Oh my goodness. I can’t believe it has been almost a week since I posted! That is not like me, but we went up to Northern Michigan for an extended holiday weekend and between spotty internet and having a great time I just didn’t post.
We took off on Thursday, drove up and made it there by late afternoon. The first thing we did was go for a run, of course. The best part of this was that in Chicago we have been dealing with crazy amounts of humidity and it has just been dragging everyone down. My miles have been ticking out but ever so slowly. However, on Thursday’s run we were literally going a minute per mile faster than back in Chicago.
I am constantly reminding runners that humidity takes everything out of you, more so than even the most suppressive heat. But this was a great reminder. With my husband at my side we ran 7 smooth and strong miles finishing with a 7:30 mile, my strongest since coming back from this nagging injury. It felt fantastic and it was a great way to boost my confidence. Humidity will slow you down. Be patient and went it disappears you will be just as strong, if not stronger.
After our run we got to go to the Blazer Bash, the welcome back party for students in my hometown. Last year my husband dressed up as a cow to help promote a series of trail races to support the track and cross country teams. If you live in the area check out this link for the annual Tough Udder (that is not a misspelling).
You can sign up here.
On Saturday my husband needed to do a 16 mile run. It was pouring out and we drove to my parents while we tried to figure out where to go. Finally we took off and decided to head towards our house, which I figured was 16ish miles away. Let me tell you. This was one rough run! It was by far the most humid conditions I have ever ran in. It was also very muddy and a few detours that I took us on happened to be dirt roads. I also managed to get us slightly lost. The route also consisted of some of the largest hills we have ever had to do as well. Top that off with the trip ending up being 15.2 miles and we finished with an annoying and painful .4 miles out and back from our house.
It was arguably one of the hardest runs either of us has done. Between the mud, humidity and then the crazy hills, it was nearly as hard as our last marathon. There was also a lot of wildlife and road kill that kept us on our toes! Our shoes were so wet with sweat after this run that they didn’t dry out for 3 days, even with a fan blowing directly on them. Gross!
We had a great time dining out with some of my childhood friends and also hit the casino where I was a big winner. Yep, I won $8 on the penny slots. Big spender over here.
On our last run we went into Grayling Michigan which is home to the nation’s largest National Guard training camp as well as a famous annual canoe marathon and Hartwick Pines State Park. This small town has a perfectly paved path that goes all the way from town back to Hartwick Pines which is a beautiful park full of Michigan’s state tree, the white pine.
My husband had speed work on his training plan so the path was the perfect place to go. It is nice and flat and weaves in and out of the woods alongside the road. I was again having a nice and speedier run so I didn’t stop to take pictures. But I did come across one of the funnier signs I have ever seen on my running route. A sign for tanks crossing.
Our weekend adventure ended with just one slight hiccup. On our final evening of the summer we had just set a nice fire in the fireplace and I had poured myself a glass of wine when I started to hear a lot of noise in the bathroom. Apparently a pipe or a valve or something in the wall decided to burst and water came flowing out of places in the shower that it shouldn’t be. To top it off, the laundry room decided to start dripping from hidden places. Yikes! We managed to shut off all of the water to our house just in time and fingers are crossed that the plumber finds an easy solution.
All in all it was a great time up north. We had a great time with our friends and family and I am already looking forward to next summer! I hope everyone had a lovely Labor Day weekend.