Thursday, September 08, 2011

Have WOD, Will Travel

By Jenn Casey

This post was originally posted at my blog Rational Jenn at the end of June 2011. We'd been on a long vacation for my brother's wedding, and the vacation was a success for me on the diet and fitness fronts. I strayed from my usual paleo diet very moderately and very consciously, which I'd never been able to do before in my life! And I kept physically active, too, which is what the bulk of this post is about.)

So, I wrote a long meandering post about our recent road trip the other day, and I mentioned that I had gone a little lax paleo-wise.

Basically, that means I drank a bunch of beer, because, hey--the wedding was at a brewery. In Wisconsin. It would have been rude not to drink beer. I was doing it out of sheer politeness. Yeah. That's it.

I also ate wedding cheesecake and a piece of my son Sean's birthday cake and the odd piece of bread to go along with the beer-cheese fondue (again, I plead "Wisconsin"). But it's all good--I did everything in moderation, with full consciousness of what I was doing, and enjoyed every second of it! :D

But despite my occasional straying from my (mostly) paleo diet, I did pretty well on the exercise front! And I'm here to tell you all about it.

I was gone a total of 11 days, and that meant missing 5-6 CrossFit sessions. I knew I wouldn't do quite that many workouts while on vacation, but I wanted to do something. So I googled "travel wods" and found this nice list of body weight WODs that are perfect for traveling.

Here's what I ended up doing:

Day 1

We had a long long LONG drive that day. We went from our home to my mother-in-law's house in a mere 13.5 hours (including stops). By the time we got there, we were exhausted. What is it exactly that's exhausting about sitting in a car for hours and hours? Anyway, I was also kind of stiff and a muscle in my leg was protesting from all of that sitting around.

When we got to my MILs neighborhood, I had Brendan reset the odometer to track how far it was from the front of her neighborhood to her house. It was just at half a mile. Perfect!

So the first night, I warmed up for a few minutes (squats, lunges mostly) and then went for a run, to the front of the neighborhood and back. That's #11 (run one mile) on the list. I didn't time it; I just ran. I felt SO awesome after doing that. Much more like myself, less cramped and stiff, and very relaxed after our long day.


Day 2 was a rest day (and, um, uh. . . a beer-drinking day).


Day 3

In the morning my sister, her husband, and I took the kids to the pool for about an hour. Light non-WOD kind of exercise, but physical activity is physical activity.

Later that night, I danced for about three straight hours at the wedding reception. Not exactly an official WOD, but certainly a lot of exercise! Notably, I didn't get tired or really even out of breath during the dancing, and I credit this to my improved fitness since starting CrossFit! Just like Eliza, I could have danced all night. And I wasn't even really sore the next day.

Oh, and I did change out of my painful wedding shoes (they were even flats!) and into my VFFs for the reception. Yes. I told my brother and my new sister-in-law that I loved them enough to wear painful (though cute and matching) shoes to the wedding, but not enough to hurt my feet at the reception. They were cool with it. :)

So, no official WOD, but I count Day 3 as a day full of good exercise.


Days 4 and 5: Rest Rest and OMG Rest. We were SO tired from the wedding stuff, and just took a couple of leisurely days to hang out.


Day 6

Kind of a moderate physical activity day. Went with my mother-in-law and the kids to the pool for a couple of hours. Sean likes to hold my shoulders and ride on my back while I swim, so I did a lot of that. Not in WOD fashion though.

We also went for a walk (Sean on my shoulders, as usual) and did paddle boats for about 30 minutes. It's HARD, those paddle boats! No wonder my parents never wanted to do those when I was a kid! Anyway, that was a bit of a workout, and I wasn't sore for a second afterwards.


Day 7 was driving and rest. Took a little walk around a nice little town, but that's it.


Day 8

We were back in Chicago at my MIL's. I was feeling like I needed to do some kind of more intense exercise, so I checked my handy-dandy list and found #63, which is run 400m, 50 squats, run 400m, 50 push ups, run 400m, 50 sit ups, run 400m. No prob.

I couldn't be bothered to find the 400m mark in the neighborhood, so I modified the WOD and did about 1/3 of a mile, then the squats, 1/3 mile, push ups, 1/3 mile, sit ups. Same distance and exercises, just in a slightly more convenient format. I loosely timed it (meaning I checked the time before I went out and when I came back in, but did not monitor to the second) and did this in about 15 minutes.

It was a little odd-looking, I'm sure, to see me doing push ups along the sidewalk in the middle of my MIL's neighborhood (don't do them on the grass or blades of grass will go up your nose!), but I'm at the stage of my life where I don't really give a flying crap about such things.

I felt awesome afterwards. I was nervous that all that beer-drinking meant I was completely and utterly back out of shape forever and ever and was eager to prove to myself that I still had it. I still had it, baby! I don't know what I was worried about, but I blame the Perfectionism Monster.


Day 9 had no vigorous exercise in it really, but it did involve a nice long walk around Purdue. And s'mores (yum!).


Day 10 was another day with a nice long walk in it, but no vigorous exercise. Or s'mores. There was, as I recall, copious amounts of wine.

Day 11 was a long drive and no workout at all.

The day after I got home I went back to CrossFit and did some deadlifts (5 sets of 3) at a nice high (for me) weight: 145 pounds. Honestly, I probably could have gone higher, but I wanted to ease back into things a bit.

I'm proud that I was able to keep going with a couple of WODs and lots of other physical activity on my long road trip. It sure helps to have family around to hang with the kids so I can go for a quick run. I love the list of travel WODs, too, and plan to consult it on all of my future vacations. Including the mini-vacation I'm taking this weekend, where a couple of CrossFit-y friends and I are planning to meet up for at least one workout.

PS: I did meet my CrossFit-y friends and did more travel WODs with on my next trip, and managed to keep a nice level of physical activity on another vacation, too.

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