Angela Weigh’s In: Vacation and Running Talk

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on June 10, 2009

A few of you have been asking me how I am preparing for my first race ever this Sunday! Given my injury this past winter, you probably know that I have revamped the way I approach running. Gone are the days where I used to run 4-5 times a week.


It is just too hard on the body!

What I have realized since returning to running is that my body does not ‘forget’ how to run. As long as I keep up my cross-training at a high intensity, I find that my runs are no ‘weaker’ than they would be when I was running 4-5 times a week. If anything they are now stronger.

Currently, I only run once or twice per week and I have found that that is enough to keep me in running shape. I think my body is much happier. I don’t feel sore and I don’t feel worn out on my runs.

Running is fun again!

It is not torture. I don’t feel like I have to force myself to stick to a grueling schedule.

I am learning how to appreciate the ‘journey’.


My plan for this week is simple. Don’t overdo it. Since I am running my 1st 10K race this Sunday I need to continue to play it smart.

Here is my plan (although let me remind you, I take a very flexible approach to my plans as I really don’t like them too much):

Wednesday: 45 min. treadmill hill walking (4.2 mph, incline 15%), 1 circuit from Level 3 of the Shred

Thursday (shop 4 A Cause!!!): 4 mile run

Friday: 45 min treadmill hill walking

Saturday: OFF

Sunday: 10K race

This is the plan, but like I said I don’t like things that tell me what I have to do so it will likely change a bit!

What I have found is that by doing intense cross-training, it not only saves me from injury, but my cardiovascular training is not impacted whatsoever. Because I make sure to keep my heart rate in the 155-169 bpm range while cross-training, I can get by with only 1-2 runs per week. My heart rate is actually higher on my cross-training treadmill walks than when running!

This is really working for me and it has prevented me from injury and burn out. Exercise should be FUN, not something I dread each day!

Weighing in on my Vacation!


How did I do while on vacation this past week?

Did I go overboard, splurge too much, or get it just right?

I was actually really happy with my vacation and how I approached eating and exercise. I think with each vacation I get a bit better at the whole moderation thing. I  used to see vacations as a time to go overboard with food, but now I try to look at it as I do any day- with the 80/20 rule.

What is the 80/20 rule? Well, it means that I aim to eat healthy 80% of the time and I allow myself indulgences the other 20%. This rule keeps me sane.

For example, at one of our dinner’s out, I stuck to fish, rice, and veggies for my main, but I splurged on dessert splitting half a huge brownie cookie with my sister:

This ladies and gents, is balance:


And half for dessert:


Most of my trip was much like this.

For my sister’s birthday dinner, I filled up on good, wholesome foods:

IMG_3048 IMG_3052 IMG_3054 IMG_3056

And then I treated myself to an indulgent cupcake for dessert:


Some nights I had fruit for a snack:


While other nights I had chocolate that was a gift from my mom:


I also took a moderate approach to drinking:


I had 1 mojito, 1 glass of wine, 1 mixer drink, and about 9oz of beer during my 5 day stay.

This is much better than I used to do! I didn’t wake up with any hangovers. My sis and I were both thankful we didn’t end up partying too had on Saturday night because we felt pretty good on Sunday morning! :)

I think I was able to achieve a nice balance and show everyone that it is possible to enjoy a vacation in moderation! I didn’t go to bed once feeling too full or like I overdid it. And I can’t say it was always like this in the past!

I was also able to maintain my workout routine while away:

June 4th: OFF Day (flew to visit family)

June 5th:  20 min run on track, 15 mins stepmill, core work, 45 mins treadmill hill walking (Speed 4.2, incline 10%),

June 6th: 45 mins treadmill hill walking (Speed 4.3, incline 10%)

June 7th: 46 mins treadmill hill walking (Speed 4.4, incline 10%), core work

June 8th: 46 mins treadmill hill walking (Speed 4.4, incline 10%)

June 9th: OFF- Back from trip & baking all day!

