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Thursday, July 20, 2017

throwback thursday: chester

A long, long time ago.. Linkin Park was one of my favorite bands. To the point where I was in their Fan Club (LP Underground!) for a couple years, met the band before one of their shows, and where I was front row at multiple shows eagerly documenting as much as I could on photo and video. 


And of course I was always so eager to see their new music videos, hear their latest music, and felt like I got to know the band through videos and mini-series they would post online. Heck, I have been following each member on social media since then even though I've moved on to different music. 

I was pretty sad to see that today, Chester Bennington, the lead singer, committed suicide. When Chris Cornell passed away under the same circumstances recently, Chester's Twitter was the first one I went to, because I still do follow the band members and what they are up to, and knew he and Chris were still close. As you may or may not know, Chester posted an extremely emotional letter regarding Chris..and it made me wonder how he was going to cope. 

Then on today, Chris Cornell's birthday, Chester took his life. I couldn't really listen to any music in the car on the way home and turned on a running podcast. Then on my run I listened to all Linkin Park on Spotify and reminisced on how many awesome experiences the band provided to me and millions of others over the years.

My first concert was Linkin Park and Story of the Year with my Mom in 2004. We were almost behind the stage but it was awesome. I couldn't wait to see them again.

In August 2004, they came back to Cleveland, and I was able to meet them. I was so nervous! I didn't say much to them and they signed a booklet that I brought. I took pictures with my disposable camera because hey, that was the technology...(Yes, I still have the pictures but their location is a mystery)

In 2007, they came back into town for their Projekt Revolution Tour and it was incredible. I have seen many bands since my Linkin Park days but no one has quite opened a show like Linkin Park did at Blossom that summer. Luckily I was obsessed to the point then that I took many pictures and video, and managed to get the intro on video: 

Other songs:

In February 2008, Jenny and I went down to Columbus to see Linkin Park and it was incredible! Bleed It Out is still one of my favorite songs.

Let's be honest, my favorite moment, which is documented on this video, (which is incredibly embarrassing because I still can't tell after all this time if I'm one of the people screaming), is when Chester came down to us during Crawling and literally came straight to us and grabbed my hand while he was singing/screaming (fangirl swoon still). 

Then later on in 2008, my best friend Megan and I were front row for Linkin Park and Chris Cornell at their Projekt Revolution tour that summer and it was incredible yet again. Seriously, I haven't found a band that has matched intros like this..maybe Muse has come close. Hands Held High is still such a great song, loved this mash-up with Chris.

Once again, this band was you know, my teenage favorite and reflecting today has made me realize what an awesome band they were from performing, to their personalities and how they conducted themselves with fans. 

Thank you for the great music, Chester - RIP

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

berlin marathon training: week 6, all about that windy city

Welcome back to my Food Journal. 

..I mean Marathon Training Blog.


Lower Body
6.5 mi / 8:41 pace

Speedwork day, woo woo! Running after work means I have to be very careful how I eat throughout the day. 

Sometimes I kombucha then. I do not recommend this flavor. Stick with what you know (Lavender, looking at you)

I am fairly sure I rocked this workout because of my new rain vest. 

My intention really was to run this on the treadmill but the three treadmills at the work gym were taken...so out to the post-storm summer weather and it worked out in my favor!



I brought Jenny to my favorite Cycling class and she loved it of course. And kicked butt! Like 6th place out of 20 in her first class ever? I was 14th or lower because speedwork and lower body work the day prior was probably a good idea.


7 mi / 9:14 pace

Well, well, well. This was supposed to be a tempo run but you know, the whole spinning the day after speedwork and lower body work was even a greater idea. I can't remember the last time I had this bad of a run..

I ate my feelings with Sunbasket - Seared albacore tuna steaks with soft boiled egg, and veggies..


Spinning and Core

Not to overdo myself, I went to another Spinning class at a different studio the next day (free thanks to work) though this one was less intense I swear. We ended class with 15 minutes of much needed core.

Now I wasn't a big fan of this Sunbasket meal. Red rice with wilted dandelion chickpea soup.. Very healthy though and it sure tasted like it.


