marathon recap.

Sunday, October 13. What a day.

It was 5:30 in the morning, and my alarm starts chirping. Hello, darkness. There was not even a single ray of sun peaking over the horizon. I felt quite groggy especially considering nerves and excitement kept me from getting a solid, quality eight-hour sleep. Despite the sleepiness, I sprang into action… Brew coffee. Make oatmeal. Stretch it out. I executed my morning plan. It was marathon day. And I was all excited.

I had my entire outfit laid out, everything down to my hair-tie. Are you a runner? Are you a lady? If so, you need to get this shirt immediately. As in, you’re allowed to stop reading this blog post and buy that shirt instead. I won’t take offense. It is absolutely my most favorite shirt ever. The mesh design allows the breeze to cool you down but the full-length coverage still keeps you quite warm. I realize that doesn’t even make sense… but it just works. Plus it’s super cute, snug and doesn’t chafe a wink. Of course you’re going to need something underneath. I’d recommend this Lululemon luon tank. My outfit worked like a charm. No wardrobe malfunctions for this girl.

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At 6:15, I headed to the race start with the big frijol and a bagel in hand. During my long training runs, I found that a whole wheat bagel with a smear of peanut butter works wonders an hour before the run. Carb loading ain’t no joke.

The weather was absolutely perfect; it was a chilly 50-something when we stepped outside and the sun was just beginning to rise over Lake Michigan. As we approached the start area, flocks of runners and supporters were gathering. There was energy in the air. I love race day. The excitement of race morning makes the hours and hours spent running and training worth every second. This is where the hard work pays off and the reward sets in. This is why we run.

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I had to say goodbye to my sweet husband at the entrance gate. There was heightened security this year for obvious reasons so only runners were allowed in the start corral area. See ya later, bean!

I was a good forty-five minutes early to my corral, which definitely worked to my advantage because I was in the front of the pack. Yep, the early bird gets the worm. (But wait… the early worm gets eaten. Anyway.) I was in the corral with other people running for charities so I like to think that we were an extra special group. Go us.

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Next thing I knew, we were singing the Star Spangled Banner and the race had begun. We were off on a 26 mile journey. Ay caramba.

I love love love the beginning leg of this course. We run through The Loop for the first several miles and the crowds are spectacular. I love when the spectators give high-fives, especially the kiddos, which is one of the reasons I run curbside. Plus, running on the side makes it easier to maneuver around people going under your pace and not get trapped in the herd. I like it.

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I felt fresh right out of the gate. My Garmin told me I was going faster than I had planned but I was feeling great so I figured I might as well keep it up as long as possible. At the same time, a little voice in the back of my head was telling me not to overdo it and tire out too early. Starting too fast and pooping out is probably the most common mistake marathoners make. But like I said, I felt good so I was going to run with it (pun intended).

I saw my sweet momma just after the first mile. She took video footage of me… including the part where I reach out to touch her and knock her iphone out of her hands. I felt horrible!! She was so sweet to watch me, cheer me on and be one of my biggest fans. Thanks, mom!

The race took us through Old Town and eventually onto LaSalle Street where I saw my little bro and his girlfriend just shy of mile six. I liked their Hawkeye pom pom. It was so awesome seeing you guys!! Thanks for supporting me. At this time, I was still cruising over my planned pace and still felt great. One word: epinephrine. I guess we know that my adrenal gland works.

We continued the ascent north of the city and eventually turned around to head south at Addison Street. Mile eight marked my first fuel break. By break, I mean I kept running but ate a few of my trusty gummie bears and downed some water minus half of the cup I spilled all over my face. I’m pretty sure I’ll never be coordinated enough to drink and run simultaneously. Regardless, I continued to run through water breaks until mile eighteen. After mile eighteen, I walked through the water breaks to hydrate without spilling and rest my wheels.

Coming down Clark, I heard “Laura, Laura!” It was another one of my biggest fans, my poppa in the front row around mile nine. I was still feeling energized enough to give a huge smile and a “heey!!”! It was so nice to see him there cheering for me. Thanks, dad!

