I freaking love multitasking.
As managing editor of a daily paper with a bad running habit and a pesky need to sleep, I somehow never seem to find enough hours in the day if I’m only completing one task at a time.
Por ejemplo: Squats? Lame. Brushing teeth? Tedious (and arguably unnecessary. Back me up here, dentists.) Doing squats while brushing my teeth? Multitasking my way to oral/quad health.
See also: calling my parents while cabbing it down the FDR, arranging workout dates with long-lost friends and drinking in the shower during college. Oh, how I wish that hadn’t stopped being acceptable after I turned 22.
So when one of the bloggers I idolize casually follow mentioned that she logged nearly 40 miles last week on her commutes to work alone, I knew run-commuting (runnuting?) was going to be finding its way into my life. (Note: if you clicked the above link to her blog, New York State law requires you make me a batch of her Oreo Cheesecake Cookies. Sorry. Cuomo’s rule, not mine.)
Although I’m unequivocally a morning runner, I neither have access to a gym near my office nor hate my colleagues enough to inflict my post-sweat aroma on them all workday, so a morning runnute (work with me here, people) was unfortunately out. But with a little advanced planning, an evening commute seemed feasible, so I penciled in Tuesday night and set about with preparations.
Preparation 1: Deciding what I needed to bring with me to work. Packing running shoes, a sports bra, shorts, a long-sleeved t-shirt, socks and my running belt were the easy part; whittling down the rest of my life to the bare necessities was excruciatingly painful. Knowing I’d be leaving everything not on my person in a locked desk drawer overnight, I only wanted to bring the vitals, but an ardent follower of the huge-purse-means-never-having-to-go-without-anything-ever religion, I really struggled here. I ended up forgoing my Kindle in favor of a Metro card, keys, my phone, a credit card, my ID and some petty cash. And Chapstick. Always Chapstick.
Preparation 2: Plotting a route. I had 5.5 miles on the schedule, but the distance from my apartment to my office is only 4 miles, so I planned a path that took me straight up 3rd Ave and then added some extra loops. Lexington would have given me a more straight shot home, but 3rd Ave presented the illusion of fewer tourists and less congestion. (More on the shattering of that dream later.)
Preparation 3: Awkwardly getting changed at work. Once we’d put the issue to bed, I snuck into the conference room, drew the shades, hoped they weren’t as translucent as they appeared, shimmied into some Spandex and made my way to street level.
Advocates of run-commuting hail the activity as a fresh way to avoid the bustle of rush hour, allowing one to complete his run and shake off the day’s stress.
Advocates of run-commuting are idiots.
Don’t get me wrong – I loved that when I arrived home at 8 p.m., I’d completed both my commute and my daily workout, effectively killing two birds with one stone and allowing me to eat dinner all the sooner/save a stone. But if anyone tries to tell you running home in Manhattan is a relaxing pastime, they’ve got something else coming.
As much as I love this city, running up 3rd Ave at rush hour this week reinforced everything I hate about this godforsaken place. Walking four abreast? Bikes on the sidewalk?! Dog owners on cell phones whose absentminded canines create invisible trip lines with their diamond-studded leashes?! No thank you. Can we all agree that new residents have to sign a statement with their leases here on out promising not to do these things? In exchange, I’ll sign an affidavit stipulating I won’t annoyingly jog in place at red lights mid-runnute. I think that’s a fair deal.
By the time I made it home, I had muttered exponentially more “JesusChristGetOutOfMyWay”s than on a normal commute and had somehow run 5.8 miles on the 5.5-mile course I’d pre-plotted. That’s right, folks: 0.3 additional miles for crowd-weaving alone. Relaxing, my butt.
For fear this post is getting too whiney, I’ll end with something awesome:
A picture of a boxer in a captain’s hat. AmIRight?
Have you ever run-commuted to work? Would you do it again? (Will I? Place your bets in the comments section. Odds are 60:40.)