Happy Wednesday! Time has been FLYING this past week. I got back from a short vacation to Northern Michigan a week ago and I wanted to recap post to share some of the fun. This vacation was a much needed mental break. I was exhausted mentally and physically and really frustrated with where I was at training wise. My hip flexor has been causing me a lot of pain and as a result my running suffered and I was beyond fed up.
There was no gym for me to go to in the morning so I had to hit the trails and sometimes paved roads to get in a workout. I cut WAY back on my running- both time and distance- otherwise the pain would be too intense. Honestly, I needed a break from the gym. I needed to find my love for running again. To be completely honest, there was a lot of tears shed on this road. Tears of frustration, hurt, and fear. In the short time I was there the road became my therapy. It's literally the middle of nowhere, but the silence wasn't overbearing, rather it was peaceful. It was just the noise of my shoes slapping the pavement and my breathing. It gave me a chance to just be present. Plus, as soon as I hit pavement I knew I could kill the rest of the run and I got to watch the sunrise every morning which was by far my favorite part.
I find sunrise runs to be extremely therapeutic. If you take a moment to look around you and enjoy the beauty of creation how can you not smile? Please excuse the very sweaty selfie. Every day was in the 90's and even around 6:30 when I'd get my run in it would already be in the upper 70's and sometimes the low 80's plus the humidity was HORRIBLE. Way too hot for my running preference.
One of my favorite morning rituals before setting out to run was going outside to watch the day break with Cora. Normally I'm at the gym so I don't ever see it, but being forced to slow down was a good thing. Cora and I would go outside around 5:45am, sit on the dock and watch the first rays of light break forth. These quiet moments are by far some of my favorite memories from the trip. I know that sounds silly, but as a chronic busy-bee I never take time to just be still. These quiet moments were exactly what my soul needed.
Of course there was lots of good eats on the trip! We stayed in most days and just cooked at the cabin. Northern Michigan hasn't really caught on to the whole food allergies thing, so it's hard for me to go out to eat. Breakfast is always my favorite meal of the day- shocking I know ;) After my run and cycling session I'd whip up breakfast. I brought oats and fruit from home and I'd sit out on the deck to eat breakfast while Cora hunted chipmunk. My favorite fruits to add to oatmeal are of course berries, but I started adding a little drizzle of honey over top and it's so good!!
Friday my dad and I took a road trip to Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park. If you've never been to Sleeping Bear Dunes put it on your bucket list. It's absolutly gorgeous and you can climb the dunes. Fair warning: do not climb the dunes when it's like 85 outside because the sand will burn your feet. We got there a little after the park opened and it was already sweltering, but we climbed the dunes (it doesn't look like it's a bad climb, but its pretty much straight up) and cheered when we got to the top. The views are incredible. From one side you overlook Lake Michigan and honestly it's something that you have to experience in person. It's not something someone can just describe to you. Luckily when we got to the top there was a nice breeze,but we were already rather sweaty by that point. Not to mention my legs were on fire after a running 3 miles and biking 7 that morning. Not the brightest move on my part. Climbing down is much easier than climbing up, but you do have to be careful so you don't trip and fall. We saw a few people go tumbling and eat some sand.
Saturday morning I ran in an annual road race in town. It's a small town and there's never many people who run it but it's still fun to do. I biked earlier in the morning so my legs were warmed up. The race got started late, so it was already in the mid 80's when we finally got going ->aka I was absolutly dying of heat. The only shade on the entire course was right at the end, which is where the picture was taken. I was really happy with my first mile, but by mile marker 2 my hip flexor started really hurting. I cut way back and ended up pacing with an older gentleman for the remainder of the race. He was in pain too but we kept cheering each other on and when we crossed the finish line together we high-fived.
After finishing the race and drowning myself in cold water I spent the rest of the day by the lake with Cora. She loves being Up North as us Michigan folks call it. There's so many smells and animals to chase that she'd be outside all day if we let her.
I stayed over the weekend to enjoy some lake and family time before heading home. It's a decent drive home so I made sure to get a run and ride in before hitting the road. I also got in a good breakfast because no one wants to be hangry behind the wheel ->a good way to start some road rage. I love these Bob's Red Mill oatmeal cups (I'm not paid to say that) because they're so easy to travel with. All you do is add hot water and let it sit for a few minutes and BAM done! I added berries, some EnjoyLife chocolate chips and part of a protein bar. After breakfast I hit the road and made it back in time to enjoy dinner with some friends. While it wasn't the most exciting vacation it was nice to get away and spend some time with my parents.
Have you gone anywhere this summer?
What's your favorite place to go on vacation?