Around mile seventeen, things started to change. I was beginning to feel the burn in my quads. This was not a welcome feeling considering I had 9+ more miles to run… and so commenced an internal freak-out. A few of the thoughts that crossed my mind at that time were: “what if I don’t finish? my quads never hurt on my long training runs. will I go into rhabdo? i shouldn’t have started so fast.” Then I realized, all things considered, I wasn’t hurting that bad. Sure I was feeling the burn but this freakout was premature. Did I really think I would run this race without feeling pain? This was the point where the race turned into a mental exercise, as well as a physical one. One foot in front of the other. Just keep going and keep pushing yourself. If your body is truly shutting down, it will do just that. It will shut down, and you’ll fall to the ground. I was nowhere near that point. I think we are all stronger than we know.

However, my pace did suffer some. My last miles were slower than the first by about 30 seconds to a full minute. I realize that all “real” runners aim for negative splits. Sure in an ideal situation I’d love me some negative splits, too. But that just wasn’t in the cards for me this race day, and I didn’t really care. What I cared about was reaching my sub-four hour goal, whatever my splits may be.

I pushed on. I don’t have much to say about miles 18 through 24 (which is a good thing for you because this post is looong). It was hard. I knew it would be hard. I no longer felt great. I more felt like dying. Once I hit mile 24, I was officially on the home stretch. We were on South Michigan, and there were two miles left. This feat was doable. As mile 25 approached, the crowds were becoming more dense and the cheers were unrelenting. Honestly, the encouragement and support of complete strangers was truly breathtaking. The physical strain of the race combined with the outpouring of love from strangers caused quite an emotional response in me… I actually started to tear up. It was intense.

As we rounded the corner onto Roosevelt Road, the last .2 miles of the race, fans disappeared. Only official race personnel were allowed that close to the finish. Lining the road were Chicago Police Officers and race volunteers including RNs, MDs, and EMTs. They were ones who made this race possible. It was very special to have those people shouting the final words of encouragement as each and every runner ran those last .2 miles to a triumphant finish. It was awesome.

Right after I crossed the finish line, I saw one of my coworkers who was a volunteer RN. I got a hug and a congrats immediately upon finishing. That was super cool.

My final time: 3 hours, 43 minutes and 2 seconds. I reached my goal and then some. I have to admit, I’m proud! I’ll also admit, I am totally feeling the pain. My legs have been so crazy sore since the race. It’s actually difficult to walk normally. But boy was it worth it.

Now let’s talk about the MVP spectator, Mister Lu, the big frijol. He trekked all over the city to find his little bean among 45,000 other runners. I saw his handsome face first on State Street. I had to fight the urge to run right into his arms for a warm embrace. Instead, I gave a huge smile and a wave and knew I’d see him again down the road. He hopped on his bike and spotted me around mile twenty. I must have been in the zone because I missed him… but I did catch a glimpse of that cute man at mile twenty-two. He knew I would need some serious encouragement on the last leg of the race. Thank you so much, bean, for supporting me and spending your day chasing me. You truly are the best.

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After the race, I collected the swag and post-race snacks being given out. Then I plopped down on the sidewalk at Columbus and Jackson to reunite with the hub. We walked through the 27th Mile after-party for a few minutes but all I really wanted to do was go home and take a hot bath followed by a cold shower. Yes, a hot bath and not an ice bath. This has become my strange post-marathon tradition. I know, I know. Everybody and their mother says to sit in an ice bath. I just don’t like to torture myself.

The rest of Sunday was spent relaxing and eating wholesome foods to replenish my beaten down body. That night Lu and I met up with of our favorite couples, Abby & Matt, and had dinner at Mexique in West Town. I highly recommend this restaurant. I forgot to take a picture of the four of us at dinner so here is a picture of Abby and their adorable kiddos, who I had the pleasure of hanging with for several hours on Monday.

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And there you have a recap of my second marathon and a PR. I’m still feeling very sore today and walking down steps is nearly impossible but it is significantly improved from yesterday. I was going to treat myself to a massage but I decided to go shopping instead. A little retail therapy never hurts.

