Friday, February 24, 2012

Workout and Brunch

Workout and brunch sounds like a great start to the day, right?  The past two days I have done exactly that!  I have had the days off from work and got in two awesome workouts and enjoyed two tasty meals.  

Thursday I decided to get in my longest run before the Georgia Half Marathon in since there was upcoming snow in the forecast.  Thursday I woke up around 8:45am and slowly got all my gear together.  I ate half a Gatorade Chocolate Chip Prime Bar (which was just OK), a handful of granola, and a glass of water.  The past few weeks I have been going back and forth on the distance of my longest run before the half.  For my first half it was 10 miles and for the second it was 12 miles.  Adding the extra two miles worked for me.  I liked having a longer distance, but not the race distance yet, under my belt.  It made me feel more confident and prepared for the race.  For this half I have a shortened training plan and don't want to burn myself out.  I know I can run the half distance, but I felt better getting in a little longer workout, so I split the difference and did 11 miles for yesterday's run.  

After a warm-up walk down through the neighborhood I set off in the direction of the lake.  I made sure to keep an easy pace and just enjoyed listening to my current audiobook, 11-22-63.  About three miles in I reached the Lakeshore Trail.  
Since it was Thursday it was pretty quiet with only a few runners and bikers on the trail.  It was a cloudy day but I enjoyed the cool air and stillness of the lake.  To fuel for this run I went with a Honey Stinger Waffle and some prunes.  About 45 minutes into the run I ate a third of the waffle and switched between that and the prunes every 30 minutes or so, making sure to drink some water as well.  Around mile 5.5 and 8.5 my legs felt sore so I took mini backwards walking breaks for about 30 seconds then to rest my legs and work some different muscles.  Since the Georgia Half is a hilly race, I also made sure to run up two mini overpasses and a big overpass over the highway twice.  Overall it was good run!  
I always get a little unsure of myself when going longer than eight miles on a run.  I know I can do it, but sometimes the distance intimidates me, but once I get out there it ends up being fine. 
I planned my run accordingly so I could end up downtown to try somewhere new for brunch.  Katie recently went to Tempo Cafe and after looking at the menu and seeing her pictures I knew I wanted to try it.  Its a small family run place with a bright dining area.  
I ended up ordering the Gold Coast Omelet which included onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach, with one yolk and egg whites cooked with Pam instead of butter.  What makes Tempo Cafe unique is that the omelets are huge.  You are served an actually skillet filled with warm hash browns and then topped with a giant, fluffy three egg omelet.  It was gigantic, but I made a good dent and ate about 3/4ths of it.  
A great post long run meal!  Tempo Cafe is not far from where I work, so I will definitely go back!

Friday morning I woke up to see slushy snow on the ground, so I was happy I got my run in the day before.  I recently signed up for a free week of classes at Core Power Yoga.  It is a chain of yoga studios that offers a variety of classes.  The studios are really nice, almost like a spa.  Last Sunday Diana and I went to the Lincoln Square location and tried the 1.5 level class which was in a slightly heated room.  I went back Tuesday and tried the Core Ryder class which is a spin class on a bike that can actually move side to side.  Today, I decided to try the Lincoln Park location and went to the Hot Power Fusion class.  The class was done in a heated, humid room.  It was so humid in fact that about ten minutes into the workout I was dripping with sweat.  The class had a great flow through the movements.  I am still a yoga newbie and don't know all the proper names for poses so I usually check others in the class to make sure I am doing the right thing, but I didn't feel out of place.  It was an awesome workout to have on such a chilly day.  I recently purchased a Groupon to the studio for a month and look forward to trying more classes.  

After that great workout I headed just across the street to a new restaurant called Jam 'n Honey.  I have spotted it from the El several times and since I was so close I stopped in to try it.  It's a small place, but quite cute.  Every table has a giant jar of Nutella on it and two jars of homemade jam.  Everything on the menu looked good, but I have been craving pancakes recently and decided on the oatmeal pancakes.  My order arrived quickly with three big pancakes topped with a lemon blueberry compote (which I smeared all over the top) and their signature honey vanilla butter.  
Gosh, these pancakes were good.  So good.  You might think they would be grainy with the oatmeal, but they were perfectly fluffy.  I ate about half of them with just a bit of syrup and took the rest home to enjoy later.  All the food I spotted on other tables around me look delicious too.  I can't wait to go back and try something else!

My "weekend" has been pretty good so far.  I love trying new restaurants and being able to explore new places.  Chicago is the perfect city for this and it's part of the reason I like it so much! 

What's your ideal morning workout and brunch?