Puerto Rico Run: Condado to Old San Juan

Puerto Rico run

Some of the street art seen on my Puerto Rico run.

I want to let everyone in on a secret: I’m training for a marathon, the St. Jude Memphis Marathon in December. Not really a big deal; I’ve run one before. But starting the training process the week before our week in Puerto Rico meant I’d need to get in a couple of runs in the island of enchantment. The great thing about my Puerto Rico run is that it was a unique way to see and experience the island.

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Vacation Exercise: Thinking Outside the Box

Vacation Exercise

Not sure how much exercise this tour provides, but a beer tour of Indianapolis while pedaling has to provide some cardio.

Do you ever find yourself on an exercise regimen only to be on a trip and skipping out on a week of workouts? Unless you’re training for a marathon or triathlon, skipping four or five days of workouts doesn’t matter. Trust me. It. Does. Not. Matter if you skip several days of exercise as you enjoy a destination. But as a former competitive runner, I do know the importance of getting in some quality vacation exercise. And as a parent, I know how hard it can be to get in vacation exercise while enjoying a destination and watching the little ones. So here are a few ways I’ve managed to break a sweat while traveling. And I’m not talking about 12-ounce curls. I’ve tried all of these alternative ways to get in some vacation exercise.

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Getting Older: 37 Life Travel Moments (part 1)

Venice Grand Canal

So, I’m 37 today. Another year, another number and a little closer to reaching the point of wondering what the hell happened to my youth. But I’m not feeling bad today. In fact, I’m celebrating. I’m celebrating my travel life. These 37 life travel moments aren’t necessarily the best or most memorable experiences. You won’t find seeing the Sistine Chapel or driving across the Golden Gate Bridge on here. Some of these experiences, in fact, are very minor. But looking back, I think these are 37 of the thousands of moments that have shaped me as the traveler I am today. In no particular order, here are 13 of my 37 life travel moments.

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Chasing Down a Backpack at Versailles


Why would anyone take a large backpack into the Chateau de Versailles, knowing it will have to be stored at baggage check? Better yet, why take it when it could be left in the rental car parked just outside?

You know those warnings local police are always touting during the holidays to not leave unattended shopping bags visible in the car? We heed those warnings everywhere we go. And quite honestly, it’s pretty solid advice. It was no different when we had two large packs that wouldn’t fit in the trunk of the car on a visit to the palace of Versailles. Logical solution: check them at baggage check.

Just try to remember baggage check closes earlier than the palace.

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Get fit for travel

I wasn't training for a trip, but I was well into the 2009 St. Jude Memphis Marathon.

I wasn’t training for a trip, but I was well into the 2009 St. Jude Memphis Marathon.

I’ve been known to do some pretty intense things when it comes to travel. I spend months reading guidebooks, studying maps and checking out blogs and travel forums. I also read novels set in a future destination, and watch documentaries and movies about it.

I’ve also been known to do some pretty intense things when it comes to exercise. In a former life I was a competitive high school and college cross country and track runner. I’ve since been an off-and-on competitive road racer, including a handful of half marathons and a full marathon. Not really all that crazy, I guess. But I’ve always said you have to be a unique individual to put your body through hours of pain pounding the pavement as a runner. And that goes for any endurance sport.

But what about when the two are combined? Last spring, for example, I trained for a half marathon that was a week and a half before our departure for a three-week trip to Europe. The reason for running the race? So I’d be in prime condition to handle the miles of walking.

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