I live 5 miles on the nose from work, which conveniently has a shower. I’d thought about riding to work when I was tri training, but never got around to it, since I thought the route would be a little dangerous on a bike– it’s really busy and sort of industrial.
Thanks to my impeccable logic, I decided it was safer to run. Of course.
I packed up my regular gym bag with work clothes and made sure all my toiletries were in order (they usually just stay in the bag) and brought it into work on Wednesday. I left anything else I might need for Thursday in my office then hit the road for the night.
I packed up my Camelbak mini-pack with my wallet, and extra pair of socks for the run home, my keys, sunglasses, and water. I should have put this all together Wednesday night, but I was sleepy and basically went straight to bed when we got home from celebrating Mum’s birthday. As a result, I left a little later in the morning than I should have and got to work just before my normal time, though sweaty, unshowered, and totally unprepared to face the day. Whoops.
How it went
Both runs were just ok. I was a little stiff in the morning since I didn’t stretch at all before leaving, and I think walking on my lunch break on the nearby hills on Wednesday stressed out my ankles and knees. I should have left my long-sleeve layer at home, since I took it off about a mile in to the morning leg. The evening leg was much hotter than I’d expected (I was literally sweating on the backs of my hands, which I didn’t even think was possible!), and knowing I had places to be had me rushing out the office without refilling my water. I had only just enough. Since I’d already run 5 miles, my legs were even more tired, so I wasn’t moving all that quickly. Overall, I averaged about 10-minute miles, but there was a lot of walking going on for sure.
The biggest lesson, like it was when I hiked Tuckerman Ravine a couple years ago with my skis strapped to my back, is that I need to practice moving around with a load on my back before throwing myself into it. I had no idea that wearing the Camelbak would make such a difference, but it changed my stride a lot (I didn’t want my elbows to rub the waist straps, so they were swinging awkwardly) and having the pack on my back felt really strange. Plus, on the way home, it blocked the air from getting to my back and keeping me cool. I should have practiced wearing the pack on a shorter run to get a feel for it.
Though the runs weren’t technically great by any stretch and I was really looking forward to both of them being over, I still think it’s cool that I was able to run to work and get 10 miles in for the day, and I’ll definitely do it again.
What I’ll do differently next time:
- Map out a new route that’s more residential and has fewer major road crossings
- Drink more water the night before and during the day
- Wear my nerd belt instead of my Camelbak– it might not hold as much, but I know I can run better in it
- Stretch before heading out
- Leave earlier in the morning– much closer to 6:30 or even 6:15
Have you ever run/biked/kayaked your commute? How do you make the most of your daily commute if you’re stuck with a car/train/etc.?
Normally, I listen to music and swear at other drivers in traffic. Helpful hint: if you’re taking a left at an intersection, you don’t have the right-of-way over someone going straight. Not sure why that’s so confusing to some people!