Adventures in Traverse City & Mackinaw

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I’m interrupting my recap of Punta Cana because I got sidetracked with the pictures from the camping trip we just took!  We took a trip up North to Traverse City, Michigan, this past weekend.  The highlight included a day at Mackinac Island.  Complete with lots of fudge!  It’s a specialty of the island.  We had a sample from every fudge shop on the island – and there are at least 8 of them!  This island prohibits motorized vehicles, so transportation is horses, bikes and your feet.

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On our ferry ride to the island we got to go under the Mackinac bridge (Mighty Mac!).  Very beautiful!  That thing is almost 5 miles long!!

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The island is small, but oh so beautiful.  The water is crystal clear.

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All around the beach people had built rock piles or towers.  They are called “cairns” and there was something very Zen about them.

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We built a rock pile too! PS, I did not ask my kids to dress in matching clothes. They did that on their own. :)

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We also rode tandem bikes.  Note to self, single speed tandem bikes are a HECK of a workout when trying to go up hills.  Thought I was going to have a heart attack.  Whew!!

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And, I’ve found out that my daughter is deathly afraid of running into other cyclists, so having her as my co-biker on the tandem was a challenge because she kept slamming on the breaks as soon as she felt we were too close, or going too fast (which was often!!).  Wish you could have heard her freaking out when I took this selfie (despite her smile, which I’m convinced was only for show).

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After that day of biking and walking around all day on Friday, there was no way I was moving out of the bed on Sunday morning for my scheduled 17 mile long run.  I felt like I had been run over by a train.  So, long run postponed until Sunday!  We hit the beach in Traverse City instead.

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Traverse City also had a fun splash area.  It was quite refreshing!  And the water jets were so powerful it shot us off of the ground!  haha, just kidding 😉

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Back at the campground that night, the kids made us these awesome “arrangements” from treasures they found on a nature hike.

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Alan and I got up early on Sunday for our long run and went to the bike trail, which was right next to the campground.  Only problem was, the gate between the two was closed AND locked.  Ha, do you think a locked gate is going to stop these runners from getting the required miles done?  Hell no!  So we climbed over the fence!  The funny part was that I almost ripped my shorts (OH NO!, not my favorite Athleta shorts!!!!), and while I was trying to avoid that situation, I jumped down from a bit higher than I expected.  I landed pretty hard, but it was OK.

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Oh sure, it’s open now!

The miles were hot and sweaty and by mile 14 I was downright hating the whole thing and wanted to be done.  Luckily Alan is very forgiving and he just let me complain on and got me to the end.  Thanks honey!!

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One of the happier moments on this run. haha!

Along the way a snake slithered across the path.  Yes, Alan actually took him out of the grass and put him back on the trail so we could look at him!  We like snakes :)

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OMG, he’s sooooo cute!

We had a lot of other good times on our camping trip, like usual.  I love camping!  On the way home, we stopped at another amazing place – the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes.  We climbed the dunes.  I know it looks flat in our picture, but trust me, it’s a whole lot of uphill!

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Did anyone bring water?

See what I mean?  The dunes actually go on for another mile, until they reach the lake shore.  I have never done that hike, but someday I will… when it’s not 85 degrees.

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The best part of the dune climb is running downhill at breakneck speed.  It’s a great time!!  Surprisingly I didn’t even do a face plant on the way down (always a fear in the back of my mind).

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Fast forward to Monday morning.  I got out of bed for my morning run, and I felt it.  A pain near the shin of my right leg.  Yep, the same leg that I landed hard on when jumping that fence.  Ugh.  I panicked!  I sunk back in bed and wondered if I had a stress fracture!  My mind was racing.  Finally I decided I wasn’t going back to sleep at this point and if I had fractured something, I probably would have felt it yesterday.   I ended up running a slow, cautious 3 miles on the treadmill in slight pain and I iced it at work.

Tuesday morning was a slight repeat of Monday, with a similar, but less, pain in the shin again.  I decided it was only a strain of some sort, but was still a little freaked because I could not pass the “hop test” on that leg.  Still, not thinking it’s anything, ran 10 miles on the treadmill.

Come Weds it’s feeling about 90% better so I’m pretty well convinced it’s something that some rest will help it, and luckily Thurs is a rest day.  I’m getting ready for my last 20 mile run on Friday.  Heck, then it’s all downhill from there until Erie marathon!!  Hopefully my next post will be the rest of my Punta Cana pictures.

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Q:  Do you enjoy riding on tandem bikes?

My son was awesome at being my partner on the tandem bike.  I guess you just need to find a rider who is in sync with you!!

Q:  Have you ever had to break the law to run??

What, me?  Never.

Q:  Have you ever had a stress fracture?

4 Comments

  1. I LOVE northern Michigan SO SO MUCH! Last summer, we camped our way up to Charelvoix where I ran the marathon. This year, we road tripped to Duluth, MN but we crossed the Mackinac and camped on the upper peninsula on Lake Superior. Gorgeous! Loved your pictures, great trip!
    Allison recently posted…Race Recap: Perk Up Half MarathonMy Profile

    • It is so pretty up there!! The water was actually much clearer than Punta Cana. We just have Lake Erie near our house, and I would not swim in that! When I was a kid we used to camp in Wilderness State Park, so that’s the farthest North I’ve been camping – never in the UP. The UP sounds like a good destination!

  2. I hate snakes they scare me! I don’t want them to die or anything, I just don’t want to see them!

    That is a great pic from the splash pad!

    Breaking the law on a run… I am pretty sure I could have been sited for public urination many, many times if someone would have seen me! I am discreet though…

  3. I just love seeing the pics from all of your family adventures!!! Man, you get to run in some pretty amazing places!!!! How fun that you get to share with the family too!!!!!

    Stress fracture, luckily, not yet…. and hopefully never!!! Those things seem to stop runners in their tracks!!! No fun!!!!! Hope you feel better…. and fingers-crossed no stress fracture!!!!!!!

    Runners are always law abiding citizens, right?!?! wink, wink, wink! 😉

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