Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Creative Commuting

This week we have a Commuter Challenge going on at work. Try to reduce the amount that you drive to work during the week and see how your company stacks up for participation against others. I also happened to have a 20K (12.4 mi) run on my schedule on Wednesday. And my home just happens to be about that far from downtown Calgary. What better way to get a long run in than to run from work to home?

When I first moved here I used to drive to the train station and ride the train into work. About a year ago I landed a parking spot downtown so I've been driving in ever since. I've never actually navigated the bus system. So I poured over the Calgary Transit website figuring out what bus I would need and what time I would have to catch it at. Riding the bus was quick and easy, but where I dropped the ball was on the logistics slightly. As I walked towards the bus stop with my running gear and my purse in my hand I realized that I hadn't really thought about my purse! I was carrying all this stuff to work that I'd need tonight...tomorrow...but I certainly wasn't running home carrying my purse. Oops! Luckily I was able to pass a few key items off to Debbie (like my glasses) and I could pick them up at her place this evening.

It was a warm one here...for us at least! Sunny, not a cloud in the sky and 23C (73F). That might not be hot to some of you, but around here, that is definitely warm. I headed out on the road around 4:30. It was a bit hairy getting out of downtown with all of the cyclists heading home, but no big deal. I was at Edworthy before I knew it - 4 miles down. That gave me a chance for a bathroom break and an opportunity to fill up my water bottle. I'd already used up half of it and I still had a ways to go. There was a couple having a picnic out there with a boom box, head bopping to some Lionel Richie. Yeah... It was a short jaunt to Shouldice and then the work started. Bring on the uphills. And there was no shade. There was a whole lot more walking and I was slowing down. My mind was playing games with me...your running isn't as good as it used to be...these hills are eating you alive...you can't run distance anymore...how are you going to run a half marathon at the end of your half Iron? It wasn't pretty.

I hit a neighborhood called Silver Springs 8 miles in and passed by a little strip mall. I was out of water so I stopped in at Mac's. I sussed out the Gatorade section and settled on a bottle of blue stuff. Honestly, what flavour is blue? I can't exactly tell. All I wanted was to pay for my bottle and finish this run off. But there was a guy at the counter who was trying to hit on the lady at the till and it was taking forever...!! Finally he had to go so I was able to get my drink, refill my bottle and get back on the road.

Gatorade...you were my saviour! The cold, blue drink felt so good going down, and about 10 minutes or so in I started to get some vroom vroom back in my step. Never has something felt so good, yet so indescribable. An amazing thing happened. My brain wasn't back in the game, but my legs sure were. They were picking up. The only bad thing that happened after that was that I failed to duck low enough under a tree and I bumped my head but good. Finally...finally...I was back home. 12.15 miles later. So the plan worked out not too badly.

And now I'm exhausted, so I'm off to bed!

17 comments:

lindsay said...

love the running-as-transportation! sounds like a great challenge overall. i know i have gotten overly used to the convenience of my own car and not relying on public transportation or my own two feet. i never know what flavor any of the gatorades are, but they are oh so good when you are hot and sweaty!

Alexandra said...

Great job on your home run, uphill, on a warm day, at the end of a whole day at work! Just reading your post, now I feel I need to go back to bed!

joyRuN said...

SWEET! Great job on your running commute :) Some mornings I feel like I'd love to run home from work - I'm a little too far though.

k said...

Now I feel guilty for not running to or from work more often. For me it is a mere 5 miles. (but i take the bus, i don't drive...)

Marlene said...

You did it!!! I can't imagine running 20K after a long day at work.. not to mention uphill on a hot day! Awesome job and what a great idea! My work is about 35K from home so I don't think I'll be trying this. ;)

Keith said...

Calgary transit sucks, unless you live within walking distance of the C train, and you want to go downtown. Then it's marginally acceptable.

But that's a great run! It just shows how sedentary a society we are becoming when the bar is set so low for these commuter challenge things. One of my buddies can earn points per workout minute. Both of us would get the max points in a one day of weekend workout, and in a couple of work day workouts.

Funny how your head starts playing games with you, when really, your feet and legs are doing just fine.

Deb said...

Whoa, way to go running that after work! It felt way hotter out there than 23 in my opinion! Where the heck do you live that you're 20km away from work...and all those hills? Ugh! I'm only 4 km away hahaha so that's a pretty lame ass run home for me! Don't let that run make you think you can't do it during your half iron...it'll all come together and you'll rock it, yeah!

Lily on the Road said...

ouchhhh, sounds like a great way to get your runs in this summer!

I use blue PowerAid, who knows what the flavour is, as long as it works.

Bob Almighty said...

Nice run. I hear you on the miraculous vigor some sugar and elctrolytes give tired legs.

On the mental thing...just tell your self this "You've done x-number of marathons a half Ironman ain't shit."
You are going to raock Lake Stevens!

Badgergirl said...

Nice job on the commute! I'd love to be able to run or bike into work, especially since I'm only 3 miles away. But the bosses frown on it - apparently I need "immediate access to transportation" if news breaks.

Lauren said...

Wow. I just mapped my way home and it's 12.1 miles. That seems like a long way. I know I wouldn't want to run home after working. I can barely get the energy to drive home some days :)

Congrats!

Wes said...

nuthin like a little extra vroom vroom :-)

RoadBunner said...

Great job! My dream is to have a shower at the office and to live 4 miles from work. I figure 4 miles is a very do-able run commute :)

Mel-2nd Chances said...

well done on the running commute! i guess i could do that by running down the stairs to my desk :D

Julie said...

Hee-hee!! After all that and then you bonk your noodle on a tree! LMAO!!

You totally rock -- way to crank out a long run! :) :):)

Road Warrior said...

What an excellent idea. There's nothing I love more than exercising for a purpose--errands, to get somewhere, etc. Good for you!

RunToFinish said...

you are so impressive with all the ways you find to fit exercise in to every day life! I love it and i bet you alone will have your company winning