Tag: Michigan

Weekend Things {08-12-2013}

1. On Friday night, Ian took me out for a date night at Two, one of the nice restaurants near our not-so-new-anymore apartment. We hadn’t been to the restaurant before so we enjoyed quite the feast – we tried their faro salad, the pork ribs, scallops, and Ian had the duck egg pasta. Everything was fabulous and the date night was a great way to kick off vacation and spend some quality time with Ian before I headed to Michigan.


2. I woke up fairly early on Saturday to squeeze in an 8 miler before catching the Megabus.


Sigh. Chicago is really beautiful.

3. A week or so ago, I received a package of bars to sample from Erica (thanks girl!). I’ve been saving them for my vacation and decided to try this Simple Squares bar crumbled in almond yogurt for a quick breakfast on Saturday. It was really good and not at all what I expected- it was packed full of seeds and nuts. It also kept me full until my mom picked me up in Ann Arbor at 2 EDT which is definitely a sign of a substantial snack bar!


4. Oh, the Megabus. My ride wasn’t bad at all actually. The bus was really empty and I was able to sprawl out and attempt to take a nap. I forgot how much of a pain the one stop is though. It’s only an hour from Ann Arbor and they always give you so much time. I was ready to go!


5. By the time I got to Ann Arbor, I was hungry so my mom and I grabbed lunch at Grizzly Peak. We split polenta fries and I had a cherry chicken salad that was pretty amazing. I <3 Ann Arbor.

6. Dinner on Saturday night was chicken pad thai from my favorite Thai restaurant ever, Siam Spicy. I like to have Thai the night before a long run (carbs, salt) but I could eat this pad thai every day. It’s so spicy and not sweet at all, just the way I like it.


Plus, their portion size is large enough that I always have leftovers!

7. After dinner my mom and I took my mom’s 80 lb “puppy” for a walk.


This dog has sooo much energy it’s unreal and even after multiple walks and lots of play time she’s still a handful.


Good thing she’s cute ;).

8. I actually slept through my alarm Sunday morning and headed out for my 15-miler an hour later than planned. Fortunately, it was overcast and actually kind of cool so it didn’t matter too much. I ran a big loop through the Detroit burbs and felt really strong.


This is where we all the cool kids hung out in middle school and high school.

9. After my run, I lounged around, tried to sunbathe, and ate some leftovers before my mom and I headed out to run more errands. Our intentions were to pick up some stuff to grill but we ended up running into Hansons Running Shop, Target, Dunhams, Kroger, and even stopping for a quick treat at TCBY.


They now have Silk Chocolate Almond almond milk froyo and I had to try it! And yes, I know the cone has wheat in it. I only took a few bites (paid for it later) but getting froyo on a cone is so much better than in a  cup!

10. We relaxed at my mom’s house for a bit, fired up the grill, and made some corn, BBQ chicken, and zucchini on the grill. It was fabulous. We chased dinner with a walk with the pup who proceeded to lay down in a huge puddle of muddy water forcing us to cut the walk short and give her a bath. Crazy.

11. This morning I woke up early to beat the rain and get in an easy run. Even though it was overcast and drizzly, the neighborhood is so green right now it was gorgeous.


I <3 nature.

12. I’m on vacation and off work this week so my mom and I are planning on grabbing lunch at one of my favorite deli’s today and then hanging low until the rain stops.

How was your weekend?

Running in Michigan

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you know that I was in Michigan this weekend. One of Ian’s old roommates got married and we made a weekend out of the affair by visiting with Ian’s family on the west side of the mitten on Friday night, doing wedding stuff Saturday, and then spending a few hours in Ann Arbor on Sunday before driving back to Chicago. It was a lot of fun but pretty exhausting.

One of the great things about running is that you can do it virtually anywhere although it’s not always the most convenient thing to squeeze into a short, weekend trip. I wasn’t sure how my training was going to go while we were in Michigan but I was surprised that I managed to find time to complete my runs in their entirety and I felt pretty good both mornings.

