Day 19.

Day 19 - Madison, WI, to Kenilworth, IL

Run - Lake Wingra, Madison, WI

From the eyes of Bailee.

Daaaaang. It’s July. We’re currently cruising on day 19 (I can’t believe so much time has passed already and yet we still have so much trip to go). Last night we stayed with Nico’s friend from school, Devon (whose parents we stayed with previously in Kansas City). We were in Wisconsin, the cheese capital of the world. I wish my sister had been here as she shares my obsession with cheese and might have appreciated it more. (We probably eat mac n cheese at least once a week at home, if not multiple times, plus sliced cheese and cheese served other ways). The team stopped at a grocery store to pick up some lunch supplies and car snacks and I managed to sneak some cheese curds into the cart. Cheese is one of those perfect foods. It can be slightly sweet (like melted brie on crackers with some jam) or salty (like parmesan) or spicy (pepper jack). In conclusion, cheese is perfect and one of those foods I crave often. Mac n cheese, quesadillas, meals made up of cheese bread and meat, these are all staples in my diet.

We went to a Vietnamese place for dinner that was pretty good. Then the guys plus Devon, his girlfriend, and some other friend went out. Sadie and I stayed in. I got a little bit of violin practice in and then went to sleep at a reasonable hour. This was one of those cases where I wish we hadn’t all been sleeping in the main room because when everybody else got back around midnight, it woke me up. I think from my college experience, I really hate drunk people disturbing my sleep. (I become slightly disgruntled and kind of want to attack them then...like a rabid racoon). Also, waking up wakes up my bladder which means I need to pee which means I need to get out of bed. I saw Chuck in the bathroom brushing his teeth (he has some sort of weird obsession with tooth cleanliness which I get. But also, he flosses every night. I know you’re supposed to, but how many people actually do this?). I think I grunted at him because he exited the bathroom so I could do my business in privacy. We probably had an awkward moment, but it passed. Then I got back into my sleeping bag for a mostly uneventful rest of the night.

Today, we ran around one of the lakes. The guys actually stuck together today and Sadie and I split up. Too much time running with another person is never good. Running is that time to reflect and think so you have to make sure you get in those solo runs or you never get the chance to declutter your mind. Plus people aren’t usually exactly the same pace, so it’s nice to just focus in on your own shindig and flow. Anyway, I went clockwise, the boys went counter clockwise, and Sadie tried to go clockwise (but didn’t take the first turn and missed going around the lake).

The beginning was the best part. Picture lush forests with towering trees. There was even a little dirt - you ran along the shoulder of this road, which I guess was pretty popular as there were a bunch of other runners out there doing the same thing. It turns out I went in the opposite direction of the normal route as my mile markers started at 6 and counted down. I ended up passing the guys right around the halfway point. The second half of the run was less nice. It wound through some neighborhoods and there was much more concrete involved. I asked for directions four times from different people to make sure I was still on the right track as you kind of get away from the lake, especially during the middle and I didn’t want to get lost.

We finished running and met back at the car. Then we went back to Devon’s apartment to eat breakfast and hit the road. We stopped along part of the course on our way out to take some pictures as we forgot to bring the GoPro while we were running. As we dangled our legs into the water of the the lake, I realized my legs were just a little too short and just barely rested on top of the water. Maybe someday I’ll grow again, but for now I will scootch a little closer to the edge.

We arrived at Kenilworth pretty soon after leaving Madison (it’s only a two and half hour drive or so). Tonight we’re staying with Charlie’s aunt. Her house is beautiful. It has heated bathroom floors (which is possibly the biggest thing you didn’t realize you wanted). Because the drive was so short, we had a little bit of down time. Sadie and I did some work, I practiced my violin for a bit, and Nico and Charlie took a walk with Charlie’s dad and his dad’s girlfriend.

For dinner, the team split up. Charlie went to dinner with his family while Nico, Sadie, and I met her cousin, his wife, and her Grandpa at a restaurant. It’s really amazing getting to meet everybody’s extended family on this trip. I love hearing about everybody’s lives and how there is hope for me to become a real person after college (although for now that seems so far in the future). Now we’re going to do s’mores with Charlie’s family (even though we had some pretty tasty dessert at dinner). I’m a sucker for s’mores. My first and only boyfriend brought me a week old s’more to track practice before we started dating, and that’s basically when I decided I liked him. Anyway, gotta go now and ride that sugar high all the way to bed. Much love and thanks for following along on this journey of ours!

Miles driven: 162

Miles run: 25.3

Elevation gained (feet): 668

Daily odds of Sadie getting lost during a run: 99%

Projected cost of Alzheimer's care in 2050: $1.1 trillion

Donate to the Cure Alzheimer's Fund here: http://curealz.org/heroes/running-road-trip