Running is a sport with constant challenges. From the outside people may see ... one foot in front of the other. Not hard, right? But as a runner you know it's doing the right runs at the right pace. Then you find out you have to think about foot strike, nutrition, sleep. You spend the time finding the right energy gel for a long run or marathon, perhaps with some gut bomb fails. You have the right shoes, or no shoes, or shoes with orthotics. You avoid injury with cross training, stretching, rolling, icing, good luck charms and chanting. You find the time to run even with work, chores, errands, kids.

But then comes one really interesting obstacle that separates the running camps: vacation. In the daily grind it seems perfectly natural to find the time to get your workout done. But when faced with vacation whether it involves camping, beach front condos, umbrella adorned drinks, road trips, early flights or (gasp) a group of non-runners it can be a struggle deciding whether running fits.

I choose to see the vacation running as a reward. It gives me a chance to explore. If I'm with a big group, it gives me an excuse to go clear my head. If I accidently enjoyed too much sangria, I get a "reset" sweat session. If I'm training for a specific event it can be tough to get the quality of work in, so I usually pack in the long run or crucial workout before we depart (even if it's 5am on a Saturday, oy). But otherwise I enjoy the adventure. I stress how much I love the run when I get those sideways glances from the non-runners. After a few vacations, they eventually lose interest in your weird runner ways as long as you come back and spend quality time with them


My latest trip was camping in Maryhill Washington for the 4th of July.  I got the long run (11.5) in before we left, and ran a hilly 5 there. How could I resist running to Stonehenge?

What about you? Do you see the vacation run as a reward? Or do you opt out for a break? Does it depend on where you are in the training?...Do tell! Oh, and send pictures - I love seeing other awesome destination runs. (

More pictures at Oiselle's Flickr page.

July 12, 2011 — sarah

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