Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holiday Travel and Running

It can be especially challenging during the holidays to find time to run. Even during the rest of the year, carving out an hour or two (or more!) for running isn't always easy. Add in shopping, parties, traveling, and extra time with family, and it sometimes seems nearly impossible to keep up with training or even just maintaining base mileage.

However, planning and a little creativity go a long way in helping squeeze in workouts. We usually visit my husband's parents in Arkansas for the holidays, which is a 11+ hour drive from our home. We left right after I finished work on Thursday and drove for a few hours before stopping overnight at a motel in Illinois.  Not surprisingly, it did not have a gym (or sweetener for the coffee that was fewer than 5 years old, by the way). We continued on our journey with about 6 hours of driving ahead of us.

Gateway Arch in passing

Not to be foiled, I pulled out my handy iPhone and searched for potential running spots along the way. Springfield, MO seemed like the nearest city that might have a spot. I found a website for Ozark Greenways, which is a trail system in the county. I found a paved 6 mile trail located near a bookstore that my husband could hang out at while I ran (he is used to my somewhat odd behavior!).

The run was cold (37 F) and I managed to wade through a creek during the middle of it. I thought I could cross it on partially submerged rocks, but my plan was foiled by a particularly slippery rock. Aargh! I ended up walking some of the route due to some stomach issues, but completed the 6 miles and then promptly changed into dry clothes and shoes.

The last leg of the drive was a lot easier after getting a workout in. It was a little inconvenient, but going for a run during the trip was definitely worth it.

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