One of my favorite ways to explore a new place has always been by on my feet – letting the miles (or kilometers) fly by while running. It generally makes me feel less guilty about the massive amounts of deliciously unhealthy local fare I imbibe while on the road.
Some of the more interesting places I’ve hit the pavement…
Menorca, Spain – Summer of 2012
Kyoto, Japan – December 2013
New Orleans, LA – July 2014
Kansas City, MO – August 2014
Brooklyn, NY – all day, err’day
Other nominees include: a tiny village near Saint-Émilion, France; Pittsburgh, PA; Madrid, Spain… and the list goes on.
So why the waxing poetic about this journey I’m on?
Tonight was my second run with Nike+ Live Sessions in NYC, and I’m feeling #runspired and wanted to share before the feeling fades. They offer different runs every day of the week for various skill levels – whether you’re trying to make your first mile or training for a marathon, they offer free sessions to help you reach your goals.
Since I’ve recently decided to run a half marathon in Atlantic City, NJ on October 19, I’ve dedicated myself to logging more miles and actually taking this thing seriously. Tonight was a 7-miler in Central Park – the farthest I’ve ever run, also the fastest 5K or 10K I’ve ever done. Right at the end during a breakaway, the sun had long set and we turned a corner to a breathtaking view of the buildings around uptown Manhattan and it was glorious. We had gone up a massive hill, and for the first time ever tonight I felt a “runner’s high” – my legs just flowed, moving forward step after step, and I could tune out to the fact that my body was doing work to tune in to the sounds of the park and the view of dusk inside this massive hideaway from the concrete jungle.
One of the pacers asked me what made me want to run a half marathon and it caught me off-guard because I had never considered it – I just kind of figured I was feeling competitive against my darling friend MK. So why?
- I feel invincible. I have never considered myself to be an “athletic” person. Let’s be real – in high school, I opted out of cross country and any other type of team sports to be in the choir/theater. I don’t regret that, but it plants a seed of self doubt (I am not good enough to be athletic) that grows into a big, mean, gnarly tree over the years.
- Weight loss. Sure, everyone wants to be skinnier. Though it’s not always easy to lose weight while running, it has to happen if I’m eating like a piece of lettuce a day, right? 🙂
- Work/Life Balance. Mostly, I feel like my pie is pac-man sized filled with work, and the other little chunk is for whatever else – seeing friends, going to events, concerts, whatever happens when I’m in town. Recently, I started a French class to give myself a little something extra to look forward to outside of work – that plus running is helping a lot. Also, to say that “I’m leaving work early to go running” is a bit less abrasive than “Hey i’m going to happy hour.” That’s for after the run. You guys.
- Neon running clothes. I look awesome in them. Deal with it.
Each time I head out, I learn more about myself, keeping pace, stretching, and why chocolate milk is definitely the greatest post-workout replenisher.
So reader, dear reader – where’s the most interesting place YOU have ever run?