Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday Fluffy Stuff




I caught the sunrise for the first time in a long time and it was everything I hoped it would be. Usually I miss it by 15 min- but this time I was early and it was so gorgeous.


I went to Zumba last week with Emmers. It was so fun and such a nice change from running or cycling. It was hot and sunny out and I am pretty sure I sweated out my soul but I had a big goofy grin on my face the entire time.


Cb and I have been running a few times a week. We have a lot of fun on our runs of 3-4 miles.

Between work getting ridiculously busy + some stress in my personal life, I'm really happy that I'm not training for a marathon, or anything for that matter. I can do whatever I want (or do not want) to do workout wise- because usually the last thing on my mind when I leave work late is to go workout.

Which also reminds me that I've been pushing back on social media a lot lately. Reading blogs and looking at IG used to be relaxing- seeing fun photos or reading about running or personal stories. But now most blogs are poorly written shills or "how to's" from people I would never ask advice from (non experts). And Instagram is full of shitty "fitspo" photos/"quotes." So with both, I've been unfollowing accordingly. I don't need to read something that invokes a negative feeling because I didn't work out or push it hard enough that day. That shit is just super spammy, not "inspirational" and not worth my time.

After Cb ate my sunflowers a few weeks ago, I planted more seeds And now I've got 5 sunflower plants! I put them on a table so they would hopefully be a little less enticing than before when they were on the ground.

When I planted the sunflowers, I looked to see what type they were. Supposedly they will grow to be 8-12' high! It will be interesting to see how big they get in this small pot.
While life has been super busy and quite stressful at times, I'm always thankful to come home to my small family who always put a large smile on my face.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Lollapalooza 2015 {Friday}


On Friday (July 31,2015) we went to Lollapalloza. This was our 3rd time going, and Cris' first time.  The first thing we did was take the obligatory selfie in front of the Lollapalooza sign.
Then we went straight to the "bar"to get beer, aka stay hydrated.
We made it our mission to stay hydrated as well as mix it up with some sweet 8% beverage from bud..
The first set we saw was Sza.
I had not previously heard of Sza before (as I live under a rock most of the time) but she was pretty good and had a nice voice.
After listening to a few of her songs we walked over to Perry's stage for Peking Duk.
Again, I had never heard of Peking Duk before, but they were laying down some nice beats so we stuck around and listened for a while.
Their set was full of energy and really entertaining to listen to.
Then we walked back over to the Samsung stage to hear Glass Animals. I have heard of them before, and do enjoy their music quite a bit and was very excited to hear them play live. And I was so happy to hear songs performed live that i've only heard on my ipod.
Next up was Tove Lo and I was excited to hear her perform too. (Friday had a bunch of bands I wanted to hear!!) We ended up too close to the stage and suddenly we were in a mob of people. Also, the sound quality was terrible for her. She kept gesturing to the microphone (to get the attention of the folks in the sound booth) but they didnt see her and consequently we could barely hear her singing.
After a few songs of Tove Lo, we got out of the crowd, took a deep breath and then started walking around.
I started taking artsy photos.
And then we watched Cold War Kids- ANOTHER band I wanted to see! (Maybe I dont live under a rock after all)
Cold War Kids was awesome. I saw a guy with a Chicago flag and had to go take a photo.
All of this listening to music got us hungry so we decided we needed food- and after hearing Pete mention a lobster corndog earlier in the week, we knew exactly what to order for lunch. And it was so OMG DELICIOUS.
Next up was the band I was *most* excited to see: Alt-J!!!! I own several of their albums and love the creativity in their music.
Their set was AMAZING! I knew all of the songs they played and had a huge grin on my face the entire time.
Post Alt-J we walked back to the other side of Grand Park to see Sir Paul McCartney (who I was also super excited to see.)
The field was filling up fast and we found a nice place near the back to avoid being trampled.
And then this living legend began to play. It was so incredible to hear someone who has had such an influence on music over so many years perform. He is so ridiculously talented- playing guitar, ukulele, piano without blinking an eye when switching from one to another.  
He began making jokes about the loud bass music playing from the stage near us. Which after more songs devolved into the loud bass music being called shit- (and I couldn't have agreed more).
He sang Beatles songs as well as his own music. I was in awe listening to Paul McCartney perform live- a guy I grew up listening to thanks to my daad's love of the Beatles. I had the biggest smile on my face singing along to "let it be," "Paper back Writer," and many other favorites.
He sang "Live and Let Die" and there were fireworks. It was so damn cool.
Then he performed "Hey Jude." I got emotional during this song-remembering that I played the piano part to it while I was in 8th grade jazz band. I never thought I would hear it performed live, by freaking Paul McCartney!!
Paul encouraged the crowd to sing along for "Hey Jude" and it was amazing and everything I could have ever hoped out of a Lolla experience. We left after that song because I had a raging headache due to dehydration. Plus, I couldn't imagine how the show could have gotten any more perfect after that (I'm sure the rest was equally as amazing!)
It was a fantastic day where I got to hear some of my favorite bands perform, and I was so ridiculously happy.
I had one hell of a day getting to spend time with some of my favorite people in the world (L and Cris) while listening to some kick ass music.  I can't wait for next year!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Painting, running, drinks and a new record

I've been in a rut in regards to running for almost a month. Life has been absolutely fantastic otherwise. When I don't exercise as much and eat/drink a lot I feel crappy. When I feel heavy and sluggish the last thing I want to do is workout. I'm breaking that vicious cycle though, and the time away from any serious training has been nice. I've just readjusted my goals for working out (and have been eating/drinking less) and feel happier already.

It's been awesome to be able to spend so much time with our friend Cris while she has been in Chicago studying English. We've gone to many traditional touristy spots as well as a few new ones (to us) like The Green Mill- Al Capone's former favorite hangout.

