All through the MC200 last weekend I was talking about my training and how I hadn't been doing enough speedwork or strength training and how I thus, predictably, had no speed. But on my run today I realized the reason that's been the case, and why I don't really mind. I've been running not so much for training, but to see the city. It's hard to even do timed segment training when you're out exploring new neighborhoods and parks (and very hard to do in Chicago traffic, too). And I think it's been worth it. I'm seeing lots of things and lots of people in the radius around where I live, and I'm enjoying that. Maybe I should be more strict about getting to the track once a week, since there aren't many hills around here to give me "free intervals" (in California I got in great shape because I ran at Rancho San Antonio once a week; I did it mostly for the scenery, but those hills got me fit). And when I gain a better knowledge of Douglas Park and maybe of the boulevards south and east of there I can use those areas for segment work.
Anyhow, today I tried to go running through Chinatown but I think I just skirted it. I approached from the southwest on Archer but turned due east on Cermak. I probably should have stayed on Archer. I guess I don't really know where the heart of Chinatown is, I was just looking at the label on Ye Olde Bikemap. I also went through some pretty nice residential neighborhoods in Bridgeport and Bronzevile, through industrial areas along the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, and by the Cell. So now I've gone running directly next to every major Chicago stadium except for the United Center. Which, oddly enough, is the closest of them to where I currently live. I ran near the U.C. on my first Douglas Park run, where I ran along Lake between Albany and Halsted, but I didn't see it as as I went by (it's not a particularly tall or distinctive building, though I probably would have seen it if I was looking). I'm sure I'll do it at some point. Not at night, though.