January 11 2018
A runner shares a personal essay documenting her years as "the runner" in rural South Dakota.
Running while traveling can seem unbearably glamorous. “Look at all their cool Instagram pics!” “Oh wow, she got up early enough to catch sunrise!?” But, as with all things in life, nothing is ever as perfect as it seems.
From two women who are perpetually trying to squeeze in miles while jetsetting around the world, here is a (decidedly incomplete) list of the perks and the drawbacks to running “on the go.”
New cities offer exciting new chances to explore. And if you’re pressed for time, running gives you the chance to see a lot in a short amount of time. A walking tour that would ordinarily take several hours can be whittled down to minutes, and you can spread your monument-filled Instagram and Facebook posts over several days (even if you saw them all on one run…guilty).
Getting lost. Sometimes you plan a fantastically scenic route, only to wind up in the literal middle of nowhere, tired, sweaty and wishing you’d paid better attention in French class. Rue de what?
Running is proven to help reset your internal clock faster.
Jet lag is real. Fact: Going for a run at what your body still thinks is 2 a.m. does not feel nearly as cool as it sounds.
Running requires nothing more than shoes, shorts, a sports bra and a few miles of road. No pool, no gym, no equipment necessary!
All those extra shoes and clothes add up—often leading to a $50 checked baggage fee. Those airlines just don’t understand us.
Again: running requires nothing more than shoes, shorts and a sports bra.
After you’ve sweat all over these clothes, you must add them back your suitcase, next to your beautifully folded work clothes, and pray to every God available that your entire bag does not reek by the time you get home. Peace, love…and dry cleaning bills.
If your trip involves working (or socializing) with people all day, a run give you the chance to have some total alone time. You don’t have to be “on.” Just focus on the road, the view and…not getting lost.
Alone time means no running buddy. So when you need to get some speed in, there is unfortunately, no one holding you accountable. (Except maybe your coach, who will inevitably ask about your splits.)
You’ll feel way less guilty about indulging in decadent cuisine on your trip if you are able to maintain your workout schedule.
THERE ARE NONE. YOU CAN EAT EVERYTHING!
Your work colleagues or fellow vacationers will likely be impressed with your self-discipline. “You’re going for a run? Wow. You’re dedicated.”
You have to be self-disciplined. Which means you have to go for that run when it’s raining or a hundred degrees outside, and your body still thinks it’s 2 a.m., and you have no running buddy to keep you accountable.
But the biggest pro of all is maintaining your sanity. Because let’s face it: traveling, whether for work or for pleasure, can be really, really stressful. Running can be the one constant you bring with you. And all those endorphins don’t hurt, either.