Wednesday, November 9, 2011

All You Need is a Pair of Shoes

One of my favorite things about being a runner (I think I can actually call myself that now) is that not only is running by far the easiest workout to sustain when traveling (for business or pleasure), but there is no better way to experience a new place than at the speed of a long run.  The pace of a run (my runs at least) is perfectly suited to taking it all (the buildings, streets, people, public spaces) in, in a way that driving in a car or even being on a bike can't replicate.  It’s become routine now that in anticipation of each departure I log on to Google Maps and plot my course; sometimes I even check out others’ running routes.

For the past two days I’ve been in St. Thomas of the United States Virgin Islands as my company wraps up a Vision and Code for the historic Charlotte Amalie.  This was my third trip to St. Thomas and another opportunity for me to lace up (elastic triathlete laces of course) my shoes and take to the streets.  Despite my hotel being located up on one of Charlotte Amalie’s hills I wound my way down to the waterfront and back for an easy few miles.  I didn’t feel great through the run (probably a combination of the mental and physical exhaustion of all that’s going on for me right now), but nonetheless the run gave me a chance to see the town in a way few get to - I was out before the cruise ships had emptied their passengers onto the historic downtown.

On Thursday I will hit the road again, this time traveling to Jean Lafitte, Louisiana, a quaint fishing village south of New Orleans.  I’ll be in Jean Lafitte for a little over a week as part of a team studying the town’s urban fabric and helping craft a plan for its future.  My days will be full of touring the town, conducting site analysis, holding community meetings, and creating maps & diagrams to guide the City; but, before I begin each day I will aim to rise before most and see the Town from a runner's eye.

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