Run-Commuting Home

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.)

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2 Responses to Run-Commuting Home

  1. haha, i hear you on the annoying crowd situation! when i would run up 6th avenue in the morning, it was like playing a game of frogger! if you can get to the east river path or west side highway (even if it’s a little out of the way), it’s a lot more run-commute friendly 🙂

    • I love the West Side Highway, but last time I tried the East River Promenade, it came to an abrupt end because of construction and left me awkwardly trying to make my way across the FDR in REAL frogger style. But maybe it’s time I gave it another try. Thanks for the advice!

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