I’d like to take a moment to congratulate those of you who actually read this entire post. Talk about a marathon. Who knew I could have so much to say about that measly race? Thank you for the support people!

xo, lw

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the eve of the marathon

It has arrived. The Chicago marathon is upon us. Twenty-four hours from now it’ll all be a memory… and let’s hope it is a good one.

The city is abuzz with people from all over the world who come for one measly race. And by measly, I mean gargantuan. Last year, the Chicago marathon had the most finishers of any race in the US with 37,315 people crossing that finish line on Columbus Drive. There were 109 countries represented. It’s known to be an extremely fast course (think Midwest: flat, flat, flat) and home to many PRs both amateur and professional. Yes, I plan to be one of those people and throw down a PR tomorrow.

The course takes us through 29 neighborhoods in the city with adoring fans lining every inch of it. The crowd is one of the best things about the Chicago marathon; so many people come out to support the runners and that’s what makes it simply amazing to run this race. But it’s not all fun and games. The city raked in over $243 million in economic impact last year’s race weekend. Holy moly. Can I get a cut of that?

Last night Lu and I ventured down to the Expo at McCormick Place to pick up my bib and race-day info packet. We stayed for an hour or so snacking on samples and browsing various vendors amongst fellow runners. I got to take the annual #ownChicago picture at the Nike booth. Below is this year’s photo on the left and last year’s on the right. Yep, I’m in the same hoodie. Recycling outfits. No shame. There was also an #ownChicago board we signed… go little bean!

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I hogged the photo booth until I got a picture with “Laura owns 26.2”.  Let’s hope it doesn’t own me. It sounds like tomorrow will bring perfect conditions. At race start it’s suppose to be in the upper 50s, the low 60s by noon and no chance for rain. I like it.

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Here’s a picture of the big frijol at the Expo. Yep, he took the Divvy bike inside. What a goon. I love that goon.

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After the Expo, we stayed up entirely too late watching blooper reels on Youtube. Yes, you read that correctly. Blooper reels. It was lights out at 1:30am but this little bean couldn’t fall asleep until 2:30. Cue: Sleeping in until almost noon… Oops. You know sleeping in that late means I’m going to need a fat cup of joe in my favorite coffee mug from my sweet Mexican Momma.

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A lazy Saturday is just what the doctor ordered. I did do a two mile shake-out, slow paced run to get a little blood flowing. The rest of the day will be spent hydrating followed by carb loading tonight and hopefully a much earlier bedtime.

I have the outfit all ready to go: my favorite Lululemon running capris, Brooks base layer on top, and Brooks Pureflow 2s on my footsies. I’ll probably sport the black sneakers tomorrow. I love how that shirt says run happy. Run happy!

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My fuel is ready, too. Strawberry Shot Bloks and jelly beans. My plan is to refuel at mile 8, 13, 20 and 24. I didn’t refuel enough mid-race last year, a key error that I won’t be making this year. No matter how many marathons I end up doing (and this one will quite possibly be my last), I will always think it’s strange to eat while running.

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I want to thank each one of you for your loving support. Thank you so much to those who donated to the charity group I am running with, Imerman Angels. Thank you for the kind words of encouragement. I’d like to give a special thanks to one of my besties, Meghan, for sending me beeaaautiful flowers this morning (in a lovely tea cup, I might add) and making me smile big today. She’s seriously the best. Hurry up and get back to Chicagoland, Megs!!

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If you’re interested in seeing my pre-marathon post from last year click here. And here is the recap of last year’s race.

Alright, I’m out. Going to get ready for the big pasta dinner tonight.  Lu and I are kicking it old school and going to the original gangster, OG, the Olive Garden. Haven’t been there in who knows how long. Hello, breadsticks and delicious salad. Can’t wait to see you again.

Please, send me good vibes! I’ll be back with a race update in a couple of days.

xo, lw

it’s that time of year.

….It’s that time of year. Yep, you know what I’m talking about. It’s soup time. It’s suppose to be in the mid-60s in Chicagoland today so I figured some homemade tomato soup just makes sense. Vitamin A, anyone?

