On Friday I picked the kids up from school, and we raced home to get last minute packing done before heading to the Shakori Hills music festival. My husband left on Thursday with a good friend (the husband of one of my close friends — we camp at Shakori together twice a year), and they took all the camping gear so the site would be all set up for us once we arrived. I couldn’t get out of work fast enough on Friday. I was very ready for a weekend of being unplugged. I was pretty exhausted by the time we pulled into the grassy parking lot at the farm, but one veggie burger and cold beer later, all was right with the world.

My kids love the freedom of camping at Shakori. There are several families who go together each year and we camp at the same spot. The kids roam around day and night in packs, while the adults cart folding chairs and wheeled coolers around to the different stages, where we set up shop and listen to the music. The dynamic has changed a bit now that most of the kids are teens or tweens (they probably think it’s changed for the better), but they still have a great time. We grown-up people try not to think too hard about what trouble they might be getting up to, but they are all good kids, so I don’t think we have to worry. When we do make it back to the campsite for bed it’s not unusual to see them all up still at midnight, sitting under the “food tent” and swapping war stories from the middle school or high school trenches. I love seeing these kids — who don’t get together like this but twice a year — come together as old friends. I know I would have loved the Shakori Hills experience when I was their age. It’s pretty awesome for the grown-ups, too.

We didn’t get back until Sunday at 2:00 (another rainy, mud-drenched exit from the farm — blech) and then I had to eat some lunch and turn around and try and get a long run in. That was the worst. I couldn’t skip the long run, though, because that would have undone all the weeks of work I’ve been training for, and the 1/2 marathon is only a few weeks away. So I left at 3:00 and somehow slogged through 10 miles (I was supposed to hit 12). Things I learned: a) running on a Sunday when my body is used to a Saturday long run is BAD and b) a bowl of lentil soup 45 minutes before a long distance run does not make for  a happy tummy. My body was so mad at me for putting it through that and it just about fell apart when I got home. I spent the rest of the afternoon checked out from life in my PJs and fuzzy socks. I’m looking forward to getting my rhythm back for Saturday’s long run.

Routine and rhythm are not only important for good writing days, but for good running days, too.