Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Home for a Rest...

This past weekend was the last hard week of a 3 week training block. My legs felt like bricks by the time it was over! I hung on for dear life this past weekend, and made a few more deposits into the training bank.

I can't think of a better place to recover than my family's favorite escape: Elk Rapids, MI. It's a teeny tiny town in Northern MI where my family has been vacationing since I was a weee little girl. My dad designed a quaint/gorgeous little timber frame house up here and my mom performed some amazing interior decorating. The city consists of one small block of shops and an ice cream parlor. The beauty is found in the endless water and majestic lakes.
After a day of traveling (4.5hours of flying and 4.5 hours of driving) I was home. As I walked out of the Detroit airport with my giant bag people looked at me and stared. They wondered what could possibly be in the "big bag." But like only little kids can, a boy asked what was in the bag. I told him a bike, and he asked "the fast kind?" My response: "I really hoped it's fast because this bike is going places!" He looked up at me with the most adorable face and big brown eyes and said: "Are you famous?" I chuckled. Kids do say the darnedest things!

Once here my dad and I had my bike together in a jiffy. We discussed my plan for riding in the morning, and both of my parents offered some advice. My dad highlighted a map for me to follow, and my mom requested that I wear bright cycling clothing so cars will see me. Turns out parents sometimes have good advice (see below).
I hit the road this morning with excitement. I started triathlon 6 years ago when I still lived here. I rode my old tri bike up here when I was training for my first Ironman, and Kona was only a dream. I never thought the day would come when I'd be riding up here and training for THE Ironman! The scenery is awesome here and you can ride forever and ever without even slowing for a light or stop sign. I was off for a tour around the lakes.

Sadly the fruit stands weren't open when I went cruising by. I even left room in my pockets :( We'll be back!

Pictures of Torch lake. It is fed by underwater springs, and typically ranks as one of National Geographic's most beautiful bodies of water. Eminem's house is out there somewhere...

Somewhere along this beautiful never ending road I missed one right turn and ended up taking a 15mile detour. Oops!

I thought I was still along the water. Thing is, when one lake ends, the next starts! Usually I don't mind going out of the way or getting a tad bit lost. It means more miles...which is usually something I embrace. But it's recovery week and I'm trying hard to keep the training volume down so my body can absorb all the work I've done over the past few weeks. Sadly dad's map didn't continue in the direction I went astray. I turned around and retraced my path until I was reunited with the proper lake.

After the ride I had a great breakfast and we were off to the lake. We opted to head out on a friends boat in order to avoid the winds and chop on Lake MI. Perfect! Elk Lake is simply gorgeous. These pictures don't do it justice! I played bow princess, while my dad took us on a lake tour. He knows every fact there is to know about the homes up here.

After getting the legs up and taking a quick cat nap it was time to hit the water.

Me asking Dad (the time keeper) if I was done. Nope, 10more minutes...

I love fresh water! Clean, clear, and shark free!

All that was left to do after this was eat, and relax. Oh, and blog from the porch swing.


Shan said...

Awesome! I hope you're having a blast with your fam!! Hugs :).

Kathryn said...

Love the pics! Welcome (back) to Michigan. :)

Anonymous said...

That sounds great! I am from Michigan too and grew up not too far from the airport. When I brought my bike back in July, I got many of the same looks!
Such a beautiful area up there. I miss it!

JMoTriBella said...

So jealous! Were you swimming in Elk Lake? Looks to calm to be GTB... I love swimming in Elk! I love that we both have the same definition of heaven...Elk Rapids! :) Another good ride (if you want to drive first) is from downtown Traverse up to Leland and back. Very little traffic, and you ride around Lake Leelenau. Then you can stop at Don's Drive in for burgers and shakes afterwards!