June 26, 2016

Cadillac weekend

Well, the weekend went much differently than planned. Jerry and I had a hotel booked in Cadillac for Friday and Saturday nights, and we were really looking forward to running the 10K on Saturday. I hadn't yet registered for it, because we kept holding out hope that we could get a couple of friends to come with us and run the relay; so, we planned to just register the morning of the race.

On Thursday, I wanted to see what time the race started, and when I looked at the site, I noticed that there actually wasn't a 10K this year! There was a 5K, half-marathon, marathon, and marathon relay for teams of four people. Neither of us was prepared to run a half, so that was out of the question; and we really didn't like the idea of doing an out-and-back 5K when the 6.9-mile loop around the lake was exactly what we'd been looking forward to. I posted on my Runs for Cookies Facebook page asking if anyone would be interested in joining Jerry and I as a relay team, but that was a no-go.

We were really unsure of what to do. Jerry took two vacation days from work in order to go up there, so we considered skipping the whole trip and saving his vacation days for Tour de Troit in the fall. On Friday morning, we ultimately decided not to go to Cadillac. I was bummed, but it seemed to make the most sense. The biggest downside was that I had prepaid for our hotel room, and it was non-refundable because I'd gotten a good "blind" deal on Priceline.

All day Friday, I was feeling guilty about letting the room go to waste. I offered for my family to use it for free, but nobody was available to go up there. I offered it up online for $100 less than I paid for it, but I didn't have any takers (I wasn't surprised, considering it was so last-minute). Finally, at around 7:00 pm, Jerry and I decided to just head up there and skip the race. We could just run the lake loop on our own, and have a little getaway.

The drive is 3-1/2 hours, so we hurriedly packed some bags and headed out (my parents were already planning to take care of the kids and pets). We had a really fun drive up to Cadillac--I played DJ in the car, and we sang along to some old school songs. When we got there, it was 11:00 pm! We just watched an episode of Orange is the New Black and then went to bed.

The next morning, we ate breakfast at the hotel (it was included with our room) and then decided to walk the mile and a half to the race. We weren't planning to run it, but we thought it would be fun to watch and to enjoy the lake view. It ended up being a really nice walk--we went down a hill with 8% grade (there was a sign announcing the grade) and we knew we'd be walking back UP that hill on the way back to the hotel ;)

The Lake Cadillac Team Marathon race is made up of a series of 6.9-mile loops around Lake Cadillac--the starting lines are at various points, depending on the total race distance (half or full), and the finish line is also the start/end of the loop. So, for a four-person relay, the first person does a shortened loop, and then tags the second runner at the checkpoint/finish line. Then the second runner runs the entire loop, and tags the third. And so on.

Jerry and I sat on the curb by the checkpoint/finish line, and watched the runners go by. I believe the race director is also the running coach at the local high school (I could be wrong), but the race is mainly made up of high school kids doing the team relay together, which I think is so cool. Next year, I'd love to get a team together to run the relay.

After watching the race for a while, we decided to walk around the lake. There were a ton of buoys in the lake, which we learned was for a triathlon taking place this morning. The walk along the lake is SO nice! That's what made me fall in love with Lake Cadillac the last time we were there. It's gorgeous.

Set up for the triathlon swim taking place this morning

We spent the day walking around town, going in little shops, playing Keno in a bar called The Roaring 20's, going to see Independence Day at the theater--and then leaving after 10 minutes because it was really bad!--and finally, getting a Blizzard from Dairy Queen and walking back to the hotel. The day went by so quickly.

At around 7:00, we ended up deciding to make the drive home last night instead of waiting until morning. We both really missed the kids, and we wished we'd have brought them with us. I think we'll probably bring them with us next year (maybe we could even do the race as our own relay team). So, once again, we road tripped home and arrived at around 11:00. When I got up this morning, I was glad that we were home instead of spending the whole morning in the car. It was still a fun little trip, though! We certainly made the most of our time there.

