So, I tried to keep up some semblance of a running schedule between the hiking while on the Canada and US road trip. But for the South America trip I had to let running be a rarity. If we were in a hotel with treadmills, I tried to use them, but more often than not, we were in AirBNBs or rural hotels without gyms. When I did manage to get out for a run outdoors, I often had to cut runs short due to getting lost, South American street dogs, or just pure laziness and a desire to take walk breaks.
In short, for the first time since late 2004, I don't have an accurate daily Excel log of my running/walking/workouts for the last 2 months or more. I've just been doing what feels natural and good. I definitely got in some great mileage and altitude in the hiking in Peru, and after that, most of the daily sight-seeing walking and random hill climbing felt like I was maintaining a decent commitment to fitness.
I also fit in a couple of treadmill speed workouts that hinted at some definite improvements despite the time off.
It even seemed, from the fit of our clothes, that both E and I were losing weight during the first half of the trip.
The last 3 weeks, however, was the road trip full of car-sitting and limiting our strenuous sight-seeing to ensure my mom was comfortable. Oh, and we ate all of the delicious food.
Net-net, I got back to the inlaws in the US after 9 weeks away and after tons of travel and food indulgence, the scale was exactly even with what it was when we left for South America. My legs do seem to have a bit more muscle than they did before we left (which makes sense from all the climbing), but I also managed to tweak my right knee and hamstring a bit from the hiking and stairs on our travels, *plus* I arrived back in the US with a fairly nasty head cold.
Suffice it to say that for the last two days, I've been heading out for some basic mileage with absolutely no attention to pace in an effort to ease my way back into some sort of regular running habit for the end of the year. It's been nice not to have any running goals/obligations, but today, after reading some friends' running blogs and stringing together 3 pleasant easy miles in the Atlanta hills without stopping, I started to get that itch... I just may want to try to find a race in our upcoming travels.