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I just love this — droplets of water on the map at the beach.

Last Friday I decided to get out of town.

I decided this a few days ahead of time. It was the first week back to school for my three kids, and by no small miracle I had a lot of work lined up but no imminent deadline weighing me down or holding me back. I could, I realized excitedly, maybe just maybe do something I’d been wanting to do for awhile: head out to one of my favorite Lake Michigan beach towns about 45 minutes from my house–and go for a run.

In other words, shake up my everyday running AND erase my post-holiday break weariness. Yes, two full weeks off with my kids is an absolute gift. It’s also a lot of work. I think we all needed to get back to our routine, to spend a little less time on top of one another. I know I sure needed to re-center, to experience some solitude. There were probably a million little things I could have done instead–clean out my closet, organize those family pictures for the digital picture frames, get a head start on a project–but I knew these all would be there. I chose to grab this moment and make it my day. Just this one day, for me.

The day started with Pilates at 8 a.m., and from there I drove northwest 30-some miles to the quaint Glen Arbor. I’d hoped to run part of the new Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, but the paths were covered with slick ice and I instead opted for the two-mile stretch from Glen Arbor to Glen Haven, home to one of my most favorite beaches. I can’t wait to get back there to really explore this trail–the first portions of it opened this past summer, and eventually it will be a 27-mile non-motorized trail through the Lakeshore.

 

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Road sign in Glen Haven.

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I was all alone on the beach. I decided to leave a message for the next person who came by.

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Drizzly, foggy day. Still beautiful.

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Glen Haven Beach stones.

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One of just a handful of buildings in the tiny town of Glen Haven.

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Along the 2-mile stretch between Glen Arbor and Glen Haven.

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Truly one of the most beautiful places in the world.

After running 2.5 miles to the beach, stopping to snap pictures and just be for awhile, then running the 2.5 miles back to my car, I was cold and wet. But very happy. I was the first customer of the day at Boondocks, a restaurant steps from my car. A fire crackled near the my booth, and I savored a steaming cup of coffee and bowl of hot chili. Bliss.

Have you shaken up your running routine lately? Where do you go for a run when you just need to get away from it all?

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