Monday, April 6, 2020

Life 3.31.20 - 4.5.20

Life


(I live for 8pm balcony singing/light show)

3 weeks of WFM completed. Not much has changed on the work front. I think I’m finally settling into the “new normal” of various extra reports and analytics that I do, so I can better manage my time and get my actual work done. 

On Monday, Zé pequeno head butted me (after L said a “special word” which made Ze move abruptly as we were cuddling) and split my top lip open. It hurt for a few days.


Ze is now 57.7lbs as of Saturday. He is going on a diet of more veggies, less pellets and more walks/runs. He’s a happy boi, but he needs to lose like 10-15lbs. 


I got Ze some early birthday presents- meet “Tundro” the newest member of his Dino squad. 




Our flights to Denmark were finally included in the “no fee” change date range- so we will possibly look at new flights. I say possibly because I’ve lost all interest in going at this point. I don’t see how the pandemic will be cleared up in 6-7 months and I worry we would have trouble going or getting home. But that’s just my anxiety talking. 

Food

We cooked more at home this week- but still got carry out from some places. 


I’m a pro at making various styles of eggs.

We made pizza again. Making pizza on the balcony boosts my mood so much.

Wedge from firehouse. I love wedges.



Chicken burrito from 18th street. 


With leftover fries from firehouse, we made a breakfast hash- cut up fries, shallots, and eggs + cheese. 

Goals for this week cooking/eating wise include: eat smaller portions, cook more at home, continue to supplement with carry out. 


Workouts:



I cycled 7 times (on Zwift, indoors) for a total of 155 miles. 

L, Ze and I took a 3 mile run on Saturday morning to keep the MRC Chicago spirit alive. 

We ran on Michigan Ave early in the morning to avoid as many people as possible- plus the sidewalks are very wide.

Ze was so happy to run with us. 

Sunday, L and I went to 18th street brewery to pick up food and cocktails to go. When we parked we saw the owner who said they had changed their hours and would be opening at 12 - we arrived at 11:36. So we decided to walk on the Monon trail for a bit.

It was a gorgeous, cool  sunny day. It felt great to walk on the trail we usually run on for MRC 18th street. As we were walking, some birds started fighting in the air and almost hit us.

We only saw 3-4 cyclists and a family playing in a nearby field during our 40 min walk. I was surprised there weren’t more people out. I would have opted to sit in the car had it been busy.


I didn’t do any running intervals or organized strength sessions this week. I didn’t feel great for part of the week and didn’t want to push it.  

Goals for next week: organized strength sessions and some running intervals- as well as running with Ze. 


Thoughts

THIS ARTICLE From Time Out Chicago made me happy. Our 8pm south loop gatherings are gaining momentum and are such a great stress relief + mental health boost. Plus- I was quoted in the article and a great compilation of my nightly balcony recordings  were made into a fun video. 

Someone in our building tested positive for Covid. We have been washing hands/avoiding people since early March - but it’s unnerving to know it’s confirmed and it’s so close. 

Status of America: raging dumpster fire.  “Leadership” in Washington is blaming states for not being prepared, and pushing blame for not helping boost the amount of PPE and ventilators available.  It’s a joke. They took a gamble back in January about the virus not being a big deal and now shit has hit the fan and getting worse. Incompetence is the only word I can think of. People are dying because the government didn’t take this serious enough. 


Seeing people continue to post selfies and preface it with “we were totally social distancing” is such a slap in the face to healthcare workers and everyone who is working to stop the spread. Maybe things haven’t gotten to an alarming level where these people are- YET, but there’s enough news and information available to show that you shouldn’t be meeting in groups. This is a hill I’m willing to die on. 

Mas

We had a few virtual happy hours - and it was so nice to see everyone. 


It was so nice to go to 18th street and get food + cocktails to go and walk in the sun for a bit.  This boosted my mental health so much. 


Whenever I hear a helicopter outside I’ll look or sometimes go to the window to see it- now I know what a dog feels like when they see something outside and get crazy excited. 



“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
Paulo Coelho









Monday, March 30, 2020

Life 3.23.20 - 3.30.20

Life



2 weeks of WFH! On Friday I finally set up the second monitor L had gotten for me. I think I could WFH forever. Haha. Nope. I think a mix of a few days WFH/ office would be ideal for me. 

I think Ze appreciates that we are both home now. He doesn’t interact with me at all during the day unless I take one of his toys and pretend it’s alive or try to give it treats.



Food

We had some more carry out and cooked things too.

Vegetarian ramen from Ramen San.


We made balcony pizza again. Pizza margherita and pepperoni. The dough was perfect- thin and chewy and I will be making more this week once I find some bread flour. 



I made bagels for the first time ever - and I like the way they came out. They are chewy and soft. We made everything and plain varieties. I can’t wait to get more flour and brown sugar to make cinnamon sugar bagels soon. 