On Saturday, I woke up about two hours before we needed to leave and headed out for a 6 miler. I wasn’t sure where to run and I wanted to keep things simple so I ran to the nearest “main road” which happened to be Red Arrow Highway and ran along the shoulder (in the direction of traffic to be safe).

harbert1There weren’t a lot of cars out so it didn’t end up being bad at all. It just wasn’t the most scenic route.

On Sunday, I woke up after a long night of dancing in heels. I was surprisingly not sore or tired, so I ate a Luna Bar, drank a Vitamin Water, and laced up my Mizunos. The previous day I had asked the front desk for suggestions on where to run and the concierge recommended that I head towards downtown Chelsea because there were more sidewalks. I followed her suggestion and was surprised that I had run through downtown in only about 1.5 miles. I wasn’t sure what to do, but ultimately, I decided to do what I did on Saturday and follow the same road until I reached my turnaround point.

chelsea1 I also ran past the only Jiffy factory in the nation!

I managed to stay on the one road for four miles before I started to get incredibly bored and sick of running on the shoulder of two-lane highways. Luckily, around that time, I saw a sign for a nature preserve down a side street and decided to try to find it.

chelsea2This part of the run was my favorite four mile stretch all weekend (2 miles out and 2 miles back). Although it was incredibly hilly, it was absolutely gorgeous and really remote. At one point, I got scared because I heard an “animal” only to pause my music and realize it was a rooster crowing. Oops.

chelsea4I saw a dirt road that I thought was leading to the nature preserve, however when I got closer, I learned otherwise…

chelsea3Yeah. Not going down there.

I never did find the nature preserve but the run was fun and exciting enough without it. I love exploring new areas by pounding the pavement.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go for a run in Ann Arbor; however, I did manage to buy myself a little something to remind myself of my Alma mater on my runs.

michiganI’m obnoxious :).

Other highlights from the trip:

-Getting a free upgrade to a “spa suite” at the Holiday Inn. Our room was fine, don’t get me wrong, but the jacuzzi tub in the living room made me a little uneasy.

holidayinn-The wedding! I’m not going to go into much detail about it, but it was fun! I also didn’t take any pictures so you get to see the only one Ian took of me with red eyes. Sorry!

wedding-I found the biggest coffee mug ever! I seriously need this NOW!

biggby-We went to Blimpy Burger! Blimpy is one of the iconic restaurants of Ann Arbor. They’ve been serving burgers their way for 60+ years at the same location. Unfortunately, they are being forced to close down or move by August and we knew that we had to go before that happened. Plus, I never went when I was in undergrad so I needed to make a trip. P.S. If you go, be sure to order correctly, like their website says, there is a right way to order and a wrong way… and you will get yelled at for doing it incorrectly!

blimpyburger-I got caged by Kelsey, Katie, Erin, and Emily! It definitely brought smiles to our faces when Ian and I walked in to the apartment hot and tired last night. There will be more on the “cage-ing” later this week!

cagedHow was your weekend? Do you work out/run when you travel?

Holiday Things {12-26-2012}

1. On Thursday I started to have some heel/arch/foot pain so I was on injury watch all weekend (and into this week). I had asked my mom for some compression socks for Christmas so she thoughtfully gave them to me early so I could live in them while I was at home. I think they helped with things but I know that I looked cool rocking green socks all weekend!


2. On Saturday, after running a million errands and spending lots of money on shoe inserts and athletic tape (did I tell you how seriously I’m taking this minor foot pain?), my mom and I were finally able to go to Inn Season, a vegetarian/vegan restaurant near my mom’s house. Unfortunately, after a day lacking in veggies, all I wanted was a salad so instead of trying one of the cool, vegan entrees, I stuck with a basic spinach salad with golden beets, raisins, sprouts, avocado, and tahini dressing. It was good but I could have had a salad anywhere, what was I thinking?


3. For some reason I thought it would be fun to check out the mall while I was home. Somerset is always decorated for the holidays and after spending a lot of time there in middle school and high school, I like to go back when I’m in town. Well, the mall was an absolute mess of people and the decorations were a little lacking this year but I managed to do a little more shopping and even picked up a sweater on sale at J. Crew.


