Friday, July 21, 2017

In Which Jenn Is In Love With Boardwalk Runs

If your regularly running trail is riddled with changes in altitude and terrain, perhaps your mind, too, wanders back to happy memories of runDisney races. Specifically: the flatness of Florida.

How easy it is to run in Florida! So level! So devoid of hills! How glorious it would be to clock all your training there, perhaps lacking in challenges but blissfully free, with a far-reaching horizon.

That's where my head's at right now - I'm logging all my training outside where the hills are, since I'm between gyms and without a treadmill. It's good for me, I know. It makes me stronger. But man, sometimes I wish I could just put my head down and run straight and fast.

There is a place outside I can do this. It is not Walt Disney World, but it's the best Maryland can offer me. It's the boardwalk.

Ocean City's boardwalk is just shy of 2.5 miles from end to end. Over last week's vacation, I ran it three times, just over 5 miles per run - and each run came in at 50 minutes. And I wasn't even pushing myself!

There's an ocean breeze from one side and all your standard boardwalk staples on the other: silly shops, restaurants, arcades and carnival rides. The wooden path is soft on the joints. There are water fountains by ever bathroom. Families in surreys pass by. If that's not enough visual interest, there's always the giant shark through the Ripley's museum. Duh.

Would I lie to you?

Those three runs were the happiest, loveliest runs I've had... in forever? They felt easy and unhurried and interesting. Of course, being on vacation and logging light mileage for the week helped.

If you have access to a boardwalk at any point during your running life, I highly recommend you take a lap or two. After which, if you like, you can take a cue from Moon and run straight into the ocean.

Do you run on vacation? Where was your favorite training run ever?

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