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Editor’s Corner: Running on Vacation

Runners love routine. If you’re an a.m. runner and you have to do your workout in the evening, it feels like eating Cheerios for dinner—something just isn’t right.

This week my routine was interrupted for the most wonderful of reasons: A family vacation to a tropical island. In the weeks leading up to the trip, I was tremendously excited, but in the back of my head I wondered: What am I going to do about my marathon training?

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My normal vacation/running M.O. is to take it easy, lacing up when I have time and using my workouts as a way to explore my surroundings. But marathon training is different—my obsession level about running goes from my normal “very” to “certifiable”. . . This could be a problem—but no worries, I’ll be able to stick to my training on the island, or so I thought. .

Flew in here last Sunday night

The first day we arrived, I realized this balancing act was going to be trickier than I anticipated. (Think: hot weather, no sidewalks, killer hills and less-than-stellar food and beverage choices). While my family was at the beach on Monday, I went out for my planned 10 miler, only to barely eke out 7.5 on busy access roads before collapsing on my beach towel.

I felt kind of like this. . .

Clearly, it was time to switch up my game plan. After pouting about my lame run for five minutes, I decided that completing 75 percent of my workout was not too shabby all things considered. Thus my three-quarters rule was born. My revised goal was to complete 75 percent of my workouts this week, and to get back on the 100-percent wagon when I came home.

Letting go wasn’t easy, but so far, it’s turned out to be a perfect fit. My easy run on Tuesday turned into a super-easy run with my little brother who’s new to the sport. My speed workout on Wednesday went off without a hitch, and I replaced my final two 800’s with a jump in the ocean.

All runs should end here.

Best of all, I’ve been able to relax and spend time with my family who live across the country from me and who I love—even more than running.

How do you balance training with vacation time?  Let me know here, or follow me on Twitter @JessieSebor.