Saturday, June 13, 2009

Wow! I can't believe it's only 8:30am and I've officially been awake for 3 1/2 hours........

So, last night was a fantastic start to my SUMMER VACATION!!! After my short run and yoga class, I came home where I started this blog, which is actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be! I'm hoping I'm not writing too much - when I read others' blogs I enjoy the longer posts, but I hope I'm not boring anyone.....

After spending most of the afternoon setting this thing up, Mike got home from work where we then proceeded to get ready to use our new grill for the first time!!! Those of you who have seen our new place know that we are lucky enough to have a pretty large, 20' long patio with an extraordinary view of the lake, Soldier Field, Field Museum, Planetarium, the Marshall Field mansion, McCormick Center.... yes we are quite happy with it :) So we have had a great time adding fun additions to our prized patio, such as a swing, an herb garden, tomato plants, flowers, and last but not least.... our very own grill!!!

We registered for a grill for our wedding but never got one, so last weekend we got one and brought it home and Mike put it together all by himself. I was extremely impressed!!!! No swearing involved, even, right Mike ;) We were so excited all week to finally put it to good use, and lo and behind the thing actually worked when he turned it on yesterday for the first time! We ended up grilling some chicken for him, flounder for me, and 5 ears of corn on the cob, of which I ate 3 but I easily would have had the other 2 if Mike hadn't! Good stuff! Everything turned out very delicious.

After grilling, we hopped on the bus and headed downtown to see a movie... BUT it was not looking like we would make the 8:30 showing, so we hung out downtown for a bit and then walked over to the theatre, hoping to see a 9:20. Which..... was sold out. As was the 9:30. So, we hung out at Lucky Strike (bowling alley), which is in the same building as the theatre, and watched the end of the hockey game (sorry about the Detroit loss, Robyn!) Finally 10:20 rolled around and we finally got in to see the movie.

We saw The Hangover, which despite Michael Phillips (of the Chicago Tribune)'s terrible 1 1/2 star review, we absolutely LOVED it. The actors were all hilarious and I truly don't think I stopped laughing once during the entire movie!!! Mike and I definitely recommend it!!! And I'd be happy to see it again if anyone wants to go :) The only problem was that it was such a late showing that by the time we got a cab home and I got everything ready for my morning run, it was exactly 1:00am by the time I went to bed. Many of you probably know that I am strictly an 8-hours-per-night-or-else type person.... so I was literally frightened at the thought of getting up in only four hours!!!!!

However, somehow when my alarm went off at 5am I did manage to get out of bad without even snoozing once. Quick coffee, got dressed, and I was out the door. I was amazed that I was able to catch the bus after waiting for only about two minutes, which was great - I honestly had no idea how long it would take me to get to the "start" area at that time in the morning. The CARA group meets at the Yacht Club (on the lakeshore and Monroe). It's about 1.8 miles from our condo, and yes I thought about walking or running there, butttttt I wasn't thrilled about the idea so that's why I tried out the bus route to see how long it took. I ended up getting to the meeting point with a whole half hour to spare, surprisingly. Once it was closer to the actual meeting time (6am) everyone started to arrive - someone said there are usually about 200 people, although I don't think there was that big of a turnout today, probably because the "long" run of the week is on the short side and and I assume a lot of people just ran it on their own.

When I ran two marathons in 2007 I seemed to typically run about a 10 minute mile pace, but my actual marathon time - 4:49:00 - I think was about 11:00, or 11:30 min/mile pace. So, even though recently I've been running 3-7 miles at a comfortable 8:30 -9:30 min/mile, I was advised to join the training group that was slower than I anticipated my marathon time would be. So, I joined the 11:30 group. (Oh - and today's run was 6 miles. I knew I could easily do 6 so I wasn't nervous, but don't worry, I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune once we are running 15 and 18 milers!!)

There was about 12 or so of us in this pace group today. We ended up running north to North Ave. and back, although our pacer, Pam, said that typically we will run South out-and-back instead of North since it's less crowded. The pace felt SUPER slow to me, but I know it will feel just about perfect once the miles start increasing. Also, it was a nice change compared to my normal pace, and it was nice to have a run that felt extremely easy. I love having those easy runs where it feels effortless - those are the runs that get you back out the door the next time!

Overall I had a really good experience. I did not know any of the other runners going into it, although many of them seemed to know each other from previous years of training with CARA - but everyone was very nice and it was awesome to run in a group again!!! I really, really missed training with other people, and I think I forgot how much more fun it is. It was definitely a great decision to join CARA, even though it wasn't cheap, and the runs are extremely extremely early in the mornings!! I'm a bit sad that I will miss next week's group run since I will be in Vegas, but, somehow I think the excitement of Vegas will do wonders to ease my sadness over this ;)

Well I was really in the mood to go to my 9am spinning class today - Saturday's class has an awesome instructor and it's a really upbeat, fun class - but that would have meant completing the 6 mile run, killing time before the class by working out for an hour, and then taking the hour-long class, and although somehow I had the energy for it at the time, I knew that that probably wasn't in my best interest. So, I hopped back on the bus and came home... to blog to you all!

Mike is asleep but later on today our plan is to check out the Chicago Public Library for the first time (we are nerds since this kind of excites us... or at least I am super excited about this!!), then to a BBQ, another BBQ, and then Mike is playing in a baseball game tonight.

I think now I'm off to ice my feet (gotta keep the heels healthy!!) and then to make Mike some waffles for when he wakes up - Yaya, I hope you're reading this, see I DO feed my husband :) Have a great Saturday!

1 comment:

  1. The waffles were delicious Val! So much for my Vegas diet! I figure one is not able to walk into the buffets in Vegas and perform to the best of their ability unless they have been practicing ahead of time...