A brief glance back in time: Friday, after some good convo with a fellow yahoo poker addict, I biked towards Helen's condo for dinner. But I had some time to burn so I stopped at Millennium Park (who knew millennium has 2 n's in it??) (here's a good shot of it..). I layed down on the cool grass in the pavilion and took a little nap. It is dimly lit throughout the evening, had a very peaceful ambiance. I then walked it over towards the bean and picked through the exhibit of photos and dialog detailing the past, present, and future of the sustainability of Chicagoland. It was very well put together, I hope it helps increase awareness through it's prominence. If people would just take a few moments to read it. I then made it to Helen's where dinner was about half done and we all kinda helped a bit to finish it... great experience! I feel bad because I don't remember all the names but I will get them down pretty soon. Helen and Ed are from Scotland, Yvonne is from China, Mark (I think) is from... uh... Dutchland? :), his girlfriend forget her name is from Brazil, and the other girl I forgot her name almost immediately :( is from Korea, she's been in Chicago the longest, 9 or 10 years, and is in interior design. (yeah, I make up for not remembering her name by remembering other details) So, as Helen pointed out right away, I was the only non-foreigner there.. what an experience! Great food, mostly made from scratch, it was a mix of Scottish food and Chinese food. :) Yvonne was just visiting Helen for a few days, still lives in China. I was given a lot of ethnic perspectives, though didn't have all that many to contribute myself.. biked home a bit after midnight.
Saturday morning I did all my whites laundry, biked over to the library to use their wifi and look for (and not find) a Dune book, and generally just relaxed. Midafternoon I went over to Lincoln Park for the Pumpkins in the Park 5k. Met up with Jason and Adam, watched some of the kids races, and then just barely broke 20 minutes with my 5k, and stuck around afterwards; found Ed - this was his first 5k he seemed to enjoy it. Lots of free food and a coupla guys on guitars playing headlines. Caught up with John and got some good training tips. Jason got 4th place! (for some reason he's "Lason" on those records..) I then headed home, packed an overnight bag, threw my bike in the truck, and drove over to Rockford to hang out with Eric at the Rockford branch's annual Harvest Celebration, pretty fun, and a lot good free food again. Afterwards we went to one of his friends' house and proceeded to nearly catch their backyard on fire with a huge bonfire. Went back to Eric's and crashed in their basement, breakfast and Mass with the fam in the morning, Eric left for work, and I went mountain-biking with his Dad on trail at Rock Cut State Park before I left to head back to Chi-town. After long traffic delays, I parked on the street near work and put in a few hours of server work along with a bit of poker. In my truck, my bike was locked to itself - U-lock connecting front tire to bike frame - but it was gone when I came out of the office. So my bike had a good final day in my possession. This week I've been taking the bus and tomorrow will be checking out Working Bikes to see if I can get a good deal. I figure a lot of people are getting rid of their bikes from the summer, like at my backup vendor, the Chicago Bike Station that is currently selling off all it's rentals.
Last night I joined Ivonei in checking out Holy Name's monday night volleyball in the upstairs gym in the parish center. There were probably 30 people there and despite the fact that I was horrible starting out and only a degree better throughout the evening, it was a blast. I think I will be back for more. It's also a very... secular? thing, so maybe some of my heathen friends will join me for it sometime. ;-) There is a broad range of skill levels, I wasn't the worst one there, but there were some pretty hardcore players too. But everyone is patient with one another... though of course competitive.
A marathon is 42 kilometers. Here is how I did, broken into 5k (3.1mi) chunks, last year and this year.