I found THIS TOMATO SOUP RECIPE last year from the ever entertaining and delicious How Sweet It Is blog, and I’ve made it multiple times. Amaaazing. Comfort food at its finest. Maybe it’s the cheese (mascarpone and havarti) that makes this soup extra delectable. Maybe it’s the blend of spices. Maybe not. This is one of those soups that is definitely worth the extra time invested — it ain’t no Campbell’s tomato soup. I dare you make it.

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One of my favorite kitchen tools is my garlic press. Love it. Do you have one yet?

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I’m a little sad that summer days may be behind us (read: I’m actually super excited for fall but I feel like I should mourn the loss of summer like everybody else is doing). Let’s take a look at some highlights from the last couple months of my summer.

First up: Family wedding in Guadalajara. Lu’s beautiful cousin was married in August. It was lovely to see Lu’s momma’s home city and spend time with the family. It was a gorgeous wedding. We also got to spend an afternoon in Tlaquepaque., which is an adorable artsy town next to Guadalajara. We brought home a few fun souvenirs including his & hers leather jackets. Let’s chalk that one up as the most random purchase I may have ever made. Maybe I’ll whip out that leather jacket this weekend now that fall is in the air.

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Next up: Grilling with Papa T. The man can make a mean scallop. And that sweet corn took me back to my childhood in Iowa enjoying sweet corn by the bushel each summer. So delicious. We spent a few evenings eating good food with good company. And a pretty good view, if I do say so myself.

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Next up: Big brother-in-law and his lady friend came to visit us in Chicago for a fun long weekend. Events included celebrating his birthday, eating at Girl and the Goat (my new favorite restaurant in Chicago. It DEFINITELY lives up to the hype. I didn’t expect to be so impressed with the food. While the price tag was steep, it wasn’t outrageous. I’ll be going back in about four months aka the amount of time it takes to get a reservation there), wandering the city, watching football and playing lots of candy crush saga.

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And finally: Babysitting our niece, Sophie. She had us wrapped around her little paw while her parents were away. We love that kitty. Except she did have some feisty moments where she would attack us and chase our toes. It was all in good fun.

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There has also been a whole lot of watching Breaking Bad this summer. And fresh summer eats. Check out these grilled chicken/shrimp kabobs. I smoked out our whole apartment making these bad boys. That was interesting.

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As these days of summer are winding down and we begin the spiral into shorter days and colder temps, I want to leave you all with the following thought. I hope you all are doing well. xo, lw

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independence day

Alright, I realize the 4th of July was so last week but bear with me because I’m going to post about it anyway. HBD, America!! I had the day off work and was able to celebrate the good times with a couple hundred of my closest friends at North Ave beach. =) The big frijol and I hit the lakefront for a few hours with my little bro and Kelly. The weather was decent enough for me to get a killer sunburn that is just now healing… this nurse made a bad decision going sans sunscreen. Seriously, what was I thinking?! I honestly never do that. And I never will again.

After the beach, we came back to casa de bean for some steaks and drinks. Matt and Kelly even brought along their sweet little Sophie kitten for the evening. She is so darn cute. It was a true American day complete with country music and fireworks over Navy Pier. Thank you to those who gave us freedom and those who continue to protect our freedom in this great country of ours. I hope y’all had a lovely 4th, too.

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Until next year, fourth of July. Cheers to America! xo, lw

PS: Did you spot the American flag reflection in Lu’s sunglasses? Pretty cool, huh?

sometimes i make strange decisions

Well today is Sunday, which means another long run.  This week, I had 11 miles on the agenda. I would actually consider an 11 mile run to be a medium-length run so I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed. I was looking forward to getting out and enjoying the nice, sunny Chicago weather.

Then I made a strange decision.

I decided to wear my lululemon running tights and head out shortly before noon on what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year… So by strange decision I actually mean really bad decision… It was 85 and sunny and I was the idiot in black pants.

