Monday, March 4, 2019

Hustle Up The 875 [Hancock] 2019 {Race Recap}

A few weeks ago I climbed up this 94 story building again. 

A few days prior I did 100 floors in 16:00 on the stair step. I knew that stair step does not equal real stairs. I get so winded climbing 20 floors in my building.

Race morning we took an Uber up to the 875. I met up with coworkers- I was on a work sponsored team and we took some pics before getting in line. 

I didn’t really have a goal. I didn’t feel as in shape as I did last year- I’m heavier and not running as much but wanted to be around my time from 2018.

We took more selfies before we got in line.

There he is in line a few people behind me.

I got all my stuff together and was ready to climb 94 floors.

I ended up starting my watch about a minute into the climb because I got distracted at the start. The volunteers were super nice while they let people go every 8 seconds to avoid crowding.

My plan for this “race” was to keep an even pace- basically a slow steady walking pace the entire time. And to not stop. 

Around floor 9 I saw a flash of light and was confused. Then I realized there was a photographer.

So I looked up and they took another picture of me.

Around floor 33 I saw a sign saying we were a third of the way complete. My legs were basically trashed by that point. It was such a contrast to last year when my HR was through the roof. This year my legs were useless Gumby legs.

I put my head down, passed about 40+ people, and started climbing- using my hands on the stairs. Not sure if it helped but it made sense at the time. I was hurting. 

I heard cheers and was happy to know the end was near. 

I finished in 19:05- about a minute slower than last year. A little after I finished, I Spotted L who finished under 21:00.

I was so happy to be done. I swear the building grew more stairs!

The views were nice.

The wind was crazy strong too- the elevators were moving slowly and there was a long wait to get back down. Luckily I have a hookup in the building and we were able to take the freight down without wait.

It was fun- as fun as something like that can be. It’s for a great cause- and is a good challenge, so I’ll keep coming back.

We climbed up that!

After going home and freshening up, we went to Half Acre to celebrate.


First race of 2019 is in the books! Next up is my running club’s beer mile and the Shamrock Shuffle. 

Monday, February 4, 2019

Welcome to the Party: January 2019

Around the middle of the month I decided to input the Hanson advanced half marathon plan into my sport tracks. It felt good to be back on some semblance of a schedule with running- I guess I just like having some sort of goal, even if the goal doesn’t exist. The plan will end around the middle of May,  but there are no half’s that I’d consider running around that time (due to multiple reasons). 

I’m happy with how January went- it really feels weird to not be training for a spring marathon though. The past 3 years I trained for Carmel (2016),  and 2x Boston (17’ 18’) It’s nice to have a break- and look forward to the bigger goal which is to PR in Chicago in October. I firmly believe you cannot reach true time potential in the marathon if you continually run marathons year round- if that’s the goal you have. You have to choose a lane- either short and speed, or long and endurance. 

Spring for me will focus on speed over shorter distances which will prepare me to slay my goal in October.  I’ve had a lot of fun nailing some crazy speed work intervals the past few weeks- my 400’s-800’s have been at 6:07/mile pace. This is fast for me, and then I think of people like Shalane and Desi who drop low 5’s... for 26.2 miles! Perspective.

I’ve been loving the sunrises this month. Some have been exceptional.

There was a sun dog on one of the coldest days we’ve ever had.

We went to a fancy work dinner thing too.

Ze closed out January with 32 miles of running over 5 runs. We haven’t run in over 2 weeks now due to the cold. I’m hoping we will be able to log some miles again soon.

He’s currently 1 year 9.5 months old and 42.6lbs. I think he had a growth spurt recently because he seems more solid and less bony.

CB turned 14. Our old man is doing really well for his age and still goes after Ze.

He decided the 10 year challenge was too basic so he upped it to the 14 year challenge.

I finished all my recaps of our trip to São Paulo. It made me happy to write down these memories so I can look back at them later on.

We experienced super stupid cold - negative 20 and feels like -55. I went to work that day and wasn’t outside more than a few minutes. It was just so painful for any exposed skin.

I finally hung up my Boston poster and medals. This is the only display I have hung up in our house. I don’t need a shrine to my mediocre athletic accomplishments. However, Boston was a huge achievement for me- I PR’d in the shittiest conditions, and knew my training was spot on for the 3:15 I had trained for. I gave it my everything that day in April, and walked away content with how things went for one of the few times in my life.


