NAAAP National Convention
I was in Toronto the weekend before last for the NAAAP Convention, my 11th consecutive year attending the convention. As per usual, it was great to see old and new friends and to enjoy all that the host city has to offer. Toronto reminds me a lot of Chicago - both are large financial cities with unique architecture and stunning lakefronts - so I always feel very at home whenever I visit.
During my free time in Toronto, I made a visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame to see my old friend again:
I also went for a run along Toronto's lakefront. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and I wanted to take full advantage. Here are a few pictures:
I was disappointed that the Toronto 10-Miler had been cancelled that weekend, but it was nice to be able to run just to explore and observe the locals enjoying their weekend. I can't wait to run a race in Toronto or elsewhere in Canada whenever the opportunity next permits!
New Fitness Pursuits
My workplace just started offering free fitness classes for all employees. I've been trying to attend a cross-section of the offerings to get a feel for how I like them. So far I've tried Zumba, a yoga sculpt class (yoga with some light hand-weights), and pilates.
I am proud to say that all three classes left me feeling the burn for days afterwards. Wow. You would think that running would translate into increased ease when it comes to some of these other fitness pursuits, but it was so not the case.
The Zumba class was especially humbling. The classroom has a floor-to-ceiling mirror where you can see your own form (or lack there-of, in my case). There are certain (many) moves that I just can't pull off gracefully, no matter how hard I try. A lot of practice is definitely in order for me when it comes to Zumba.
- After taking a multi-week hiatus from running, it hit me that my next half marathon is in less than three weeks. Better get cracking on my training! I had planned to run 8 this past weekend. After a slow and very painful start to the run, a GU got me back on track. I ended up feeling so good that I did 9 and could have kept going. This was a great confidence booster! The plan for this weekend is to run 11 or 12 this coming weekend, then give myself one stepback week. Nothing like trying to undergo emergency half-marathon training yet again. But I am happy with how things went yesterday so at least my 3-week training plan is off to a good start.
- I signed up for a new 5K called the 5K9 Walk/Run, which takes place on September 22. I've mentioned many times that animal shelters are a cause that I support from the bottom of my heart, so I was thrilled to find another race that goes towards them. There's actually a Groupon available for this race, but since I wanted to donate directly to the cause I opted to register on the race website.
- I just heard about the Pittsburgh Penguins 6.6K Run, which takes place on October 6. I would have loved to run this race for the cause and for the instant PR (I've never seen a 6.6K race anywhere else). They even give out medals to the finishers! But unfortunately the timing does not work out for Adam and I to go to Pittsburgh that particular weekend. Hopefully next year.
- I am really trying to hold myself back from registering right now for the Prairie State Half Marathon. This is all pending how the body holds up as well as some family potentially coming into town that weekend. If I do end up registering, I am eyeing this race as a "current" PR attempt (my all-time half marathon PR, which is from about 10 years ago, is probably out of reach this year). The appeal of an uncrowded race with easy logistics amidst gorgeous fall foliage is getting harder and harder to deny. As much as I love summer, I love fall even more.
- Speaking of fall, Blackhawks tickets for the 2013-14 regular season went on sale this morning at 10:00 AM sharp. After much advance planning, strategizing, and testing of the tangled web that is Ticketmaster (and its exorbitant fees), Adam and I managed to snag tickets to a total of six Hawks games for the season. Score!!!
- Cubs games for the non-baseball fan! My company is having a Cubs game outing this Thursday, plus had some extra tickets available to other games last week and this week. Adam and I took advantage and went to last Friday's game. I hadn't been to Wrigley Field in probably five years, so it was fun to check it out (plus the Cubs won!) Here's the view from our seats:
- Other neat stuff in the works:
- Anne is hosting a fun run/BBQ to raise funds for the Chicago Lung Run! What a great way to celebrate the last few weeks of summer. Should be a great time.
- I will be taking an Introduction to Sailing class! I've always gawked at the folks sailing along the Lake Michigan coastline. It looks like a blast (although I've heard it is a lot of work). I've never been on a real sailboat so this will be quite an experience for me.
- I am considering a trip to Six Flags Great America one of these weekends. Adam has never been there and I haven't been there since high school. Only question is whether or not I can still handle rollercoasters. As I've gotten older, my propensity for motion sickness has increased a lot (I get queasy these days just riding the CTA bus or trains). TBD, TBD...
|That's all, folks!|
On a final random note, I was looking at all of the race medals I've accumulated in the past few years. Two things:
- I've actually got several duplicative medals from doing the same races in multiple years. It would be nice to diversify the medals somewhat. Any suggestions on good (preferably local) races with cool, unique medals?
- I am utilizing a very unorthodox method right now to display my medals. If you can picture it, I am hanging my medals from the stand portion of an upright ironing board stored in my closet. (Not very glamorous.) The lowest-priced medal holder that I've ever seen was $60, which is a bit more than I'd like to pay. For those of us who are DIY project-challenged, anyone have suggestions on affordable alternatives to medal holders?