Originally posted on http://www.thememoryjogger.com.au/neighborhood-running/ on 29 Nov 2014.
Even though I have had the opportunity to run in some amazing locations and gaze over spectacular scenery – there have been plenty more runs that are not exotic, but my local neighborhood. Hey, I’m not complaining, just observing.
I’m pretty lucky though (other than living in a very hilly area) as I have some interesting runs that I have created that give me a mix of road, footpath, track and trail – and of course – hills!
I’d hate to add up the exact number of kilometres I have racked up around my local area – but I suspect it is hundreds and hundreds and probably well over a thousand. The circuits have become so familiar to me that I can calculate how far I am from home (or any other key geographic point for that matter) by both time and distance.
I can tell you the gradients of each hill; points that you can get water – be it a tap at a service station, a front yard tap or a properly serviced water station; points where traffic can be dangerous; the best place to cross the road to avoid traffic congestion so you don’t need to stop running; areas where the footpath is uneven and needs to be traversed with care; and even which houses have a dog that will start barking as you trundle by.
When I drive up to the shops or around the local area I find myself noting areas I have run (sometimes out loud) and estimating how long it would take me to run home from those points! Or keeping an eye out for hidden trails tracks that I’ve yet to explore. Don’t shake your head as if it’s weird – if you’re a runner you do it too I’m sure – yes you do – admit it!
From my house, I have devised 5km, 6km, 9km, 10km, 14km, 17km, 20km and 40km circuits that I run regularly – and some longer ones for my big outings. The familiarity can be good as I know exactly how far I have to go and how far I have gone and if I develop an injury know how and where I can shorten the circuit.
On the flip side, sometimes familiarity can breed contempt and I fail to take in my surrounds letting my mind wander or start daydreaming – not respecting or appreciating where I am and what I am doing.
Every day I run is a special day. I’m very lucky that I can run when many cannot – and one day (hopefully a very, very long time from today!) I know I also will not be able to run – or at least not like I can today.
So today’s run was my local run – 14.5kms at a reasonable clip averaging 5 minutes 22 seconds per km. I’ve got a marathon to run in a few days so no need to get too carried away – but it was a nice run along road, trails, tracks and paths – through beautiful bush-land, beside a babbling creek, with magpies warbling and in wonderful sunshine.
Next time you pull on your runners for a local training run – open your eyes and take in the sights, breath in the air and enjoy your run wherever it maybe – embrace your run.