Category: tri training

GT Fish & Oyster {Date Night}

Yesterday was my last day at my old job. It was sad but exciting at the same time. I’m eager to see what my new job is like. To celebrate the closing of one chapter and the opening of another, Ian offered to take me out to dinner and we decided on GT Fish & Oyster.

We actually went to this restaurant on my birthday with my dad and step-mom and loved everything about it. The service, food, and ambiance were all top quality. The restaurant had also presented me with a $20 gift card for my birthday and we’ve been itching to use it ever since.

We didn’t make a reservation and arrived a little on the late side. We were told there was a 30 minute wait for seating but we could enjoy a drink and our meals at the bar if we would like to. I have no problem eating at a bar but given the shorter wait, we opted to put our name in and then have a drink at the bar. I enjoyed a glass of chardonnay and Ian had a Robert the Bruce (Three Floyds beer) and after about 45 minutes we let someone else take our seats and went over to the hostess to ask about our table. I mean it couldn’t be that much longer right?

Well turns out the hostess now didn’t foresee a table opening up any time soon and we had lost our seats at the bar. I was frustrated and ready to leave, why couldn’t she just tell us that the wait was an hour and a half? But Ian asked that we stay. One of the managers must have sensed we were upset and he came over to talk with us. In about 5 minutes he had us sitting at the communal table. I’m not sure why we weren’t offered that in the first place.

I’m not trying to complain because I love the restaurant but if last night had been my first time there, I’m not sure I’d go back. Lesson learned –> make a reservation if you want a table!

When we were seated we were offered both the regular menu and the oyster menu. We wasted no time in ordering 6 oysters: 2 Kumamoto, 2 Blackberry Point, and 2 Pemaquid.

The Blackberry Point was by far my favorite. The description was perfect, it was both sweet and salty!

Rather than share a bunch of plates, Ian and I opted to keep things simple and each order one main. I had the seared tuna salad without egg. It had red potato, nicoise olives, and green beans and was served with a cider vinaigrette.

I loved it.

Ian ordered the fish and chips which was beer battered cod served with steak fries, malt vinegar, and a dill pickle roumelade.

He also really like his dish. We both agreed that our fish tasted very fresh and everything went well together.

We both were still hungry after finishing out dinners, so we decided to order more oysters. When in Rome right?

We tried two Saltworks Seaside and two Stingray and couldn’t help but order two more Blackberry Point. They were definitely our favorite!

We were almost in the area so after dinner we caught the bus over to Black Dog Gelato. If you’re in Chicago and love gelato or sorbet you absolutely must try Black Dog. The flavor combinations are incredibly creative and tasty. It can’t be beat.

I had a small with cantaloupe and pineapple basil sorbets. I really liked it but it was hard not to order my all time favorite flavor, goat cheese cashew caramel. Stupid food allergies.

Ian ordered a large and tried the blueberry french toast (I was sooo jealous), malt vanilla, and coconut thyme (his favorite).  We were both happy campers!

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Foggy Brick Workout

Saturday mornings are reserved for my brick workouts. Bricks are so different from my weekly route that I really look forward to them. I also love how much farther you can go on a bike than by foot in the same amount of time.

I slept in a little bit this morning and then headed out on my bike. I did my favorite 17 mile loop where I head straight to the lake path, cycle south until I reach Hyde Park, cycle back north going a little past my apartment, and then loop through the city. Fellow Chicagoans please do not be afraid to head south on Lake Shore. You are truly missing out. The path is not nearly as crowded as it is up north and the views coming back into the city are spectacular. There are also quite a few hills, a rarity in Chicagoland but valuable for training. Sounds good right? Try it :).

I always turn around at the point near Hyde Park and the views from the tip of the point are amazing. I brought my iPhone with me today so I could snap a picture but unfortunately it was too foggy to see the city.

Bummer. Maybe next Saturday.

I did get to see the end of the sun rise from the point though. I love being close to the water!

As I was biking back into the city I finally started to come across groups of runners. CARA must have started later this morning? Dealing with runners definitely slows me down but I kind of enjoy weaving around people on my bike. It’s helping me improve my steering and general contorl. Plus it keeps me on my toes :P.

