Next time you’re in a new place, put on your running shoes and go randering. Just watch out for chickens.
One of my favorite things about going to new cities is randering. Never heard of the term? That’s because I made it up. Running while wandering = randering. When I’m randering I have no real idea of where I’m going — I’m just running and seeing what I can find, which oftentimes can lead to the most exciting and fun runs. I know my mom isn’t the biggest fan of me randering, but I always make sure to wear identification. If I’m in an area that doesn’t look inviting, I just rander the other way.
In the last two weeks I was lucky enough to visit San Francisco for a fitness convention as well as Hawaii for a family vacation. My trip to San Francisco was quick, but I was lucky enough to fit in one run. Unfortunately, I just ran. On a treadmill, no less. I’m still kicking myself for not randering.
There was a quick break between classes for lunch, but because I needed to get my run in I decided to forgo my lunch break to check another workout off my training plan. I changed into my running clothes, which, because I was constrained to a carry-on for the extended trip, were more appropriate for the high temps of Hawaii and not the ever-lingering fog of San Fran. As I looked out my window I could see the trail the waiter from dinner the night before told me about. I also saw the fog and ran with my tail between my legs to the treadmill in the hotel gym.
The workout went great, and I was happy to report to my coach that I was actually beginning to hit the times he assigned me.
Well, I should say I was happy until I went to dinner that night and saw all the happy, smiling walkers and runners going by the restaurant window on the very path where I should have braved the 67-degree temperatures (I’m a native Californian. I admit, I’m a wimp in the cold) and gone randering. They all looked so happy moving along the little path that went on for miles and miles along the bay. Ugh!
In Hawaii I wasn’t going to make the same mistake. After convincing my mom that it isn’t crazy to go for a run in 85-degree weather with accompanying 85% humidity, I took off in the direction of where I thought I had seen a path earlier that day. After jumping off the sidewalk and nearly into oncoming traffic when a couple of chickens rustling in the bushes scared the bejeebers out of me, I found the path I had been searching for — and it was everything I had imagined, and more! I ran along one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen, a campground full of more chickens hightailing it out of my way, beachfront campsites and signs to Play Bridge. Randering on, I decided I needed to know what a play bridge was. A mile or two further down the path I got my answer.
It felt like I had struck gold. I wanted to scream from the rooftops, “Look at this Play Bridge I found! It’s a bridge that you can play on!” A wooden playground labyrinth stairway, the Play Bridge connects the campground and the beach. With secret passageways and slides down to different passageways it was the ultimate randering find. I took pictures and video with my phone as I went up and down the endless stairways. I then ran back to the hotel to show my mom, who, ironically enough was on the treadmill at the gym, and my sister. Neither of them were quite as impressed with my find as I was.
“I guess you had to be there,” I said sadly.
This is exactly why I go randering—whatever there is out there to find, I want to find it, see it and experience it. Finding a new route or a Play Bridge is always better than hearing about it from someone else and not experiencing it myself.
So next time you’re in a new place, put on your running shoes and go randering. Just watch out for chickens.