Vacations are meant to be a break from schedules and routines, but it doesn’t have to mean a break from running! Run away from life for a week, sure, but don’t run away from your fitness goals. Some of my favourite runs have taken place while on vacation. I know that some people consider exercising on vacation to be a rather absurd and ridiculous notion, but runners will understand (and agree!) that running on vacation can be the best way to experience a new place and, at the same time, make up for some of the delicious foods you are likely consuming while on holiday!
My carry-on always includes my running shoes and gear, because one of the first things I like to do on vacation is get the lay of the land by going for a run. I recently went on strike from winter for a week in the Bahamas, and my first day involved an early morning run. It was a thrill to run outdoors again after weeks on a treadmill. I was also able to get a feel for the lay-out of our resort, the Atlantis at Paradise Island, which was helpful for my family. And finally, the views: when else would I get to run along harbours, past beaches and by dolphins?
My vacations are not always, but quite often, planned around races. But some of my favourite runs have taken place outside of the races themselves. When I travelled to San Francisco for Ragnar Napa Valley, I knew I just had to run the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a must-do! Luckily, I had many like-minded team mates and we all piled into a van the day before the race and hit the Bridge for a shake-out run. It may just be my favourite run of that whole trip!
As you know, my most frequent destination is Disney World for their race weekends of bling, costuming and magical miles! But after the races are over, I love to carve out a little time to run around the World. This not only helps with recovery after the races, but it’s nice to run in my favourite place with no pressure – the race is done, and these runs are just for the love of running.
I really enjoy the Hourglass Lake between Pop Century and Art of Animations resorts, and I find it ideal for early morning runs – it’s not only peaceful and beautiful, but quite entertaining with all of the trivia signs along the way. On our last trip, after the inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge in 2014, I even had the pleasure of a running partner when my oldest daughter, fresh off the Mickey Mile, decided to join me for a run around the lake. She also loved the experience of seeing the resorts from a new perspective.
Running on vacation just works for me – it is generally one of the parts of the vacation I look forward to most, crazy as that may sound. If you have a Disney race coming up, Disney has plenty of running trails and you will have your shoes anyway! And if your travels don’t involve racing, consider throwing them into your bag and exploring on the run during your next get-away, wherever that may be. I guarantee you will not regret it!
Tell Us: Do you run on vacation? Where is the most exciting place you have run?