Some people think I’m mad for wanting to run whilst on holiday. They don’t understand that running IS part of my relaxation. I enjoy running, therefore, I will go running. It doesn’t have to take up a huge part of my holiday, and it has never stopped me from seeing and doing what I want. It helps with my asthma, it helps with my hypermobility, and most importantly, it helps with my general well being.
Clearly, I wasn’t going to run as much as I would at home. We had planned four different locations to stay; starting in Chicago, we moved round the base of Lake Michigan, and stayed in Michigan City, and Stevensville, just outside of St Joseph, before returning to Chicago for our final night.
We arrived on the Friday afternoon, to a storm. Apparently, the threat of lightning meant that the baggage handlers couldn’t offload our luggage for an hour and a half. Considering most of the lightning had stopped by the time we’d cleared Immigration, I cynically suspected the timing of our arrival, lunchtime, was the main factor preventing the handlers from stepping outside.
Chicago feels like a coastal town. Lake Michigan is huge. Incomprehensibly huge. It looked just like the sea. It didn’t smell like the sea, though. It was also fairly humid.
Jet lag, and noisy teens booking rooms to hold parties, meant both me and the OH we’re wide awake at 5am on the Saturday. Rather than waste time in the hotel, waiting for a more reasonable hour to go exploring, we opted to use the time constructively, and go for a run. We chose to run along the Lakefront Trail, from Grant Park. Despite being overcast when we set out, the temperature was already in the mid-20s, and it was humid. Our route took us past Soldier Field, the massive home of the Chicago Bears. We ran almost 5 miles, but it was hard going in the humidity.
I also spotted that the route was going to be used on the Sunday for Chicago’s Women’s Half Marathon. Whilst I wasn’t ready for the full 13.1 miles, there was also a 5k event. When I got back to the hotel, I had a look for the details; sadly, registration had closed.
On the Sunday, we walked to Lincoln Park, and visited the zoo, then onto Wrigley Fields, to catch a ball game (see what I did there?). We must have walked a good 7 miles. To say I ached would have been an understatement.
We used hotel gyms for a few of our runs. Typically, these were basic, with one treadmill, two if we were lucky. The air con was non-existent. Whilst in Stevensville, we managed one more outdoor run. This was in the blazing sunshine, despite being 7.30am. It was, however, less humid, and so we ran at a much quicker pace than we did in Chicago.
One of my favourite parts of holidaying in the US, is the bargain hunting in the outlet malls. I managed to find a stash of new running gear.
This included Under Armour compression shorts (a mere $7), two pairs of running shoes, and the Nike+ sports watch.
Buying it on our last day meant that I would have to wait until I got home to try it out.
Overall, I managed to maintain a reasonable level of running, not losing too much fitness. I also managed to keep the inevitable weight gain down to just 1kg.
Now the holiday is out of the way, I can focus on my half marathon training. Ouch.