After finishing my ride, I secured my bike in our storage unit and headed out for a 3 mile run. My usual goal with brick workouts is to do my run portion pretty fast. However, as I raced a 5k earlier in the week, I figured it would be best to let my body fall into its own natural rhythm. Interestingly enough, that rhythm was about a 7:14 min/mile. Hmm… could have used some of that speed over the last few days.

Lots of errands on the agenda today! Have a great one :)

Edited to add: for those of you who are as obsessed with the Olympics as I am, check out this article on the female athletes to watch!

Monday Things {07-09-2012}

1. On Friday Ian and I saw Ted. I thought it was just okay but he really enjoyed it. Go figure. It didn’t help that I had a teddy bear named Teddy when I was growing up…

2. Sonic has a girl friend. Her name is Zoey. We received a picture of her in the bottom of his food bag and he seemed to show some interest. We decided to hang it on the fridge (at his level) so he can look at her when he likes. Puppy kitty love <3.

3. On Saturday I did a reverse brick. When I woke up it was already in the 80′s and I was nervous that it would be too hot outside to run after a long ride. I ended up going out for three miles and then following my run with a 17 mile ride out and back to Hyde Park (my favorite route). The reverse brick was the right call. It was warm running but muuuch more comfortable on the bike.

4. On Saturday I made a trip to Kramer’s Health Foods. I was hoping to buy a juice but the cafe is closed on Saturday’s. Bummer. I ended up picking up some new-to-me gluten-free vegan granola bars. I’ll have to wait until I can have soy to enjoy the Heart Thrive but I couldn’t not buy it. I used to buy Heart Thrive’s all the time at a co-op in Ann Arbor and haven’t had one in a few years!

5. I had the privilege to meet up with three other bloggers this weekend. Katie, Elyssa, Molly, and I met at Forever Yogurt to enjoy a late afternoon snack on Saturday.

It was great to chat with these ladies about food, running, and everything in-between. Speaking of meet-ups, Chicago bloggers, check out the Chicago Healthy Living Bloggers facebook page and join up. We’re hoping to have a bunch of small get togethers this summer!

I had key lime and mango sorbets with berries. It was great that Forever Yogurt posted allergens on all of their flavors. It was very easy for me to find vegan and gluten-free options.

6. Sunday morning I ran my first double-digit run since training for the Boston Marathon last winter/spring. It felt awesome… except for the whole not bringing water thing. I’m loving triathlon training but am starting to get excited for the fall running season. Training for a January marathon means I’ll be running a lot of miles during the best running season of the year! I’m psyched :-D.

7. I made a quick trip to Sports Authority this weekend to pick up a handful of things. I walked out with a sports bra (I finally found the under armor one in my size!), a nylon swim cap that won’t pull my hair (so annoying), and new goggles (much-needed).

I wanted to buy water bottles for my fuel belt (I threw my old ones away) and a tri top but I couldn’t find either. I guess I’ll be making a trip to Fleet Feet soon!

8. The lunch hour struck while Ian and I were out running errands on Sunday and I managed to convince him to have Chipotle with me :P. I ordered a burrito bowl with brown rice, lettuce (the one they use for the salad, you get the best of both worlds this way), black beans, fajita veggies, pico, and guac (shared half w/ Ian). It was absolutely delicious, especially topped with Tabasco Chipotle sauce!

9. We were out near the Anti-Cruelty Society and dropped in to visit with the animals. I’m usually all about the kitties and Ian the dogs but yesterday I saw this little female chihuahua pit bull mix named Cookie. I thought she was cute and sweet and then she went and flared her ears out…

I fell in love. I need a dog with bat ears soooo badly! Aren’t they awesome?? Ian asked me if I wanted to take her for a walk but I’ve learned my lesson (similar situation occurred when we adopted Sonic) and forced myself to leave the shelter. I’m half tempted to check back in a few weeks… if she’s still there I can’t make any promises!

10. Ian and I made a major dent in the fifth season of Mad Men this weekend. I think we watched 5 episodes and only have the finale left! When does season 6 start?

How was your weekend? What was the highlight?

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July! I hope all of you are enjoying a day off and doing something fun today! I used my extra time this morning to fit in a longer workout but before I tell you about that let’s discuss last night’s dinner.

Yesterday was one of those days that just dragged on. I was incredibly tired and all I wanted was to get home and lay down on the couch. However, by the time I got home I felt motivated to get stuff done. I did two loads of laundry (and I hate doing laundry), cleaned the kitchen sink area, prepped breakfast for today, and made a batch of OhSheGlowsPerfect Veggie Burgers.

