To me sticking to the schedule isn’t a chore; rather my daily run (or swim or bike) is a treat for myself that makes me feel accomplished and indulgent. Some people like ice cream or chocolate or movies, but I love both ice cream AND running (thank goodness I like something to balance out ALL that ice cream) so it’s all very convenient. There are certainly days where I want to feel normal and take the time to hit snooze, sip coffee on the couch, or have my jeans and shirt be the first outfit of the day as opposed to running shorts and a sports bra. But I wouldn’t trade more normalcy for the feeling of accomplishment and the good health that being so active has brought me any day of the week. Not ever.
Especially while on vacation I would truly rather wake up, spend some time on me and see the city on foot before everyone else arises. Pounding the pavement lets you see a new place in a way that you never could by car, bus or train, and in my experience it’s a great way to get the lay of the land and see what the locals experience. I’ve run by street fairs, vendors setting up, cafés opening, locals going to work, surfers scouting the waves, markets lining up fresh fruit, breakfast being served, children boarding school busses and so much more, and without the rush hour traffic, tourist lines, and city noise it allows me to feel part of what’s happening in my temporary home.
Also, vacation should be about indulgence and spending time experiencing a new place and doing what you enjoy. I enjoy running so much so it’s only natural that without the pressures of work, cleaning house, cooking dinner, and other general life and schedule stuff, it feels even more awesome to take the time to run and really relish every stride without worrying about having to hurry in my shower to get to work on time.
In the past few years we’ve been very fortunate to travel a lot. Hawaii, Mexico, Boston, Paris, Nice, London, Venice, Florence, Milan, Berkeley, Penticton and Portland all immediately come to mind. All are such wonderful places to run, and I have great running memories in each city. It’s too hard to choose a favorite place to run, so here are some of the routes I’ve experienced that have added to the mileage I’ve accrued over the years.
Vacation running is truly the best kind of running there is.