Birthday Trip & Working Out While Traveling

working out while traveling

This was a busy week for the Brambila boys and I.  I celebrated my 34th birthday on Friday, and we had plans to stay at a resort for part of the weekend.  Normally, I like working out while traveling, even when we’re on vacation.  This year, though, I really wanted to soak in as much time as possible with my son and husband, since it’s going to be our last birthday as a family of three.  And honestly, that thought is making me more emotional than I imagined it would.  But we had a really great weekend, and I have zero regrets changing my schedule around.

I had planned on running Monday morning, but some pretty intense thunderstorms rolled through and I’m not interested in being struck by lightening. So I stayed in bed and accepted that Mother Nature won. My husband ordered me a treadmill as a big birthday present, and after Monday’s cancelled run, I’m really looking forward to having a bigger home gym set up. The rest of the week was fairly uneventful. I had a chiropractor appointment on Wednesday, which felt amazing. My lower back is starting get cranky in the evenings, and I’m really grateful to have more resources available to me during this pregnancy than my first.

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One of Enrique’s friends had a small birthday get together at a burger place here in San Antonio on Thursday, so we started off the birthday weekend with that. The place has a huge yard attached to it where kids can throw a baseball around, or just chase each other and yell while their parents have a few beers and burgers. I didn’t get to enjoy any beer, but the burgers were great! I woke up as a 34 year old Friday morning, and kicked off the year with a birthday 10k before heading home to pack up and get to the JW Hill Country Resort.

I’m planning on doing a full post about the JW and our weekend stay there, so I won’t get into too many details. But when we first got out there, it was somewhat drizzly, and I was a little anxious that we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the waterpark as much as we had hoped. Once the afternoon rolled around, though, the clouds cleared up and it was such a fun day. We got dinner at Fish City Grill, and then had a chocolate chip cookie Sundae from one of the JW restaurants for dessert. We spent most of the day at the waterpark again on Saturday, and got back home around 5pm.

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We had some pizza and played a few games of Jenga before we all called it an early night.  The three of us were all a little on the pink side, and definitely worn out, but it was such a fun weekend together.  I am really thankful that we had two full days to recuperate since Monday was a holiday, because I was not in any shape to get right back to working.  I want to say thank you to everyone who sent me birthday wishes on my Instagram and Facebook.  34 is off to a great start, and it seems like it is going to be a very interesting year for the boys and I.

Working Out While Traveling

Back in the pre-COVID times, I traveled pretty often.  I was out of town about three times a month for work, and the boys and I did a lot of visiting friends and family all over Texas.  So, I got pretty used to figuring out how to fit my work outs in, even when I wasn’t home.  Now that I’m away from home a whole lot less, my perspective on working out while traveling has changed a little bit.  I still think it’s completely possible to fit in training when you’re not home, but I also think there might be times where working out isn’t the top priority.  Here’s a few things to consider when you’re on the road and wondering if squeezing in a workout is possible or worth it.

Do I Need to Work Out While Traveling?

The most honest truth is no, you don’t ever need to feel compelled to workout, regardless of where you’re at.  However, if you are someone who travels regularly for work or lifestyle, it may be important to find ways to stay active while traveling.  If you spend 30+ percent of your time away from home, those missed workouts can add up fast, especially if you are training for something specific.  If you travel less frequently, then you may want to spend a little more time considering the pro’s and cons to working out on the go.  It’s important to remember that the key to training is consistency over time, meaning taking a week or two break over the course of a year isn’t going to significantly impact your overall fitness.  But if you miss 30-50% of your workouts on the other hand, you will see some diminished results, which can be really frustrating.

