This past week and weekend were unseasonably warm for a Chicago January. Not that I'm complaining, however! Despite the warm and sunny week with temperatures in the 50's, I unfortunately did not get outside to enjoy it (not even for lunch) but, I was lucky enough to get outside in the surprising weather yesterday!
Saturday I took part in a 5K race that I had been anticipating for nearly a year. I couldn't wait to complete this particular race as it was the third and final race in a series for me. The "pro's" of the morning? The race motivated me to get up and outdoors in the early AM before the weather turned cold (otherwise I might have been a snuggle bug and stayed in bed all morning). I got some exercise and only needed to wear a t-shirt and a light running jacket (how refreshing!). I'd like to say that there were only positive things to say about the race, but unfortunately for the first time ever (after having participated in over 50 events or so) there was a down side.
The "con's" of the morning were really, only one. The race was not the full 5K distance as promised. As I have run this particular trail more then once, I realized it was too short to be 3.1 miles during the run, but knew I had followed (along with hundreds of others) the path as it was marked. The fact is, the race organization messed up, and I'm wondering (as this is my first experience with something like this) what, if anything, they will do for their participants. I am waiting on a reply from their organization and am optimistically hoping that they will offer some type of credit towards merchandise or a future race...we'll see what happens.
Back to the positive though... I did cross the finish line and I did receive my medal, however it felt like a hollow victory. After having checked my jog tracker I had traveled 1.86 miles which is just barley over a 3K race distance versus the promised 3.1. Not to be defeated though, this optimist, post race, then walked the full length of Grant Park and hiked to the Red Line in order to surpass the 3.1 distance. Go "glass is half full" thinking!
Yep, I am one. Despite my other blog telling me to do one thing every day that scares me, I couldn't bring myself to spray tan! Despite having a free option to do so, I mentally talked myself out of a free spray tanning session. All I could picture is a streaked and uneven tan resembling a zebra, and turning the color of the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown! I know plenty of people who have had positive experiences with it, but, well... I guess I will leave that to them. What are you afraid of that you just couldn't concur?
I bought some. Not the real, live animal or the over priced, conveniently pre-cooked and ready to serve "short cuts" package, but real, raw and organic chicken breasts from my grocer's freezer. Why is this blog worthy? Well, I've joined a 30 day "Real Food Challenge" that is asking it's participants to eat only whole foods - nothing processed. Let me tell you, buying the chicken and knowing I have to deal with cooking it "the old fashion way" has been the hardest part so far. How spoiled I have become with life's overly processed, but super convenient, pre-cooked (with additives) cooking options!
This week's menu will supply chicken breast and grilled zucchini, chicken fajitas wrapped in a lettuce shell, and perhaps some mixed salads and strir-fry options while snacking on fruits and nuts. As a recent gluten-free goer, reducing the grains in my diet doesn't seem like a big adjustment, but of course I say this pre day 1 of the challenge (which starts tomorrow). I'm sure there will be a blog update somewhere along the way with me craving pizza or tacos or something. Have you taken on any challenges recently? If so, what were they and how did they turn out?
Happy Sunday Readers - I'm off to the zoo!