At about mile six, just after turning around, fatigue hit. My heart was fine. My lungs were fine. My muscles were fine. But I was overheated and as dried up as Amanda Byne’s career. It was brutal. I had to stop for water at least half a dozen times. Of course I got nervous that I was drinking too much water and losing too many electrolytes. I don’t bring fuel unless I’m going over 13 miles so I really had nothing to help me at this point except my will… and my momma.

My sweet momma came along for the ride and rode her bike while I ran. It was so nice having her there. I eventually stole a sip of her gatorade. Here is a picture she snapped during our return to the city. That little black speck is me. What a gorgeous day.

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I finished the run, albeit slower than what I would have liked. 11 miles in 01:44:00 = 9:27 min/mile average. That pace is about thirty seconds slower than my goal marathon pace but I’m not beating myself up about it. That time does include many stops at various water fountains. I learned today that there is a long stretch on the lake front, just south of 35th street, that doesn’t have a water fountain for about a mile and a half. I found myself cursing the city of Chicago for overlooking that little area. But I survived. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
Who else did a long run today? Anybody do it in pants?

It’s time for me to get a new pair of running shoes. I love Brooks Pure Flow. What color do you guys like? Black or purple?

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I’ve been hydrating like crazy since I’ve been home to avoid a dehydration headache later. I hope you guys are enjoying this weekend and these lovely summer days. Make them good.

xo, lw

congrats, grad.

Many congratulations and felicidades to my hub, the big frijol!!

He graduated with an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business this past weekend and he did it with high honors. His dedication to the program was inspiring. Lu worked so hard day in and day out. He not only worked hard on his course work, but he also held several internships, began his own start-up with peers and was involved in multiple clubs on campus. What’s even more impressive? He did it all with a smile and a good attitude. Ok you’re right, I’m quite possibly his number one fan. But all bias aside, I can honestly say not once did I hear Lu complain about his work or displace stress on others. He just went on his merry way and got stuff done. I couldn’t be more proud of him. Congrats, Lu!

Lu’s mother, father and brother traveled to Chicago to celebrate his graduation. His cousin and grandma also came from Mexico to join in the festivities. Since my immediate family all lives in Chicago, they were around to party with us as well. We had a grand old time.

Let’s take a look at some pictures from my iPhone. One day, I hope to get a real camera. Like a Nikon (hint, hint).

Before all the hoopla, Lu and I went to dinner, just the two of us, at The Pump Room to celebrate. Cheers to the graduate.

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Once folks started arriving, we got our tourist on. We walked around the city – stopped at the bean and Water Tower Place. Lu went into Lego Land because once a boy, always a boy. We took a tour of the Chicago by bus. We ate deep dish pizza. We enjoyed this city.

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photo-67The graduation ceremony itself was probably the least boring graduation ceremony I’ve been to. They had two very good speakers, Eugene Fama and JB Pritzker. I was engaged the whole time. And the 800-some name reading went by remarkably quickly, too. I got a little bit sad when it was all over… (cue nostalgia)

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After the ceremony, we went to a tasty dinner at Bistrot Margot a cute French restaurant in Old Town. Then the youngsters went out on the town until t-h-r-e-e-a-m… I am not conditioned for that kind of partying. But it was fun. I ran into my bestie, Meg.

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We had such a wonderful long weekend and as with most things in life, it all went by way too quickly. Congrats to you, Lu. Now it’s on to the next journey as a guy with an MBA from the BEST business school in the world. ;-)

xo, lw

marathon training commences

Marathon training season has begun! I’m entering week two of my training plan, Hal Higdon’s intermediate 2. I used his novice training plan for my first marathon, and I feel like I can amp up the mileage this go-round. Last year my goal was to finish (and not cardiac arrest). This year I have a more specific goal in mind…  to finish in under 4 hours. Last year’s time was 04:20:17 so I’m looking to shed twenty minutes off, which sounds like a lot to me. But hey, we can do anything we set our minds to, right? We’ll see. Here is the plan:

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 10.34.46 PMI cheated last week, and I ran on the cross-training day. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not good at cross-training. Running is my jam. I just can’t get into the elliptical or other machines. But it’s important for me to find an activity that I enjoy, or at least tolerate, besides running. I’m planning on trying swimming soon. Our apartment building has a lap pool so I really have no excuse. Anybody have other suggestions?

