Saturday, April 16, 2005

Running on the Road

Whenever I travel, I make what I think to be realistic plans about the running I will do on my trip. They inevitably (in retrospect) turn out to be less-than-realistic.

For the Japan trip, I packed 2 sets of running clothes for the 8 day trip, figuring that if I did laundry halfway through I could run 4 times in clean clothes. I usually run 4 or 5 times a week, so 4 runs on a vacation was, I thought, a reasonable goal.

Umm, right.

We had a fairly tight schedule of morning trains and afternoon sightseeing / activities in our itinerary, and when there was some time to spare, I was often so footsore from walking and tired from humping my overpacked luggage, there wasn't the energy to run. I ended up running twice during the trip, pretty evenly spaced throughout the week.

There was a small part of me that was getting upset about the lack of miles, starting to worry how this would impact my overall training and running fitness. Then the pragmatist jumped in. While I wasn't running, I spent hours every day walking, exploring the country; my fitness was not an issue. We ate well (in Japan, after all); I was not gaining weight on the trip. And what kind of obsessive freak misses sightseeing, or loses much needed sleep, while on a 1 time trip across the world?

So, I ran twice and felt good about it. I went for a 5 miler today (okay, yesterday really; I'm still somewhere between Seattle time and Tokyo time) and felt strong. I'll try a longer, flatter run tomorrow (today?) and see how I do when less rested.

Next time I travel, I'll still pack the running shoes, but maybe only 1 pair of tights. Okay, maybe 2.


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