Monthly Archives: July 2013

Road Trippin’

The official ROAD TRIPPING leg of our summer vacation began yesterday. We cheated somewhat by flying to our first destination, but Wednesday my dad drove us across statelines from Boise to Bozeman. Montana includes lots of nature & hiking! Sitting in a car for 8 hours isn’t exactly ideal vacationing but the views alone made it worth while, with the addition of music, a couple episodes of Gilmore Girls and of course healthy snacks of fruit & Luna bars.

I know this doesn’t have much to do with health and fitness but I am just so in awe of this beautiful country-side, I have to share :) And from a runner’s perspective, places like this are so inspiring to be outdoors in nature exploring!

Boise River Greenbelt run (

Before driving 500 miles, we got up a little after six so I could knock out my last run along the Boise River Greenbelt of this summer (definitely not my last run here ever, I’ll be back!) Our hotel was in an ideal position, midway along the 9-mile greenbelt. One day I could run 5 miles upstream and back, the next day 4 miles downstream and back. I didn’t have a favorite direction; each had miles of gorgeous scenery, pretty parks and golf courses and plenty of fellow runners (friendly ones who wave “hi” and everything!)

Boise River sunset collage (stronglikemycoffee

Sunset in Boise…..almost 10pm!

Driving Boise to Bozeman was one of the most beautifully scenic trips I’ve taken and I couldn’t wait to get out of the car and start trekking in some of those mountains. But the weather had other plans. Five minutes after checking into our hotel, a thunder and lightning cloud took over the skies, it became so dark outside. We took shelter in Montana Ale Works until the sun re-emerged and we could explore downtown.

Montana rainbow ( know I was on the lookout for a one-of-a-kind coffee shop on our downtown tour. My family has a rule on vacations: NO chain restaurants. When we travel, we will never eat at an Olive Garden/Panera/Subway because part of the fun of being in a new place is trying their local cuisine! We usually find locally-owned breweries or eclectic cafes. Same goes for coffee shops, so no Starbucks this week ;)

Wild Joes Coffee Spot ( Wild Joe’s Coffee Spot, local singers were taking turns at the mike. I ordered a couple sugar-free almond americano’s and stayed for two of the artists’ performances. The first girl had a mellow vibe, great voice. I mean, she wasn’t any Phoebe Buffay but not everyone can live up to Smelly Cat‘s standards ;)

Wild Joe's Coffee Spot mike night (

I can’t even explain today’s run through the Gallatin Recreation Area, which initially starts out as a one-mile gravel loop around a pond and picnic area from which a whole network of sub-trails heads off in every direction, eventually leading back to the same pond. It made for a spontaneous “make-it-up-as-you-go-along” route…..Turn! Straight! Left! Uphill! Over the bridge!  I had to keep taking mental pictures to put in my memory bank and appreciate when I’m back to reality on 5am treadmill session.

Gallatin Recreation Area Run (

Gallatin Recreation Area views (

Gallatin Recreation Area pond (

Gallatin Rec Area horses ( whoa whoa, back up. Horses? Running next to pastures with grazing horses on one side, bulls and cows on the other wasn’t exactly the most delightful smelling but sure isn’t something that happens at home very often.

Gallatin rec area horse run (

Good morning, Guys! :)

I’ll stop gushing about my morning at the park now, though I think the Dixie Chicks song Wide Open Spaces is an appropriate summary of my fondness for open fields, open skies and endless trails.

Tomorrow morning is filled with more Montana sights and I have one thing on my mind: Wild Huckleberries. I hope there are fields of them for picking like I’m picturing in my head…. ;)

Hotel Gym Workout

Know what’s great about hotel fitness rooms? They are almost always empty! A personal training room :) There is nothing about this workout that makes it specific to hotel gyms so feel free to complete in the comfort of your living room, dorm room, or even at the gym.

Hotel Gym Workout (or dorm room, at home, anywhere workout)

We’ve been staying at a hotel in Boise and of course the exercise room was the first thing I checked out when I got here. It’s the best hotel fitness room I’ve seen, not claustrophobic and has a decent amount of equipment! Two treadmills, stationary bike, elliptical, three strength machines, full set of dumbbells, mats and medicine balls plus open space, surround sound, tv and air conditioning. Can’t really ask for much more, can we? It was empty after we first arrived and I had been sitting in the car/airplane for a few hours so I got right to making up my own circuit.

