Working & Playing in Chicago!

I am spending Memorial Day Weekend in Chicago and so far it has been a blast. I arrived here early Friday, jumped into the Hyatt McCormick’s pool (which isn’t the almost 25m they said it would be, but nevertheless a very nice pool for some lap swimming) and then headed out for a 5.5 mile run to the Fleet Feet in Old Town to pick up my packet for the Soldier Field 10-Miler.

IMG_6337If you haven’t been in Chicago or haven’t been a walker, runner or cyclist in Chicago, it’s awesome! Chicago has this great Lakefront Trail that runs 18 miles along the coast of Lake Michigan (Another shout-out to the Hyatt which had a handy little runner’s trail guide). On Friday I ran North on it 5.5 miles and on today I ran South 5 miles and it’s great in both directions. The weather was perfect, which as the announcer at today’s race said is the reward for the rough weather Chicago had this winter.

My only regret so far is not bringing my wetsuit and taking a dip in Lake Michigan!
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IMG_6333I also haven’t had time to explore Chicago restaurants yet, although I hopped into the Twisted Baker in Old Town post-run yesterday and picked up a yummy chipotle cheddar biscuit with eggs, Canadian bacon and cheese. My restaurant exploration will definitely continue as my 2 conference buddies arrive today and we plan on exploring some of Chicago’s delicious restaurants.

I am also excited about some of the things I’ll be learning at the conference. Yesterday I attended a workshop on using behavior analysis to help clients meet health, fitness and performance goals and I have some great seminars and presentations lined up for the rest of the weekend. If you have any health, fitness or sports goals and want some help making it happen, contact me!

IMG_6353I also had a blast this morning at the Soldier Field 10-Miler. Since Raleigh 70.3 is next week, this was a C goal race and I reminded myself when I went out at a 8:20 pace (which is waaay to fast for me) that it was just a training run that just happens to include a few thousand other people.

The course heads South for 5 miles on road next to the the Lakefront Trail and then back on the Lakefront Trail with a finish on the 50 yard line of Soldier Field. I don’t know if I’d travel to Chicago to run it, but if you live in or near Chicago or are in Chicago for Memorial Day, I highly recommend it!
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I focused on my heart rate (keeping it right at upper zone 2, lower zone 3), running form and practiced my race day hydration and nutrition. I also tested my caffeine as a performance boost theory, drinking 1 cup of coffee about an hour before the race and making 2 of 3 the 3 GUs I took GU Roctane’s (35mg of caffeine). I don’t know if it was the caffeine, my training or my lack of race anxiety, but I blasted my previous 10-mile PR by almost 2 minutes, finishing in about 1:36:27. Not bad for a C race! And more importantly I felt great the entire time!

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My exercising hasn’t ended yet, as I am picking up a road bike from Lakeshore Bike this afternoon, so I can participate in Bike the Drive tomorrow. Bike the Drive is an event where they close off Lake Shore Drive to cars for almost 5 hours so that cyclists can bike the 30-mile loop. Perfect for me, who has a 5 hour ride on the training plan, although there’s a conference event I want to attend at 10am tomorrow, so I’ll probably only ride for 3-4 hours.

I’m only halfway through my Chicago weekend and so far it has been absolutely fabulous! Visited Chicago or living in Chicago? What are some must-see and/or must-eats? 

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