Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bible Study

I went to Bible Study out in Pilsen. I met a lot of new people. The apartment that it was in was very unique. Everything in it was eclectic. It looked like everything was from Anthropology. We are studying the book of Joshua. It was fun to catch up with Paul and Tyler and Jenny. I hadn’t seen them for a few weeks. I was totally confused at one point because two of the guys kept on talking about CPS and how they were withholding pay. I was thinking in my head- Child Protective Services (CPS) and it ends up they are teachers for the Chicago Public School (CPS) ! : )

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

CARA Standings

Good news- the pre marathon CARA standings are out and I took the lead against my rival (friendly rival) Suit Fe. I am now leading with 2 points coming into the home stretch. This could be a close race for winning the Chicago Area Runners top place.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Taste of the Marathon

The next day I went to work and my mom went to the Art Museum. We met for lunch and went to Pastoral. It’s a really good French sandwich place that my work Mentor had taken me to. It’s a good sandwich place because it is a cheese shop so they use really good interesting cheeses on there sandwiches’ and they make interesting combinations with different spreads, cheeses, and meat on baguettes. It was a treat. My mom left that evening for the airport and I went to the Taste of the Marathon. The Taste of the Marathon is an event where a restaurant from each of the miles on the marathon course has a booth to sample there foods. The marathon goes through lots of different cultural neighborhoods so there was a wide variety of food. It was free and fun.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bike ride and shopping

The next morning we went to Church. After that we went on a bike ride along Lake Michigan and through Lincoln Park. It was so nice out. When we got back we ate some of my leftovers for lunch. Then we went to Universal Sole to get my mom some running shoes with one of my gift cards. After that we went to Macy’s and a few other stores. Later that night we went to Ethiopian for dinner. I always like Ethiopian food. When we got my mom helped me make pesto. Now I have an ice cube tray with Pesto in it! : )

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Frank Lloyd Wright and other fun

The next morning, I went for a run and my mom went for a walk. We both went to the farmers market and picked up some fruit. We made Potato and cheese waffles for breakfast and has some very good cantaloupe. After breakfast we headed to Oak Park to go on the Frank Lloyd Wright tour of his home and studio. It was interesting to learn a little more about Frank Lloyd Wright. My favorite room was the kids play room. What was interesting was that he had designed it for someone about 4 feet tall so it kind of messed with your mind. We poked around Oak Park a bit. There were a few unique shops which were fun to look at. We ended up going to a Greek place after walking around a long time trying to find the restaurant Grape Leaves- finding it and finding that it was closed since it was about 2:30ish. My mom got flaming cheese which was fun to see. After that we went to China Town. It was supposed to be the Moon Festival but there was a big sign that said that the festival was moved to Sunday….oops! Well- touring with Christina always has a few wrinkles- closed restaurants, wrong trains, wrong dates…hummm…hope you will come back mom! : )

After China town we went home and relaxed for a bit and then decided where to go to dinner. We decided on Roy’s and it was very good. I got the fish sampler (see picture below) and my mom got some other fish (also below) that I hadn’t heard of. We sat right on the counter and it was really fun to watch them cook. They also game us some tastes of Sushi while we waited for our food. I really enjoyed my meal!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Dinner with Pam and Mom

Today my mom arrived after work and we went out to dinner with Pam. We went to One North. The food was okay but it was fun to catch up. I didn’t do the best at navigating. In fact we were talking and we got on the red line going the wrong direction and then I looked and saw Harrison and thought….oh no! Well it was just a 10 minute detour.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fashion Week

This week is Fashion Week at Fleet Feet so each day the run is sponsored by a different company. Today was Saucony. They were giving out free running jackets with a purchase of a pair of shoes (neither of which I need). They had tapas catered in from the Mexican restaurant next door after the run. It was a lot of fun.

After that I went home and made Pumpkin Lasagna for dinner and talked to Jeff.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Morning run

