Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Five - tips for running trips

I missed participating in the Friday Five link up with Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar last week so I'm doubly happy to be back to it this week!  Today's theme is about trips.  I'm going to take that as traveling and not falling :) So I'm going to write about five of my tips for including runs on a trip.

1. Packing list - I have a packing list for every trip I take.  It definitely helps minimize the risk of forgetting something.  I use google docs for my packing list so that I can easily share it with my husband or other travel buddies. Since I started running, I have a section on the packing list for running things.  When I'm creating a new packing list, the first thing I do is copy the running section from the last list and paste it at the top of the new list since most of the time, I need the same running stuff on each trip.  And throughout the week before the trip, I add things to the list as I think of them if there are any unique or new items needed for the specific trip.

2. Research, research, research - I always research the heck out of all my trips as far as what to see, where to stay, good restaurants, etc.  I started doing the same when I began incorporating running into trips.  This week includes things like safe but interesting places to run as well as things like weather conditions, crowds, how to get there, etc.  of course, if it's for a race I would concentrate on information from the race about timing, course, directions, expo location, etc.

Beautiful run on my trip to Philadelphia with a route I found through the internet

3. Talk to locals if possible - if you're traveling to places with family or friends, this becomes much easier. But even if you don't know people (or people that run) in an area, you can still find locals with useful information.  I took my niece and nephew rock climbing in New Jersey once.  I started talking to one of the employees and it turned out he was training for a triathlon. He had great tips on beautiful places to run and I was able to check one of them out on the trip.

Run on one of the trails recommended to me in New Jersey

4. Pick places you actually want to go - I run into this problem when looking at races sometime.  There are a lot of awesome races but they're not necessarily all in places I want to go outside of running.  At this point, our vacation time and budget is limited (isn't everyone's?) and I want to prioritize places that I would go to anyway, with or without the running.  That's one of the reasons I'm not planning to do a race in every state challenge, since there are plenty of states I don't necessarily have interest in traveling to given the need to prioritize.

5. Be a tourist at home - don't forget the place you live!  There are so many new places I've discovered  in my area since I started running.  This includes places close to home in Maryland and places a bit further off in DC.  We've even had a couple actual staycations where we got a hotel room in the city for the weekend and I ran on the Mall amongst the tourist sites.

Run on the National Mall with a friend during a staycation

I have loved combining running with the trips we take!  It really has provided a way to see a new place (or even home) from a different perspective and in a way that I haven't been able to do in the past.  Plus, I think Mike enjoys some of the alone time!  He managed to win gambling in Vegas while I was off on a run :)

I hope you all have a great weekend!  I'd love to hear about any tips you have for combining travel and running.