Saturday, June 12, 2010

Training on Vaycay

So when Adrienne invited me to participate on this Ragnar team nearly 9 months ago I first thought "wow, you guys must be desperate for team members!" Seriously. Then I was like, "the most I'd ever run is 10k, this is nuts, there's no way!" That turned in to, "well, this would be a really great way to get back in shape (Meghan was 4 months old at the time and is 14 months now), and it sounds like a fun girls weekend away... and maybe I could do it..." It took several days of me teetering before I decided "what the heck, I'll do it!"

AND THEN, I realized that 2 of the 3 weeks leading up the race were an already scheduled vacation. How the heck am I gonna continue to train on vacation? It's not like I was going somewhere exotic, it was just a big good ol' American road trip--and I could run anywhere, right? Kind of. My plan was just to work hard before our trip, stick to the training plan as best I could (which I did) and then run as much as possible on vacation but knowing it wouldn't quite be what I would have done at home.

The first week of our vacation was spent in Kentucky. This was my first run on vacation... our lame hotel in Hopkinsville had no fitness room (shameful!), so I had to run outside. The thing about Hop-town is that there are no shoulders or sidewalks on their roads (and I was genuinely scared of the drivers, everyone drove like they were drunk, seriously). So for safety's sake, I ran at the Christian County Schools Stadium. To say it was hot would be a massive understatement... at 9am it was 90 degrees and 90% humidity (no joke! I looked it up on on Fred's Blackberry afterwards). Ugh. After about the 5th trip around the track I was bored to tears so then I ran up-and-down the stadium 5-6 times, then a few more laps on the track, then the stadium... etc.. etc.. Fred and the kids did it with me.

One day we went to Mammoth Caves - I will count that as a cross-training day - and conquered the 531 stairs in and out of there with 25 lbs. of baby strapped to my belly (they don't allow backpack carriers). Most of the stairs went down, so don't give me too much credit! It was nice and cool down there...aaahhhhh!

Here's a better pic of some stairs...

We spent several days in the Louisville area and I ran with the horses at Churchill Downs. I may not be a prize winning thoroughbred, but I am a ten-cow wife!

Our hotel in Louisville had a fitness room (or closet really). Hooray! I won't complain because it was air conditioned!

After spending a week in Kentucky, we moved on to my sister's house in Ohio. Here I am heading down her driveway taking off for a run. Her neighborhood was so nice to run in because the landscaping was mature with big trees lining the streets-- and that my friends means shade!

This was a little hill near my sisters house that I would run. It was only maybe a quarter mile total (at the top of this picture it veered right again for a bit) but it's the best hill I could find in her neighborhood so I would run up and down it a bunch of times, then go run the rest of the neighborhood and come back and do more trips up an down this hill. Kind of boring, but it got the job done. At the bottom of this hill was a cul-de-sac with two homes, and if they were watching, they probably thought I was nuts!

I dragged my sister with me for a run through a different neighborhood that had this little pond. This pond was actually quite large and isn't all in the picture. From the time it took me to run around it, I would guess it was just shy of a mile. So I ran it 5 times while she walked.

Finally, about 13 days into our 17 day vacation, I felt awful. Even though I had kept up running pretty much every-other-day, I hadn't done any weights or strength training and was really feeling it (plus I was eating like a pig). So I dragged my sister with me to her local rec center and we did a class. It was nothing like Lifetime (AT. ALL.), but it felt good to squat, lunge and pick up some weights (I seriously scare myself sometimes when I say stuff like that--who am I? :).

Anyway. Then we were on to Nauvoo where I got one more vacation run under my belt. It was dang hot again. DANG hot. But I survived and made a little video for you. After watching it myself, I have to warn you that I had been in the car for nearly 9 hours that day (drove from Dayton, Ohio to Carthage, IL then to Nauvoo), it was hot and I was tired... very tired. So, forgive me for acting stupid and my inability to steady the camera! And also ignore the gum-chewing. It sounds awful I know, but actually helped my mouth stay moist and I didn't feel so parched... I will remember that come race day.

I have to give big shout-out to my husband Fred! He at least pretended to be supportive as he took all 4 kids to the hotel pools during most of my runs. He was a good sport!

I'm going to do one more long run tomorrow (by long run, I mean 8 miles), and then take it easy the rest of the week (and by take it easy I mean a strength class on Tuesday and a nice long walk on Wednesday). YAY! I'm ready.


  1. Such dedication. Looks like a nice long vacation. Isn't it fun to run in new places though? Even if it is around a track. Cool stuff.

  2. That is so awesome! thanks so much for sharing! I love it that you took the video. Nice touch. Sounds like you had a great trip. Also, nice job on that hill, and I used to live in MN so I understand the humidity thing. I hate it as well.

  3. Wow--we have officially run all over the country. I love it!

  4. Nice Susan!!! Liked the video too!