I’ll be tweaking the plan just a little bit. I’m changing up the pace runs and making them tempo runs. Is that a bad idea? I feel like I have to do speedwork to improve my time. I’ll probably do fartleks during some of the mid-week runs. Hal Higdon incorporates speedwork into the advanced training plans but I’m definitely no advanced runner. I’ll just do a little bit of speed on my own terms and call it good.

The things I like about this specific training program are: Three 20-mile runs and only one rest day per week. Also known as, I’m going to work my butt off.

I saw the coolest infographic on HungryRunnerGirl’s blog the other day. It shows the changes that occur in the body with endurance training from this website. Very neat and motivating. I think my favorite adaptation is angiogenesis. It’s so cool that the body just builds more capillaries that link onto each other without spilling blood… The body is fascinating.

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In addition to the running plan, I’m going to follow a more healthy eating plan during the training weeks. Last year, I didn’t really pay attention to what I ate. We eat pretty healthily on a daily basis but I can do better. Specifically, I have to focus on getting more protein. I am always on a quest to get more protein. I have used the My Fitness Pal ap in the past to track macronutrients and I may use it again to ensure I’m getting enough of the good stuff. If I don’t put a conscious effort into eating protein, I could soak up carbs all day long. That does not a healthy diet make.

I’m excited that training season has started! It’s always fun to be working toward a specific goal. Who else is in training mode? Anyone out there doing the Chicago marathon? What training plan do you use? Happy Tuesday. Make today a good one!

xo, lw

happy father’s day.

Happy Father’s Day to all you Papas out there.

And most especially, Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful Papa T. You have a kind and giving heart. Your dedication and work ethic are inspiring. I cherish the time we spend together… I am truly blessed to be your daughter. Thank you for all that you have done and all that do, dad.

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This year was an extra special Father’s Day because we had both papas in Chicago to celebrate. My papa-in-law, Esteban, is amazing. He is the life of the party, and we wouldn’t want it any other way. To celebrate the hombres in our world, my mom-in-law made an amazingly delicious Mexican dinner for the family. We got our red-meat on (this is Father’s Day. You gotta eat like a man.) and indulged in some beef tinga, guacamole, rice and chayote followed by a homemade strawberry pie for dessert. You best believe we all ate like kings.

After dinner we engaged in some friendly family competition in the form of Catch Phrase. That game is fun. Obviously, the ladies won. We ended our lovely Father’s Day with a lovely walk along the lakefront. For the first time in the history of Chicago, there was no wind on the lake. It felt so right but so wrong at the same time.

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I hope everybody got to enjoy this day with the fathers that they love just like I did. There is nothing better than family time.  Stay tuned for more frequent posts… Life has gotten in the way of my blogging the past few weeks! I have some catching up to do.

xo, lw

of all days to not have my iphone.

And just like that it’s June. Wow.

Last weekend when all of you guys were enjoying Memorial Day, I was cooped up in the hospital saving lives (read: cleaning poo). But that meant that I had most of the weekdays off this week so when everybody went back to work on Tuesday, my three day “weekend” was just beginning. I think momma nature was looking out for me because the holiday weekend was rainy & dreary but my days off were, for the most part, glorious. So what did I do? I hit the lake front for a couple of runs.

11 miles south on the lake front in 01:36:35 (8:47 min/mile)

an easy 6 miles south on the lake front in 54:38 (9:06 min/mile)

I have fallen in love with running south on the lake front. Until recently, I would almost always run north. North toward the trendy neighborhoods, the beaches, the cute moms pushing their baby strollers. I think I was ready for a change of scenery. My runs south take me miles past McCormick place. Once you get far enough south the trail is lined with trees, wildflowers and surprisingly large fields of well-kept lawn. It’s really quite lovely especially when you catch a glimpse of the Chicago skyline in the distance.

