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Running in Suburbia is so. darn. boring. (Read 297 times)


The Irreverent Reverand

    I am so bored running in suburbia. I've lived here for nearly three months, and it is so. darn. boring. Any advice?

     

    I got back into running 3 1/2 years ago, when I was living in Arlington, VA, which has hills and windy streets and the wonderful W&OD trail, and where on long runs I could run along the Potomac and into DC - Georgetown University, various monuments, the Kennedy Center, and the Capitol Crescent trail.

     

    Then we moved to Saint Paul, MN, where long runs would take me around lakes, through beautiful downtowns, and along the mighty Mississippi. Sure, there were boring spots - like the first two miles of every run through the warehouse district - but the payoff was great when I got to the Mississippi River, or the Saint Paul Cathedral, or the Stone Arch Bridge with a great view of downtown Minneapolis.

     

    Where I live right now - Carmel, IN - is a great place to live, to send kids to school, and to enjoy a night out with the family ... but I have been very bored running here. I do like the Monon Trail - a great "rails to trails" trail through the heart of town, and stretching for more miles than I could run - but it is 3 miles from my house. On today's long run, for example, it was 2+ miles down one large suburban road, turn, then 3+ miles down another suburban road, turn, then 2+ miles on the Monon, turn, then 3+ on another large suburban road ... And if I run through the subdivisions, I get lost on all the windy roads populated with houses that all look the same.

     

    I know. I just need to suck it up and deal with it. But as someone who got back into running in two different yet spectacular towns for running, with great and rewarding views and experiences - such as running in the fog along the Mississippi with bald eagles flying overhead, or rowers rowing in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial - I'm having a hard time getting excited at the sight of a Starbucks or the new sign at the nearby subdivision.

     

    Rant over. Thanks for listening. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

    Husband. Father of three. Lutheran pastor. Overweight runner. Political junkie. Baseball fan.

     

    Goals for 2014:

    Sub-3:30 marathon; run for a year free from major injuries or interruptions

    PRs: 3:27 marathon; 1:41 half; 45:07 10K; 23:26 5K; 6:02 mile; <12 parsecs Kessel Run

      I know what you mean, though my problem went away once I was regularly running over 4 miles.  The first couple months, when a long run was 3 miles, were painfully boring jogs through subdivisions.  Though there was the mild entertainment of counting rabbits and turkeys.

      Goal Race: 4/27/2014 - Maloney Unity Run - 10K - Goal: Sub 60

      Old Lady PRs: 5K 29:25 10/26/13 *** 10K 1:05:37 1/1/14

      HS-CC PR: 5K 22:28

      Julia1971


      All in for Boston

        I took this picture from Gravelly Point this training cycle.  Not quite the Lincoln Memorial but pretty spectacular.

         

         

        There was a thread earlier this year where people couldn't understand why people would chose to live in an urban environment.  Everyone has their preferences but I my favorite runs are the ones where I get to see the city "waking up".

        Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. - Anais Nin


        Fat butt on couch

          I never felt Carmel was particularly good for running.  I've also run much better (and safer) trails than the Monon.  I actually prefer the White River Trail downtown that I run on over lunch.

           

          I live ~30 minutes west of you.  Much easier to run on the rural roads, but my particular area is flat and just as boring...just fewer cars to deal with.  The corn is coming down so it will be going from corn alleys with zero sights to windswept plains.

          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

           


          Boston Strong in 2014!

            I live in a suburban neighborhood, too, but there are several nice parks in my town within 2-4 miles so I plan my routes to run through those. I'd see what you could find in your general area. The miles to the park are boring, but the reward is there. Also, I listen to books on tape when I run; even the pretty park scenery gets a little boring when you see it 5 times a week. My DH likes to listen to podcasts so that's an option, too.

             

            I have more of a problem finding routes for cycling. In town there are so many stop signs and crossings that it's all stop and go. The parks I like to run through have paths that are good for walking/running, but not for cycling and the distances are fairly short (2 mile loops). So I don't get much cycling in during the week but on Sundays, DH and I drive about an hour to some beautiful spot near farmland, or the ocean, or along the canal between PA and NJ and we have a nice long ride. Although it wouldn't work every day, you could "treat" yourself on weekends by driving to a scenic location and taking a nice long run.

