It is perhaps fitting that I traveled for my first marathon. I didn’t mean to, but I got hurt. See, I was training for a local marathon this past spring, but my first age group placement in a half marathon came with the price of a very angry IT band midway through my training. I was disappointed that I couldn’t run the race, so I took to the internet and signed up for the Mount Desert Island Marathon along the coast of Maine. I love the north, I love autumn, I love beautiful scenery, and I’d never been to Maine.

Due to my injury, my training was a bit lacking but the race was not. The location was amazing, the spectators were numerous, silly, and friendly, the event was positive and organized, and, yes, the course was surprisingly hilly. But better to exert yourself amongst autumn trees along a fjord, no? There, push yourself to a gasping nothingness and then bounce back into a world more stimulating.

And Maine is just beautiful and pleasant. This is autumn as its best. I’m not sure of a more exciting prelude to a race than exploring new places, or a more contented end. I think I’ll combine my traveling and running pursuits more in the future. It makes sense, for both of these activities build you, they stretch you, they move you forward.

Leaves and Trees, Portland, MaineCrashing Waves, Coast of MainePemaquid Lighthouse, MaineLobster Traps, MaineAcadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, MaineMDI Marathon SignSeal Harbor, MaineBeach, Seal Harbor, MaineAtop Cadillac MountainSand Beach, Acadia National Park
“I’m often asked what I think about as I run. Usually the people who ask this have never run long distances themselves. I always ponder the question. What exactly do I think about when I’m running? I don’t have a clue.” – Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Traveling expands your mind while running silences it. Both are important. Both are strengthening.