I am very sad to report that my vacation is over.
Traverse City was awesome!! Matt had a great time at his mountain bike race, the Iceman Cometh, which I learned was the largest mountain bike race in the world with over 4400 participants! WOW! Yes, that many boys and girls on bikes on northern Michigan single-track!! Matt said it really wasn't all that crowded, relatively speaking. There were apparently only a few bottlenecks which is amazing considering the size of this race. They had a zillion waves that started 5 minutes apart. Still, MTB races do this odd type of wave start. They don't line up by pace but by age and category (beginner, sport, expert, elite, etc.) - which means there are often faster people starting behind slower people. Doesn't really make sense to me. I guess that is one more way running is better! hahaha!!!
That doesn't mean I don't want to try MTB racing though. :-)
Matt is going to tweak out his old Raleigh for me so I can see if my back has healed enough to handle riding. I don't think it has, but I really, really want to try. Wish me luck.
I got in several runs while on vacation. I relived part of my first marathon's route (Bayshore). I ran up the Old Mission Peninsula along the shore of Grand Traverse Bay in Lake Michigan about 8 miles, then turned around and ran back. Nice run! It was sunny and 55 that day. Almost identical to race day last Spring. Memories...
A few days later I ran about 8.5 miles on the Vasa Pathway, a relatively non-technical but hilly and beautiful trail in the woods. There are many many more miles of trails up there that need to be explored next trip! Also, I'm pretty sure there is a trail race on the Vasa trails that I'll need to put on the calender in the next few years.
Most importantly -- I got new running shoes!!!
I had been running quite happily, or so I thought, in my Saucony Omnis. Well, my feet and lower legs were very happy, but my hips were not. I didn't really relate the hip problems to my shoes until very recently, and it is still only a guess, but that's all I have to go on right now. I was finding that after longer runs, my hips would get very sore (not the hip joint, but the very top of the hip bone (iliac crest?). I did all my long runs in my Omnis. That is, until the marathon. I wore my lighter performance trainers for the marathon and guess what? No hip pain. The performance trainers had much less support than my Omnis. Now I'm wondering if I really need to be running in a stability shoe. Anyway, I didn't want to jump from a shoe with moderate support to a neutral right away, so I took a smaller step down to the Saucony Guide. It still has a decent amount of support but not as much as the Omni. We'll see how it goes!