Running on a Road Trip

I managed to get a run in on 8 of the 13 days that we traveled and it definitely wasn't always easy (is anything on vacation ever easy?). I do have some tips/tricks that I found helpful to keep me accountable for my runs even when I wasn't on a 'structured' training plan yet. 

  • Plan before your vacation: I had a rough schedule of how many runs I wanted to get in/ mileage, but knew that listening to my body and meeting with family comes first. I kept my mileage goals pretty short (planning to only run 30 or 40 minutes) so it was easy to fit them in when I could.
  • Have only one goal for your run per day: Typically my goals were to keep my runs at an easy pace, but other days it was simply to do a ladder on the treadmill (to prevent boredom) or hit a certain mileage. Having only one goal made it seem attainable and really helped get me out the door. 
  • Have a rough idea of what your next day plans look like. This one is REALLY important to fitting in a run. I only had one day where I wasn't sure when/if a run would fit into my schedule. Most days, I ended up not sleeping in so long and got my run in before 8am. While getting sleep is important, I always weigh the either hour or so of sleep that I could get if I didn't set my alarm or the feeling of accomplishment that I'll get when I wake up and get my run in. This also really helped keep me accountable during our road tripping days. I got up early and ran (half asleep sometimes..) either outside (and had a general plan of where I would run the night before/if it was safe) or booked a hotel that I knew would have a treadmill. 
  • Use your runs as a way to get in your exercise/steps and 'zen-out': I felt SO good about my fitness on the days where we were in the car for over 12 hours and I still managed to hit my step goals (thanks to getting up early and getting my run/steps in). My runs also really helped keep me full of energy and awake during those evening driving hours when the sun is setting.

My runs were also the one time throughout the day where I could focus on myself and check-in. They gave me time to 'zen-out' and either process everything that we've done during the vacation or think of nothing at all. 
  • Utilize down-time as a reason to get out for your run: I did this trick twice and seriously felt ten-times better when I came back from my run. This is a great trick when you really want to sleep-in or enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee in the morning. When others were showering or had errands to do, I opted to head out for a quick 30 minute run. You're not missing anything in those 30 minutes and trust me, your mind and body (and maybe others around you will thank you too if you're a little cranky) will thank you for that run!
  • Scout out a local gym or class to try: Take advantage of being in somewhere different! Find a gym that you can get a day pass to or an amazing yoga studio to try out. It's always fun to see what other gyms/classes do and you can always bring back a new experience/suggestion to your community! I'm determined to go to the Heartbreak Hill Studio in Boston one day and try out one of their running classes!
  • Be OK with not getting your run in that day: Know that it's not a do-or-die situation during your vacation if your run doesn't happen. You're on vacation anyways! Relax and enjoy the unstructured life of running for a bit. When it doesn't happen, I like to think of the times when I'm training hard for a marathon and I have to do a run that I'm just not into it and be thankful that I can miss a run and my body may actually thank me for it. 

Road Trip Recap Part 4- Canada & Upper Michigan!

We got to our first campsite in Canada around 7:30pm (after driving since 7 that morning) and we were exhausted! We grabbed some fresh pasta, chicken sausage, and marinara sauce at the local store nearby and got right to cooking dinner!

We got super lucky and our campsite only had one neighbor and we were completely surrounded by water! The unlucky part was that we had to leave our campsite the next morning at 5 to catch our Ferry at 6am (the only time that we could reserve it), so we couldn't spend too much time enjoying the site!

We made the best of the situation and got in some much needed r-n-r while there though.

Verrryyy tired in that photo clearly. haha. We got to bed pretty early (maybe 9:30 or 10), but it was Canada Day and those Canadians seriously LOVE their fireworks! They kept shooting them off for the next 2+ hours....Which meant a VERY early wake-up call and also a beautiful sunrise.

We took the MS Chee Cheemaun Ferry from Manitoulin Island to Tobermory (both in Ontario). It was probably the favorite part of our trip! The Ferry takes up to 150 cars and has 4 different shuttle times throughout the day. It took us 1 hour 45 minutes from the time our car got on the ferry to us being able to drive off. There was also a TRACTOR TRAILER on the ferry with us! We parked on the bottom deck and were able to bring Stella up to the outer observation deck to hang out with us during the trip. 

We saw this one lighthouse on our trip and the ferry also had a cute little gift shop and cafeteria, so we got breakfast & coffee there. I also met a fellow runner on the ferry who was wearing her Boston Jacket and it turns out she lives in Canada, but her and her husband have traveled all over the US (and she's currently trying to get into the Big Sur lottery)- including Colorado! What a great world where runners can unite to the most unexpected places!

