Monday, November 1, 2010

Motivational Mondays: A Running Tourist

I've always liked traveling. When I was younger, I liked the idea of traveling since I didn't have much money for... anything, let alone traveling. As I got a little older and started to work, I did some traveling.

In my pre-weight loss days, I visited such countries as Trinidad & Tobago, Japan and Germany and went to cities like Dallas and Chicago. I did some sightseeing, some touristy stuff while in those respective locations (all but Germany were work-related trips).

Now that I'm slimmer and enjoy running, I look back and think of those trips as missed opportunities. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed those trips... most of them. But looking back on it now, I could have logged some awesome, memorable and unique runs. I mean, how many people can say they've run in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad? It's a bummer too because Port-of-Spain has a huge park in the middle of the city, the Queen's Park Savannah, or the Savannah as the locals call it. It's a little more than two miles around the diameter of the Savannah, and along one side are these cool Victorian homes called the Magnificent Seven. Not sure if they are government buildings or just some old homes that used to house royalty or British elite (Trinidad was a former British colony) or what. How cool would it have been to run alongside that?

Or how about the Schwarzwald in Germany, otherwise known as the Black Forest. How awesome would it have been to say that I've run in the frickin Black Forest? Or in Munich where we stayed one night? I could easily have gotten up early and knocked out a four-miler the morning we were in Munich. I mean, had I been in the shape I am now back then. I wouldn't have been able to run four miles anywhere in 2004... you get the point.


Well, instead of fretting too much, I use that as motivation. I was a different person when I went on those trips. I looked different and had different priorities. Exercise was not among those priorities.

Now, of course, I love to run. I am a runner. I am a marathoner. When I think of far-flung cities like Seattle (where I spent the weekend), Denver, Salt Lake City or foreign countries like Greece and China, I think of runs and races. I'd love to go back to Seattle and run a marathon. I'd love to run a marathon in Salt Lake City and Denver and Chicago and Phoenix and Athens and the Great Wall of China. Mrs. LB said she is down with me running the Athens Marathon so one day, we'll make it happen.

But I'd also just love to run through such cities, even if no race was involved. No matter how you experience cities, to me the best way to experience any of them is on foot, not in a car or bus or cab or on a train or airplane. So when I run somewhere new, I'm seeing things up close and am taking time to absorb them.

That's what made my first trip to San Francisco so memorable. I got to run past Fisherman's Wharf and on The Embarcadero. I got to run on the Golden Gate Bridge. My first time on the Bridge was on a run. How awesome is that?

Trips to Seattle, Montreal, Mexico City and San Diego in the last 18 months have all included runs, none of them were races, all of them were memorable.

Running has opened the door for many memorable moments, and I'm taking full advantage of them now.


Book Worm Runs said...

I totally agree...exploring on foot is the best way to see everything! My boss is from Trinidad and she has told me amazing things about it and has shown me tons of picrutes and it looks beautiful. That would have definitely been a great place to run! :o)

Amanda said...

Sounds like heaven to me. I'm a local and I've never even gotten to run on the Golden Gate. On that note, Darn you for saying something about the SF Marathon lol. Now it's mulling around in my head, but I do agree we should meet up next year if you two are here.

I think traveling and running go together perfectly.

Kerrie T. said...

Great post, LB!

shenx said...

I think running while travelling is great since you can enjoy the great scenery...thanks for the post...


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Angelina said...

I love that you make trips out of running. I love running in new places, it's the best way to get to know an area.

Tales from the Back of the Pack said...

You hit the nail on the head for me with that last SF observation. I've been to SF countless times & seen it all by boat, car, cable car, trolley, etc.

Never did I enjoy it more than when I was running through it.