Chicago VeganMania

Yesterday morning Hector and I went to Chicago VeganMania at the Broadway Armory in Edgewater. I had been looking forward to this event for months. Any event that is about veganism, I need to go to. When we got there a few minutes before 10 there was a line outside the door. The first 100 people got a goodie bag. Sadly I wasn’t one of them.

When we got inside we walked around the room looking at the different vendors. I saw a lot of things I liked, but when I saw these over at Food Fight Grocery, I became extremely happy!

I was just about to order some of these soy curls online, but when I saw that Food Fight Grocery had them there I had to get two bags. Expect a recipes involving these soon.

We also picked up a bag of this popcorn. I am not a fan of popcorn, but this one had me sold. The kernels are small, but extremely flavorful.

After walking around the vendors, we headed over to the food area. So many choices! I love when I have a choice of what I am to eat! Cash was exchanged for tokens that you paid the food vendor. How cool is that?

We started off the the Italian sandwich from Upton’s Naturals. If you haven’t tried their seitan. I highly recommend that you do. It is available at Whole Foods!  I also love that the product is made locally here in Chicago.

Upton’s also had mustache cookies and Hector couldn’t resist a sugar mustache cookie.

We walked around for a bit and went to a couple of speakers/panel discussion. They were really interesting and I learned some more information on how to be a more healthful vegan. I think I will write a separate post on that this week. {I definitely need to improve my eating. It has not been as healthy as it could be}

We headed back to the food vendors. I wanted to get something from Soul Vegan, but while waiting in line they ran out of  mac ‘n cheese. So I headed over to the Chicago Diner instead and had a gyro. It was really yummy!

Hector grabbed some pad thai from Urban Vegan. His fav.

Overall it was a great day! Next year I need to remember to get there really early so that I will get a goodie bag. Second, if I see something I like to buy/eat get it right away. It probably will be gone when you come back!

Have you ever been to a vegetarian/vegan event?

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Bike Love

Yesterday morning as I headed out to the lakefront path, I could smell the crisp fall leaves that has just fallen off the trees. The small was refreshing and provided me with a sense of calmness. I was riding with the wind, which was an added bonus. Of course this meant I would be riding against it on the way back, but that was fine with me.

Just after Navy Pier, before the Yacht Club, a police officer was stopping everybody and wouldn’t allow us to continue on the path. They were filming a movie. I wonder which film was being shot there? Trying to figure out how to get to school was tricky, but I figured it out. I was able to cut through Millennium Park to Balbo St. I am glad that I left really early!

Riding along the lakefront, I often have to remind myself that it always isn’t a race. Enjoy the journey along the path. Take in the sites, smells, the lake, which are often overlooked  when we try and get to and from a destination fast and want to pass everyone in front of us.

I love my bike and enjoy the moments were I get to spend riding it.

Fall Races

I love fall. It is by far my favorite season for running. I am hoping that my love of fall will help with my marathon training.  Training for the Disney World Marathon is my main focus for the rest of the year, but I really want to run some “fun holiday theme” races.

I already signed up for Chicago’s Perfect 10 on 11/10. I think that I got a good deal for registering early.

Last year I ran the Hot Chocolate 15k, but I won’t be running it this year. It is just too expensive.

Last year I ran the Detroit Turkey Trot 10k and that was a lot of fun. I am not sure if I am going back to Michigan for Thanksgiving yet, but if I go back I will run this race for sure! Plus, this year thy are giving medals for the race to celebrate their 30th Anniversary!

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Me & Hector at last year’s Turkey Trot

I am also looking a fun race with a Christmas theme, but not 100% sure about that! Maybe the Santa Hustle on 12/01. It looks fun!

There are so many races out there!

Do you have a holiday race that you run every year?

Marathon Training Redo

This week begins week 2 of training for the Disney World Marathon. I decided to not run during week 1 because my knee and hip was really bothering me. I felt that resting would be good! I am really going to try and stick to the plan as much as possible. I decided to go with Hal Higdon’s novice 2 marathon training plan. I feel that I would be able to put 100% effort into this plan!

I am still disappointed that I am not running the Chicago Marathon this year. I am trying not to focus on the negatives about not running it. I know that I can run it next year, as long as I am living in the area. Some of my family keeps telling me that I should be running it, but I really don’t think that they understand running a marathon and all the training that goes into it. Considering that amount of training that I have missed, I am just not ready. I don’t think that they will ever understand.

Just a little sad when I received my conformation yesterday.

