Keep Your Running Mojo Flowing, Even When Your Schedule Goes Wackaloon!

First things first: DUCK DERBY UPDATE.  In my last post, I included a photo of me posing with the Great Duck Derby sign (and large inflatable duck), and confessed that I had no clue what a Duck Derby was.  Well, nothing gets by my father (except how to post a Comment on my blog), so within 12 hours, the following appeared in my Inbox:

“I heard an advertisement for the Duck Derby, probably on my way to *someplace* from the airport. It is a fund raiser of some sort, the charity it benefits I don’t remember. But the gist of it was participants purchase a duck, and all purchased ducks are set afloat on the Indian River with the first duck to reach Capt Hiram’s getting a cash prize. Other proceeds go to the charity.”

And there you have it, folks: The Great Duck Derby.  And, my Dad.  Yup, he rocks.  🙂

Then, Kristen from Defy Your Limitations (who does know how to work the Comments section) mentioned that she’d attended the world’s LARGEST duck race in Dublin, Ireland.  And she described it basically the same way my Dad did.  Readers, you impress and amaze me every day!  Keep the good stuff coming, please!!!!

And now, let’s get on with today’s post:

The edge of the (Floridian) world...

The edge of the (Floridian) world…

Let’s talk about running.  And vacationing.  And unpredictable schedules.  Shall we? Yes, yes we shall.  This is my blog, and I make the rules!

[This is a running post.  Florida fun posts are here: Florida Recap #1 and Florida Recap #2.]

Now, you’ll usually hear me preaching about predictability, scheduling, and discipline to my runners – how they should schedule their workouts, block out their time, and keep their training times consistent.  I firmly believe this is the best way to establish a regular workout routine.

H o w e v e r, I’m not unreasonable, and I do understand that this simply may not be possible for all people, all the time.  It was most definitely impossible for me during my recent trip to the US, when I needed to be at “home base” most of the time.  Each day, I had a few small windows of time (less than an hour, usually) when I could go out, but their timing was not up to me, and I seldom had any warning of them.  It was more like: “OK, now!  You have 45 minutes – GO!”.  And while my particular situation was somewhat unique, I do know people, especially those who work from home, work across time zones, and/or are parents, who have similarly unpredictable and erratic schedules.  

As I didn’t have access to a gym, spin bikes, classes, or a pool – running became my go-to workout.  And over the course of two weeks, I used a few tips and tricks to help ensure that I got my workout in each day.  Some of these seem obvious, and others might seem silly – but perhaps you’ll find a useful nugget in here somewhere.

1. Dress for Success: When I got out of bed, I put on my workout gear.  Sometimes I was out for my run by 10 AM, sometimes not until 5 PM.  So I tried to choose clean running clothes (aka not stinky), and I kept them on until I got my workout in.  This way, I was ready to go at a moment’s notice.  [Thankfully for me, there was no dress code in daily life.]

I have fond childhood memories of visiting the Mel Fischer Treasure Museum.  Real treasure! From a real shipwreck!!

I have fond childhood memories of visiting the Mel Fischer Treasure Museum. Real treasure! From a real shipwreck!!

2. Accountability is Key: Putting on my workout gear had a secondary effect – it broadcast my intention to those around me.  Once my Mom knew I was planning a workout, she was quick to shoo me out the door when an opportunity arose.  And how sheepish would I have felt skipping a workout after I’d already “told” everyone I was going to it?  Right.

3. Fuel Smart: I really can’t run comfortably after eating a regular-sized meal.  In fact, I can’t run comfortably within five hours of eating a regular-sized meal.  [Poor KMN has been stuck on more than one moaning, groaning run with me before this lesson got pounded into my skull.]  But with time, I’ve taught myself to be able to run after a small meal/large snack.  During my two weeks in Florida, I never really knew when I’d be able to hit the pavement, so I opted for small, frequent snacks of things that I knew sat well in my stomach (cereal, yogurt, fruit, crackers).  This way, “I’m too full” never became an excuse not to run when the opportunity arose.  After my run, I refueled and continued eating normally for the rest of the day.

