Home  +   About  +   Races + Recaps  +   50 States  +   DIY  +   Books

Monday, August 22, 2016

Weeks 9 & 10: Birdcamp and beyond

Hola! Welcome to another weekly review linkup with Hoho Runs and MissSippiPiddlin. This one's a little different. I'm combining Weeks 9 and 10 due to travel and a ton of work. I'm finally caught up and back to normal! Let's get started: 

Lake Michigan looks tropical near Glen Arbor
Week of August 8–14: Michigan + Birdcamp
Monday: walk to/from work (w2w)
Tuesday: 2.2 miles + w2w
Wednesday: travel
Thursday: GL Birdcamp: Alligator Hill 4 miles,  397ft
Friday: GL Birdcamp: Sleeping Bear Dunes 3.3 miles, 558ft
Saturday: GL Birdcamp: Crystal Lake Team Marathon Relay Leg #5, 6.2 miles
Sunday: GL Birdcamp: "Slight Incline" 4 miles, 226ft

I think I'll make a separate post about Great Lakes Birdcamp (on Instagram), but here's a quick rundown: camp was for members of Oiselle Volée (a cross-country female running team) and located in Glen Arbor, Michigan near Sleeping Bear Dunes. I highly recommend the area. Very cute town and lovely coastline. We had one daily run (usually very hilly, but not very long) and spent the rest of our days sightseeing, hiking, and watching some of the Olympics. It was an action-packed long weekend and I made some great new friends.

As I mentioned, the runs weren't long, but they were hilly. Columbus, Ohio is not hilly, so I found the inclines of Glen Arbor to be pretty challenging. And let me brag: when I returned home and uploaded my watch data I was #2 in elevation gain in my local Strava group of 230+ people! Score!

We used the markers as beacons along the way.
Our most ambitious run was Friday's Sleeping Bear Dunes run (/hike). I didn't expect to make it to the beach because everyone said it was extremely tough. I planned to get to a dune with a view, take a photo, then turn back. I found myself with three like-minded ladies and somehow we kept moving forward. At one point we could hear the water, so there was no turning back. It was a difficult run (giant inclines in unsteady sand), but we took it dune by dune. We usually ran downhill and hiked uphill. It took over an hour to go 3.3 miles roundtrip and our shoes were filled with sand, but it was worth it!

Great Lakes Birdcamp - Michigan
Again, I'll recap Birdcamp in it's own post, but we ran a marathon relay on Saturday. Somehow I ended up with the longest leg. I thought it'd be ok, but I suppose not starting my part until 11am got the best of me. I was sluggish, hungry, thirsty, tired, and I got a little lost. Suffice it to say, it was kind of a confidence... ummm.... ruiner? All of my hard work in winter seemed lost. So, while I had an amazing time at Birdcamp, I wasn't feeling too confident about my fall goals. Which brings us to...

We came home to this... and still can't find his collar. What happened?!

Week of August 15–21
Monday: travel
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 5.6 miles + w2w
Friday: rest + w2w
Saturday: 9 miles
Sunday: 5 miles

Tuesday's run was cut short due to an unexpected downpour. (See above) I attempted to wait out the rain, but it didn't stop. Wednesday's day off was unplanned, but necessary, as I ended up working a 12 hour day (normal work and freelance) to make up for my time away. Luckily, the Olympics kept me company.

Thursday was nicer than normal, but still full sun and hot.

When I woke up Thursday after my long day of work, the last thing I wanted to do was plan my day around a group run. But I didn't want to bail, so I dragged myself to the store just after 6pm. New Balance and Brooks were there for shoe try-ons, so I took the NB Vongo's out for a spin. I planned to stick with the 3 milers, but somehow ended up with the 6s. They maintained a pace in the 9s, which honestly felt like 8s in the heat. I could keep up, but just barely. Like the Saturday of my marathon relay, I was doubting my fitness.We returned to the store, grabbed a beer and our free tank tops, and socialized. Despite feeling like crap, I had a great time with the 6s and will be back next Thursday to run with them again.

I skipped my Friday morning run in favor of sleep. That's another thing: I've slept like crap since returning from Birdcamp. At camp we got up between 5:45 and 6 and I didn't go to bed til 11 or midnight. When I returned home, I'd get in bed around 10, but my brain was on overdrive til midnight or 1. These successive nights of 5-6 hours of sleep were starting to compound.

At our friend's wedding downtown on the Scioto River

Saturday was my normal training group run. I had 12 on my schedule and figured I'd run 9 with the halves, then add 3 at the end. Ha! It was 97% humidity and I felt every percentage point. It was a terrible run. Last season I'd considered moving to the 10 or 10:15pace group since I'd gotten faster, but it was so difficult to hang with the 10:45 pace on Saturday. Despite everything, I had great company. I went home, vegged out, then got gussied up for a wedding. It was a lovely evening with friends.

Sunday: pre-dusk run and watching Jeff complete his 70.3
On Sunday we woke up early-ish to watch my friend's husband participate in his first half Ironman. He was smiling every time we saw him and he beat his goal by 20 minutes! It was so exciting to see the first finishers and watch the bike transition. Normally I get a little jealous when I spectate a marathon or trail ultra, but I can confidently say the Ironman had no effect on me! No thank you, I'll just watch!

Later that night (after much delay and whining) I went out for a run. I had 5 on the plan, but convinced myself 2 would be fine. Once I got going I did not want to stop! I ran the full 5 –with some breaks for photos and traffic– but my paces were close to olden days (9:10, 8:32, 8:30, 8:36, 8:22). A big part of it was the weather: it was in the upper 70s with 43% humidity. It felt lovely and it was a great confidence booster. I've been struggling on my runs this summer and maybe it really is weather-related?!

Will you miss watching the Olympics? (I will!)
What's your favorite season? 
Have anything fun coming up in September? 


  1. Our weather has gotten cooler too.... such great running conditions. I am loving it. The heat is back this week, but at least no humidity.

    I love that picture of your dog. I can hear him saying ''Who ? Me ?'' LOL

    1. We've got another warm up this week! Today the heat index was 100! Ugh.

      My dog is so silly. We still can't find his collar!

  2. Bird Camp must have been an incredible experience. There is a direct correlation between my paces and the weather, no doubt. That's a great picture of the two of you all dressed up for the wedding. Having dabbled now in a few triathlons, I still can't fathom the commitment it would take to become an Ironman. Or even half of one. Thanks for linking, Elizabeth!

    1. Birdcamp was super cool. I was worried that I wouldn't make friends, but that wasn't a problem.

      Ironmans are a bit too much for me. I could maybe handle a sprint tri... maybe a sprint duathlon to get myself into it! ;)

  3. Nice photos! Everything sounds great. I always feel interesting in your articles. Thank your sharing! ^^

  4. Oh wow this does sound very challenging but what great fun!!! I do love Fall the best I'd say. I'm so over Summer heat and I'm usually sad to see it leave. I'm anxiously awaiting our trip to Orlando next weekend for a great Fall activity, College Football!

  5. Sand running is so hard, but water views make it worth it. I run a little faster when it's cooler. I can't wait for it to cool down here in Texas!


I read and respond to each comment (either here or I will visit your blog.) Thank you for stopping by!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...