How To Run On Vacation

I have a hard time running while I am on vacation. It’s not that I lack the motivation, and it’s not like I don’t want to get out of the hotel room. I absolutely hate being stuck in a hotel room. What holds me back is being uncomfortable with my surroundings.

During spring break this year I decided to fix this crazy fear of mine. As soon as you face your fears they seem to disappear, right?

Since my main problem with running while on vacation is nothing more than feeling uncomfortable in a different location. I am scared of getting lost (although with GPS available on our phones, that isn’t a valid excuse). Not knowing if I am running into a bad neighborhood gives me chills. Have I watched too many true crime TV shows? Yeah probably. You know a lot of those shows start with someone running alone.

Analyzing why I didn’t want to run while on vacation helped me find ways to try to talk myself out of my fear.


  1. I might get lost – This is not true if I think about it. I have a GPS watch. I have GPS on my phone. Map My Run app runs on my phone while I am running… I mean, it literally tracks my route as I go. And if I am in a real pinch, I can Google Map my butt back to my hotel.
  1. I might run into a bad part of town – Lucky for the modern runner, we have this delicious thing called the internet. Type in “Places to Run in *Enter City Name Here” and you will have a list of websites that will provide you with that information. Speaking of Map My Run – their website has a list of other runner’s normal routes in your city of travel. I found a neat trail website called Trail Link that helped immensely in finding runner-friendly routes.

I am also always looking for new running routes while I am driving around. I am calculating miles via the odometer. I am gauging elevation changes. Looking for port-a-potties and taking note of traffic patterns and shoulder size. I do this at home all of the time, so it’s become second nature. While I am on vacation I am doing the same thing. My head is on a swivel, looking for cool running routes.

Despite all of the pumping myself up I did, I never got out to run during our vacation. We were in Astoria for two days. I could have gone – I had time. I rationalized not running because we were moving the entire time we were there. We went on hikes, we climbed the Astor Column (my calves still hurt from those stairs), we walked for miles along the pier. It was a wonderfully active vacation.

Do I feel guilty I didn’t run? A little. I missed one training run. While it is still early in my half marathon training, I feel bad missing even one run. But uninterrupted time with my family is completely worth not getting those miles in.

I made myself a promise that the next vacation I go on my running clothes will come back in a tied up plastic bag, instead of still folded and clean.

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About Liz Ward 101 Articles
Liz Ward is a running fanatic, avid reader, and amateur farmer. She lives on the Oregon Coast with her husband, three kids, and a small herd of animals.