A Little Tahoe Escape

If you follow me on Twitter (@megatha), you know I did something crazy this weekend: I didn’t run. Not one step. I think the last time I had a run free weekend was following a marathon (after LA try to take about a week off of running to recover post marathon). Don’t fret, I still got in all my miles (I ran 40 miles in 5 days so I could enjoy the weekend). Why did I shove all my runs together and not run this weekend you ask? Well, for a fun mini-vacay in Tahoe of course!

The hubs and I drove up to Tahoe late-ish on Friday night (we both had work and didn’t leave until around 6pm). After piling in our bags and pups (who I believe had more things coming with them for the weekend than we did), we enjoyed a romantic dinner from In N Out on the way (seriously, this was what I wanted to eat more than anything and the strawberry shake kept me happy through the crummy traffic – not like I could complain, I didn’t drive…).

Saturday morning temps

Saturday morning temps

Our weekend was quick, but it was fun. We laid around our condo on the lake, I read pretty much all of this month’s book club choice (Let’s Pretend it Never Happened by The Bloggess is my new favorite book – I hope our discussion of it goes something like this: Wasn’t this funniest read ever? Yes! Let’s just read our favorite passages and drink wine! Yes!). We played some slots at Harrah’s on the Nevada side (another important piece of information: I find slot machines entertaining, I find slot machines with a Wizard of Oz motif way more entertaining). And we ate delicious Italian food on Saturday night at Scusa. I even came home with a fun bear mug from the place we had breakfast on Sunday.And while it wasn’t as cold as the last time we went to Tahoe, it did lightly snow late Saturday night/early Sunday morning.

Manhattan in the casino

Manhattan in the casino

Newest addition to the mug collection.

Newest addition to the mug collection.

And now it’s Monday, President’s Day. No work! Ok let’s be real – I don’t have to teach but I have a huge stack of papers to grade. And some mile repeats to run later today.

Did you take a mini-vacay over this long weekend? Do you ever take a weekend vacay from running?

Hanging in Boulder

This past weekend, the hubs and I ventured out to Boulder, Co. (if you read my last Fit Friday post, you already knew this). We visited Boulder partially because I had the opportunity to present at the Rocky Mountain Interdisciplinary History Conference at the University of Colorado. But we also have several friends in Boulder and were excited to visit them. In fact, we saw one of them as we were boarding the plane from San Jose (he had been in town briefly for work). This meant we had a buddy in our row on the flight (and I shared one of my Southwest drink coupons with him and Kevin).

Standard travel gear.

Standard travel gear.

Uh, Denver Airport has some interesting murals...

Uh, Denver Airport has some interesting murals…

... and saw this guy when we were leaving the airport.

… and saw this guy when we were leaving the airport.

Once we landed, our good friend Pat picked us up and we had an uneventful night since it was pretty late. But the rest of our weekend was all about good friends, good beer, good runs, and a good presentation (and excellent panel on engaging students) at the conference. I was able to see several, but not all of my friends, in the area. We visited the Aquarium in Denver and hiked a couple miles of the Chautauqua trails near the flatirons (much of the trails were closed due to the recent floods but we did get in a little exploring). We saw the Boulder History Museum and the Google offices. And we enjoyed some good BBQ and homemade pizza.

Yum!

Yum!

Our friend Ryan & his family have a great view!

Our friend Ryan & his family have a great view!

I had been a little worried about my presentation. My paper had gotten some tough critiques that I received the day we left and I wasn’t super excited about presenting it anymore. But it ended up going really well. The commenter provided some excellent feedback with some questions I hadn’t yet explored and that I think will really strengthen the essay. My co-panelist had a really interesting topic and helped me think of some new ideas for a lecture I need to give later in the semester.

Great running views

Great running views

Hiking in Boulder

Hiking in Boulder

I got in some excellent runs. While the elevation definitely made its impact, the runs were beautiful and varied. I joined one of Pat’s friends for the first one, explored an out and back route solo on Saturday, and got Pat’s girlfriend to show me a different loop on Sunday. Finding people to run with while traveling definitely makes the runs more fun!

Was happy to be reunited with this sweet little lady :)

Was happy to be reunited with this sweet little lady :)

Kevin and I had a great time in Boulder and for the friends we didn’t get to see, we will definitely be back!

More Traveling, More Training

This past week, less than a week after returning from Hawaii, I left home again.

Traveling with Runner's World

Traveling with Runner’s World

This time I took off to Kentucky to get some research done for my dissertation. I flew into Nashville and then drove into Kentucky. I spent most of my days in archives reading documents over a hundred years old (super cool!). On Thursday, I headed to the Pleasant Hill Shaker Village to complete some more research. I was lucky enough during this time to get help from some great archivists and historians who helped me find the information I needed. After hanging out at the village, I took the river boat down the Kentucky River, which made a nice way to finish up the day.

Sweet ride for the week

Sweet ride for the week

Berea College

Berea College

My coffee break stop

My coffee break stop (photo compliments of Google)

Research!

Research!

Shake Town

Shaker Town

Shaker House (East Family)

Shaker House (East Family)

 

Big Furry Friend

Big Furry Friend

Shaker Path

Shaker Path

 

River Boat!

River Boat!

 

Kentucky River

Kentucky River

This trip wasn’t all work. I also got in a lot of running. While my first run in town was hard and slow, the rest of my runs went well, despite crazy humidity! And I even logged my longest treadmill run (a whopping 6 miles! ha!). I got in some solid mile repeats and a sweaty track workout. This was hard and really tested my ability to run in heat & humidity, but it ended up helping me score a new PR this weekend (see upcoming post).