Today I ran in the morning. I needed to do a hard run in the morning to get my body ready to race in the morning. I woke up at 5am grabbed some gels and was on the street still half asleep at 5:06. The workout was a hard one. The longest workout I have EVER done. It was 15 miles cut down. I was to think of it as 5 sets of 3 miles each getting faster. I had difficulty with my watch so I mainly had to go by feel. It was an exhilarating feeling to watch the sun rise. In fact, I kind of turned it into a game. I was trying to race it. The sun actually moves pretty fast! I got back showered ate and went to work. However, I had just been awake for too long so by 10:30 I was ready for lunch. So I ended up eating my sack lunch and having to buy another lunch during my lunch hour.
After work I did some shopping for wedding and birthday gifts and then made dinner, read magazines, and talked to Jeff. I felt like I had so much time that evening. The problem was that I missed going to Fleet Feet and running with friends and then hanging out afterwards. I kept thinking- I wonder how the workout went, I wonder if it was free Jamba Juice day, and other things about peoples lives that we usually talk about on the run. I realized that running in the morning would be very conducive to having a family and having an earlier dinner with a husband or something but there really is no social aspect to running alone in the dark in the morning. It was fun for a change though and I defiantly like to run alone several times a week but I really like running with a group of friends also.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Today I got a lot of things done. I went to Church which was a good service. The sermon was about wealth. The main thing that I got from it is that wealth is not necessarily bad but God wants us to be free and sometimes money is something that has too much of a grip on us and makes us not free to do His work.

Then I went home and did a couple chores and then I rode my bike to Acceleration where Coach Leach works and he scheduled out my last 3 weeks of training before the marathon. He was really helpful. After that I biked to Village Cycle because my brakes kept sticking on my bike. They said they would work on it and I should come back in an hour. So I poked around the shops in Old Town and got some coffee. I went back and they said that I had needed a new cable because it was corroded. It was 15 dollars so I thought that wasn’t bad at all. I took my bike got outside and started peddling and I tried out the brakes. Eek! One didn’t work at all now. I marched right back in and said that the brakes didn’t work. I just watched as they worked some more and I made friends with the bike guys. I ended up getting a T-shirt, a kick stand, and a bike reflector for free. It was great! They also greased it up. It’s working great now!

I got back and re-arranged the furniture- didn’t like it so I had to move it back to how I had it. Then I decided to attempt to paint a picture again. Painting is hard! It is going to take some practice. I liked this much better than my first attempt though. I decided to take the day off from exercising. It was a nice day…but it went by too fast!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Knight Invite

We woke up early and met at Alliance for pancakes. It was fun to see people I hadn’t seen for awhile like Anne Fennema. After breakfast we walked to the Calvin course. It was perfect running weather. It was kind of cold but not too cold. The girls ran very well. They won easily. Liz had a great race and run about 40 seconds faster than last year at the knight invite. The guys didn’t have the best day. I heard Diemer get interviewed and he says “well…there were a few gems on the guys side and that’s what we will focus on.” He is always positive.

Jim came to the race. I attached a picture with him.

After the race we went out to lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s with Kelly Edwards parents, Kelly, Emily, Anika, Anne, Laura, Mel, and Lauren. I took this picture because I realized we were all wearing the same running watch just in different colors! I had so much fun. I don’t think I have laughed so much in a really long time. We were telling old stories and new stories and just having such a great time. It is crazy how close you get to teammates!

I left with Mel and Emily Arkus around 5pm to head back to Chicago. She dropped us off at the farthest south redline station and then continued southwest.

Friday, September 18, 2009

to the Knight Invite

Today after work I took the metra to the suburbs to meet Kristin Haugsma and Mel. We carpooled to Grand Rapids. We had a great time chatting. Kristin sounds like such a great high school science teacher. I spent the night over at the Haugsma’s.

Monday, September 14, 2009

USole run

I had to drop a check of for my friend Paul who works at Universal Sole so I ran there and then went running with the Universal Sole guys team. It was fun since I hadn’t run with them for awhile since I usually run with Fleet Feet on Mondays.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Half Marathon

Today was packed with fun stuff. I left my house at 5:15 to catch the bus to Millennium station 5:25 to get the 6:10 metra train. To arrive at the race at 6:45 to get situated for the Chicago Half Marathon which started at 7:30 am. It was so much nicer this year being on the Fleet Feet team because I could bypass the gear check because we had our own team tent. The gear check line was ridiculously long since the race sold out at 20,000 people! One problem- I went to the start and found out that I didn’t have a seated start. Well, apparently I can be pushy! I just climbed over the rope and hopped into the first corral. Looking around I saw 3 Brooks-Hansons girls (have to be very fast to be on that team) and several others with shoe sponsors and coaches that were giving them pre race advice…I was intimidated. I kept repeating to myself- run your own race, just run, run your own race. That is just what I did. I let everyone go at the beginning and then slipped into a pack of about 10 guys. My name was on my bib and so everyone kept cheering for me because I was the only girl in the group. For the first couple miles I lead our pack and then I realized that it was dumb because we had a head wind. I like leading though because I feel in control of the pace. I tried to drink at each water station but I would end up spilling all the water or breathing in the water instead of drinking it. When I got to mile 10 I was starting to be ready to see the finish line. The race bike pulled up by me and said I was number 3 girl. At mile 11 the race bike came back to me and said that 4th girl was 400 meters behind. I thought-NO-I will not get fourth like the last race! So I picked it up and passed 2 guys. That made me feel good but then I realized I still had another mile…so unfortunately I slowed down. But once I turned and saw the finish line and the time I knew it was going to be close to a PR so I went as fast as I could and ended up with a 3 second PR! : ) They whisked me away to the VIP tent and I was interviewed by a reporter from the Suntimes. There was a cook in the tent who would make you an anything you wanted for breakfast.

