3 things thursday [116]

The Oscars edition!

1.  I feel terrible for Bradley Cooper.  Three nominations in a row, and he keeps running into people playing real people and being awesome at it.  Even though this time he DID play a real person!  D’oh!  I really, really wanted him to win – mostly because I felt like his performance in Silver Linings Playbook would have won in any other year that Daniel Day-Lewis has taken off of acting.

2.  Enough with the political statements!  When you win an award, accept it, thank the people who got you to the podium, tell your mom you love her, and move on.  Be gracious.  Unless your political statement has something to do with the movie you represent (see: John Legend and Common).  Otherwise?  SHUT UP.  This is not your soapbox.

3.  I can’t believe they left off Joan Rivers from the In Memoriam!  However, I am comforted by the fact that she and my mom were probably hanging out, eating cake, and commenting on how creepy John Travolta was and how Jennifer Lopez wore a naked dress again.  I’m sure they had a ball.

what i drank wednesday [17]

2014-08-26 18.31.27-1

You guys already know WHY Saturday required a celebration, but what did we do?

We went to a brewery.

(I know.  You guys are super shocked, haha.)

Renee was visiting, and I thought that an adventure on the Metra would be a lot of fun.  We loaded up a bag with some snacks and 9 cans of 312, and set out to exciting Woodstock, IL.  We met my cousin Jill at BBQ King, which has some of THE BEST food in the area.  They also have a killer draft menu.

After lunch, we took a ride in Jill’s car to pick up my Aunt Diane, and then we headed to Crystal Lake Brewing.  It’s housed in an old warehouse in downtown Crystal Lake, about a block from the Metra stop.  They don’t serve food, but you’re allowed to bring in your own.  We came prepared, with garlic parmesan dip and two different kinds of brownies.

Beer flight! (Photo credit - Renee, via Twitter)

Beer flight!
(Photo credit – Renee, via Twitter)

The beer was decent, not awful but not great either.  The main beers (aka the ones they bottle and will eventually can) are better than the experimental ones).  What really blew us away was the atmosphere.  There are ample tables, some with couches, and a bookcase filled with board games.  We played this one for awhile (because Jakre said, “It has a bell!  That has to be fun, right?”), and easily could have spent the entire day there.  As it was, we were there for over 3 hours!

I’d love to go again sometime next month (when they will have two Irish beers on tap), if anyone is interested.  Weekend passes for unlimited rides on the Metra are only $8… just saying.  I’ll bring some snacks!

ragnar changes

Like everything in life, change is inevitable.  Ragnar Relay underwent several changes (so far) for this year, and I’m here to tell you about them!

As always, this post is sponsored by no one, and all opinions are my own.  This is not intended to do anything other than to share my opinion… aka slow news day around here.  Thanks for reading!

Change #1 – Trash liners for each van.
In the past, we had to BYO trash bags.  It was one more thing on the endless list, and one more thing that I would inevitably forget and have to buy along the way.  While I appreciated being provided the trash bags, this is why the change took place – there are no longer trash cans at minor exchanges.  Major exchanges only.  During Ragnar FLK, we found this to be unacceptable.  The trash was overflowing and smelled terrible.  We could barely dispose of our own refuse, as instructed.  If this is the new norm, then it needs to be maintained!

Change #2 – Recycling.
Same as #1 – bags were provided, and collection only took place at the major exchange.  Smelly trash everywhere.  By the time we got to exchange 30, it was vile.  And we never used the recycle bags, because our van didn’t really care about being responsible.  We were tired and threw things in one bag.

Change #3 – Unmanned aid stations.
On the longer legs, aid stations are provided for your convenience.  In my previous experience with these at FLK, they were manned.  Not any longer.  Unmanned, and pretty empty containers of water.  I hope I was just passing by before the coolers were changed out!

Change #4 – T-shirts are prepackaged and given to van 1 only.
This used to be the norm, then it was changed, now it’s changed back.  It’s nice to not have to worry about these things if you’re van 2… BUT I don’t know how the bags were packed, since we had hardly any of the correct sizes in our labeled bag.  It was weird.