4. When I’m in Michigan, I almost always need to go to Siam Spicy, my absolute favorite thai restaurant ever. Their pad thai is THE BEST but on occasion I like to branch out and try something new. This time I tried a stir fry dish that came with ginger and a black bean sauce. It was good and really spicy!


5. On Sunday I squeezed in my last 20 miler for the Goofy Challenge. I ran 20 miles out from my mom’s over to where we used to live and met my mom and Ian for lunch at one of my favorite cafes. The sidewalks were icy and the route was really hilly but I loved the change of scenery and really enjoyed myself. My foot also didn’t really bother me while I was running which was a huge plus!

photo (2)

6. On Christmas eve after running more errands, my mom, Ian, and I grabbed lunch at the only open place in the area a Mediterranean place and had quite the unplanned feast. I ordered vegetarian grape leaves and a juice (carrot, beet, apple) and was surprised to be served a huuge entree sized salad, grape leaves, fries, and tahini sauce. The fries were outstanding and I definitely ate a little bit too much.


7. On Christmas morning, I woke up early and headed out for a recovery 8 mile run. My foot didn’t’ really hurt but didn’t feel great either so I took my run nice and easy.

After eating, we exchanged gifts and listened to Christmas music. It was a great way to start our Christmas morning.

8. Last year, instead of having a formal Christmas meal, my mom and I decided to have something more manageable for only a few people and made chili. We decided to keep the tradition this year and made vegan and gluten free cornbread muffins, a turkey chili, and then my favorite vegetarian chili. I definitely had my share of chili and cornbread, it’s one of my favorite meals.


For dessert, I had a piece of my favorite cake, pineapple dump cake. The “recipe” is incredibly simple and can be veganized and made gluten free and still tastes good. I ate entirely too much of this stuff while I was at home!


9. Unfortunately, shortly after Christmas lunch, Ian and I packed up and headed back to Chicago. We both have to work today so we wanted to get back, unpack, and relax a bit before going to bed.

How was your holiday weekend?
What’s one of your family’s holiday traditions? My mom always reads The Night Before Christmas to me and even though I’m older, I don’t want to break the tradition!

Monday Things {10-22-2012}

1. Today is [kind of] my first blogiversary. I actually started blogging in early October on a tumblr site but after realizing tumblr didn’t have everything that I wanted, I switched over to WordPress and my first post was up on October 22, 2011. Crazy how time flies.

2. Last Friday night was spent driving. Ian and I left Chicago around 5:15 and arrived home in Michigan at about midnight (Michigan time). It was exhausting and I wasn’t even driving. I packed a sunflower seed butter, banana, & fig jam sandwich on brown rice bread for dinner and it managed to hold me over pretty well for the ride.

3. Even though Sonic kept us up all night Friday night, on Saturday I got up early to get in a quick run before heading up to Ann Arbor. I ran one of my favorite 4 mile routes and even stopped to take a few pictures. The last few years I’ve really missed running with all the pretty colors and hearing leaves crunching under my feet.

4. After my run, I ran over to my favorite market, Westbourne and picked up a muffin for Ian, some supplies to make pumpkin oatmeal, and my favorite nut butter of all time: Naturally Nutty Pepita Butter!

I also grabbed the Mocha Peanut Butter at Arbor Farms (health food store in AA).

5. After a shower and a huge bowl of pumpkin oats, Ian and I were off to AA to tailgate and go to the Michigan vs. Michigan State football game. Unfortunately both of us forgot how difficult it is to get into the city on football Saturdays (even 5 hours before!), find parking, and make your way down to the golf course (common tailgate location) and so our planned 11 a.m. arrival turned into 12:15. Oh well, at least we brought booze.

6. We met my friend from college Maria at one of her friend’s tailgates and ended up playing a few games of flip cup and chatting with some new faces. It was so much fun and reminded me how much I miss Ann Arbor.

