Training for her marathon debut in Boston Mayloi Weidelich isn’t about to let a recent business trip slower her down. And despite her initial hesitation, she learns that running can be a wonderful way to see a new city in a whole different light.
By: Mayoli Weidelich
Training for Boston, my first marathon, has taken over the majority of my free time. I recently starting taking coding classes twice a week in the evenings as well so between that, work, and running, well my life is on a pretty tight and perfectly balanced schedule. I was on a great roll though and felt like everything was ticking away in perfect order until I realized that I had an upcoming six day business trip to Austin, Texas for the SXSW conference. My initial thought was that I would simply have to take a break from training during this time as I would have plenty to do between conference sessions and eating some quality southern BBQ, but deep inside I knew that with the marathon being almost a month away (at the time), I didn’t really have the luxury of taking a week off. So I packed my running shoes and a few of my favourite running outfits.
After my flight landed, on the drive from the airport to our Airbnb, I began scoping possible running paths and decided to ask our Uber driver where she thought would be a safe place for me to run in the morning. She pointed me to some running trails near our Airbnb, which immediately made me a little queasy. Maybe it’s because I’ve watched too many episodes of Law & Order SVU but I am not very comfortable running in parks, especially in cities that I’ve never been to before. Being the cautionary runner that I am I planned my route to bypass the trails but decided that if they didn’t look sketchy, I would give them a try, otherwise I would stick to the main streets. As I approached the park I was surprised at how many runners I saw heading into the trails so I decided to follow suit.
To say that those running trails are by far one of the best things that Austin has to offer is a huge understatement, Austin is a fantastic city with a lot to offer. The trail went around the Colorado river and was a beautiful little oasis in the gorgeous city. It was bustling with people walking their dogs, going for jogs, riding their bikes and just enjoying nature. I happily continued to run along the path completely forgetting about my target distance or speed, and focused simply on exploring and enjoying the warm sun on my skin. It was absolutely refreshing and reminded me of why I fell in love with running in the first place. Once I came back to our Airbnb I realized that my run had been 9km (I had expected to run only 7km that morning) and that it happened to be my fastest 9km thus far. Coincidence? I don’t think so!
That morning I made a promise to myself. Anytime I travel, no matter the destination or the time of year, I will bring my running shoes with me. There really is nothing like exploring and getting to know a city while you’re out for a run. I also realized that as perfect as my schedule currently is, running has to become a part of my lifestyle. A business trip can’t be an excuse to stop running because the great thing about the sport is that you really can do it anywhere! All you really need are your running shoes, comfortable clothes and an hour or two!
I would love to know: What your favourite city to run in has been?
Mayoli Weidelich is running the Boston Marathon on Manulife’s employee team to raise funds for Pathways to Education. Prior to training for this marathon she had never run more than 5k. You can read more about her experience here.