async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: runcation
Showing posts with label runcation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label runcation. Show all posts

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

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The 5 R's of vacation

Seen on the run...this sign was at the entrance to someone's driveway!
Being the goal oriented person that I am, I approached this vacation no differently than I do anything else in my life. I've made no secret of the struggles my family has endured the past couple of months, and I wanted more than anything to make this vacation a great trip for all of us. This was the first time that I was nervous about a family vacation. I had high hopes that all this family time would help us reconnect. There were 4 other things I wanted to accomplish with this time away: rest, relaxation, recharging, and of course, running. While initially we were all really tense, as a few days passed, it looked that the goals would be met. The trip ended on a really, really pleasant tone, and I think as family vacations go, this one was a success.

Stay with me here.  I know what you're thinking. "Oh geez, here goes Wendy sharing her vacation photos with us". This post isn't really a recap of my vacation. Because who wants to read about that, right? Being a running blogger and all, I wanted to share how it is possible and actually beneficial to stay active on a vacation even when you are away with your family. The benefits aren't just physical. The old saying, "the family that plays together, stays together" became an internal mantra for me this week. Staying active can be a challenge for some of us whose spouses are more--umm--sedentary. But find something that everyone likes to do and you can make it work.

Ok...one sunset photo
Rest: We didn't make many plans for this week. Time passed by the pool, catching some rays. My oldest son and my husband spent time fishing off the pier behind the house. Early to bed, early to rise. Walks to the beach, a short 2 blocks away, at sunset to watch Mother Nature perform her nightly ritual. When the boys were little, they used to complain: "not another sunset!" Now they know it's just something we do. And on the way home, there's an awesome ice cream shop. We stopped there twice. One night I had a scoop a couple scoops of salted caramel ice cream with hot fudge on top. When I ordered it, the guy behind the counter said, "oh yeah....!" Yep, those were my words too.

Relaxation: That goes without saying... the setting of an island vacation just begs relaxation.  My oldest son really gave me a tough time the first couple of days we were here. I guess I was being punished for making him go on vacation. He was sarcastic and indifferent, no matter what I said. As the week wore on, he began to thaw. After getting bit by the kayak bug last summer, I rented 2 kayaks for 3 of the days we stayed here. The house we stayed at is on a canal, and I thought it might be fun to explore the canals. It turned out to be the best thing I could have done. Not only did kayaking keep us active, it was a great way to spend time with my family. Between the fishing and the kayaking, my son started to relax, exchanging the attitude for laughter at my dad's bad jokes, and finally going shell seeking with me the last couple of days we were there. I also kayaked with my mom and my husband. We explored the canals and took the kayaks out to the intercoastal waterway. I wasn't brave enough to head out to Tampa Bay, but maybe next year?

Getting him to smile for a picture would have been pushing it....
Recharging: I also was off work the week before we came to Florida, and that helped put work out of my mind. I didn't realize how burnt out I was before having the time off, and I feel much better and ready to return to my responsibilities. I don't blog much about food, but I really ate well this week. Maybe a little too well! One reason I like to travel to Florida is the opportunity for fresh fish and produce. I wanted to have fresh fish every day and I was able to do that. Sometimes we go to the fish market and buy fish to prepare at the house, other times we eat out. I made Key Lime Pie a few times too. Had a beer with lunch every day and wine with dinner every night. It felt great to eat light foods after all the heavy foods we eat during winter. Even though we really indulged, we did so much kayaking and walking that I didn't feel guilty at all.

Feeling inspired by the great studio class I took that day..
Every year, I take at least one class at the yoga studio on the island, and this year was no exception. This instructor is really amazing, and her class is a treat. This was a gentle flow class, and after all the running I did this week, I felt great after we finished.

Running: We runners always joke about how much more we have to pack since we bring our running gear on vacation! My shoes saw 26 miles this week. Last year I struggled with the famous Florida humidity, but it was a non-factor for me this year. I really enjoyed my runs. I strive not to let my runs interfere with family time, and so I get up with the sun, drink some coffee, and head out. By the time I return, everyone is just waking up. Since I've come here before, I already have running routes plotted out. I know where the bathrooms and the drinking fountains are located. Running in a tropical paradise is an amazing experience. There's so much to see and look at. I am always amazed at all the beautiful homes lining the beach roads on this island. The lovely tropical birds flying overhead. Tourists riding in those bicycle calliopes built for 4. Trying to pick out who are the real runners and the ones who were inspired to try running for the first time because it seems like a good idea in a beautiful place. The clown that tried to run me off the road. Oh and that post run cool off...

Felt great!
I don't run along the beach, though. I tried that in the past, and between all the people you have to weave around and the uneven surfaces, I really hurt myself one year. I save the beach for relaxing. And snapping running selfies.

Doesn't it look like I just finished a great run on the beach?

Reconnect: To me, this was the most important goal of the entire week. Keeping active was the key for all of us to reconnect with each other. My youngest son spent the entire time in the pool, and my husband and I played football and volleyball with him. I really think the key to engaging with teenagers is to distract them with activities. I had the best conversations with both my boys while we were doing other things. I'm really grateful that I had this week away with them. I hope the momentum continues forward. I really do.

Until next year...

How do you stay active on family vacations?

I'm linking up with Tara at ReadingNRunning for her Weekend Update! Be sure to head on over to her blog and see what everyone else has been up to!