Monday, March 9, 2009

Across the divide

I live in a neighborhood that's really a series of contiguous developments framed on three sides by major roads with a service road that runs along the south side. My neighborhood is a quiet and peaceful place to run, especially during the early hours. While the scenery is mostly houses and cars there are other interesting distractions such as schools and parks. I prefer running through the streets of my neighborhood to running on the local high school track for a few reasons: less wind, variable terrain and more visual stimulation.

Until recently my neighborhood provided everything I needed as a runner but now that my distances have increased I'm beginning to feel boxed in. I'm finding that the streets are growing too familiar and, despite a number of curvy roads with feeder streets, there's no longer a sense of discovery. It's all in a map in my head and I now plan my routes mostly around changing elevations and ways to avoid running twice on the same road.

On Sunday I braved the service road (I'm not kidding when I say that, it's a one-way 30 MPH road that rarely sees cars traveling slower than 50) and then cut under a highway bridge. I then crossed yet another speedy one-way street and entered a new neighborhood. What I found there were more houses, cars and parks. But these were different houses, cars and parks located on different streets! I took some random rights and lefts and eventually found my way back into my neighborhood. When I hit the more familiar streets I noticed that I was well over a mile into my run and my route options for covering three more miles were better since I hadn't covered much of my home turf.

I'll add neighborhood #2 to my weekend runs until that becomes more of the same. There's another neighborhood across from the west side boundary that has lots of interesting hills that I can also explore. Hopefully these options will hold my interest for a while longer.

2 comments:

  1. I wish I could say I've run so much that I'm bored with the scenery -- I believe that's an accomplishment in and of itself! :-) Sounds like you've made terrific progress over the last couple of weeks, by the way. You're going to do so well racing!!

    I'm going to register for a race today now that I'm "back!"

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  2. Thanks! I'm glad to hear from you -I've been looking for your posts. Glad to hear the knee is behaving. When is the race?

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