A few months back, I ran a marathon. You might have heard. I did bang on about it a bit… Not long after this, I upped sticks and moved from my pretty little apartment in scenic Heidelberg, Germany, to the city of New Haven, CT, US of A. What with being slightly burnt out from the marathon training, and slightly busy with the continent-shifting, my running did trail off a bit. But once I arrived in New Haven, I made an effort to go out and explore the town the best way I know how – running! And in the early days, I actually did pretty well at hoisting myself out of my slump. My first weekend, I headed out to the beautiful East Rock park, which I had heard much of. I wasn’t disappointed. With the autumn colours, and picturesque views over the town, I had immediately found an excellent weekend route, one to rival even the Heidelberg treasures.
|New Haven views!|
|More New Haven views!|
|From the East Rock summit|
I also found a running club that do track sessions every Tuesday, just a km or so from my new apartment. The New Haven Road Runners seem like a lovely bunch. They are pretty speedy too, so there’s no slacking off during intervals. It’s all I can do to hang on at the back of the pack. But that’s exactly the type of group you need if you want to push a bit.
I went on to discover the Farmington canal trail after few wrong turns (it's 1.5km from my place, but it took me 8.1km to find it the first time). There's not actually a canal there, and it's really more of a bike path than a trail, but it goes northwards from New Haven for miles and miles and miles, making it the perfect long flat run for a Sunday. All in all, things were starting to get back on track!
But then… the time changed. Those pesky clocks ‘fell back’ a few weeks ago, and now everything seems harder. I still have my weekend routes, but the weekday runs have stuttered and stalled on me. It’s hard to find a well-lit, safe route here in New Haven. I have one that’s about 5km long, but it isn’t very inspiring. Lots of traffic lights, and no scenery to speak of. Not like Heidelberg, where you could always take a jaunt along the well-lit south side of the river, with zero traffic interruptions. And, my running club had to shift to another venue, as the track near me doesn’t have lights. The new venue is much further away, and I have yet to figure out a good way of making it there. The result? Hardly any running for me during the week, no matter the promises I make myself. Which I then feel bad about breaking. Which demotivates me. So I don’t run. A vicious circle.
Mostly, I’m just being spoilt and I know it. Heidelberg was perfect for runners. I just need to adapt to this new environment, and quit my whining. New Haven may not be ideal for running in the winter, but it certainly has options. For example, the running club also has 6:30am runs I could join. And I WILL join. This week. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. And I’ve identified another runner at work who wants to team up for evening runs, which would help with the tedium of busy street running. And then this weekend, I have a super running jump-start planned when I head into NYC to meet up with Melissa, a Heidelberg friend. We plan to run both Central Park and the Hudson. If that doesn’t inspire me out of my slump, I don’t know what will.
Finding new routes in a new town is tough, especially on your own. But I’m hoping this slump will soon be over. Just gotta be a bit more proactive :)
What about you? Any trouble adapting to winter running? Or are you all way less soft than me? ;)