Vacay is oh-kay 

by lachicaruns on

The familia and I are in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula this week, camping at the magestic Tahquamenon Falls. 

That also means we have little-to-no Internet and cell service.

We drove into the great metropolis of Paradise, so I’m sharing on pictures from today’s run from the Lower Falls to the Upper Falls and back. I’ll share more details when I have a connection again.

Happy Father’s Day to all of our dads!

Top 5 favorite things found on the runIf you’ve been running for any period of time, you are bound to encounter some, shall we say interesting, items. Interesting stuff you find along the roadside is the topic of today’s Tuesdays on the Run, the weekly link-up with hosts runner bloggers MCM Mama Runs, My No Guilt Life and Marcia’s Healthy Slice.

So here are the my top five favorite finds:

  • Moose. The familia camps at the same campground every summer in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula around the Fourth of July and each year I get to see a moose dressed for the occasion.

Moose sighting.

  • Wildlife. Yes, this back-of-the-pack runner sees the irony in seeing turtles during my runs.
Turtles are a common sight by the River Trail.

Turtles are a common sight by the River Trail.

More wildlife.

Deer (along with geese and ducks) are also a common sight.

  • The rock. For my first two years of running, I kept seeing friends’ pictures by this cool rock with the words “It’s a perfect day to run.” I so wanted to find the rock, but had no idea where to even look. My friends eventually pointed it out on a trail where we’d run many times, but at a distance I had just recently mastered. Now it’s a favorite spot to take pictures with my friends, especially with newbies who have covered virgin miles.
With my running mentor Janet.

With my running mentor Janet.

The rock.

The rock.

  • Inspiration. Sometimes, a little chalk can make a run more meaningful.

    Inspiration on the run.


  • Christmas. OK, so maybe not literally, but things seen on a run last year brought to mind the holiday in song.
Things seen on this 10-mile run inspired a song.

Things seen on this 10-mile run inspired a song.

What are some of your favorite finds during your runs? Feel free to share a link to your blog post if you’ve written about this topic.


You know you’ve found your running tribe when you suggest you head out at 6:30 on a Saturday morning for a 14-mile run to avoid the heat and half a dozen women show up. Even more joined us later on the Lansing River Trail.

Team Playmakers at the Lansing River Trail rock.

Team Playmakers at the Lansing River Trail rock.

So continues our ultra marathon training, which has us ramping up mileage for the foreseeable future. I plugged in the mileage into my online calendar and am following it throughout the week, but not having a print-out on my fridge means that I don’t look ahead, so every weekend long run is a bit of a surprise.

In light of the day’s hot temperatures, here are some tips for running in the heat:

  1. Start early or go late. With the forecast including temperatures in the 80s, we settled on 6:30 a.m. With 14 miles on deck, however, it wasn’t nearly early enough. We may be meeting up even earlier in the coming weeks. Or go at 8 or 9 at night, when the temperatures are dropping again. Worst case, run on the ‘mill inside.
  2. Hydrate. Because we run with a formal team, we have water stations with Gatorade and ice water every two miles. But our trail runs have left me water-less with miles to go. I just ordered a Nathan water belt and can’t wait to try it out. Some runner friends stash water in hidden spots along their route; others plan to stop by their local convenience store.
  3. Dress appropriately. I have some really cute cotton tanks that I just love, but on days like today, it’s tech fabric from head to toe. The wicking properties make a huge difference in making me feel more comfortable. And I always wear my SmartWool socks to avoid blisters.
  4. Wear sunscreen. Yes, even those of us with dark skin should slather the stuff on. We’re already bound to get weird tan lines; no sense in also getting skin cancer in the process.
  5. Consider bug spray. Warmer temps also mean more bugs and in our case that means mosquitoes. In previous years, I’ve found individually wrapped Off towelettes. Still looking for them this season.
  6. Wear a hat or visor. Those of us with little hair should especially cover our heads (or remember to wear sunscreen), while the rest of us can benefit from a brimmed hat to avoid squinting eyes and burnt noses.
  7. Bring sunglasses. Once again, glasses can provide eye protection and prevent wrinkles. Plus, you’ll look better in your selfies when you’re not squinting into the sun.
  8. Fuel properly. No matter the temperature, your body still needs those calories, electrolytes and salt. Consider also using salt tablets. I just tried some today and couldn’t tell the difference, but I don’t know if I could have survived the hottest part of our run if I hadn’t been fueling and hydrating properly.

The weather here in Michigan is just going to keep getting hotter into July and August, so I’ll be sure to follow my own advice about running in the heat in the weeks to come.

In the meantime, here’s the week’s meal plan (and here’s how I make my meal plan in the first place.):

Did you do a long run today? What are your tips for running in the summer heat? If you’ve written about this topic, feel free to share a link to your post below.

Running’s supposed to be an easy and inexpensive sport, but some of us (OK, me) may take every opportunity to buy and test new running gear. How can you tell if you, like me, may have just a little too much running equipment around?

running gearAnswer these simple questions:

  1. Do you still trip on running gear when you’re getting dressed for your morning run even though you have one, two, three spots in your home assigned for running equipment?
  2. Do you not only have the Runner’s World Ask the Gear Guy column link saved on your “favorites” but you still turn to that page first when the magazine arrives in the mail?
  3. Does your family budget have a running gear/race line?
  4. Is three-quarters of your closet made out of tech fabric?
  5. Does your Amazon one-click option get a bigger workout than the TV remote control?

If you answered yes to at least three of those questions, you may just be a gear hoarder. And if you haven’t, what are you waiting for? There are new shoes, tech shirts, shorts/skirts, socks, watches, hydration systems and a plethora of other gear to try.

But first, stop by and see runner bloggers MCM Mama Runs, My No Guilt Life and Marcia’s Healthy Slice who are hosting today’s Tuesdays on the Run link-up.

How about you, are you a gear hoarder or minimalist? What are other signs that you may just have too much gear? Is there such a thing as too much?  If you’ve written on the topic, feel free to share your blog post below.

As I’ve mentioned before, runners lie. We also have our own lingo which appears to be specific to each running group. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Craptastic. Any time a run is hard (read: brutal), especially when the runner did not want to go out in the first place. Caveat: A run still worth doing
The face a runner makes halfway through a craptastic run.

The face a runner makes halfway through a craptastic run.

  • .Muggylicious. A run where the temperature is 70 degrees with 80 percent humidity. At 6 a.m. Hat tip to my running friend Erinn for this little gem.
My runner friends enjoying our muggylicious run. Source: Erinn Sullivan Hadley

My runner friends enjoying our muggylicious run. Source: Erinn Sullivan Hadley

  • Marathon whisperer. That runner we all know who manages to convince you that if you can run eight miles you can certainly run 13.1 and if you can run 13.1 you can certainly run 26.2. Caveat: You tell all new runners to stay away from the marathon whisperer (I’m looking at you, Brandess!) but you find yourself signing up for things like 50Ks after spending time with her.
Our very own marathon whisperer.

Our very own marathon whisperer.

  • Mullet crew. Back-of-the-packers who run in one of the slowest pace groups but have the most fun because they’re “the party in the back.” Hat tip to Brandess and Shannon B. for that one.
Mullet Crew pacers!

Mullet Crew pacers!

  • Creeper. That creepy guy who just keeps showing up to your group runs despite endless teasing. Oh, that’s just Scott? Never mind.

our resident creeper.

What are some terms specific to your running groups and how were they coined?
5 Running terms defined

Feel free to share your blog post below if you’ve written about this topic.