Thursday, 17 September 2015

Do you go running whilst on holiday?

12 months ago I hadn't run for probably somewhere in the region of 5 years and when my sister and her partner came to visit me in Cornwall for Christmas they arrived clutching a separate bag of running shoes and clothes.

I couldn't understand why anyone would do exercise whilst on holiday, surely having time off work means late nights, more eating, more drinking and certainly no exercise! But here I am just 18 days before I take part in my first ever half marathon and whilst on my week’s holiday in Essex I found myself getting up early and going for a run. Not only was I up early and going for a run through my home town city I was doing this in the pouring rain whilst my partner stayed in bed and got a lie in.

Was I mad? What had changed? What had rubbed off on me from my sister just 12 months ago? In December 2014 I attended my first ever Park Run event and since that day my life has changed. I've signed up for the Cardiff Half marathon in October and I've joined my local road running club. I've gone from barely running at all to filling most of my weekends and evenings planning when are where to go on my next run and being on holiday is no different. In fact being on holiday gives you the opportunity to run in a new place, see new things and change your regular route that can often become quite boring. So in answer to my own question, yes I do like to go running whilst I'm on holiday. It avoids my fitness dropping back and it also gives me an energy boost, not to mention making me feel a little less guilty about all the alcohol consumed whilst not having to get up and go to work.

Having lived in Chelmsford in Essex for the first 20 years off my life, I took the opportunity for a morning run as not just an opportunity to keep fit and practise a decent distance in preparation for my half marathon but to also take in some of my old haunts as a child growing up.

My route although slow due to getting over a recent calf injury covered just over 7 miles around the suburbs and through the city centre of Chelmsford before returning back to my childhood home. I passed through the housing estates of Tile Kiln where many of my school friends had lived and down onto Wood Street past the big Tesco superstore and onto New London Road. I continued to remember my years growing up in Chelmsford when the Essex county town was still just a town and didn't yet have its city status. I continued past my old dental surgery that I'm sad to say isn't painted bright pink anymore and past Oaklands Park, where the museum is looking a lot bigger and more impressive than I remembered. As I took a left turn past the BBC radio building I noticed lots of new blocks of flats that weren't built when I left and moved to Cornwall so many years ago. I continued to head towards the town, heading down Waterhouse lane past brand new Homebase stores and new roads. I turned into Central Park where I had taken part in Chelmsford Park Run there a few months before.
Running through the city centre gave me a bit of a buzz, seeing the high street, the shops the cinema and the river lots of memories came flooding back and took my thoughts off how my legs were aching and my breathing being hard. 
Road running in Chelmsford

I soon left the town centre and passed what used to be the giant Tesco superstore that is now a B&M superstore instead. I continued through the famous Army and Navy roundabout that seems to have had its layout changed again and up Princess Road cutting back through into Moulsham Lodge to my childhood home where I was staying for the week with my parents. 

Even though I was out running in the rain for well over an hour on my weeks holiday I hadn't given the physical activity of the run much thought and was busy looking at how the town had grown and changed whilst I had been away. 

Do you go running whilst on holiday? Is it different being on a staycation? I'm not sure I'd be quite so keen to go running whilst on a hot holiday but you never know, maybe I'll try something new and go running when I'm next abroad and see where my running adventure takes me next.