I knew that I would be taking an off day on the Thursday that I flew in and also on the Tuesday that I got back, so I made sure to fit in workouts in between.

All of my workouts were done around 6:30-7am each morning. It wasn’t too hard for me to get up at this time, because I was still on Toronto time (8:30-9am).

Because my mom recently purchased a treadmill I was able to get up early before the rest of the family and workout so it didn’t interfere with my visit. Had the weather been cooperating I probably would have gotten outside for a couple runs to change it up. If my mom didn’t have a treadmill, I would have gone to the gym more than the first day, but sometimes it is hard to get a free pass and it can get costly.

The take home message:

Vacations should not be something you worry about! With a little planning it is pretty easy to fit in some exercise! You can get up a bit earlier in the morning or even ask your family members to join you in your workout. :)

I have also learned that indulgences (even very decadent ones) will not make you gain weight. A 500 calorie dessert will not make you gain weight overnight! It really won’t. As long as you take a moderate approach to your vacation, a few indulgences here and there are totally worthy! :) It is vacation after all, right?

Today’s questions:

  • What strategies do you use to fit in workouts while on vacation?
  • How do you approach eating when you are on vacation? What are your slip ups or your best tricks?
  • Have you changed the way you approach training for races? What is your training like? What works for you?

By the way, I extended the Amazing Grass contest until 4pm EST today!!! I got my days mixed up yesterday due to getting back from my trip. You have until 4pm EST to enter!

Don’t forget- tomorrow is Shop 4 A Cause beginning at 8am EST!!!! I’m so pumped!!!

See you tonight for all the details!

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Mara @ What's for Dinner? June 10, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Your post is so refreshing. There are so many people out there who run despite injury, run when it doesnt feel good, and think that running is the ONLY exercise out there. You are healthy and gorgeous, and *gasp* don’t run every day! WTG with the vacation!


Katherine June 10, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Thanks for your eating/exercise recap! I also try to get exercise in when I’m on vacation. When I go home, my parents have a treadmill, and I also enjoy taking long walks around their neighborhood with my dog. When I go to Florida during the holidays, my grandparents’ neighborhood has a club/fitness center/tennis facility so I usually go with my cousins a few days and we get plenty of exercise in the pool too!

I’m still working on finding a healthier attitude toward eating on vacations as much of my family has pretty poor eating habits, but I agree that an 80/20 mindset can be very helpful. I’ll usually have a salad and a light breakfast and then I enjoy what I want for dinner/dessert without too much guilt.

I can’t wait for Shop 4 A Cause tomorrow!!


Steph Runs the City June 10, 2009 at 12:20 pm

good luck on your upcoming 10k :) i just had one this past weekend. it’s a great racing distance, just long enough but not too long!

i also had an injury a few months ago and have incorporated more cross training into my workouts- it’s amazing how much it helps.

i usually try and bring healthy snacks and foods, like bars and oatmeal packets, that i enjoy with me on vacation. they’re easy to travel, and this way i feel satisfied :) i also do indulge, but like you said- everything in moderation!


Fitzalan June 10, 2009 at 12:22 pm

I always workout on vacation. When planning trips, my husband and I only look at places that have gyms. When traveling for work, I try to get into a hotel with a gym and always have yoga DVDs. And finally, when just traveling in general, I always pack my sneakers…when all else fails, go run.

My biggest slip up is alcohol. I have too many drinks on vacation (ie 2-3 drinks a day.) It adds up.

I have changed my approach to training for races by simply not training. I used to stick to a very strict training regiment when doing marathons and triathlons. Now I just stay active and focus and sign up for races for fun, not for time or any other pressure.

Happiness Awaits


Georgia June 10, 2009 at 12:29 pm

I’m running my first 10k on Saturday!! AHHH!!! I’m okay with walk/running the last segment as I haven’t trained up to running that exact mileage, but I’m really excited!

Have fun on yours!
I’ll post about the run on my other blog:


Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now June 10, 2009 at 12:40 pm

It’s always good to take the balanced approach. Thanks for the post!


