If you haven't guessed yet, I love to run. Obviously, I also love to eat. When the two come together magical things happen. Honestly I can hardly contain myself! Back when I started distance running a few years back I trained with a group for a half marathon. We would run and then try out different brunch places around the city; I LOVED this. We even had cute t-shirts made up for our group race day that listed each of the places we'd dined at. I still look for any excuse to pair the running and eating together and this past weekend the perfect opportunity presented itself with a unique trail race in the not too far suburbs of Chicago.
For those of you who aren't reading this blog in the Windy City, it was cold here on Saturday. Actually it was the coldest day of the year so far with temperatures topping out around 19 degrees, but thanks to the wind chill we felt like we were being exposed to single digit temps. Nonetheless, I had a partner in crime with my high school friend Lara and we ventured to Pulaski Woods in the Palos Park Forest Preserve for Red Bull's Trail Daze. Runners could select between three courses - easy, medium and hard with distances ranging from 4 to 6 miles. I ended up challenging myself to the hard course and was really enthused scrambling up steeper terrain, maneuvering over tree roots and avoiding poor footing. The cold made the conditions that much more invigorating! Of course there was Red Bull for the taking and bananas (yes, they were frozen by the temps!) but we were craving breakfast fare....
Moondance Diner was just a short car ride away. With flavored coffee choices (I selected a sweet biscotti treat) and a huge menu of sweet and savory options this place was the perfect post run treat. I am always annoyed when I am in need of more brew and can't find anyone for a warm refill - problem solved with my own carafe of coffee. Same went for water (in the cold it's always so hard to remember to stay hydrated after a run!) I was a happy lady post run when I sat in front of a steaming plate of goodness: eggnog battered french toast with a cranberry compote and a dollop of cinnamon butter so dark in color I thought it might be chocolate! I was able to add eggs and sausage to the mix too happily allowing me to have the perfect sweet/savory combination.
We rounded out the trip with a visit to Brookhaven Marketplace - a suburban chain that has a wide variety of imported European goodies and fresh produce at a bit more affordable prices. Yippee for a successful running and eating extravaganza!