shamrock shuffle 2014

It’s safe to say this was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time. Aside from my typical nights working I had the greatest Sunday, full of the best things in life: running, friends, and brunch.

I woke up at 6am Sunday morning and immediately hopped in the car to drive downtown. The Shamrock Shuffle was yesterday and we were so lucky to have such a beautiful day for it! It was the perfect day to officially kick-off running season in Chicago.

Since it was an 8K I felt relaxed the whole time, no pressure or nerves at all. Everyone else seemed to be in the same boat…no one seemed to be taking the race too seriously. The one thing I have to say is it was PACKED. This was definitely not a race to run for time. The first mile I felt like I was running in place!

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I decided to hang back with some friends and not start in my corral so the race got started later than I planned. By 9:15 we were off and running! I absolutely loved the course–we weaved through the main streets downtown, something you obviously don’t get to do every day. It was pretty remarkable that a city as big and busy as Chicago is able to shut down its main streets for almost four hours, even on a Sunday.

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My stomach felt funky before the race so I was pretty worried I’d have to stop and walk but luckily the energy and excitement kept me going and I ran all 5 miles. Sure it took me longer because I was surrounded by thousands of people but I actually liked that better! It wasn’t a competitive race, it was a community race, and I felt that every step of the way.

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I have no idea what my time was! It doesn’t really matter. But the sun came out just as mile 5 was coming to an end and I saw Zain at the finish line so I left a very happy girl.

So what does a runner do to celebrate a great morning? She eats brunch, of course.

We picked up Spencer and Meggie and headed out to Lincoln Park to grab breakfast at 2 Sparrows. The wait was pretty crazy but well worth it once we got seated in a booth (my favorite). We also had a chance to walk around the neighborhood while we waited for our table so we went to a pet shop and played with the tiniest puppies in the world. I’m now officially in love with French bulldogs 🙂

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Brunch was great! Our server forgot to put in our order so we were given plenty of appetizers on the house. He felt so badly about it but to be honest, I’ll take free food any day!

First things first, a goat cheese cinnamon roll.

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I know everyone else wasn’t blown away by this, but I loved it. It was sweet without being sickening, and the goat cheese gave it so much depth of flavor (when I say things like that do I sound like I know what I’m talking about?)

Next up were a few donuts: maple & bacon and chocolate, caramel, & peanut

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I didn’t love these. They weren’t fluffy how I like my donuts, and to be honest I think I’m just a vanilla long john fanatic. They looked really pretty though so that counts for something!

For my breakfast I had the market quiche. I’m really disappointed in myself for not branching out and trying something different, especially because 2 Sparrows has some really unique, farm-to-table options that you don’t see anywhere else. But when I see quiche on a menu, there’s a 90% chance that’s what I’m ordering. Ever since I studied abroad in Paris I’ve loved the simple idea of that meal: quiche with a simple salad. The market quiche of the day was filled with cheddar cheese, pesto, tomato and onion. It was pretty good! Nothing out-of-this-world but I definitely enjoyed it.

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I loved the atmosphere of 2 Sparrows and they had so many cool options that I’d be crazy not to go back. I’ll just have to try something new next time and hope that I fall in love with it. Regardless I’d be happy just going back for a cup of coffee and that cinnamon roll.

Once we finished brunch we knew we had to stay outside–it was in the mid-50s yesterday, a tropical paradise by Midwest-standards, so we decided to walk to Lincoln Park Zoo. I didn’t get any pictures inside but I hadn’t been there before and it was mind-blowing! It’s outdoors and free of charge so you just turn a corner and boom, you’re in the zoo staring at a camel.

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All in all a very tiring but exciting day. I have the best time when I’m outside, with my friends, eating great food and being active. Winter can be a hard time for people like me (aka can’t-sit-still folks) so this little taste of spring was much-appreciated.

If you stuck around this long, good for you! I’m proud I kept your attention this long. Have a great Monday!

Questions:

  • Are you signed up for any upcoming races?
  • What’s your favorite outdoor activity to do in the spring?

 

 

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26 comments

  1. Oh those races are so great! I love just a relaxing run with no worries in the world and those city races are so cool!
    Man that cinnamon roll looked out of this world!
    Favorite sprig activity has to running outdoors! I hate the cold so I stick to a treadmill during the winter but the second it hits 40 I’m out there enjoying it! Can’t wait for 60 degree weather!

  2. glad you had such a fun race! i love race day mornings, and post-race brunch is a must. my next race is the Brooklyn Half on May 18, which i did last year and really enjoyed. my fave warm outdoorsy activity is probably running…followed by hanging on the boat at my parents’ house with fam and friends.

  3. So glad you had a great race! It sounds like so much fun! I need to get my butt into gear and sign myself up for a race…maybe that will get me motivated! oh….and the donuts…I don’t even have the words 🙂

  4. Run to eat, HELL YES!! That feast looks amazing!! OMGAAHH. and this race looks gorgeous!! I had a mini layover in Chicago last week, and it was SO COLD OUTSIDE. The airport was like a million degrees because of it…fun fact. HA! Awesome job!

  5. GOATS CHEESE cinnamon scrolls? Is this real life?

    You constantly make me crave and miss NYC. Even the wallgreens in the background.

    Random- the best sandwich I ate in NYC was from Duane Reade lol- It was chicken salad in a walnut and raisin bread.

  6. Chicago is one of my absolute favorite cities (especially during the warmer months) and these pictures clearly demonstrate why – such an awesome place!

    I love getting outside in the spring, walking, running, hiking, eating, drinking, all of the above 🙂

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