Washington, DC and a bunch of hotel gyms!

Happy Monday!

Last week I returned from a two-week road trip and vacation to Washington, DC. My parents and I met my sister, who lives in Boston, while we were there. I intentionally chose not to blog during that time, so people wouldn’t know I am out of town. But suffice it to say, I had a blast! I first visited D.C. when I was a kid, probably over twenty years ago. The city has changed a LOT in the years since, and improved a LOT!

We took oodles of photos and I honestly have not had a chance yet to upload and edit them. Since this blog is about running, though, I’ll include these for now:

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If you’ve ever been to DC, you know that it is a walking town, particularly around the National Mall. I’m pleased to say that this has been a very physically active vacation. In addition to walking around DC, I ran an average of 2 miles on a treadmill at every hotel that offered a fitness center (all but 2 of them).

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I also tend to run faster on treadmills with mileage displays- usually a 12:00 pace. I ran barefoot every time, since that’s basically my favorite way to run on a treadmill. (Also it meant I didn’t have to get my running shoes out of the car!)

I used the Nike+ app with the accelerometer to gage my treadmill pace, and it wasn’t too bad. The app never matched the treadmill display – it always measured my pace as 00:05 to 00:30 slower than the treadmill, so certainly not ideal. It’s better than nothing, though, and I’m glad to figure out a sort of baseline for treadmill running with the app.

One other observation: We walked a lot, and spent many hours on our feet as we toured museums and memorials. Normal vacation behavior. On vacations (and non-vacations!) past, my feet have become painfully sore and swollen from all the time spent on my feet. At the end of the day, I would gratefully fall into a chair, desperate to sit. In my pre-running days, most of my blisters came from vacation-time spent on my feet.

Yet not once during this trip did my feet become painful or sore! NOT EVEN ONCE! While my family collapsed into seats, I was still comfortable standing. My feet did get tired at the end of the day, but not painfully so – in fact, it was more like the full-body tiredness that makes bedtime so enjoyable. (And no blisters!) For me, this is a big deal. I’m sure many factors contributed to this, but I believe the number-one source of my relief is running. Running strengthened my legs and body, which in turn gave me more stamina and the ability to remain on my feet for many hours.

I have a busy schedule this week, but I’m looking forward to it. I have a good feeling about this!