How to run in a new place

I didn’t go running again right away after we moved to Bangor.

Moving is a hugely stressful event. You’re carrying a (literal) ton of heavy shit around and you’re tired, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The hardest part, I think, is the fact that all your routines must change. Our brain builds them up so we don’t have to think about everything as we do it. But in a new place, your brain kicks into overdrive again.

I like it. That’s why we’re here.

I gave myself some time to get used to everything, but not too much time. I knew that once the dishes were put away and I had a chance of cooking in my own kitchen again, it was time to make health a priority again.

Another motivating factor: If I stick to one goal this year, it’s running at least one marathon. I haven’t decided if it will be the MDI Marathon on the Maine Marathon yet — MDI is now the closer one, but Maine is the course I’d rather compare myself to — but hell or high water, I’m running 26.2 miles this fall.

Last weekend, I plugged in the Maine Marathon date in the new calendar and lo and behold, training should have started the week before.

I start knowing that I’m going to need a few routes: a 3-mile route, a 5-mile route, an 8-mile route and a 10-mile route. Usually at these distances you can find a place to add or subtract to make the milage you need for that day. For distances greater than 10 miles, I’d probably want to do a loop or something because I don’t want to run a radius too far from home.

While Bangor isn’t a new place to me, it is a new place to me running, so my first stop was Facebook.

Click for the rest.

There are some great ideas there — plenty I look forward to trying! — but I’m also looking for routes I can take from my house, which is on the west best side of town.

Next stop: Map My Run.


Find Running Maps and Routes in your Local Neighborhood - Use Running Calculators and More | MapMyRun


I use this tool in two ways:

1. To search where other people have run. If there are several routes along a certain road that’s usually a pretty good indication that it is safe and/or enjoyable. Usually. Pro-tip: Using the “draw search box” will pull up more results then the general search, above, and it will give it to you only in the area that you want to run. I don’t find the distance filter particularly helpful unless you are looking for those 8-mile+ routes. You can modify most routes to the distance you want to run.

2. To map out my own plan. This tool is far superior to the standard Google Maps tool. You get immediate distance feedback and the editing tools are more precise. I only use Daily Mile to log my milage now, but I prefer the MapMyRun planning tools to Daily Mile’s.

And when you don’t have access to those tools, or you’re just learning a new place, there is always the out-and-back: Run some easy-to-remember path to half the distance you want to run, then run back.

I’m pretty happy with this 3-mile out-and-back, on the newly landscaped riverfront.

Runmeter - Run - Jun 11, 2013, 8_44 AM


And this 5-mile loop is also quite nice. It was my first run in Bangor as a resident. While I had been on the Kenduskaeg trails as a kid, I did not realize how expansive they were. Mile 3 to mile 5 is almost entirely off-road.

Runmeter - Run - Jun 12, 2013, 7_04 AM

Bangor seems flatter than Lewiston-Auburn, but maybe that’s because I lived on top of a hill in Lewiston. There are Bangor’s share of nasty hills on the way to my parents’ house on outer Ohio Street.

How do you find running routes in a new place? Or do you have a killer Bangor-area running route that you want to share? Or *cue desperate glances* are you looking for a running friend up here? 🙂


Pattie Reaves

About Pattie Reaves

I'm a new mom and renegade fitness blogger at After the Couch. I live in Brewer with my husband, Tony, our daughter Felicity, and our two pugs, Georgia and Scoop.