I love eggs and made loads of soft boiled or fried eggs for breakfast too. 


This week I want to cook/bake more and eat out a little less. Up next will he white bean chicken chili. 


Workouts

I cycled every day last week! I did not do any organized strength sessions. 



I think I’ll keep my cycling goal at 150 miles for next week. But I’ll also add in 2-4 strength sessions and 2 running interval sessions. 



Thoughts

People are still not taking the virus seriously. On Wednesday- a relatively nice day in Chicago, many people swarmed the 606 and lakefront. By Thursday morning, Mayor Lightfoot closed the Riverwalk, 606, and the lakefront, as well as nearby parks and banned all group sports. Yeah. People were playing soccer, basketball and walking in groups and not adhering to social distancing.  This is why we can’t have nice things. 

I still see people posting selfies  “we’re totes social distancing guyssss, 6 feet apart teehee” on social media and just can’t help wonder why they feel social distancing doesn’t apply to them.  Maybe they live in places with different “social distancing standards than Chicago.” But, If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.  Stay the fuck home. 


Earlier in the week politicians suggested that basically older people should die so that the economy can reopen. I honestly do not comprehend how people can vote for a group of people who suggest that an entire subset of the population is not worth living. Is that basically genocide?  So which one or 2 of your grand parents or parents should be thrown into the volcano?  (And within party lines there’s obviously a large range of ideas- so it’s not everyone) But the fact that no one within their own party is calling them on this bullshit is even more concerning.  

This tweet sums it up nicely. 




Norway has called our health care infrastructure “under developed.” Germany is urging its citizens to get the hell out of America like yesterday due to the poor leadership in the White House  + inadequate health care. 

America now has the most cases out of all countries. We are clearly winning! America first!! (And we still are unable to test anyone who 1. Is not gravely ill. 2. A celebrity or rich.) 

Greatest country in the world! 

I found it interesting while talking to friends in Europe that they haven’t heard about the Covid-19 possibly causing permanent lung damage if you get it. This has been on the news all last week in the USA. They said- “does the virus treat people differently in America than in other places?” Fair point. Finding reliable information is very hard. I honestly do not know what is legit information or not.  

Mas

We attended a few virtual happy hours this week which was fun. It was great to see friends face to face even though we cannot hang in real life.  


I hope things start looking up- but at this point experts say it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. McCormick place is being turned into a makeshift hospital currently. 

Until things get better, I’ll just keep looking forward to our 8pm balcony flash lights/sing/woo/ yell time. It’s a great stress relief for 8 minutes, and the camaraderie of the neighborhood is heart warming.


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Life 3.14.2020- 3.22.2020



Life

The last day I worked in the office was Friday the 13th. Appropriate. I took my laptop, keyboard and mouse home- I’m so glad I took those because laptop keyboards are awful. 

After 1 week of WFH, I feel ok about it. I had originally anticipated getting a lot done due to less distractions- but due to the changing landscape we are in, I had to make many new reports and analytics which took the bulk of my time. I am hoping things settle into a new “normal” soon. 

On March 15, restaurants and bars had to close to dine in patrons. Luckily they are able to sell carry out. Breweries can sell beer to go and some deliver. 

On March 20, the shelter in place mandate went into effect. We can still get carry out, go grocery shopping but all non essential services are closed like salons. I feel terrible for people and small businesses right now. 



Zé Pequeno didn’t even interact with me last week while at work. 


Food

We had a good mix of cooking at home + supplementing with carry out. We have felt it is important to support our local businesses - they are the cultural fabric that make our neighborhoods great. 

I made 2 small red fife loaves- one had roasted potatoes, cheese and rosemary in it. That was a huge hit.  For lunch I would eat roasted sweet potatoes with various proteins- sweet earth teriyaki burger or ikea veggie balls. 




On Friday L went to 18th street and brought me back their chicken sando.  

To celebrate our anniversary, we walked to Acadia to get carry out- a wedge salad and burgers. Sunday we got food from antique taco.


Sunday we made pizza in the snow. I made sourdough from scratch which came out great- didn’t rise much as this was the first time using no yeast and only using a starter. (It was perfect!)  We used spicy tomato sauce, pepperoni, mushroom and black olives.





Workouts

I decided I wanted to hit 100 miles a week on Zwift. I cycled every day- and with the exception of Monday where I cycled 7 miles, I averaged over 20 miles a day. 


Nailed it!

Since that was too easy, I’ll shoot for 150 miles this week. 



I haven’t felt compelled to run outside yet. It’s been cold and and I’ve been enjoying cycling a lot. 

Shamrock shuffle got cancelled- we were supposed to run on the 3/22. I didn’t feel in shape anyways so I wasn’t too sad to miss it. I was bummed we couldn’t hang out with our run club though. 


