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Running all Over The world. An Addicts Revelation

Running all over the world

 Philip Lancaster, September 2015

When returning from holiday we all like to reminisce about breath-taking landscapes, fantastic meals, and funny tales of new people we met. To make our point we then get out the obligatory camera shots, providing evidence we’ve had an amazing time. However, I have a guilty secret.  I never talk about my favourite part of a holiday for fear of mocking and to my knowledge, there’s no visual proof of my sins. When on holiday with my wife, family or friends, most mornings while everyone else is still asleep I get-up, fumble around in the dark for a small bag I’ve squeezed into the corner of my suitcase and quietly get changed slipping on a revealing pair of shorts and tight fitting breathable t-shirt. I then quietly close the hotel room door behind me, re-set my Garmin and head out …for a run.

The best way to come to terms with an addiction is to admit it and I’ll openly declare to you, the reader, that I love running, especially while on holiday. And to help those of you who are non-addicts understand this, I’ve set-out my top three reasons for my guilty pleasure:

#1 Exploring

Mornings are usually the most pleasant part of the day. There’s often less wind, the skies can be clearer (without being too hot), and there’s less people about. Exploring the coastline, heading into the countryside, or meandering through the less well trodden back-streets of cities then becomes a joy with only your own thoughts for company. The sense of discovery is also exhilarating – finding a new coffee shop or activity you can suggest for later in the day.

#2 It makes me more pleasant to be around

I’m not known for being relaxed, but once I’ve been for my run I’m then happy to wait around for my wife to progress through her beauty regime in the morning without the need to chase her out of the door. The secret is that I’ve burned off the extra energy (for now at least) and I can happily watch the world go by at a more leisurely pace.

#3 Guilt-free to over-indulge

My favourite reason to run while on holiday is that I can then indulge for the remainder of the day on food and wine, and not feel the need to ‘walk-it-off’ or to insist on some guilt-driven ludicrous activity the next day, or fear all of that gym work before the holiday has been lost.

And finally, breaking with tradition, I’m going to share with you a story of my favourite holiday run of all time. When my wife and I married last year in Cascais, a small picturesque town not far along the coast from Lisbon, Portugal, I managed a fabulous run along the promenade every morning. While only a short run by my usual standards, the temperature there in August can be in excess of 20 degrees centigrade by 8-9am so early rising is a must. At that time in the morning, the promenade is relatively quiet, coffee shops and ice-cream vendors are just setting-up and the calming sparkle off the Mediterranean is enticing (so enticing I did end my run with a little dip to cool off once or twice).  While getting up can be a challenge, usually due to the excesses of the previous night’s shenanigans, once I’ve been for a run I’m in a zen-like mood – awake, smiling and charming. And the best bit, an 11am beer with brunch doesn’t make me feel guilty at all. But the main reason this is my favourite memory is because I convinced my wife of the joys of running in Cascais, and she joined me too – including on the morning of our wedding day!

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