Daily Chatter

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pretty Big Shoes to Fill

After run #68 we went swimming!

As I talked briefly about in yesterday's post, I made a few observations about VA while we were there stay-cationing at the VA house.
I really like where we are now so VA has some mighty big shoes to fill!

background:  We have a house in PA where the kids and I live.  Hubbs has been live/working away due to his military/professional choices/obligations.  We recently purchased a house in VA with the thought that this may be a place where the entire family might live (someday) while keeping our orginal home in PA for weekends and coming back since our families all live in PA.

My observations of VA (as defined as the area around our VA home not the entire state.  I haven't run that far yet!)  from a runners view point.

  • VA does not have berms or shoulders along the roads.

  • People in VA do not believe in mowing the road right-of-way along their property

  • VA DOT does not use weed/posion control in the road right-of-way

  • VA gets hot

  • VA DOT did not change the topology much when installing the road surface

  • People in VA do not think their dogs will bite

  • VA does not provide any opportunity if you need to "cop-a-squat"

  • VA drivers are (mostly) willing to get over and not crowd a runner off the road

  • In VA I can run right out my front door

  • VA gets hot, did I mention that?

  • VA believes in private property signs on side roads

  • VA does not have hills...mountains maybe but no hills
Now the comparasion to where I am in PA.

  • PA has wide hard and soft shoulders

  • People in PA mow at least the road right-of-way along their property (usually more)

  • PA DOT (and twp/boros) use weed/posion control

  • PA does not get as hot

  • PA DOT believed in making clear lines of sight for drivers and pedestrians

  • People in PA don't think their dogs bite

  • PA provides many opportunities to "cop-a-squat"

  • In PA I can run right out my front door

  • PA drivers are willing to get over (they are used to me after all these years and if they didn't I'd remind them about when I saw them again since I know everyone!)

  • PA does not have any private property signs on side roads (where I live)

  • My PA routes are hilly (and I like it!)
There are my insights after about a week at the VA house. 
I am sure I will find more things out about the new area as we spend more time there.

Whenever you are in a new area (visiting family or vacationing) what do you look for in running?
Is a hotel treadmill good enough? or do you want that outdoor experince?  Do you need a public park/trail or do you like to hit the open road solo?


  1. Sounds like PA is a lot more runner-friendly. When I'm in a new area the most important running requirement I have is that I can find my way back to my starting point. Aside from t hat I like to run through parks, along rivers or anywhere that I can enjoy the view.

  2. When we moved here (7 years ago), I checked out the sidewalks, trails and runner-friendliness with the house specs. It makes such a difference.

  3. I do not like running on the shoulder of the road, and would especially be leery of it if I were pushing a runnign stroller, so the wide, flat shoulders in PA sound like a HUGE advantage to VA!

    But, essentially, every place offers its own advantages and disadvantages, and typically, we just get used to one place over another.

  4. great report!! adorable picture!!!
    I usually look for flat roads and populated roads for safety(like if I dropped LOL) no seriously! Treadmill would be ok but i think i would prefer to get out and explore!!

  5. Okay so there are definitely pros and cons to both. I love that you are leaving your mark (footprints) in both states.

    I love to explore a new area on foot... the treadmill is NOT for me!

  6. Curious as to where in PA you are...I live in SNJ, pretty close to Philly...you speak of something that sounds more suburban!