Sunday, February 20, 2011

Vacation Run

A vacation smack in the middle of your training doesn't have to throw you off schedule.  On the contrary, it gave me a fabulous long run in new territory.  As I packed the suitcase full of swimsuits and towels for our weekend getaway to an indoor waterpark resort, I included my pair of Asics and some warm running gear.  Before we left, I did some research on to get myself familiar with the city of Burlington, Iowa, and check out any pre-established routes by the local runners.  I mapped out a 10.5 mile route starting at our hotel, heading to the Mississippi River, hitting every little park on the way.  Note to self... next time check out the elevation chart before you start.  Nothing like a monster hill for your warmup and again for the cooldown!  Ouch!
Elevation chart for my fun 10.5 mile long run on Saturday

I woke up at 6am to sneak out while the family slept only to find my iPhone dead (no GPS + no music = no run for this momma!).  After an hour charge, I finally greeted the Iowa morning sun around 7:15am.  And oh- how it gleamed at me...

Once I got past that first major hill, I quickly came upon the first park, where I was greeted by these darling little bridges to run cross.

Shortly thereafter, I lost my direction "cheat sheet," so I focused on the street names to remember the correct turns.  By the time I found the next park, I had already hit 5 miles and was in pure heaven with paths and bridges in every direction calling my name...

And finally my first view of the mighty Mississippi River!  Absolutely gorgeous... this is why morning runs are so worth getting out of bed when the rest of the city sleeps.

Needless to say, my time/pace is sucking wind by now - but I'm enjoying every step as I drink in the scenery (and capture all these beautiful pictures to share with you).

By time I exit the third park, the GPS reports I'm already at 7 miles.  By far, the most enjoyable 7 miles I've ever done.  I step up the pace and head back to the hotel.  It's time to stop sightseeing and get back before 1) my iPhone dies again - it was only half charged when I left, and 2) my kids have got to be awake, pestering Daddy every minute to hit the waterpark.  I run like the wind... until that monster incline on the way back.  ugh.  Music dies at the 10 mile mark, but thankfully there are plenty of birdies to chirp me in for the last half mile.
TOTAL:  10.5 Miles.  Time, pace... really, who cares?!  Not me - I'm on VACATION!

What better way to wrap up a fabulous run than the sight of two eager little girls all ready to swim?
My girls gaze overtop the waterpark - ready to swim!?!

And a yummy recovery drink waiting for me!
Sweet chocolate baby!


  1. Sounds like a fun run! Great job and I hope you guys had tons of fun at the waterpark. :)

  2. Getting those miles in on a vacation?! You rock Jess! Perfect recovery drink--you answered my blog question today!!

  3. Looks like a great run! I am always afraid of getting lost running when I am on vacation. I am too wussy to do it alone! :-)

  4. On vacation and you got your long run in. That is awesome. Way to go Jess.

  5. Good for you for getting a long run in!! It looks absolutely gorgeous there! :) And an indoor waterpark sounds like so much fun...I may have to research that to see if any are close by!! Who wouldn't want a little bit of Summer in the middle of winter??? Hope you all had a great time!!

  6. Nice work! :) And yay for Asics! I love mine :) Your run looks amazing--I'm jealous of the lack of snow.
    I hope you and the family had a blast!

  7. I love love seeing new scenery by the power of my feet, great pictures and yummy recovery drink...


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