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Going Long In The Big Easy

Taking a break from training for a marathon isn't an option—even when you have to travel to New Orleans for work, which is what I was doing this past weekend. I managed to slog through two short runs on a treadmill in the hotel fitness center, but I would rather cut off my own foot than do a 2 hour and 40 minute long run indoors. So on Sunday I grabbed a map and plotted a course around NOLA.

I ran in between trolley tracks along St. Charles Avenue to Audubon Park, which has a fantastic paved running and biking trail. From there, I ran north through the campus of Tulane University and wound my way around a couple of serene neighborhoods until I came to a canal. I followed the canal to a main road and found myself at another park with a pretty lake next to the New Orleans Museum of Art. After a loop there, I went southeast on Esplanade Avenue and jogged by gorgeous antebellum homes. Then I hooked a right onto Royal Street and found myself smack in the center of the lively French Quarter. To celebrate reaching the end of my run, I stopped at the Southern Candymakers shop for a fresh praline. (There's nothing like a hit of sugar after a couple of hours on your feet!)

I think running is the best way to get the lay of the land when you're traveling, so I plan a route and hit the streets wherever I go. I keep a map or handwritten directions in a clear plastic baggie—that way there's no risk of getting lost due to my sweaty hands smearing the ink. My favorite spots: Paris, Barcelona, and San Francisco. And now I'll be adding New Orleans to the list.

Do you run when you're on travel duty? Where are your favorite routes?

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