Friday, August 23, 2013

Fitting in Training on Vacation

The entire month of August has felt like a vacation to me. The month started off with a weekend trip to Virginia for the Culpeper International Triathlon. I then came home and put in a solid week of training before heading to Chincoteague, Virginia for a week at the beach with my family. Before leaving I planned on upping my running mileage and getting in multiple open water swims while there. I had every intention of training very similarly to when I'm home. 

On maybe the second day there my boyfriend told me his family had planned a last minute trip to the Florida Keys for his birthday, leaving the same day I would be getting home from Virginia. So now I was going to be on vacation for two straight weeks with essentially no access to a pool or a bike. Even better, I'm doing my last sprint triathlon on Sunday and we get back into Baltimore around midnight the night before. Since I'm already signed up I might as well do the race but considering at most I'll get 5 hours of sleep it probably won't be pretty.

To be honest, I'd had big hopes for this race. I did it last year and despite having a mechanical issue of the bike I had a really great day and with all of the training I did this summer I really wanted to see what I could do. I'd started stressing about ways to fit in bike rides and such while in Florida but quickly came to the conclusion that doing this race for fun was a much better idea. That way I could truly enjoy being on vacation and not have everything focused around me getting in training.

And it's not like I've been doing absolutely nothing while away. I logged over 41 miles of running while in Chincoteague plus did some kayaking and beach cruising on my hybrid. I'm not calling these a good replacement for training but staying active certainly won't hurt. Getting in training has been harder in Florida though. Since I'm not with my family it's a lot harder to ask everyone to eat a later dinner so I can go for a run in the evening. And although I'm not always the best at waking up in the morning it is so much easier to set an early alarm and run before the Florida sun starts cooking you.

Throughout the past year of training I've learned that I need breaks. If I am training too long for one particular thing without much variety I lose motivation in the worst way. When I first found out about going to Florida my brain was in overdrive trying to think of how I could log the most hours while away. I didn't want to miss out on more training. When I realized there was little I could do I started thinking that maybe this break would be exactly what I needed before really buckling down and focusing on training for the New York City Marathon.

So what have I done? In Chincoteague I did two long runs of about 10 miles, 3 easier paced runs and a really strong interval run. I knew that since I was getting in less training than normal to make when I can do really count. So far in Florida I've done an 2 easier runs, an interval run, a hike and a lot of kayaking. At this point I am starting to get antsy for more but that just means this little bit of a cutback has worked, right?

I don't know what marathon training is going to look like, and I'm okay with that. I am trusting Mike to get me there in one piece and ready for a huge PR. What I do know is that my head is now on straight and I am ready to tackle training. While I do think I like triathlon training better and will focus more on that next year, I do really like focusing on different types of races throughout the year to keep things interesting. Now, I am recharged and hungry to get back to work.


  1. Great attitude to take, Shannon! I had a similar situation in July, with road trips to visit family and camping with my boys. It felt frustrating, but eventually I gave in and just did what I could and enjoyed myself. It can be too easy to lose perspective. We do this because we enjoy it, right? So let's ENJOY it. Hope you loved your break, and that you're able to realize you didn't give up any progress. You'll have a great rest of the year!

  2. Definitely a good way to go into the race. I am so glad you got some vacation time and had fun, we all need that sometimes. Your body and mind will be grateful for it! Safe travels and good luck at the tri, enjoy're still going to rock it regardless!

    Full speed ahead to NYC, you've got this!

  3. Hey, it will be a nice little taper! Just enjoy life! You will finish the race and you will be fine for NYC :)