4. Be Flexible: I had broad running goals each week, but sometimes had to adjust my daily mileage to fit the schedule that day.  I mostly stuck to runs of 3-5 miles, but also managed to squeeze in a few double-digit runs while away (and I was prepared to break those into two shorter runs, if necessary).  They weren’t always on the day I’d planned, but if I had the chance, I took it.  And over the course of the week, this balanced out just fine.

I think I'm addicted to these photos because I can feel the breeze in them...  So lovely!

I think I’m addicted to these photos because I can feel the breeze in them… So lovely! And thank you, BodyPump, for that arm/shoulder/chest muscle definition!

A few other suggestions that weren’t in my bag of tricks on this trip – but have worked for me (and others) in the past:

5. Go Early: You may not want to hop out of bed at 6 AM, but if you get up and get your workout in now, you won’t have to worry about missing it later or disrupting the plans of your non-running friends and family.

6. Work In Your Workout: This may not apply for every situation, but if you have access to outdoorsy or athletic friends/family, make part of your trip a workout.  Go for a power walk on the beach or boardwalk, hike a nearby trail, or play hard in the pool with your kids.  These might not be your usual lifting/tempo/long-run workouts, but they will at least get you moving and trying new things – MUCH better than nothing!

In addition to my runs, I also snuck in a few walks with Mom.  Also? I love this photo.

In addition to my runs, I also snuck in a few walks with Mom. One afternoon, we ended up here.

7. Reward Yourself: Plan your workouts, keep them reasonable, and choose a reward for yourself for the end of your trip (or week, or month) IF you stick to your schedule. Choose your goal and your reward, then write it down AND tell someone about it (accountability, people…).  I prefer using non-food rewards: a new piece of gear, a manicure or pedicure, an hour of frivolous computer time, or even a stop at a favorite coffee spot are common choices – but I suppose that the only limit is your budget!

And there you have it, folks!  No rocket science here, but perhaps a little something to give you the kick you need to fit your workouts into a hectic time – whether that time is your day, your work travel, or your vacation.

Remember: No excuses, no regrets!!

Obviously: Am I missing any of your favorite tips/tricks for dealing with an unpredictable schedule?

What’s the most memorable museum you ever visited on a vacation? [Nerd Alert!!!!]
[I may or may not be trolling for possible vacation locations/awesome museums for future travel plans…]

 

18 thoughts on “Keep Your Running Mojo Flowing, Even When Your Schedule Goes Wackaloon!

  1. dysgrace

    A braver friend than I does what he calls ‘runch’. Exactly what it sounds like. He runs on his lunch break – yes, here, in Singapore weather. The great motivating factor is that he is juggling work, evening classes towards a degree, and two kids in elementary school…

    Reply
    1. dysgrace

      As for the museums…I love any and all museums of natural history (Tokyo, New York, London) and science museums (Exploratorium!) but also all of DC’s marvellous FREE museums (Smithsonian, and I had a wonderful time at the National Air & Space Museum). But my personal favourite remains the Meguro Parasitological Museum in Tokyo – http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/meguro-parasitological-museum – it’s a little pocket-sized museum in a Tokyo suburb…that features an 8.8m-long tapeworm. My life is now complete.

      Reply
      1. Holly KN Post author

        LOOOOVE the DC museums. [If we didn’t move to Singapore, I was pushing for DC!] And I SO want to go to the Exploratorium.

        I think Japan definitely knows how to do museums – I could have spent the whole day at the Miraikan (I lost KMN there several times, too – another story for another day!), and we didn’t even get to the natural history museum or Parasitological Museum. Although I fear that a 9m-long tapeworm would give me nightmares. I had gastrointestinal-related-issues, of all varieties…

        Reply
  2. Amy @ Writing While Running

    Good ideas. I usually just get up at the crack of dawn (or before) if I know I need to run and am unsure if I will be able to. Then, if I get some downtime later in the day, I go for the better option: a nap.

