Friday, September 23, 2016

How to Turn a Vacation Into a Runcation

This post is coming to you from somewhere above 30,000 feet. Today I'm jetting off to Austin, Texas with my sister for our annual sister weekend. Every year we go somewhere we've never been to celebrate our birthdays and sisterhood. Our trips are full of food, fun, and adventure. We are great traveling companions and have made a lot of fun memories on these trips.

These trips are all about us. I never plan races for our sister weekend. We do pack our running shoes though because it's always fun to run in a new place! Actually, no matter where I go or whomever I am traveling with, I always pack my running shoes. I can't think of a better way to explore a new destination. My family is so accustomed to my running that it's almost as if they expect me to head out for a run. I always find a way to make it work. No excuses! Any vacation can be a runcation!

How to Turn a Vacation into a Runcation


So is it that simple? It's a little more complicated than just putting your shoes on and heading out the door, but with a little advance planning, you can run your heart out in a new destination!

Don't Get Lost: It can be fun running somewhere new, but it can also be a little intimidating! Even if you are directionally challenged, there are so many apps you can download on your phone that you can't get lost. Some examples include RunKeeper, Strava, MapMyRun, Garmin Mobile Connect, Endomondo, Nike+, Wahoo, and Localeikki. Localeikki is specifically for locating places to run, walk, bike, or hike. I've tried most of these apps and they all have their pros and cons, which I'm not going to address about in this post. I just wanted to share some options.

How to Turn a Vacation Into a Runcation
Charleston, SC
Where To Run: So how do you get started? The first thing I do when I'm planning a trip is to look up running routes in the area. It's as simple as Googling the name of the city and running. You can find a variety of distances to fit into your plans. Last year when we went to Seattle, I found the sculpture park along the waterfront simply by Googling "Seattle running routes". I used Google maps to help me get there from our hotel. You can also talk to the front desk staff at your hotel for advice. Local running stores and clubs can also be a great resource. Road Runners Club of America maintains a database of running clubs around the country. City Running Tours has organized tours that link running and sightseeing in different cities across the country. These aren't free, but they look like a lot of fun!

How to Turn a Vacation into a Runcation
Seattle Sculpture Park
Gear You Should Bring: Pack all the things you would bring to a race. Yes, I know, bringing your running gear adds more items to your suitcase. Since they take up a lot of room, I like to wear my running shoes on the plane to save room in my suitcase and because my feet get cold on the plane. If you pack your shoes, you can always stuff your socks, SpiBelt, and other little necessities in them. When my husband and I were in Yosemite last spring, my running shoes came in handy for all the walking we did. I used my SpiBelt to carry essentials and kept my hands free. When I'm running in new places, I like to wear running shirts from races I've run--it's a great way to strike up a conversation with other runners!

How to Turn a Vacation into a Runcation
Sequoia Grove, Yosemite National Park
Be Safe: For safety reasons, carry your phone, identification, and a little cash with you. You don't want to be stranded in a strange city. Be alert to your surroundings. You might be used to running in the dark at home, but it's a whole other thing in an unfamiliar city. I'd advise against wearing headphones too. Not only will that distract you from the sights--after all, you're a tourist--you will also be less aware of what's going on around you. If you are traveling alone, let the hotel know where you are going and when you return.

How to Turn a Vacation into a Runcation
Waterfront Park, Charleston SC
Enjoy The New Scenery: Runners who are training for a race might disagree with me but since you are a tourist, make sure to let go of any expectations for pace. Stop to enjoy the sights. This is a great time to take selfies! I've found that people are pretty friendly in touristy areas, stopping to ask if they can take a picture for you. I don't know about you, but I love finding new settings for my runfies and yoga pictures.

How to Turn a Vacation into a Runcation
Seattle Sculpture Park
Besides being a great way to explore your destination, running on vacation is a great way to burn calories. For those of us who enjoy all that a new locale has to offer, it seems like a win to me!

Do you run when you are on vacation? How do you find running routes? Any suggestions for running while traveling? I'm looking forward to sharing my pictures from Austin in an upcoming blog post!

I'm linking this post with the DC Trifecta of Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for Friday Five as well as Debbie, Susie, Lora, and Rachel for Coaches Corner on Wednesday.



Since I will be out of town for a couple days, it may take me a while to respond to your comments and read your blog posts! But I'll catch up as soon as I can. Thanks as always for reading and supporting me!


