So other than working, what have I been up to these past few weeks? I will go ahead and tackle that by linking up to Irina via a MASSIVE Frames From The Weekend post.
(Since these pictures really cover the past two weeks or so, I am going to call this my "Frames From The Last Few Weekends" post.)
In no particular order...
Brunch with great friends!!!
|L to R: Luiz, Xaarlin, me, and Adam|
By the way - notice Luiz's perfectly placed virtual Santa Hat (it was actually a decal on the window behind us). Hilarious!
Road-tripping to Columbus, Ohio to visit more great friends!
|Top from L to R: me, Adam, and Bradley|
The focal point of the trip was to catch a Penguins-Blue Jackets Game at Nationwide Arena. As you can see, I was flexing my dual-hockey citizenship between the Blackhawks and Penguins. Adam and Brad are high school friends from Pittsburgh and therefore they are both Penguins fans through and through. However, Lynette is a Columbus native and was proudly sporting her Blue Jackets jersey. It made for some interesting banter. =D
Here is the view from our seats:
And I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Brad, Adam, and I went ice skating before the game (we called it our pre-game morning skate):
|L: Adam and me|
R: Adam and Brad (as you can tell, morning skate was getting more hostile at that point ;-) )
Brad and Lynette were great hosts and it was a lot of fun to check out a new hockey arena. (Side note: One of my hockey-fan goals is to attend a game at all of the 30 NHL arenas. So far I've been to Chicago, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, St. Louis, Tampa, and now Columbus. I've also visited the Bell Centre in Montreal, though I haven't been to a game there.)
Speaking of dual hockey citizenship flexing, it should come as no surprise that there was recently some...
Live Blackhawks action!
|The view from our seats of the warm-up skate during the Blackhawks vs Avalanche game|
The game surprisingly ended up being a blowout. The Hawks took a massive lead early on and never relinquished it. It's always great to see a Hawks victory, of course. But there was such a disparity in play that even Adam was surprised:
(I tweeted this picture to the United Center using a Blackhawks hashtag, hoping that it would get traction like the Tommy Hawk picture did. Unfortunately, no go this time (much to Adam's relief.))
In addition to the usual plethora of my hockey fandom, there was:
New Year's Eve celebration with more great friends!
|Top from L to R: me, Adam, Jenn, and Kassia|
Bottom from L to R: Vanitha, Laura, and Kerry
We had decided in advance that for extra festiveness, we would all wear something red. It was fun to see how everyone chose to do so (notice that Kassia is wearing a red wig!)
Shifting gears a bit. What's been going on with me from a running perspective?
I never mentioned that I completed my Runner's World Run Streak challenge, running at least one mile every day between November 16 and January 1:
|My training log|
While I was very happy to have completed the challenge and found it easier than originally anticipated, I may or may not attempt something like this again. My daily mile ended up becoming burdensome and even boring at times, especially towards the end. Plus, my cross-training routine took a bit of a hit while I was focusing on the streak. That was not good. Thankfully, I finished with no injury problems. And I was very happy to take a few days off from running starting on January 2. =)
Getting back on track with racing, earlier this week in a span of 30 minutes, I signed up for some new-to-me races:
|At Illinois Marathon weekend, I'm doing what's called the Illinois "Half I-Challenge" - which is a 5K on Friday night, and then a half marathon on Saturday morning.|
|This is a highly-rated 5K which is organized by Erin's running club.|
If all goes well, the Illinois Half Marathon and The Race That's Good For Life 5K are both going to be PR-attempts for me (the Illinois 5K will probably be treated as a shakeout run). More about that another time.
I had mentioned here that I had finally received the opportunity to try the Salted Caramel GU. The verdict? LOVE! Some Amazon gift-card proceeds were immediately invested in some inventory. Forget running, the flavor is so good that I might even consider eating them daily as a mid-afternoon snack.
And finally. I recently went for a run in the ugly gray slush where my feet go so soaking wet that they squished with each step. I hated that disgustingly uncomfortable feeling. For that very reason, I self-justified the addition of a new type of running shoe to my arsenal.
What new type, you ask? A pair of Gore-Tex (aka water-proof) running shoes! Say hello to the Brooks Ghost GTX!
These bad boys are being shipped to me as we speak. I am super excited to give them a whirl. I am very hopeful that these shoes will be the end of having to run with soaking wet feet!
Allright - back to the grind, but I'll try to stay more consistent with my posts. Even though I haven't been doing much commenting on your blogs, I am still reading them all. I am loving hearing about all of your new goals, training focuses, races (especially from the Disney Marathon!), and comings-and-goings!