I ran in Nixa this morning. Usually I run in Springfield, but I hate driving 20 miles on my day off just to run, and I had plans to hang out with my mother-in-law Martha, so I opted to run my scheduled 5 miles/60 minutes around my neighborhood. I won’t go so far to say that running in Nixa was a mistake, but my experience reminded me once again why 1) I run on the trails in Springfield and 2) I hate living in Nixa.
The first problem with running in Nixa is the subdivisions. Nixa has grown exponentially in the last 15 years, and unfortunately the city planners didn’t have the foresight to better plan these subdivisions. Now I’m not opposed to subdivisions; I understand that they’re prerequisite of sorts for suburbia, but they all dead end! How am I supposed to run on secondary streets if they don’t go anywhere?
Since I can’t run on secondary streets, I’m stuck running on the main roads where the lack of sidewalks and speedy drivers are a problem (more in a moment). My main beef with the roads, though, is that they’re not level, which raises the risk of shin splints—hmm, something I’m fighting. In order to get more than 3 miles out of my neighborhood, I have to venture onto some more “country” asphalt roads, and though they’re within Nixa city limits, they’re not maintained very well nor do they have street lights, which prevents me from running in the early morning or after dark.
Since I’m running within the city limits on the main roads it would be nice to have sidewalks (or even extra-wide shoulders), but there are no sidewalks on the main roads—hmm, they’re in the dead-end subdivisions. And if there are sidewalks, they’re just around the schools, which is good for the kids, I suppose.
And while I’m running on the main, unlevel, sidewalkless roads, I have to be on extra alert for speedy drivers. The roads are hilly and busy, and every time I hear an automobile coming, I pray, “Please see me. Please see me.” Usually they do, but on the occasion one doesn’t, I practically have to dive into the ditch to prevent being hit (and sometimes after these incidents I wish I had a rock to throw at the stupid drivers’ windshields).
As I fear for my life as I run, I wish Nixa had trails, but Nixa doesn’t. Even Ozark, Nixa’s rival suburb, is developing trails near its new community center and downtown district; Nixa, as far as I can tell from my reading of local publications, has no plans to build trails, so if I want to run on trails, I have to go to Springfield (or Ozark soon), which is 20 miles out of my way four days a week. (And of course, there’s zero mass transit in place between Nixa, Springfield, and Ozark, so I’m stuck driving my gas-guzzling SUV to and fro).
OK, I’m off my soapbox. I guess running 10 miles away in Springfield is better than not enjoying any of my runs at home.
“”Workouts are like brushing my teeth; I don’t think about them, I just do them. The decision has already been made.” –Patti Sue Plumer