We’ve all heard of “the runner’s high”—the endorphin-driven euphoria after a good, hard run. But what’s “the runner’s trip”? Here’s how I define it:
1. The excursion a runner takes to discover new places and meet new people while engaging in his or her favorite activity (running, of course); can range from a day trip on an unfamiliar trail to a months-long journey on a different continent.
2. The evolution a runner undergoes from a jogger who struggles to finish a 5K to a runner who achieves personal records at longer distances.
3. The profound mental activity a runner engages in while running.
4. The stumble or injury a runner inevitably suffers from time to time, which leads to recovery and comeback.
5. The blog that grew out of Sarah Lavender Smith’s two earlier blogs: “A Running Commentary” (race reports and personal reflections on running) and “Away Together” (the Smith family’s round-the-world travelogue).
Welcome, and please read this page to take a tour of The Runner’s Trip blog.
About Sarah Lavender Smith
What a trip, I tell myself when I think back on the 16 years since I started running—me, the one whose cheeks flushed as red as a steamed crab whenever I jogged a single lap. I say it again when I recall the nomadic, one-bag-each lifestyle my family and I adopted during a ten-month trip around the world. And again when I catch a toe on a tree root while hammering down a stretch of trail to reel in a runner ahead of me. I absorb the thud, let loose swear words I tell my two kids never to say, and get moving before the hurt sets. What a trip!
I’m a runner from the San Francisco Bay Area, and I love to travel. I started The Runner’s Trip to inspire myself and others to run more, travel more, and ideally combine the two.
I became a runner more than 40 marathons/ultras and 25,000 miles ago. Along the way, I earned a graduate degree in journalism, started a family, moved to Piedmont, California, and worked as a writer and editor. I also racked up some trophies and finishers’ medals at races ranging from the 5K to 50 Mile.
I learned early on that running has the power to cultivate happiness, wellness, self-discovery, and knowledge. Then I began traveling, too, and made a surprise discovery: traveling made me a better runner, and running made a better trip.
In 2009-10, I traveled around the world with my husband, Morgan, and our two kids, Colly (then age 11) and Kyle (then 8). Morgan, who also runs, and I designed our itinerary around running events and trail runs in Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, England, and Colorado. Running enabled us to explore and appreciate the destinations, and get to know the locals, on a level that would have been impossible otherwise.
I knew the ten-month trip would change our family forever, but I had no idea it would transform me as a runner. Traveling helped me work through issues that dog many longtime runners who turn 40, such as burnout, slowing down, and ambivalence about goals. The trip rekindled my passion to run and set different goals. When we returned home, I had some of my best times ever at races and graduated to longer distances.
I started this blog to nurture my dream to run in more unfamiliar places, and to connect with other runner-travelers and locals in destinations. I hope it helps you, too, achieve the tagline “run long, travel far, discover more.”
Many thanks to my husband and running companion, Morgan, for his photos that illustrate these blog posts.