Recipes for Creativity June 10, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Wow, we both left on Thursday and came back on Tuesday from a nice trip :)

I have also gotten much better about vacation food and drink overload. As far as exercise goes, I always just try to keep up with at least 40 minutes of brisk walking a day, since I can do that anywhere. I did slack on my strength training this time while I was gone. Most days I walked way more than 40 minutes, though. I also enjoyed ice cream twice, and a total of one glass of red wine and two beers, but never felt guilty about any of it. One night I did go to bed a bit full, but not nearly as stuffed as I might have gotten in the past! I truly think you’re right about the 80/20 thing, and like you said in your previous FAQs, relaxing seems to be the number one most helpful thing to having a good time and staying on track.


Susan June 10, 2009 at 1:15 pm

I’m totally with you on the running thing. I’m training for a triathlon, but a hip injury is keeping me from doing my training for the run portion. I ran for the first time in a month last week, and it was as if I never took any time off!! All the swimming, biking, and other cross training I’ve been doing has kept up my cardiovascular endurance, so I haven’t lost much in terms of running. Running 5 times a week is definitely not necessary, and could do more harm than good. Rest and cross training days are often where you make most of your gains :)


Elisabeth June 10, 2009 at 1:23 pm

I’m actually going “home” to visit my family this weekend, and I’m also in week #5 of race training. So, I have to be sure to stay on track with my workouts, and also be sure to have enough healthy food in my Mom’s notoriously unhealthy kitchen!

I always stop on my way to my mother’s house and pick up some healthy staples so that I am sure to be prepared. I am also making some green smoothies in advance, freezing them, and then bringing them in a cooler with me on the drive.

I have a cross-train scheduled for Saturday, and I plan to do core work along with hiking on that day. Then I have a long run on Sunday, and a recovery run on Monday (when I’ll be in an entirely different city for a concert). I logged onto so that I could have both of my runs all planned out in advance. No surprises! =)


brandi June 10, 2009 at 1:50 pm

I think your plan for this week’s workouts is a good one – you’re ready for the 10K and cross training is important!

I try to do the same thing on vacations, and always! If I’m eating balanced the majority of the time, I can splurge when I really want to and everything is still fine. The world does not come crashing to an end.


Dani June 10, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Good luck with your 10k!! I just signed up for a 5K in October, and the training is definitely kicking my butt! haha :)

I agree with your 80/20 rule, I try to practice the same.. we have to indulge every once in awhile!


Betsy June 10, 2009 at 2:10 pm

I wish I could have dedicated as much time to exercising while on vacation as you… I was out of town last week too and I only made it to the hotel gym once. It was literally a glass case of a room with 2 treadmills and no air conditioning. After 20 min on the treadmill I thought I would pass out – it was like a sauna! And although we were at the beach, the weather was too terrible to spend outside. I went in with the best of intentions though. :)


Marina June 10, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Last summer I was on a vacation at the sea side, so I went swimming, but ate a looooot of goodies in a hotel. But it made me happy and I didn’t worry about it.
Do you think everyone should workout every day? I see how you do it every day, and I must admit I feel guilty when I can’t squize in some exercise, or am too tired for it.

Hi marina, I don’t workout every day (usually 6 days a week) and I don’t think everyone should workout 7 days a week or even 5 or 6 days a week. You have to do what fits your schedule and routine and what makes you the happiest. It is easy to get caught up in the comparison trap, but I think you will know when you have found what works for you because you will feel happy and energized and not worn out. Hope this helps! ~A


april June 10, 2009 at 2:35 pm

I loved this post! Vacations used to really stress me out but now I just try to get a lot of walking in and enjoy the rest!


Kelly Turner June 10, 2009 at 2:37 pm

mojitos: heaven!

I figure the same thing. I know we always go out on the weekends, which makes it easier to say no to pointless crap during the week.

and, I hate running. Always have, always will. but i WISH i liked it


Rachel June 10, 2009 at 3:23 pm

I always try to book a hotel with a gym. If I am beaching it, then working out before I lay out is what I try to do.