Here’s what I’ve been considering when deciding if I should find a way to get in a workout:

  • Trip Duration – How long will you be gone, and how many workouts might you miss?  For my birthday stay-cation this year, I decided to get in a run the morning before we left, and take Saturday as a rest day.   Knowing that we would only be “away” for two full days meant that I wasn’t really missing anything by shifting my schedule around.  It also meant that I didn’t have a ton of time during our trip to fit training in without taking time away from our vacation.  If you’re trip is going to last a week, finding a few hours to exercise might not be that difficult.  If it’s going to be a quick 2-3 days, that might be more difficult.
  • Trip Purpose – I’m a lot more inclined to fit in workouts if I’m traveling for work than leisure.  Here’s why: I always have to scheduled my training around work, so it’s not all that different for me to find time to workout during a work trip than a regular week at home.  Sure there might be a few hours of travel time to account for, but otherwise my day to day isn’t all that different.  Plus, I’m not responsible for school pick-ups or making dinner.  If I’m traveling with the boys, though, my time is more likely to allocated to doing family stuff.  I don’t mind waking up at 5am to run before work, but I’m probably less motivated to get up early if I spent 6 hours at the pool with my family the day before.
  • Trip Location – You’re probably not surprised to hear that I absolutely love running in beautiful places.  So if I’m spending a few days in a new, exciting place, there’s a good chance I’m going to try to squeeze in a run.  Even more likely if I’m staying somewhere with beautiful trails near by.

There are so many ways to get in a workout on the go, but there’s also absolutely no need to stress yourself out while you’re on vacation.  Working out and training should be a part of your lifestyle, which means like all things in life, working out will ebb and flow.  If you’re in a season where training isn’t the top priority (say when you’re 5 months pregnant), don’t put a ton of pressure on yourself to force it.  If however, you’ve got big goals that you’re actively working on, I definitely recommend scheduling and structuring your travel to include training as much as possible.  Are you someone who likes fitting in workouts during travel?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

This Weeks Workouts

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Total Miles: 21.5 Miles
Total Workouts: 4
How the Run Felt
The runs definitely feel both refreshing and harder by the day. I’m definitely starting to feel heavier and having to pay more attention to make sure I manage my abdominal pressure. I switched my long run and rest days this weekend, so it looks like my mileage is lower than usual, but it was pretty typical. I will say that running 4 times back to back was a little rough, but the scheduling was a little difficult this week with birthday plans and storms interrupting my week.

With the oncoming heat and humidity, I can feel my paces starting to slow down, and I don’t think they’re going to improve until sometime after October. I’ve also found that I probably need to start walking up and down hills more consistently, since inclines and declines definitely increase the abdominal pressure. I know I could push my body harder, and it would probably comply, but I also know that it would prolong my return to running post-partum. For now, I’m trying to make choices that align with my long term goals.

How the WODs Felt
Monday’s home WOD was far from easy, and it took me a very long time to complete, but I’m glad I found a way to challenge myself from home. And I got to break in the new set of 30# dumbbells! Tuesdays WOD sounded so easy, initially, but when I realized that each set had to be done within 7 minutes and that there were 3 rounds of it, I had my work cut out for me. I finished all the sets, but it was more of a challenge than I had planned. Wednesday and Thursday’s workouts were modified, but actually somewhat fun. It feels really good to be able to still challenge myself physically, even if the challenge looks very different than it did 23 weeks ago.

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What I’ve Been Listening
I started a new investigative journalism podcast this week that focuses on the disappearance of a woman the day before the 9/11 plane crashes.  It’s called Missing on 9/11, and so far it sounds like a mystery that won’t be easily solved.  I’ve also been catching up on OC Swingers, which is really hard to listen to sometimes.  I also listened to the most recent episode of Run Hard, Mom Hard, where the ladies interviewed Sophie Power.  Sophie is most known for a photo of her breast feeding her 3 month old son and pumping at an aid station at UTMB.  Her story and discussion is just so motivating and full of incredible information on post-partum health.

What Went Well
My birthday weekend at the JW pretty much topped everything else this week.

What Went Shitty
I’m very tired of all the rain we’ve been getting, because it makes trail running more difficult.

Plans to Improve Next Week
Keep making sure I manage my abdominal pressure.

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