Friday, September 25, 2015

Vacation: Rest and Relaxation... and Running

Two weeks ago I got to go vacation—got to spend an entire week with family, eating ice cream, relaxing on the beach. And I got to run four glorious times.

Running in Cape May, NJ 

Running on vacation might seem like a burden—it’s time to relax after all! But running on vacation can actually be a privilege, a chance to explore new places, scope out a town, find a stunning view. If you can squeeze runs in without messing up the plans of your family or co-vacationers, running while away can be a refreshing change and possibly add a new spark to your training.

It was easy to squeeze in a few jogs over the week, since I’m still not going very long and I’m blessed with a family that understands my running obsession. (It’s their fault—namely my sister’s—I got interested in running in the first place.) My husband even joined me on most runs, another benefit of vacation aligning our schedules (or rather, removing any set schedules).

The first morning we ran along the boardwalk—scoped out the shops and ice cream parlors, soaked in the sun and sea, smiled at the many other runners training for fall races and an entire field hockey team doing their running conditioning. It was nice to be back out in the world of runners, rather than stuck in a gym or the slow lane of the pool.

My two-year-old nephew leads me through a yoga sequence.
Other days we ran through trails that switched between sand and dirt to boardwalk and grass. Weaving in and out of woods on grass paths reminded us of running cross-country, and we swapped stories of high school XC practice. A few articles lately have discussed the reasons to love running cross country and I was reminded of all of them. It was nice to get away from the roads and get lost in the woods a bit. (And we did get lost the first time… and went a hair longer than we were supposed to, but my leg seemed not to mind a bit. The grass and trails treated it well.)

Although I still wasn’t going as far, as fast, or as often as I would have liked, I was happy to be able to run at all while there. If it’d been a few weeks earlier I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy those trails. I seemed to strike a perfect balance, just a couple relaxing runs while the rest of vacation I walked, biked, and paddle boarded. But mostly I sat around at the beach or at dinner with my family, enjoying vacation time.

Every runner's heaven:
a store dedicated entirely to peanut butter.
Now that I’m home, I feel like vacation is over in more than just the literal sense. My injury-induced vacation is over, too. This year, summertime was for getting over my injury and now fall is here. I’m healed (I've officially graduated from physical therapy) and I'm slowly increasing the running while phasing out the cross training.

Something about vacation seemed to snap me into a better mindset. Maybe I’ve gone back to denying how much work I have to do, but I’m really just getting excited to do it. Or maybe it was the cross country runs and the smell of fall in the air saying, “Vacation’s over, let’s get to work.”

Vacation's over, back to DC. But... it's not so bad.
Dream big, 

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  1. Definitely one of the best ways to explore a new place! And all the more reason to visit a peanut butter shot, whaaaat?!?

    1. I know! I wish that store was closer to home!!

  2. Awww welcome back! I'm officially back as well, but always terrified about the "getting injured again" possibility. Lots of cross-training and not rushing back hopefully will do ;)

    1. Ugh, I know the feeling!! I'm not sure when the fear of getting re-injured subsides to normal levels.... but, yeah, until then cross training and taking it slowly should do the trick! Good luck! Here's to healthy seasons for both of us :)

  3. When do you expect to resume full marathon trials training?

    1. I usually do about a 16 week cycle, so in two weeks!! But really it's hard to say when it "officially" starts; I'm slowly ramping up now to make the transition to full training seamless.