I am a huge fan of running while on vacation, so it’s no surprise that I packed my running shoes on a recent vacation to Scandinavia. My husband and I visited Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki and everywhere we went, there were runners in large numbers jogging along the waterfront, through parks, and along lovely paved trails. I was especially impressed with the dedication of runners in Finland. Even when it was 13 degrees, windy and pouring rain, there were still runners out in large numbers running along a paved waterfront path. Now, that is some serious dedication.
The one thing missing from all these great running spots was me. I didn’t lace up my shoes once. Nope. I was too busy sampling the local meatballs in each country.
OK, that’s not entirely true. We were incredibly active while travelling. We walked everywhere. We rented bikes three times and toured the interesting parts of the various cities, and we completed something massive. A feat of epic proportions. The 30-Day Ab Challenge.
This 30 day challenge was sent to me in late May and we somehow decided it would be a good idea to start it June 1, fully knowing that we would have to complete the later, more challenging portions while on vacation. Somehow we managed. Even while aboard a cruise boat from Copenhagen to Oslo, we found a way to fit in these ridiculous workouts each day. I lived for the rest days. They were much needed. Into the last week, each workout was a massive effort and my abs hurt so much that laughing or sneezing was painful.
Frankly, the intensity of these daily challenges derailed any notion of a leisurely vacation run. After touring around all day on foot or by bike and capping the day off with a grueling 30-minute ab workout, the last thing I felt like doing was going out for a jog around a park.
Now we all know that a strong core helps with running, so I can only hope that this arduous challenge has some impact as I gear up to start training for the Scotiabank Half Marathon in October. At the very least, my abs are strong! I took a before and after photo for my own documentary purposes and there was some definite improvement. Now that we’re back on Canadian soil at our sedentary desk jobs, enjoying after work cocktails on patios, I assume all muscle gain will be promptly lost.
Nevertheless, it was a good challenge and one that frankly, I didn’t think I had the drive or motivation to see through to the end, especially on vacation. I dare you to try it!
Not down with sit-ups? Try this (much easier) 30-day burpee challenge.
What 30-day challenges have you tried?