I recently read Nicholas Thompson’s LinkedIn post about running to work/home from work. It’s a great article and something I can relate to as I have been running home from work for the past two and a half years. I am a fair-weather runner, literally, and do most of mine in the spring, summer and fall. But, I must say, I was refreshed to hear his candidness about the practicalities and foresight that goes into running to or from work.
To be honest, it’s more of an ordeal to take the subway than it is to run home.
In my run home (I rarely run to work, to be honest), I also must think ahead. Running with a military-sized backpack on to carry all of my belongings is impractical and would look pretty funny on the streets of Toronto. First, I downsized my purse to the size of a loaf of bread. It fits tidily in my small, runners-specific backpack. Next, I leave my work shoes at work and always bring running clothes to work in the same pack. I tend to leave crushable work outfits in my closet by my desk, or I jam the essentials (bra, anyone?) into the backpack I carry.
Hands-free, looking rather fit, I depart my office in the elevator with a bunch of suits who look at me like I’m the courier. I start the MapMyFitness app and put it in my backpack then lose myself in my music as I run my usual route up a steep hill and through a cemetery (the best part of the run). It’s a rewarding, productive (and free!) experience.
Meanwhile, on the Toronto subway system, the stop I’d get on is Bloor, which is typically crowded 10-people deep by 5:15pm on a winter evening. I cram into the next available subway and don’t get a pole to hang onto, so I exercise my runners’ thighs to stay upright as the driver, who is clearly unaware he’s carrying thousands of commuters who aren’t holding onto anything, screeches to a halt at all of the four stops before mine.
Next is the run to the bus. My bad luck usually means the bus drives off just as I set foot on the platform, so I tend to rush past the slower walkers (hey, I’m a runner!) to get up there. In cooler weather, the surface bus terminal isn’t the most fun place to be, and in warmer weather, I usually use my RocketMan app to determine if the bus will take longer than 20 minutes (the time it would take me to walk home from the bus station anyway).
It arrives and we cram on again, staring at my iPhone screen and feeling slightly nauseous as we turn corners and people’s body heat warms up the small space. 35 minutes from when I arrived at Bloor I am home. The run is 45 minutes. And I didn’t spend money to do it.
Plus, the crowds are nill, the air smells better, and you can workout at the same time. The serenity and mental benefits outweigh the commute. And, this type of scenery is a plus.