Sunday, June 24, 2007

Chicago, Chicago....

I had to go to Chicago last week to attend a two-day training workshop. I'm going to take the content of the class, whittle it down for our team at work, repackage it, reconnoiter (is that even a real word?) and then deliver it.

I say "had" -- like 'boo hoo, poor me' very facetiously. I LOVE Chicago. Always have, always will.

I lived there for almost four years during the late '80s. It was a great time in my life for me to be there. I was in my early 30's, single, very independent. I lived very close to Wrigley Field; worked in the suburbs for a couple years (reverse commute rocks) and then in the heart of the loop.

The city is so full of energy and life and always on the go. It was great.

Now when I go back, I either am running the Chicago Marathon or visiting some of the friends I have there. I've been back on business a few times, which is also a fabulous perk.

I stayed at one of my favorite hotel groups: the Kimpton Hotels. The hotels are in many major of the major cities, are a little kitschy, have very comfortable beds, great staff and will send up a goldfish to your room to keep you company.

The training was good -- subject was interesting, fellow participants interesting. Facilitator vacillated between being great and being pompous.

I got up at 5:30 each morning and either ran or took a long walk up and down Michigan Avenue. I had a couple of really great runs along the lake shore from my hotel, down to Navy Pier, up to North Street and back, making for a loop of about five miles.

I found out that a swanky health club in the loop are has reciprocity with my health club so I got in a 1,000 yard swim. This health club is not a big be liver in the concept of "heated pool". The water was a bit brisk. The only reason I could think of was that the triathletes in the city do a lot of their practice and races in Lake Michigan, which is mighty, mighty chilly. That or the club is cheap... Hard to know.

I did see several triathlete in the lake training. All but one were wearing wetsuits. The water was very rough on Saturday morning and one woman I watched seemed to stroke forever before she'd make any forward progress.

Watching those folks reinforced my gratitude that I swim in smallish, warmish, cleanish Minnesota lakes. Makes my triathlon life just a little easier.

Outside of training (attending) and training (doing), I got a chance to spend some time with my very good friend Bev. We had dinner in Evanston on Friday night and then got together Saturday afternoon before I left.

There was an art fair in Evanston that we wandered around, had a great lunch together and lots of laughs.

I got home last night and Hubby leaves today for a business trip of his own. He is going west for several days. We were able to have a nice dinner last night, get a round of golf in today and I'll take him to the airport in about an hour.

My goal for the week is to keep getting ready for MinneMan , which is this Saturday. I feel pretty ready, but need to get in the lake a of couple times and get some good bike rides in.

That, and try to keep up with the huge, giant workload at work.

1 comment:

Dori said...

Hey--good luck on Saturday! I'll be in California, but will send good thoughts your way.