CARA 20 miler, Taco Fest, and Accountability

What started on Friday night as a “Holy crap I’m burned out someone get me a glass of wine” kind of weekend turned out to be jam-packed with fun. I honestly didn’t want to leave my house after getting home Friday night. I had grand plans of seeing a cover band and causing all-around shenanigans but I ended up parked on my couch sending out depressing snapchats about the whole ordeal.


Yes I took a screenshot of my own snapchat. I now know how to save it, so no need to educate me. I am technologically challenged.



Saturday was the usual run, eat, work, but I did have a chance to go out with some friends that night which was fun. I was NOT happy about my 5:30am wake-up call on Sunday morning but hey, sometimes you have to sacrifice sleep in order to pretend you still have a social life.

Sunday was where the real action happened.


I was a lululemon representative at the 20 miler that the Chicago Area Runners Association puts on every year a few weeks before the Chicago Marathon. We all arrived at 7:00am to set up our signs, our tent and our freebies for all the runners. First of all, it was COLD. I ran to my car for five minutes at least three times that morning just to warm up. In related news it was 85 degrees in Chicago on Saturday. So, let me just tell you, if the apocalypse starts somewhere, I promise you it’s going to be in the Windy City.



Despite the weather, it was a beautiful day. A few of us cheered on the runners (my favorite job!) while others handed out wet towels with eucalyptus oil on them for relaxation after the run. Others were stationed at the lululemon tent, handing out flip flops, CRAZY good granola, and foam rollers to borrow. Bethany, did you come try to find me? I heard someone was asking for me so if it wasn’t you I’m worried I might have a stalker 😉


I’m not a member of CARA because I haven’t lived in the city permanently for a long enough time that it seemed like a good idea, but let me tell you: I love that group. The energy, the love of running, the people…it’s overwhelming! I had so much fun watching people of all different shapes, sizes and ages cross the finish line, having just accomplished a 20 mile run – and whether it was their first or their 40th, you could tell that every runner was so proud of themselves. I was so happy to be a volunteer!

That afternoon I made my way north of the city for Lakeview Taco Fest, where I probably brushed paths with Amy without even noticing. I still can’t believe we keep missing each other!


The highlight was the free wine tasting sponsored by Cupcake Wines at the beginning of the festival. I tried their prosecco (can’t go wrong) and a red velvet red, which wasn’t my favorite but my friends all agreed it’s now their new go-to red. Plus it was basically a wine truck – how much better does it get than that?

IMG_0057 IMG_0056

Korean smoked pork taco from Toons Bar & Grill

Korean smoked pork taco with Asian slaw from Toons Bar & Grill – tie for first place! Deeelish

Smoked Chicken Taco from D.S. Tequila Company - my favorite of the day. The elote corn hash, on the other hand, was underwhelming.

Smoked Chicken Taco from D.S. Tequila Company – another favorite of the day. The elote corn hash, on the other hand, was underwhelming. But it looked too beautiful to pass up!

Tacos from Crosby's Kitchen - pretty great! The toppings were creative and tasty, but the meat was dry. I've heard it's an expensive place so I'd rather spend less $ at an authentic Mexican restaurant for better meat. Rotisserie chicken taco + the Smoke Daddy pulled pork taco

Rotisserie chicken taco + Smoke Daddy pulled pork taco from Crosby’s Kitchen – pretty tasty! The toppings were creative and delicious, but the meat itself was dry. I’ve heard it’s an expensive place so I’d rather spend less money at an authentic Mexican restaurant for better meat. 

I left pretty stuffed, but in true Lauren fashion I was hungry three hours later. It just doesn’t end! I act like that’s a big burden in my life lawlz – like being a bottomless pit is some kind of cross I have to bear. I guess someone’s got to do it 😉 Oh, I also noticed after taking this picture that I’m making a fist. I’d like to think I’m just pumped about all the great tacos about to enter my belly.


To end my weekend wrap-up I’m going to start posting my workouts on Monday from the past week in order to give myself some accountability. Granted, I know that life throws a wrench in your plans every once in awhile, but working out at least five out of seven days is a value I hold and it needs to once again be the rule, not the exception. I’m happy to report I kicked butt this past week!

  • Monday:4 mile run
  • Tuesday: 60 minute Flywheel Class
  • Wednesday: 4 mile run
  • Thursday: C2 Yoga at Corepower
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: 4 mile run (last mile was a combination of sprint/walk)
  • Sunday: Rest

Thumbs up all around!


  • What would it take for you to run 20 miles? A lifetime supply of chia seeds? A $1000 Trader Joe’s gift card? A date with Leonardo DiCaprio? Spill it.
  • Best taco you’ve ever had, and where you got it.
  • Has the weather been doing a total 180 from day-to-day where you’re from?


