Thumbs down to marathon training while on vacation

I have been away on vacation for the past 2 weeks in Crete (Greece), and while it was fantastic, I am glad to be back and catch up with all of you.  If Crete interests you, you can check out my first post here (Chania region) and my second post will be coming out mid week, as well as some “Vacation-fessions” soon !

In short, training didn’t go well / as planned. We flew to Greece on the Friday, so this is a Friday to Friday recap :

Week of July 29th (Chania)

We were staying in a small apartment in a small complex in a resort town. Notice the spiral stairway in the background of the photo.


There were roads but no specific biking or running path. It was 80 degrees at 7 a.m. Not the best running conditions, but I went out any way. In short :

  • Friday : Flew to Greece
  • Saturday : 6,5 K in 50 minutes
  • Sunday : Off
  • Monday : Off
  • Tuesday : 9K in 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Wednesday : Off
  • Thursday : 8K hike

Physically, the week was tough. Before leaving for Greece I had done a 27K run on the Thursday because I knew this would not get done while in Greece. We arrived in Greece on Friday and not sure if it was the long run, new bedding, travel, change of temps… but I had both a pinched nerve in my upper back / neck AND my left sciatic nerve was protesting by Sunday morning. I NEVER have issues with my left sciatic and my pinched nerve is something that comes and goes but had been gone for at least 5 years !

I am sure this didn’t help :

  • I was wearing flip flops alot.


… going up and down that narrow spiral staircase. Every time I would go down the stairs (with feet at a funny angle because of the stairs) my right achilles would pop / make this snapping sound. And I went up and down those stairs 10 times a day. So the first few days were not ideal running conditions.

On Wednesday we went to the beach and all the tension in my back and neck disappeared, though my achilles continued to snap. On Thursday I was good to go for our hike. It was only 8K but it took us over 3 hours. I was wearing sneakers and there were a lot of rocks and it was up and down for the whole 3 hours.

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I loved the hike but it was tough and I did it in my running sneakers. I was surprised that I was not sore in the days that followed but my feet were fatigued from the rocky terrain.

Week of August 5th  (Rethymnon):

Week 2 we were at all all inclusive resort along the water. I was excited there were walking paths but the stones were a killer to run on, despite the great view. There was no give what so ever and it was very uneven and all ups & downs.


  • Friday : (travel to change locations)
  • Saturday : 7,7K
  • Sunday : 4,5K with walking & some running (hill repeats) + some upper body weight. Then went sight seeing in flat sandals. Bad idea.
  • Monday : Pilates
  • Tuesday : Aquagym
  • Wednesday : 45 minute walk
  • Thursday : Rest
  • Friday : Travel back to France


The Sunday sightseeing (combined with all the rest) in un-supportive sandals did something to both my feet, though the right one was the worse. I couldn’t put any pressure on my foot, as soon as I stepped I would get shooting pains up through my heel. Under the left heel wasn’t much better.  It was very painful and I started to have nightmares about training and not being able to run. So I stopped. And spent the next few days in a horizontal position around the pool. I think this was a very smart choice because after about 2 days everything seemed better, but I kept off it until Saturday.

  • Saturday : 4 x 1 mile repeats in my usual stomping ground + warm up and cool down : 13km
  • Sunday : 6 km walk

As much as I would have liked to run more, the conditions were not great for training. Terrain, heat, hills, sandals, narrow spiral staircase…. so I figured rest would be best. I have now adapted my training plan a bit to get back to it. While I have no pain per say, I have a very minor throbbing still under my left heel and I feel stiff. My leg muscles are stiff, both my achilles are stiff…despite a massage, stretching and foam rolling. Hoping that this shall pass so I can get back into a regular routine.

And that’s a wrap.

I am linking up with Holly and Tricia at Hoho runs and Misssippipiddlin for their Weekly Wrap.

How do you adapt your training while on vacation ? 


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Comments: 22

  1. Heather @ August 15, 2016 at 1:22 pm Reply

    I’ve always wanted to go to Greece! Love the recap. I know what you mean about sandals… Living in FL they are always my go to “shoe” but are HORRIBLE for your feet. I’ve traded looking cute in my flats to wearing running shoes all the time, haha.

    • Karen - Fit in France August 16, 2016 at 8:25 am Reply

      Yes, I can feel my feet have suffered this summer. I am always in open shoes / sandals and it is not a great idea.

  2. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets August 15, 2016 at 2:43 pm Reply

    I thought your recap was going to be about not getting any runs in at all while on vacation, but you did! The terrain definitely looks tough and the heat really makes running miserable. I think you did a great job! I hope you feel better soon and rest your feet!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Philly Marathon Training Week 2 RecapMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France August 16, 2016 at 8:25 am Reply

      I am sure things will be back to normal soon. I will take it a bit easy if needed.

