Gross and Sweaty

Date Distance Time Pace Comments
31 May 3.26 35:00 10:44 Elliptical

Whoo! I did an actual workout for the first time since I got back from my backpacking trip. The main reason I took a day off yesterday — besides that I need a day off every once and a while — is that the bottoms of my feet are really sore from hitting the ground so much. It really gets to you after a while, I swear. I was really afraid of running outside and hurting my feet and having a miserable workout. So I ran on the elliptical trainer instead. My mom just got back from her run, so she walked on the treadmill and watched Due Date with me. We were watching it as a family, but my dad didn’t like it that much. I think it’s alright.

It was a lot harder work than I thought it would be.  And my feet still hurt.  My medial arches hurt so much!  I think there’s something about the way my feet are when I’m running that stretches it.  It was a really hard workout, but it was nice having my mom with me to listen to my whining.  And the movie was distracting.  It was actually toward the end that I was starting to feel good, instead of plain exhausted.  I probably could have actually gone for longer…but I didn’t want to.  Now I’m gross and sweaty in my room.  But I feel really good.  Not running makes me cranky, and I’ve been cranky all yesterday and all today, so I think I’m going to feel better now.

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Uff Da!

I am sore and tired and ready to be back in my own bed in Wisconsin.  Right now we’re in a hotel in a little UP town on the shores of Lake Michigan.  I’m not going to write about my whole trip now.  But I did journal every day, so maybe I’ll copy that and edit and add to it.  It was a great trip though.  Beautiful views of Lake Superior, sheer cliffs, and sandy beaches.  In just one little section of lakeshore, there were so many microclimates.  Some areas muddy and swampy.  Others were obviously sand dunes a long time ago, and just have some plants growing on a thin layer of topsoil.  Sometimes we were walking right on the edge of the cliff.  The whole trip seemed like a geology and ecology lesson.  It’s making me remember why I’m in school in the first place.  When you’re in the city all the time, and just reading about ecology in textbooks, sometimes you forget what’s actually out there in the wilderness.  The North Woods is my favorite place.  Specifically I love the Boundary Waters, but the whole North Woods is where I feel at home.  Something about the familiarity of the smell of the pines or the lake or something.  It’s where my heart lives.

Long Drive Day

I got to bed pretty early last night, comparatively.  So it wasn’t too hard to get up in the morning.  Though I did appreciate my cup of french press coffee.  We got breakfast from downstairs in the hotel, and ate it in our rooms while watching HGTV.  I had a waffle and a danish and home fried potatoes.  Not the healthiest, but we’re on vacation.

Since we had a five hour drive today, we thought it was smart to look up a trail to hike to break it up.  My mom found a really good one right in the middle on the way.  It had something to do with logging, I think.  It was along a river that they used to float logs down.  It was really nice getting out hiking again in the North Woods.  I had forgotten how much I missed this environment.  The pine trees, the rivers and lakes, the way the topsoil is so thin there’s lots of rock showing, the lichen, the trilia.  It smells like home.  We weren’t trying to make time or anything, so we paused a lot to check out the river or take a side trail.  We ate lunch partway through, which was just a cliff bar.

I slept in the car for most of the day, but I did get some reading done.  We also started listening to A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving.  We’re going to listen to it together on the trail.  The way that works is we all download it onto our ipods, and then we start and stop it at exactly the same time.  We’ve done it before and it’s really nice.  Gives us something to talk about.  I also got a call about a job I applied for.  I was actually out of service when they called, so they just left a message.  But they wanted to set up an interview.  I figure if they want an interview then that means they’re hiring and I might actually get a job!  It’s a pretty sweet place, with an arcade and waterpark and everything.  And it’s really close to our house.  With that and the substitute position at the YMCA, I might actually make some money this summer.

After we settled in at our little motel room in Munising, we went out for a run.  After we got back we went and had dinner and felt like we’d earned it.  Our waitress was really cute.  Since they didn’t have much for vegetarian food, they let me make up a sandwich.  I had lettuce, onions, sauteed mushroom, and swiss cheese on toasted whole wheat bread with french fries.  It was really good.  My parents got fish.  It was really nice for the most part, but we were right next to the bar and there were people being noisy and obnoxious.  But they didn’t get that bad until we were right about to leave.  Over dinner we discussed shortening our trip to three days, two nights, and just hiking further on the last day.  The reason for this is that it’s really cold, and the forecast says it will rain on Saturday.  We weren’t looking forward to a cold rainy night.  Tomorrow morning we’re going to re-do our reservation at the Visitor’s Center to say that we’re camping in different places, and we’re going to get a hotel reservation for Saturday night.

We went to the grocery store afterward to by plastic bags to keep our feet warm and dry.  It sounds silly, and I think I’ll feel a little silly wearing plastic bags on my feet.  But it’s so much better to feel silly than to be cold and wet.  We also got latex kitchen gloves for our hands.  It’s by definition waterproof, right?  After that we walked around town a little.  I regretted not grabbing my winter jacket back home, but I just put my hood up and my hands in my pockets and I was fine.  It was nice wandering around the little town.

