Now that I figured out a running route around where I’m staying in St. Petersburg, I’m far more motivated to run. Whereas before I studied the map, figured out a likely route, go out and run, check map to see if I turn here, no, there, and then do I turn here? Yes. Oh, wait no . . . maybe . . . definitely not. Ok, turn around and run some more, now it’s much easier because I’m more familiar with the street. Plus I managed to string all the green parks and pretty, shaded and tree-lined streets together to make a decent 6-mile running route. I wouldn’t say that this is the most picturesque route ever, but for my little neighborhood, it’s not bad. I also know all the options so I’m able to make the route shorter (or longer) as I need it to be.
So this morning I was about to go for run that was about 6.1 miles (according to GMap pedometer) for about an hour (all distances and times are approximate until I get back to the States). It felt like I was running faster than just under a 10:00 min/mile pace. I feel like my sense of what paces should feel like is a bit off. I want to do some “calibrating” when I get back home. I dislike not knowing what paces should like.
Having things like an established running route make St. Petersburg feel more like home. I know that I won’t be here much longer, but I like to think that I can claim some sort ownership over this small island of St. Petersburg.
Recently NY Times came out with an article about sightseeing while running. Paris is becoming a runner’s delight with choices with respect with groups to run, running events, and social gatherings. You can join in for a free social group run. You get some exercise, do a little sightseeing, and mingle with locals all at the same time.
As I said before, one of the things I like about running when I’m traveling is that I get a different view of the locale. What I’m looking for as a runner is different than when I’m in full-tourist/traveler mode. A nice modest park is not much as a tourist destination, but it can be heavenly for a runner when the alternative is ugly city sidewalks. These smaller and more unpretentious areas give me a sense of what every day life is like for someone who lives in the neighborhood. I imagine what I would regularly do and see if I happened to live in that area.
Speaking of running as a tourist, Ben is in Miami Beach at the moment (escaping NY’s horrible heat). He tried out runWestin‘s service of a Run Concierge. RunWestin is a fabulous program that offers free running maps and a $5 rental of running clothes and shoes. I tried it out last winter when we were at that very same Westin in Miami Beach. I thought it was great.
At certain Westins, they have a run coach who will hold a run for guests. Ben decided to go out with the run coach to see what it was like. He was the only one who showed up besides the run coach, so he got a personalized run. The run coach was a much older fellow who told Ben that the typical clientele who showed up were out-of-shape businessmen. They went for a run at a decent clip for the Westin-approved 3 miles. The coach is allowed to take people out only along the approved route. (I bet it’s because of insurance).
I’d love to hear how other people go for run while on vacations. How do you find a route? What do you think about socializing while running?