{Currently} March 25, 2015

Reading: If there’s one book that I’ve read lately that’s made me want to get in bed at 8 PM just to spend a few hours reading, it’s this one.

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I’ve had this book on my shelf for a lonnng time and I’m not sure why I didn’t pick it up sooner (probably because there’s always a massive stack of books just waiting to be read around here). I found the receipt from the book store at O’Hare tucked in its pages; turns out I bought the book in October 2013! It’s a fast-moving adventure about a 24-Hour Bookstore, it’s owner (Mr. Penumbra) and a sort of secret society that the new store clerk is trying to learn about. If you’re in a reading slump, I really recommend this book.

Practicing: Nerd alert! A few years ago, I became obsessed with sudoku puzzles. I happened to pick up a Red Eye a few weeks ago and flipped to the last page to complete the puzzle. And then I bought a desk calendar with a daily sudoku to complete. Clearly, I have some catching up to do since it started Jan 1. They say that the most productive people have a solid morning routine and lately mine has been suffering (beyond my consistent coffee addiction, of course). I’ve been doing my puzzle in the morning, along with 750Words (when I remember) and I feel like my brain is ready to start the work day — as opposed to jumping head first into work right after waking up.

Running in: a new to me shoe! I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Nike Pegasus in the past. I’d been looking for a new shoe since I started base-building in January and I jumped on a pair of Pegs for $69 on Nike’s clearance section in February. (Who could resist that price?) So far, I’ve put 90+ miles on them and I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised. I’ve been running most of my long runs in them and some recovery runs. They’re heavier and more cushioned than my longtime favorite, the Saucony Kinvara. I’m not a fun of ‘pillowy’ recovery shoes (the Saucony Triumph really didn’t work for me); I like to feel the road/pavement. The Pegs have a good amount of cushion but I can still feel the road. I even wore them for a tempo interval session and felt like they could be a decent racing shoe if you’re into something a bit heavier.

Eating: with new friends at Underground Social Society. The Man and I are trying out new things this year. It’s probably because we had some crazy cabin fever this winter (and one can only watch so much HGTV before going insane), but we’ve been looking for unique things to do and places to see. He heard about Underground Social Society from a bartender/friend. The concept is smallish, intimate, 6-7 course dinners that are only put on monthly (for now). You subscribe to updates for their next event on their website. The next email will be for the event, along with details on the theme and instructions on how to researve a seat ($50 per person). The theme for this dinner was Asian and was titled “Chopsticks Only”. You receive an email the day before the dinner with details on the location. And then you just show up! We went this past Sunday and had a blast — and we might have had too much fun for a Sunday night, because Monday morning was most certainly difficult. The group that founded it all met at Little Goat – think badass people that just their ‘customers’ to experience a new way of dining and interact with different types of people. The menu was insanely delicious and the cocktail pairing was spot on – and I don’t even like gin. πŸ™‚ I’m introverted when it comes to groups where I don’t know anyone but everyone was so open and inviting. By the end of the night we actually felt like we had been close friends with the people we sat next to for more than one-two hours.

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Excited and nervous about: racing! The Shamrock Shuffle 8k is this weekend! I keep forgetting it’s race week, to be honest. At this point, I usually have some idea of what I’m wearing and what kind of pace strategy I’ll use. Haven’t thought about either of those. I just finished a stamina block of training and this week is the first week of speeeeeed, so it’s probably best that I go into it with zero expectations. Annnd then! Cherry Blossom isn’t that far away either. I’m getting my legs back and I’ve had several encouraging workouts the past few weeks – ones that make me feel like I’m back to where I was this time last year. Last week’s 60 min progression run and 15-miler felt smoooooth & fluid. It’s also encouraging to have spring temps come around every now and then. Chicago is on a weather roller coaster between winter and spring lately but I can deal with 40s for long runs each weekend. (Crossing my fingers that the forecast for Sunday changes soon though — supposed to be 30 degrees, with real feel of 17, including 20 mph winds from the south. DERP!)

Whatcha been up to lately?!

– J