You can take the boys out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the boys. I found this old picture and decided it needs to be framed immediately.
I couldn't think of a topic today so I'll let the boys' photo inspire me for this post: the differences between running in a city versus the country. Here we go - see if you agree!
Running in a city versus the country each have their own advantages and disadvantages:
Pre-Run Preparation -- In the city I never worry too much about forgetting something before I head out the door. I can be blissfully unprepared and know that I can get a cab, a bottle of water, a bite of fuel, a pack of bandaids, and pretty much anything else I need with one click of an app on my phone or by popping in one of the many quickie marts along the path. In the country, you need to pack it all - the water, the food, the chapstick, and anything else you anticipate needing even if you don't actually USE IT that day.
Stops and Starts -- I love taking mini trips to the country so I can run on LONG roads that seem to go on forever, versus the city where I do a lot of starts and stops in a single run. It can be disruptive stopping at lights or waiting for cars to pass so you can cross the street. I sometimes lose momentum and it takes me a second to get back in the zone. Not only does my pace improve when I run long straight roads, but I also easily lose track of time when I run in the country.
The Views! -- I mean they are both spectacular in their own ways... the country with the rolling hills, horses, cool shadows and big open (unobstructed views of) skies... the city with its crazy characters, graffiti, and outdoor cafes.
Terrain -- On vacation I got really used to running on roads that have a soft shoulder with loose terrain. It felt so much better on my knees and feet versus the hard pavement in San Francisco. Each also have their potential downsides. Gravel country roads can cause you to lose your balance or roll an ankle -- but I've also found that running on pavement aggravates my IT band and strains my joints more.
Safety -- There's something about less traffic and pedestrians that makes me instantly feel more safe running on a country road versus the city streets. Really the biggest danger to me in the rural areas is lack of sidewalks. It can be pretty unsafe running on single lane roads, especially if you run with earbuds!
What about you - do you have a preference between city vs. country running? Where is your favorite place to go for a long run?
Did you grow up in a big city or small town or somewhere in between?