We packed so much into the weekend that I should probably still be home recovering! Good Friday started early as I hauled it up and out
before the sun came up to go to Waterfall Glen in Darien, IL. It’s not too far away but not necessarily close enough to hit too frequently. I host a run there every Good Friday and Black Friday as an excuse to get the various running communities together and also have a few friendly faces with whom I can run the trail. Beautiful location. Beautiful Trails. Beautiful weather. Perfect 9.5 mile loop that is challenging for most of us, but still doable.
The temps were good, high 20s when I got there at 6:30 am and near 50 when I left at 10:30. This was the day of my last 20 miler for this marathon cycle (Lansing Marathon on 4/21/13) and I made almost 18 miles on the rolling hills before I needed to go home to the kiddos (and subsequently finish those last 2 miles on the treadmill later in the day).
The trail was mostly clear of snow and ice despite our erratic weather this year. And we were blessed with sunshine all day long. Win!
We also had a lot of runners who weren’t able to make the 8am start time (and above photo). I saw many friendlies on the trail early, who came out to run a few miles or even the entire loop before heading off to work. Great turnout with lots of new (and old) faces. Thanks for coming, everyone! I’ll see you on Black Friday, same time, same spot!!
This is the first nice weekend we have had this year that was remotely warm without rain. So I took full advantage of it by hitting another “somewhat” local trial on Saturday, not to run, but instead to
let the kiddos burn off some steam hike. Matthiessen Sate Park is in Utica, IL about a mile past a much more popular hiking arena, Starved Rock State Park. While Starved Rock gets all the hype and is definitely more commercial and user friendly, Matthiessen is a hidden gem. Less traffic. Better hiking. Amazing sites. Plus the kids like to get dirty so it’s a total WIN for us! Thanks to Aby’s friend, Kara for making the trip with us and “helping” out with the little man!!
The best part about Matthiessen, in my opinion, is the waterfalls. Some are easy to find, some are slightly hidden. We even caught a few in a semi frozen state!
The second best thing about Matthiessen, is the stairs. Lots of stairs, inclines & bridges.
I love this place and try to bring the kids a couple times a year. Depending on the season and the precipitation levels, the water may be free flowing like it was on Saturday or it can be totally dry like it was on our trip last summer. Although the trails don’t change, the sites area always different. Fun times. The kids love it. I love it. We get to spend time outside together. Win!
Did you do or see anything exciting this weekend?
** Run, Walk, Hike, MOVE ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **