Good morning sunshines! I did something weird today!
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.
Run-commuting allowed me to wake up about an hour later than my usual time.
I suited up in spandex, and took Porter for a walk in lieu of my typical warm-up routine.
Once Porter completed her morning “act of congress,” I was off to the races!
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.
I’m fortunate because I work in a big research complex with EXCELLENT shower facilities.
I also always keep a change of clothes and a towel stashed in my desk in case of emergencies.
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:
Into a (somewhat) respectable scientist-person:
Once I had lathered, rinsed, and repeated, it was time to rehydrate:
And, most importantly, carbohydrate:
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.
After re-fueling and re-recaffeinating…
I started my experiments for the day.
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.
What I liked about run-commuting was arriving at work early, and making use of my building’s excellent showers.
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.
Additionally, and most egregiously, run commuting in the morning means taking the bus home in the evening.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?