Whoever said, “I only need a six month vacation twice a year,” was a wise, wise person. There is nothing quite like a vacation to allow the mind, body, and soul (cheesy but true) to reset, especially when the getaway includes sun, sand, and surf. Last January my parents invited me and my little family to join them for a week on the Big Island. At the time, I was elbows deep in teaching 150 sixth graders how to write argumentative essays and summer still seemed eons away. But eventually, I graded all of those essays and then some more, made it through state standardized testing, finished up reports cards, and it was finally time to embrace summer!
I read a great article from Runner’s World about running on vacation here. So if you’ve got an upcoming summer trip planned it has some good tips and is worth a read.
Some people might want to take a vacation from their routine, running included, but I love to run when I travel. It’s my favorite way to connect with a new place, get my bearings, shake off jet lag, explore, ponder, reflect, and feel energized. It’s really all the things that running does for me when I’m home, except I get to do it in new surroundings. I love that running can really be done anywhere, just lace up your shoes and go!
The jet lag had me awake dark and early almost every morning-hello 4 am my old friend! But early is always better because once everyone is up and ready to go, it’s difficult to squeeze in a run. We stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa resort which had a great almost 3 mile loop that took me from road, to resort trails, to sand, and then back to the road again. It was a little repetitive doing 3 or 4 loops each morning, but I was so thankful to not be stuck on the treadmill.
Since my parents are runners they understand my need to get out and exercise. One of them would generously stay back at the hotel with my three year old, who thankfully, needed extra sleep due to the the jet lag, and then they would trade off. So I was able to run a loop with each of them and then get in a few more solo miles. These weren’t hard or fast miles, I really had to scale back the pace because of the heat and the humidity. You humid weather runners are some tough people! While I was still able to get in my miles, I wasn’t able to maintain my strength training, and it’s okay. There were other activities we were off to do, like my new favorite boogie boarding which is now called body surfing. I’m going to stick with the old school term for this sport because no part of what I was doing could justifiably be called surfing. I indulged in ice-cream every day because when it’s homemade, it’s practically a whole food. And now that I’m home, I’m thankful for every mile, deep breath, delicious bite, sunset, sunrise and each forever memory.
I know for me, running on vacation is just a matter of doing my best to stay active, adjusting the intensity, enjoying the company, and taking in the beautiful scenery.
This is one of my favorite vacation pictures.