I recently realized how accustomed I’d become to running in the city. I realized it while running on some dirt roads and long stretches of empty black top roads around Mackinaw City in northern Michigan. If you’ve ever been to Mackinaw City (or any other small, seasonal tourist town) in the off-season you know it’s a small town without much going on. Virtually no traffic, no city noises, no tourists or shoppers. I enjoyed the quiet runs around this empty town but I did realize that I would not want that to be my routine every day. Running in a different environment than normal is a great way to break up the normal routine and get refreshed and have new experiences, but for me, the solitude would get old after a while. There are certainly times at home that I complain about waiting at traffic lights on my runs, or about the cars that turn without seeing runners crossing streets, but overall the activity around a city add interest to my runs. There are people and traffic to watch, stores and signs to notice, and many different directions to go. Out and back on a long, straight empty dirt road is fun once in a while but not as a daily diet.