Rekindle Your Love of Running

Love Between the Covers

Nothing will stir your passion for the sport like a good running book. Here are some of our favorites at Runner's World:

The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life, by Amby Burfoot

Breaking Through the Wall: A Marathoner's Story, by Dolores E. Cross

Cold Clear Day: The Athletic Biography of Buddy Edelen, by Frank J. Murphy

Once a Runner, by John L. Parker, Jr.

Running & Being: The Total Experience, by George A. Sheehan, M.D.

The Quotable Runner, by Mark Will-Weber

Here are six spots guaranteed to get you in the mood. For running, that is:

1. Burlington, Vermont

This cozy town, home of the University of Vermont, is filled with outdoorsy types and pleasant eccentricities. Quiet back roads are a stone's throw away, as are the Green Mountains. The Adirondack Mountains frame dazzling sunsets behind Lake Champlain, which itself boasts miles of lakeside running trails. And of course, if you visit in the fall, the foliage is amazing. For more info, visit www.burlingtonvt.com or contact the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce at (802) 863-3489.

2. Marin County, Caliornia

Hundreds of miles of trails are set against a backdrop of thick forests, sand dunes, and coastal hills. "It's hard to imagine a more beautiful place to run," says Runner's World On the Road columnist Doug Rennie, who has run in a lot of beautiful places. For more info, check out www.visitormags.com/marin or contact the Tamalpa Runners (www.tamalparunners.org, or 415-721-3791).

3. San Luis Obispo, California

Another of Rennie's faves. Surrounded by the Santa Lucia Mountains, this "serene and totally isolated" college town offers easy access to beach and trail running galore. Contact the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce (805-781-2777 or www.visitslo.com) for a visitors kit.

4. Victoria, British Columbia

With scads of runs starting from the heart of downtown and both mountain and ocean views, this tidy city of 76,000 is a runner's dream. And its blend of historic English charm and raw, Pacific Northwest beauty is unbeatable. Call (250) 953-2033 for a Greater Victoria Official Vacation Planner kit.

5. Mackinac Island, Michigan

Cars aren't allowed on this Lake Huron island, which may explain why the air smells so sweet. (Then again, maybe it's the island's famous fudge shops.) Tucked between Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas, Mackinac is 80 percent state park. For more information, visit www.mackinac.com; or contact the Chamber of Commerce at www.mackinacisland.org or (800) 454-5227.

6. Steamboat Springs, Colorado

This town isn't just for skiers. Host to one of the most scenic marathons around, Steamboat Springs offers jaw-dropping beauty year-round-and a race series that runs from May through September. "Trail running and watching the sun rise behind Mt. Werner is nothing short of a spiritual journey," says Emily Conjura, a local race director. For more info, visit www.steamboat-chamber.com or call (970) 879-0880.

More: 25 Best Trail Running Destinations in the U.S.

Are You Addicted to Love?

Even the sweetest relationship can go sour if you overdo it. Time apart, after all, is just as important as time together. Trouble is, we often don't realize we're overdoing it until it's too late.

"There are positive addictions and there are negative addictions," says Steve Edwards, Ph.D., professor of sports psychology at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. "Running for the sake of its health benefits is good, but if it becomes so compelling that you can't get away from it, it's not healthy anymore."

Some signs your relationship may be heading south:

  • You run when you're hurt or tired.
  • You run to avoid dealing with a problem at work or at home.
  • Your running interferes with your ability to perform regular daily activities.
  • Someone close to you-a family member, for example-thinks your running is becoming a problem.

"The trick," says Edwards, "is to avoid these extremes and create a balance with your running."

More: 7 Ways to Become a Better Runner Without Running

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