I need to forget about how bad my training was this summer and look towards the future. I am really looking forward to running in the fall. It is my favorite season! I am ready to put all of my energy into training for Disney! I will finish my first marathon and it will be this January! I can’t wait! 🙂

Urban Vegan Chicago

Hector has been craving “noodles” for over a month now. Everyday I would hear him request noodle dishes for dinner, preferably some type of Asian noodles. I’ll be honest that I am not comfortable cooking Asian cuisine. It is out of my comfort zone. Last night I finally caved and decided to go and get some “noodles.”

We went to Urban Vegan in Lakeview. They just open a second location in Lincoln Park. We had been there once before and really have been meaning to go back. If you haven’t been and love Thai food, you must go! It is SO GOOD! I especially love to support 100% vegan restaurants. Even if you aren’t vegetarian, I know that you will love Urban Vegan!

We started our meal off with complimentary miso soup. I really enjoyed this. Since the weather was cooler, the soup felt really nourishing and comforting.

Hector & I both ordered an appetizer. I went to the steamed curry dumplings. I have never had steamed dumplings before and & I really wanted to try some. The dumplings were filled with veggies and served with a green curry sauce. It was really delicious.

Hector ordered “chicken” nuggets. He really loved them, especially how crunchy the texture was. I didn’t try any, but they did look really good!

Since we both got an appetizer, we decided to spilt an entree. We went with Pad Thai Tofu and it did not disappoint. It was amazing.

Hector ate most of it. I think that it is safe to say that his noodle craving was satisfied.

I highly recommend trying out Urban Vegan. The food was extremely flavorful and delicious. I look forward to sharing more Vegan eats with you at different local restaurants and my kitchen!

Marathon Update

First, I want to thank everything and their advice about what to do about the Chicago Marathon. I decided that I am going to sit this one out. I really wanted to do it this year, but it just isn’t meant to be. There is always next year. I would rather wait until next year than risk getting injured again.

I will focus my training for rest of the year on the Disney Marathon. I am really excited for this race and can’t wait for January. I ran the Disney Half Marathon this year and had an amazing experience. Training for it officially started this week!! I can’t fall behind on this training at all. I am ready to tackle the miles.

My boyfriend Hector and cousin Kristin will still be running the Chicago marathon and I want to be there for them! None of our family will be at the marathon cheering us on and I think that they need a cheerleader! I have never really spectated a race before, so I am looking forward to this! I already have an idea of the different spots I want to cheer them on!! I think that having someone at the end of the race is important and I hope that I can be there for them.

I do have some upcoming races planned for the fall and I am really looking forward to them. This is my favorite season for running! I will do another post soon about the upcoming fall race schedule and maybe my marathon training plan!

Tough Decision…

It is time for me to be honest. My training for the Chicago Marathon has been horrible. When I came back to Chicago from my month long visit  to Michigan in June, everything went downhill as far as running went. My first run back in Chicago, I tripped on the lakefront path and hurt my knees pretty bad. I was unable to even walk without limping for two weeks. Slowly I started to feel like I could run again, but it was painful. Long runs just didn’t happen. There is no way I could run long distance being in that much pain.

The aftermath of my fall. It took over a month just for my skin to heal.

On a long run of only 8 miles probably sometime in July, my hip was hurting and I could no longer run. This was a major set back. When everyone was doing long runs of 13, 16, 18 miles, I couldn’t run longer than 10 miles without being in pain. This was a major set back in my marathon training.

Lately my running has been better. I ran the CRIM 10 Miler without any pains & this past Sunday, the Chicago Half Marathon pain free. But the marathon is in less than 4 weeks! I should be running 20 miles this weekend. I don’t even think that is possible. I have missed crucial training runs. My longest run has just been over 13 miles. I am very undertrained.

The past couple of weeks I have been deciding what to do about the marathon. Should I try and at least start the marathon and risk getting injured. I know that if I start, I will most likely want to finish, but I don’t know how that will be even possible. I wanted to run the Chicago Marathon so bad, but I just don’t think that it is in the cards for me. I need to decide asap. I think that the most logical thing for me to do is not to run.

On the other hand, I am registered for the Walt Disney World Marathon in January. I am so excited for this race!!! Do you think that I should just forget about Chicago and focus my training to Disney. My training plan of 18 weeks would start next week for the Disney Marathon. I would be able to rebuild the base needed for the longer runs, which I don’t have right now.

I need advice. What should I do? Do I attempt Chicago Marathon or just refocus my energy and training for the Disney Marathon?

Any advice would be really appreciated! Thanks! 🙂