My Favorite Non-Running Activities
Running & Fitness

My Favorite Non-Running Activities

Of my many mistakes during 2016 Dopey Challenge training, (Lord, I’ve made a’plenty,) my biggest was not doing enough cross training. I felt the effects of this after coming home and barely being able to finish an Insanity workout despite being trained enough to run 48.6 miles.

Back then, I followed the Hal Higdon Dopey plan that had me running up to five times a week, not leaving much room for cross training. This time around, I’m following the gentler Jeff Galloway Dopey Challenge plan that calls for only three weekly runs in the beginning months. I’d love to run more–especially after being sidelined for so long, but making smart choices is key to a successful full recovery. So. Three a week it is (for now) … and I’m grateful for it!

Good thing I have plenty of favorite non-running activities to get me back to fit and lose the weight I’ve gained while injured. And it’s also today’s Tuesdays on the Run topic that’s hosted by My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs! So here’s my top five.

My Favorite Non-Running Activities

1.) Cycling

Biking is by far my favorite non-running activity, since it’s the only one I can share with my husband and we love hitting the trails on weekend. At the beginning of July, we treated ourselves to brand-new Trex bikes for our 24th Anniversary … seeing as how this gal ain’t the flowers/pricey jewelry type. We then tested those new bikes hard by doing a four-day, 100 mile Bikes & Beer Challenge!

Total blast.

And a total booty buster. We rode both familiar and unfamiliar trails, starting with the C&O Canal from Brunswick, Maryland to beyond Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia for a total of 25 miles and one beer break!

The next day we banked some miles by traveling 31 miles the Heritage Rail Trail from Glen Rock to York, Pennsylvania. On July 3rd, our anniversary, we went back to the C&O, this time going from Point of Rocks to White’s Ferry for 29.1 miles. Then on the 4th, we did the Northern Rail Trail from Monkton to Ashland for an easy 15 miles.

100 Beers & Bike Challenge DONE!!

My Favorite Non-Running Activites

Our next challenge will be biking the 42 miles along Northern Central and Heritage Rail Trail from Ashland, Maryland into York, Pennsylvania where we’ll spend the night, and then biking home the next day. We hope to attempt this challenge this summer so more about that soon!

My Favorite Non-Running Activities! #werunsocial #crosstraining #running Click To Tweet

2.) Kayaking

My Favorite Non-Running Activities

Another favorite activity is kayaking! I have both a single and tandem kayak at our beach house and there’s nothing like hitting the bay for sunset. This has been a fantastic activity for me while I was injured, since it gave my foot a break. What’s odd, though, is how sore my calves are afterwards even though I’m not bracing with my feet! Bob and I did three miles over rough water this past Sunday and they’re still sore.

We’re not the only ones who love kayaking. Check out our Aitch, aka #WeinerOnTheWater!


And speaking of challenges, our summer kayaking challenge is to go from our house to Seacrets, (a popular restaurant and bar,) for a drink and then kayaking back home. It’d be about four miles round trip and doesn’t sound like much, but there’s some choppy water along the way and we still don’t have kayaking in the tandem quite down yet. So yep. Challenge!

3.) Hiking

About a week before I got the official go-ahead to begin running again, I took Aitch for a pee break near the woods during my eldest son’s baseball game. There was a hiking trail there that I’ve done a 5k on a long, long time ago and for some reason, my feet took over and I ended up walking the shorter one-mile trail with Aitch stopping to sniff every two feet. It reminded me of something.

How much I love to hike.

Due to Bob’s hip issues, we haven’t gone hiking for many years. Now he’s having back nerve problems, (sigh–been a rough year health-wise for both of us,) so my son and I have a goal to go hiking at least once this summer. That’s not a lot, but considering our hectic schedules, it will have to do.

4.) Archery

Another activity that I absolutely love but haven’t done in years! My son eldest is a very accomplished archer and everyone in my family has said they’d like to shoot more, even if it’s in the pasture one evening at straw bales. So the goal is to do some archery at least twice this summer … although considering my eldest son will be starting back at college earlier than before, twice might have to turn into once!

My son better wax my compound bow’s strings, though. They might be dry-rotted by now!

5.) Yoga

This is a total lie. Yoga is NOT one of my favorite non-running activities. But it’s something my body desperately needs so I’m listing it in a hopeful attempt to convince myself that I DO LOVE IT, like, really, really, really a lot!

Okay, not working.

And I’ve tried to love yoga but I can never settle and focus with zen-like serenity. Instead, my mind runs rampage with ricocheting thoughts bounding back and forth in my brain over stuff like my to-do lists and what to cook for dinner and how I really need to finish a chapter today.

Then there’s the obscure thoughts such as were the Breakfast Club kids still friends on Monday? What would happen right now if I farted? And for the love of God, why did Billy Joe McAllister jump off the Tallahatchie Bridge???

But I can feel how stiff and inflexible my body has become, especially my left leg, from my prolonged injury. Yoga would do it … and my wandering mind … a world of good. So I’m incorporating it into my six-month Dopey Training Plan.

My Favorite Non-Running Activities! #werunsocial #crosstraining #running Click To Tweet

So there you go, my five favorite non-running activities. What about you?

QOTD: What are your favorite non-running sports or activities? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Take care and happy running!

Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger, vlogger, wife to an amazing guy for 26 years, mom of two wonderful boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that plus she can quote most lines from Talladega Nights. Shake and bake!

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  1. You’ve listed all of mine–I do love me some yoga, tho! I also like strength training.

    1. My goal to do more yoga this summer hasn’t exactly been going well. I’m thinking of signing up for a class because one I spend the money, I’ll go! 😉

  2. I do love yoga — it’s just a matter of squeezing it in! And I love swimming, but again, don’t do it as much as I would if I weren’t a runner.

    I keep saying I’m going to try kayaking and I never get around to it!

    1. I’ve never been much of a swimmer … unless you count doggy paddling. 😉 My next challenge is paddle boarding!

  3. I can’t turn my brain off either for yoga. I’ve got too much going on up there. I do have a stretching routine I do before bedtime, but I have the TV on, so really not yoga at all.

    1. Sounds close enough to yoga to me! 😉

  4. I also enjoy cycling (i have an indoor spin bike) and I go through phases with yoga. I know I should do it more but its hard for me to slow down that much!

    1. I love doing indoor spinning at home as well … but I use a 25-year-old stationary bike. Quite a big difference but it gets the job done. 😉 Maybe one day I’ll get an actual spin bike, like when my boys are done with college!

  5. I don’t love biking. I wish I did.
    Hate swimming.
    I love tennis but it’s hard to fit in.
    Yoga is good for me & I know I should do it more.
    I love hiking but my hubby does not so I need to find a hiking buddy.

    1. Oh man, if I lived near you, I’d totally be a hiking buddy! I’ve yet to hit a trail and the summer is just cruising by. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Jennalyn says:

    You always crack me up!
    I hate yoga too~ you just never know if a fart is coming in your 40’s… I’m still laughing!!

    1. Sad but true. I worry for those behind me during a race. 😉

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