Heading Into Week 9: On Traveling and Training

I return to our Steel City exhausted and exhilarated after a weekend (and two runs!) in Chicago. Though I didn’t conquer a long run while in the Windy City for the Chicago Improv Festival, I did squeak out six miles one day and two miles the next as part of my training for the Half Marathon.

Running with a different skyline this week: Chicago's!

Running with a different skyline this week: Chicago’s!

Before I expel my newfound wisdom on training and traveling, I’ll review my progress last week and my plan for this week.

Last Week In Review

Planned Schedule
Monday: Boot Camp
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: Boot Camp
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: 8 miles in Chicago?
Saturday: Traveling in Chicago
Sunday: Traveling in Chicago

Actual Schedule
Monday: Boot Camp
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: Boot Camp
Thursday: Day of Rest
Friday: 6 miles
Saturday: 2 miles
Sunday: Day of Rest

So while I didn’t manage one long run of 8 miles in Chi-town, I did find time for 8 miles total! And I had to take Thursday off, because my boot camp class was incredibly challenging this week, which makes sense considering I ran 10 miles on Sunday than proceeded to attend Monday’s boot camp class replete with sprinting suicides. My quads were so sore by Wednesday that I was reduced to wattling. Now that’s a good workout.

The windy city lived up to it's namesake!

The windy city lived up to it’s namesake!

Next Week’s Schedule

Monday: Day of Rest
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: Boot Camp
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: Boot Camp
Saturday: 1-2 miles
Sunday: 11 mile run with my dad

11 miles [insert gulp of fear here]. Another double digit run, here I come!

Topic of the Week: On Traveling and Training

My trip to Chicago posed a very significant threat to my training schedule because I was staying with friends (so I didn’t have access to a gym there and I wanted to maximize my limited time with them), I didn’t know what kind of weather I would find, and I didn’t know where to run (or, more importantly, where to safely run on my own).

A wonderful urban trail wound me by the lake on my 6 mile run in Chicago.

A wonderful urban trail wound me by the lake on my 6 mile run in Chicago.

Not to mention, my boyfriend and I were flying on a limited budget so we had reduced our baggage to one carry on each and one checked bag between the two of us (it’s $25 a bag, so we weren’t about to drop that kind of cash on a second bag). I thought I wouldn’t be able to fit my running shoes, and what if I wasted valuable space taking them only to not use them at all? Once all the packing was done, I forced my running shoes and gear into the small amount of leftover space in our checked bag. A part of me thought I was silly to bring them, but pack them I did!

And if I can give one piece of advice to all you runners who are traveling and training, it’s this: Pack your shoes and basic running gear, just in case. You really never know when you will have the chance to run. And even if you don’t use them, and you just look at them guiltily thinking of the runs you should be on, at least you have them.

One of my friends living in Chicago used to run cross country in college (and track before that), and he kindly offered to run with me. He took me on a wonderful trail down by the lake, and it was really nice to have that hour to chat with him and catch up on life while I ran through unfamiliar terrain.

Me and my friend Kyle, who graciously ran with me (and served as my de facto running guide) while in Chicago.

Me and my friend Kyle, who graciously ran with me (and served as my de facto running guide) while in Chicago.

Running while traveling also taught me another surprising lesson: Seeing a place while running through the streets is like taking a city tour — only you look like a local and there are less photo opportunities. It was so nice to see so much of a place in just one hour.

And since Kyle has so much experience running, he had some great advice for my ankle pain: A series of foot/ankle strengthening exercises. Here’s how it works: Once you’re back indoors after a run, you walk approximately 100 meters in socks or barefoot on the outside of your feet, then the inside of your feet, then bow legged, then with feet pointed in, then on your heels, and then backwards on the balls of your feet (note that each one of these exercises has a corresponding exercise so you balance your strength-building). He said this set of exercises helped him regain his natural arches and helped prevent injuries. Even though I had to leave Kyle in Chicago :(, I am happy to bring these exercises back with me!

I am interested to hear about other runners who have trained while traveling — what have you learned? Any tricks to pass on?

Thanks for checking in on the blog, and keep running!

Your partner in training,

Jessie

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Heading Into Week 9: On Traveling and Training

  1. Good job on your run while away! I like to look up half marathon courses online and use that since they highlight the city’s best features. I copied over a link that has some other tips I use! fitsarah.weebly.com/2/post/2014/01/traveling-and-running-how-to-keep-up-with-your-training.html

    • That is a totally awesome idea! I never would have thought to do that. Thank you for the resource, Sarah and thank you for continuing to read the blog. Your comments make my day 🙂

      • I’m glad my tips have been helpful. I really enjoy reading your blog. Your excitement and enthusiasm for running is contagious!

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