CB and I have ran a few times over the past few weeks- but it is very difficult for him now that it is much hotter outside. His enthusiasm is infectious and I have to reign him in so he doesn't sprint the entire 3 miles.

The highlight of this week so far was going painting with Vicky and Cris Tuesday night. I wanted to surprise Cris with something cool to do that she hadn't done before that also doesn't exist in Brasil. I purposely chose the night with this painting so that she would have a nice memento from her time here.
We had a blast drinking wine and painting. I definitely want to go paint CB next time.

I ended up buying the full download of my photos from the Rock n Roll Chicago half. While I had a miserable time running it, I made sure to ham it up for the cameras in hopes of getting a few good shots.

My work paid off with a record 39 photos from the event!!! I was super happy that most of them came out great.

It's so funny how even though I had a shitty time running the race and felt awful, that I could put on a plastic face for the cameras and look so happy. See kids, photos are not accurate representations of life that you see online.

This weekend is also shaping up to be awesome. With Lollapalooza tomorrow and a trip to a brewery Sunday, summer in Chicago is in full swing and I seriously can't get enough.
And that concludes this week's fluff post.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Rock n Roll Chicago Half {2015}

Friday:

After work L and I ran to McCormick place to the RnR expo. Although it was 90+ degrees out, running to the expo was a much better decision than dealing with a cab or CTA.

We got our stuff and I took the obligatory cheesy RnR finish line shot.

We also ran into Emmers and continued to take cheesy photos.

We sweated out our souls on the runs to and from McCormick.

Saturday:

We joined some good friends for their annual Beer run. We hit up 5 bars and ran between them. On our way from Beer Bistro to Goose Island we got caught in a downpour. It was so fun. I also made sure to stick with radlers and gose/Weiss beers of low ABV.

Post beer run, we cleaned up and went to a surprise birthday party at Northdown. I had a few more light abv beers (needed to stay hydrated for Sunday's half!) and we ate Pork Frites.

Sunday:

Race day.

Stats:
Time:  1:53.19
70/1278 AG 5.4%
355/7171 Women 4.95%
1089/12025 OA 9.05%

Positive splitted the shit out of this race.
Mile Time Cumulative pace Segment pace
2 mi 16.45 8.22 8.22
5K 25.48 8.19 8.13
10K 51.52 8.22 8.40
6.9m 57.45 8.22 8.47
10m 1:25 8.30 8.47
11.8m 1:39 8.23 7.46
13.1 1:53:19 8.38 10.55

We left our place at 5:40 to walk to grant park. It was warm. We took selfies to pass the time.

My plan for the race was to go out around 8:00's and just cruise through the course. I picked low 8:00's because my goal half time in perfect conditions would be about 25 seconds faster, and I knew with the heat, I would run a bit slower. I took off and hit the first mile in an unremarkable 8:15. I felt hot already. Second mile clocked in around 8:20. I started dumping water on my head at the first aid station and continued throughout. After the 2nd mile I abandoned any pace "goals" for the race because of how I felt. (I like to go into a race with a plan- but 100% of the time that "plan" can be amended).

I felt hot. Sweltering. I took a gu around mile 4 and continued dumping water on my head. By mile 6 I was done. I didn't want to run any more. This wasn't fun, it was awful. I seriously considered just walking home since I was very close at this point. The thought of an additional 7 miles filled me with an absurd amount of dread. Mile 8 I took another gu and continued regretting ever signing up for this. I love the heat- and don't mind running in it because I can run by perceived effort and not give 2 shits about my pace. Sunday got to a point of it not being enjoyable at all.
{at the start- Meb's pace group}

I high fived cheerleaders and spectators which always makes me smile big. I hammed it up for the course photogs and consequently have a load of photos of me which I'll probably buy.

But for most of the race I was questioning why I do this. Why I run longer races. Why I train for stuff like this. Since I had a lot of time to think I came to some conclusions.

I do enjoy getting better at distances after putting work in. I love seeing forward progress.

I like structure of training plans.

I genuinely love running.

I am ambivalent about races currently.

I can workout and feel good without races.

I no longer need races to "motivate" me to run.

I am happier without the stress of races in my life right now.

Around mile 12 I saw a golf cart coming back on the course. I first thought it was for a runner needing medical assistance. But as it got closer I heard folks cheering. I realized MEB was in the passenger side giving high 5's and encouragement to runners. I stuck my hand out and we connected for an epic hand stinging high 5. Immediately after I was overcome with emotion. I was so done with this race and also was happy to see Meb. It was super conflicting. As I crossed the finish I was so relieved that it was finally over.

After sitting on the curb waiting for L to finish I thought more about running and racing. It's so easy to get consumed and carried away with this shit. And for me, I like balance, and the way I get about races- even ones without time goals like this one makes me feel icky. I go all in with races. I like to do my best- whether a PR effort or just running a smart race like I did for this one.  And I do this all for what? Another mediocre race time or medal that will get put in a shoebox? It's time to take some steps back from racing for me for now.

And the race was well organized like always. The cold sponges around mile 10 were delightful. The course sucked especially on the out and back portion around mile 9-11. I absolutely hated running through the McCormick tunnel, like always. Going from sunny to dark and dank with potholes is always bad.

Post race we met Emmers and our friend Cris for brunch. We enjoyed eating outside with Cb keeping us company.

Post brunch we went to the bar and had a few celebratory beers to rehydrate. And CB became that douchey bro in the bar who picks fights with people. (He was barking at an older sweet dog who was also in the bar)

Post race we took a long nap.

Then we went to dinner on a rooftop.

We had an amazing time drinking amazing cocktails, eating locally sourced food and making new friends.

It was the perfect end to a very busy weekend.

-Xaarlin