Shoulder runner

By , February 19, 2016 4:13 am

Well, this will take some time to figure out/get used to.

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Country road running. Lots of it on shoulders.

When you leave suburbia, you leave the suburbia running safety net – aka, sidewalks (and streets with low speed limits!). Ha.

We basically live in the country now. We’re really close to the head of a local 31 mile trail but I can’t quite run on that until the snow clears (the shaded parts of the trail are sheets of ice). The closest neighborhoods are miles away (yay!). So that means I am running on the shoulders of the road. Roads with HIGH speed limits.

Which cancels out running in lots of conditions. Dark? Bad idea. Heavy rain or snow? Bad idea. Rush hour? Also a bad idea. You get the… idea.

I knew this is how it would be. And I’ve already started to learn which roads are safer (read: less trafficked) than others. And it’s FUN to find new routes and run in new places!

But it’s so different than what I am used to.

And that’s good. Change. Is. Good.

Another change? We’re so close to Wisconsin! I can leave my house and run to the state line in 1.5 miles! My tracking sheet is going to start getting really complicated as runs go from Illinois to Wisconsin and back!


Our neighbors to the west stopped by yesterday (and brought a huge Kringle for us!) and gave me LOTS of tips on where to cycle/run around the new house. They’re cyclists and workout enthusiasts, which is awesome! And they know everyone on the street and gave us a lot of history. Talking with them really made me look forward to knocking on people’s doors and saying hello this weekend!

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27 Responses to “Shoulder runner”

  1. Joanna says:

    I run on the shoulder all the time, in the morning, in the dark. That is partly why I run at 5am bc there is less traffic. I do have some neighborhoods near me but I still need to go on the main road first to get to them. It kind of stinks because I wish there were sidewalks – I live about 3 miles from the library and grocery store and i would totally run to them with the stroller but its not safe.

    • kilax says:

      That is the good part about running that early in the dark – less cars. What do you wear to be visible? It just seems like a bad idea out here (for car and other safety reasons)… but I won’t say I am never going to do it, ha! That does stink you can’t get to those places with the stroller! 🙁

  2. Anne says:

    Mmmmm, kringle! If that’s not vegan, we’d happily take it off your hands 🙂 That’s such a nice gesture from your new neighbors!

    Running around here has been a huge change for me – I was just thinking yesterday that I miss the LFT since it’s pretty much always clear, whereas now I have to run around my subdivision in the streets (since yes, yet again, they never shoveled the snow). I think being so close to DPRT sounds cool! I used to love running it from Half Day after work. Do you want to just run and meet me down there some night? Ha ha ha.

    Oh, and where I grew up in Ohio, we were a couple miles down the street from Michigan! I wasn’t running then, but did always think it was cool to be so close to another state.

    • kilax says:

      Ha! I can bring in the rest tomorrow… if there is any left 😉

      Oh yeah. That is nice about the LFT that it’s clear even in the winter! You will still be waiting a few months for the Millennium Trail to clear up. Ha! I could totally run to Half Day if you can give me a ride back 😉

      That’s cool! Do your parents still live in the same place! You should do the “Run to Michigan” run! Ha

      • Anne says:

        I’d just give it to Terry anyway 😉

        A ride alllllll the way up to Zy-in? I suppose. But only if we had dinner at the LS Red Robin.

        My parents have lived in the same house for almost 40 years, so yes. I did that run once and people driving by all looked at me like my car must have broken down and someone was chasing me. I do my running there at the metro park instead.

  3. It sucks having to adjust to new running conditions, especially when weather eliminates so many options for you. I have the same problem when I visit Cedar Rapids. A pretty heavily populated, large suburban city, and yet so many places with no sidewalk, and no road shoulder. It kinda drives me nuts, actually. I just don’t see why residential and commercial areas where lots of people live and work don’t have sidewalks. Really. Hopefully the trail clears up for you soon!

    That’s so cool that you cross state lines during your runs now!

    • kilax says:

      Yeah, the weather makes it pretty tricky! I didn’t feel too safe, the day I took the pic from this post (the snow wasn’t great for visibility).

