Running in a New Neighborhood

by - Monday, March 30, 2020

Once of the best/worst parts of moving to a new neighborhood is finding new running routes.

It can be the best if your new neighborhood is runner friendly. It can be the worst if that's not the case.

My previous neighborhood was not super runner friendly. You may remember how much I complained about it when we first moved into that apartment. Mainly I hated all the traffic lights and how generally unsafe I felt for a while.

My new neighborhood on the other hand is a million times better for running for a whole bunch of reasons.


First, it's actually a neighborhood. I love running through it and seeing all the really cute houses here. Some of them are old and historic and some of them have been totally modernized. But they all have personality.

I also love all the green space. There are yards here and lots of parks and open space. It makes for some really pretty scenery.


We used to live right downtown, which was super convenient for so many things, but meant I was trapped between two really major roads and all the traffic lights and high-rise buildings that came with that.

One of the other awesome things about being away from the high-rises is that my Garmin doesn't take a million years to find satellites anymore. I had basically stopped using it in part because I was injured all the time and trying to not worry about pace, but also because I hated waiting around for 10 minutes before I could even start running while it tried to find a signal.

Since discovering that it works normally here, I've taken it on almost all of my recent runs. I'm still not worrying too much about my pace these days, but I like having the data.

Plus without all the traffic lights, I'm not constantly having to pause my watch every time I get stuck at a red light. Now when I set out to do a three mile run it only takes me about 33 minutes door-to-door, whereas it used to take me 45-50 with all the traffic light stoppages.

Slow and steady data!

The other thing that is I guess a positive when thinking about my ability to build endurance and stuff is that there are hills everywhere here. Sometimes I hate it, but I'm trying to appreciate that the hills will help me be a stronger, hopefully less-injury prone, runner. I don't think I realized how flat it was downtown until I noticed all the long, steep climbs here. I'm sure I'll be cursing them when it's a million degrees out this summer, but for now, trying to think of them as a positive.

I'm still spending a bit of time figuring out where I feel safest when I run. It's not like we moved to a utopian neighborhood with no crime, we still live in DC, and I want to make sure I'm picking routes where I'll generally feel safe running when it's dark and I'm by myself.

Right now, I'm doing all my runs during lunch time because it helps break up my quarantine days. I'm trying to do a bunch of different routes so I get a sense of where I'd feel most comfortable. I generally try to pick routes that are well-lit by street lights, have a decent amount of traffic and where I'm never incredibly isolated.

I think I've found a fairly safe three-mile loop. I've done a five-miler that I really enjoyed on a Saturday morning, but I don't think it'd be a good contestant for an early morning run because a good chunk of it was on a pretty isolated stretch of road. I also found a four mile route that also seems to have some promise.

Overall it's been really fun exploring this new neighborhood and finding new places to run. And since running is about the only reason I have to go outside these days, I feel like we moved at just the right time and I'm super grateful for that.

You May Also Like