I want to let everyone in on a secret: I’m training for a marathon, the St. Jude Memphis Marathon in December. Not really a big deal; I’ve run one before. But starting the training process the week before our week in Puerto Rico meant I’d need to get in a couple of runs in the island of enchantment. The great thing about my Puerto Rico run is that it was a unique way to see and experience the island.
When we travel, I usually don’t take the time to exercise. Honestly, I get a pretty good workout with all the walking we do when touring a destination. But our week in Puerto Rico was all about relaxing by the beach, seeing Old San Juan and exploring the unique culture of the island. Yes, that would mean time for a couple of runs. In fact, my Puerto Rico run would provide a good opportunity to see more of San Juan than what we’d probably do as a family.
We stayed in Condado, a beautiful community along the Atlantic Ocean on the east side of San Juan. Our hotel, the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, was three miles due east of Old San Juan along Ashford Avenue.
I was able to step out the front door of the hotel and run a sidewalk adjacent to the boutiques and restaurants of Ashford Avenue to a bridge across a small bay before entering San Juan.
The first day I went for my Puerto Rico run, I had no idea where to go other than west. And that was fine, because I stumbled upon a cool park with locals enjoying the day.
I eventually made my way oh so close to Old San Juan, but at the time I didn’t realize I had actually made it there. I was three miles in to a run that I wanted to max out at around six miles, so I found one of the two forts in Old San Juan where I stopped often for some great photo moments.
I wasn’t alone on my Puerto Rico run; I saw several other runners as well as cyclists. It was a little hot, considering my run was at noon. But there was always a nice ocean breeze to keep things comfortable.
I made it back to the San Juan Marriott Resort after about an hour with a great run in the books.
My second Puerto Rico run came later in the week, and this time I was determined to explore more of Old San Juan. Since we had visited Old San Juan a couple of days prior I was confident I knew the lay of the land.
When I’m running, especially when training for a marathon, I’m not much for constantly stopping to look at the sights and take photos. But Old San Juan lent itself to doing just that.
What probably should have taken me a little more than an hour to complete without stopping ended up being a 90-minute run with all the stops.
The only thing I wish is I could have gone for another Puerto Rico run during the week. But later that day I sprained my foot playing in the surf, so my running days were done for the week.
But that’s OK, because I had an awesome beach to enjoy.