Smoked Salmon Open Face Sandwiches and House Warming Party

Open Face smoked salmon with dill and green onion on top of cream cheese pumpernickel bread! 

I had my housewarming party on Saturday.  The plan was to clean and do food shopping on Friday to be more relaxed on Saturday morning but then:

and this:

Where by the time we got home, only cleaning prepping we were doing was our face against the pillows.

Somehow I did get my things together and prepped two pitchers of Sangria. an Italian pasta salad and some random beer and munchies.  My theory is if you give people enough alcohol they won’t care too much about what you fed them.  I covered the food to protect from Jack but I guess I’m too cool to remove it from photos.

I was in love with the pasta salad.  I followed this super easy recipe and will probably be making it now for every party I ever have because I lack originality or major cooking skills.  I did have two minor changes. I only used half a red onion and then a few things of green onion instead but I didn’t want onion burps.  I also only drizzled the Parmesan cheese on top and left it instead as a side for people to add to their heart’s content.

The Sangria Recipe was from a friend and it was awesome!  I did use 1/3 of the rum in the recipe because I planned on drinking lots of it and I did not want to pass out before everyone left.

A friend also brought over the best cake ever:

The cake was from Konditormeiser and made my Carvel birthday cake I got for Tony look pretty pathetic!  Mnn cake… guess what I’ll be eating all week!

After the house warming party we celebrated a birthday or two!

6th Annual birthday of winning!

And yes we stay classy here with tequila lemon slush.  It’s how you rock things New England summer style.

Being an independent running blog is harder than I thought!

Today’s run was in my usual 2 part fashion

6.5 mile runch in 55:30 for an average pace of 8:33

7.5 miles in I lost track of time because I reset the treadmill twice but I know I was switching between 8 min and 8:16 minute miles with a cool down and a 3 walk breaks.  My guess that the average pace was around 8:30 when all was sad and done.

I’m attempting some last-minute speed work before the RnR Providence half.  I’m also praying to the weather gods that it be a cool and dry morning. After two races of PRs and no recent speed training I don’t foresee a PR this month after all not every race is a PR and that’s okay.

I did love today’s Runner’s World Quote email:

Experience has taught me how important it is to just keep going, focusing on running fast and relaxed. Eventually it passes and the flow returns. It’s part of racing.

– Frank Shorter, U.S. Olympic Marathoner

And last but not least, Jack Meower is commanding you please to resubcribe!  I miss my likes and followers… WordPress.com definitely had its perks in that sense!

Missing a long run

Today’s run – 6.1 miles 55 minutes incline 3 with heavy legs

I missed another long run this weekend and I almost (well more like kinda) freaked out.  I had my heart set on doing the Montreal Marathon (even though I’m not even sure I’ll be free to go).  And no I didn’t make it up today, instead I took the cat for a walk and made nachos.

I know I can complete another marathon but I would prefer to run it, not walk it in misery.  If I don’t get in at least 3 20 miles or more, I’ll switch to the half.  I just need to breathe and remind myself…

“Listen Liana, you and I need to have a talk… Chill out… no seriously CHILL OUT! You ran over 64 miles last week. Yes part of it was 16 to catch up for a missed long run the week before but none the less that’s still 64 miles.

You love sleep… just remember all those morning hours you spend fondly with your pillow and blanket… yea you would have to give up a lot of those hours to run before the heat and even then it’s no guarantee.

Did I mention you ran 64 miles which is more than enough even with no long run?

Also you signed up for not one but TWO more marathons.  Even if you sit out the September one, you still have the Newport one in October or the Philly one in November.

Chill out, enjoy the summer, have a short run and enjoy your beer. Running a half empty marathon instead of a full is not the worst thing in the world.”

Well now that I had that reminder, I’m going to relax.  So while I did not finish a long run, I did run 23 miles this weekend.

Saturday 10 miles – Average Pace of 8:41 on a hot muggy day.  I could have ran a little faster but I was running with Tony and I prefer company over speed these days.  Problem with heat that unlike cold, it is not a great motivator to run faster.

Sunday 13 miles – I wanted to run at the Y and in less than 100% humid air-conditioned room but as I jogged the half mile to the gym I was smacked in the face with this:

Now you’re wondering why I went for a long run so late?  Well I got motivated to clean over 90 windows in my #VictorianHouseProblems house. That’s counting each panel but not the storms.  I don’t know why, I must have been possessed.  Even with hours of work I didn’t get too far beyond the  Kitchen.  I hate windows, smash them all!

