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NYC Marathon Training: Week One

NYC Marathon Training: Week One

Monday marked the start of my official marathon training for this fall’s New York City Marathon! This will be my 7th marathon overall, but possibly one of my hardest, given my injury issues over the past year. I will also be raising money to support buildOn and the great work they do to build schools in Mali and other developing countries around the world – your donations are greatly appreciated! Here’s a look at my first...

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I’m Running the NYC Marathon for Charity!

I’m Running the NYC Marathon for Charity!

When I ran my first marathon back in 2008, I raised money for the American Cancer Society and trained with their training program. I did so because I felt like I needed the support of a group training program to get through my first marathon and because the American Cancer Society meant a lot to me, having lost a number of loved ones to cancer. Now, seven years later, I am getting ready to run my 7th marathon. On November 1, I’ll line up...

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Taking the Train from California to Chicago

Taking the Train from California to Chicago

After taking the train across Russia in 2011 and most of the way across Kazakhstan in 2012, I added another train trip high on my “to do” list – crossing half of the United States, going from Chicago to California. As it turns out, a work trip took me to San Francisco just before Memorial Day weekend so it seemed like a good opportunity to make the trip, albeit it in the opposite direction. Bright and early on Saturday morning, I made my...

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A Weekend in Kalamazoo

A Weekend in Kalamazoo

Living in Chicago, I have easy access to a lot of the Midwest. However, despite living here for 14 years, I really haven’t taken advantage of easy train and bus connections to explore much of the surrounding states. So when the opportunity recently arose to head to Kalamazoo, Michigan to visit my friend Sally of Unbrave Girl, I jumped at it. I left late Friday afternoon, taking the Amtrak train out of Union Station, conveniently...

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Life is Too Short, Make the Most of It

Life is Too Short, Make the Most of It

I wasn’t even two weeks in to my year-long career break trip when the news came through my Facebook feed with little warning: a friend from law school had passed away suddenly. He was a year behind me and while we were friends in school, we had lost touch since graduation, only reconnecting through Facebook. Just weeks before, when I was home in Minnesota before leaving on my trip, he had liked one of my status updates. And then, as I was...

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Binder Park Zoo: A Taste of Africa in Michigan

Binder Park Zoo: A Taste of Africa in Michigan

I have been to a lot of zoos in my life. Growing up in Minnesota, trips to Como Zoo and later, the Minnesota Zoo (a/k/a the “New Zoo”) were pretty frequent. Here in Chicago, I have easy access to the Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the only free public zoos in the country. And once I started traveling, I sought out zoos in places I visited. The idea of zoos, though, has become increasingly controversial. Do they serve educational and...

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That Time I Was Named One of Chicago’s Most Eligible Singles

That Time I Was Named One of Chicago’s Most Eligible Singles

Those of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter likely saw back in February that I was featured in the Chicago Reader’s Valentines’ Day edition as one of Chicago’s most eligible singles. I’ve gotten quite a few questions about what happened afterwards, so I thought I’d share here how it all went down. After jokingly posting a link on Facebook for a call for nominations, my friends Brandon and Megan went ahead and nominated me. They...

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All the Things I Love About New York

All the Things I Love About New York

A few weeks ago, I headed to New York City for the first of three trips there in 2015. I have probably visited the Big Apple more than any other city in the world and I have often said I love to visit, but I would never want to live there. But as I visited for the umpteenth time (I really have lost count), I couldn’t help but think how all of the things I love about New York tend to outweigh the things I don’t. I love the subway system. It...

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Remembering the Armenian Genocide

Remembering the Armenian Genocide

When I first arrived in Armenia just over three years ago, I wasn’t familiar with the Armenian genocide. To be honest, I’m not sure I had ever even heard those words together. I was enamored with my Western Civilization class in high school but we got so far behind that we probably covered all of the 20th century in about a week. I am fairly certain we never learned about the Ottoman Turks attempting to exterminate the entire Armenian...

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Visiting the 9/11 Memorial and Museum

Visiting the 9/11 Memorial and Museum

I visited the newly opened 9/11 Memorial and Museum back in September but struggled to really write about it at that time. It was a surreal experience for several reasons, although surreal doesn’t really seem like the right word. For starters, it was the first time I had ever visited a memorial to something that happened in my lifetime. In all my years of traveling, I have been to my fair share of memorials but most have commemorated wars...

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