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On the slower six mile run, I was enjoying the ride and enjoying the view. I was running without music, which is one of my favorite things to do (if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you have heard me refer to this as running meditation). It was about 9 am and hot. I had noticed a large police presence along the trail. There were two to three officers every quarter mile or so. And then… out of nowhere… there was Marine One. I’m not talking a little speck of Marine One up in the sky. I’m talking Marine One about to land 100-ish yards from me. There were four large double-bladed choppers (google tells me these are called HMX-1 ch-46 Sea Knights) and the single blade Marine One chopper. The aircraft entourage flew over our heads casting shadows over us like an eclipse. The noise was loud but not as loud as one might expect. Maybe they were in stealth mode. What felt like gale-force wind whipped my ponytail into a knot. It was quite the experience.

Obama was in town for some fundraisers for the Democratic Party. We treat him like a king when he comes to this city. He gets airlifted from O’Hare to downtown and back. Now that’s the way to travel. Avoiding traffic on the Kennedy? Yes, please. I always knew that his helicopter landed near the lakefront and I have heard before that his lands in Soldier Field. Not this time.

Even though it was a work day, there were plenty of joggers and bikers out along the lake front. When Marine One flew over us, everybody stopped what they were doing and looked up. I think we all had chills. It really was awesome to see these amazing aircrafts so close we could taste their dust. We watched them lower toward the ground on a grassy hill south of McCormick place. They touched down just out of sight. Everybody around me, including some police officers, were snapping pictures with their smart phones. That’s when I thought to my self, “something cool would happen on the day I don’t have my iPhone.” I believe that is what we would call a first-world problem. I actually considered asking the girl near me if she could email me her pictures. Then I realized that might be creepy.

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I spent the rest of my run thinking about how cool that experience was and wishing I had pictures to share with you guys.  I also spent the remainder of my run starving because I ran first thing in the morning without eating, which I never do. I had stumbled across this article on the New York Times Well-Living Blog that outlines benefits to running on empty. I realize that article is a little outdated – 2010 – but I still thought I’d give it try. I can safely say that I was ravenous when I finished those six miles. And there you have my random weekday run that will go down as one of my most memorable runs ever.

Has anybody had a cool presidential experience? What about exercising on empty… Do you do it? I hope everybody has a wonderful weekend. Can you believe it’s June?!

xo, lw

we might have a problem.

Good morning. Coffee in my Boulder cup makes me miss Colorado. Ah, lazy mornings. Big bean on the couch next to me watching Nadal pick his wedgie before each serve in his match against Federer the Italian Open. The perfect Sunday morning.

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The temperature is climbing into the eighties today, which makes me giddy to get outside. But first, let’s talk our problem… because might have a sushi problem.

Earlier last week I was up in Lincoln Park getting my nails-did at a spot that just so happens to be close to one of our most favorite sushi spots ever, Toro. In true bean fashion, once I realized that I was mere blocks from Toro and they were about to open, I couldn’t get past the idea of sushi for dinner (even though I had already planned to make a curried chicken & quinoa dish). I warned Lu I was -this close- to picking up sushi to go and his response of “do it” made me love him just a little bit more than I already did (if that’s possible). So we had a random mid-week sushi dinner that didn’t disappoint. If you ever go to Toro, our must gets every time are: sunny, kamakazi & el fuego.

Last night we went out to a place in the west loop, Sushi Dokku, with our favorite Chicago couple. One word: b-l-i-s-s. Their sushi literally melts in your mouth. The flavor combos are amazing. Their sauces? The best. I could eat this for dinner every single night. I got sad when it all ended.

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Look at that cute little design they made with the sauce. I love it. I couldn’t imagine my life without raw salmon and I hope I never have to. Oh, except one day in the future when the bean family is with child. That will be a very difficult time. I may need counseling.

Anybody out there have a sushi problem? Why is it so.darn.good? It is seriously one of the finer things in life.

Happy Sunday people! I’m headed out for a jog soon and hopefully playing some tennis with Lu this afternoon if we can find an open court. Enjoy your day.

xo, lw