I’m not a fast runner and (these days) not much of a strong one. But I make up for it in creativity & curiosity! Like my 2016 project, where I began to run unique streets in McKinney, TX.
Awhile back, I read an article about a New Yorker named Matt Green, who is on an epic quest to walk every single block in New York City. On this thing called the Internet, you can learn more about him.
Matt has rules, as do I. The main driver of these rules are safety and consistency.
- The map doesn’t represent every run I’ve done, just the unique streets I’ve touched. Oftentimes, I had to repeat previously-trodden paths, in order to reach new streets. Sometimes, I repeated runs on the streets closest to my house
- The map isn’t meant to be 100% accurate. It represents the streets I’ve touched, but not which side I ran on, what corners I rounded, etc. For consistency when drawing the map, I marked my routes on the south and/or west sides of streets.
- I only ran on roads that appear in Google Maps with a name. Although Google Maps might show alleyways, private drives, etc. all of these are skipped
- I will not run every McKinney road. Not every road in McKinney is safe — for example, no way I’ll be going near US Highway 380. In general, if the road has a sidewalk, I’ll attempt to run it
Here’s what I knocked out so far (all years included):
When I first started, I just started running and figured out the streets to touch as I progressed. As I chewed up the available inventory by my house, I had to better organize my plans. For starters, I now have to drive to starting locations, in order for the miles to actually apply towards mapping new streets vs. just getting to them. In addition, I’ve had to draw out the routes in advance, in order to keep the actual boots-on-the-ground process from being too chaotic. For mapping, I currently use the dynamicWatch application on my Garmin Forerunner 235 to map out several potential routes in advance (either in 4 or 6 miles distances), then I just pick from one of these.