This week I tried my very first work-to-home running commute. The first taste of spring weather was just too wonderful to pass up and I wasn’t feeling strong enough to do a Yasso or speed workout on the treadmill as planned, so a quick run home in 50 degree weather was exactly what I needed. And to top it all off, it was warm enough to wear running shorts sans leggings for the first time this year. I had never done this before. Running an A to Z route is different than the routes I normally run, as they typically involve running a loop away from home and turning around once I get halfway through my planned distance. (“Loop” is probably not the most ideal term for where I run when I do this because the route is by no means circular. I typically run in the general direction of home and let the traffic signals guide me to avoid stopping and waiting for traffic. Such is the life of an urban long distance runner! Case in point:
The logistics of running from work to home seem like they would be difficult–especially for a purse-carrying woman. But letting go of material possessions like my planner and all those unnecessary things I bring with me on a day-to-day basis felt liberating. I changed into my running clothes, laced up my Kinvaras, and got ready to leave it all behind. I left my desk at work with my wool jacket over the back of my chair and my purse where it can usually be found everyday of a normal work week. I left with my phone in my armband, my house key looped on my right shoelace, and my CTA pass and debit card in a pocket. Until the next morning, this is all I would have to worry about–and I liked it.
Since this was my first time completing my after-work commute home, I decided to keep the route simple. In fact, it only involved one complete turn southbound. In hindsight, I think I would have enjoyed the jog a little more if I had worked some more turns into it, but the weather was so nice and the sun was shining when it does only on spring days. I really had no complaints. Cutting out travel time from work to the gym and from the gym homeward meant that I had more time that evening to relax and spend with people I care about, which is something that I try not to sacrifice when working toward a long distance goal like I am now. After I got home, there was still 30 minutes of full daylight (thanks to Daylight Savings Time!) and I felt more energetic after the short run home.
I’m not sure if I would ever decide to run from home to work, but there’s time to experiment and have fun with working my runs into my day. I have a feeling my days at the gym are numbered as we get some more warm days on the calendar. It’s always a nice option for those cold rainy days and I can’t completely nix strength training from my training plan. Working some creativity into the normal running week was a welcome change!