Kind of an ambiguous title!
I do frequently get asked about how I manage to fit in my runs while I'm out driving during the week, i.e. how and where, so thought I would write a post about some of my favorite places to "hit the road."
First off, it is a fair bit easier for me in that I run a dedicated route. I'm rarely in a new place (although the Alabama stop has added in some variety) so I'm able to scope out the safer/interesting places ahead of time. On the other hand, I am female so it can be a tad more difficult. For example, I will rarely run at night and I almost always have to make sure I have a phone and/or pepper spray with me.
1)Buda, TX--I35, exit 220. Ample truck parking behind Cabela's and if you're wanting a safe fairly smooth route, you can do laps around the humongous parking lot. If you're a bit more adventurous take the sidewalk behind the truck parking area north to the stop light and turn left (west) into town. Sidewalk, then grass/dirt, then pavement. The city is also working on a very nice park that will offer some short off-road trails--yeah, I've already scoped it out even though the barricades say construction crews only ;-). Bathrooms available at Cabela's, Wal-Mart, and at the city park in the downtown. No showers though.
2)Lebanon, TN at the Pilot--I40, exit 238. Safe--run laps around the outlet mall across the street. Adventurous--follow the frontage road east until it dead-ends, at that point you can go across the road for short distance and turn back or turn right. Continue making rights and you'll eventually get back to the road for the Pilot. If you take the right turn option be prepared for uneven grass/gravel surface and some heavy traffic at times.
3)Hurricane Mills, TN--I40, exit 143. Two options here, both are hilly although the west route less so. East route is directly across the road from the Pilot truck entrance (also the truck exit for the dumbasses that can't read) and is very hilly and will turn into a dirt road. Parallels the interstate but is very wooded. West route is the first road north past the Pilot. Paved but you will have to get on the grass when traffic is coming at you. Most everybody gives you plenty of room though and waves. No bathrooms available once you leave the Pilot and surrounding businesses though.
4)Mt. Vernon, TX--I30, exit 146 and 147. Two fuel stops to park at here. I take the north side frontage road to get to a small road that's just west of the Love's and zig-zag my way into town. Service road to Gadlin then left on Franklin and right on Miller. Endless options to check out the town of Mt. Vernon then. There is also the frontage road option if you head west (less traffic than going east). Also if you can find a parking spot at either of the rest areas you can run the frontage road on both sides.
5)Cotulla and Pearsall, TX--I35, exits 67 and 101 respectively. Fuel stops at both these exits and you can run the frontage road at each location and head into town easily. Pearsall is flatter.
6)Kerens, TX--Hwy 31 east of Corsicana. Fuel stop next to a dollar store on west side of town. Cross the highway and explore the neighborhoods. Tree-covered and very friendly people. Downtown area is paved with bricks though so can be hard on the legs. Awesome steak house across the road, try the brisket if it's available :)
7)Dawson, TX--Hwy 31 west of Corsicana. The old truck stop is now a junk store so parking is limited, grrr. Explore the tiny town or head across the hwy to Ranch Rd 709 and run north. No bathrooms once you leave town though.
8)San Marcos, TX-I35, exit 200. Park at the Valero on the west side of the freeway and take Center Point Rd west to Hunter Rd, go either direction. Nice wide shoulders, outlet malls on the other side of the freeway, Starbucks and Whataburger south side of the fuel stop. Only downside is the crater holes in the dirt parking lot of the fuel stop. No showers though.
9)Salado, TX--I35, exit 282. Park at the fuel stop on the east side and run the frontage road south. Very hilly and very windy though. If you can catch the cafe open, excellent food, esp. the chili-burgers or huevos rancheros
10)Prescott, AR-I30, exit 44 or 46. Several fuel stops to park at. Run the frontage road on the south side or go south into town from the Love's at exit 46. Wide shoulders.
There are several other places that I will run at but these are among my favorites or the most easily accessible when you're in a big truck. Feel free to add suggestions in the comments if you're a truck driver with excellent running routes,or even if you're not a driver, just try and make sure it's a location with truck parking please.