Intense running conditions!

Intense running conditions!

Mile repeats powered by Graced by Grit

Mile repeats powered by Graced by Grit

Before flying home, I stopped back in Nashville to see the Grand Ole Opry and get some new cowboy boots!

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Look forward to an upcoming post recapping my Wharf to Wharf race.

Back to Maui

The blog has been pretty quiet because I have been traveling. I could write a ridiculously long post about our awesome second trip to Maui but instead I’m going to share some of my photos and how they represent the best parts of our trip (the massage was pretty awesome but I don’t have a photo to represent that).

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1013979_10152957065570478_810160451_nWe had a great view of Black Rock from our room. We laid on that beach everyday during our trip and snorkeled four or five times at Black Rock. The last day we saw not only the beautiful fish, but also a turtle, a manta ray, and six(!) whitetip reef sharks! Pretty dang cool.

 

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Speaking of snorkeling, one of favorite days during our vacation was the snorkel cruise on the Hula Girl. The boat was amazing, the crew was friendly, and the views were breathtaking. We snorkeled at Honolua Bay. We were hoping to see some rays but we missed out on them. However, we saw lots of turtles and HUGE fish! After snorkeling, we had a delicious lunch prepared fresh by two on board chefs. Then we sailed back to the beach, what an awesome way to see the north west part of the island.

 

1044894_10152953839405478_1394015388_nKevin and I found this pie shop last year and we just had to return. Our faves are the Apple Crumb Pie and the Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie… yum!!

 

944521_10152973066260478_1446232086_nWe enjoyed so much good food while there. This was photo was from Japengo, a sushi/Japanese restaurant in the Hyatt on Kāʻanapali Beach. We also had the most delicious dinner from Lahaina Grill – sooo good! On the more casual side, we returned to Aloha Mixed Plate and Maui Brewing Company, twice!

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Of course we enjoyed many Hawaiian cocktails. In fact, our flight into Maui included a complimentary Mai Tai (thanks Alaska Air!). So clearly my recap needs to include a photo of the Mai Tai :)

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And of course, lots of running! Most of my runs happened at sunrise (check out that stunning morning) to try avoid the crazy heat. I ran a total of 68(!) miles while in Maui, including an 18 miler. I followed that 18 miler with more snorkeling because that’s how we all recover from running right? I brought my sweet yellow Mizuno Wave Ronins and my tank from the new women’s clothing line Graced by Grit. Running is definitely one of the best ways to see Lahaina and Kāʻanapali Beach.

What a vacation! Sad it’s over but excited to be back running with my SCE buddies and have some cooler (kind of) runs again. Plus we’ve been reunited with our sweet pups! (Thanks mom and dad for watching them!)

 

 

Fit Friday: Training While Traveling

It’s Friday! And as this post hits the blog, I will be on a plane en route to Maui (and hopefully already enjoying a mimosa!). So that means that I get to enjoy a nice summer escape but also find a way to keep up with my marathon training while on vacay.

It can be pretty tough to keep up your training when traveling. I have had many a trip where running just did not happen. But I have definitely gotten better over the years. Luckily, I’ve been to the same area of Maui before (read about that trip here). This means I already know about the paths and to get my runs in early (thankfully with the time difference, it’s pretty easy for me to get up early). But it also means that I plan to be active before even setting foot off the plane. Here are some of my tips for running while traveling.

Scenes from my Maui runs last summer

Scenes from my Maui runs last summer

1. Pack your goods! Bring your favorite running gear and shoes (I tend to put these on the carry-on because I don’t want to get to my destination and find out the airline lost my running gear!). If you like to have an ipod or water bottle, be sure to bring those too. Not having your usual gear can quickly become an excuse to not run. Also, know the climate. Don’t bring you fave long sleeve to Hawaii – you won’t use it! (Duh!)

2. Have a schedule. Know what types of runs you want to get done and put them on your calendar. Last summer I just wanted to keep active, so I scheduled in easy runs from 4-6 miles. This was perfect for our trip and kept me motivated. Once I found a good route or two, I was able to easily tick off those miles and complete my goal. This summer I’m in marathon training so I have more specific goals in mind, long runs, speed, etc. And with that in mind, consider tip #3.

3. Learn your location. Do you need a track for speed? A gym to get in strength training? Don’t wait until you have arrived to determine if these resources are available to you. You might find that they aren’t and if you plan ahead, you can figure out how to adjust your training. You may not have a track, but you can find a stretch of flat road with little traffic. Your hotel may not have a gym, but maybe your club has a local gym in town or you can use those water bottles as weights!

4. Sign up for a race! This is my  favorite. I love running races in different locations and whenever I travel, I always check to see if there is a race. I like to find shorter distances like a 5k or 10k but I’m always up for a half marathon. I ran a 5k last year in Hawaii and I always am finding races in So Cal when I visit my parents (I’m running a 4th of July race tomorrow!). This will definitely keep you motivated and you can bring home a super cool souvenir! Races may not always be available, but it’s awesome when they are!

5. Give yourself a break. Recognize your runs will be different. You might need to run by effort than by pace or shorten some of your runs. Make your schedule realistic. Don’t beat yourself up when your running is different in a new environment. You are still getting in a good workout and your body needs to adjust to a different climate. Or let something go. I’m going to be Up free while on vacation (I can’t take the Up swimming and I’m a little afraid I’ll forget, plus you gotta let go sometimes!).

So as we head into the dog days of summer and lots of traveling begins, will you be running? What are your tips for running while traveling?