Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Commuter Running (Written In Two Parts)*

While standing at the bus stop last Wednesday I had a "light bulb" moment, "Why don't I just run home?"  I could have technically right then and there - I did have have running shoes on - but I also had a purse, trench coat and work clothes to contend with.  Why run home?  Home is maybe a 5 mile run (it is actually ONLY 3), of which 75% is downhill.  Now yes downhill is not necessarily easy BUT it isn't 75% up hill, so I will count that as a victory.  My regular bus home is about 30 minutes give or take 20 depending on traffic and wait times.  I could technically beat my bus home and get my evening run in  (I'm not passing 6 miles for a little while).  It gives me more time to study for the GRE, sleep and do well how about anything else you might want to do on a nice summer evening.

It is going to take a little planning this weekend - things to consider:

How to schlep everything - a camelpak should do for the running days - the non-run days I would schlep the tupperware, work clothes and anything else that needed to come home with me on a non-urgent basis.  On second examination it was too small/require too much work to alter to be useful, so I purchased/got sucked into this:

This bag holds - my purse contents purged down to their basics - I went from a wallet to a ziploc baggie for now... glamourous I know.  Actually I need to find something like a little change purse because going to Safeway on my lunch with a ziploc baggie "wallet" is weird. In addtion regular contents are:

Running shoes - I wear an old pair to work and carry my current pair - both ways I have a pair of shoes.  I considered trying an alternative but there is none that I can see because while I have a few pairs of old running shoes at home I'm not going to carry a pile of those plus everything else home once a week, it isn't really practical.

Running gear - This I winced at, not in that it is heavy but the wear here is really difficult to read in the morning, and I still have a train ride for a portion of my hour long commute home - do I want to stand on a train with a running skirt and a tank on?  I opted to leave some weather specific clothes at work which I have duplicates of - for now. 

I ran home yesterday (Monday) for the first time.  It was a little scary - the stares, the Garmin being silly, the hills.  But in the end despite the tremendous difficulty of running with an approximately 10 pound weight of bag (coat, gatorade, and shoes) it was managable.  I was home in 30 minutes, just under but like that minute really counted.  That was with some brief bouts of uphill walking and stop lights. In the end I felt like I had done 6 miles physically which while exhausting made me realize just how amazing running without the weight will feel on the weekends.  As an aside I am going to actively pursue running home in the hopes that come September the 10 miles from seminary will not kill me but rather turn me into a better runner.  A little side squee, my downhill time was a 9 minute mile according to my Garmin and it did not feel unrealistically fast - this is a really good thing since I need a sub 9 to even hope to qualify for Boston.

*Pink sections are post updates.

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