70 comments :

  1. I love exploring new places by running! I try to run whenever I travel. It definitely helps to plan out where you will run beforehand. I also try not to run alone since I don't really know where I am. Hope you have a great time and I look forward to seeing your pics!

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    1. I do end up running alone sometimes, but with good planning, it turns out just fine!

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  2. Running in Europe was a bit interesting, because I didn't have cell service (and thus couldn't double check if I lost my way!). But I always try to get out in run in new places!

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    1. After I published this post, I realized that there are places with poor or no cell service--like Yosemite!

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  3. Have a great time with your sister! I always bring my running gear when we go on vacation, I don't always get to use it, but its so nice when I do!

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  4. Running whilst on vacay is a new thing for me, but I LOVE it! I try to find races if possible, ideally something with a medal LOL...for keepsake purposes (ha!). Unfortunately, I've been to Pennsylvania twice recently (neither trip was a vacation, though) and was not able to run either time...so that's gotta change ;-)

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    1. I'm sure you will be making plenty of trips to PA and doing lots of runs there!

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  5. I love using travel as an excuse to run in new places. Its a great way to explore a new city, and running through it offers a different perspective than playing the typical tourist.

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  6. I hope you have a wonderful weekend :) I always take my running shoes because I like to try to run when I do get to travel in a new place. The first few times I ran in MT it was before I had a smart phone and it is a big place and I got a bit turned around LOL and I had a really long run! but it was all good, it was so cool and beautiful there I didn't really mind.

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    1. I would think cell service might be sketchy in MT! But what a pretty place to run!

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  7. Have fun with your sis! I definitely run less on vacation but I do run. I use Map My Run to find roads and trails.

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    1. I have used MapMy Run and it's been very helpful!

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  8. haha, most of my vacations are runcations. I've got that on lock! Enjoy your sister time and vacation, I've never been to Austin!

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  9. I travel once or twice a month for my business, and always have my running shoes with me. I love seeing different places on my Strava feed. I usually just Google places to run or ask the person at the hotel desk what's around, but I have run through busy downtown streets if that's what it takes. After my experience this year with what I will call a moron hiding in the brush along a running path and let's just say 'doing his thing', I now always have my storm whistle and pepper spray hooked to my SpiBelt when I run. I'm especially careful when I'm out of town because of the reasons you cited. I'll stay away from trails that seem particularly quiet if I'm not familiar with the route. While the solace of a quiet run is tempting, you just never know who is lurking. I think because this is the year I'm really taking on running, the two recent murders of young women running alone on the east coast have really hit my caution button. It seriously pisses me off that we live in a world where we can't just go for a run without having to think about these things.

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    1. That's the sad reality! But don't let it stop you from exploring!

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  10. I love running while travelling. I tend to look up places near where I'm staying. Because vacation has a more flexible schedule, I can run a little later in the morning. I prefer to stay on streets or areas with people when I travel, just because you don't always know as a tourist which block is a bad block.

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    1. One of the first things I do when I'm traveling is find running routes!

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  11. I love running while on vacation because it's the best way to see a new place. My husband and I racecation a lot and I can usually always talk him into a shake out or a run on our way to a nice breakfast :)

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    1. My husband doesn't run but he's a good sport about letting me do my thing!

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  12. I suck at taking vacation and at running in vacation! But I would love to take a vacation in DC and run the mall.

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    1. Just pack your shoes! Then you have no excuses.

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  13. I love to explore new cities by running - that's why I try not to do the same race more than two times (unless its a local race).

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  14. Yay! Have so much fun!!! I think it's so great that you make this a priority. You guys rule.

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  15. Always go exploring on vacation. I pick places so that I can run, or better yet, our vacations or race destinations. I've hooked up with run clubs before, and that's always neat. I just love what running adds to a vacation.

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    1. I haven't run with a club when I'm on vacation but it seems like a great way to go!

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  16. I love this tradition you have with your sis! Have a blast. Yes, I always run on vacay. In the "old" days pre-running apps, I always asked the hotel concierge for safe running routes and that worked out great. Now, Map my Run is awesome. So is scoping out local running clubs in advance and emailing them.

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    1. Our hotel gave us a laminated card with some routes, different distances! How great is that?

