Do you ever have a hard time getting in your long run? I’m not talking about finding time in the day, or finding the strength to get it done, I am talking about the PLACE. I have really been struggling lately with getting my long runs in due to lack of options nearby.
Basically, the neighborhood I live in is new, so it is very small. In order to run three miles, I have to loop through several streets twice, just to get in THREE measly miles. This presents a problem when I have well…anything over three on the schedule.
The road right outside the neighborhood can be relatively busy, so I don’t run that unless Bobby is with me, which is….maybe once a week if I am lucky (he works 2 nights a week in addition to his regular job.) This road can get us in a good 6-8 miles of…woods. How boring. and kinda dangerous with cars zooming by.
This leaves the only other option…driving somewhere to run. I understand it’s totally doable, but at least 50% of the time I am more likely to just say “screw it” and not run at all if I have to load up my car and go somewhere. Not to mention, our neighborhood is in the middle of nowhere so “somewhere” means at LEAST a 20 minute drive.
Yesterday, I forced myself out the door and took a drive down to the beach. it’s pretty, there is a sidewalk, and a huge runner friendly bridge to run over…people around…this makes sense for a long run IF I can force myself to get there…until yesterday, when a lady runner was kidnapped a couple miles from where I was running, at the same time in the morning I was running. I like to think the area I live in is pretty low on crime, but it’s one of those things where you just NEVER know. I don’t think I am permanently scared of running there alone, but I am quite leery and will never go there in the dark by myself. I always run with my phone, but this lady had her phone, too.
So my question is, how do you do it? Do you run loops over and over in a small space? Do you drive somewhere so you can run more miles? Do you psych yourself up and long run on the treadmill? I am seriously trying to figure out my best course of action from here on out!
QOTD: See above paragraph.
I know how hard it is running loops around and around. I recently moved when I got married to a much larger neighborhood so there are a lot of options but sometimes it still gets boring running the same roads over and over again. I don’t like big, busy roads in the morning when it is dark so I only run those if I am with others. There is no way I can do the treadmill. I had to run 14 one morning on the treadmill and it was pure torture for me!!!
Oh my!! that’s scary!! but I understand your dilemma.. we drive 40 minutes to run around a lake (7.66 miles) but I only go with my husband. we have lots of places to run longer routes but very hilly and mostly isolated… my limit on the TM is 8 miles, but i also “ONLY” train for for 1/2’s so it is all do-able. I just cant imagine long (15+) training runs alone. Hope you find a solution.
I live in smaller development so I tend to run around it to try to get in the higher mileage. It’s not too horrible but I am getting sick of seeing the same thing over and over. There is another development I want to try a little further up the road but there are no lights on the street going to it and its an gated plus 55 community so I’ve been a little apprehensive.
I’m not good at driving someplace to run since my whole thought on running is that it takes less time since it’s right there :-/
I used to do loops around our apartment complex before we moved because it was the safest decision. Definitely not the most stimulating, but our town didn’t believe in sidewalks and had a high rape rate. I’ll take safety over scenery any day.
Oh- how scary for you! I’m glad you stayed safe! I also struggle with getting in long runs. I have an easy loop that’s 3 miles, but anything more then that and I have to go in circles around different streets. Because I don’t have a running buddy, I have very limited places that are safe to run.
Having to run loops through streets several times to get the miles up is very frustrating! I had to do it last week while visiting my in-laws’ to get up to 7 miles. It’s tasking mentally. Then for my 13-miler two days later, I just went to a 5-mile path that allowed me to just run straight for almost an hour and it was so much easier. You don’t have to think as hard.
Here at home, I usually change at work and run in the park where my workplace resides, but on Saturdays when I do long runs, I have to pack up the car and drive somewhere because our neighborhood is not fit for running. It’s not so bad, I just get everything together and ready the night before and it is easy to throw it all in the car and go. I usually treat myself to Smoothie King or something which is one the way home after my long runs. Looking forward to that makes having to drive somewhere a little more worth it!
ooohhh I love smoothie king!
I am in the same boat. Our old neighborhood was only a 0.7 mile out and back, so that’s alot of back and forth, even for just 3 miles. Since we sold our house, we are living on a VERY busy street with no sidewalks or even a shoulder. the only time I get to run is when I can convince hubby to drive with me to the sportsplex and we run around the parking lot and down the access road-about a 1 mile loop. Our new neighborhood will have a 1.8mi loop so that is looking great right now, but I’m sure it will loose its appeal when I get to 8 and 10 miles on a 1/2 training plan. I would think the beach is the safest place to run down here because there is always heavy traffic and it’s out in the open-it just takes a while to get there from north of I10. and I only do the treadmill (which is in storage now-UGH!!) when it is below 30 degrees!
