Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Runcation

Everyone loves a good vacation. Most people I know live half their lives looking forward to the next place they are going to take off and enjoy. This year I've heard a lot of reference to the Staycation. This is where you take off work and focus on activities near your residence. Well, I've coined a new term: Runcation. What is a runcation? Vacation + Running = Runcation. In other words, it's the maximization of a vacation.

Several years ago when we were a one car family, I was stuck at one point with no ride home from work. Instead of wait for Nellie to pick me up, I instead decided to walk home. At this point I had driven the same route for over a year, but as I walked home I noticed all sorts of things that I had previously zipped by. In a car you really miss a lot of the sights and smells around you, the small simple beauties.

For me, part of traveling is about the adventure of discovering new things for myself, and as I discovered, there is no better way to capture this, than by being on foot. Walking is too slow and inefficient, but if you run for a while, you manage to see quite a bit. In fact, almost everywhere I've gone this year I've been able to get out and do at least one good run. It has been a great way to understand the area I'm in, as well as see the beauty around me. In New York, I darted through traffic on the way to Central Park, where I got to run with all kinds of runners and see all the places you see on movies. In North Carolina I realized that air can be so thick it needs to be swallowed. In Arizona I've been able to run in a desert landscape avoiding cacti. In Utah, I've been up and down the side of mountains and really felt a part of nature.

Runcations can be done really anywhere, but if you are travelling here are a couple of tips:
  • Find a good route to follow. No one wants to get lost, make sure you know where you are going. A good way to find routes created by locals is to visit America's Running Routes at the USATF website. Here you can either create your own route, or look up others routes.
  • Ask for local advice. Once you know where you're running, consult a local if possible to make sure you're not running into the middle of a bad area.
  • Take a cell phone and water. I have a great hydration belt made by Amphipod that allows me to carry both.
  • Take a 10 or 20 dollar bill, or bring your debit/credit card with an ID. If you find a place you want to stop, or need a quick snack, it's great to have it with you.
Take my advice, go out and get some runs in. You don't have to be crazy like my friend Matt Ward, you can run a mile and see more of the place you're in, than driving all around. Let me know how your runcation goes!

3 comments:

Jaime said...

so, i too have noticed how much we miss by driving. this summer, josh and i talked about getting bikes. i actually got one and decided to ride to work. it took me a good hour, but it was so good! and, i actually have only gone running once since the fall (gee, i sound like an old lady--the FALL) but i used to love running on the road. i miss it sometimes.

matty said...

i love the term runcation and i wonder if you will let me use it one day when i start my running retreat business.....run far ....run often 2-3 times per day should be ample :)

Trevor Perkins said...

Yeah, running is awesome. Matt's running is crazy...Come to think of it, I love running in the fall...