The reason I even went to the Y was aside from humidity, it was getting crazy dark and looked like it was about to downpour.  Well the downpour stayed as light rain for about 11 miles when it started to pour.  I tried to keep running and lasted a little over 2 more miles before I called it quits at 13.5 miles for the day.  I know 13 miles is no short distance but it was very disheartening when I tried so hard to make my 18.  My pace was slower than usual because I kept it easy for hills and hopeful distance.  Average pace was around 9 minute miles.

On Saturday I got to attend one of the most fun and beautiful weddings I’ve ever been to!  I couldn’t have been more happier to be part of this great union.

It was at a castle

With the biggest filet mignon I’ve ever seen

And a beautiful ocean side outdoor reception

Did I mention it was at a castle where we ended the night with sparklers?

And yes runners clean up well!

Exploring Chicago – Ukrainian Village & Lincoln Park Zoo

I’m posting double (wordpress and here) in hopes of getting more people to resubscribe and re-link to my new blog.  =)  Please re-subscribe on this page as wordpress doesn’t allow me to transfer subscriptions =(.

Our third day in Chicago we go less ambitious.  I wanted to do two things:

1. Visit Brooksfield Zoo

2. Eat at Calumet Fisheries

However, neither were next to each other and each involved a trek of an hour out of Chicago via rail or bus combo.  It was Sunday and we decided to stay inner-city.  Well relatively… since we went north.

Our first stop was a neighborhood called “Ukrainian Village.”  I wanted to visit it and see if it compares to Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, NY.  Alas very few things do but none the less the little village did have it’s charm with being smaller, friendlier and cleaner than NY!

Interesting part of Chicago neighborhood layout is that north is Wicker Park, a hipster hood of “vintage” shops and yummy cafes.  Midday you can see the babushkas walking along side the skinny jeans trotting hipster.

I scouted yelp for a place to feed my belly and stumbled upon Shokolad

Tony was HUNGRY and ordered “Gutsulske Pechenya” which was cubed beef, potatoes, carrots, lima beans, & celery combined in a clay pot & cooked until tender. Served with freshly backed ricotta rolls.  I ended up eating half his rolls while scooping up the soup.  It might have been 95 degrees outside but tasty hot soup is still tasty!

I went a little less heavy and ordered one of my childhood favorites!  Blueberry Varenyky!  Oh how home sick they made it!  I wish there was a place in Boston I could get them.  I could always make my own but I got two left hands when it comes to cooking.  So good with sour cream!

We then continued to walk around the check out the churches and all the residents in their Sunday wear.

This was one of the cooler 10 churches we saw; but I’m not sure which is called what.  Afterwards we took a bus outward to Lincoln Park

They had a really cool green house with free entrance!

The problem with wearing yellow is that I think I confused all the bees!  They loved me.

So many cool orchids!

Giant Fishies!

Aside from the botanical building, Lincoln Park also has a free city zoo!  They guy was feeling the heat as well

And this was my first time seeing a hippo out of water!  They are huge!!!!!! So cool!

We left the park to go search for Fro-Yo, however we never made it to fro-yo

Instead we got distracted by a pizza joint… We saw a bunch of people outside and wondered why!  Chicago Pizza & Grinder over Co.  So we came to a halt of something shiny and walked in.  The guy that owns the place doesn’t take your name, he just remembers your face as you wait to get seated.  Luckily Tony and I are small so we took a TINY but cozy booth right away.  While we were deciding between pizza or continuing for fro-yo, locals assured us we have to eat here, it’s the best, they been going here for YEARS… so how could we say no to the eager faces looking to share their joy.

Tony and I were actually not that hungry so we decided to split a small salad and a half pounder (of pizza).  And yes that’s their version of a small side salad.

The pizza! I’m usually not a fan of Chicago Style pizza being a New Yorker and all I view it more as a pot pie with tomato sauce. However, call it what you might this was quite tasty!

Yes I look dirty and exhausted.  Walking around miles in 95 degree weather definitely throws vanity out the window.

After the pizza and frosty adult beverages I forgot all about the Fro-yo as we walked back south to North Beach where I ran the day before.

It’s so beautiful!  Chicago Peeps you’re too lucky!

We were totally in love with Chi-Town!

This picture was taken from the Navy Pier as night which aside from the city view was very uneventful.  They didn’t even have an arcade… I was really itching to play some skeeball… None the less a great day and sadly our last full day.