When we got home last night, we noticed that the fish flies had hatched--they were EVERYWHERE. I really needed to get in a run today, since Jerry and I never ended up running in Cadillac (we walked a ton, but didn't run the loop). It was 95 degrees and there were fish flies everywhere, but Jerry was scheduled for three miles so I just ran with him.

Those are fish flies!

I was going to count the run as my "Buddy Run" (running with a friend) for my Cookies Summer Running Checklist, but as we were running, I found a penny on the ground--so I'll count the run as my "Penny Pincher Run" instead (finding a penny on a run).

A few people have asked about my heart rate training during the summer, and if my heart rate is up when it's hot. Yes! I have to slow my pace a lot to keep my heart rate down when it's hot outside. Today, it was 95 degrees and my average heart rate was 144 bpm--with a pace of 11:36/mile! It's a little frustrating, because my body wants to go faster, but it brings my heart rate up too high. On the other hand, it actually feels really nice to jog slowly and enjoy the run.

I kind of feel like I need to write up a summer training plan, because the lack of structure is starting to get to me. I loved it at first, but it's getting easier and easier to run just three days a week instead of five; and I feel best when I run five days a week. I won't train for anything in particular, but I like having a plan telling me what days to run and for how far.

Speaking of writing plans, I finally finished the half-marathon plan I was working on for my blog! It's a "Finish Strong" half-marathon plan, and I posted it to my Training Plans page. It's not necessarily meant for training for your best time, but rather to finish a half marathon feeling really good (and using the 80/20 Running method). It could be used for a first time half-marathoner, as long as that person has built a solid base. The first long run is seven miles, and there is a little bit of speed work, so it's not a "couch to half-marathon" type plan. Anyway, I know several people were asking about a half-marathon plan, so it's up now! (I'm going to work on a "Your Best Half-Marathon" plan as well, which will be more for bettering one's time.)


  1. Sounds like a great weekend! I'm sorry your plans fell through, especially since they took away the 10K option but still sounds like you had an amazing time!!

  2. I just threw out my training plan last week. I feel like I always have to be training for something or else I'll get lazy and put all the weight back on. Without a training plan, I find that I still push myself each day and I look forward to the runs. I wasn't always excited with my runs when I was on a training plan. I like the freedom. It's only been a week though, so we'll see what happens.

  3. Hi Katie! Hope all is well - the pics of Lake Cadillac look beautiful. Just an idea - if you don't want to do a "plan" per say, you could take the "Popsicle stick approach" and make a jar with different run types on it (or two jars - easy & hard). Then pick a Popsicle stick the night before or that morning and do a run. Might be fun for something different. Thanks for the continued motivation!

  4. I know what you mean about hating to waste a hotel you paid for. We booked our hotels (since we took our dog on vacation with us--I needed to make sure the hotels were pet-friendly) on-line for our recent vacation, and the day we travelled from Yellowstone to Estes Park, we overshot and couldn't get through Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) before dark. We were going through Hot Sulphur Springs, a small town just west of RMNP, and I noticed the sign on a hotel that said "Welcome Guests AND Furry Friends." So even though we paid for a room in Estes Park as well that night (around $130.--ouch--that really hurt!), we decided it was safer to stay there and try to get through the Park in daylight. It was raining, cold and dark, and we were afraid it would get icy. This was Memorial Day weekend, but in the mountains, that's still Winter! When we got to the Park entrance the next morning, we found out Rocky Ridge Trail (the only road that crosses the Park) JUST opened for the season that morning. So I'm sure glad we didn't attempt to get through the Park the night before in the dark and cold.

    Lake Cadillac is gorgeous, glad you got to enjoy your time up there even though the race didn't work out. Once again, the picture of the fish flies is just gross, but LOVE Jerry's funny expression. What a guy!! We all endure crazy stuff to live where we do, but I wouldn't move out of my Nebraska for nothing!! I know that's how you feel about Michigan--It's HOME!!


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