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  17. Have a fabulous time in Austin! It's a city that is on my list to visit that is for sure.
    Wow, you and your sister look SO much alike. Running on vacation....if it works, I do it and if not then I don't! I always enjoy when we go to Mexico and I can run on a trail by the beach but when we went to Costa Rica and Panama I didn't run--just wasn't sure and Rick and I were so active w/ hiking, snorkeling (and eating and drinking). Whenever I choose not to run, then I see it as a really nice rest for my body that I would otherwise not take. Enjoy your vacation!

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    1. I get that.. my feet hurt from all the walking we did yesterday!

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  18. I love that you take an annual trip with your sister! I'm also with you, no matter where I go or who I'm with I take my running shoes! You just never know!

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  19. Great tips! Have a great time with your sister. That sounds awesome.

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  20. What a fun tradition you and your sister have! You'll be right around the corner from me (well, Texas-style of right around the corner...about 90 minutes away), so if you want to drive through the middle of nowhere to um, sort-of the middle of nowhere, come on over! Have a wonderful visit to the GREAT STATE OF TEXAS, woohoo!

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    1. I've only been to San Antonio, so I'm glad to be back!

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  21. Austin, what fun! I love that you and your sister travel together. I want to visit Austin sometime - my husband likes to rave about the BBQ they have there. Like you, I always have my running gear in tow whenever I travel. If I could get at least one day of running in to explore the city, I would be satisfied. Have a wonderful trip!

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    1. Looks forward to trying the BBQ, I'll let you know what I think.

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  22. I've definitely learned my lesson - always keep enough cash in a pocket when running on vacation for a taxi!

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  23. I keep saying I need to take my running stuff with me all the time. I do sometimes. Inevitably when I don't there are cool paths or a riverwalk right by my hotel. My most favorite run away from home was the boardwalk in Halifax, Nova Scotia. That was heavenly.

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    1. I bet that was amazing! You and Erin have to take a trip together!

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  24. Most of my vacations revolve around running but even if they don't I might still use running as an excuse to go explore. It just depends on who I'm traveling with. Have a great sisters weekend. That's a wonderful tradition to have. As I get older I'm having a hard time staying connected to my one sister.

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    1. I have 3 sisters, but it's this one that I'm closest with? We're less than a year apart.

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  25. Have a great time! And I like your tips! I'm completely directionally challenged so it can be intimidating running around an unfamiliar place by yourself, but I would definitely feel more confident if there was someone else with me. What amazing memories and a fantastic was to really experience a new place!

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  26. Wow- I love this tradition that you have. What a great way to spend time with each other while visiting new areas and having new experiences. And it's wonderful that you share the love of running. I agree- running on vacation is awesome because you get to explore new places! And when you are done, you don't have to rush off to work, you can just relax.

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  27. Great tips! Running is a great way to explore and see the sights on foot! Have fun in Austin!

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  28. Your pictures from Austin looked like you two were having a blast!!! Can't wait to hear your recap with all the details!

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    1. So so fun! Have you been, my intrepid traveling friend?

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  29. Enjoy this trip with your sister Wendy and have fun exploring Austin in your running shoes!

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    1. It was a good time and I'll recap it on Sunday!

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  30. I so wish I had someone to run WITH on my vacations! I love that you and your sister do this all the time - what a great way to celebrate!! From the few pics I've seen, it looks like you're having an amazing time so I hope it continues. Enjoy!!

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    1. We think our trips just keep getting better!

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  31. Yes, I always run on vacation but usually stick close to way I am staying. And I often pick a hotel because it is near a place I can run. And I never run with headphones anymore, for safety reasons. Hope you had a fab weekend with your sister.

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  32. I really enjoyed running in Austin, even with the heat! Hope you enjoy it too!

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    1. That running path is definitely a highlight. The heat was tough but it didn't bother me much.

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  33. There's nothing like spending the weekend with your sister! Hope you had a great time. I love going for a run while traveling...usually I'm training for something so that makes it easy!

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    1. We had a great time! I always love to run somewhere new.

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  34. I love to run when we go on vacation! I like to have my son ride his bike with me, if we're camping then we probably brought it. Otherwise I just try to stay close to the hotel or other location. Once we were at a hotel with my extended family, and my sister and I ran together which was nice. There's always safety in pairs.

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    1. Safety for sure, but also fun! I usually run alone, so it is extra nice to have the company.

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