Rachel June 10, 2009 at 3:25 pm

BTW I love your assessment about running for fitness. I agree, it can be VERY hard on the body. I ran my first half a month ago and have since then taken time off. Yesterday I went on a run and was fine! So less is more in my opinion too!


polly June 10, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Love this post and love YOU! Can’t wait to put up granola tomorrow!! I told my YIYers about it today! You are such a beauty, Angela. Your attitude is awesome and yay for loving your body and yay for not liking to be told what to do.

I understand! As soon as I feel I HAVE to do something… don’t wanna any more. ;) Stubborn girls. hehe



Low June 10, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Best of luck on your 10K!! I really like your running philosophy, it’s very similar to my own.


fittingbackin June 10, 2009 at 3:40 pm

You are such an inspiration! This post was great- I plan to print it before my next big vacay (not until winter). I find myself this year taking smaller vacays, and I just come up with a menu, cook/pack all of my food and it’s DONE! My biggest takeaways from this post was the ‘still working out’ and the drinking…. I do not drink moderately. boo.


Natalie M. June 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm

I’m running a 10k on Saturday as well so you’ll be in my thoughts! Best of luck to you Angela :)


Marina June 10, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Thanks Angela for your response. I have to say, I really admire you, and you are an inspiration for me
I wish you luck with your race!


Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope June 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm

What a great recap of the trip. I love how honest you always are. I couldn’t agree with you more… vacations shouldn’t be about counting calories and stressing over food. As long as you keep an eye on the portions and fill up on the healthy foods, there’s no reason that you can’t indulge a little! Great post Angela! :)


Katie June 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm

I’m on vacation right now with my parents. I come from a family that loves to eat. We eat healthy and wholesome, rounded meals, but love to splurge on foods with fine and interesting ingredients. It’s been a bit of a challenge because I haven’t been formally working out, but we’ve been walking around so much: going to museums, exploring the neighborhoods, and just strolling. I’ve been more-than-splurging, but I know that when I go back home I’ll be back to going to the gym, making my own food (and PAYING for it), and going to work. So why not live up these 10 days without obsessing over every bite?

That is such a great attitude!! Love it! ~A


Jenny June 10, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Great post! I really agree with your thoughts on running. I found out the same thing when it comes to my body and running too. 1-2 days per week of running MAX for me, or it’s painful and too difficult, both mentally AND physically.

When I’m on vacation, I definitely try to keep exercise the same, but if that’s NOT possible, I try not to stress, and either squeeze in an extra workout the week before or the week after.


[email protected] June 10, 2009 at 9:39 pm

After a painful stress fracture training for one marathon, I switched to major cross training. When I trained for my last marathon I only ran 3 days a week – long run, tempo run, and hill run, plus a day of biking about an hour, and weights 2-3 times a week. It works well for me, and I didn’t get injured or lose too much weight!


Marcia June 10, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Wow, I really liked this post.

I run. I’m not a real “runner”. I’m not built like a runner. (short and stocky) I like it, I don’t love it.

Whenever I look at ways of training, to overcome boredom, I get overwhelmed by the “runner’s talk” of tempo runs, 400’s, etc. I just want to … run. And I’d like to improve my 5k time. But from 28:50 to maybe 27:00. 21:00 5k – not in my future. Truthfully, I don’t *want* to run 4x a week. Sometimes, 2x is enough for me. I enjoy walking, biking, weights.

I have a friend who is a “runner”. She hates walking and is desparate to run (because it’s how she maintains her weight…doesn’t want to watch her diet), but gets injured, tries to run through it…gets more injured. I used to run with her on lunch breaks and she actually yelled at me for walking!! That’s my training method!

I read about your 1/2 marathon. That was awesome. Maybe one of these years…(kinda hard to set aside the time with a 3-year old and a job).


elizabeth June 10, 2009 at 11:55 pm



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