Island Run

steph   July 1, 2013   10 Comments on Island Run

Saturday was the second “long” run of my new half-marathon training program.  This one was six miles, and when I woke up, I just didn’t feel like doing any of my usual routes.  I was definitely getting sick of running down my road, but I also didn’t feel like going to any of my local Metroparks.  I could’ve gone to the state park, but when it’s warm and humid, the bugs are pretty bad over there in the “swamp,” so I nixed that idea pretty quickly.  Eventually, I decided to do something completely different: I went to an “island city” that is not close, per se, but not too far.  The island is called Grosse Ile, and there really isn’t a city, per se, just the township and then the “village” area.  Grosse Ile is pretty well-known around here for being a more exclusive area, with lots of large, beautiful, expensive homes. But there are plenty of smaller homes too…they just aren’t as frequent. 😉

I quickly mapped out a rectangle that covered a good chunk of the Island. I started along the path that runs north/south and took that until Horsemill Road.  Along the way, I passed over the canal, and I saw about half a dozen kayakers paddling along.



Yes, I know you can hardly see them, but only had my iPhone, and they move fast! 😉 I saw some deer, too, but I didn’t bother to try to snap a shot of them with my phone—if you think kayakers move fast, lol!

I started out at long run pace, and I was actually rather happy about that, since it was cooler than it had been, but still muggy.  I was almost to Horsemill when it was time for me to switch to “race pace.” I don’t know if I’m just out of shape or what, but 2 miles at 9:55 was rather challenging!  I broke my own rule and had a tiny bit of wine on Friday night (3 oz), and I swear it made me sluggish. 😛 But I persevered!

Once I got to HorseMill, I turned right and headed toward the east side of the island.  Unfortunately, there was no path, but I was excited to see they’re working on it!  I passed by a lovely “community flower spot,” and I went back later and took a picture.



If you look closely, you can see the dirt path they’ve carved out behind the flowers.  It runs all the way from one end of Horsemill to the other, which will be nice, though it didn’t do me much good Saturday. 😉

Once I got to the east side of the island, I was on East River Road.  If you want to see some ah-mazing homes, take a drive down East River Road in Grosse Ile.  There are new homes, old homes, sweet-looking homes from the ’60s (did I mention I briefly toyed with a major in architecture?), and pretty much any kind of home that would make you drool. (Okay, if you’re totally into architecture, like me.)  It was SO fun, and a great distraction as I ran.  I would love to be able to show you some pictures, but that just didn’t seem right, since I certainly don’t have the owners’ permission.  But Oh. My. Gosh!!!  I was in Heaven!! (Note: my favorite were the historical homes—I don’t live in a 101-year-old farm house for nothing!)

Besides the homes, there were beautiful views on the other side of the street as well.  It was a cloudy day, but that didn’t detract from the beauty of the river.




That’s Canada, by the way. 🙂  I saw two Border Patrol agents on my drive up to Grosse Ile, which is always kind of sobering to me.  Especially after 9/11, seeing them always reminds me that there really is an international border pretty much in my backyard, and it’s not something to be taken lightly.  But at the same time, it’s a privilege to live so close to another country.  (Which, by the way, has many of my relatives! My dad’s family is like Mayflower descendants for Canada, lol!)

In addition to the water views, there were some interesting structures.  I absolutely loved this old boat launch.



It was such a surprise to see this old, rustic looking structure among all the new and shiny ones. It had such character!  On the other side of the street, I also saw a beautiful church.



Don’t you just love those old stone churches? 🙂

At the end of mile four, I stopped and took a quick walk break (.07 miles) before starting up again to finish the last two miles, for a total of six miles. I was glad for the slow pace of the last two miles, as the humidity really had me beat.  As I ran down East River, knowing I was headed for Macomb (the main street of the village of Grosse Ile), I kept thinking I must have passed Macomb.  It seemed like I had been running forever!!  But no, I was just tired and whiny.  😉  Eventually, I got to Macomb, and I actually enjoyed running down the Main Street; I got to see lots of little shops and things that I had never seen before.  Running is awesome for letting you really “see” the sights!

When I hit mile 6, I discovered I was still quite a ways from my car, and I decided I might as well just keep running, lol!  I was running pretty slowly at that point, so another half mile wouldn’t kill me.  It ended up being .59 miles, and at my 10:37 pace, it wasn’t too bad.



When it was all said and done and I went home to look at my data, I was really, really glad that I had my friend Katie’s training plan to follow.  If I had just run on my own, I know I would’ve felt like a failure after those 10- to 11-minute miles.  Because I’m shooting for a 9:55 pace at my next half, in my head, if I’m not doing a sub-10 during all my training runs, I’m  not doing enough, you know? But knowing that I’m supposed to do the 10- or even 11-minute miles as part of my 2:10 half-marathon training, I feel so much better about my runs.  I ended my run Saturday feeling great about my progress, and proud of myself for a good run.



I was also glad I had decided to run somewhere different.  Running around “the Island” (as it’s known around here) was really fun, and I’m glad I did it.  It was a nice change of scenery, and it provided plenty of distraction to keep me going!

I was going to tell you about my latest interval run, but this is already long enough, lol!  We’ll cover that next time.  Thank you so much for reading!


10 thoughts on “Island Run

  1. Kelly

    I dated a boy (in college) who lived on Grosse Ile. It’s beautiful! I also remember finding it so weird I had to pay to go across the bridge to get to his house. My favorite picture is the one of the water with the dock.

    I love training plans because they take a lot of pressure off the “shoulds” of running, you know? Happy First Long Run!

    1. steph Post author

      Grosse Ile is so amazing…and it IS kind of funny to have to pay to visit him. But then again, I live south of the Island, so I get to take the free bridge, lol!

      I love that dock picture, too…I was mad that the sun didn’t come out, but I later decided the picture was prettier BECAUSE there was no sun. 🙂

      We should run together some time!!

  2. Jenn

    What a lovely run, Steph. Grosse Ile sounds beautiful, what a great place to train. Glad your are keeping with your training schedule and it is keeping you grounded. It is so easy to overdo it, so stay the course and listen to Katie.

  3. Cindy

    When I saw your first photo I thought you were on the same island I was! It’s great have a change of scenery when time permits! Thanks for sharing with us!!!1

  4. lisa p

    Love love love your pictures:) That looks like a great running route! Cant wait to read about those intervals- they intimadate me for some reason.


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