Thursday, July 2, 2009

Finally, Mackinac Island Running

It's 11:30 pm and someone within about a mile or two of our house is still firing off professional style, loud fireworks. They are pretty, but really, enough is enough.

Anyway, I should be getting some work done or sleeping, but I really want to get this post up about Mackinac Island before I forget it (it's only been almost three weeks since we were there).

We were able to spend three days/two nights on the island and stayed at the Sunset Condos. It had a nice view of the sunset and a decent view of the Mackinac Bridge. It was about two miles from the ferry dock and town and we had quite an adventure finding it, but it was a nice place.

We did a lot of bike riding – Steve, Kate, and I brought our own, complete with a tag-a-long for Emily. It is so much fun to watch her ride. She pedals, takes a break, sings songs from Sound of Music, turns around (to which I think, you need to watch where you are going, only to realize she can’t see anything), stands up and, every once in a while, lets go while standing up.

After riding around the island and through the middle of the island, we went back to the condo to give the kids a break and I went for a run. I rode down to the library (about a mile) with my dad and while ran, he used the internet connection there and got some work done. The library ended up closing while he was working so he moved out to the porch and was able to stay connected. To boot, there was an outlet right there so he was able to plug in the computer.

Because we rode around the island counter clockwise, I decided to run clockwise around. It was a good choice as I was able to see things I hadn't seen before, like the beautiful Victorian homes on the bluff just to the west of the Grand Hotel.

As you go around the perimeter of the island, you can always see the water and the pebble beaches. When we road around, we stopped at several of them to skip stones as well as collect them. I think we left the island with about 5 pounds of rocks. It got to the point that we started taking pictures of them rather than carry them.

While I passed several cyclists going around the island, I only passed a couple of walkers and no runners. I will say, though, it was very enjoyable not having to deal with car traffic.

Outside of the mile stretch of town, there really isn't much along the rest of the outside of the island except for a variety of cottages so I just enjoyed the scenery.

The best view, though, is from Arch Rock, just before rounding the north (I think) bend and heading back into town. While the view from the road is okay, the view from above looking down is pretty neat. This picture is from the lookout at Arch Rock. The road is covered by the trees. Needless to say, there is quite an elevation difference between the exterior of the island and the interior. We climbed some pretty steep hills on the bikes - we ended up walking up several of them and we weren't alone.

Once you round the north bend of the island, you start getting back into what seems like civilization - passing a couple of resorts and then getting into the town. It feels quaint, like you are going into the past, with the horse and carriages clomping down the street and more Victorian style houses.

A bit farther down the road, you get into the business district that is a bit more touristy with multiple fudge shops on every block. It is still neat, though, and the fudge is delicious.

As I was running though the busier section of town, a man parking his bike saw me and gave me a thumbs up. He asked if I had made it all the way around the island and commented that he had seen me on the other side. I said I was almost done and he cheered me on.

I finished the 8.2 miles, found my dad on the porch of the library, and shortly thereafter, the rest of the family came down to get some dinner and ice cream. Well, as it turns out, we had dessert first that evening, indulging in some Mackinac Island Peanut Butter Fudge ice cream for some and, unfortunately, Supergirl ice cream for two young ladies. I say unfortunately, because somehow, I ended up with Kate's Supergirl and she ended up finishing off my Peanut Butter Fudge. Emily, though, thoroughly enjoyed her's.

The following day was filled with packing, last minute shopping, a leisurely lunch, and some playtime at a playground before heading back to the mainland on the ferry and the five hour car ride home. No time for running on the first day of marathon training.

All in all, it was a wonderful time with my family. The girls are still talking about it and we all have some fantastic memories of our time together.

Okay, so if you are still reading, I'll through in a quick training update. I'm somewhat on track for my fall marathon. I've gotten in all my runs since last Monday after not running at all last weekend. It has been much cooler here this week, allowing for some very enjoyable runs.

With my first Tri only two weeks away, I rode 10 miles around the lake Tuesday, and then ran three miles. It wasn't too bad and my running pace was surprisingly quick. Yesterday, I was supposed to run six miles but rode 19 instead. Today, I got in 10 miles. We had a get together to go to so Steve dropped me about 10 miles from our destination and I ran in. I was able to get a shower there (in the pool house) but not before having some grilled corn on the cob.

The only thing that has me somewhat concerned is the swimming. I know I can swim the distance, slowly, but haven't done it in open water. I had a dream about it the other night. I couldn't see in the murky water and I couldn't get a good breath because of the waves. I'm thinking I'll just start towards the back of the pack and have finishing be my goal. I'll leave my worrying about the tri at that.

It is now much later than I anticipated, but the fireworks have ended and all is quiet except for the crickets. Good night.

1 comment:

Regina said...

Wow, I wish I had views like that running! Sweet! Sounds like you had a wonderful time there.

Peanut better fudge ice cream?! Now you're talking!

you'll do great in your tri. I can't wait to read about it.