I (Jeni- the mom) am the family running geek. My husband (Stephen- the dad) runs also, but he’s not a run geek. How big of a geek?  I save my favorite running podcasts for my long runs. My current favorites are Another Mother Runner and Marathon Training Academy. My favorite Facebook group is a running group (Mama Docs Run This). Whenever I travel to other cities, I first look for a race to pick up and then look for suggested run routes on Mapmyrun. My pleasure reading is usually a running book. It was apparent that in addition to wines and spices of the world, I needed to collect runs around the world! I will be blogging on the running adventures as we travel the globe.

Costa Rica was our first stop and I was out the afternoon I landed. The surroundings weren’t spectacular and the heat drove me indoors to finish on the treadmill, but I did see an iguana. There wasn’t much road to work with since it was an secluded area and I wasn’t sure I trusted the local drivers on a fairly busy street (with no sidewalks)…so I settled for a few back and forth loops.

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Once we arrived at the beach house, the beach running started. I am not usually a barefoot runner…but run shoes and the beach didn’t seem a good combination. I also ditched typical running attire for a swimsuit. Being a running geek, I kept trying to analyze my gait in the sand! Was I still heel striking? And I didn’t miss my headphones at all! The beach we stayed on was a couple miles long and the next beach over was about one mile long. I think I could run those beaches every day and never get tired of it.

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Finding the right combination of packed sand (low-tide) and some sun protection (afternoon cloud cover) was the key to three successful runs! The first two runs were slower than my usual pace. By the end of the week I had discovered the trick to navigating the beach slope and was able to have a wonderful 4.5 mile run. And no crabs were harmed in my run. (The beach was practically littered with scampering hermit crabs at low tide). I was on a runner’s high….until I discovered the toe blisters!

Our time in Panama is relatively short, so today was the only day for a run. Stephen and I headed out for a morning run. We are staying in the Old Town, so we headed out on the Cinta Costera which is a roadway over water bypassing the Old Town. There was a nice walking/running/bicycle path along the entire roadway. The surface was perfect for running; it was almost a track-like feel (definitely better than sidewalk running). There were plenty benches along the way for enjoying the view (when it wasn’t so hot)! The median between the bike and run path was full of different plants and flowers which offered some occasional shade. We had views of the Old Town and the newer high rises at the same time. By the end of our venture, the breeze had disappeared and the sun was completely out, so I will save you the post-run selfies. I had a few Texas runs prior to leaving the States, so I didn’t completely melt. But I am looking forward to our next stop and some cooler temperatures.

 

As we headed back to our hotel, we found an outdoor “gym”. There were several different exercise machines that utilized your body weight. Perhaps American city planners could incorporate these!

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My thoughts have been with a fellow MDRT (Mama Docs Run This) runner since tragedy hit her family three weeks ago. I have shed tears mixed with sweat during my runs. I hope she and her family finds some moments of peace in the future.

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