Road Trip Challenge
It’s been a few weeks since our return, and school has started already so I really have no excuse for the lack of writing. Anyone who is still paying attention by now is used to it!
Last month I took the challenge of a road trip with my son to Canada, Pennsylvania, and DC. While in previous years the challenge here would have been in the boredom of a long drive, this year my big challenge was “How on earth will I work out decently away from home?”
As I packed up for the trip, taking my usual over-packing up an extra notch since – after all – this is a ROAD trip and I have no worries about checking baggage, I seriously considered packing some free weights so I could at least continue some of the P90X moves while in the lake country of Canada. Fortunately, sanity and (let’s face it) lack of space kept the weights at home. I did, however, pack a folder with the P90X worksheets with every intention of hitting the weight room at the Y once we got down to PA.
First week of the road trip was mostly speed walks, with a little swimming thrown in. Now – I did take advantage of being out in the middle of nowhere while I walked. To jazz things up a bit I’d stop every ten minutes and do some lunges, jump squats, or even push-ups at the side of the road. Very few people actually saw me, and I figured whatever they thought it’s not like I’d run into them at the PTO. At least, I hope not. While the lake was nice to swim in I get nervous being in open water without a bit of a crowd, so my swims were limited to 20-30 minutes, except for one day when I convinced my brother to troll alongside me in the boat for an hour as my guardian from jet-skiers and fish hooks. (Fingers crossed the motor would scare away any snakes, too.)
My anxiety over strength training was quickly replaced by my anxiety over being prepared for the Stonewall Swim on August 4. It was a 4.2-mile race from Long Island to Fire Island that my college roommate had done a couple years ago. We decided to sign up together and make a “girls getaway” out of it. (For the record, we do realize how odd we are. Most “girls getaway” weekends would typically involve a spa or wineries, but when we get together it’s to run marathons or swim across bays.)
Fortunately after about a week in Canada we went down to PA where I could get some decent swims in at the Y and felt good about the race. I felt even better when my friend confirmed that out of 45 entrants there were only 2 women. It was very tempting to NOT share this information with anyone and simply claim that we came in 1st & 2nd overall for women – but anyone with internet access would be able to determine that it was the only option. The race itself was amazing – very well organized & loads of fun. Each swimmer was granted their own kayaker to carry provisions, keep us on course, and even provide floaties if needed! I had a great paddler who kept me straight on course and I finished near the top of the crowd. The best part was getting out of the water and rather than dealing with a bike ride & run, I stepped immediately over to brunch. Brilliant!
After the big swim I was down to my last week in PA before heading back home and I’d say my biggest challenge then came in the form of just trying to take it easy. While the week before I could use my race as an excuse to be obsessed with getting to the pool, now I had no such excuse. I’m afraid that while this year has been a success so far in that I have proved to myself that I can handle not running – I certainly haven’t shown improvement in the relaxation area. I’m still the crazy one that will get up at 3:30 in the morning to workout before we catch an early flight. I’m still the nut case that has to schedule in at least one endurance workout each week – while it used to be 2-4 hour runs, it’s now a 2-3 hour swim. But I’m also still the girl who will swing by the bakery and grab a half dozens cupcakes on the way home from that long swim. I buy more if I have to share.