Thursday, 15 August 2013

Training while Traveling

Taking a 2 + week trip away from home right in the middle of marathon training can either be a much needed slow down/break/recovery or be a big set back. When people have asked me how our "vacation" was I say it was more of a visit than a "vacation". To me the word "vacation" means that I don't cook, plan activities for the twins, worry about babysitters, and run and workout on my own schedule. Traveling with two 3 year olds isn't really a "vacation". While I don't consider our visit back to Minnesota a vacation it was the perfect place to visit and still keep up with my training for Chicago Marathon for the most part.

One helpful piece is that my Mom is training for Chicago as well. She completely understood my need to get out and get miles in during our stay. She of course was more than happy to hang out with the boys while I did that - she love her Nana time with them.

Her husband is a great help as well when she and I wanted to do our runs together. She said she was getting tired of her same route by her house (in a suburb of Minneapolis) and wanted something different. I miss (in an aching kind of way) the lakes that are blocks from our Minneapolis house so headed into the city for our first long run together of our visit.

10 mile (16k) run around the Lakes

The suburb of Toronto that we currently live in has an amazing trail system. The problem I have with it however is that 1) I don't know it all that well so it take quite a bit of planning ahead of time to route a run in the 16k+ range. and 2) It's a bit choppy, to get a long route in you need to add city streets into the  mix, which is fine but it makes me miss my easy to navigate lake runs.

Minneapolis has an amazing "chain of lakes" path that I could spend all 22 weeks of Marathon training on. What's even more fantastic about this is that I can access this path system by running about 8 blocks from our home in Minneapolis - no getting in my car and driving to a place to then start a run. 

Our Mpls home to 2 nearby lakes great for running!

Each of the three nearest lakes to our home are about 3k around with short connecting path in between. It makes for a perfect 16k run. On the last day of my visit in Minnesota my Mom and I decided to run Lake Harriet and then the Minnehaha Parkway for something a little different and because the parkway is better shaded. The Parkway connects to Lake Nokomis (which incidentally was 4 blocks from our first home together when we got married - can you see a trend with us and loving to live by Mpls Lakes?!?) from Lake Harriet with a 5.8 mile path - perfect for getting the long 20+ mile distances needed for Marathon training!

Lake Harriet & Parkway 8 mile run

On our two runs around the lakes that my Mom and I did we ran past a few friends of ours - the same two girlfriends on both Saturday mornings without evening talking to them ahead of time about going out for a run! We are in sync for sure! 

There were a few runs I needed to get in during our visit that we were in the Minneapolis area to take advantage of these lake paths. 

The first was when Josh and I headed to Wisconsin for his 20 year class reunion. We didn't have the boys with us (they stay with my Dad and his wife for the weekend) so it made it easier to get out together. I had another 10 mile run (actually I think I was suppose to do more like 12, but hey I was on "vacation" right?!?) on the schedule. Josh was nice enough to keep me company and let me follow him around his home town so I didn't get lost. We did a combination run of Lake streets (no path around this lake) and trails. Just as it's fantastic to have a Mom who understands Marathon Training it's equally fantastic that my husband does as well. 

Pre 20 year Class Reunion Lake/Trail 10 mile run 

We spent the final days of our visit to Minnesota at my Mom's cabin on the Lake. I started and finished two 4.5 mile runs from this lovely beach. My Mom and I took the yoga mat out to the end of the dock to do stretches after our run and then I planted myself in a lounge chair to watch the boys play in the sand! Pure Bliss! 

Lakeside Cabin Run

Ok, I guess this part of our visit I would call "vacation"! 

Post Run Lounging!

Even though I got a fair amount of running in and two 10 mile long runs I still feel like I'm playing catch up on my return. My first long run on our return with the group was a 25k (15.5 mile) run. 5 days later and I'm still feeling a bit sluggish. Luckily I'm still 8 weeks away from the Marathon so I have time to get back into the groove!

How do you get your exercise and/or training in while on visits/vacations away from home? 

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