    Best museum ever is the Civilization Museum (though I am sure it has a better name, but civilization is in there, I think?) in Quebec City. Its such a good history museum and really shines light on all the good and the bad parts of Canadian history. I liked it better than most American history museums (not being anti-American, just sayin’ Canadians do things well). Also-very hands-on. I took some education classes about museums and think they were able to equally reach visual, audio, and tactile learners. Yup, I’m a big dork.

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      I’m usually a first-thing-in-the-morning person, too – but I was staying up really late, so needed to catch some Zzzzz’s before I caught my miles!

      Totally agree about museums outside the US for a more balanced (or at least different) perspective. I so enjoyed some of the history museums we went to in Asia and even Europe – most notably, the Holocaust Museum in Japan. That was a doozy, and incredibly well done.

      In addition to your many other talents, you took some education classes about MUSEUMS? I may have to pick your brain one day…

      Reply
  3. Cecilia @ MommiesRun

    I’m definitely someone that needs to schedule my workouts. Heck, I just scheduled out my running schedule for the next 7 months. I’m slightly psycho. I also LOVE to reward myself with Starbucks. Iced coffee please!

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      But don’t you get that iced coffee anyway, Cecilia? 😉 [<--- Not that there's anything wrong with that. You have a 7-months-in-advance schedule to stick to!] Speaking of which...I should probably get to mapping out my own longer-range schedule. Whoops!

      Reply
  4. Kristen L

    🙂 Thanks for the shout-out!

    I like to try to fit workouts in when I am away from home. I think it is usually easiest to do them early in the morning if possible. I like to try to go to a workout with my Dad if I get a chance too. Nice to workout with different people.

    Reply
  5. misszippy1

    I love how you made it happen! People think I’m crazy to always make it work, also, but if it makes you happy, then by all means. And there’s nothing better than exploring on the run when you are somewhere new.

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      And there’s nothing better to keep you sane, when life is going crazy! =)

      And I agree whole-heartedly: If it’s important enough to you, you will make it work!

      Reply
  6. greengirlrunning

    I love all those tips! I really think that waking up and putting on workout clothes makes a huge difference. If I walk the kids to school in regular clothes it’s just to easy to get caught up in other things. When I have my runnng clothes on I get it done!

    Hmm…can’t think of any super amazing museums other than the usual suspects, but I loved hanging out in Sante Fe, NM and checking out all of the art galleries, Georgia O’Keefe museum and all the local street artists.

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      Gosh, I have thought about G O’K for a loooong time – although there was a time in my life when I was soooo into her.

      And truthfully, the American SW deserves more of my time/attention. The only place I’ve really spent any time is Phoenix – which is nice, although perhaps not the most cultural!

      Reply
  7. Jean

    You can’t run for FIVE HOURS following a regular-sized meal?!?!?! You poor girl! I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t run if I had to do that. I’m all about large meals (I know, I know, smaller meals spaced throughout the day are better for you. What can I say, I like being really full!).

    What’s this Florida end of the world place? It looks… swampy.

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      Depends on the meal, but more or less yes. Otherwise, I get very uncomfortable stomach cramps. This is also why I like running early in the morning!!

      Eat how you like, when you like. Believe it or not, I don’t really feel strongly about when people eat, as long as they’re getting the right nutriends. [GASP! You mean there’s actually something that Holly won’t lecture me about??? GASP!]

      It’s really not the end of the world. It’s along the Indian River on the East Coast of FL.

      Reply
  8. Jules

    Great post!

    My favourite museums tend to be ones to do with science and the natural world. So I really enjoy the Science Museum and Natural History Museum in London. That’s not on vacation though, so perhaps it doesn’t count.

    The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam was very memorable for me. So too was the Rijksmuseum.

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      The Natural History Museum is the one with the dinosaurs, right? My husband and I really wanted to go when we were in London last year, but missed it. We spent a whole day at the British Museum, but could have spent days JUST there… And your fave museums can TOTALLY be where you live (especially if it’s London!). Definitely!

      Reply

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