Since graduating in May, I have moved out of the city and back home to my bedroom in my Dad and Debra’s attic. It is, no doubt, an adjustment in many ways, but for the sake of this blog’s theme (which is “running” if you are unaware), I will focus on the transition from city to suburban running.
In Boston, I never tire of places to run. Sidewalks line every road (on both sides!!), there are running paths by the Charles and the Muddy Rivers, and there’s always the beautiful and unforgiving Marathon Course. The carriage road on Commonwealth Avenue in Newton is not only my favorite place to run, but it is the running route where I feel safest (most safe? Someone please grammar check) from traffic.
Running in my hometown is different. Sidewalks are few and far between, roads are narrow and winding, and drivers aggressively maneuver the streets because where they are going is hands down more important than where everyone else is going.*
It is difficult to find a long route that follows a sidewalk, which is frustrating to someone who could leave her apartment, crush eighteen miles, and return to her doorstep all without having to hurdle over roadkill, jump into brush piles on the side of the road because a driver chose not to slow down, or try to cross a busy intersection that for some reason doesn’t have crosswalks or walk signals for pedestrians.
I do my part by running against traffic, wearing bright colors and reflectors, carrying a flashlight on the rare occasion of running at dusk, and taking headphones out on busy streets, but sometimes that’s just not enough to ease my mind as a car whizzes by faster than the generous speed limit.
So, I ask that drivers please slow down, move over, and share the road with runners and cyclists. Running is often the greatest part of my day, and, understandably, your commute is not, but please be mindful of others using the same roads in different ways. Just because you are jealous that I’m running and you’re not doesn’t mean you can almost hit me with your car.* But in all seriousness, please slow down, we athletes on the side of the road thank you.
*Denotes sarcastic tone