Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Running on vacation - be adventurous!

I often hear people either they don't want to exercise while they are on vacation, or that I am crazy for running when I am out of town. I have found vacation runs to be among my favorite. There's nothing quite like the freedom of going to a new city, lacing up my running shoes and exploring. 

Last summer we did a road trip in the western U.S. to Montana. There was nothing quite like going for an early run in Des Moines, Iowa. Another of my favorite places to run is while visiting my parents in Morgantown, West Virginia. I wasn't a runner when I was in college there, so I enjoy exploring campus through the eyes of a runner. (For the record - it's hilly).

Jumping for joy in front of Iowa's state capitol in Des Moines

My husband and I are avid college football fans, and during a college football road trip to State College, PA last year I went for an early run on Penn State's campus. It was over Thanksgiving week, and there was nobody out. I felt like I had the entire town to myself. It's the best feeling.

At the Lion Shrine in State College, PA

Ultimately I want to do a race in every state, but just getting out to run everywhere we travel is such an adventure. I don't often map out a route or know entirely where I'm going, but it's a freeing feeling to just take off and figure it out.

A few years ago while staying at a Westin Hotel in Denver, I found out a cool thing - Westin has Runner's World maps for 3 and 5 mile loops at many of its hotels. They are handy little laminated cards that you can stick in your shorts pocket. Very cool.

So during your summer vacation pack your running shoes. I'm planning to run on the beach in Riviera Maya and the Freedom Trail in Boston this summer. Running clothes don't take up that much room...pack yours!

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