5 signs I’m becoming Spanish

late-night meal

A fairly typical late-night meal of vino, tomate, queso y pesto.

Appearances may be deceiving, but I’m starting to believe that I’m becoming just a little bit Spanish day by day. The evidence:

1. These days my normal bedtime is around 2:30 am, and I wake up at 10:00 am. Dinnertime is 9:30 pm or later.

2. I’m peppering my sentences with words (and sounds) like vale and joder and buuuffff and oyyy.

3. I now prefer cafe cortado and cafe con leche to the large (watered-down) coffees in the states. Also, I have a special affinity for pimientos de Padrón and pan con tomate.

4. My students have discovered that I understand more Spanish than I’ve let on, and they’re talking to me (in Spanish) outside of class. (Though Antoni is quick to note that he will still consider me a guiri until I’ve lived here for a year.)

And the biggest indication of all …

5. I had a dream in Spanish last night! Holy. hell. That has never happened before.

+++

Are you living abroad? When did you know you’d become part of your community and no longer an outsider?

Chicago, I love you!

We still need to catch up on runs/workouts (or lack thereof) from last week …

So, I’m going to put my next form focus post on hold (you can see the first post of six here) and tell you about my Chicago trip instead. I don’t really talk about my life outside of running & working out here, but I’m going to make an exception for Chicago. (I fall a little bit more in love with that city every time I visit. I only sort of appreciated it when I went to college there.)

Friday: 8-9 mile run in Chicago neighborhoods

Saturday: nothing (Does dancing at a blues bar count?)

Sunday: nothing (Does practically-competitive pancake eating count?)

Well, at least I got in a long-ish (for me) run on Friday. I started at my cousin’s apartment in Roscoe Village and headed east toward Lake Michigan, past Wrigley Field.

Wrigley Field

This picture is kind of postcard-worthy, IMHO. (Minus the truck darting in from the right.)

The weather was gorgeous. The sort of sunny, slightly breezy Chicago day that tempts me to move back. And then I remind myself of December – March days and change my mind.

I continued until I hit the lakefront, then ran south through Lincoln Park toward downtown.

Chicago

Hello, beautiful skyline. (Yep, this photo is Instagrammed.)

My Garmin was going strong for the first 4.5 miles of the run or so (I didn’t care about my speed, but did want to track my distance), and then it gave me a Low Battery message. About 3 seconds later, it shut off. (Well, my, thanks for the fair warning. Guess I know now that I need to keep it basically fully charged at all times. Low Battery means no battery.)

I forgot what a running city Chicago is. There were so many runners, bikers and roller bladers along the lake. And even a guy wearing Air Kicks Anti-Gravity Boots (I kid you not — I wish I’d gotten a picture).

runners

Running along the lake with lots of people = instant energy boost.

After I’d gone for what I thought might be around 5-6 miles, I looped back toward my cousin’s. I would’ve liked to see exactly how far I ran, but I’m guessing it was around 8-9 miles. (I cut through and did a bit of a shortcut on the way back, so I know I didn’t do another 5-6 miles after the first.) With my first half marathon in 5 years coming up in just over 3 weeks, I know I need to put more mileage in my long run this upcoming weekend. I’m slightly nervous about that.

How come I didn’t run on Saturday or Sunday? Well, I was busy hanging with these girls:

in Chicago

That’s cousin Hannah on the left and cousin Emma on the right. <3

We did some Big Time Eating and some Big Time Cocktailing. It was fun. And lazy and gluttonous and just what a vacation should be.

Here we are at Blokes & Birds:

Blokes & Birds

Bubbles and cheesy grins

And at Kingston Mines:

Kingston Mines

I never go to clubs — I was feeling faaancy. (I even wore jewelry.)

And at Walker Bros. Pancake House with Aunt Pat on Mother’s Day:

Walker Bros.

Happy to all be together — and full from our share of omelettes and pancakes.

And in Pat’s backyard:

in Pat's backyard

Emma and I look a little under-dressed compared to Hannah’s high fashion. (Show off.) (Kidding. You’re adorable.)

We took A LOT of pictures. I’ll spare you the rest.

But I will tell you that if you’re in Chicago and looking for meals that you’ll be thinking of long after you return home, you should definitely eat at Mia Francesca (sit in the little courtyard in the back) and Twist (get the goat cheese, corn cakes and chocolate pie). I’m feeling nostalgic about those meals already — and wishing I didn’t leave my prosciutto pizza leftovers in Hannah’s fridge.

Up next: back to Portland and running technique (perhaps not as fun as chocolate pie, but fairly important for the goals & races at hand).