Monday was the first day I was on my own for the entire day, and I was excited! (No offense, honey.) Up until now, conference activities were only scheduled for portions of the day, which is why we were able to do some hiking together each morning. Andrew said most of the other conference attendees had come in groups of twos and threes from their respective companies, and were also trying to enjoy some outdoor activities. It would be a shame to come this far and miss out on all that Northern Idaho has to offer! After Andrew left, I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, wrote a few draft blogs and talked to my bestie, Emily, on the phone. She herself had just returned from her vacation and we had some catching-up to do. Once my breakfast was no longer heavy in my stomach, I headed out for a run.
It was a cool 55 degrees and breezy with beautiful blue skies. I just can’t get used to how breathtaking the blue skies and white clouds are against the deep green trees. I started my run along the water–including the world’s longest floating boardwalk that juts out into the lake and surrounds the resort and marina–and then doubled back to add in Tubb’s Hill. (Tubbs Hill and the boardwalk are pictured in the photos below.)
I’m definitely not a trail runner, as I rarely do it despite the proximity of trails to our house in New York and a vibrant trail running community. I guess I simply prefer the ease of running out my front door, and the even terrain that is THE ROAD. Plus, I’d prefer to NOT twist my ankle. But, this was a lovely run on a lovely day and I enjoyed challenging myself to do a trail at the end of my run on tired (and really sore!) legs. About half the trail was smooth and flat (pictured below) and the other half was rocky and required more vertical momentum.
Check out the elevation map of my run!
Just as I was finishing my run, Andrew called to announce he was on a lunch break. We grabbed sandwiches at Franklin’s, a teeny-tiny diner recommended to us. It was fast, cheap and just as you’d expect: all-day breakfast, greasy-spoon options and filled with locals.
After lunch, we went our separate ways: Andrew back to the conference and me to clean up back at the inn. I had a busy afternoon planned and I needed to get started!
Stop number one: rent a wetsuit. WHAT?! In addition to asking about group runs at Fleet Feet, I also mentioned that I was interested in swimming in the lake. One of the employees said she was planning a Tuesday morning swim, and that she’d be in touch.
As a past swimmer, I’ve maintained a decent amount of ‘fitness’ in the pool by doing laps at the Y on a
weekly mostly monthly (if that!) basis, and have only done a couple open-water swims in the last couple years. Anytime I’m near a body of water I feel the urge to swim, and I packed my cap, goggles and suit in case I’d have the opportunity. I had a sneaky suspicion that with the Ironman coming up, there would be a contingent of swimmers here–I’d just have to find them.
Additionally, I’m planning to do my first real triathlon in August, and I didn’t want to miss the chance to swim in this beautiful lake with people who know what they’re doing.
After much tugging and pulling, the suit went on and the fit was approved by one of the employees (bless his heart; I’d been in the store every day–he must think I’m a nut). My friend, Emily, likened a wet suit to ‘whale skin.’ I couldn’t agree more; I knew it was going to be tight, but I didn’t know it was going to be so THICK. This will definitely be an interesting experience, for sure. Fingers crossed I don’t drown.
After returning the wet suit to our hotel room and picking up my laundry bag, I headed back out on a series of errands. First, drop off laundry at The Cleaners. Second, buy sunscreen. Third, pop into Goodwill for a bikini, perhaps? Last, COFFEE.
Andrew thought I was nuts to do laundry on a five-day trip, but I had a bag full of damp, sweaty clothes and I was running out of options for the trip home. Yucky clothes make me unhappy, and clean clothes make me happy. Thankfully, the laundromat was LITERALLY a stones’ throw from both Pilgrim’s Market, their local co-op grocery store, (Go Co-op!) and the Goodwill. A note here on thrift stores: According to my local running partner, ‘thrifting’ is huge around here. It must be, as there were four thrift stores and a couple more antique/junk stores within a two-block radius, and Goodwill was PACKED. I suppose it makes sense; this is mountain country, and the people here tend to be more earthy/crunchy/granola (I realize this is a gross generalization) and it would make sense that they would value the reduce/reuse/recycle mentality. So, I decided a trip to one of the local stores would need to be on my itinerary. Also, drive-up coffee joints abound here, why I have no idea. Thankfully, the chick working at this one was sweet, filled my coffee order and assured me that people walk-up to the window all the time.
My haul from a successful afternoon: clean clothes, natural sunscreen in airline-approved sizes, a souvenir stainless steel stemless wine glass (caught my eye while shopping for sunscreen as Emily had raved JUST THAT MORNING on the phone about how much she liked the one I had gifted her for Mothers’ Day this year), and a mix-and-match bikini from Goodwill I scored for $4! Bonus: the crotch sticker was still intact! I hadn’t yet figured out how I was going to wash it before wearing it… Tomorrow is supposed to be our best day yet, and I intended to spend much of it by the lake!
Andrew didn’t show up until well after 5 pm, and after a quick rest we headed out for dinner. We ended up back at Fire, the place we had our first dinner, mostly because we found many restaurants to be closed on Mondays (not unlike East Aurora) and because we liked it so much.