But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. - Isaiah 40:31
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Lost in Michigan
We were invited to my brother- and sister-in-law's lake home today. Sort of a "4th on the 5th" kind of holiday celebration. Romie suggested I wait and run my five miles up there, since it would be a different location and the scenery might help me make it through the run.
It's about a 90-minute drive to Long Lake near Reading, Michigan, so we started out early and geocached our way up there. We also stopped to see the farm where my parents used to live just outside Reading. I remembered seeing it as a child once, but I never lived there. They only lived there a year and that was before I was born.
Once we arrived at the lake, we visited a little bit, then around 4:00 Romie and his sister got on their bikes while I put on my running shoes. Joan said it was about five miles around the lake, so I decided to take that route for my running today. Joan went a little ways with us and gave us directions for the rest of the way, then she headed back to get food ready.
Southern Michigan does have some rolling hills, and for someone who's used to running on tabletop flat terrain, even a little hill presents a challenge and requires more exertion. I tried to run up every little hill I encountered and only walked a short distance as I neared the top of a couple of them. The first real challenge for me though, was running to the end of Long Lake Road. They don't call it Long Lake for nothin'!
With the little hills, as I got to the top of each one and looked ahead, I directed my gaze toward the left side of the road, looking for the next road where I would turn left. But all I kept seeing was another little hilltop ahead. WHERE WAS THAT NEXT ROAD??? For some reason, making a turn motivates me and fools me into thinking I'm closer to the end of the run than I sometimes am.
Finally, there it was. We made the turn and this leg was much shorter than the last and when I got about three miles into my run, we stopped at a small store so I could get something to drink and go to the bathroom. I thought I'd get water, but decided on a Diet Coke. I drank three-quarters of the can, handed it to Romie and we continued on our way.
We made the next turn, which after a small discussion decided it was the wrong one, so we backtracked out to the road and continued on. Detour = .2 mile. On Blair Road, we once again found that it was another long, straight run. I reached five miles and was glad to stop and walk, because with a quarter-mile left to go, my right butt cheek started getting really tight and sore again.
Now I'd completed the five miles, but looking ahead, we saw no road that turned left. We walked/rode some more and up ahead we saw a road, but we could also see that it was quite some distance before it got remotely close to the lake, so after another discussion, we turned back and hoped that a family member back at the house would come looking for us. At this point, we'd been gone about an hour and a half, well past the time and mileage we should have been back to the house.
We got back to the dead end road where we'd made our first mistake and Romie rode ahead to ask if we could get to our final destination via that road, while I took pictures of wildflowers. No, we'd been on the right road in the first place and yes, it was more than five miles around the lake.
There was a kind group of people we talked with and asked if we could use their phone to call for rescue, but they insisted on taking us back themselves. Such nice people they were! As we drove up, brother-in-law Butch had just headed out to look for us.
Everyone was pretty well done eating, but thankfully, they saved some food for us. We took a boat ride later and enjoyed chatting with family, some of whom we hadn't seen in quite some time.
Regarding the run - it wasn't really that bad, even though a good deal of the time I was running on gravel or sand, and there were those hills. I got my first blister of my running career, thanks to my poor choice of really low ankle socks, which allowed my shoe to rub on the underside of my ankle. There was lots to distract me however, so it made it go much faster and I wasn't as tired as I thought I might be when I was finished. In the end, I had run five miles and walked over two more. I hope running six miles next weekend goes this well.
P.S. After I got home, I put the route around Long Lake on Google maps just to see how long it actually was: 6.6 miles. "About five miles" apparently is an arbitrary distance...