I made it back to my apartment and got ready as quick as possible in order to make it to half of the 11am Church Service and then stayed at Church for the church potluck. I got back at 1:30 and didn’t know what I felt like. I decided a hot tub sounded good so I rode my scooter to Bally’s and used the hot tub. It was great! Then I went to the Celtic Festival in Grant Park. I met a couple friends from my work and I had a great time. The dancers were amazing! They were all kids and they could move there feet so fast and were so flexible. I even got to see the National Champion of the Under 11 years perform. That was pretty neat! The Irish music is horrendous though.

I stopped by starbucks on my ride back to my apartment. It was so nice out that I got my starbucks frapaccino and drank it in the sun while I talked with Jeffrey.

Very good day.

(the flowers they gave to us on the podium- I had to wait for the train for a long time so I took a picture with the train map- you can see that I was at the cottage grove green line stop- the last stop of the el! - far south.)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Lunch with Pam and other things

Today I woke up and went for a very short run in the zoo. It was fun though because I found that the animals are very active in the morning. The lions kept showing me there teeth, the kangaroos were bouncing all around, and the seals were making alot of noise! (for anyone who isn't familiar with Chicago- the zoo is free). There were so many kids at the zoo just loving the animals and life. It was fun to hear there funny comments about the animals and there enthusiasm. I headed back and hit up the farmers market. It is squash season now! Hurray! I love butternut squash and they are now just a dollar for a whole squash!

Later that day I walked over to Pam's and we took the el to a Thai restaurant called Duck Walk. It was good. We each got a bubble tea and I got Ginger Chicken and Pam got Pud Thai. It was fun to catch up over some yummy Thai food. We took a picture in the subway because we forgot in the restaurant- just like High School I think we could still pass for sisters : )

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

half marathon expo

Today after work I went to the Half Marathon expo and got some free samples of products. Then I went to a work happy hour for a little while.

sad run - then interesting run!

Today I had a crazy run after work. I was running on the lakefront when a wheelchair athlete went by me. They have these low bikes with three wheels. I remember thinking how quiet the bike was since I usually hear normal bikes coming. The next thing I heard was "CLA-LUMP" and I rounded the turn to see that a car had hit the paraplegic. The guy was crying and holding his arm. I felt so bad for him. Here is an athlete with only two arms and now he was clearly going to be down to one for awhile and going to need a new bike which I am sure are really expensive and potentially custom made. My eyes actually started to water because I felt so bad for him. Who know, maybe he was training for the Chicago Marathon : ( !

I ended my run at Fleet Feet where I used a gift card to buy some gels for the marathon. Someone told me that I need to get my stomach used to the gels so I bought 15 of them to experiment with.

Then I went a couple blocks west and then turned south to go home and I went two blocks and I couldn't believe what I saw! I pasture with about 8 horses! Smack in the middle of skyscrapers! I went closer to read the sign and I guess it is where they keep the police horses. Guess that makes since.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Labor Day of adventures (race, new brakes, wrong date, pasta salad in my hair.....

Today my friend Cari picked me up at 6AM and we headed to Park Forest, il for the Park Forest 5 miler. Park Forest is the most dinky town however, this race attracted a lot of money because of the change to win 500, 400, 300 dollars (1-3rd place) and also because it was on the CARA circuit (Chicago Area Runners Association) so if you run for a store or company you are encouraged to participate to get your store or company points in the circuit. The race was cool because you wind through a nature area and you get some rolling hills which you don’t get in Chicago. It was a challenging coarse though. The village of Park Forest had a whole day of festivities. There was the kids jog after the 5 miler, then there were food booths where you could get tickets to get food (if you did the race you got 2 free meal tickets). Then there was the kids lap swim, and the kids water obstacle course. The awards were at the out door pool so everyone was standing in this pool as we listened to the awards. I ended up fourth which I was bummed about. I wanted the 300 dollars. I ended up getting a camping chair.

