|Virgin River at dawn|
We spent last week on the Oregon Coast. We spent our days playing in the tide pools, exploring lighthouses, flying kites, and eating ice cream. And before the rest of the family rose from their beds, I went for a run on the beach.
For many people, a vacation is a time to take a break from the rituals of everyday life. For me, as a mom, I love having some time off from cooking and making beds, but one ritual I try to stick with is exercise.
I have a couple of rules of thumb when it comes to exercising on vacation:
1) Get out there. My very favorite part of going on vacation is exploring a city on foot. And going on an early morning run gives me a chance to
|Not a tourist in sight|
|Sunrise at Ghirardelli Square|
Of course, sometimes this approach backfires. Last summer, we spent a few days at Sundance, and I went on an early morning trail run on some of the hiking trails. I picked one I thought was relatively easy for the family to explore later in the day, and the kids spent at least two hours cursing me, as I'd misjudged the distance on our "easy" hike. I also thought it was perfectly acceptable to take my seven-year-old on a walk from Times Square to the Guggenheim and back. She wasn't quite so sure, and needed some ice cream to give her strength about halfway back to the hotel.
2) Just get it in. While I love to get out and explore a new place, there are times when hitting the hotel gym is more practical. When Annie and I
|6am, Golden Gate Bridge|
travel to China, I am way too chicken to run on the streets (the pollution, the language barrier, and the likelihood that I might get lost all make the gym look like an extremely attractive option). Once, while marathon training during a cruise, I did an eighteen mile run on a cruise ship treadmill.
Last week, I was too lazy to venture out one morning when it was pouring, and found myself doing speed work on a treadmill that afternoon (in a very, very hot room with no fans where none of the windows would open) while the rest of the family had some down time at the rental house. When we were in Miami, I mixed up my normal running routine by taking some of the fabulous classes at the Fontainebleau, and Annie and I
|112 step cool down|
treadmill gets boring. When we went to Alaska on a cruise a few years ago, people on our ship nicknamed her the "walking lady" because she spent so much time walking the decks. While the gym can get crowded and an unfamiliar machine always takes some getting used to, it's definitely better than nothing, and even if I get kicked off a machine before I get my regular eight miles in, it's still worth it to do as much as I can.
3) Go with the flow when it doesn't happen. At home, I don't miss runs. I get twitchy and cranky if I can't run before the kids wake up, and 99% of the time, I will get a workout in sometime during the day, even if it means I have to stop a hundred times to break up fights or I have someone
|Grand Canyon Rim Trail|
impossible to get a workout in. When we went to New England in June, I only ran one day. My friend Leslie, who was hosting us, lives in a town where all of the roads are narrow and twisty, and we were usually getting out to explore early, and Ed wasn't with me to keep the babies, and all of those things made early morning runs more effort than they were worth. On Saturdays, I usually do longer runs. This Saturday, we got in the car at 5am, and finally pulled into the driveway at 8pm, and there's no way I was going
|Sunrise over Miami Beach|
can be flexible, and I do my best not to lament the loss of my run, or to skip out on ice cream and wear a long face when everyone else is indulging.
Exercising on vacation can be tricky, but for a regular runner like me, I know that I feel better when I make the effort to work out. And on the days when I can explore a new place, it often turns out to be the highlight of a vacation.