Oh, the places you’ll go!

I just got back from a nearly two-week-long vacation, and it was the first trip in at least a decade for which I didn’t pack my running shoes. And it was a really good trip, full of new parks, streets, and trails just waiting to be explored by this injured runner. GAAAAH!

I’m still jealous of the hill repeats my boyfriend did in Glasgow through Kelvingrove Park, the snowy trails he ran in Aberfeldy, which lead him to waterfalls and a hidden statue of the poet Robert Burns, and my brother-in-law’s pre-lunch run through bright and sunny Delft.

Fortunately,  I got some amazing sights of snowy Edinburgh from the almost-top of the Scott Monument

Look at all the ground I covered by climbing the Scott Monument!

Look at all the ground I covered just by climbing a terrifying staircase!

Edinburgh Castle

breathtaking views of Scottish lochs from a rented car…

Loch Tay seen from a Corsa.

Loch Tay seen from a Corsa.

saw a huge chunk of Amsterdam from a tram (I really did love the accidental tram trip, Meg!) and by walking briskly in the cold…

If I ran, I may have fallen into a canal! You never know.

If I had run, I may have fallen into a canal! You never know.

and sped through Delft on a borrowed bike.

Rolling through Delft.

Rolling through sunny Delft.

City Hall

I certainly made the best out of a bad situation and loved every minute of this unbelievable vacation, even without running shoes.

So what’s the big deal about running on vacation, you ask?

I’ve talked about running as a way to assess storm damage, and running on vacation is similar. You run because you have some miles to get in, but also because you’re eager to see some very unique sights. Running allows you to cover more ground than just a leisurely walking tour, but more slowly than speeding by in a car. Runners can also cut through alleys and other places forbidden to cars and bikes.

Some of my favorite memories and pictures from trips are the ones from runs, usually in the morning before the town wakes up.

In New Orleans, it was the empty streets in the mornings during Mardi Gras and the eerie cemetery we jogged through (a bit hesitantly).

Party Gras!!

Finally! Seeing the streets without being hit with beads or vomit!

Palm trees!

New Orleans

Graves are built above-ground in New Orleans because of the water level.

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Cemetery #1

In Washington, DC it was seeing the monuments in a quick enough time to hang around the Rally to Restore Sanity and hit the Marine Corps Marathon Expo.

A gorgeous day for a quick scoot around the mall.

A gorgeous day for a quick scoot around the mall.

Lincoln Memorial

Inside the memorial

Learning (and sweating) inside the Lincoln Memorial.

Behind the memorial

The signs at the Rally were hilarious!

The signs at the rally were hilarious!

More rally signs

Christmastime in Boston included a run through the Freedom Trail before a Boston Pops concert.

Frog Pond

City Hall

Freedom Trail Schoolhouse

During a friend’s wedding in Maine, it was an early morning run through Acadia National Park that got me some last-minute hills before my first marathon.

Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera for this run. It was gorgeous!

Unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera for this run. It was gorgeous!

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Running exploration on vacation can also be taken to a really fun extreme: get to know the area by planning an entire trip around a race. I’ve used this to justify trips a few times, my favorite being a vacation to Switzerland in 2011, centered around the SwissAlpine Half Marathon.

When a race starts in such an epic setting, how can you say no?

When a race starts in such an epic setting, how can you say no?

1 Mile

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The answer is yes, the altitude totally killed me, even at fun-run pace… but every exhausting step was worth it!

Can’t wait to get out and explore a new city in my running shoes! What have you enjoyed about running on vacation?

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4 thoughts on “Oh, the places you’ll go!

  1. You just have to repeat this European when you are back to running.

    Between vacations and business trips I have run in over 30 states. Doing that lets me see much more than most travelers. Highlights include a sunrise run along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, sneaking into Soldier Field in Chicago during an early morning run (hey – they left a gate open), running in 100+ degree weather in deserts, sort of running in -15 weather in Minnesota and….. and…..

    • Amazing! Congratulations on the 30+ states!! The sunrise run in the Grand Canyon sounds especially beautiful, and the “sneaking” runs are so much fun- it’s not your fault it was so accessible!

  2. Sounds like such a fun vacation! I’d love to visit Delft someday. Sorry your injury is still bothering you. We’ll have to compare notes…I’ve been having hip issues and I know Marc has had them for a while now.

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