I live an annoying 2 miles from the closest metro stop. And about 5 miles from my office. A little too far to walk, but close enough to make the 30-50 minute trek via bus and rail seem agonizing. I mean, many people run that distance regularly!
So the thought occurred to me recently — why not run it? But how could that be possible — how could you lug your lunch, clothes and all the other crap I accumulate during the day on a jog home? Has anyone actually ever tried this?
Well, of COURSE someone has, in this day and age when everyone likens themselves as some sort of Lance Armstrong. In fact, a little googling revealed a whole community of run commuters with lots of advice on planning routes, carrying your things and tidying up at the office. This was seeming more and more possible. Instead of delaying my already long-ish commute home by some time at the gym, why wouldn’t I just kill two birds with one stone, and possibly beat the bus home at the same time?
So one Monday morning I decided to give it a try. I packed my things in my little backpack that has a waist strap and is lightweight. I brought a sandwich for lunch instead of something that would require a heavy glass container. I wasn’t ready to run the whole distance, so I took the metro to my nearest stop and planned to run the two miles home from there.
Well had I paid closer attention to the weather, I would have known that a heat wave decided to spike into the upper 90s that day. And that the route I had planned out was almost 100% in the bright sun. Having spent most of year so far on the treadmill, I was not acclimated to running in that kind of heat. With a backpack. Needless to say, I spent a lot of that 2 miles walking! And it was a while before I wanted to try it again.
This past Monday I noticed that the high was to be a balmy 89 degrees (94 heat index) and decided to give it a go again. This time, I mapped out a shadier route and kept it up for about one mile, until I hit a busy intersection and had to stop. And that stop about did me in. You know that feeling when you stop running in the summer, and you can just feel the heat radiating off your skin now that there is no longer air moving past you? Ugh. I ran for probably most of that remaining mile, but had to start mixing more walking in. Especially up hills!
But even with the walking, I got home earlier than I would have on the bus. And that is assuming the bus was on time with no delays. As it cools off, I am sure it would be a faster commute, but then I’ll also have to consider the waning light in the evenings.
Do you have any creative ideas for commuting? Do you bike, walk or run as part of your commute? How do you tackle problems such as transporting your gear, cleaning up, and extreme weather or darkness?