Vacations made easy can happen even when you’re training for a marathon. And, as you know if you follow us, our team members, Courtney and Angela are in training for the Walt Disney Marathon. These teammates live in different cities. Courtney lives in Florida, and Angela lives in Tennessee. So, as they train for the marathon in January, they are doing it for the most part on their own. But, they decided to join up together after checking out some vacation deals. As a result, they vacationed in the Smokey Mountains. You’ll find the area along the border between North Carolina and Tennessee.
One of the exciting things that they decided to do during their vacation was to cross the Skybridge. And, if you’re not familiar with the Skybridge, it’s the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. The span of the bridge is 680. And, when you’re walking at the midpoint, you’re suspended 140 feet. Both Angela and Courtney decided to walk across it. Oh, did we mention the glass floor panels? And also the swaying of the bridge in the wind? No worries, our tough women consider the Skybridge walk one of their vacation highlights.
Before Courtney and Angela traveled, they knew that they had to get creative. Although the Walt Disney Marathon is still months away, they knew they couldn’t mess up on their training. In other words, they both knew that missing running intervals hurt, literally. So, planning was in order. Each of them figured out everything from the clothing they would wear while on vacation to the running shoes they’d pack. For example, Courtney explained that she has a pair of favorite running sneakers. But, she couldn’t bring them on this trip. Courtney did not want to get them ruined in the wilderness with mud and rain. She also decided to leave home a favorite pair of sunglasses she used at home because she did not want to lose them.
Once in the Smokey Mountains, both Angela and Courtney realized the impact of the change of climate on their bodies. A couple of weeks earlier, Angela had traveled to Florida, where it was much hotter. Although it’s warm in Tennessee, Florida was more heated. And, once the women got to North Carolina, both of them had to deal with the increase in altitude of nearly 1,000 feet. In other words, because of less oxygen, activities became tougher for both of them. For instance, on one day they took a hike, and although it lasted two hours, it was a significant challenge for the pair.
While Angela and Courtney both knew that they would want to take a few runs during their vacation, they also decided to cross-train. The reality is that although each of them has a passion for running, it can get monotonous at times. So, they decided that figuring ways to keep fit and cross-training would be a good change of pace. And, there’s nothing better in the Smokey Mountains than hiking in nature. But, on another day they also brought bikes and cross-trained for an 11-mile very hilly ride. It took them more than two hours to complete. Again, the thinner air forced them to exert more energy than at their homes. But, it was an excellent workout for each of them.
One of the essential activities for athletes is nutrition. And, while it’s easy to want to eat junk food, Courtney and Angela knew they had to think about their food. Yes, they decided that they wanted to indulge a little and eat some things they usually don’t. But, to stay on course, it was vital for them to bring and also purchase food that mostly kept to their regular training diet at home. And, that meant that they went out of their way during their vacation to find plenty of places to get vegetables and fruits. However, they did splurge a little with small deserts to celebrate their time in nature and together.
When asked about one of the most significant things that came out of their vacation together and training, they both highlighted one thing. While planning, food, cross-training, and other activities were necessary, it was the fact that they had a buddy that was welcome and rewarding. In other words, when Courtney and Angela train at home, they mostly train alone. As a result, they have to motivate themselves. No one else is going to do it for them. But, on vacation, they both appreciated having a training and running buddy. It helped them remember that they are not training for the Walt Disney Marathon alone. In sum, they may live in different states, but they are buddies in this adventure and on vacation!
In closing, we’re looking forward to hearing more about the adventures of Angela and Courtney. If you want to follow them yourself, you can do it on Instagram @wanderlist_adventures. In the meantime, we’re thankful to them for inspiring our athletic shoe drive fundraising social enterprise. And, we’re glad to have the chance to provide you with some of their tips for training and vacations made easy.
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