I just got back from a 12-day vacation in California, where we visited my husband’s family and had an excellent family trip. We started in San Diego, then did three days at Disneyland with aunts, uncles and cousins, then the weekend at the beach at Point Mugu (up the coast from LA) then a couple more days just our family in Santa Barbara.
It was a really nice trip, but rather than write about the trip itself, I thought I’d explain how I work out on vacation. (I know, mindblowing: lace up your running sneakers and go, right? But I can’t just ONLY run, so fitting in other workouts can be more challenging).
But yes: the first tenet of working out is packing running sneakers and running clothes and making it a priority. At home I run at all different times of the day, but on vacation, early in the morning is better. That way, it doesn’t mess up any group plans, if you’re traveling in a pack the way we did, and then you can drink margaritas at noon.
California is made for early morning or late evening running, too, when the sun isn’t killing you and it’s cooler. I never quite made it out of New York time, at least when it came to waking up early, so a few times I snuck out of the hotel room early and ran at like 7 a.m. (early for me). I tend to hate running on sidewalk cement, so that was a problem at Disney, where we stayed in a nice resort in an area of hotels and malls, so I ran on the treadmill instead.
In San Diego we were near Balboa Park so I ran to/there. At Point Mugu, the weather cooled off and we were staying on a naval base on the beach, with the Santa Monica mountains behind us. I had two great runs there, one with my husband. We never usually get to run together because of the kidlets, so it was nice to have relatives watch them while we ran. I had two great runs, I think my fastest 3.1 and my fastest 4 since Henry was born.
In Santa Barbara there is a beautiful pedestrian path along the ocean, and we ran there. For strength training, I fit 3.5 sessions in.
In San Diego, we were staying at my brother-in-law’s house, in a neighborhood called North Park, which is like a California version of a hipster-y Brooklyn hood. It had nice restaurants, art galleries, and a multitude of yoga studios and gyms. There were like four independent gyms in a four block radius. So on Saturday morning (we flew in Friday, which was my first rest day) I chose one, walked in, and asked if I could pay to attend the boot camp class they had.
They said they didn’t really do walk-ins, but the owner was friendly and for $15 I got to take a boot camp class that ended up being me and one other attendee. The trainer put us through intervals of fun stuff like box jumps, burpees, kettlebell swings, mountain climbers, pushups, ab work, battling ropes and shoulder presses. It was hard, and awesome. I was pretty much dripping with sweat (apparently in San Diego if it’s 75 degrees they think it’s cool and don’t turn on the air conditioner).
So Friday: rest day
Saturday: boot camp class
Sunday: four miles in the hills of San Diego (ouch, need to run some more hills at home)
Monday: ran about four with Walt, his brother, and Henry in the jogger along a park path with a view of the city. Their jogging stroller (Bob) has a fixed front tire which I found really really hard to push for some reason.
Tuesday: rest day
Wednesday: did a weights workout at the hotel gym
Thursday: did three miles on the hotel gym treadmill, after wandering around looking for coffee with real cream or milk so not to wake up everyone in our hotel suite at 6 a.m. I ran too fast for two miles, 7:50 then 7:40 so I had to slowly jog the last mile.
Friday: 3.1 run, loving the 60s temperature.
Saturday: did some body-weight type exercises on the playground and the beach. Yeah, I’m that person doing chin ups while their kid plays. Then pushups and dips on beach chairs and squats. Then Walt and I ran four miles that night. There is always a way to workout, even with no equipment, even in a hotel gym (or on a beach, if you don’t care what people think of you). You may even inspire relatives to join you in impromptu pushup reps.
Sunday: Hotel gym in Santa Barbara to finish the half-assed strength workout of the day before. This gym was swanky and only played Real Housewives, of course.
Monday: Ran just shy of three miles along the beach, but I wasn’t really feeling it. The pathway was cement (why?!) and my body was twinging and feeling weird, so I cut off the run a little early.
Tuesday: flew back, rest day.
On Wednesday home and back to the gym for a sculpt class. I’m feeling really strong, maybe from the two Crossfit classes I did? Or maybe the change from my regular routine was a good thing?
So there you have it. Away for 12 days, 9 workouts done. Running in places away from home is always an awesome way to see a new place. And now the next time I travel I’m going to repeat my drop-into-a-cool-looking-gym trick. Everyone was so nice. Maybe that’s just because it was California? People are really noticeably more friendly there than New York. Especially toward kids. And pedestrians. No SUVs tried to ram us down at any point, so that right there was 200% better than home.
Working out while away is a must, if only so that we can eat more restaurant food.
Do you work out when you go on vacation?