            2014 goals

            2000 miles; 5k < 24:30; HM < 1:56Century Bike Ride

             

            Upcoming:

            NYC Half Marathon 3/16Boston Marathon 4/21

              Suck it up man.  I've found that even the most scenic runs can get a little stale after you've run them a few hundred times!


              Interval Junkie --Nobby

                Move.

                2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon ("Congrats! It's tough to race with poop in the mind" --Wing)

                Current Status 03/17: Drinking beer and eating crap -- all the things I couldn't do before the marathon

                Julia1971


                All in for Boston

                  I live in a suburban neighborhood, too, but there are several nice parks in my town within 2-4 miles so I plan my routes to run through those. I'd see what you could find in your general area. The miles to the park are boring, but the reward is there. Also, I listen to books on tape when I run; even the pretty park scenery gets a little boring when you see it 5 times a week. My DH likes to listen to podcasts so that's an option, too.

                   

                  I have more of a problem finding routes for cycling. In town there are so many stop signs and crossings that it's all stop and go. The parks I like to run through have paths that are good for walking/running, but not for cycling and the distances are fairly short (2 mile loops). So I don't get much cycling in during the week but on Sundays, DH and I drive about an hour to some beautiful spot near farmland, or the ocean, or along the canal between PA and NJ and we have a nice long ride. Although it wouldn't work every day, you could "treat" yourself on weekends by driving to a scenic location and taking a nice long run.

                   

                  I think music and podcasts are great for this taking your mind off the boredom.  Another idea is to run a familiar course in the opposite direction from what you usually run it.   (An RAer suggested this to me this week when I was complaining about course boredom).

                  Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. - Anais Nin

                  Julia1971


                  All in for Boston

                    Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. - Anais Nin


                    Not A Runner

                      Suburban fartleks. Intervals and recoveries between Chili's, Olive Garden, Applebee's, TGI Fridays, and other crappy chains.

                      I want to do it because I want to do it.  -Amelia Earhart


                      Fat butt on couch

                         even the pretty park scenery gets a little boring when you see it 5 times a week. 

                         

                        While I find myself looking back fondly at some other places I used to live/run, you're right.  After awhile I was bored with even some of the most scenic runs, as Ken indicated as well.  That's the one nice part about my rural run vs suburbs around here....Basically I create my own "scenery" in my mind, getting lost in my thoughts.  Probably 2/3 of running from my house is on the same 8.25 mile loop or large portions of it, through flat, featureless farmland.  But that's OK as I'm not really paying attention to it.  But in the suburbs it's harder to tune out because of traffic and street crossings.

                         

                        Yesterday morning I went for a pre-dawn run of 6 miles.  I had to deal with 3 cars.  I was surprised at the heavy traffic.

                        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                         

                          You should write the story of your daily loop. I bet you will find it to be more interesting upon reflection.


                          Cool Jump Suit

                            I agree.  I live technically 1 mile from Carmel.  I've run around town and the Monon, but it gets old.  The Sam Costa HM gets grating too. I like running at Ft. Benjamin Harrison and the Fall Creek Greenway though.  They aren't too far away from you.

                            So bittersweet
                            This tragedy
                            Won't ask for absolution;
                            This melody
                            Inside of me
                            Still searches for solution;
                            A twist of faith
                            A change of heart 
                            Cures my infatuation;
                            A broken heart 
                            Provides the spark 
                            For my determination.


                            The Irreverent Reverand

                              Great picture, Julia. There is a beauty to running before and as the city is waking up ...

                              Husband. Father of three. Lutheran pastor. Overweight runner. Political junkie. Baseball fan.

                               

                              Goals for 2014:

                              Sub-3:30 marathon; run for a year free from major injuries or interruptions

                              PRs: 3:27 marathon; 1:41 half; 45:07 10K; 23:26 5K; 6:02 mile; <12 parsecs Kessel Run


                              Fat butt on couch

                                  The Sam Costa HM gets grating too. I like running at Ft. Benjamin Harrison and the Fall Creek Greenway though.  They aren't too far away from you.

                                Heh.  Don't get me started on Sam Costa.  Grating barely covers it.  Smile

                                 

                                Yes, some of the greenways are trails in disguise.  I have not run them recently, but the levee trails along some of the river greenways are pretty decent.  Thought they run through some pretty sketchy areas on occasion.  Also make sure you check out Eagle Creek, a short drive from Carmel, good, hilly trail loop ~6 miles.

                                "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                                 

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