No complaints about going on a road trip. I love that. But, honestly, I was anxious to stop cycling and swimming for 2 full weeks. I knew I would be able to find a way to go running. More difficult for swimming. Impossible for cycling (sure, I could have followed with my bike, but we not even have made it to San Francisco). I know, first world problem. And I knew I would survive. But, I'm far from being good at these 2 new sports and loosing all the work I put into them since December scared me.
Besides, even without speaking about training for a specific race, being active is part of my life. I enjoy it. Not being able to work out during vacation, wouldn't have been a real vacation.
We rented bikes, in San Francisco, and rode in town to get to the Bridge, cross it and come back. Does it count as a work out? Not really but it was fun. Let me tell you, I love my little bike even more after cycling on these "bikes".
I'm happy to report this road trip turned out being of great help for my swimming. I ended up having 2 swimming coaches JUST FOR ME. The playboy's cousins are competitive swimmers. We took advantage of hotel pools and they gave me private swimming lessons. I may have looked foolish with my beach swimwear, but it didn't stop us from seriously working.
"Don't move your shoulders!" / "STRAIGHTEN YOUR ARMS!" - I heard this last one SO often, and my shoulders can tell too as it came with a tap on the shoulder, EVERY TIME
Thanks again, girls! I am now trying to put that into practice in my swimming routine.
I enjoyed early morning runs in the little towns we stopped for the night. Apart from that, my new love for trail running has grown.
Except for one place (Antelope Canyon), we already had visited the places we went. We had an idea of the hikes to do and the kind of trails we could find. I pushed the idea to do trail running during our road trip to the playboy. Now I discovered trail running, it's hard for me to enjoy WALKING on trails. Why should I walk if I can run, right?!
Marin Headlands, San Francisco
I met Cathryn, online, from the running blog: My Heart's Content. She is British and lives around San Francisco with her husband and 5 years old son. If I had to qualify her, I would say: sparkling. Sparkling of joy, enthusiasm and fun. I love that.
We met in real life, last year, while the playboy and I took advantage of a long week end to come visit Marin County. As we had planned to come to San Francisco for this road trip, I contacted Cathryn and we planned a morning away, on the trails.
I want to thank her again for planning everything. She came to pick me up in San Francisco and we went to Marin Headlands, driving through the Golden Gate Bridge included.
The weather was perfect: blue sky, sunny, warm but not too hot. We started our run with a nice downhill which allowed us to carry on talking and talking (activity we already had started in the car). The views were stunning. I embraced all this greenery I'm not so used to anymore.
Of course, we didn't run downhill all the time. And, believe me, trail running there is no joke either. 3 hard climbs managed to make us keep our mouths shut. Or, at least, just for breathing. No more talking! Anyway, no complaints as we were rewarded by this kind of views.
Stunning views, perfect weather, running and a new friend:
(my new BFF)
Cathryn kept the best trail for the end: a single track snaking on the hills. Here it is:
Yes, PER-FEC-TION. I loved this part. And, of course, it deserved a little photo.
13.6 miles full of happiness and fun!
Cathryn wrote about our trail run, on her blog. You should go read it: Humbled by the trails... again!. Some parts made me laugh so hard!
(all the photos were taken by Cathryn)
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Trail running in Grand Canyon can be summed up with one word: STUNNING.
Yet, the night before, it didn't seem like that.
I have to go on vacation to have bad weather. SNOW, guys! I didn't miss it A BIT. Actually, it turned out being a pretty good thing as the cold weather allowed us to go running inside the canyon. It wouldn't have been safe to do it in the heat.
I'll tell you all about this run in another post. It was great but, believe me, Grand Canyon is something you have to work for. And it made sure I didn't forget about that.
Zion National Park, Utah
I went trail running alone, on this one. I didn't mind and was actually pretty happy about it. I even think it's the first time I went trail running alone. I was safe as I ran on trails with lots of hikers. We had visited Zion last summer so I went to a trail we had hiked (Angel's Landing). The hike is a huge ascension and back. I incorporated a part of it in my run. I climbed a small part, only to be able to run back down, full speed. It was exhilarating.
I ended up doing a fairly short run (5-6 miles) but it was way more about the view than the mileage. Totally worth it.
All in all, during this road trip, I stayed active, doing things I like, without imposing them to everyone. Really happy about that. I honestly didn't feel the need for a break in my running/cycling/swimming/Pilates routine but it actually felt good. I realized I was a bit suffocating with my planned and goal-oriented workouts, week after week. Fun in the pool, trail running with the only goal to enjoy the scenery, and now, I'm back in full force!
However, I think the playboy will never be able again to convince me to go for a hike. Now, I feel like visiting all the national parks, not hiking but trail running. Well done...
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