*oh, I saw on the news that the lady was kidnapped by her husband/boyfriend. It was a domestic dispute. so, at least that means HE isn’t a risk to random women-we just have to be aware of all the other crazies out there!
I saw that too, but still so scary! I will be way more cautious from now on.
I’m pretty lucky because I can run 20 mi by just stepping foot outside my door. BUT I do have to run on busy streets and be creative going through neighborhoods to meet my mileage. This is why I miss NJ so much. Where I’m from, we have gorgeous park systems with tons of paved or dirt trails. You don’t have to worry about traffic or your safety (b/c it’s always packed with other runners). I wish everywhere had running locations like that!
I am in the same dilemma. I live in Mobile and I live next to the busiest street in the city! I don’t have too many options so I run loops around the midtown area with my running buddy (never alone) because there just aren’t that many runner friendly areas around here.
I hear ya!
It’s always a relief when you find out the kidnapper was not a random guy, but it’s still scary. I live out in the country and only feel comfortable running on a 1/2 mile section of my street. When I do four miles that means I have to do four loops of that. It gets pretty boring. I was just thinking today that maybe I needed to find a safe, interesting area for longer runs because I am so bored at home and on the treadmill.
Stay safe! Love your blog.
yikes 4 loops! how boring!!! I get so bored on the TM!
Tara Burner says
i live in the middle of huge metropolitan area (between miami and ft lauderdale), i walk out of my complex and i’m on a 6+ lane road and live directly across from the police/fire station.
I can run sidewalk all which directions for as long as my feet/body will take me so I dont have to drive anywhere, guess thats one good thing about living where I am?! (trying to convince myself of good reasons I’m stuck here)
I face the same problem as you do. I live in a new small neighborhood. I really like it for around three miles but anything more than that is really hard.
I tend to drive to get my long run in. There is a really nice paved trail about 25 minutes away that I really enjoy using.
I am super paranoid so whenever I run I carry my cell phone and pepperspray with me. I feel like I can never be too careful
I always carry my cell, too!
Bethany Couto says
Yikes, so scary about that woman, and sad!!
I could run loops all day without ever getting sick of it…BUT, it has been a LONG time coming!! I can do that now, but i could never have done that 8-10 years ago…I feel like my running is always changing; sometimes i like to listen to music, sometimes i like out and backs, sometimes i like big loops and sometimes i’ll run the .5 mile loop around my parent’s block 10+ times. I feel very safe running in Boston bc there are SO MANY other runners and I do feel safe running in my hometown when I visit my parents. One time, about 10 years ago, a car pulled along side of me while I was running and the male driver said, “excuse miss, are you single??” I said “No!” and kept running. A few months later I was food shopping with my mom and the SAME man approached me (in the dairy aisle) and said “excuse me miss, are you single??” This time I said, “no i’m not and you need to stop approaching random women and asking them that, it’s creepy! ask me again and i’ll tell the police.” He was about 50 years old and i think i was like 16. CREEPER. But he appeared to have some mental health issues so maybe it’s not nice to call him a creeper.
It’s a crazy world but I do believe that most people out there are good people.
loops. well, you know what my neighborhood looks like, but I don’t usually go as far as we did. I’ve gotten creative for long runs while staying around my general area. The park by my house is a .5 mile loop, so if all else fails…lol
Lisa Fine says
The place I’d been living the last few years has one stretch of road – about 2 miles long – that I would often run down and back many times to get my long runs in. If I went further than that (by running there, not driving), I had to worry about bears. After the one time I saw a bear on my run, I stuck close to home.
While it can get boring, safety is crucial. I sometimes drive to places too though, which helps to change up the scenery.
Khourt @ Life As A Convert says
I have one “big” loop that is 2 miles that I tend to run over and over.. Sometimes I mix it up by running up and down the main road, but its the main road in the town and connects interstates so I dont like doing that too much. I always run alone, but I dont run where there are no houses because Im paranoid. I carry mace and my phone but against a gun I have nothing. And I dont run in the dark.
I have to get very creative. I know for my 13 mile run I had I had a 3 mile loop around my old house and new one, but I would get creative and run 6 miles and then go back and run 2 more (stop for water), then go back out for 3 and so on and so forth! I now have to drive whenever I want to go run somewhere.