What do I consider a good time for Halloween???
A) A Big Bowl of Candy?
B) Carving Pumpkins?
or C) Running a Half Marathon
If you guessed C, you would be correct. Carbo-loading, restricting my intake of candy and alcohol, and running 13.1 miles seemed like more fun than bobbing for apples, drinking loads of pumpkin beer, and dressing like a bar maid…if you think I’m weird, you’re probably right 🙂
So on Saturday, Chris and I headed into the city (my first time to Chicago!). We stayed at the Blackstone Renaissance, which was absolutely wonderful. I highly recommend staying there if you’re headed to Chicago.
When we got there, we definitely needed to stretch our legs. So we took a long walk along Lake Michigan. I loved the views. Sadly, even though I’m from Pittsburgh, I had never seen a Great Lake (except from a plane).
Sears Tower aka Willis Tower…
Down by the water. I soon realized why it was called the “Windy City”. My hair looked pretty bad the whole time.
We headed to Navy Pier. But before we got there, we saw a giant noodle….yes a NOODLE!
There was a warning…
“Please don’t climb on the Big Noodle.”
The Pier was chock full of some pretty fun things, if you’re 5 or have the heart of a 5 year old…as I do. I loved the fun house mirrors that made me look taller. Maybe I’ll install one in my bedroom 🙂
Loved the view while we rested our feet.
Later on, before we SHOPPED, we headed to Millenium Park, home of a giant mirror like bean. Interesting, and everyone was touching it.
“Hello good lookin” ;) Yep we did split a Venti Iced Soy Caramel Macchiato…gotta keep the energy up!
The view from underneath the bean
Soooo cool. I love how these pictures turned out.
We had to walk about 12 blocks to get to Niketown, but I saw some of the most beautiful buildings…my favorite: The Chicago Tribune Building.
Then I found a spot that I’ve been wanting to come to since I was 8!
The American Girl Place 🙂
Then we did some shopping: we tried on Vibram 5 Fingers (I’m still not sure), found a Lucy Store (great workout gear, annoying salesperson), and tried the new Columbia Omni-heat jackets and gear….I was warm and snug as a bug in a rug!
Before our feast of Italian food and bread at Rosebud, we saw a Giant Spider hanging out on the side of building. Only on Halloween.
We were so exhausted, I think we inhaled our food, watch the PSU vs. Michigan game (which PSU won!), and fell fast asleep. We dreamt of running shoes, perfect weather, and lots of water and porta potties along the race course hehe
All dressed and ready to go…sleepy faces included.
Many people wore costumes, I just wore bats in my hair. Disclaimer: wearing bats in your hair will not make you any faster.
I was excited!!
Good morning Chicago! Let’s Race 🙂
Although this picture doesn’t show it, there was a huge backup at the porta potties, so pre race relief was not in sight!
Starting to get ready and antsy in the pantsy.
We started the race around 8 am and ran along the beautiful lakeshore trail. I loved the race course. My run was definitely one of my worst and I had the worst knee pain. I’m rehabbing it now with lots of ice and Aleve. But, if you’re looking for a fun Half Marathon, try the Chicago Monster! Great hotel accommodations, great communication by the race staff (even with the overnight race course change) and wonderful volunteers.
A stiff but happy finisher 🙂
Both of us were pretty sore and tired, but before we left Chicago for the day, we had to go to the Sears Tower!
It’s known as the Willis Tower now because Willis Group Holdings, Ltd. leased more than 140,000 square feet of space on three floors in 2009. So it was renamed “Willis Tower” in July of 2009.
We took a tour of the history of Chicago and the Sears Tower, along with a short video depicting the construction and history of the Sears Tower. Then we climbed the 110 Stories on an elevator that went 26 feet per second. My ears popped a few times on the way up!
It was so beautiful. Good thing I didn’t have a heart attack in the elevator (a weird thing I’m afraid of).
There are 4 different sky decks which are made of all glass that allows you to feel like you’re floating above the city. SO COOL!
We actually saw 2 couples get engaged at the top!
Afterward we got coffee at Dunkin, I LOVE DUNKIN, and I had a Fall Munchkin :) A munchkin for a munchkin. Chris had the full Fall Donut, I ate the donut hole, a match made in donut heaven 🙂
Considering we did run 13.1 miles that morning, we were still hungry, at least I was. So we stopped at a hotel restaurant called Cafe 676.
No one else was in the restaurant while we were, so we had the best seats.
Even a view of Niketown!
But the best view came after we ordered:
French toast with orange cream and granola. Perfection!
I loved Chicago 🙂 and I can’t wait to go back!
Hope everyone else had a wonderful Halloween weekend and had their fill of candy and treats