Friday, July 29, 2011

Running Around Chicago

If I had to list my hobbies, of course running would be at the top, but a very close second would be eating. In fact, there are sometimes, that miles are put in with the very idea that a scrumptious and delicious meal is planned for later in the day.

Chicago, has no shortage of places to eat or to run. On a recent weekend there, I was able to run along Chicago Lakefront Path with a throng of fellow runners, cyclists, and triathletes. What a great atmosphere to see so many people in the city out there and moving forward. Detroit...take a hint.

With miles recorded and a caloric deficit to be fed, I was able to eat at several places I might suggest you check out on your next trip to the Windy City.

Corner Bakery - good breakfast place to meet the gang after a night out on the town.

Cafe Re Re Ba - this is a great place to go with a group of people since this restaurant serves tapas (small plates). they also make a mean sangria (the wife can attest to this). my favorites here include: spicy potatoes with tomato alioli (#30) and beef tenderloin & blue cheese (#50)

Fronterra Grill - a Rick Bayless restaurant that does not take reservations. be prepared to hunker down and have a few drinks where the beer is cold, and the mojitos are mighty. everything that we had was delicious and the menu rotates based on the seasonal availability of ingredients.

Downtown Dawg - cheap and easy. the name explains it all, but don't go asking for a coney if you are from the "D". get the real deal...get a chicago dawg!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Long Run (Book Review)

During my summer break from school, I love to try and catch up on books that I have been wanting to read and have been piling up next to my nightstand. On my recent trip to crew/pace at the Western States 100, I had the opportunity to read The Long Run by Matt Long and Charles Butler. You may remember hearing in 2005, about a firefighter who had been hit by a bus riding his bike to work in New York City. That was Matt Long. What you may not know was that Matt was not only an Ironman finisher but had also recently qualified for the Boston Marathon right before the accident. No doubt his physical conditioning prior to the accident was one of the contributing factors as to why he was able to endure the injuries and subsequent rehabilitation. It is likely that a non athlete would not have survived the trauma.

The book holds nothing back in terms of explaining the long and painful process that Matt endured on his way back. As much as the physical journey was described in great detail, the mental journey, I believe was key in really getting a handle on who Matt was and how he used his prior athletic pursuits to drive himself forward. The Long Run is a reminder that there is an athlete inside all of us and to never stop moving forward.