Once we got off the Ferry, we were on our drive again and it immediately started down pouring (and proceeded to downpour until we got to the Canada-US Border.

We arrived at our next campsite around 1pm, but decided to keep on going further since it was still super early (a decision that we would later regret). We ended up not being able to find any other campsites in MI and had to continue to drive until 8pm and could only find an Econolodge to stay in...

I hadn't been on a run in 2 days and had the serious itch! The hotel was directly across from the Upper Peninsula State Fairgrounds and I ended up doing my run Monday morning around the grounds!

I think we both definitely learned how beautiful Michigan was on this trip! It is seriously magical. I ran a total of 3.55 miles and started my run a little after 6 in the morning.

I couldn't resist getting a few action shots in front of some of the fun displays in the fair grounds before we left..

We were on the road again by 7 and per usual, hit the Central Time Zone within an hour of us leaving....Onto our last night of trip- South Dakota!

Road Trip Recap Part 3- Vermont

We left NH and headed off to Vermont to spend the next few days with Alex's parents. After visiting with them for a bit, we headed to Massachusetts to spend the night with Alex's brother and sister-in-law!

It was about a 2.5 hour drive to VT from Maine and then about a 2 hour drive to MA. We spent the night eating a fantastic barbecue dinner with chicken and corn-on-the-cob and playing some yard games! We left their house the next morning around 10 to get back to Vermont to spend time with Alex's parents. 

First stop back in Vermont- THE VERMONT COUNTRY STORE! This was my first time visiting and this store is amazing- everything you have ever thought New England was/is wrapped up in one place. 

They had a food truck outside and we had one of the most fantastic burgers ever. After shopping around (they also have a ton of free food samples inside, so I definitely recommend coming hungry) for a bit, we couldn't resist getting a black raspberry ice cream to share!

They were also having a tent sale when we arrived (I think it is still going on through the month of July) and I scored a beautifully knit Woolrich sweater for less than $20! 

We also couldn't resist not getting a kissing photo in the Kissing Bridge!

His parents live in a small southern Vermont town called Springfield, which is REALLY cute and you should definitely go visit! We went to the Hartness House for dinner that night (they were having live music- we made a reservation) and Alex & I split their Cheddar Cheese Potatoes & Fig Balsamic Pizza! The pizza was to.die.for. 

On Friday, we headed out bright and early to go for a hike up Mt. Ascutney. We drove up most of the mountain and it was a 1.5 mile hike up to the fire tower, where you had a fantastic 360 degree view of all the surrounding mountains (even Mt. Washington)!

We made the hike a full loop by taking the Hang glider trail on the way back (which is totally tree covered and we could never see how any hang-glider could get through the thick forest). It was definitely a pretty rugged hike (hello Vermont rocks), but totally worth it!

After we got back, I headed out for a run when I saw a short window of opportunity (everyone wanted to shower/get ready for lunch) and did a quick 30 minutes! It's so much fun to explore a new area (as long as it is safe) outside. I managed to sneak a peek of this horse eating the grass through the open window.

The run was definitely super hilly!

3.25 miles to round out our last day in Vermont! The last part of my run was downhill and I felt super badass to sprint past this 10 or 11 year old trying to run and keep up with his friends. 

We left the next morning around 7 to head on our way to Canada!

Beginning of trip recap- 2, 225 miles to Maine

We left Steamboat at around 5:30 (later than expected) and had to get to Maine by Friday evening (or Saturday morning at the latest). We definitely had a bit of a time-crunch to get there! 

Stealthy photo taken of Stella spying on us while on the road! The first night we drove until somewhere in Nebraska until around 11pm and stopped for the night at a hotel. 

We were up and out of the hotel by 7 and back on the road the next morning! Hello extra caffeine! Within 40 minutes of leaving the hotel, we crossed the Central Time Zone and added an hour onto our drive (bummer). Driving through Iowa seemed to take forever (it's really really flat there), but we finally hit Illinois and started feeling like we were actually getting somewhere!

We arrived in Indiana in the late afternoon and decided to stop there for the evening. That left us about 11 hours (12 with the time change) left to drive on Friday to get to Maine! 

The hotel that we stayed at (hellllo Quality Inn #2 - also never staying at another one again because we somehow only got these hotels through our priceline deals) had a gym hotel so I got in a quick 3.25 miles before we left around 7:30. 