7. After an hour or two, we walked over to a tailgate at my college friend Kris’s house. It was a wonderful surprise that two other girls I went to college with were there! Working on my MPH had pretty much overwhelmed my life the past two years so we had a lot to catch up on. It was nice but cut short when we realized that we had about 15 minutes to get to the stadium before kick-off.

8. We had some trouble with tickets (apparently they reprinted a bunch of season tickets this year and someone had sold us an old, invalid ticket) but eventually we all got into the stadium with our original tickets, found each other, and settled in to the student section. Unfortunately this is where my phone dies and I can’t take any more pictures. Bummer.

9. The game was incredibly low-scoring but exciting. It went down to the last few seconds and Michigan beat MSU for the first time in 5 years! Woohoo!! It was also the 900th win for Michigan football making our program the first football program to have that many wins. It was so exciting, I didn’t even know the 900 wins was up for contention! In typical Michigan fashion, the students stormed the field (this is reserved for games against OSU and MSU otherwise it’s not allowed) and everyone was celebrating. It was awesome :).

10. We hadn’t eaten since breakfast so Ian, Maria, and I were starving and decided to head over to Sidetrack’s in Ypsilanti for some food. Sidetrack’s is one of Ian’s favorite places in the AA-Ypsi area and we used to go there a lot when I still lived in Ann Arbor. I ordered a salad with asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, and a black bean burger and a side of sweet potato fries. Food has never tasted so good.

11. Ian and I were supposed to meet my friend Brian afterwards to grab a drink but after driving half way to Detroit we decided we were just too tired and headed back to my mom’s house. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

12. Despite not sleeping as much as I would have liked, I woke up on Sunday prepared to get in my 12 mile run. Can I just say how happy I am that the weekend we went home coincided with a cutback week for Goofy training? My 12 miler wasn’thardbut my legs were definitely more tired than usual. I stopped a few times to stretch and to take pictures of cute pumpkin patches and I believe I averaged about a 7:45 min/mile?

13. After my run, I showered, snacked on some pumpkin pudding and then headed out to Fish Bone in Detroit to meet Brian for an early lunch. I ordered a cup of seafood gumbo that was to-die-for and a Greek salad without feta. Unfortunately, only my gumbo got caught on camera.

I always love seeing Brian (we’ve known each other since we were 3 years old!) and I’m so glad we were able to meet up while I was home! Also, we saw a bunch of Detroit Marathoners while we were eating lunch and it occurred to me that it’s been 3 years since my first marathon!

14. I also stopped over at my grandma’s house as well as my dad and step-mom’s to say hi. By the time I was back at my mom’s it was almost time to go. I felt like the worst daughter for not spending a lot of time with my mom but I am looking forward to her coming to Chicago in a few weeks!

15. Speaking of my mom, remember that cute little ball of puppy fluff she got over the summer? Well now that puppy is almost 50 pounds. Insane!

16. I also managed to finish reading Dark Places on our drive back. I’m not sure I can really compare it to Gone Girl but I do know that Gillian Flynn is a talented author who really knows how to hook her readers. I can’t wait to read her other book!

17. Ian and I hit some bad traffic on the highway last night and didn’t get home until almost 10. Yikes. We unpacked, watched an episode of Friends, and then went to bed exhausted– I’m sure coffee will be my best friend today

What did you do this past weekend?

Heading to the Mitten

I know I’ve said this about 1,000 times on my blog this week but tonight Ian and I are heading to Michigan for the weekend! It’s been a while since we’ve been home and visited family but it’s been even longer since we last spent some time in Ann Arbor. I’m so excited :-D.

I’m honestly not even sure we’re going to get tickets for this game but either way it’s going to be a blast. We’re meeting up with some of my friends from college and tailgating and while I can’t imagine it getting as crazy as it used to, I’m sure new memories will be made.

The sad thing is I have an entire series of the above photo of myself and all of my college friends. I guess I decided this was an important moment to document?

I just had an awesome 8 miler and now I’m off to finish packing before heading to work. I’m unplugging this weekend and not bringing my computer home but I will be taking lots of pics and will be on twitter/instagram.

Have an awesome weekend!

Do you follow college football? Which team?