot).

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And for Dessert…Pumpkin Dump Cake (from Cookies and Cups)!

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I layered pecans, graham crackers, AND toffee bits on the top because I had everything in the house.  The house smelled fall-like and fabulous when I ran upstairs to quickly change into my yoga clothes.  I pulled the cake out of the oven and left it to cool as I ran out the door for yoga.


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When I returned home, after a brutal and uplifting workout, I came face-to-face with a delicious looking cake on the counter and I JUST HAD to take a taste (or four).  All I can say is YUUMMMYYY!  This cake is so easy, you can throw it together in minutes, and its unique flavor is memorable! 

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I also whipped up a post-yoga smoothie with this coconut water sample I got.  Throw the following ingredients in a blender for a refreshing (and much healthier than pumpkin cake) post-workout snack.

1 cup coconut water (or Almond milk)

1.5 leaves chopped kale

1 overripe banana

1/2 cup mango

2 Tbsp almond butter

14g cacao powder


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Our friends arrived around 1:00pm.  The house smelled great, and the chili was just about ready. 

Emmy and the BOY were definitely intrigued by our littlest guest.




There were plenty of pre-marathon carbs to go with our chili…

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I found myself sneaking tastes of pumpkin cake all day.  The bottom layer is gooey like pumpkin pie and the topping is crumbly yellow cake with a mix of crunchy toppings.

And because she is my best friend and knows the BOY so well…she brought ingredients to make bacon-wrapped dates!



We definitely enjoyed the afternoon and even took advantage of the gorgeous weather with a walk through the neighborhood.  What a fun Sunday in Suburbia!!!  Looking forward to having our city guests over again SOON!

Run the Course

Happy October!

Now…it is officially fall.  The leaves are changing, the temps are dropping, and pumpkins are all around.  Love it!!!



A friend of mine who is a marathon vet suggested running the last section of the course before the big race.  If you are familiar with the Chicago marathon course (which I am not…as I have never even watched the race), then you know that the last few miles are farther south, less populated and obviously when you are feeling the most fatigued.  I have been reading some articles about marathon preparation and one suggestion given is to ‘Run the Course’.  By this…the author’s recommendation was to mimic the demographic of the course.  Some courses (San Francisco for example) are super hilly while others, like Chicago, are more flat.  But, since the 26.2 mile course will take runners though 27 different neighborhoods, I think it is a good idea to be familiar with the course, especially the last few miles.



So…for this reason, I packed up my gear last night and woke up before the sun (even the BOY commented that I was ‘crazy’ as he headed to the bathroom) to get dressed in some warm running gear.  All of the usual players were present for my pre-run breakfast…black tea, an egg (plus 2 egg whites), and oats.





For this morning, I made some pumpkin overnight oats.  Yummy!




I hit the road for the city to meet my friend in her Logan Square neighborhood.  I know that texting while driving is illegal and I’m sure the cops would not have appreciated me trying to get pictures of the beautiful sunrise over the city as I was driving east on 90.




I finished breakfast and made it down into the city a little after 7:00. 




We walked to the CTA and on the way, swung by a local coffee shop for a bathroom and a drink. I got a Naked Coconut Water.  I had never tired it before, but the mango-peach flavor was fabulous!  We got on the Blue line and headed south.  We made it down to Taylor and Racine, which is right around the 18 mile mark of the marathon course.  A quick bathroom break at the Starbucks and we were on our way.



We followed the course through Little Italy and then on to China Town before running through IIT and the South Loop.  We definitely got some interesting stares (as if to say we were a week early for the race).  I didn’t have my camera with me to get the good city shots that I would have wanted on such a clear and beautiful day.  We got lost a few times (totally my fault as I was navigator) and ended up running closer to 9 or 10 miles.   We finished at Grant Park to a celebration, we even ran past a marching band, as another walk/run was finishing.  I grabbed a snack and we chatted our way back towards the Blue Line.  The walk felt good on our tired and stiff legs.



All things considered, I was feeling pretty good after our run!  I am hoping that seeing the last few miles of the race will help me stay strong mentally when fatigue sets in next Sunday!


Marathon Countdown: 1 week (Yikes!)

Weekly Mileage: 17 miles (Love the Tapering)

Now that it is October, it’s time to check in with the September Goal.  If you remember, I set ONE GOAL for this month and that was to train, train, and do more training for the upcoming marathon.  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!  As I’m sure you noticed form the significant amount of running posts this past month, I have been hitting the pavement, foam roller, and bath tub as I have increased my miles throughout the month.  I was also super conscious of my nutrition, limiting sugars, soda, and alcohol and focusing on good carbohydrates to fuel my runs.


I started September with a 16 mile Labor Day Run.



Followed by my 18 mile run.



And completed my longest training run (and longest run EVER) of 20 miles.



Thanks to my family and friends, I was able to reach my fundraising goal for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital earning my Heroes jersey for race day!  If you are interested in donating, please let me know and I can send you the link.



What a successful month!!!

As the marathon articles say, the hard work is behind me and I must trust that the ‘money miles are in the bank’.  It is time to rest up, get plenty of sleep, stick to my plan, and chill out.  I think I can do that!


October’s Goals

-Run my first marathon and finish feeling healthy

-Eat smart carbs and get plenty of sleep

-Increase my weekly meditation and yoga classes

-Continue to create new recipes with farm share produce and healthy grains