Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I decided to break the weekend reports into three because they are so long.

Part two then starts after the race. I met up with Don, who ran 46 something for a 5th in the age group finish and a BIG medal. Really nice medals. He wanted to be able to watch some of the marathoners finish and we had to check out of the hotel, so we hurried back to shower and check out. We arrived back at the race site just a little after one of his friends had finished, in 3:28, a couple of minutes faster than he predicted. We also ran into several others who had completed the marathon and half. We ran into Dr. Rick (real doctor) who finished the marathon first in 40-44 AG with a 2:52. Dr. Rick is one fast runner, but never hesitates to help mentor slower runners, either to a PR or, to qualify for Boston. And he swears by pickle juice as his secret method of race hydration.

We also met up with Lynne, who had run the 1/2 and PR'd with a 2:01. She generously gave away her finisher's medal to the young daughter of another runner who had recently completed her Girls on the Run 5k. A class act if I ever saw one.

Then there was Marathon Don, running in his marathon of the month. Marathon Don is a member of the 7 Continents Club and the 50 States Club, and is on his way to doubling both. He is also the race director for the Grand Rapids Marathon. Anyone looking for a first rate fall marathon, look no further. And Marathon Don never finishes a race without his cooler full of beer--imports, domestic, pale ales, whatever you are looking for. So we passed the time waiting for people to come in tossing back a few in the now glorious sunshine.

Eventually, the race was winding down, and we decided to head to lunch and then our second place to stay for the weekend, the Grand Traverse Resort. This is a picture of the tower that our room was in, overlooking the Grand Traverse Bay. (slightly blurry from the window in the room),

The Grand Traverse Resort is actually owned by the Ottawa and Chippewa Tribe Band of Indians, and is a world class resort, golf course, and conference center. A picture of the lobby and pool area. There was an indoor and outdoor pool, but by the time we actually got into the room and got over our oohing and aahing of the place, the weather was turning cloudy and cooler, so we headed to the indoor pool area instead.
What we found was a regular athletic club, family pool, and the Olympic size lap pool, quite a surprise, actually. We both wanted to swim, but also were both so sleepy after the early morning wakeup call and the few beers, so decided to take a quick nap and then swim. Once I settled onto the comfy beds
I wasn't so sleepy after all. Something about those beds was so relaxing, it seemed to suck all the fatigue right out of me. Instead I read for a while until my phone rang. It was Nancy wanting to get together for dinner. She and Bruce wanted to go out somewhere, but I wanted to stay at the resort so we could actually spend some time at the expensive place, so they agreed to come by later and eat at the hotel.
I was glad they decided to stay in with us, because by the time evening rolled around, it was rainy and I really was glad to not have to go out anymore.
We ended up eating at a Bistro restaurant on site, and by the time we finished, it was almost 9 pm. We took them on a tour of the complex, and that's when we discovered the place was swarming with kids--kids without chapperones too it appeared. And there was a prom taking place there as well. The lobby area was so noisy, we couldn't hear ourselves talk. I was a little disappointed with the number of kids running around in such a high priced place. We found out they were some sort of youth group, but some of them didn't exactly behave themselves, so it detracted from the experience.
And while the resort did provide massage packages, they really were out of our price range. Instead, we took advantage of the indoor and outdoor whirlpools on site as well as our own private jacuzzi tub.
I have used jacuzzi tubs before, but never have they been as effective and powerful as this one. The jets were so powerful, they splashed over everything in the entire room. And did I mention the bathroom was as big as my kitchen?!
It was a treat to not have to set the alarm for the next morning, but as usual, we still woke up around 7 am. Looking out our window at the view, we could see it was another glorious day. I decided to swim again, so headed to the pool before 8 am, only to find all the lanes full. That only lasted a few minutes, and then I had a lane to myself. After a 1200 yard swim, I headed to the outside hot tub, mainly to check out the temperature. It was breezy and cool, but sunny. It felt wonderful sinking down into the hot water with the cool air around me.
After I dressed, I shopped at some in the shops on site. There was a very nice Michigan cherry products shop, American Spoon. I bought some dried cherries, a cherry and nut package, some sour cherry preserves, and the piece de resistance, handmade cherry truffles. OMG, those were SO good. After all, Traverse City is the sour cherry capital of the world! Couldn't go home empty handed.
All too soon, it was time to head home. Driving along the bay, the water looked so cold. The locals say it doesn't warm up until August. So another year, another fine weekend.


Fe-lady said...

Congrats on your race and thanks for the wonderful synopsis of your weekend! Looks like a beautiful place! Glad you had a great time! Hope you didn't have to clean up all the water that splashed all over the bathroom!

Mary Sunshine said...

Hi Vicky!

What a great blog! Love the pictures and hearing about race.

I will read more tomorrow!