I moved house to a new area at the end of 2016, right in the middle of that dreaded winter hardship for runners. It was hard enough for me to keep up the running when I knew the area but this winter I am somewhere new, that is a smaller town with less street lighting. It’s a little hillier and the roads aren’t as forgiving as where I lived before.
It’s been a struggle to schedule running in the evenings. The weather and the build up to Christmas has taken it’s toll on the running group at work, particularly after the half marathon. We needed a break for it.
I’ve been making the most of the weekends to get longer runs in and that’s helped me to settle in to a new town. I’ve taken that holiday running attitude of being empowered to explore a new place in a short amount of time. There are some wonderful countryside routes where I live that follow canal paths and a country park paths and nature corridors.
The evenings are tough though and I find myself in January with very little motivation as to where to run to to get distance. I’m making the most of technology to help with my planning. I’ve returned to using my Calendar app to schedule runs, that’s making me go out even on those harsh winter nights.
What I am struggling with is getting distance on roads that I’m not familiar with, roads that aren’t well lit or equipped for pedestrians. I’m making use of Map My Run app to find routes that other locals are running. I’m not using this app to track my run or publish runs, only to discover runs. This is helping me learn the road structures, the distances and find routes which aren’t repetitive or back/forth (I don’t like running in a line as much as running in loop).
It’s helping me to stay on track but I am longing for some lighter nights soon.