One of the things I love the most about running is how easy it is to bring my favorite form of exercise with me no matter where I’m traveling. Whenever I’m packing for a trip the first thing I pack are my sneakers – my trusty Asics get tossed into a plastic grocery bag, which is then tied into a knot and placed at the bottom of my suitcase. Along with them go my running clothes – one set for each day I plan to be away.
I don’t schedule running into my plans – I am on vacation after all – but I like to be prepared just in case an opportunity to go running arises. Most of the time I’m traveling with my beauties, and chances are pretty high that our days are booked to the brim and there’s just no time. While I may have visions of myself going for a brisk jog on one of our Disney vacations, I know that the girls waking up early + Jay sleeping in + the mad dash to breakfast, the bus, and the park = no Disney magic happening for me to escape on that run.
During this past year I’ve realized that even though it might be difficult to find time to go running while away, it was worth a try. Jay and I have been on a couple of cruises, and while strolling around the ship have stumbled across the gym. Rows of treadmills, all facing a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the ocean. On both trips we sadly walked away once we realized that we intentionally didn’t pack workout gear because we intended to relax the whole time. Boo. (We are NOT sit-on-a-chaise-lounge-all-day-with-a-book people). In addition to that, my friend Erin was getting into running too, and after a trip to NYC posted pictures of herself running through Central Park. Color me jealous! Even after hearing that it was a bit of work to get to the park to begin that run, the image of her running through the park was enough to motivate me to get moving myself. I found myself wanting to give it a try the next time I went out of town.
I came to the conclusion that the only thing truly keeping me from running and exploring new places while travelling was a lack of preparedness. I couldn’t go if I didn’t have my gear, even if I was staying at the Waldorf Astoria at the edge of Central Park and vacationing alone. If I wanted to get out and run these cities, I had to be ready. My sneakers needed to be in the suitcase.
And wouldn’t you know, it worked! Earlier this year Jay & I travelled to Toronto for our 11th anniversary. My running attire made it in the bag, I charted a course near our hotel using my favorite website, and got it in my head that it was going to happen. Knowing that Jay enjoys sleeping in and that I’m an earlier riser made it easy to find the time to go without cutting into “our” time, and while he dozed one morning I woke up early and did it! I didn’t go very far, but I went. I went running in Downtown Toronto. Now you can color me happy.
That was all it took to get me eager to run on vacation. The city was beautiful and quiet so early in the morning, I didn’t have to sit in the hotel room waiting for Jay to wake up, and I didn’t feel guilty about all the yummy things I ate throughout the day. And yes, I posted in on Facebook. Since then I’ve run on a few different vacations, taking advantage not only of Jay’s sleeping habits but also of anyone who might be traveling with us (thanks Mom & Dad, thanks Pam & Woody!).
Who knows, maybe I’ve inspired someone else to run on vacation too!