Also Indiana has REALLY nice rest stops. They had Panera and we couldn't resist not stopping for some healthy eats while on the road. Fuji Apple Chicken Salad #1 please!

We hit the Eastern Time Zone again within an hour of leaving the hotel (definitely a pattern that followed throughout our entire trip) and soon enough we were in New York!

Driving through New York brought back so many fun college memories (I went to Syracuse in upstate NY) and we drove right by the exit that I would get off at when I drove to school after vacation breaks! I wanted to stop, but when we hit it at 6pm and knew we had 7 hours left to go, Alex wasn't all for it...ha ha. 

We arrived in Vermont around 9pm and drove right past Alex's parents house (so of course we had to stop there at 10pm at night and surprise them)! They were pretty surprised especially when we told them several times that there was "no way that we could stop there". 

We finally arrived in Maine at 2am on Saturday morning (pure adrenaline keeping us going at this point) and crashed until 10am! 

It was a really long trip and I think if we could have left a bit earlier on Wednesday, that would have made the last leg of the drive easier, but we really didn't hit much traffic and kept our stops to around 10-15 minutes (but would stop every 2-3 hours keeping our minds/bodies refreshed). The weather on Friday was pretty terrible as well (pouring rain almost the entire day), which slowed us down too- driving on the highway with hail/wind/rain= not so much fun. 

Back from Vacation & Thoughts on June Mileage!

Phew! We are FINALLY back from vacation after 13 days away! I had the full intention of continuing to do posts while away, but we only had about ~5 days where we had internet and believe it or not, we were actually really busy the entire time. I thought vacations were supposed to be relaxing?!?

Currently working on my vacation posts, but I'll recap my back from vacation mode now and put up the vacation recaps shortly!

Getting back on track after vacations are REALLY hard. All my body wants to do is sleep for eternity, but after not having much structure with my workouts for 3 weeks (including 2 weeks of vacation and 1 week of post-marathon goodness) I was seriously craving some good sweat sessions.

Endorphins from working out is definitely a thing because even though I'm still sleep-deprived my body is happier with being back into the work-out routine! We got back home Tuesday evening at 8pm (and still stuck on East Coast time, so it felt like 10pm) and unpacked the majority of our things and went straight to bed. I got up at 5 and still managed to get in an easy 4 miles and 30 minutes of a full body strength training. The rest of the day was spent at work catching up on everything I missed and teaching two skating lessons yesterday afternoon! Our internet has still been down since we arrived back (I swear this ALWAYS happens to us!), so we cooked up some chicken and topped our baby spinach salads with it (along with cucumbers, chopped carrots, and a bit of Parmesan). Super happy to be eating healthy again! 

This morning I was surpisingly pretty sore from my workout yesterday, so tried to take it a bit easier on my run. I did 5 miles, but probably should've slowed down my pace even more- live and learn, am i right?!

I tallied up my June mileage and was pretty disappointed with it. I ran a total of 81.7 miles, which doesn't seem like much, but June was a pretty scattered running month for me! It included 1.5 weeks of taper for the marathon, 26.2 miles for the race, a week totally off of running, and then 2 weeks of short runs (while on vacation). So all in all, I'm pretty happy that I even got over 80 miles this month- plus I got a shiny new PR for the marathon, so that counts for quite a bit!

This thought pattern also just brings me back to the thought of why are we so concerned with all the numbers and comparing ourselves to others? What's a high number for one person may not be considered high for another. This is SO true not just to running, but to others weights, how many races you've run, what your race PR is, how far you have or have not traveled, etc. 

We are all individuals and that is what makes us UNIQUE- be true to yourself and proud of your accomplishments because the person next to you probably thinks you're a ROCKSTAR (and you should probably think the same thing about yourself ((and them too))). 

I came across this quote last week and fell in love with it. Isn't love all that matters in the world?! 

Maybe I'm just being sentimental or all mushy from my stress-free vacation, but this really stuck with me and I'm going to try to center my thoughts more towards love and peace, rather than focusing on others. 

So enough of the mushy stuff! How's your dreaming beyond your comfort zone going?!

I'm still a work in progress on this (aren't we all?), but continuing to work towards improving myself and breaking down the barriers that I put up for myself. 

Three things that I am thankful for today:

  • My Health
  • My Family
  • Green Tea with Honey <- currently fueling me through the afternoon slump!

How did you spend your Fourth of July?

Getting back to training/running/work-outs after a vacation- any tips?