Mile Markers: Northwest to Midwest

Mile Markers: Northwest to Midwest

The past two weeks were a whirlwind of a couple weeks, from hiking in Washington to driving along I-80 throughout the mountains states to settling into life in Indiana. I didn’t run as much as normal but I did manage to maintain some semblance of routine when we were on the road. A run before a long day in the car made everything feel much better! 

Mile Markers: Northwest to Midwest


 Before leaving the Seattle area, Ryan and I completed one more hike in the Cascades. We hiked our favorite trail in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness – Snow Lake. Usually, this hike is packed, but we opted for a Monday morning and found peace and quiet in the mountains (and, of course, rain). 

Mile Markers: Northwest to Midwest

Before leaving Bothell, I squeeze in a few more 3-4 mile runs. Ryan and I ran a couple of times along the boardwalk and I logged one final progression run through the hilly cul-de-sac. 

We left Seattle on a Friday and drove to Missoula, Montana for our first night. Our hotel wasn’t close to good running paths but the gym had a good treadmill, so I ran a 4 mile tempo run on the treadmill the next morning. I ran only 14 miles this week, although with packing and cleaning, I felt like I spent plenty of time on my feet.


From Missoula, we drive to Utah. Utah boasted the best scenery of this trip and Salt Lake captivated both Ryan and I. We didn’t run here, but we did enjoy a nice long walk downtown and through Temple Square. 

Mile Markers: Northwest to Midwest

The drive from Utah and Colorado differed significantly from our expectations. As it turns out, I-80 goes through a very dull part of Wyoming. Most of the drive was at 6000-7000 feet, along a plateau (flat and no views), in fog, rain, and wind. That was an exhausting day, especially for Ryan because I panicked after about 40 minutes of driving. 

The rain followed us to Fort Collins. I lazily opted for a short treadmill run, only to realize as we drove out of town that our hotel was directly upon a bike path. 


Have you ever driven through Nebraska? Nebraska is a large, monotonous state. Our drive from Fort Collins to Omaha happened to be the longest day of driving, both in terms of distance and in terms of mental endurance. It’s amazing how going 80 miles per hour on the highway can begin to feel slow. 

I never strength trained on the trip, unless you count wrangling two dogs, over-excited from hours in the car, up and down the stairs of hotels. Ollie doesn’t do too well without exercise.

I didn’t run in Omaha, since we arrived late and left early – I don’t think we even spent 12 hours there. The final stretch of our trip took us through Iowa and Illinois to Valparaiso. 

Once we arrived in Valpo, we slipped into normal life there with ease. It’s surprising how a place can still feel so much like home even after 3.5 years away. The city features a spanning pathway system and our complex is along a section of it, which makes running so convenient. 

For our first run in Valpo, Ryan and I ran three easy miles to shake out the legs. Unfortunately, it was raining, but at least the rain only lasted a day and brought with it cool temperatures. The next day, I ran Ollie for 5 miles to both exercise and calm him down.

Mile Markers: Northwest to Midwest

On Friday, I ran my first long run in two weeks and it felt surprisingly good. It’s impressive the difference humidity can make! Our suburb of Seattle was usually very humid (that’s what you get when it rains all the time and you’re along wetlands and creeks), as here, humidity is in the 60-70% range most mornings. The crisp fall air combined with flat terrain makes running feel so much easier. 

We spent Saturday exploring some of the local parks, including one that’s popular for cross country running and snowshoeing. Even though I didn’t run, my Garmin noted over 5 miles of walking by the end of the day. On Sunday, Ryan and I took Ollie for a short run at a local park. It’s amazing how low the humidity is out here!

Mile Markers: Northwest to Midwest

I’m considering running the local half marathon this weekend, although it all depends on how this week goes with our stuff arriving. 

[Tweet “Running from the West Coast to Midwest along a cross-country road trip via @thisrunrecipes #runchat #weeklywrap”]

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9 Responses

  1. Welcome back to the Midwest! I can only imagine how hard it was to leave those beautiful mountains of Washington. I’m glad you think the humidity is lower here. It’s all about perspective, right?

    Hopefully, we can connect at a race sometime!

  2. So glad you made it “back home!” And what a drive!! Yes, I have driven though Nebraska and I would rather run three consecutive marathons before doing that again – ugh – the worst. Too bad you didn’t have time to spend in Omaha. It’s gorgeous there and lots of places to run safely.
    Thank God the humidity has dropped here too!! I’m just taking it one day at a time but running in the cold rain today was downright enjoyable 🙂
    Good luck settling in and deciding on the half marathon…

    1. Thank you! If we ever drive out to Colorado or Utah again, we’re so taking I-70. It’s a bummer that I missed out on the scenery of Omaha – our entire time there was in the dark!

  3. Most of Wyoming is the very dull part! I’ve driven north-south on 2 different routes, and combined they had one pretty canyon area and then a whole lot of nothing. I’m impressed with how much running you fit into your road trip – I’m always too exhausted to want to do anything other than sleep.

    1. Wyoming was dull when we drove out to Seattle on I-90, but it amazed me how even more dull it was on 80. It was also so foggy we couldn’t see much in the distance! We anticipated a lot more mountain scenery than we ended up with on this drive.

  4. I’m glad you made is safely back home. We’ve been on road trips of 1500 miles, but nothing further. Two days is enough for me. And, I can’t imagine a long trip with our dogs. 😉 I adored Utah when I was there last summer and would love to return to do more hiking. I didn’t realize how pretty the mountains/canyons would be. I hope you’ll be able to run your local half marathon. That would be a great way to get back in the local running scene. Thanks for linking!

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