At home I would map my route online before heading out for a run. I could go almost anywhere I wanted. Downtown Muncie, alongside the White River, through campus, or out to more residential areas. The longer my runs, the more the scenery changed, making it easier to keep my mind off my pounding feet and burning lungs.
Here, however, I am confined to one circle. The 1.76 mile loop of my neighborhood is the only safe route to run. At first I despised this limitation, thinking I would grow tired of the repetition. After a few runs however, I have learned to love the loop.
The loop is paved and surprisingly level. In Muncie I dodge potholes. On the loop I dodge chickens. I laugh to myself as they flutter wildly out of my way, clucking so loud that I can hear them cackle over my blaring iPod.
The loop is never boring. On Friday there was a middle school soccer game just before mile one. On Sunday you could hear the singing of gospel music for a quarter mile before and after passing the Liberian church. Yesterday there was some sort of party happening along the beach.
While it's easy to lose track of laps and mileage, it's hard to not enjoy the run. The scenery never changes, yet the loop never looks the same.