the mile report

tales of a running grad student

Weekend Recap: Indy & Chicago


Happy National Running Day!  I plan to celebrate by lacing up for a garage circuit later this morning.

But let’s catch up on last weekend.  Beware…this post is long, but I have a lot to recap after the race on Saturday morning! Ryan and I hung around Indianapolis on Saturday and drove up to Chicago on Sunday.

In Indy, we explored the trails of 100 Acres (Did you think of Pooh Bear?), a park within the Indianapolis Museum of Art.  There are some sweet art projects nestled in the woods, and we snapped a few artsy pics.


Giant hoops in the sky

IMA signs

My favorite arrow said “sometimes a chipmunk”

Fun fact about the park: One of its exhibits, Funky Bones, was featured in the movie [and book] The Fault in Our Stars.  Remember when Augustus and Hazel sat on the giant skeleton sculpture?  Due to budgeting, they actually used a replica of the sculpture and filmed in Pittsburgh.

Back to our Indy fun, we ate froyo on the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument…



…and went to an Indianapolis Indians game (minor league baseball).

Victory Field

Victory Field with Lucas Oil Stadium in the background (Colts stadium)

I checked the weather forecast before the game…it was supposed to rain, but we decided to go anyway.  And since we like to live on the edge, we chanced it with no umbrella.  I put my phone in a plastic bag though because I had to draw the line somewhere.

The sky looked okay until a mass of ominous-looking clouds rolled in during the 4th inning, and everyone around us whipped out their umbrellas.  The game announcer invited the “lawn people” into the concourse due to incoming weather (I cracked up at that announcement), and we stayed and gawked at the dark clouds, umbrella-less and hood-less.



Then BAM! It poured, and we got soaked on our sprint back to the car.

It was nice to leave the game a few innings early though because we had a big day ahead of us on Sunday: Chicago!  Both of us had been to Chicago several times but never together, so we decided to drive up for the day on Sunday.  Ryan was route master and mapped out a course through the main touristy things (we all know that I’d still be wandering the streets of Chicago if I tried to do that).

First Stop: Navy Pier!
Navy Pier

We parked near Navy Pier and started our giant walking loop.  The last time I had been to Chicago was probably 4(?) years ago, and Navy Pier looked totally different!  Renovation is going on now, and that plus the cold weather made it a ghost town on Sunday.

Next…Maggie Daley Park & Millennium Park (I’ll lump ’em together because they’re both parks and right next to each other)

Maggie Daley

Soo cool!


Obviously we had to get a picture at the Bean.

Millenium park

Classic Bean pic

Next up: FOOOOD.  I was so hungry that I probably would have settled for anything edible (I was eyeing up Chipotle), but luckily Ryan encouraged me to walk a little longer to Lou Malnati’s.


We started by inhaling a Chicken Caesar Salad.  The restaurant ended up covering the salad for us because the wait was long, which was so nice of them.

Lou Malnati's

We ranked the “free salad moment” very highly in our list of coolest parts of the day.  Right behind how amazing the pizza was.

Lou Malnati's


Fueled up, we walked the streets.  Power-walked, really, because it was freezing!  My hands were too cold to take out of my pockets, so enjoy this one picture.


I debated buying another layer as we passed all of the stores on the Magnificent Mile, but I resisted…and then changed my mind after we passed all of the nice stores and bought a $7.99 crewneck sweatshirt at CVS.  Haha.

We walked up to the Lincoln Park Zoo and made some animal friends.  Our official ranking of the coolest animals: 1. the monkey that swung from branch to branch, 2. the monkey with a teeny baby monkey on its back, 3. the other monkeys, 4. the kangaroos, 5. the beaver and all other animals.

Please look at the kangaroo just chilling in the back of the picture.  Fun fact: I collected stuffed kangaroos for a decade.


We finished up our loop by walking along Lake Michigan back to the car.

Lake Michigan

Ryan tracked our steps on his phone, and our grand total was…


Oof.  10.54 miles in boat shoes and no socks (big mistake on my part) and only one blister to show for it= mega success.

I was impressed with how much we managed to do in only a day.  And that wraps up the weekend (and my longest blog post ever)!

Are you celebrating National Running Day?
What is your favorite city?
What is the coolest animal at the zoo?


  1. LOL the first thing I noticed was your shoe choice for all that traveling. I’m constantly looking for cute shoes that can handle a lot of walking so I always check that out on girls- creepy? or practical? OMG what an amazing trip!!! That museum is ridiculously awesome!! Fun fact: I used to want a pet kangaroo to the point where I researched it and gave my parents information on how it would actually be feasible. The only thing I missed was that it is illegal to have in CA…oops.

    • YES the constant stuggle of cute yet functional shoes. I didn’t really think about how much we’d be walking, but those shoes worked out surprisingly well! It was a risky move to wear them because they were brand new. I started to get a blister 7ish miles in (I almost bought adorable animal socks at the zoo), but I would definitely wear them again for a walking-heavy day (maybe with little socks)

      Haha I love that you researched a pet kangaroo!! Guess you’ll have to move.

      • Ya’ll I cannot recommend Sketchers GoWalks enough! I walked almost 15 miles in mine during my trip to Peru and it legit felt like I was walking on clouds the whole time! They are my favorite shoe ever (an this is coming from a girl who loved her heels :))


    Did you get “The Lou” from Lou Malnati’s?! That pizza looks like it. And OMG I would never have thought to walk from downtown to the Lincoln Park Zoo. Maybe I’m lazy, but it’s a little far! I’m impressed. No wonder you got that many steps 🙂 You guys are so cool for going on a Chicago adventure!!! Especially on such a crummy day.

    • Yes we got The Lou! I love how you could tell from the picture! You are a true chicagoan (is that the right word? In ohio, we’re Ohioans.)

      Downtown to the zoo was a far walk but doable. We made it a goal to not have to deal with public transportation, and it’s such a walkable place! I’m totally going to let you know next time we’re in your city 🙂

  3. I celebrate National Running Day by…. sleeping in. After two days without sleep, I gladly silence my 5am alarm an skipped my run haha!
    That looks like a seriously fun weekend (and somewhat painful in boat shoes aye!)
    And holy moly, that pizza looks amazing and totally worth the wait!!

  4. THIS LOOKS LIKE SO MUCH FUN!!! I think Mike and I explore new cities exactly like you two… by walking lots!! (but pretty sure I’ve never attempted it in boat shoes and no socks… haha ouch) When we went to Toronto a few years ago we walked ~11 miles through the city in one day. It was insane, especially since we were there for a half marathon the next day… needless to say I was tired for that. Oh well. BUT we got to see so much more than if we drove so it was a total win!

    • 11 miles of walking and then a half marathon the next day! You guys are crazy!! (totally something we would do too). yeah, you get to see a whole lot more, AND you don’t have to worry about parking! (and people honking at you, which I hate)

  5. Chicago has a lot of neat buildings. Last time I was there with my family, we took a boat tour that was all about the architecture of Chicago. It was pretty neat!

  6. Looks like you hit all the big things in Chicago! I don’t think I’ve ever seen Navy Pier empty, it’s always crazy packed whenever I go.

    Lou Malnati’s is the BEST!

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