We finished watching Panic and ate brownies for dessert.  I finished reading Shadow of the Hegemon and called a friend while walking around outside.  It was really dark by then, and cold and windy.  I found a playground and swung on the swingset.  And I walked out on a dock and sat out on the end and looked at the lake.  I mean, it was really dark and there wasn’t much to see, but I imagined it stretching on forever.  Then I laid down on my back and looked up at the stars and felt the wind on my face.  I felt like water, like I was the surface of the water just feeling the wind and moving along with it.  It was amazing to see the stars again.  I could never see the stars in California because of all the air pollution.  It was so amazing to see the stars again.  I feel so big and so small at the same time.  I can’t even describe how the night sky makes me feel.  Breathtaking I guess.

Now I’m just laying in bed, feeling tired, which is surprising.  I think I’m getting back into a normal sleep rhythm.  This will be my last post for a few days.  I think this will be a good trip, if cold.

5/25 Run

I’ve decided to stop calling them “easy runs.”  Even though that’s what it says in my training log, it’s just to distinguish the length and pace.  They’re only easy compared to my other runs.

Since there weren’t any real interesting places to run, and we didn’t want to run on the road if we didn’t have to, we ran the trail that we’re planning to hike tomorrow.  Since we’ll be starting at the other end, I guess we ran the trail we’re hiking out the last day on.

It was super cold!  Mom kept saying that she told us that it would be this cold, but both my dad and I didn’t really compute it in our heads.  It was freezing!  But we stuck it out and went for a run anyway.  I think we would have gone crazy otherwise.  We had just finished a five-hour drive.

I wore what I usually wear, running shorts and a tank top, but I wore a long sleeve running shirt over that.  For the first part of the run, I wore some knit gloves my dad lent us, but then I got too hot.  I started off at a brisk pace, pretty fast my mom said.  I was leaving her in the dust.  But the cold air made my asthma worse, and I literally had to stop and take a breather before I could run anymore.  My mom was really good and right away was coaching me through breathing.  I took it easy after.  My pace was way slower than usual.  My mom said that was okay because it was trail running.  It was really hilly, and if I were running faster, I would probably trip over a root or a rock or something.  I actually did twist my ankle.  It still hurts a little.  The trail was really muddy in places.  We’re right on the shore of Lake Superior, and it’s “waterfall city” my mom said.  They’re just bunches of little trickles, but it muddies up the path pretty bad.  I’ve broken in my trail running shoes for sure!  My dad went further on the trail than we did, and he says that it gets much worse.  I’m not looking forward to hiking this part of the trail in the rain this Saturday.  I didn’t turn around right at 15 minutes, because I saw a hill up ahead, and I really wanted to take it.  We went alllll the way to the top of the hill without stopping, and that was our turnaround.  At about 18 or 19 minutes I think.  Since the total was 34 something, we had a negative split!

Overall, it was a good run.  Both my mom and I were considering passing on this run and taking the day off, because it was so gosh darn cold.  But we were both glad we stuck it through.  It was nice running with my mom too.  It was a while since we’d run together.  And, in the end, I was still leaving her in the dust.  That made me feel better about starting out slow.

Quack!

This little guy was sitting on the edge of the tub in the hotel bathroom. I don’t know if it’s standard, or we’re just special. 🙂

Seems like it took forever to get out of the house today, but we did finally.  Then it took us like twenty minutes to leave the city.  We have to turn left at a stoplight that seems to always been red.  I read Shadow of the Hegemon (my current Orson Scott Card book) at the beginning, and then slept the rest of the way.  We’re at the Hampton, my favorite of the Hilton hotels.  We went out to eat at a place called Gulliver’s, like Gulliver’s Travels.  It had great atmosphere.  Though the food left a little to be desired.  There’s not much you can eat at a restaurant when you’re vegetarian.  I would hate to be vegan trying to eat at a restaurant.  And the school dining hall’s salad bar could run circles around the restaurants’.

Afterward we walked around this little park my dad found.  It was really pleasant.  We then bought nut brownies at a grocery store for dessert.  We watched the movie Panic back at the hotel.  It’s kind of weird.  We didn’t get that far into it, but the girl in the movie is really hot.  I dunno.

Upcoming Backpacking Trip

We’re heading out on our trip in just a little bit. I still need to hem my new pants, but otherwise we’re all set to go. We’re trying out a new, lightweight kind of backpacking. We’re bringing only the bare essentials, and the lightest of that. This means that my parents spend a bunch of money to get the same stuff we already had, but lighter. It seems silly to me, but their new backpacks are super cool. With everything in them, minus water, our packs are about 20 lbs. That’s super light. This means that we’ll be able to go further during the day than usual. But it’s not that intense of a trip, so it really means that we’ll have more time to do little dayhikes or chill at camp.

We’re going somewhere in the UP of Michigan.  We’ll be hiking pretty much right along the shore of Lake Superior the entire time.  And if we’re not, we’ll probably be able to see it.  Big things aren’t really what impress me.  I prefer the little lakes of the Boundary Waters.  Probably because I am little myself?  But Lake Superior is beautiful.  It has a lot of history to it.

We’ll staying in a hotel the next two nights on our way up.  Then three nights, four days of backpacking, and a hotel the last night.  We drive all the way back home on Monday the 30th.  We’ll probably have internet access at the hotels, so I’ll blog then.  And I’ll be writing in my little travel journal during the trip.

5/24 Easy Run

The weather was cool and I used my inhaler in plenty of time before I started running. Today’s was an infinitely better run than yesterday’s. I think the weather had a lot to do with it. And my body is getting used to running ever day. I finished Hellhole just before my run ended, so I just started it over again. I put The Callahan Chronicles on my iPod to listen to next.