6 mi Bike

I drove to Chicago Friday afternoon, and got there a bit earlier than anticipated. The race expo was in kind of a terrible spot public transportation-wise so I decided to check "rent a bike in a big city" off my bucket list.

$10 for 24 hours..but this kind of flared up my ankle again... so only rode to and from dinner from the expo..but it was epic.

I have heard so much about Eataly so I decided to check it out. Basically a two story Italian grocery store with multiple restaurants, cafes, gelato, wine samples, desserts... This meal brought me back to southern Italy.

Bike ride selfie. Ok? Ok.

The sunset was gorgeous. Pitchfork Festival was going on so that was some good bike riding music.

I accidentally splurged on my hotel and was treated to lovely views from my room.



In order to fulfill my weekly yoga requirement...

I found a free class in Millennium Park! It was really awesome. The instructor was goofy (I'm sure that frustrated the true yogis) and it was very upbeat fun class! There were probably 300 of us.

Afterwards I grabbed a quick bite at The Goddess and the Baker in the Loop.

Keeping it healthy with an Iron Man Omelette and Iced Coffee.

Then not healthy with lunch at the Athenian Room in the Lincoln Park area. I got a spinach pie as an appetizer and it was lovely.

I usually avoid cheese the day before a race but I could not say no to a behind the scenes tour of Eataly's Mozzarella Lab.

It's a lovely Burrata. He showed us how he made mozzarella, burrata (samples were enjoyed), and then we sampled his own rosemary champagne mushrooms, cheese dip and olives. So. Good.

I swear I went back to the hotel after this (well, after shopping). Then I came back to Eataly to eat at one of the other restaurants. This was a good dish but I wasn't as impressed..the noodles were a little too al dente for my liking. It was pretty heavy too but hey, 13.1 was calling..

It was quite the perfect summer day in Chicago.


13.1 (ishh?) mi run / 8:22 (ishh) pace

Race recap is in the previous post... 

After the race, I met up with my college friend in the very hip Logan Square area. We brunched at Lula Cafe (trout scramble with dill above), checked out the Farmer's Market, and grabbed coffee. It was a lovely way to finish off my time in Chicago! From there, I grabbed snacks at Target to munch on the drive home.  The soreness was real but totally worth it:)

Monday, July 17, 2017

rock and roll chicago half

Time for a race recap - this time, in Chi-Town for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon!

I woke up Sunday morning to a lovely temperature of 76 degrees, luckily the temperature dropped a little bit prior to the race. The race time was at 6:30a and at first, I wasn't too pleased about that, but considered the sunrise was at 5:20a or something..it was necessary.

The amount of portapotties was sufficient for sure. I know that was your first question. Overall there were about 16,000 who raced over the course of the weekend (there's a 5k on Saturday, and a 10k as well on Sunday). 

For the record (excuse me while I rationalize my personally average time), I walked 20k steps on Saturday and my right ankle was swollen, though no pain, just visibly..round. 

Thus.. My goal for this race was an overall 8:38 pace which is around a 1:52 finish. If my ankle was 100% and the weather was a bit cooler...I would have pushed it but trying to train smart..

Very quickly, we the Garmin users of the world discovered that our devices did not really function in the tunnels..so pacing became kind of fun, and I had to really utilize my limited math skills at every mile which probably helped make the time go by faster.. Also, the bands at every mile (I think there were more than 13!) helped a ton too - definitely a mood booster!

I was calculating that I was around an 8:30 pace around the 10k mark and as I promised myself, if I felt good at that 10k mark, I would push it a little bit faster, and so I did.

During Mile 9, I had this lovely runner's high where I finally felt that ahhh you are rocking this race and you will finish strong attitude. Hard to describe...but I had that feeling in every race at sea level in the Southwest. So that is a good sign..

Yes, I still pronate like crazy.

The last 5k was along the lake (after a longish tunnel that was pretty hard to see in...) and there was some rocking music that really got me going at least. Also the 10kers joined back up with us, so that's always fun...

Overall I finished in 1:49:31. Yes, the last 3 out of 5 half marathons I have run, I have finished in that 1:49 wheelhouse. The first one I was hurt and did not stop and was just pushing it dumbly (Towpath), the second was Cleveland in May (where I felt like crap mentally and physically), and the third was this one (where I felt strong physically and mentally and had negative splits).  I call that...progress!

