Since the fourth of July, I’ve taken a hiatus from the office and spent some time relaxing, training and traveling to the coast to spend time with family.

It all started with a much needed trip to Houghton. Being back in the U.P. and having the Lake Superior breeze provide a gentle tail wind along the shoreline was a much needed change. Getting enough training during a weekend in the U.P never seems to be a problem, mostly because playing in the woods tends to be synonymous with exercise. Chasing friends on mountain bikes, rollerskiing through covered roads and running away from mosquitoes is definitely training log worthy!

OD on the rolling hills near Hayward. #BirkieTraining

OD on the rolling hills near Hayward. #BirkieTraining

The next stop during the hiatus was Hayward, WI for R.E.G. Clocking an average of four hours a day, it was really nice to purely focus on skiing. Having the opportunity to work along side the R.E.G. kids with Bryan Fish was a treat and reignited a spark of motivation I hadn’t noticed was missing. Unfortunately I had to leave a little early, but not without a bucket list of things to work on for the rest of the summer!

Then it was off to the airport for a quick stay in Oregon’s wine country. This is also when sneaking in time to exercise became a bit more challenging. Thankfully my family has grown accustomed to my disappearing acts and sometimes even offer to come along on morning runs! Here are some tricks I’ve learned over the years to help stay active while on the road.


Beautiful country road in Oregon

1. Bring your running shoes.

For many it’s a no-brainer. One time I intentionally brought a pair of shoes I thought could double as both running shoes and light weight walking around shoes. The run was painful and walking wasn’t much better. Never again will running shoes be left at home.

2. Look around for regional trails

Lots of cities have these, and even though they may not be very long they are generally pretty safe. They also tend to have maps and clear signage at intersections which helps prevent getting lost.


Topping off the day with some big scoops.

3. Convince anyone and everyone you can to come along! 

The simple question “Does anyone want to go on a short easy run tomorrow?” can make sneaking in some training a heck of a lot easier. It always surprises me how many people are willing to wake up a little early to go on a short jog. As long as you’re willing to take it easy and get ice cream afterwards, an impromptu training partner doesn’t seem hard to find.

4. Beware of wild animals, especially the domesticated kind.

“Beware of Dog” signs should really say, “SPRINT NOW!” When training in a new place, it is super important to be aware of your surroundings. Charging moose or barking dog, both will likely give a great adrenaline rush, although it’s probably not the safest way to get into L5.


Colorful and delicious breakfast in Portland

5. Eat quality food and not too much

This is a good general rule for everyday life, but I’ve found it to be especially important when traveling. It’s really easy to start feeling like a greasy mess while on the road but eating quality food can help delay this. Plus, you’re on vacation! What better time to treat yourself to a fancy restaurant.

6. Use Jet Lag to your advantage

Being stuck two time-zones east of your current location can be the perfect opportunity to sneak in an OD before anyone else gets out of bed. Plus, if you’re able to get your hours in early, you don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day.


I promise I’m an adult…. sometimes…

7. Sit at the kid’s table

Turns out playing with the kids can be a great strength workout. Piggy Back rides become squats. Being a human jungle gym turns bicep curls into child’s play. (Literally.) Plus it’s a ton of fun!


This rollerski made possible by Miss Rachel. Thanks bunches!

8. Borrow equipment if possible.

Know someone in the area? Give them a call! Maybe they’ll be nice enough to let you borrow their rollerskis. Bike rentals are available in almost every major city, perhaps this is a good chance to meet up and get a tour of the city. I’ve never tried, but my guess is that TSA wouldn’t be too happy to see ski poles as a carry-on item.

9. Don’t get so caught up in your training log that you forget to be on vacation.

It’s vacation, take some time for yourself and enjoy the time you have away from home. The hours will come if their supposed to. Hours in a training log can always be made up. Visiting with family and friends while exploring someplace are experiences that are a lot harder to get back. So, have some fun! Talk to the people you don’t get to see often and have a vacation that’s truly an escape from day to day life.


“D” River, the shortest river in the world. Yes this is the entire thing.


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