We woke up to weather reports that today was going to be a rollercoaster of weather. Looking ahead to our 5k tomorrow was even worse. It seems rain is certain and, as pacific northwesterners, we’re accustomed to that EXCEPT this rain comes at a 23° temperature (74° for my Fahrenheit friends) that feels like 28° (83°). Yikes!
It was mostly grey and cloudy, but still warm – a strange combination for us, one that I’m not sure we were totally prepared for.
We walked about ten minutes from our first hotel and took the L downtown to our new hotel, the Hyatt Centric Magnificent Mile. We were able to get a room even though we arrived before check-in and we settled into our new space, unpacking and contemplating what to do next.
If you’ve never participated in a large scale organized run before, the expo is a big treat. It’s like runners’ heaven: shoe sales, gadgets sales, food samples. A good one has it all. And this was a good one. We grabbed our race packages and we toured the venue picking out some clothing each and stocked up on Nuun electrolyte tablets. I was pretty excited about that because they were one of the only things I had hopes of finding there. They’re unreasonably priced in Canada so I like to get some whenever I’m south of the border.
Another shuttle ride back to our hotel and it was already 5pm and we hadn’t eaten anything aside from expo samples so we decided to do what any reasonable pair of sensible women would do: go out for a run.
We headed to Lake Michigan just down the road and ran the Lakeside Trail. It was cloudy and grey and muggy. Blech. At least it was new scenery and good to get out and get moving.
From there we wandered to Navy Pier which wasn’t as exciting or obnoxious as I’d been led to believe. I was expecting cotton candy and a cacophony of noises. It was pretty low-key. A bunch of kids running around and tourists taking selfies, sure, but aside from the three rides, it wasn’t very carnival-esque. Just fun.
From there, we walked further along the waterfront until we shot inland and over to Millenium Park and Cloud Gate or “The Bean.”
Even at dusk it was breathtaking and it was really neat to look at and explore. There were still a lot of people around and the crowds were thick with photo takers, but we got a few of our own before heading back to the room for showers.
We made but one stop on the walk back to our hotel and that was when we spotted the sign for something that we had on our DEFINITELY DO list: Stan’s Donuts. As we stood outside debating should we/shouldn’t we, we shrugged and went inside.
If you’re keeping score, you’ll know that this would be the first thing we’d really eaten all day, but, heck, we’re on vacation. And it wouldn’t be the last thing.
Nope, we ordered in arguably the best classic Chicago deep dish pizza in the city from Lou Malnati’s.
Day two is done. We have a race in the morning.