Any guesses where I went last week?
To say I was blown away in the Windy City would be an understatement, at least in terms of weather (though it was a bit chilly and breezy Friday afternoon). But considering the people, friends, sites, and adventures..."blown away" is spot-on.
First off, there's nothing too exciting to report from earlier in the week:
Monday presented us with our first official storm of the season. Freezing rain all Sunday evening left a shiny and slick surface come Monday morning. I had a slight altercation on the "surprise" ice on our covered patio when I was outside with Max. Thanks to my gracefulness (can you smell the sarcasm?),I came extremely close to doing a complete split, with the ornery hammy getting nicely over-extended. After a few hours, it felt better, so it was an evening with 'Milly for this gal (I did have that #nevermissaMonday thing that needed my attention).
By Tuesday, the temps were better but the ice remained. Although a lot of it had melted by afternoon, there still were residual patches (most of which were cleverly hidden), so I opted again to stay inside
|More time with 'Milly|
Wednesday, finally a chance to get outside! I didn't get home from work very early, so the dwindling daylight was MIA after my first mile. The hammy still was a bit angry with it's owner, so I called it good after three miles (though I really was hoping for 4-5 miles).
|It was so great to be back outside!|
Thursday had the husband and myself headed to Chicago. He had a conference for his insurance business, and I had a slate of gal pal meet-ups on my roster.
The first get-together was with Coach Suz, who had coached me through several months of training for Route 66 last fall. We have known each other for awhile (via social media and blogging), so it was great to finally meet/hug each other in person.We were so engrossed in discussing running, training, blogging, and life in general that we totally forgot to capture the experience in pictures. Well, that just means I'll have to make a return trip to the Windy City so we can do it all over again properly. The word on the street is that I may be returning for a March race....#staytuned.
Thursday night, the husband and I had a mixer/cocktail party of sorts to attend, and returned around 10:00. One of my January challenges is to do 30 minutes of daily cardio. Not too eager to hit the fitness center (and do treadmill time on a strange 'mill...with no name), I persuaded the hubby to join me on the stairs. Our room was on the 21st floor (of a 35-floor building). We climbed the remaining 14 floors to the top of the building, descended all the way to the ground floor, then returned back to the 21st floor. He bailed on me at that point, but I continued on to the top of the building (so, 49 total flights for me). Whew! Let's just say the heartrate was moving and grooving when I finished!
|Who needs a fitness center when there's 35 flights of stairs?|
Friday morning, the hubby headed to his sessions, and I headed out. Where to begin?
Well, I had my first-ever solo cab ride, which got me to Union Station.
|Approaching Union Station (above left) and seated on the train...hoping it was the correct train...|
Next, I purchased my first-ever (solo) train ticket, and boarded a train en route to La Grange to meet up with Penny for lunch. Penny (you may know her from Instagram--> HERE) and I go back to almost four years ago, when we both we training for our first marathons. We met through our running pages on Facebook. Fast forward to now...we have run four races together (2014 Chicago Rock'n Roll 5K and Half Marathon, 2015 Christmas in July 6-hour Ultra, and 2016 Christmas in July 12-hour Ultra). I'm still on the fence, but we may be reuniting for the 2017 Christmas in July 12-hour Ultra...stay tuned as more details unfold.
|This is Penny...she runs (long) races with me|
After lunch, I made my way back to Union Station and decided to walk the (approximate) two miles back to our hotel on foot. I am an art (and architecture) geek, after all. Why not really see Chicago up close and personal? The only problem? This technology-challenged tourist could not get her Google Map app to work right...so she spent awhile wondering (and wandering) what her actual location was. It was a foggy day, so there was no sunshine to guide her already compromised sense of direction. Eventually, the app kicked in, and she was on her way.
Our hotel was on Columbus, and as I was walking the final stretch I noticed a sign for Millenium Park...isn't that where the famous Bean sculpture resides? Somehow, I managed to catch a glimpse of the shiny steel structure...
|When in Chicago...|
That evening, we had another mixer/party of sorts and were back in our room before 9:00 (party animals, huh!). Truth be told, both of us were tired, and we were starting to feel the effects of the previous evening's excursion in the stairwell (Well, hello there, DOMS!).
Saturday morning, the husband headed to his meetings, and I headed downstairs to meet up with Wendy (from Taking the Long Way Home) and Marcia (from Marcia's Healthy Slice). I had met Wendy before but never Marcia (but her and I have known each other for awhile via social media). The weather started out a bit foggy (and the damp air did a serious number on my hair...just saying), but gradually became sunny.
|With Wendy and Marcia|
And guess what we did? We're runners, of course, so we hit the streets (isn't that what runners do?). We also had a few other antics to keep us busy....like planking (my idea)...
|Doesn't everyone plank with the Bean? (not sure what's going on with my hair)|
...and jumping (Wendy's idea)...
|Yeah, we're normal (pic credit--Marcia)|
...and even some stair-climbing as we navigated our way along the river.
|Notice that we're all smiling?|
|We had fog when we started out, but by the time we made it to Shedd Aquarium, and turned around, we had sunshine!|
All in all, it was a grand morning! It's no wonder, though, that my body was in total agony for the ride back to Iowa that afternoon. Apparently, my quads and calf muscles were entertaining more DOMS that I was acknowledging. After Thursday's stair work, Friday's 60+ minutes of power walking (in the fashion booties, none the less), and Saturday's miles (and additional stairs), I was sort of a hot mess of aches and pains.Every time we stopped for gas or food, it was torture trying to pry myself from a seated position out of the car.
By Sunday morning, the DOMS were more manageable. After a Epsom salt soak, things are feeling better...although now I'm battling a (hopefully mild?) head cold. Alas, my glass is definitely half full on this situation. Would I do it all over again? Absolutely!
In other news:
It was our little Max's seventh birthday on Thursday. Rumor has it that the daughter gave him an entire ice cream cone in our absence.
|Isn't he the cutest ever?|
I had not one, but two (count 'em, two!) #Fridayfashion posts, and both were well received (thanks, everyone)! I posted these on Instagram and Pinterest... By the way, are you following me? I'm HERE on Instagram and HERE on Pinterest.
|My take on "casual" (upper left) and "business casual" (above)|
And, a few more pics from Chicago...
|The view from our room|
|NBC Studios Tower|
|And, in honor of our new President, Trump Hotel|
So, enough about me....tell me how your week was? Any ice to fight (or avoid)? Have you ever been to Chicago? Ever been blind-sided by the DOMS?
As usual, I'm linking this with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap, and also linking with Angela and Ilka for the Sunday Fitness & Food Link-up.