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September Reflections: Where I was/am/am going

I needed this weekend. Well, I need every weekend, and I’ve had some pretty great weekends of late. September has been quite a month for me, and I feel like this weekend really summed that up. Friday started with a music-less run down the lake front, summitted with some serious work stuff, and came to a close rather early but alongside Alex.

Thanks, Katie!

Thanks, Katie!

And involved Chicago q, a Bowman from Chicago q, WAY too many (but also not enough?) chips and pickles and smoked meats (yeah, I said it), sauces, and this mac n cheese (you better believe all was well).

chicago q pumpkin mac flight bbq

Oh, and this hilarious bottle of Dogfish Pumpkin Ale (which was delicious, but not super pumpkin-y. A great fall ale, but if you don’t like pumpkin, I would still recommend it–you get more a sense of spice than anything else). The gorgeous weather made us feel like new people.

We also fell asleep on the couch. At 8 o’clock. And I was so full that I didn’t have ice cream, and I didn’t miss it. I KNOW.

Saturday was delightful in its typical relaxing way: I got caught up on my Bravo shows (thanks OnDemand!), did some grocery shopping, watched HGTV, and then, when Alex got home at 3 (don’t worry, he worked Thursday night 8-4 am in the ER, clinic 1-5 Friday, and then back to the ER 6-3 both days this weekend), I watched some WAHOOVa football with him before going down to the gym to pedal out my legs and do abs (a 7:30 plank? don’t mind if I brag a little!) and then returning to fix dinner, which was a super fun recipe for crusted salmon. And it was a HUGE hit!

Wasabi Ginger Soy Salmon recipe

And then Alex fell asleep early. As in, was fluttering his eyes on the couch at 7:50. He got in bed at 8:15. I managed later.

Sunday was another fantastic day. September has been the month of runs-with-friends (I feel like that should be a name of a chief from a corny and really un-PC film about the Wild West), and I continued the pattern but ditched Mo (I still love you!) and met up with Erica, who won the Heart Opener Giveaway, and thus who I owed some loot! Thank you, Erica, for getting me through my last long run of training and giving me some great advice!

lake front trail fog

Twas Foggy.

The humidity was so, so intense–my glasses were fogged, and it was impossible to see through it, but it moved north pretty quickly. We were both dripping! It wasn’t as oppressive as the run I did when my parents were in town, but I haven’t sweat like that in cooler weather in a long time. Oh, and we saw Deena Kastor on the trail, NBD. Thank goodness Erica was with me, otherwise I wouldn’t have realized!

We finished up at Erica’s place so that she could change before we went to brunch, and so that I could basically drool over her apartment and her stash of goodies.

loot

I like my friends. This was just a selection.

Also, Erica, I am SO SORRY about our elevators. I didn’t have my key fob, so we had to take the main bank, which entailed waiting forever because only 1 lift is operating. Kill me.

I quick-change-artist-ed (love action wipes), gave her some things that SHE hadn’t even tried (I felt so special!), and we went to West Egg, where we promptly grabbed seats at the bar and both got my fave Carl’s Cool Creation no cheese and coffees. And then proceeded to continue motoring our mouths.

I love this meal.

I love this meal.

After we realized that we both had lives to attend to, we parted ways. The rest of the day was low key, but satisfying. I was so happy for my friends that were running races (some for the first time! And congrats to the newly minted Ironmen (including the women)–good for for making it through the nonsense that happened. I still can’t believe it), getting engaged, having birthdays, celebrating Active Nation Day, going to amazing locales for vacation, and that I got to be a part of it all, in some way.

September, thank you for shaking things up. From my first time running a race with someone else, to dealing with Alex’s insane schedule, to running with others on a regular basis for the first time, to cementing some amazing friendships, to my new position and new responsibilities and freedoms, new recipes, new decisions, I feel like I am coming into my own more than ever.

Be great.

Be great.

In 6 days time (ie this coming Sunday), I will be going to toe the line at my second marathon. And I am honored to be running as the person that I am right now. I have my ideas of goals, but really? I just want to run happy. I want to finish with a smile, maybe even a few tears of relief, but most importantly gratitude. I have earned this–both this life, this happiness, this stress, and these 26.2 miles. But the 26.2 miles that I run on Sunday, October 5, 2014 do not define my training cycle or myself. They are a victory lap. I have already run the race. I’m already winning. I have nothing to prove.

But I want the damn medal. I need to add to my statement necklace collection.

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to fuel up for the big day.

How has/Has September changed you? Where were you a month ago, versus now?

How did you spend Active Nation Day? 

Favorite way to fuel the week of a race?

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