Loving This Holiday Weekend!

Hello from a beautiful summer day in Chicago – we have been having simply perfect weather these past few days! It makes me want to be outside as much as possible!

Yesterday was my 9-miler group run. I was nervous about it, to tell the truth, because the 5-miler the week before was unexpectedly challenging. And apparently I wasn’t the only one to feel jittery – my pace leader emailed our group on Friday and said that she knew a bunch of us were nervous about Saturday’s run because the 5-miler had been tougher than anticipated. She said that’s really common – to take the lower mileage runs for granted and to be worried about the longer distances – and said that all we should think before a group run is that we’ll finish one way or the other. I think it took me a good two miles before I really started to relax. I stayed behind my pace leader the whole time (whereas last week I let myself drift towards the back of the pack to chat with some of the other runners), and I think that helped. I will say though – I’m still worried about the 11:30 pace. I think when we actually stick to that exact speed I’m fine, but when we start going faster (my pace leader tends to speed us up vice slow us down), it gets challenging for me. I’ve been able to keep up but I just worry that I won’t be able to sustain a higher speed as we increase our mileage. So that’s on my mind. Other than that, though, it was a great run and I felt great afterwards and the weather could not have been more gorgeous!

Afterwards I indulged in my new favorite post-run snack – a cup of plain, fat-free kefir yogurt. Admittedly it’s not for everyone – the plain flavor is tangy, to say the least – but I LOVE it. Low in carbs, low in sugar, almost no lactose, and high in protein – plus the probiotics are tummy-friendly – it’s perfect for after a run or a good workout in general. Then I went downtown and had lunch with a coworker from my very first job – it was so great catching up with her! After that I took my customary post-run nap, then walked to the grocery store. I was pretty laden down with bags for the return walk, but it was just too nice to drive, plus the walk felt good on my legs. I made my dinners for the week (this bizarre sweet potato/almond flour-crusted pizza…I cannot exactly endorse it!), then accompanied my friend as she walked her dog, came home to grab my wallet, and then she and I took another walk to get a drink and see some fireworks along the way. All in all a really great day, lots of time outside, and lots of walking after my long run, to help flush out my legs.

This morning I did something I’ve wanted to do for years – I took a paddleboarding lesson! SO fun! I was easily the 2nd worst one there (I fell off the board 3 times but a guy fell off 4 times!), but it didn’t matter – I had a great time. Falling off was actually fun – the water was chilly but felt really refreshing, and afterwards some of the other people said they’d wished they’d fallen off because they got really hot with all the paddling! The water was calm and my instructor was great – I would definitely do that again.

And now I have the rest of the afternoon ahead of me -my plan is to watch the women’s world cup championship and go walk to get ice cream – I want to be outside again, I want ice cream, and I figure the walk will help offset some of the calories, right?!

Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!

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