Invariably, Travel injects my running routine with some sensory enhancements. Relocating my route to the edge of an ocean, up the side of a mountain, through the streets of an unfamiliar city or into the turns of an untried trail is a treasured element of the overall trip experience. The need to see what lies just down the beach or how the view will expand over the next ridge is a terrific natural energy boost. Like fresh paint on the walls of a familiar room, running through unknown places has a rejuvenating quality that lingers long after I’m solidly grounded into the repetitions of everyday life again.
In Puerto Rico we ran a golf course, innumerable beaches, roads and a couple of trails. The hazards ranged from coconuts and hermit crabs to wild horses, chickens and mosquitoes. Occasional encounters with spraying irrigation systems were generally a nice counterbalance to the humid heat, however.
The palm lined beach we ran from our first location in Rio Grande was especially lovely. In the morning thick clouds rolled overhead, ferrying their moisture inland and giving glimpses of the day’s light hidden just behind them.
The effect of such visual inspiration? Better speed, better distance and some endorphin-rich vacation memories that followed me all the way home and back onto my regular running route.