Hello hello!

Happy Friday! I know I haven’t done a Fit Bit Friday post for the past little while due to travel, but don’t worry – we’ll get back into those starting next week! I’ve got more of Melbourne to show you today, and this installment of my holiday recap is about one of my favourite parts of the trip.

Remember back in January when I was going all goal-setting-crazy and vision-boarding-stravaganza on you? Well, you may remember that one of my goals for 2012 was to run on the beach in Melbourne.

Why Melbourne specifically? No reason really, but I knew that of all the places I was going to visit this year, it would be by far the most interesting and furthest away from home. Something about running in new cities and discovering them on foot just seems to make me vibrate with energy and excitement, so that was one of the top things on my agenda for the trip – well, aside from being a good bridesmaid of course. 😉

After a few days of nothing but rain, the clouds finally cleared and I was itching to get outside and run. Cynthia lives about a 10 minute run from the beach, so I laced up one of my very old pairs of Asics (I packed these ones with the intention of not bringing them home, one of my favourite save-space-when-traveling tricks) and ventured out.

I’ve talked before about how I don’t mind running on a treadmill, and how I tend to do more workouts in the gym than outside due to the fact that I’m usually getting my sweat on well before the sun comes up. I think I’d become used to breathing recycled gym air, because once I made it down the dirt path to the paved one alongside the beach, it was like each breath I inhaled took me to a new energy high.

Some mornings were more calm than others, but it didn’t matter what time I went – there were always people out walking or running and enjoying the ocean breeze. I didn’t even think about bringing my iPod with me because I wanted to take in as much of the sensory experience as I could.

My first beach run was along the path you see above, which is called the Coastal Trail. The entire stretch was paved and had several dirt paths along the way that led up to the street. My absolute favourite run though, was when I ran to the end of the path, up one of the exit routes, and continued along Beach Road until I reached an area with a yacht club and a small tea house with an amazing view of the Bay. The weather was gorgeous and the scenery was like no other city I’ve run before. If you’d like to see some very pish posh beachfront homes, I highly recommend running down Beach Road!

Unfortunately at the time, the only camera on me was my own eyes. However, even if I did have my iPhone or SLR, I don’t think the photos would have done the experience justice. The ground sort of seemed to pass by underneath my feet, and the run almost felt effortless. I totally lost track of time and was amazed when I finally got home and realized I’d been gone for about an hour and 10 minutes. My legs felt as though they could have gone for miles more. Just out of curiosity, I mapped out my route on MapMyRun.com and calculated that I’d covered about 9.2 miles of concrete, dirt, trails, and sand. Not bad for the girl that can’t stand hills!

I managed to get out for 3 runs in total during the time I was in Melbourne, and apart from those and my one Insanity date with Shaun T, my only other ‘workouts’ consisted of walking and sightseeing. On some of my walks, I thoroughly enjoyed being nosy and taking photos of people’s gardens. It baffles me that those with lemon and lime trees just let the fruit fall to the ground!

There once was a time when the thought of not having the gym available to me every morning was scary, but I must admit that taking a break felt awesome. I’ve experienced first-hand that sometimes the best runs are the ones done after a couple days of rest, and rest really does do the body good. Now, having ventured out along some breathtaking routes and re-falling in love with running, I’m more motivated than ever to train hard for the Lululemon half marathon I’m running this August.

Coming up next week: Some city touring and market adventures. Stay tuned! 🙂