Monday, July 18, 2022

Running for Fun

I am wrapping up a much needed week off from work! With the hot humid weather and my knee issue, the timing was perfect to cut back on my running miles and do a few fun things. While my knee is feeling much better this week, t was really nice to chase adventure instead of miles! This week reminded me of how wonderful running really can be.

While I'm posting this in the link-up today, I finished this post earlier in the week. As you read this, I'm wrapping up my fun week with a trip to Alabama to visit Holly. I won't be updating this post while I'm there. I don't want to jinx myself, but I'm pretty sure our activities will include lots of waterskiing, maybe some running or hiking, and maybe some kayaking. You can check my IG for photos or wait until next week when I share some in my weekly rundown!

Weekly Rundown:
Sunday: Ice Age Trail run 4.5 miles and waterskiing
Monday: CrossFit
Tuesday: pool running
Wednesday: Chicago Run Tour 4 miles
Thursday: Cross Fit with 1450m running
Friday: waterskiing
Saturday: waterskiing


On Sunday, I wanted to run on the IAT, but wanted to try a different segment and maybe avoid the biting flies. I drove about 10 miles past the Lodi Marsh segment to Indian Lake County Park, where the IAT continues. Back in 2021, I went there on a cold winter day to scope it out. At the time, I found the trail system confusing, but it was so crowded that day that maybe I was just overwhelmed. This time, I got there early when there were very few people. Before running, I studied the trail map. There was the IAT, marked by the yellow blazes, and 3 other trails as well. Those are used for cross-country skiing in the winter and running/hiking in the summer. To start, though, I climbed up to the chapel, which dates back to 1857. Adjacent to the chapel is an overlook with a view of the namesake lake. 

Hazy and humid!

I made my way back down to the trailhead and started my run on the IAT. There was some running through the meadow but most of it was on a wooded trail. Typical of all my IAT experiences, it was HILLY. It was also very rocky. I did a lot of walking, which was fine because I didn't want to overdo it with my knee. Instead of doing an out and back on the segment, once I reached the end, I took one of the connecting trails back to the trailhead. Did I mention it was hilly? This was a very pretty trail with only a few flies and it was perfect for what I wanted to run that day. 

Indian Lake Trail
Did I say hills?

Since I had the week off, I contacted Erica to schedule a run tour in Chicago; specifically, a street art tour! We initially planned to do this in 2020, before the pandemic ruined everything. I cannot tell you how good it felt to get this on the calendar. On Wednesday, I met up with Erica and her friend Maria in the Fulton Market neighborhood, an area that is rapidly gentrifying. Maria lives in the neighborhood and she is also very knowledgeable about many of the artists, which made this tour even more interesting. We ran 4 miles around the neighborhood and saw so much--I wish I could share them all. Please check out my IG post for a bunch

This mural covers an opening to an alley. There's a restaurant at the end!

It's a lot of fun playing tourist in my hometown! Don't believe all the bad press you're hearing about Chicago. It's a great city and there's just so much to see and do. The run tour was a great way to see the art and the neighborhood. I hope to do another run tour with Erica--we're already discussing other areas that have a lot of art, including Logan Square, where my son lives!

Birdman is a very prolific muralist! We saw a lot of works by him.


Monday's WOD was all kettlebell. The Strength portion had us doing 20 minutes, 5 rounds each of 1 lap double KB overhead carry, (20# each arm), 12 KB deadlifts (50# each arm), 8 each KB (25#) side arm bend over row, and :30 hold KB (20#) goblet squat. The MetCon was a tabata of KB swings (20#), KB from lunges (I subbed in banded goblet squats 20#), and KB (20#) Russian twists. I wanted to use 25# KBs for the MetCon but they were all gone. It was hot and humid, so using the lighter weights was just fine with me!

Sammy Jo was out of town on Thursday, so I went to another CrossFit class. The Strength portion was actually a 15 minute agility workout--definitely, something for this trail runner to love! We started out on a 'course' using the agility ladder, proceeded to 3 boxes of varying heights to do box jumps, then to 4 plates where we had to leap to each one, and ended up doing 3 more box jumps on different sized boxes. From there we ran to do side jumps over a hurdle, sprinted to the other hurdle to do the same thing, and sprinted back to the start. I was able to complete 9 rounds of this in the allotted time frame and completed all the box jumps successfully! The MetCon was Grace (30 clean and jerks--I did 35#) sandwiched between 2 600m runs. Overhead lifts are my cardio kryptonite and I could not go unbroken. I did 3 sets of 10. Or was it the heat? Either way, I felt pretty ill when I was done--a sign of a successful workout, lol!


