American Runs: The Places You’ll Go

During this week of July 4th, we thought we'd take a little time to reflect on runs that are distinctly American, including Running in Suburbia and The Hometown Run.

When I started running less than a decade ago, I spent all of my time on the treadmill at the YMCA. I told myself I stuck to the treadmill because it was easier to control the walk-run intervals of the Couch-to-5K program I was using. Once I graduated from that 12-week training and ran a 5K, I stuck to the treadmill out of habit.

The view from the treadmill only changed when the seasons did. I spent hours staring at the same slice of lawn, which would be green, then covered in leaves, then snow, then mud, then green again. I watched a posse of squirrels meet, hook up, have babies, and move on. I stared at the same stone retaining wall that remained unchanged.

I felt safe on that treadmill. A limited audience saw my jiggly thighs and wobbly belly. I never had to deal with weather or hills or dogs. I didn’t have to put myself out there.

It was fine. Until, of course, it wasn’t.

There was no big breakup. The Y and I had no blow-out fight. One morning, I just decided to run in my neighborhood because I saw so many other runners doing it. Then months passed and I realized how amazing it is out there, even in a place I swore I knew everything about. You experience so much more when you cover the distance one step at a time.

One thing led to another and I started running in other places, too.

A view of Pittsburgh you never get to enjoy from a car window.

Like my hometown, where I ran my very first half marathon.

Or a random lake in Southern New Jersey, where I got some miles in on a vacation.

Or in Florida, with my BRF.

Or with her again in Austin (and a random dog, who was a very good boy).

And out west in Spokane, where I discovered how fun it is to run on trails.

Or in San Antonio for a work conference where I went for a running tour with three women I’d never met before.

Or, most recently, in Ogden, where I experienced the Rocky Mountains and their sweeping vistas.

To say nothing of all of the runs out there where I didn’t take pictures, like around Sarah’s neighborhood in Portland, Oregon, in the morning dark. Or through the cranberry bogs on Cape Cod. Or with my husband near my sister-in-law’s house in Seattle.

As much as I love ending a run on my own front porch, even when it is sticky and humid and gross, I love even more running in parts of America I haven’t yet seen. It’s a big, beautiful country out there and I can think of no better way to experience it.

8 responses to “American Runs: The Places You’ll Go

  1. I love running for fun when I travel. A few years ago at a conference in Boston I ran every morning and saw all the sites. I had to laugh on my return when I had to tell people “yes, I saw that, but it was 6am and closed”! Paul Revere’s house, Old North Church, Bunker Hill all in the first quiet of the day often just following the Freedom Trail wherever it took me.

  2. I love running while out of town! Always experience something I otherwise wouldn’t. The first long run in my upcoming half marathon training will be out of town and I already scoped out a trail.

  3. Yes! On a recent trip to NYC I was looking for a place to run near my hotel and found that the place to do so was along the Hudson with a view of the Statue of Liberty. Not sure I would have found this were I not searching for a running route.

  4. Running has taken me to places I would not have ventured to go if there had not been a running event there- like Pikes Peak, the Grand Canyon Double, Cascade Runoff in Portland, etc, etc,

  5. I totally agree! I travel all over the country for my job and I run everywhere I go. It’s an amazing way to experience a new area plus get the juices flowing before a busy work day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*Exclusions Apply

Want some mother runner insipiration with special content and deals? 

You will receive an email within the next 24 hours with your discount code!