Last week, we departed Philly to head west.  We had planned this trip last fall, choosing to explore Nevada, Utah

and Arizona with the kids for their summer vacation.  We did not anticipate heading to South Africa in August.  

So this made this trip a little more challenging in terms of training.   We have traveled enough that the kids are used to me fitting in training where it works.  They are at great ages 8,10,12 so they are willing and eager to do

more active things which I needed to take into account.  We had planned on a lot of hiking and we were traveling to different places every few nights so I wanted to be mindful of the energy that took.  Marrying all the vacation schedule and workout can be challenging

Running continues to be my limiter and you can really run anywhere so that was the focus while I was away.  The key really was to be flexbile in my timing and my placement of key workouts….with all of the activity that we did.

Here are some things that really helped:

Communication:  Before the week, I had talked to Marilyn about our plans and when our long hike days were.  Those days I just did easy running or recovery swimming.  We hiked the Narrows in Zion and it took us about 6 hours to traverse about 10 miles with the kids.  It was awesome but my legs were trashed afterwards.  I still find it amazing that we can be in aerobic shape, but adding in alternative activities can challenge our muscles in different ways.  We did shorter hikes other days and I was able to get in key workouts around them

Flexibilty – this was key for this vacation.  I am a morning workout person and like to get most of my workouts before the kids get up.  Some days we were out so early that SLEEP took priority.  Secondly the HEAT is incredible, we were over 105 every single day and usually 90 by 7 am.  Most days we tried to get the kids inside for a break by mid afternoon.   This meant a lot of treadmill running, often while the kids swam.  I knew that I would be off the bike for a week, but I had just done a solid camp in Lake Placid so the timing worked nicely.  I did try to get in the pools and swim even for recovery when I had the chance.

Adventure – I will admit, I thought about my racing more than once as we were traversing rocky ledges and water filled canyons.   We also have tried to instill in the kids to embrace the adventure, which often means jumping in feet first, literally.  Training and racing will always be there and the balance can be tricky but I want to make the most of our vacations as well.  I think sometimes the focus is so much on swim, bike, or run that we forget how these activities can create balance.


Fatigue – this was a different kind of training fatigue.  We hiked parts of Zion National Park, Horseshoe Bend, Peek a Boo Canyon, the Grand Staircase Escalante and Lake Powell.  Most days I had a run in addition and most days that was just mentally HARD.  It was challenging to come in from the heat and activity and motivate myself to get back out the door.  Rather than look at this block as a huge fitness boost, I think it was good mentally.  I was often running on tired legs that were sore during the middle of the afternoon.  Mentally I had to stay really sharp to hold paces or heart rates.  This was great practice for the tail end of long races because this kind of fatigue is hard to just create in the am.  

There were definitely some training compromises this week with the travel and schedule.  The balance can be a little tricky.  Overall, we had a great week and I was able to execute some solid work along the way!

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