Kate Hein: Running Marathons Overseas

Living overseas with my husband is both a blessing and a curse. This international lifestyle does wonders for my seemingly insatiable wanderlust and while I absolutely love it 99% of the time, it can be challenging to power through a long season. My solution? Running.

After a knee injury in college, I was told running would no longer be part of my fitness repertoire – the elliptical and stationary bike would be my new best friends.

About a year after my third knee surgery, I received a piece of junk mail advertising the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Las Vegas. A quick phone call to a friend, my sister, and her husband confirmed my decision. I was going to run 13.1 miles. In a row. Without stopping. For fun.

Since that fateful day in 2010, I’ve completed a whole slew of races – both in the states and around the world – among them the Big Gay 10K benefitting the San Francisco’s AIDS Foundation, the Hot Chocolate 15K in Chicago, and most recently the Giulietta + Romeo Half Marathon in Verona, Italy, where I met up with a girlfriend who is currently living in Switzerland (we tackled the Semi-Marathon de Paris last year).

With lengthy pre-season “team bonding” getaways, two-a-day practice schedules, and weeklong road trips for away matches, I quickly learned that finding my own groove and having things to look forward to (races in particular) would be necessary.

Was I a track or cross-country athlete in college? Ha! No. Am I the fastest runner? Hardly. Do I win or even come close to placing at races I run? Absolutely not. But I love it. And running through some of the world’s most beautiful places – Austria, France, and Italy – with a good girlfriend or a pavement pounding playlist is a sure way to cure that little bit of homesickness that can sneak up on you while living this crazy life.

If you’re a girlfriend or wife traveling with your other half, I wholeheartedly encourage you to research a race, recruit a running buddy, and travel to an incredible location for an unforgettable experience.

Pick a city you’d love to visit and try your luck with a “[CITY NAME] 5k (or 10k or Half Marathon)” Google search. No luck? Check out these great resources: Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series Tour Stops, Marathon Runners Diary, and Ahotu Marathons.

 

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Kate Hein (Married to Andy Hein)
In Hein Sight…
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