TOTR: Running on Vacation

It’s funny, even though I’ve “met” so many fun folks via the Weekly Wrap, new linkups still give me blogger newbie nerves. I was just going to comment on Darlene’s post, but then that comment was turning into an essay and I decided to make it a post. Plus, the theme is travel: how could I not with the roots of this blog!

Running on vacation, yes or no. For me it’s a definite yes as running has become a big part of who I am in the last eighteen months. This is the biggest difference between other forms of exercise which I was happy to use vacation as an escape from. Thanks, Strava, for this walk down memory lane

Linking up with: Erika at MCM Mama, Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and Patty at No Guilt Life.


It was a decision I had to face early on in my running “career” when I took a vacation to Iceland and Amsterdam in mid-February 2017. While there wasn’t enough daylight to run outdoors in Iceland, I made it to the gym on two occasions after days spent sightseeing. Amsterdam was a very walk/runnable city and I probably could have run outdoors, if I didn’t use every inch of daylight for sightseeing. While some of this could be attributable to newbie excitement, I couldn’t imagine not running in this week. It was also a good way to help deal with the jetlag.

The next time I had to face it was on a trip to Southern California in May. I got both a beachside and clifftop run in and then explored my host’s neighborhood in my first real experience running at altitude. This was a great way to get some activity in on a trip that featured a lot of car time.

July brought my first international outdoor runs, which was also my first time needing to work runs around a business trip. I could get in a morning warmup and then explore old Montreal, where my hotel was. This was a great way to get in some me time during a fully packed conference and balance out some indulging meals. Plus riverside in Montreal made the summer weather easier to cope with.

August featured humid runs at the beach (some cut short by running in a “forbidden” area) and running at altitude. Also, a quickie to experience a new state (to which I subsequently returned). I can honestly say I never factored in hotel fitness centers prior to this trip. I’d hope they had one, but didn’t worry about kind or quantity of treadmill(s).

Even when not on vacation but just outside my normal comfort zone, I found new places to explore and get in some exercise. And I didn’t let holidays keep me from running.


2018 brought a new to me kind of vacation: the run-cation. Not only was I running on vacation, but I traveled for the express purpose of running!

sunrise over the Atlantic, along A1A

When I went to Florida for the A1A Half Marathon, I also had my first experience with running out of water on a hot run. Twice. Who said vacations aren’t educational? I also joined a hotel fun run to further acclimate to humidity. It was a good balance to the rest of the long weekend spent lazing by the pool with a book or six.

Cheese ball! So glad for the heat wrap

Next up? Washington DC for the iconic Cherry Blossom 10 miler. While in Florida I didn’t sight see but had to take care this trip not to walk my feet off before the race. Race day ended up being a 50k step day because I walked the tidal basin after to keep from stiffening up.

May brought 108 degree business travel, so I was grateful for a well-furbished hotel fitness center. I continued to squeeze in runs, chase a PR and stretch before the redeye home. Other activity that trip included a walk at the south rim of the Grant Canyon. Is a business trip really vacation? I count it because it’s out of my routine. Later in May was a long road trip where I explored before we headed east to Palm Springs (warm, but scenic) and subsequently back west to Santa Monica. One day I’ll have a decent pace on the beach, but so many photos. Don’t regret a single one. Running is a great way to see a new area.

So far I’ve run outdoors in: New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, Washington D.C., and Montreal and indoors in: Wyoming, South Dakota, Arizona, Iceland, and Amsterdam. In the near future I hope to enjoy outdoor runs in Vermont, London. I like using running as an avenue to visit new places. Sometimes the cities are the draw, other times the races are.

What’s your favorite place that you’ve run?



24 thoughts on “TOTR: Running on Vacation”

  • Wow. What a traveler. I wish I had started running sooner. I used to go to conferences all over the country in a previous job. Now it’s just NYS travel.

    So my vacations have turned into race-cations (except for one tennis vacay) by choice. And because of finances, mostly in Fla. Not complaining cause in Sept I will be racing in Montreal and Paris. I’ve visited those places numerous times but never as a runner.

    What I love to do in a new city is book a city running tour – I did in Denver and Central park – it’s a great way to learn about the history of the city and run!!!

    Right now, my favorite place to run is NYC. I did also love running in Santa Monica and Palm Springs, CA.

    If only I had the money and the time to run around the world. And it would be slow because I’d be taking so many photos.

  • You’ve had some significant racecations already! Like you, I pay ZERO attention to the hotel fitness centers, and wouldn’t know if any of them had treadmills (I assume so, but I was never in them).

    • I think the first time it truly impacted me in a way that sticks with me was earlier this year. My brother and sister in law had moved and therefore it wasn’t our typical hotel that I knew. I was shocked that the treadmill was manual. How does that even stand up to fitness center use, but maybe such a bad one turns people away? Otherwise I think the only times I used them were desperation for fitbit steps or stretching after road trip and didn’t take much note.

  • I love the development from treadmills to exploring outside to travelling for a race! I always try to pack my kit in my suitcase, especially if we’re going by the sea. I really enjoyed my 15 miler round Mounts Bay West Cornwall in January, and my two runs in Iceland – my first marathon and then a VERY snowy one in Feb last year when over there with friends. Any sea or lake running is fun, though. I’ve never run on a hotel treadmill as I don’t normally stay in the kind of hotel that would have one, but I do love getting out and about.

    • I still crack up that we missed one another in Iceland by a matter of hours
      I think I’d have enjoyed running there, but running around sightseeing was also awesome
      I agree re: waterside running. The breeze in summer and the humidity helps in winter if my asthma is flaring.

  • You’ve enjoyed some great travels! I love running in new cities and like you, hotel fitness centers are a last resort. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite running place. Alaska was amazing. So was Dubai….although too warm for running very far. Along the Thames or the Seine is always nice. Thanks for linking!

    • I wasn’t following you at the time, but I read about your Dubai trip when you recently linked it from a current post. That whole trip sounds amazing.
      THis domain hatched when I was living overseas – travel is in my blood.

    • Same. And it’s a great way to get to know the lay of the land. PArt of why the Fort Lauderdale Half didn’t feel like a destination race was I’d walked almost the entire course previously and ran the last new to me segment a few days prior

  • You’re definitely quite the traveler! Whenever I travel to a new city I love to run outside if possible. It’s a great way to explore a new city and see all the sights! I actually haven’t taken a non-running vacation in a while – i love racecations!

  • I love running when I’m traveling and we travel a lot. I have three work trips coming up, but I’m actually working for a race company, so ironically, I may not have time to run LOL. Thanks for joining the link up.

    • That was one reason a friend opted not to pursue a job with New York Road Runners beyond the first interview. He was afraid work travel would destroy his running time & make him resent the org, which he otherwise loves. Good luck with the balance.

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