Well hello there blog fans – it’s been a little while since I last posted, so let me give you a little update!
After running a ridiculous amount in 2015, I unsurprisingly took it a little bit easy in the first month or two of 2016. I did a couple of 3 milers, and a 4.5 miler with Becky in early-mid January, but then on the 18th January my hubby and I went off on our long awaited, very belated honeymoon! We travelled around the USA for 5 1/2 weeks and it was AWESOME!
Knowing that we’d be indulging in a lot of beer and huge American food portions, we had good (if slightly unrealistic) intentions of running a lot while we were away. “Every other day,” Tom said. Huh.
We ran a grand total of 4 times. Still, we covered a few longish distances, and used our runs as opportunities for “active sightseeing”. Let me tell you about it!
Our first run was the day after we arrived in New York. We were staying at an AirBnb apartment in the East Village and knew we wanted to run in Central Park, so we plotted a route heading west from our apartment, through the West Village, up on to a section of the High Line (a park created on a disused overground rail line), along the Hudson River and from the south-western corner of Central Park across to the north-eastern corner.
It was FREEZING! Not kidding – *the* coldest I’ve ever been while running! Normally, in winter at home, I’ll wear a long-sleeved running top over a running vest, with my slightly thicker running tights. If it’s *really* cold, I might put a jacket over the top and then curse myself when I’m boiling hot a couple of miles down the road. In New York, I wore: a running vest, a microfibre fleece and a running jacket, a woolly headband, gloves, my winter-weight running tights and two pairs of socks. And I was still cold! Poor old Tom had only brought running shorts with him, so he ended up wearing a pair of my (non-running!) tights to stop his legs getting frostbite!
Still, the good thing about the cold was that it made us keep running! We had a few quick stops for photos, but other than that we completed our planned route, and then instead of getting the subway back to the East Village, we completed a circuit of Central Park, ending up at the Plaza hotel at the south-eastern corner to pay homage to Home Alone 2 🙂 In the end we covered over 11 miles! We found refuge in a coffee shop just off 5th Avenue – I don’t even really like coffee (Americans just can’t do proper British tea…) but let me tell you that steaming hot cup of coffee was the best thing ever!
After a few days in New York (where we also treated ourselves to new running shoes!), we then headed to Washington DC, where we arrived just in time for “Snowzilla 2016” – a huge snow storm that dumped over 2 feet of snow on us in just 24 hours! We had only intended to stay one night in DC, but cancelled public transport meant we stayed for three in the end. Far too icy and slippery to attempt any running!
From Washington we flew down to New Orleans in Louisiana, then to Houston, Texas, and then Austin – site of our next run.
This time we only covered about 5 miles. As a complete contrast to New York, Austin was BOILING, and surprisingly hilly! I definitely didn’t appreciate my winter-thickness tights! We ran from our AirBnb homestay to Texas’ state capitol building, and back again.
Up until this point we’d been moving from place to place by public transport, and although we only ran twice, we did walk a lot. On our last day in Austin however, we picked up our prebooked rental car to continue our road trip across the south-west. Yee ha!
From Austin we wound our way across Texas, visiting Big Bend National Park on the way to Marfa, and then up into New Mexico where we made brief stops in Roswell (for obligatory alien pics) and Albuquerque (for obligatory Breaking-Bad-filming-location-pics) before spending a few days in Santa Fe. No running here, but we did spend a brilliant day skiing.
Crossing into Arizona, we explored the pretty cool Canyon de Chelly, which is like a mini Grand Canyon, then we ducked briefly into Utah to stand on the only spot in America where four states meet in one place, and to visit the beautiful Monument Valley.
Heading west again, we went back into Arizona to visit the real Grand Canyon, and crossed into Nevada to spend the obligatory hedonistic couple of days in Las Vegas (unsurprisingly, no running happened here either!).
Entering California, we passed through Death Valley then wound our way up the beautiful California coast, spending a night in San Luis Obispo, before settling in Monterey for a few days seaside retreat. Here, eventually, we got another run in as we jogged 3 miles out and 3 miles back along part of the Monterey Coastal Trail. We forgot to take any photos on this run, but here’s one of me and Tom on a whale watching boat 🙂
Going back east into the Sierra Nevadas, we spent 3 days hiking in Yosemite National Park, and then came back to the coast to stay in our last stop – San Francisco. Here we managed a 10 mile run, which bloody well hurt by the end, but I’m really pleased I managed to do it after so few miles in the legs! Plus, we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge! It was absolutely stunning.
So, I arrived back home on Friday, am just about over my jetlag, and will be going back to work tomorrow. I’ve only put on about 4lbs during the holiday (which was a complete surprise as we ate SO MUCH and I felt like a whale!), but it’s time to get back into a healthy lifestyle again. I wrote out a marathon training plan this morning (I’m going to enter the Liverpool Rock n’ Roll Marathon, I think), and I’m hoping that writing this blog post will inspire me to attempt the first run on the plan this afternoon! Wish me luck…!