My family and I took a mini-vacation this week! This is our third year taking the kids to Wisconsin Dells, and my husband and I have made this trip easy on each other by making the extended weekend all about the kids. There is something about having zero expectation for alone time. It helps me appreciate the time I have with my kids and husband.
Surprisingly, my husband and I both got time to ourselves, in addition to the running I had to complete for my marathon training. We left for Wisconsin Dells on Wednesday, so I got 7 miles in around our neighborhood the morning we left. This is a treat because I never get to run outside on a Wednesday afternoon, unless I have the jogging stroller!
I was able to enjoy all of Wednesday and Thursday at the Dells with my family without worrying about running. Any runner knows, while we love to run, knowing we have to get a run in at some point on a certain day can really loom over all other activities. That’s why running at the YMCA with my kids in the morning has been so awesome. The run is done for the day and I can take on everything else I have to accomplish with less stress.
On Friday, we headed to my family’s cabin in Turtle Lake, Wisconsin. My grandparents purchased the cabin before I was born and I have been going up every year!
While, there aren’t running trails near the cabin, there are plenty of back roads with killer hills. I completed my 5-miler on Friday in 65 degree weather and 20 mph winds! It was one of the most enjoyable and therapeutic runs of my life. This run really came at a good time, as I needed it mentally!
The fact that this run was completely out of my element, and yet completely familiar, allowed me to take more out of it. I can appreciate exactly where I am and look at life like I am just where I need to be. Running helps me live in the moment more often. I find myself being more present and more thoughtful of what’s going on around me. How could I not soak up all the beauty of this run? How can I not soak up all the beauty of the world I am blessed to live in?
My splits were all over the place because of the crazy elevation. I didn’t “lose it” on any of the hills. I stayed steady and strong and tried to push harder going up than when running flat. I think of my husband when running hills. When we first started being able to run together, he always pushed me to stay strong on the hills.
I totally procrastinated Saturday’s 8 miler. I didn’t get out the door until after 3 PM. I sat around much of the morning in my pajamas drinking coffee. We took the kids outside for a while to play, ate lunch, and then just talked about life and digested our meal. My run was completely looming over me, as I mentioned before, and I wished I had just gotten it over with that morning.
However, by the time I got around to running, it was 60 degrees and sunny! I could run in a two t-shirts, one short and one long sleeve, and running tights. I feel so much more free when I am not weighed down by a bunch of clothing a gear.
I ran the same 5 mile route from Friday and added on another 3 mile straight away with more intense elevation. Even though this run was supposed to be an “easy 8”, I definitely pushed the pace. Next week, I have a 14 mile long run on Saturday. This shorter weekend long run is the last until the two-week marathon taper. I thought I might as well get a solid run out of it!
8-mile Turtle Lake, Wisconsin run:
Mile 1: 8:54
Mile 2: 8:55
Mile 3: 9:08
Mile 4: 8:52
Mile 5: 8:52
Mile 6: 9:11
Mile 7: 9:06
Mile 8: 8:33
Overall, I couldn’t have chosen a better place to run than Turtle Lake, Wisconsin. I was completely out of my element, and yet, being up at the lake is like home to me. I am really looking forward to getting out there when the kids can swim in the lake, and I can jump in the lake after a hot run! This Summer is going to be amazing. I can already tell!
Have you run the back roads of Wisconsin or a similar location where you are from?