Keeping it up on vacation

I was recently away for 8 days – this included travel from NJ to DC, then 2 days later, from DC to Williamsburg, VA, and then 3 days after that from Willliamsburg to Rehoboth Beach, DE before heading back to NJ on the last day.

That’s a lot of travel days, yet I still managed to run 4 times during the trip (I surprised myself with this). I arrived in DC on the Friday, and it was a very hot and very humid day and there were already plans in place for the day. I had planned in advance and discovered the DC Capital Striders group runs and the run on Saturday morning from Dupont Circle was in a perfect location.

The route that day took us through Rock Creek Park on a hot and humid morning, but the club were very welcoming so I’m glad I went along.

Running with the DC Capital Striders this morning

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I had decided I wanted to run The Mall too, so I got up early enough on Sunday to take a run before we had to check out of the hotel.

This is how runners go sightseeing

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With plenty to do in Williamsburg, VA in the time we were there, I did wonder whether I would be able to run. I solved that problem by running from the hotel to Colonial Williamsburg (figuring that it was so hot I would be sweating anyway, so what did it matter if I was already sweaty from running).

Ran here from the hotel

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The trip to Rehoboth Beach was a last minute addition to the plan. On Thursday there was some cloud cover and it was a beach day, so I took the opportunity to run along the beach when we got there before going into the ocean (there’s something great about running into the ocean at the end of a run).

I was carrying my Xero X-Trails (which I haven’t reviewed yet, must do that) so I could put them on if I felt I needed to, or if I decided to run up to the boardwalk. As it turned out, I just kept going barefoot, covering 3.5 miles along the edge of the water. My feet felt it, but not quite enough to actually cause blisters (I think the previous runs in the Xero Shoes may have actually helped condition the soles of my feet a bit, along with my very occasional barefoot run).

Barefoot beach run

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Do you run on vacation?

Running for running’s sake

When I started running it was to replace a fitness regime that just wasn’t working for me (running turned out to be way more effective for overall fitness and keeping off the extra lbs). It soon turned into more as I got more competitive with myself and eventually joined a club where I could compete against others around my pace that I would see regularly at races.

This year I’ve taken a more relaxed approach to running (I say that despite still trying to be competitive in some events – such as the recent RVRR Summer Series ). What it does mean is that I have not been pushing myself to meet goals in races, or in training runs, and there’s no better reminder about how to enjoy running by just going with the flow.

Being a member of a running club is particularly useful in this respect – assuming it’s the right running club. I know I belong to the right running club when I can enjoy a day of fun running in NYC with about 35 other runners, through 3 boroughs, over 4 bridges, and a ride on the Roosevelt Island Tram. The primary route covered about 13 or 14 miles, with options to cut short, or extend it by running back down to get to the pub afterwards (I opted for a Citibike ride back). With multiple photo stops and refreshment stops (essential on a hot day like this) the run took a few hours so no speed records were set here.

Another from the #rvrr #4bridgerun on Sunday

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Getting back to full fitness for the Newport Liberty Half

It’s been a difficult year for me training-wise, and the summer is never an easy time to keep on track with a full training plan. All those summer parties, the heat, vacations, and so on, take their toll on your ability to keep your desired mileage, but if you have been able to maintain a good base, in theory, getting back to where you want to be in time for the Newport Liberty Half on Sunday September 18th is still possible.

I do have to admit I’ve somehow managed a couple of runs around 10 miles in the last month, but my weekly mileage has only been in the 20s for some of that, and there was one busy week with a shocking 7.3 mile total (over two runs – Monday and the following Sunday!).

This may look reasonable, but in past years the Newport Liberty Half has been a goal race – it was my Half Marathon PR course and likely would still be if I didn’t take part in a different Half Marathon the week before last year which became my new PR (my time in the 2015 Newport race was still faster than my previous PR despite that), and this year has had less mileage and less speed.

My goal now is just to see how fast I can run despite the reduction in training over last year. I’m putting together a plan for increasing my mileage, incorporating speed work by incorporating weekly track workout, strides, and progression runs over the coming weeks.

As with last year, I am excited to be a blog partner for the race for which the race organizers have provided a free entry. As I mentioned last year, I have blogged about this race before becoming a blog partner, and this has no influence over what I write about the race. For last year’s race review, click here. When you sign up, don’t forget to mention you read about the race here.