Going out on Valentine's Day is overrated, I'd rather work out. Or ski. I know it's a pretty bold statement, but you're dealing with special menus that usually come at a higher cost...and the crowds...and the difficulty with finding a reservation in the first place. I don't need the champagne, chocolate, roses and fine dining. Just give me a good workout with my lover and I'm happy.
Apparently, I'm not the only one who shares that sentiment, at least in the Windy City. Whether it's to make some sparks fly for singles or give couples alternatives to dining out, some Chicago spots are giving the sweat sessions the royal treatment this Valentine's Day.
Restaurants or running? We'll take option No. 2. Love is in the air, but it's also found on the run. That's at least true at Fleet Feet Chicago where 22 couples, and counting, have found love and marriage between the store's four walls. Whether you're looking to find love on the run or wanting to get some exercise with your sweetheart, you might want to test your running legs and loving heart at Fleet Feet. The store invites all runners, regardless of your relationship status, to its Cupid's Dash: Valentine's Day Fun Run . Leaving from its Old Town location, you'll run and then head back to the store for some freebies that certainly beat traditional Valentines in my book. Saucony previews their natural footwear--and you can run-test them. Runners receive Nathan Snap Bands based on their relationship status to run with and perhaps make some love connections. There will be plenty of food and drink, plus you can even consult with a matchmaker for some love advice or a personal trainer for some health advice. Fleet Feet Old Town, 1620 N. Wells, 6:30 p.m.
I may have said I didn't need the chocolate on Valentine's Day, but I wouldn't complain if I got some, especially when that chocolate coincides with a workout. Get your sweat on at The Mercury Method ...but get your chocolate, too. On Wednesday, sample Vosges chocolates before and after MM owner Lara Hudson's 6 p.m. class. You'll raise your endorphins with the Red Fire truffle before class, and you'll recover with the Black Pearl truffle, which boasts anti-inflammatories and a boost in red blood cells. Or score a workout deal after you buy those V-Day chocolates. Vosges and The Mercury Method teamed up to offer this: Spend $100 at Vosges' Lincoln Park boutique, get two free class passes and a MM water bottle. Sweet rewards? I think so. The Mercury Method, 1444 N. Milwaukee, 6 p.m. on Feb. 13. NTC Lincoln Park
Our favorite new spot in Lincoln Park is hosting a 3-mile run led by Nike Master Trainer Marie Purvis. Whether you need to start training for that upcoming race or you simply want to go runnings, lace up those running shoes and commit to be fit. NTC Lincoln Park, 833 W. Armitage, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Couples Workouts
Who hasn't heard that the couple that sweats together stays together? Couples can team up for some partner workouts at Body R+D, Fitness Formula Clubs and Pure Vibes Fitness. Those BOGOs work on Valentine's Day only and you might want to reserve a spot (like email Body R+D where those 10 megaformers fill quickly), but that's not a bad price to pay for love.
Or here's a gift, or two, that'll give beyond February 14. I got my butt kicked at Lateral Fitness last week--and now you can, too. Score three partner personal training sessions, which might be even more difficult than the group workout I tried , for $199. And Shred415 kicks off a challenge on Valentine's Day, encouraging couples--partners, roommates, BFFs, any duo goes--to tread and shed 30 times in 30 days. Meet that challenge (and no cheating, they're calculating your visits with a punch card) and you could win some prizes.
How are you spending your Valentine's Day? Do any of these deals sound better than dinner, or will you do both?