The hubs took me waterskiing Sunday morning after my run. He also took photos, something he never likes to do while he's driving the boat! The conditions were perfect on the little sheltered bay and I took full advantage. I'm not the waterskier that Holly is, but I skied as long as I could until my arms and legs were shaking. I didn't want to stop! I cannot wait to ski with Holly this weekend.

Off the road...

Last. but definitely not least, we celebrated my father-in-law's 90th birthday on Monday with dinner at a local restaurant. My sister-in-law flew in to celebrate and both boys were there as well as other friends and family. It was a fun evening with good food and a lot of laughs. After dinner, my youngest son and I drove my oldest back to the city. Before we returned home, we joined him for a drink at an open air patio at a local bar. Summer is just the best! So is spending time with my boys. 

How was your week? Is the heat affecting your workouts and runs? What is the best running adventure you've ever been on? What would you do for the weekly challenge? Have you celebrated any milestone birthdays?

I'm linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Rundown. 


  1. The weather made me get early starts and shorten that long run but I survived.

    I'm sure you're having a great time with Holly! Enjoy!

  2. Happy Bday to the FIL, that's a significant milestone! That art tour looks amazing! I need to check and see if there's anything like that in Des Moines; there has to be, I'd think (and hope). have fun with Holly ;-)

  3. Erica is a great run guide and it looks like you 2 had fun together. Hope your weekend w Holly is a blast!

    1. It was an amazing experience and I hope she takes me on another art tour!

  4. I think that street art tour deserves a post of its own, Wendy! It sounds and looks amazing.
    I love the photo with your family. Your father-in-law looks very fit for 90.
    I hope you had a great time waterskiing!

  5. I was badly affected by the heat Sun - Tues - we got up to 99 degrees on Tues. I've only run Weds, Sat and today and today was 92% humidity with no rain - urgggghhh. I wouldn't have even done five miles if I hadn't done some run-walking with my friend in the middle! I'm glad you've had a good week off (I had one too but Mon/Tue were a write-off and I had to work Weds so ...) and some lovely pics, hope the trip has gone well, too.

  6. You definitely picked a good week to cut back on running. I don't know about Chicago but here we had a "real feel" of 100 pretty much everyday. I'm ready for the heatwave to be over now. Hope you're having a blast with Holly this weekend!

    1. It was brutal in Alabama! But being on the water definitely helped :p

  7. It was a HOT hot week. The best time to relax your running. Hope the knee doesn't interfere with waterskiing!!

  8. Oh, next time I'm in the area I want to do a running tour with Erica! I didn't get into the city this time, but I agree it's getting a bad rap these days- Chicago really is incredible. That trail running looks serious- I kind of have to laugh at my flat trails here (ho hum!). And to round out your adventures I hope you had a great time in Alabama!

    1. Next time you come, make sure you include me in that running tour!

  9. 90??? He looks a lot younger! Good genes!

  10. So glad you had a fun getaway with Holly and a family celebration as well. Happy birthday to your FIL. We celebrated my FIL's 87th this week as well!

  11. Awww, happy birthday to your Dad! He looks very happy! What a nice get together. That's a fun idea to see all of that street art. I don't think we have much around our area, but I should investigate it!

  12. Happy belated birthday to your f-i-l. He looks great! My next milestone birthday is this November when I turn 65. You wouldn't believe the influx of mail I'm getting in regards to medicare.

    I'm sure you had a fantastic time in Alabama with Holly!

  13. aww, what a lovely week! you know how to embrace summer :) Happy birthday to your father in law, and what a blast with Holly and then the art tour sounds so cool! Minneapolis gets the same bad rep, and I don't believe it.

  14. Shoot, I thought I had commented but its not showing up. Anyways, just said you definitely are embracing summer! Sounds like such a fun week and I love the sound of that art running tour. Very cool!