Whenever I am traveling, I look at lovely, winding roads, or hilly, curvy ones, or even long, straight stretches through the desert, and I think I want to run here. (Actually, I tend to say it out loud, which eventually starts to really bother my travelling companions.) I can’t help it—the urge to run somewhere new, somewhere pretty, somewhere unknown just rises up.
Of course, I’ll never get to run on all the roads I long to.
Take my trip to Cabo. “Los Cabos”—the capes—are two separate towns, Cabo San Lucas on the west tip of the Baja peninsula, and Cabo San Jose on the east tip. There is a freeway that connects them, the Transpeninsular Highway. It curves, it dips and rises, it hides the coast and then bam! it brings you to startling coastal vistas.
You know I want to run there.
But it’s a tiny road, with cars buzzing on and off the returnos (which are sort of like exits), and almost no sidewalks or shoulder. So, even though it would’ve been a spectacular place for my ten-mile run I needed to do today, I restrained myself.
My life is rarely touched by convenience, but conveniently, the sidewalk on the transpeninsular highway stars at the Mini Trader Dick’s, which is just above the resort where we’re staying. I’d tried to discover this with a google search before I left—where does the sidewalk start?—but I didn’t have much luck finding running routes in Cabo. I could’ve used Map my Run to plot a route, but again: it doesn’t show sidewalks. So I headed out our door and headed east on the T.H. (I’m guessing no one calls it that, but I’m going to here).
I turned right at the Mega, which is the grocery store, and then just stayed on that road. Mostly it goes past the big resorts, but now and then there is a break in the properties and you get a glimpse of palm trees, sand, and ocean. Keep going on this road and it brings you to the old downtown part of Cabo San Jose, which is full of little shops and jewelry stores that are really fun to shop at. (I bought nearly all of my souvenirs there.) I took a couple of detours—where this road curves sharply to the left, you can veer down a hill that takes you to a place that does beachside horseback riding, and on the way out of the shops, I turned right and ran up (yay! hills!) past some newly-built condos. Then I ran back the same way to the Mega. I needed ten more minutes of running, so I crossed the street and went east again on the T.H., down a winding sidewalk between palm trees, and then back to the Mega.
I’m not sure if this was exactly ten miles…I’m guessing closer to 9 point something. It’s a vacation run so I’m not going to stress about it. I just ran for 95 minutes and then stopped. I ended at the Mega because I wanted to surprise Haley with some of their excellent churros. Alas, they hadn’t made them yet, but I did buy myself a bottle of cold water.
Because here’s the thing about running in Cabo: it is hot. Even the day I chose, when I was running by 6:30 and the sky was actually cloudy, it was hot. When I finished I was as wet with sweat as if I had been swimming in it (oooooh, that’s gross). I was glad I brought water with me for the long, hot, damp miles!
But early in the morning, with clouds and a little fog, the scent of tropical flowers is concentrated in the air, so even though it's nearly like running in a sauna, at least it's a fragrant sauna.
After I bought my water, I sat at some tables that look over the ocean, just outside the Mega. I thought it would be a peaceful place to cool down. Except: my hands were so wet, and every piece of clothing I wore so sopping, that I literally could not open my bottle of water. It just slipped around in my wet hands. A kind Mexican woman took pity on me; she was sweeping, but she stopped, and came over to me, and said “Senorita” and then some other Spanish I almost understood, but it included “abierto” and “agua,” so I handed over my bottle and she opened it for me. Which is a little embarrassing now that I think about it, but then I didn’t care. I just needed cold liquid.
So! If you ever find yourself needing to run ten-ish miles in Cabo San Jose, and you don’t want to risk your life on the open highway (even though it would be such a run!), now you know there is sidewalk. It’s bumpy and unpredictable sidewalk, and there are high curbs about every ten inches or so, and cobblestones and some marble stretches. But you can get your running done!
(All of my other runs I did either on the treadmill at the resort or on the beach. I know not everyone loves beach running, but oh my: I love beach running. You just have to get started early or it really is too hot.)