  3. Chaitali August 15, 2016 at 3:53 pm Reply

    Oh no, sorry about the pain you had while on vacation 🙁 I’m impressed you ran at all while you were there! You got a lot in with those conditions. The aquagym sounds interesting. Was it like an aerobics class in the pool?
    Chaitali recently posted…Weekly ReviewMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France August 16, 2016 at 8:24 am Reply

      Yes, aerobics in the pool. Much easier on the joints.

  4. lacey@fairytalesandfitness August 15, 2016 at 5:36 pm Reply

    My training usually gets put on the back burner while on vacation. I have never been to Greece. How fun!
    lacey@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…Weekly Wrap…Nothing Bundt CakesMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France August 16, 2016 at 8:23 am Reply

      I would definitely recommend Greece, something for everyone.

  5. Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy August 15, 2016 at 5:42 pm Reply

    I can usually get my runs in on vacation, but then, most of my vacations are racecations anyway!

    I’m so sorry you were having so many problems on vacation — that’s no fun at all.

    I’ll be adapting my training this week, slowly getting in some runs — I hope, anyway — and slowly rebuilding my mileage. You’ve still got 10 weeks — hopefully everything will settle down and be no problem at all.
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…To race or not to race: 8/8-14 Weekly WrapMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France August 16, 2016 at 8:22 am Reply

      Fingers crossed that everything settles down for my niggles… I am trying not to stress over it.

  6. Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner August 16, 2016 at 4:51 am Reply

    As much as I try to, it’s hard to stay on track while on a family vacation. Enjoy your trip running will be there when you get home
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Blueberry Iced Tea SpritzerMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France August 16, 2016 at 8:21 am Reply

      Yes, that is the attitude I adopted and I was fine with it.

  7. Tricia Vaughn August 16, 2016 at 8:30 pm Reply

    I’ve moved around my long runs to better suit my traveling too. Like you, I go and do way more than I probably should have during marathon training. But unlike you I did not take care of myself as much and it did lead to problems. I’m glad you were smart about your training. With this being your 2nd you know way better at what your body is capable of so getting back in the grove of training will be fine. Glad you had a wonderful vacation! I so loved all the pictures!
    Tricia Vaughn recently posted…National Rum DayMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France August 16, 2016 at 9:09 pm Reply

      Thanks Tricia. I am feeling much better now that I am back in my normal routine and running under my normal conditions.

  8. Karen Bayne August 16, 2016 at 10:20 pm Reply

    Sandals are tough – I can’t do that type of footwear anymore for that reason, the fatigue is too much for my feet. Hopefully you will feel some relief very soon:) The pool is good TLC.
    You were still really active, but I know it is hard when you take a break right in the middle of training.
    Hiking rocky terrain is tough in sneakers, sometimes even in trail shoes, but the views and experience looked is worth it!
    That rocky path at the resort does look tough. I have run on old cobblestones and it very tough on the joints.
    Anyway, you are home now, you will ease back into your routine 🙂 Take your time and I hope the aches stop.
    The staircase looks really cool!
    Karen Bayne recently posted…Klutzy and HotMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France August 18, 2016 at 7:52 pm Reply

      Yes, I am being very careful of my feet and Achilles… the snapping sound really freaked me out. I am taking the elevator now rather than going up and down the stairs.

  9. HoHo Runs August 16, 2016 at 11:48 pm Reply

    Just mentioning an Achilles issue makes my heart race. I spent so much time rehabbing one of mine. All sandals and flip-flops I wear now must have some lift in the back. I can’t do flat. You were very smart to get off your feet and relax at the pool! You’ve got plenty of running under your belt and lots of time to get back to your marathon training. No sweat. Greece looks and sounds incredible. I so enjoiy an all-inclusive resort! Thanks for linking, Karen.

    • Karen - Fit in France August 18, 2016 at 7:50 pm Reply

      Yeah, the flips flops and flats were a really bad idea.

  10. Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home August 18, 2016 at 10:23 pm Reply

    I think all that hiking counts for cross training! But boo to the heel and achilles pain! I hope you stretch it all out and it just goes away…
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…So I Run…My Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France August 19, 2016 at 9:33 am Reply

      OMG me too. I was a bit panicked about the whole thing.

  11. Andy August 24, 2016 at 11:13 pm Reply

    thats a pretty cool picture of aqua gym training class! Has that benefited you greatly in your runs for the future? Amazing discipline to keep the workout going during vacation! High praise for that!
    Andy recently posted…The Ultimate Buyers Guide for a Massage Foam RollerMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France August 27, 2016 at 8:53 pm Reply

      I love aqua gym. Variety is really important, not sure if it helps my running though.

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