Change #5 – New shirts!
The shirts this year are 50/50 blend instead of the usual tech fabric.  I like the design and I like how soft the shirt is, but I would never wear it to work out, which is a shame.  I have 3 of the same shirts from last year, and they barely make it through the wash before I wear them again.  Also, beware – THE LADIES’ VERSION RUNS SUPER SMALL.  Like, practically doll-sized.  (For existing Ragnar users, you can edit your shirt size on the website by logging in, clicking on Edit My Profile, and scrolling down to the shirt sizes.)

See?  Kinda tiny.  (I have a tank on underneath.)

See? Kinda tiny. (I have a tank on underneath.)

Change #6 – New medals!
I’m sure you’ve seen the mock-up on social media somewhere, so I won’t bore you with that.  The coolest part is what they DIDN’T tell us about the medals.

When you flip them over and connect them, you get this! (Photo credit - Facebook post by Judy)

When you flip them over and connect them, you get this!
(Photo credit – Judy stole the photo from someone on Facebook, aka those are not my team’s feet.)

HOW FREAKING COOL IS THAT?!  (For the record, I have the “Rag” part on the back of my medal.)

This is by far my favorite change.  Those medals are seriously heavy, and seriously cool.  I love them so much.  Once you do more than one race, you get a connector plate to make a giant medal.  It’s like playing with an erector set, but with race medals.  The nerd in me finds this super amusing.

For all of my Ragnar vet friends, what change would you make and why?  (Besides the Chicago finish line, which has already been moved back to Montrose Harbor for 2015!)

run streak day 1000

This past Saturday, my run streak turned 1000 days old.

If you can do math, that’s essentially 2 3/4 years.

I’ve done a lot in these 1000 days – beer runs, relay runs, diva runs, marathons, races of all distances, crappy runs, “crappy” runs, runs where I felt like a Kenyan, treadmill runs, runs with friends, runs with myself, runs with Jakre, runs on the Las Vegas Strip, runs in Cancun, runs where I found waterfalls, runs where I found golf balls, runs with snacks, runs to B-dubs, runs home from B-dubs, runs on trails, runs on the road, runs in the snow, runs on the ice, runs in the heat that threatened to melt me, runs at 11pm, runs at 3am, runs in the mountains, runs on the beach, runs in the desert… you get the picture.

In other words, it’s been quite the ride.

Saturday was no exception.

I had every intention of getting up at 6am and completing 12 miles, then coming home and picking up Renee (who was visiting for the weekend) to get in an extra 3.  But when the clock went off, it was cold and kind of dark, and Jakre was warm and I was comfortable.  So I turned off the alarm and went to back to sleep.  I woke up a few hours later, and Renee and I headed out for the promised 3.  Three easy miles, on a random loop in my neighborhood.  And just like that, I had completed 1000 days of my running streak.  Quite an accomplishment.

Then we partied… but you’ll learn more about that on Wednesday ;)

training feb 16-22 [110]

Training Stuff:

Monday:  4 miles (37:05 min, avg pace 9:16) + 0.55 miles walking (7:55 min, avg pace 14:23) = 4.55 miles
Tuesday:  1.21 miles (10 min, avg pace 8:16) + 0.14 miles walking (2:19 min, avg pace 16:33) = 1.35 miles
Wednesday:  7 miles (1:02:45 min, avg pace 8:57) + 0.37 miles walking (5:15 min, avg pace 14:11) = 7.37 miles
Thursday:  7 miles (1:02:37, avg pace 8:56) + 0.37 miles walking (5:23 min, avg pace 14:32) = 7.37 miles
Friday: 1.49 miles (12:16 min, avg pace 8:15) + 2.51 miles (21:50 min, avg pace 8:42) = 4 miles
Saturday:  3 miles w/ Renee (30:41 min, avg pace 10:14) + 0.21 miles walking (4:04 min, avg pace 19:26) = 3.21 miles
Sunday:  15 miles (2:22:00, avg pace 9:28)

Total Mileage:  42.85
Total Mileage (month):  128.35
Total Mileage (year):  283.53

Total Time:  6:44:10
Total Time (month):  21:05:32
Total Time (year):  47:18:57


  • I did my Friday run while I was working, can you tell?  Haha.  My first run was during my morning break (9:30am), when it was 4 degrees and not real windy.  My second run took place at 12:15pm, and it was 16 degrees, snowing, and really windy.  My legs were all red and stuff when I finished.  Too bad I had to go back to work, because I was a little pooped!
  • Saturday was day 1000 of my run streak!  I didn’t feel like doing my long run early, so I slept in and then ran 3 miles outside with Renee, who was visiting for the weekend.  We just did a little loop through my neighborhood.  It was fun!
  • I did my long run today, on the treadmill at the gym.  Thank God hockey was on, so I had something to watch.  But boo to the Blackhawks for playing like crap and making it all but unwatchable!

what i did in key west

This was my 3rd time in Key West, the 2nd for my Dad, and Jakre’s 1st!  We decided a few months ago to stay in a house instead of a hotel (because hotel prices were INSANE).  We found this gem via the Internet, and really had a great experience.  We would stay there again for sure, or at any one of the other properties offered by the rental agency.  It was terrific.