Looking forward: 

•Hustle up the 875 stair climb
•celebrate MRC Chicago 4th Birthday
•take mortadella out for a ride, probs Zwift
•continue to make new recipes 

*Welcome to the party! (Basically the same phrase, motto, mantra whatever I think of every year- which I got from some random postcard I picked up in Sweden years ago). I’ll never understand the selecting of a word “intention” for the year. Like how do you measure “perfection” if that’s your word? I’d rather live my life as if it’s a party and accept the good and learn from the less desirable if it should come up. 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

30.12.18- 1.1.19 São Paulo

30.12.18

We started the day with another run in the park. 

We needed a shakeout before our big race the next morning.

But in reality, I just knew this would likely be the last time we would be here on this trip and needed to run a few laps before saying tchau

Post parque Ibirapuera we got breakfast and then went to Mae and Pai’s house.

But first, we went to a vegan, natural food buffet to meet some friends.

Then we were back in the Uber to Mae and Pai.

São Paulo bridge over the river. No capybaras this time.

After a nice visit, we went back to Empório for beer.
And we ran into Tony Montana, the white golden again. 


Cerveja so refreshing on a hot summer day. 

Then we took the Uber to another cool places and I took photos of the murals.

And more murals- I know I took this same shot on my last trip- would be interesting to compare the evolution of the graffiti.

More interesting art.

Simpson’s themed.

We ended up at Cateto a new craft beer and artisanal cheese and meat place.

The interior was beautiful.

I had more beer.

We got mushroom bruschetta.

It was not only gorgeous, but delicious.

And a porchetta with roasted tomatoes on the vine. Amazing.


 What a cool place in a nice neighborhood 


On the walk to dinner, there was a ton of cool murals.





Sunset was great.

We decided on Braz elettrica for dinner. We’ve been to regular, sit down braz before and love the pizza. This is more of a casual concept.

It’s got a cool electric atmosphere.

Pizza was so good.

Before bed, I laid out my outfit for Sao Silvestre.


31.12.18

We got up and ran Sao Silvestre 15k

On the walk back to the hotel post race we walked past Jaber Especialidades Árabes which arguably has the best Lebanese food in São Paulo.

We got esfihas as a post run snack and bought a bunch more to bring to Mae and Pai. We also got a big side of lentils with rice- to eat lentils on NYE is good luck.

Then I took some photos.

The sun felt so good.

Elevator selfie.

Rocking my medal.

We stopped for a quick drink - a traditional caipirinha at the hotel before getting ready for new year eve celebrations.

There was a lovely macaron waiting for each of us in our hotel when we got back.

White is what you wear in Brasil for New Year Eve. It’s good luck.

We went to the New Zealand themed bar, Kira Ora to ring in the new year.

Loads of pictures!

And more

And loads of gin and tonicas. Gin is having a moment in São Paulo right now.

We settled on the second floor so we could see the live band.

Imitating Ze Pequeno.

It was cool to see everyone in the bar dressed in white.

Everyone in white under blue lights.

More gin

We met up with our friend, Jackie Chan (Claudio) the unofficial mayor of São Paulo,  and hung out with him for a while.

More pictures. We weren’t having fun at all.

More gin!

Feliz ano novo! Happy 2019!

The band played 90’s rock music. It was a great night.



1.1.19
We woke up late and hung out at the hotel for a while. Then we drove to Mae and Pai to hang for a while until our late flights.

Replication of arguably the first plane to fly ever- yes Brasil says they were before the Wright Brothers.

Views from Mae and Pai’s house.

I love this place

We left for the airport and settled into the lounge for a bit before our flights. I was so hungry because nothing was open on the holiday.

One last picture before we got separate planes back. It was so great to have my Daad join us in São Paulo. I was so happy he could meet L’s parents and see wheee L grew up.

Airport selfie.

Our home for 10 hours.

Plane selfie.

Tchau São Paulo.

I watched Eat Love Pray in Portuguese and understood pretty much all of it.

Cheers , saúde to one  hell of an amazing trip. 

I slept like 7 hours on the plane. This never happens. I was so tired. Our plane departed São Paulo around 11pm.

Then we had a quick turnaround in Dallas. Baggage took a while to come out and some lady was freaking out like she was the only one on the plane. Pro tip: calm the F*ck down And don’t make a scene. 

Selfie on the DFW—> ORD Dreamliner.

We got home and walked to Spoke and Bird for lunch before getting the boys. It felt great to walk in the cold.

The boys were so happy to see us. Here’s Ze Pequeno laying on me and CB sleeping in Ze’s crate.


I was happy to return home to the boys and regular life.  I promise to never let 4 years go between visits again. To be able to see Mae and Pai, and most of our friends was so great. This trip was all about family, friends, and food. Tchau, see you soon! Tudo de bom, pra você.