Face of the Race 7.0: Running Home, Literally

Running Home, Literally

Great news! Your mostly-unemployed Face of the Race has gotten a part-time temp job right here in beautiful Los Alamitos.  My morning shift ends at 11:30 a.m. and the office is a little shy of 2 miles away.   The moment I was told I got the gig, the first thing I thought was, “Gosh. Getting up to run at 5 a.m. is going to suck!”

(By the way…WHAT?! Who am I? Before I started running, my first thought would’ve been, “When is the latest I can get up?” and not how EARLY I have to get up. Not just that, to get up to RUN!)

I’m decidedly a morning runner.  For one, my sinuses and lungs love the moisture in the morning. Another reason is that I don’t get side stitches if I run on an empty stomach.  A big spoonful of honey and a gulp of water and I’m out the door.  If I had anything more than an apple or a banana within 4 hours before running, I am guaranteed a painful long walk soon after Mile 1.

Having said all that, I am still not dedicated enough to wake up at 5 a.m. for a run and get ready for work.  I’m just not.

But maybe I could run TO work and get ready there.

People commute on bicycles too, so I’m sure there are folks who run to the office. And sure enough, I found a few articles about run commuters and even a blog. (Super helpful http://theruncommuter.com/).  These commuters run anywhere from 5-12 miles to work. Some run one way either to or from work, some do both.  Some run daily, and some don’t.  That’s a lot of running people are doing out there!  And here I am, planning for days for a 2-mile commute. But I digress.

The top challenge of bike and run commute is the hygiene.  Some folks run to a gym close to work to shower. Most just go with doing a bird bath.  There are several tips and tricks to get yourself presentable after a sweaty workout without a shower.  I had done my share of “dry cleaning” when I used to hike up a steep incline to work years ago.  But still, personally, I don’t like the slightly icky feeling afterward.  And the thought of having a pile of sweaty clothes stewing in my bag all day just grosses me out more.  So, running to the office will not work for me.

Besides, at the pace I’m running, I might not get into the office at noon!

That leaves me with running home which is actually perfect.  Since I don’t have to be home at a certain time, I can actually add another mile to make the run a full 3.1 mile/5K.  More importantly, if I had a light breakfast before I leave the house for work, by the time I set out for home, I should not have the side stitches.  And because I don’t run every day, I can leave my dry work clothes at the office to take home the next day.  No running with cargo for me!

So, last night, I laid everything out. I would wear a t-shirt with my work slacks, my running shoes, topped off with a warm jacket and MP3 player. To get ready for work, I packed my work top, face powder, a hairbrush, a washcloth, and body spray. I doubt I’ll get too sweaty by the time I get there, but you never know. For my run, I packed my clothes, Road ID bracelet, watch, ponytail holder, hat, sun block, and water belt with my phone, ID, a few bucks, and my house key in it.

The run home didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped. The sun was a bit too much and my shoulders started to turn a little crispy, so I headed straight home instead of staying on my training course.  I’m still quite proud that at least I got my run in. 

The best reward of today’s run commute experiment, however, happened right before I left the office.

I was making my way out the door in full running gear.  That, of course, drew a bit of attention.

“I see somebody’s ready for a work out,” someone chirped.

“Yep. I’m running home,” I said.

“You’re going home to work out?”  She’s probably thinking, then why didn’t she go home THEN change?

“No, no. I *am* running home. Literally!  I live only 2 miles from here.”

Oh, the look on their faces when they realized what I was actually going to do was just priceless.

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