Thursday, August 8, 2013

Wait ... you RAN to work today?

Well, yeah, I did. But wait, it's not THAT weird. Well, maybe it is a bit weird, but I swear it's getting LESS weird year-by-year. Allow me to elucidate ...

I ran to work this morning, about 4.5 miles on the slightly-more-scenic route (for those of you from the Twin Cities: this included heading north on Pleasant and Grand and Bryant, then picking up the Midtown Greenway east until I could climb up at Nicollet and weave my way past Eat Street and over to the MIA where I work). I wore a backpack with some essentials, and I didn't push the pace. It took me just over 36 minutes, and it felt good. Of course, I ended up rather sweaty, despite the unusually cool weather we're having (low 60s F, but rather humid in the morning).

Those essentials in the backpack? The answer has two parts:
Part One: I keep the following in my office all the time - belt, shoes, shirt, deodorant, towel, wet wipes, hand sanitizer. So I can rely on being able to towel off and clean up a bit. I'm also lucky to have an office with a door that closes, so I've got a place where I can change.
Part Two: My backpack - I recommend a Camelbak, because they are lightweight, offer plenty of straps, are built to haul water so they are built to be sturdy and to fit tightly, and finally I can adjust mine to ride relatively high between my shoulder blades so it's not bouncing on my waist. In my backpack this morning I brought along: cell phone, wallet, keys, socks, underwear, khakis (rolled up), and food (apple, yogurt, carrots, and a bag of dry cereal and raw almonds).

I should also confess that I don't run to or from work very often. I usually commute by car, mostly because I typically wear a suit & tie and often attend offsite meetings or lunches on a tight schedule. I sometimes commute by bike - which takes me almost exactly the same amount of time that it does to drive - but can be a hindrance if the weather is cold or wet, or when I have those afore-mentioned offsite meetings. So why run to work today?

I ran to work today in part because I was in a car accident earlier this week. Some guy ignored a red light and sort of t-boned my car in the middle of an intersection. I was lucky, he hit me on the driver's side but closer to the back wheel, so I just got spun around 180 degrees and came to a stop. I'm fine, just a nice bruise on my rib cage, but the car is toast. I'm dealing with the insurance companies and all of that complexity - I've never been in a car accident before, so it's all a mystery to me and I'm finding it pretty hard to find a helpful soul in the insurance biz. Sigh. Part of that chaotic milieu is the arranging for a rental car for awhile ... at least until the final decisions are made about my damaged car. That rental car is supposed to arrive today at my place of work (I do like that Enterprise Rental cars will "pick you up"), so it was simply easier for me to travel very lightly this morning (i.e., no bike). And, of course, what the heck!

A few things to note about commuting by foot:

  • National Run to Work Day is actually on the near horizon! Friday September 20, 2013. To be accurate, they call it RUN@WORK day, and you can learn more about it at the RRCA website. See, maybe it's not so weird after all, right? It's "national" for goodness sake.
  • Runner's World has posted a funny article about running to work, a bit focused on the whole getting cleaned up thing, which I acknowledge can be a challenge. I guess I'm lucky in that I'm just generally not a stinky guy. I know everyone is different in that regard, so what works for some of us may not work for others.
  • There is a blogger called The Run Commuter who has published careful notes on how to become a run commuter
  • The Guardian has another how-to article online.
  • And, check this out: there is a service called Home Run in London that will not only help you run home from work, with a group if you'd like, but they will also carry your bag home for you so that you don't have to. As they say in England, "Brilliant!"
Of course, commuting by running is not for everyone and I'm not trying to be an evangelist here. I did have a little fun with it this morning, and I'll try to do it a bit more often in the future, because frankly it's not as difficult as it may seem and it's just plain good for me.

Do you run to and/or from work? Do you have any other useful tips or links? Please post in the comments.

Run on my friends.