My dad’s main goal for the trip was to find the bar in the photo.  Let me explain.

My dad’s only other time to Key West, he did a pub crawl with my mom (and others) when their cruise ship docked in Key West.  He has a photo in his bedroom of the two of them in front of the bar.  He and Jakre walked all over the island the day before I got there, but they found it.  It’s called the Schooner Wharf Bar, and it overlooks the water and is peaceful and beautiful.  We ended up going there on Sunday with my dad’s friends, so we all got to experience the place from the photo.  I bought my dad an artist’s print of the bar, so that we can remember that lovely day forever.

Jakre and I at the Schooner Wharf Bar.

Jakre and I at the Schooner Wharf Bar.

Still at the Schooner Wharf.

Still at the Schooner Wharf.

I didn’t really do much – I relaxed and enjoyed one of my favorite places on planet Earth.  We walked a lot, exploring the island.  I had several pieces of key lime pie.  I bought a mug in the shape of the Southernmost Point.  I left my credit card at Irish Kevin’s, and did not discover it until I was in the Atlanta airport.

Hanging out with my friend Erin and her team at Irish Kevin's.

Hanging out with my friend Erin and her team at Irish Kevin’s.

This picture I found on my phone probably explains why I left my credit card at the bar.

This picture I found on my phone probably explains why I left my credit card at the bar.

Places I Went to Eat (the most important thing, right?):

  • Caroline’s Cafe – Great salads, key lime margaritas, bloodys, and key lime pie.  Outdoor restaurant across from Fat Tuesday’s (= great people-watching).  It was so nice, we ate there twice!
  • Sandy’s Cafe – The best steak tacos I have ever eaten in my entire life.  Worth the time it takes for them to make the food.  Cash only.
  • Willie T’s - (Kelsey, this is the place where we had the mojitos at like 2am with Charles and Andrea in 2013!  When we had to send Drunk Brett home!)  Anyway, I had mojitos and the BEST southwest egg rolls ever.  OMG they were amazing.  Then again, that was the first real food I had eaten since Friday at lunch.
  • Blue Heaven – We went there for dinner, which was REALLY expensive.  Delicious, but too overpriced.  Good key lime pie and jerk chicken.

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  • Firefly – Southern cooking at its finest.  Really cool bar made of reclaimed wood.  Homemade biscuits with homemade sausage gravy = basically heaven.
  • Pepe’s – Oldest restaurant in Key West, and home to my favorite key lime pie of the trip.  Really great margaritas too.
  • Jack Flats - I was really drunk when I ate here, but the buffalo chicken wrap (?) I had was really good.  I think.

Watering Holes:

  • World of Beer – Only I would go to World of Beer in Key West and drink beer from Ohio.  We took my dad there and he enjoyed a flight.  His favorite was the IPA, which was random.
  • Krawl Off Duval – Great craft beer bar.  More of a local hangout, but we enjoyed it.
Jakre sat right under the Bell's Oberon tap without realizing it, haha.

Jakre sat right under the Bell’s Oberon tap without realizing it, haha.

Big scary bird.

Big scary bird.

  • Key West First Legal Rum Distillery – We wandered in here and did the tasting.  I came home with two shot glasses and a bottle of cinnamon rum.  Good times.
  • You already know about Schooner Wharf and Irish Kevin’s, so enjoy the few pictures I took during the trip!
Cruise ships in the harbor.

Cruise ships in the harbor.

Jakre and I at the harbor.

Jakre and I at the harbor.

Tarpon are big fish that hang out near the docks.  Alonzo's feeds them once a day on the pier.

Tarpon are big fish that hang out near the docks. Alonzo’s feeds them once a day on the pier.

I love this sign.

I love this sign.