Thursday, April 24, 2014

Why Running on a Gravel Road Sucks

I hate driving on unpaved country roads. For those of you living in suburbs or cities, I will explain that these unpaved roads are made by dumping and spreading tons of gravel of varying size and loose dirt. The truck then leaves the dirt and gravel just like that. Some of the gravel is actually more like rocks. Some of these rocks are fist-sized or bigger. The county, because these are county roads, knows that traffic will pack the gravel slightly. And maybe, if there's rain, it will make the road settle more and finish making the road for them.

But if there is too much rain, the road washes out. Then the county either ignores the problem or repeats the process.

When it's dry, driving on the dirt and gravel road fills the air with clouds of dust. Your wheels don't have great traction, so you have to go very slowly to be sure you can stop or turn when you want to. On a wet day, your car is covered with mud. So, it's great. Really. Everybody loves dirt roads.

When you're running, you have to watch the ground in front of you in case you encounter one of the huge rocks and cause yourself dire injury. And when you get back from your run and take off your shoes, you notice that you brought a large amount of road home with you, and you have to spend the next few minutes bending your shoes in various directions to get the gravel out of the treads.

If a car happens to go by, you have to breathe in all that dust.

It's pretty awful.

My only other alternative to that tiny country road would be to run on the highway by my house with all the semi trucks and other drivers. It's awful and pretty horrifically dangerous. So I don't do that. And...that's it. No other local places to run. I have to drive almost 30 minutes to get to the trail I really like, which isn't really feasible for days when I have work.

And that is why I'm going to start running after work, in town. We'll see how that goes. Meanwhile, two weeks of my running app are complete. Five more to go.


  1. Dear Laura, you need to buy those military-style boots that lace all the way up your ankle. They would take away some of the fear of a "bad landing" on those large rocks. Of course, they also weigh about four pounds each, so they would shorten your run considerably!

    1. Dad, is that you? I think it is. This sounds just hiking-related enough to be you.