Chicago Marathon (& Food) Recap

I LOVE CHICAGO!

It's seriously one of my favorite cities to visit so I was super excited to get a chance to run the Chicago Marathon. And I love trying out new vegan restaurants.

Just a disclaimer: This is not how we usually eat! This is straight up vacation eating! Chris and I try to keep it clean as much as possible, but after the marathon a little celebration was in order.

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We flew in Saturday and went straight from the O'Hare to Native Foods Cafe.  This place is amazing and we ended up eating here a few times because it was so close to our hotel (we stayed at the Wyndham Grand) and it has a pretty varied menu. Seriously, everything on the menu sounded so delicious. With the marathon the next day I decided to play it safe with the Taco Salad with added avocado and a side of fries and Chris got a BBQ Chicken Salad and the Thai Chili Brussel Sprouts. They also had Watermelon Juice with free refills so I had a few glasses of that. 

After picking up my bib I was tired from walking around the expo and traveling (plus it was storming) so we called it an early night and ordered delivery from Native Foods. I got the Buddha Bowl (Teriyaki sweet potatoes, fanned avocado, fresh seasonal fruit, roasted corn, daikon sprouts, and cilantro jasmine rice) and Chris got the BBQ Burger (savory patty with seitan bacon, melted cheddar cheese, crispy shallots, tangy BBQ sauce, creamy ranch, lettuce and mayo on a whole wheat bun). My bowl was the perfect meal for the night before a race.

The morning of the marathon I had some of my Power Oats. Before I left Brooklyn I put all the dry ingredients in a mason jar so the night before I just added some almond milk and fruit. I had a cold brew coffee and a big glass of water with NUUN tablet in it. 

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I've learned the hard way not to drink the Gatorade at races. It just doesn't agree with my stomach. I took two NUUN tablets and broke them in half and put them in a small plastic bag along with two BCAA caps and Advil incase my hip started hurting.

The race itself was amazing. My Garmin was wonky for some reason when I ran through downtown, I think the tall buildings thew it off. One mile it had me at a 5:30mile, the next a 12:00 mile. I decided to not look at my watch the rest of the marathon. Around mile 16 it got so hot. The temperature was almost 80 degrees and the sun was beating down. I started to walk through the hydration stations, pouring water on my head and drinking some too. At mile 6, 12, 17 and 22 I took a half a NUUN tablet to replenish my electrolytes and took a GU every 4 or 5 miles. Along the course they had sprinklers and misting fans and they really helped to cool me down. I also grabbed ice every chance I got and shoved it in my sports bra.

I finished slower then I had planned. Pre injury I was aiming for 4:15, post injury I was just aiming to finish in one piece. I finished around 5 hours with a killer sunburn. Who cares about time?! I was so happy and thankful to finish. My hip felt good the whole run. I felt (for the most part) good the whole run. And the ice cold beer was everything.

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After I showered and ate some leftovers, we went to the Chicago Diner to celebrate. I've been looking forward to eating here for soooo long. We split the nachos and I got Chicken Ranch Sandwich and Chris got a burger. For the way home we got a peanut butter milkshake to split. I don't know if it was from the heat, or all the gels, but my stomach felt off so I could only eat half my sandwich. I bounced back later that night and ate the rest of my leftovers and ended up falling asleep during Blade Runner. What can I say? I was tired AF!

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Monday morning we walked over to Whole Foods to hit up Real Good Juice to get some bowls. I got the Fruity Pebbowl (blue magic, banana, vanilla, granola) with added vegan protein and Chris got the Rambowl (acai bowl with cacao mousse and other good things). We walked around the city for a while and ended up getting lunch at (surprise surprise) Native Foods. I got the Chicken Ranch sandwich and Chris got the Rueben. What I liked about Native Foods is that even though it was fake meat, I didn't feel heavy or bloated after. I should also note that before every meal I was taking Digestive Enzymes. Every time I travel I take digestive enzymes with me, especially if I'm eating at not so healthy vegan restaurants.

Later that night we went to Handle Bar. I wanted to check out Kitchen 17 but wasn't sure if they were open. After all the heavy (but delicious) vegan food, I wanted some  real food. I got the Nut Stew, which is basically a sweet potato soup with a lot of yummy veggies and rice. Chris got the Sambal Tofu, which is a peanut-y sauce with tofu and rice. I'm definitely going to try to recreate it in the near future. 

Tuesday morning on our way to the airport we made one last trip to Chicago Diner because I needed to get my favorite dish: Cinnamon Roll French Toast. I legit DREAM of this dish. It was just as good as I remembered. Chris and I split the biscuits and gravy and I felt fat and sassy on the way to the airport.

I had such a good time in Chicago and I can't wait to go back again and eat at all the places we didn't get to. 

xo