You will need:

  • A timer
  • Set of weights (I used 10-lb. dumbbells)

Hotel Gym Workout, easy for on the go, at home or in your dorm (

Complete 5 sets of Circuit One and then move on to 5 sets of Circuit Two.

A little explanation for circuit one: On sets 1/3/5 do 12 x bicep curls; On sets 2/4 do 12 x tricep extensions. Circuit workouts are designed to go straight from one exercise to the next, keeping the rest time to a minimum. Your heart rate will stay elevated that way!

I know some people like to think of the motto “I’m on vacation” as a guilt-free excuse to indulge in extra foods and take a break from working out. Honestly, staying fit is easier on vacation because there’s no tight schedule to squeeze it into, you’re not exhausted from work or school, and it’s a great way to sight-see if you’re getting active outside. Plus you will feel better about any extra snacking you do, knowing it’s being somewhat counteracted by physical activity. And exercise keeps me happy and feeling good, so vacation and exercise go together like peanut butter & bananas if you ask me :)

Back to the Boise River for us, we have an afternoon of rafting. Catch ya on the flip side!

Boise river Greenbelt Run (

Sunday Summer Training Summary: Training on VACATION

I blog to you from beautiful (and I mean beauuuuutiful) Boise, Idaho. No potato jokes, please. Boise is ranked as one of the most active cities in America by Men’s health and already I can see why! Yesterday I ran through Ann Morrison park which was full of people playing disk golf, walking their dogs, swimming and tubing in the Boise River. In the heart of downtown, roads were closed off for the Twilight Criterium bike races, which brought thousands of spectators. But let’s back up a bit….

Just like any work day, Saturday morning began at 4:30am. Three hours later we were a mile above Southern California, coffee included.

Staying healthy and fit on vacation ( sat behind the cutest little boy in a superman cape and baby-sized Vans, who was thrilled when he got to check out the pilot’s cabin. Adorable! Look at the vending machine inside Boise’s airport….I knew I was going to like this city. :)

vending machine 1

We wanted to be outside exploring right away. I think I packed more running clothes than normal clothes, so I was ready to get sweaty! A block from our hotel is Ann Morrison Park which sits right next to the Boise River. First run of vacation completed within three hours of arriving. It’s so nice running somewhere new and following an unknown trail, especially after weeks of the same route at my house. No treadmills this week!

Ann Morrison Park Run (

Running, working out and being healthy is still a priority for my family on vacation. Of course we treat ourselves to great restaurants and dessert, but we booked all hotels with kitchens so we can still cook our own food too and work running/biking/hiking into daily plans. I don’t think running in Boise will be a “chore” at all; it’s scenic views every where you look with tons of people out biking and jogging.

After showering and getting ready to go out for the night, we drove to Les Bois Park for my first time watching Horse Racing! You only have to be 18 to bet on the races so it was my first gambling experience too. Getting craaaazy with the $2 wagers ;) I have no clue how to pick which horse to bet on, so I went strictly off of name. “Eyema Loven You” sounded pretty cute so I put $2 on him/her to “show”. Guess what?! SHE WON! I was so excited :) I grabbed my ticket and went to collect my winnings. I wondered how much I won! You can imagine my facial expression when the teller handed me my prize……a whopping TEN CENTS. I never have super high expectations but a dime? I had to laugh.

Horse racing at Les Bois (

Les Bois Horse Races (

Beautiful Boise (

Horseracing ticket (

Downtown Boise was hoppin’ on Saturday afternoon! We headed downtown after the races,  which was packed with people watching the Twilight Criterium bike road races. The athletes were riding at such incredible speeds, dozens of bikes whizzing past, it’s amazing they weren’t just a tangle of tires and legs.

Every restaurant was loud, crowded and lively and it was so bizarre to be eating dinner at 9 o’ clock at night with the sun still up! We noticed the friendliness of the people right away! Everyone we’ve seen looks so fit, dresses so cute, and just seems overall more personable and polite than what we’re used to. I could 100% get used to this place and since Boise State University is literally across the street from our hotel we are going to do a walking tour later today. Just for kicks ;)

This week’s training schedule doesn’t exactly look like the past four spreadsheets because each days’ run will be on a new trail we find through out our road trip with strength workouts in hotel gyms. Needless to say this will be a very active vacation and I’m excited to see different parts of the country on foot, doing what I love most: running.

I will have a complete “Hotel Room Workout” up tomorrow because this is turning into a pretty long post.  Off to explore :)

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