My baby sister (also a runner) Marta moved from Los Angeles to Chicago this past summer. She picked an unfortunate year to move. We had an unseasonably warm winter in California, and Chicago experienced quite the opposite. With winter starting to fade, we are excited to explore Marta’s new city.
Tangent. Think it’s emotional finishing your first marathon? Try watching your younger sister do it. Marta ran her first marathon, the LA Marathon, in 2013. I was so proud. Somehow I managed to catch her at mile 16 in Beverly Hills and had enough time to race down to Santa Monica, find a parking spot and sprint to the finish line just in time to see her finish. Watching her during that final sprint was surreal. I was so amazed what she had accomplished, and distinctly remember thinking to myself “Those little legs have endured more than 26 miles, and there she goes sprinting to the finish line.” My screaming was a little out of control, and I got chocked up when she crossed the finish line. Marta impressed us all with a time of 3:50. When I raced down Ocean Avenue during the LA Marathon exactly one year later, despite my exhaustion, I smiled, remembering how I felt watching Marta on the sidelines.
OK, back to Chicago. This morning Brent and I were awake by 6 AM (3 AM in Alaska!) and hung out with Marta before she left for work. We went on a windy five mile run on the infamous Chicago Lakefront Trail. The views of the city and Lake Michigan made it well worth it. A woman on the trail stopped mid-run and asked us if we wanted a picture. Gotta love the midwesterners! We averaged a comfortable eight-minute mile pace, showered and headed out for breakfast and State and Lake. The staff was so friendly, excited to welcome us to Chicago. My nutella oatmeal hit the spot. Expect more oatmeal recipes in the upcoming weeks. I LOVE oatmeal.
Lakeshore Trail Old Country Oatmeal with Nutella, Banana and Graham Cracker Crumbs at State and Lake Restaurant
Brent and I are about to head out to Michigan Avenue and the Art Institute of Chicago. Tonight we’re cooking Marta dinner and are going to The Second City, Chicago’s famous improv theatre. Tomorrow, Mama, Papa and the Backous’ will be joining us for Easter weekend. We are excited for some family time in Chicago.