  1. Nice job on the workouts!!

    The weather in SoCal was really hot for a couple of weeks, but finally a few days ago it cooled off and now it’s back to the 70s — whew, thankfully! I was over the heat 😉

  2. 20 miles!!! Geez… A would need a good amount of money for that… Serious amount… I hate running!
    Yet to find somewhere in the UK that does proper tacos….sigh…. But one day I’m sure!
    Getting cold now in Scotland but the sun does make the odd appearance! Won’t be too long until it’s boot and coat weather!

    1. *gasp* you hate running?! I bet you have to do a little running at Crossfit though, right? I’d take a mile run over 100 burpees haha. Girl every time you talk about the UK and what it DOESN’T have, it makes me feel like you’re missing out on so much! you should do a post on what Scotland has that we DON’T have in America haha

      1. We have to do quite a bit of running in CrossFit, it aint fun but got to be done! I would put running up there with burpees….!
        I feel like a broken record when it comes to going on about what the UK doesn’t have but to be honest it is so far behind with so many things! Good idea for a post though…got me thinking…! 🙂

  3. Free wine tasting?! Yes please. LOL to that snapchat… love it. I’m glad you had a great time volunteering… I volunteered at a Relay for Life event once and I felt so good seeing everyone cross the finish line with a smile on their face.

  4. Happy Monday and wow, I’m soooo hungry right now!! Man, I LOVE TACOS!!! I LOVE TACOS!! I’ve been making vegetarian tacos at home a lot recently and I’m lovin’ them!! You look SO happy and gorgeous!! Way to go on your runs!! So amazing!! Have the best week!! XOXO!!

  5. I run 20 miles for the pure hell of it. But i would TOTALLY take $1000. Sorry I didn’t get back to you about Sunday, I got all distracted and stuff haha. YAY for Jolly Oak S’mores! It is the jam. I love it. I am honestly sad that I missed taco fest. TRAGIC

  6. I can’t imagine running 20 miles, it would take a lifetime supply of food probably. ALL food. I would totally volunteer though! How fun, and snacks always make it better. I screen shot my own snaps too (well, used to..I don’t have snapchat anymore) because it’s just easy. HA.

    1. Yeah I struggle with snapchat. I delete it and re-add it too many times to actually learn how to use it properly haha it’s probably my least favorite app in the world but I like it when I’m bored. And yeah, running 20 miles is a HUGE commitment – I would do it for money or if someone looked me straight in the face and said “You can’t run 20 miles.” People not believing I can do something is a surefire way to get me to do something lol clearly I’m easily manipulated

  7. Well, pretty much the only thing it takes me to get out running 20 miles is the threat of a marathon in three weeks 😉 But YES I did come stalk you and awkwardly asked all the other Lululemon employees if any of them knew Lauren/where she was, but to no avail. Oh well. A for effort.

    1. Haha yeah it was a group of reps from every store in the region so we didn’t know each other terribly well yet – chances are you asked someone who didn’t remember me. I’m so sorry! I can’t wait to read about how you did though!

  8. Midwest weather is the craziest! Texas is still hottttt, although rumor has it, a “cool front” is on its way. I would run 20 miles if it meant an all-inclusive trip to a tropical destination was awaiting me 🙂

  9. For me to run 20 miles: mmm a little ian somerhalder at the finish line, vegan & raw chocolate treats for a year and maybe a $500 while foods gift card 😛 seriously I want to run a half marathon and I’m going to sign up for one to force myself to train! I love running, I just don’t like to go on long runs on a dark morning/afternoon at miami streets!! Sucks buuut it won’t stop me from doing it anyways!

  10. Nice work!! Very impressive! I dont think i could run 20 miles ever. Im just putting that out there. and I love those positive message signs, im such a sucker for uplifting things like that 🙂 also yes- boston weather is the same- completely irrational!!

  11. Great job with the workouts and it looks like you had an awesome weekend! What would it take for me to run 20 miles? A babysitter for my son, that’s about it!! 🙂 I LOVE tacos (or anything Mexican,) my husband makes the best ones around!
    I can relate to the crazy weather, Boston is acting just like Chicago, I have no idea what I should wear everyday because it goes from steaming hot to frigid overnight. The weather needs to pick a lane and stay in it bc I’m getting whiplash!

  12. haha i ran a marathon last year and now that i’ve been injured so often lately, 20 miles seems like a hellaaaa long time. i agree that cheering at a race can be so much fun, though, especially as a runner who knows how great it is to have ppl cheer for you when you’re in a race. mmm i am a huge fan of fish tacos — had them last night for dindin actually. best i’ve ever had, ahhhhh not quite sure…prob on vaca somewhere? i suddenly can’t remember anywhere i’ve ever gone on vacation, but yeah, i’m sure i probably had fish tacos there. 🙂

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