Run commuting for fun and profit…or maybe just fun

Good morning sunshines! I did something weird today!

Hello world!
And what else is new?

Specifically I combined two activities: my morning run and my daily commute. Typically I ride my bike to work, but today I decided to shake up my routine and try something new.

I'm sorry, lover.
Don’t worry, I still love you.

Run-commuting allowed me to wake up about an hour later than my usual time.

Feeling fresh! Looking tired
Feeling fresh! Looking tired

I suited up in spandex, and took Porter for a walk in lieu of my typical warm-up routine.

Doggy business waits for no runner
Doggy business waits for no runner.

Once Porter completed her morning “act of congress,” I was off to the races!

Or rather, off to my lab.
Or rather, off to my lab.

I took a circuitous route from my house to the health sciences building where I work in order to make sure my morning run-commute covered adequate mileage. One short hour and seven miles later I arrived at the rear entrance to my lab.

Wake up and smell the science!
Our building is quite lovely in the morning. 

I’m fortunate because I work in a big research complex with EXCELLENT shower facilities.

I'm one of those things!
I’m one of those things!

I also always keep a change of clothes and a towel stashed in my desk in case of emergencies.

Emergency towel; emergency snowboots in case of a blizzard; emergency wine in case of...Wednesday
Emergency towel; emergency snowboots in case of a blizzard; emergency wine in case of…Wednesday.

I recognize that my experiment in run-commuting would have been impossible without the luxuries of access to showers at work and a flexible schedule. Within a matter of minutes I transformed myself from a smelly-sweaty runner person:

You look ridiculous!
You look ridiculous!

Into a (somewhat) respectable scientist-person:

You still look ridiculous...but intellectual
You still look ridiculous…but intellectual

Once I had lathered, rinsed, and repeated, it was time to rehydrate:

Electrolytes, they're what plants (and runners) crave.
Electrolytes, they’re what plants (and runners) crave.

Caffeinate:

The most important piece of equipment in our entire laboratory.
The most important piece of equipment in our entire laboratory.

And, most importantly, carbohydrate:

Breakfast of champions.
Breakfast of champions.

As a side note, I received that Vigilant Eats instant oatmeal as part of an “athlete-fuel” sampler box I ordered from TheFeed.com. While I appreciate the ethos of the product (whole grains, no refined sugar, non-GMO sourced ingredients, exciting antioxidants, etc…), overall I found the flavor to be overwhelmingly sweet for my tastes. I’m certainly not opposed to putting chocolate in my oatmeal, but I think I’ll stick to the dark stuff in the future.

If there's one thing I do not do...it's mess around with my chocolate.
If there’s one thing I do not do…it’s mess around with my chocolate.

After re-fueling and re-recaffeinating…

I live in Seattle, don't judge me.
I live in Seattle, don’t judge me.

I started my experiments for the day.

Today I'm interested in DNA topology!
Today I’m interested in DNA topology!

I enjoyed run-commuting for sheer novelty value. Although the endeavor did require some forward planning (i.e. stashing clothes in my desk), I liked starting the day with a change to my typical routine and an extra hour of sleep. I’ll likely run to work occasionally in the future; however, I definitely prefer bike-commuting to phedippides-ing to work.

Although I wouldn't object to being more like Steve Reeves...
Although I wouldn’t object to being more like Steve Reeves…

What I liked about run-commuting was arriving at work early, and making use of my building’s excellent showers.

Seriously, the water pressure is better than I get at home.
Seriously, the water pressure is better than I get at home.

However, run-commuting does carry a few drawbacks. I usually go out for my miles in around 5:00 am, which ensures that the streets are empty. I embarked upon my run-commute at 6 am this morning, and I was mildly annoyed by some traffic along the route.

The world's smallest violin plays a tragic symphony for me.
The world’s smallest violin plays a tragic symphony for me.

Additionally, and most egregiously, run commuting in the morning means taking the bus home in the evening.

I HATE the bus
I HATE the bus

My favorite thing about my normal two-wheeled means of transportation is that it affords me the freedom to leave work whenever I want. Traveling by pedal-power, I am beholden to nobody’s schedule. I chafe under the tyrannical regime of king-county metro’s timetable!

For FREEDOM!
For FREEDOM!

I know that thousands of competent adults and children ride the bus to work every day. I also know that I am EXTREMELY privileged to have so many different commuting options. I can afford to live within the Seattle city limits and my schedule is flexible enough that I can roll into work fifteen minute late with minimal consequences if I get a flat tire.

Or if, you know, I get distracted and decide to bike to Narnia.
Or if, you know, I get distracted and decide to bike to Narnia.

Barb Chamberlain wrote an excellent piece for Bicycle Alliance of Washington unpacking the invisible knapsack of bike-privilege. I’m exceedingly grateful every day that my commute isn’t spent stuck in traffic, sucking smog, but rather is an activity I genuinely enjoy.

I hate traffic even MORE than the bus.
I hate traffic even MORE than the bus.

In summary: run commuting was a fun experiment, but biking to work still holds the number one spot in my heart. Chocolate in oatmeal is a good idea, but should only be attempted by trained professionals. Coffee is mandatory. And finally, even though my house’s hot water heater is truly pathetic, overall I am an extremely lucky guy.

The hyacinths are blooming!
The hyacinths are blooming!

Have a WICKED Wednesday!

What’s your commute like? Do you bike, run, swim, or kayak? How can I get over my irrational fear of public transportation?

 

 

4 thoughts on “Run commuting for fun and profit…or maybe just fun

  1. Public transit around the UCSC campus was way more fun than normal city transit :)

    Do you read or internet while you public transit? When buses, trains, planes, etc. have wifi then I’m usually entertained enough.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s