Monday, August 7, 2017

I Run This Town (Part 3: Weeks 9-11)


Week 9: July 15-21, 2017

This week started off great.  I ran a local 5K up north.  I was very happy with  sub 9 minute miles, but did a number on my hamstring and could hardly walk after.   

I took a few days rest then got back to it.  Each day this week was painful and I wound up walking a good portion of my limited distance. The most notable thing I found this week was  a small baseball field in someones back yard.  It even had a cool scoreboard and lights.  Someone’s personal Field of Dreams. 

I also found another Free Little Library and some wooden totems poles of owls, eagles and other animals. The craftsmanship was amazing.  I’ve driven past them before but never had the chance to really enjoy them.

Week 9 Stats: 
8.6 miles 

Week 10: July 22-28, 2017

I found another Free Little Library, I haven’t taken any books yet as I didn’t want to carry them on my runs.  I’m an avid reader.  That is why I pay extra attention to these boxes.  I think it is so cool that the residents care to give back to the community by the gift of books.  

My leg still hurts and I’m trying to take it easy, but still trying to get some miles in.  
I had to run on a freeway overpass today.  So I parked my car a few miles away and my hubby dropped near the overpass.  There was a decent shoulder but I still don’t like running without a sidewalk on a busy road.  I did this on a Sunday as there was little traffic.  I passed the Big Boy restaurant and stopped for a selfie with the iconic chubby boy in checkered overalls.  

I thought I saw another loose dog, but it turned out to be a fawn.  It was jumping around like a bucking broncho on someone’s front lawn.  What a cool sight.  These past few days have been hard with this leg injury.  I’ve had to take more days off and run shorter mileage than I want on other days.  

I’m becoming increasingly irritated by the amount of trash on the streets.  Today I ran past a dirty diaper on someone’s front lawn. that was a first.  I typically see a lot of empty cigarette packages and liquor bottles on the roadside. I feel bad for the people that live on these busy roads and the trash that people must throw out their car windows.   I think we need a city wide clean up.  

Finally my hamstring is loosening up and I had a good day.  I ran past an abandoned home with the windows smashed and boarded up, I saw another back yard that had a burned out car and a bunch of junk piled high. These things are not the norm for my city.   I passed another house that had been in a recent fire, strangely enough right across the street from the fire department.   Two more Free Little Libraries were located and two unfriendly dogs desperately tried to get out of their fence I browsed through the books.  

Surprisingly I was able to enter a city park on foot without paying a toll, guess it only applies to cars.  I enjoyed a nice run on a dirt path around a small lake. 

In a nearby neighborhood I saw flowers as big as my head.

Later that day I took both of my dogs.  We passed an amazing wood carving of St. Francis, so amazing to be passing this with both of my girls.  

Week 10 Stats: 
24.42 miles
12 square miles completed 

Week 11: July 29-August 4, 2017

I spent most of the day volunteering at an ultra marathon in a city park.  Afterwards I ran on this amazing trail with my buddy Jeff, running and eating popsicles on his last loop of his 50K race.  I know that the trail miles don’t count to tick off any streets on my map, but it was in the city and it was  rewarding and fun.  

Did a double run today.  In the morning, I had my husband drop me off so I could run a sketchy section of road with little to no shoulder.  It was a Sunday morning so traffic was light.  There was construction on the road to make things even more messy.  A fellow runner went past wearing a mask to simulate high altitude training.  I waved and yelled, “Looking Good!”  I think he smiled, but it was hard to tell under that mask.  

In the afternoon, checked of streets in a subdivision that had this great grassy hill that looked like a park.  I took the time for a few photos here.

I followed the streets that were half torn up with construction.  When I got to the dead end of a street I saw a little trail.  I decided to see where it went.  As I followed the trail, I was hoping I wouldn’t get lost.  I scared up a momma deer and her two fawn.  Tons of birds flittered past and eventually I wound up and the bottom of that grassy hill.  That was amazing and saved me about a mile of repeating the same section of road.  

Later, I came across this very confusing intersection.  

After that I drove to a small section a bit further west and ran a few more streets.  I found another Free Little Library and some trails that connected to the trail I had just been on.  I looked at Google Earth to confirm this.  I will for sure check out those trails again.  Amazing, that these little trails seem to be all over my town, yet I never knew they were there.  

If you haven’t seen my city map yet, it shows 36 square miles, six miles across and six miles up.  There is another city located within my city.  That city takes up a few square miles.  My city lists itself on Wikipedia as 32.91 square miles.  Today I got my first “bingo” by getting my first row across the map done. 

Another day and another busy road.  The crosswalk signal at the intersection didn’t work right and never gave me the “walk” icon.  Ugh.  I was happy to duck down a dirt side street to get away from the speeding cars.  Only one block away it was so peaceful you could almost forget you were in a busy town.  I passed by Antoniou’s (my favorite pizza shop, owned by friends of mine) and also by the Leader Dogs for the Blind headquarters.

If you didn’t know my city was rated one of the top ten best places to live in America.  It was also rated the #1 city in Michigan by Money Magazine.  

Week 11 Stats:
36.27 miles
Total miles since start: 254.49

13 square miles completed


  1. Wowza! Great job getting out there. Being injured makes it so very difficult, doesn't it? I hope you're feeling better soon.