When I got back I had a whole list of things I wanted to do but first off I needed to go to the bike store and buy a bike lock. Unfortunately, the lady at the bike store told me that in Chicago they are very good at stealing bikes (which I had heard) and so I had to buy one of the expensive bike locks. So my options ranged from 40 dollars to 85 dollars. I bought the 40 dollars which seemed way too much for a bike lock but I guess I will have it for along time. Then I asked them to look at my squeaky brakes. They said I needed new break pads. Both sets of pads were 10 dollars and labor was going to be 30. I bought the pads and figured I would figure out how to replace them myself. When I got home I had enough time to change the back brake pads but not the front. I then headed to Paul Rollet’s for a Labor Day Barbeque with a big thing of pasta salad in my bike basket. When I got there it was dark so I called his cell phone. It ended up the party was on Sunday! I felt a bit funny. Not even 4 blocks from there I went over a bump and my basket ripped off the bike and took the pasta salad with it. There was Pasta everywhere! A bunch of people were sitting on there front porches and watching. It was one of those neighborhoods where everyone has old sofas on there porch and people just kind of watch the cars go by. They are probably still talking about the crazy white girl that spilled pasta salad all over herself and the ground. I again was a little embarrassed. I looked at the basket and it looked like the plastic that was holding the basket onto the bike was so old it had lost its flexibility and just cracked. This bike might have a bit TOO much character! Well, I made it back in one piece and decided I better take it easy the rest of the night and so I watched the movie “For the Love of the Game” and it made me miss Jeff because it was about the Tigers. Good day altogether despite a few wrinkles : )

Sunday, September 6, 2009

bought my first bike

I like it! I think it has alot of Charater. It was 80 dollars and I think it will serve me well for crusing around the city. I rode it back from Loyola where I bought it (about 7 miles) and at the end the brakes started to squeak. I hope it isn't anything that grease won't take care of. It didn't make noise when I took it for a test ride.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Jazz Festival and Beautiful day in Chi-town w/J

Today I had Jeff's company in Chicago! He hasn't been here in a long time so I was very excited! In the morning I made Juevos Ranchero (The egg mcmuffins that they made at McDonald's when we were in Mexico- beans, egg, cheese, and salsa on english muffin) Then we ran to Universal Sole where I had a gift card and Jeff needed new running shoes. Then we took the bus back home and had some lunch and then took the train to Grant Park for the Jazz Festival. The Jazz Festival was cool. It is a free event that celebrates Chicago's history as a Jazz hub. There were 4 different stages all with completely different styles of Jazz "Heritage Jazz", "Young Jazz" "Jazz on Jackson" and I don't remember what the other was called. There was some great musical talent! I took this picture of this fountain because at Jeff's parent house they have a shower they call the "Party Shower" and it has water coming out from all directions like this. I thought this was funny. After the Jazz we went and were watching the boats in the Chicago river and then we saw this perfect seat (see below). It was just calling our name! Only problem was it was on the other side of the you can see below- It didn't stop us : ) ! After that we went to the beach and then we went back to my apartment and we watched the end of the U of M football game. It was the start of the football season today. Then I thought I would make this chicken dish that bakes in the oven for an hour- very very sad- I burned ALL the chicken! Like probably 5 dollars of chicken turned to charcoal! I still am sad about this. Oh well, I made a couscous salad and we had grilled chicken. Then Jeff had to leave. Short but fun visit.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Jeff got into Chicago at 8:30 tonight and then we went out to eat at Zocolo's. I bought a Groupon for Zocolos "25 dollars for 50 dollars of food and drink" So for the two of us we both got one drink, then we ordered 2 appetizers, and then each got a main dish. Our total was $4.48! Well I guess I did already by 25 dollars for the cupon but still- 30 dollars for all that at a nice restaurant! Pretty nice. I took a picture of Jeff next to this delivery car on our walk back from the restaurant. I thought it was cute....I mean the car not you Jeff j/k : )

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Quote of the day: Your skin glows!

We had a big group today for a run. It was alot of fun. Both Beth's ran a few miles and then went to the track and Joko and I continued on to run distance. It is starting to get dark earlier here and I had to work late so we got a later start than normal. It was funny because I said "Wow Joko, I am really glad we are running together because it's pretty dark!" And she looked at me with her normal "Joko attitude" and said "GIRL! Your skin GLOWS. You don't have to worry about anything!" It made me laugh. Coming from anyone else I would have thought it was an insult on my office rat lack of tan but since Joko is African American it just seemed like a fact. I did glow! haha.