Thoughts

I don’t think many people took this threat seriously for a while. There was/is conflicting news about what to do/plus the severity of it is/ was downplayed. holding or not holding your breath for 10 seconds has nothing to do if you have Covid or not. (That was actually discussed on a major TV network who routinely spreads false information)  I still don’t think people are taking it seriously enough as evidenced by spring breakers in the south. 

While people were out thinking Covid wasn’t a huge threat “because I’m young and it won’t affect me!” (Spoiler alert: flattening the curve is for the benefit of everyone, not just yourself!) Politicians were busy dumping millions in stocks to avoid the anticipated loss because they were briefed on the severity of the situation and waited weeks to notify the public.   Celebrities and athletes are able to get tested at the drop of a hat while “regular” citizens are unable to get tested without many hoops to jump through. When asked about this, the “POTUS” said that’s just life.

Remember that.  


Also remember that our Covid cases/deaths related are relatively low because we do not have adequate testing.  But what about those “beautiful tests?”

Ok that got dark- but it’s necessary to remember how “elected officials” are not acting in the best interest of the people. 

Here’s Ze demanding to speak to the manager about his food. I had given him roasted butternut squash on his food for a few days, and when I didn’t put it on his food he would stand at his bowl and bark. 




Life in the time of Covid 19 is making us evolve.  With social distancing and being no longer able to meet in groups, we are getting creative so we don’t lose our minds. Sunday night our run club had a virtual happy hour. It was nice to see some familiar faces and chat for a few hours. 



At 8pm each night folks in our neighborhood stand on their balconies and sing/ flash lights. Tonight’s song selection is “let it be.”


I’m hopeful that when we look back it’s that we “over reacted” because that means we did exactly what we needed to do to flatten the curve and not overwhelm our resources- like what happened in Italy.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Take The Bridge: Atlanta Natties 2020 {race recap}

After running a longer than expected shakeout with Naz Elite, and spectating the trials, we went to the Georgia Beer garden to check in for Take the Bridge Atlanta. 


We met in the alley behind the beer garden and got our numbers. We then hung out inside the garden until 15 min before the race because it was still cold and windy.

Take the bridge is an unsanctioned race. There’s no chip timing and entrants are limited to around 25 women and 25 men. 

The premise of the race is to be the first to get to all the checkpoints and then be the first to return. Cash money prizes attract some fast ponies.

After hanging in the beer garden and wondering how many of the folks inside celebrating were Oly Marathon trails runners, (it was the tracksmith cheer headquarters during the race) we went outside for the pre race meeting.

During this briefing the location of the checkpoints were disclosed. It seemed as if 95% of  the participants were not from Atlanta so we were all working together to google map the bridges. 

The first one was easy to locate as it was just a few blocks up from us. The others- well we needed assistance to find. “It’s the bridge in the park by the reservoir, not the one by the skate park.”

5 minutes before the men’s race, the order of the checkpoints were disclosed for the men. Their race started at 7:00pm.


Soon the men were off on their journey. Left behind were all the women and spectators. The women’s race would only start once all men returned. 

A few minutes after the start of the men’s race, a woman came up to our group in the alley and was all “I just saw Molly Seidel inside and got to talk to her!” 

About 20 women surrounded this girl TELL US MOAR!

She said molly was there because her sister was running the race we we were doing. 

Soon, Molly showed up.

photo by @Deandigamon

She was so down to earth talking about the trials while drinking a beer. 

She said it was her favorite marathon ever, and that it probably ruined marathons for her going forward lol. 

She also said race officials took her shoes and had to cut them open to make sure they complied with all regulations. After press and drug testing, she was at the Beer Garden with us.

She still had her trials kit on under her sweats. It had been a crazy day for her. Obvs.

photo by @Deandigamon

It was so cool to hear this raw recap of her experience. 


photo by @Deandigamon


The men came back one by one and soon it was ready for the women to take the bridges of Atlanta.


photo by @Deandigamon

5 minutes before our race, the directors gave us the order of our checkpoints. 

My only race plan was to keep someone in sight because I had literally no idea where I was going.

photo by @Deandigamon

Charging up the first bridge at a blistering 6:00 pace. Oops. Then I held back a bit.

photo by @Deandigamon


I ended up sticking with a few women for the duration of the race. One of them knew where to go. #soblessed

We worked together - warned each other about potholes and stuff. It was so cool to have a squad in this race. 

I finished 18/25. Molly’s sister won. 
She was wearing her sisters trails bib during the race lol. It was so fun. 

photo by @Deandigamon

Aftermath of the checkpoints.


Post race we had a beer at the beer garden and stuck around for the awards. 

Our team “west” lost to “east.”

Once again, we had a lot of fun running this race. I can’t wait to run one of these again. I just need to work on my speed and navigation skills.

photo by @Deandigamon

Until next time...