This morning I woke up bright and early to squeeze in a run before the heat hit. I just barely made it, at 5 a.m. it was already 80 degrees in Chicago. This weather is insane. I debated skipping my run but knew I’d feel better if I at least made an attempt, so I laced up my running shoes and headed out the door.

Thankfully the sun wasn’t completely up yet so it didn’t feel too brutal outside and I was able to complete a slow 4 miles. Even though it wasn’t my best run and it was incredibly hot outside, I felt good for doing it. I also didn’t have to use a treadmill. Woohoo!

After my run, I grabbed my swim bag and headed to the pool. My gym and pool were both fairly empty and I was able to grab a good lane right away. This is the swim workout I did:

300 m warm up
3 x 400 m
100 build, 200 fast, 100 slow
4 x 100 50 fast, 50 slow
200 build, 100 fast, 100 slow
2 x 200 m
100 stroke pull, 100 freestyle pull
100 stroke kick, 100 freestyle kick
100 m cool down

Total: 2,000 meters

For stroke I swam breast stroke which made pulls and kicks take forever but hopefully I’ll be a better swimmer for it.

I’m off to relax and then beach (I think). Have a wonderful day!

Monday Things {07-02-2012}

1. My mom is amazing. On Saturday, she drove the 2.5 hours to Kalamazoo with my bike and a bag of food I left when I was there a few weeks ago. Ian and I met her, grabbed lunch, and then took the bike. I guess that makes Ian pretty amazing too. I feel very lucky for their generosity!

2. After meeting my mom on Saturday, Ian and I went to visit his old roommate’s (and brothers best friend’s) mom. Ian’s previous roommate adopted a dog about 3 months before I moved to Chicago. Unfortunately he then went to Vegas for an extended period of time and left his puppy with his mom. A three-month trip turned into a permanent vacation and his mom ended up taking the pup in for good. Ian has been dying to visit the doggie ever since and figured this was the perfect trip to do so. The dog was sweet as could be but waaay overweight. We could not believe the little guy had gotten so big. He didn’t weigh all that much less than I do… He is on a diet and attending puppy daycare so hopefully the weight will come off quickly.

3. On Sunday morning I took my new bike out for a brick workout. I had mapped a 13 mile ride but ended up missing my turn around on Lakeshore and riding all the way down to Hyde Park. Oops. I turned around and rode home, completing 16 miles in total. I dropped my bike off and headed out for a two-mile run. It was already 80 degrees at this point so I tried not to push too hard. My first mile was a 7:35 and my second a 7:04. After being in the car all day Saturday, it felt really good to sweat.

4.  The Gold Coast Art Fair was going on in Grant Park this weekend and Ian and I decided to walk over and check it out. On the way we stumbled across this urban agriculture exhibit. It was pretty cool!

5. The art show was PACKED and it was incredibly hot so after doing a lap of the tents, Ian and I found some shade to sit in and relax.

6. I was pretty worthless all weekend yesterday afternoon. I watched the Olympic trials, took an hour-long nap, watched more Olympic trials, and then Mad Men. Ian and I are 5 episodes into season 5 already. I wish the seasons were longer!

7. Sonic must have thought yesterday was his second birthday. We went to Petsmart to pick up more food and walked out with kibble, wet food, treats, and two toys. What can I say, we spoil our little furball. Of course, Ian didn’t let me take home the one thing I really wanted, the kitten that looked like he could have been Sonic’s brother.

8. I forgot to mention this last week but Ian goes out to the burbs every so often to grab wings with his guy friends. Last week Ian sent me a picture and told me he had ordered the peanut butter & jelly flavored wings that come with a jelly flavored dipping sauce. What?

9. All I did this weekend was sleep. I slept on the car ride to Kalamazoo, on the car ride home. I went to bed early. I took naps. I am not looking forward to another work week. At least it’s a 4-day week right?

10. Ian and I signed up for the Terrapin 5k in August and guess what? He suggested it! I only hope I can drink beer by the day of the race, Magic Hat is going to be supplying and #9 is one of my favorite brews.

11. I am so excited for the Olympic trials run-off tonight. Any guesses on who will win?