You can probably add this to the “You know you are a running dork when….” category. When my husband and I go on vacation or plan a vacation, we often structure them around some sort of running or at least plan some fun runs while on vacation. In fact, we just got back from a vacation and on the way home my husband asked me what my highlight of the trip was. I thought for a minute and said that I didn’t want to sound like that running dork but I really loved doing long runs along the hard packed beaches. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that was his highlight of the trip too. It shouldn’t be a surprise to either of us because we spent the last few months running in subzero temperatures and weaving through snow piles and icebergs.
Being a runner gives you a major bonus when it comes to trip planning. There are a ton of things you can discover on foot that you wouldn’t if you were confined to a car or a tour bus. Sometimes you don’t even have to plan it out. We have found our best and most unexpected discoveries when we were just out for a run. Or as I have mentioned in another post there are companies that will take you on a running tour in various cities.
When we booked our trip to the Dominican Republic a few years ago I specifically looked for a resort that had a gym because I knew that it was unsafe to go outside of the resort exploring. It worked out perfectly for us because we ate our body weight in buffet food and then some!
If we are looking to get away for the weekend we often search for new rail trails a few hours from home and perhaps a little inn or bed and breakfast to try out. Other times we have rented houses in upstate New York and asked around for recommendations of great places to run. We found out about the longest pedestrian bridge in the world spanning 1.28 miles across the Hudson River. If you are ever near Poughkeepsie I recommend checking out the Walkway Over The Hudson. Beyond the bridge is another 4 miles of rail trail, allowing for a picturesque 10 mile out and back run.
We ran over 70 miles during our trip to Aruba weaving around different paths and roads and stopping to check out local stores and vendors. I also did some beautiful runs on the gym treadmill that looked out onto the beach. One morning I caught a beautiful rainbow rising across the beach in front of me. By the way, this shopping technique works well on the pocketbook. We would run 3 miles to the shops and I would see something I really liked but had to determine whether I liked it enough to run 3 miles back with it tucked in my arms. In the end I only bought a new running headband!
It is funny how things change when we get older. Our trip last week to Florida was a special one for me. My parents have been going to the same place for the past twenty some years and I spent many a childhood spring break there. I hadn’t been back for over 10 years and this was my first time with my husband. No longer was I eager to head off for the day to Daytona Beach and find cute boys nor was I excited to sleep in each morning. Instead we were thrilled to get up and see the sun rise. Even better there was a pier about 10 miles away from the condo that one of my parents was happy to drop us off at each morning so we could enjoy a nice long beach run home.
These are some of the cool things we came across on our morning runs:
Vacations can certainly be about relaxing and kicking back. You don’t have to take your running shoes. But on the other hand vacations can be the perfect time to throw your shoes in your suitcase and get out and explore. Ask around for area trails or places to check out. We have had many a concierge tell us about places we never would have thought to run to. Get online and Google local running maps. Many runners post their runs and mileage, giving you some insight into the best places to check out. When in doubt, just lace up and go for it. I have found some of my best vacation memories out on my runcations.