“Do You Have to Run on Our Vacation, As Well?”

Tell me if this sounds familiar. You and your non-running partner decide to go on a family vacation. Your home evolves into an atmosphere of joy and excitement as both of you google your new destination, book tickets, plan out the budget, the travel details, the activities for the kids and more. The itinerary is packed solid.

And then you do it. You suggest a few small changes just so you can squeeze in a few runs. It’s met with either eye rolls, flared nostrils, clenched jaws, exasperated exhales, frustration-filled sighs, or displeased shrugs. Worst case scenario, all of the above.

New locales = Renewed love for running
At home, I’ll plod over the same route without fuss. When everything’s familiar, I can spend more energy on the run and less on decisions of where next. Don’t believe me, ask Steve Job’s wardrobe.

But when I’m in a new town, new city, new country, it’s a new route every run. As any runner worth their gear will tell you – Running is the best way to explore a new place. I love taking in the sights, the sounds, the smells, the culture, the wildlife, the friendly waves and strange stares. There’s a new adventure at every corner, a new discovery on every road. I also love the comments on my Strava and Instagram feed that accompany it.

Anyway, where was I?
Right, back to my story. No further mention of my running plans is made. The partner then mistakenly assumes that no running will be happening. Peace is now restored.

See, running is a part of my life. As necessary as the air I breathe or carbs I consume. It doesn’t just switch off because of a vacation. I don’t stop breathing or eating because I’m on a vacation, do I?

Sneaking out
On the appointed running day during the vacation, I wake up at 5:30 am (something I never do at home), and quietly sneak out at 6:30 am. Yes, it takes me a while to get ready (make breakfast, eat breakfast, clean, cleanse, stretch, wear running attire and paraphernalia, pre-run drink). By the time I’m back between 8:00 or 9:00, my non-running partner and kids are still sleeping soundly. Snoring, too. After about an hour, my partner greets me with a big broad smile, asks me how was the run, then a slow leisurely breakfast. To my questioning look, my partner nonchalantly reminds me we’re on a vacation.

It’s happened every single holiday. In Ottawa, PEI, Florida, Delhi, Mumbai, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. It’ll happen on every one yet to come.

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