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:
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!
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.]
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.
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!
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…]