      That is too bad about CR. I wonder if the smaller surrounding cities are better laid out, but even then… it’s a pain to drive far to run. I like to run from home!!!

      I think it’s cool, too! 🙂

  4. Finding new places to run can be fun, but also frustrating! That’s great that your new neighbors had some tips for you. Safety is so important while running, and it sometimes takes a bit of trial and error to find the best routes. Enjoy exploring for now!

    • kilax says:

      I am happy they had some tips and saved me from some potentially bad roads! I am so looking forward to exploring more when there’s less snow, too!

  5. Shelley B says:

    I used to run on the shoulder of a road with a 55 mph speed limit, which of course meant that people drove 65 mph, and I was OK with it (running against traffic, in daylight) until two of my running buddies were very nearly taken out by the same driver – and they were on opposite sides of the road! So your shoulder running scares me – I hope your new neighbors and locals can steer you toward safer areas to run.

    Oh, for visibility, I founds some reflective running straps by Amphipod last fall – you can velcro them around your ankle or arm, and boy howdy are they ever BRIGHT when a light hits them!

    • kilax says:

      I have thought about that and it scares me too – I have to pay attention to BOTH lanes. Anytime I hear a car from behind me I look to see what they are doing, but I know anything could happen – I have very little control! So I am trying to find the safe roads so something like that doesn’t happen to me, too! Your friends must have been so freaked!

      Thanks for the rec! I just ordered some!!!

      • Shelley B says:

        I think you’ll like ther reflector straps, yay!

        And my friends were so freaked that even when we changed our routes to pretty much running only on the sidewalk, and not on that road at all, they still were very jumpy whenever cars approached for quite a while. Just so glad that’s all there is to that story…it could have been so much worse, you know?

        • kilax says:

          I hope so, too! I want something that will lay flat and not bounce around or fall off 🙂

          I’d be jumpy too! It could have been so much worse. All the stories you sit about hit and killed runners are on routes they frequent and probably thought were safe 🙁

  6. Karen says:

    I hope that trail melts for you sooon!! be careful out there. I run through neighborhoods as much as I can. Most of the main roads look like here and it can be scary.

  7. Lots of blinks lights is what I’d recommend. I know you could be neon glow in the dark and some people would see you but I think with blinking lights people tend to think its a bicycle rather than just a person and move over more. Be careful 😺

  8. Mica says:

    Yes, Kringle-bearing neighbors! They sound really nice! (Could you eat it? Is it vegan?)

    Harrison’s family also live out in the country, outside the incorporated part of a small town. It’s always hard for us to run there because it’s all country roads with high speed limits around them. I know you’ll be careful, but…be careful! 🙂

    • kilax says:

      They are SO nice! It’s not vegan but Steven said it was DELISH!

      Their house really does sound just like ours!

      Thanks! I AM being careful! I found a very quiet route today! And I have learned which roads not to run on and which intersections to avoid 🙂

  9. Kristina says:

    What great neighbors! I think that one of the challenges and perks of moving to a new area is discovering where/how/when to run or bike on roads or trails. It can take time to find really good routes, but once the routes are established – YAY!
    When we were living outside of town and more in the mountains, this summer, you would think that the location would be great for biking or running, but it was either straight up or straight down (like a few thousand feet climbing up or down). So, I had to drive in order to ride or run, which I kind of hated. I’m super excited that I can now bike and run right from our front door – makes me so happy!

    • kilax says:

      They are so great! We saw them again today and I told them I checked out that street and liked it, and she said she is going to make a 20 mile route for me! I love exploring but this is really helping, too! 🙂

      I TOTALLY get that! Well, wanting to leave from your front door – NOT the elevation. Ha! I have gotten in to the habit of going right out the door and I really like it! It saves time and I really get to know the area around me! I rarely drive somewhere to run now!

  10. Erin says:

    That’s so awesome that your neighbors are into fitness, too, and can give you some tips on places to run!!

    When we lived in the country in Champaign I ran on the shoulder a few times but never liked it that much. Now that whole area is being developed and there are actually sidewalks!

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