Afterwards, I grabbed the usual banana, water and gatorade (couldn't eat all of the peanut butter crackers though..weird), and headed back to the hotel. I didn't actually look at the medal until I got back to the room, thought it was a silly medal considering that's my family nickname :)

Overall, this was my second Rock and Roll Half Marathon (Phoenix was my first) and I really do recommend running one of these races. The bands at every mile are awesome, the shirts are great, the courses are true to the advertised length, and they are very well organized. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

berlin marathon training, week 5: until the ankle turns

First injury is a face palmer...beware lots of pictures of my feet..



So as you saw in my last post, I hiked up Mt. Humphrey's- the tallest mountain in Arizona during my last day in Flag.

My hands were pretty swollen at the top and the entire way down... but unfortunately with 2 miles left in the hike, I completely lost my footing and twisted my ankle. Just sat there for a minute or two on the side of the trail just in pain. Then slowly got up and walked down more gingerly...and my ankle gave out again not even 5 minutes later. I got up a little quicker and took my time the rest of the way down.

This was later on that day..you can see that right ankle looks a bit more round...

It didn't hurt badly until I went into my old work and sat down for 20 minutes talking to one of my old colleagues..then I got up from my chair and hobbled the rest of the day. I very seriously considered pushing my flight for the next morning until the 5th but decided to stick with it.



That right ankle and foot started to look more round...unfortunately it was my driving foot I hurt and had to drive first thing down to Phoenix for my flight and then hobble around two airports, and to fireworks that night on the ankle. The good thing was that there really wasn't any bruising, I could walk, and it wasn't *that* painful.

S'mores ice cream is the best kind of ibuprofen.

Firework antics.

Happy July 4th!


Upper Body

I went into work for a half day but my foot was pretty darn swollen still so I ordered groceries for curb-side pick-up and headed home to work from home the rest of the day so I could elevate and ice my disgusting foot in the privacy of home..and not freak out any coworkers.

Ollie loves when I work from home.

5 months was a little long to wait for a haircut. But this place was so cute! I will be going back for color in August :)

Then CHELSTAR was in town!!! So we grabbed brews (yeah, I know I was late..) and some small dishes to munch on while enjoying our Cuyahoga River sunset.

Then Chels came to visit and could not resist Ollie's cuteness. Like..literally no self control to the point where her one eye was stuck shut when she got home... I swear we folks with cat allergies love cats the most... 


Ankle Strengthening

I worked from home again to focus on resting my ankle... Ollie loved it obviously. For the record, working from home drives me crazy - I need human contact and talking on the phone is not the same. It is a nice perk, yes...

I got Sunbasket for the first time and made Shrimp Pad Thai and it was soooo good! So easy to make and it didn't take long at all.


Upper/Lower Body

We got Panera catered in for lunch and ok, the Watermelon Feta Salad is good...but it doesn't keep you full. Also I think the lack of working out caused all of my calorie deficiency from Arizona to catch up with me and I was RAVENOUS this day through the rest of the weekend...

Then went off to see Wonder Woman with Jenny while the rest of the gang saw Despicable Me 3! Wonder Woman was very good!! 


3.92 mi / 9:44 pace

My ankle and foot were hardly swollen at this point (gauged this by the fact that I could see the bones in my feet again...skinny feet problems) and decided to venture out for the local yoga studio's group run and yoga after - it was a great idea. Running with a group kept me from pushing it and of course, got to meet some cool people. Though I totally felt the blood sugar drop during the yoga class..word to the wise if you do something like this..eat in between!!

Next Sunbasket meal: Tofu Lettuce Wraps. So. Good.


12 mi  / 9:17 pace
Upper Body

Ok, judge me but I needed to get something long in. And I started late and it was hot but I was happy to get 12 in. Technically I was supposed to get 18 but I knew I shouldn't push it just easing back into things from the ankle sprain. 

Next up: Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Chicago next weekend! It looks relatively flat and I have a good feeling about this... Race recap will be posted!