Monday, July 19, 2010

Running While Vacationing

This weekend, Marty and I stole away to Chicago. Our 2oth anniversary was earlier this month. Marty's parents have Emma and Eli for this week. Grace was traveling to AR to spend time with the Vadens who had been at our church this past year. So, last week, I decided we'd try to farm out the other 4 and get away. The Sarnas from church were so kind as to take the bottom four.

So, we headed to Chicago on Friday.

I do not run every day. In fact, I typically run one time a week. Right now, I'm running even less than that. In fact, my training this year has been the races I've run: FANS and Afton. The point here is that I do not run every day.
However, when we go on vacations, for numerous reasons that I will try to flesh out, I do run every day.

I think this started many years ago when Marty's parents invited us to CO to ski. As I would look at mountains with distinguishable trails on their sides, I couldn't help myself but want to see how far I could run up them. Since our days were packed full (mainly with watching our younger children while the older ones learned how to ski), it became important to get my run in early in the morning so I'd be around during the day. As a result, there are many years of early morning, cold, snowy, mountain runs; many explorations up the mountain on the other side of I-70 from Vail.
This little morning ritual has carried over to almost every vacation we've taken. This weekend, on Saturday morning, I took a stroll through Downer's Grove before anyone was up. On Sunday morning, Marty joined me. We started at our bed and breakfast just off Montrose and Clark in the far north of Chicago. We ran east to the Lake, then north a mile and re-traced our steps.

This morning, I was wide awake at 5, but decided to not get up until 6. Ran to Wrigley Field, then the the Lake and back to the B & B.

So, here's why I run regularly while on vacation (in no particular order):

• It helps to get out early, do something unusual or challenging before the day sets in.
• It allows me to see a new place or area. Yes, being on vacation in itself is a chance to see a new place. However, running in a new place allows me to see things that I would never see later in the day, with all the demands of the day.
• In the morning, there are few people out, the city is waking up, and I get to see what a neighborhood (or mountain) looks like while calm.
• I'm also able to see more by running than by walking.
• I can run pretty much wherever I wish. I'm not constrained by car, road, the children, or any one else.
• I have time to think about the day behind, the day ahead, sort through weighty matters.
• Running in the morning actually gives me more energy for the day.
• I can eat more. We usually eat more, and richer, foods while on vacation.
• We usually swim while on vacation. Running helps keep me in shape.
• Having smelly, wet running clothes hanging around makes me feel a little more at home.

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