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So far Kyle has created 36 blog entries.

Drying soggy A.M. gear for the P.M. commute home

Reader and new run commuter Eric asks a very good question:

[M]ight you add where you store your wet running clothes during the day? I mean, they have to get dry before the pm commute, right?”

Technically, no: they do not have to dry before the return home. I will impinge on no person’s prerogative to ball up sweat-soaked clothing in an IKEA bag, shove it in a filing cabinet, then don the clammy bundle eight hours later to endure a mildew-scented run home. No! Such freedoms are what made America great.

Not my cup of tea, though. While I will neither impinge upon nor impugn the right so stated above, I will talk wrinkle my nose before turning it up, and then talk trash. C’mon: gross. So I take great care to dry everything out before my p.m. run, and do so in as clandestine a manner as possible. Surprisingly, no one here has ever asked me how I dry my clothes. They must assume I am one of two things: awesome or disgusting. Perhaps both. Regardless, should they step behind my desk, they would see this beneath it:

Sub-rosa sub-desk drying

My clothing is drying, or a homeless man was Raptured.

(more…)

By | 2016-10-22T20:26:50+00:00 January 31st, 2012|Categories: How To|Tags: , , , |10 Comments

Stalking Mother Nature: she’s so hot; she’s so cold

Al Gore opened new worlds of stalking to the shy, curious, and flat-out creepy. Gone are the days when one lurked in bushes, trees, or other foliage, hoping to ogle passersby or inventory their actions. That mode is, I imagine, much like vinyl: adamantly adhered to by a handful of purists (or, as it were, peepers). Now we have Facebook, Twitter, fascinating blogs, and so many more options for electronic, anonymous monitoring of the object of your obsession.

Mine: THE WEATHER CHANNEL. Mother Nature is fickle and often ferocious, switching in a day’s span from torrential rains to sun blasts and back, perhaps a cold snap during lunch, and a tornado warning or two for a night cap. Most runners need to plan attire for just a few hours: the duration of their exertions. The weather in that span should hold, but run commuters face two often distinctly different climates, bookending their days. Keep these things in mind before you brave the day’s elements, be they at dawn or dusk. (more…)

By | 2016-10-22T20:26:50+00:00 January 19th, 2012|Categories: General|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

“I have SO MUCH to share!”

I scoop up adventures on my runs like children do coins in fountains: so excited by each, and there are just so many of them, all valuable. Most runners are like this, I believe; if not, they should be; they can be. Running to work or home, I constantly catalog the singular, split-second scenes past which I move. I do this to later share with Laura, and always share them with her first, and sometimes pop them onto Twitter.

Now that I have, I can share with you the recap of my lunch-time run. I biked to work today (I just missed my bike) and used lunch to literally run an errand. Hopefully this handful of shiny adventures will inspire you to jot down those from your next jaunt. If run commuting can shed the day’s stress from your shoulders, it also can bring something bright, lively and lovely home in time for dinner. (more…)

By | 2012-11-06T14:05:08+00:00 January 12th, 2012|Categories: General|Tags: , , , , , |9 Comments

Doggie doo don’ts

Part of the joy of running to work is the ability to explore and experience your community. Indeed, you are inherently exposed to it as you dash/trot/trudge to and from work. Bicycling gives you this freedom, too; however, at their slower pace, run commuters more intimately experience the areas in which the community needs improvement. Specifically: disposal of dogs’ movements.

My relatively brief run to the office has provided me a wealth of anecdotes, mini-adventures, and one-time-only sights. I photograph nearly all of them to later show Laura, and later share here. Yet of constant complaint and concern are the carnival-colored bamboo baggies of dog turds, tossed haphazardly by negligent dog owners beside (or on) sidewalks, in gutters, roads, semi-wooded areas, and pretty much anywhere else they feel like flinging them. I am certain roof tops and car hoods have seen their undue share of crap sacks. Here are some recent examples: (more…)

By | 2016-10-22T20:26:51+00:00 December 30th, 2011|Categories: General|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

Getting Started – Part 5: From Sweaty to Office Ready

We have enjoyed great interest and discussion since we began this endeavor, but we truly knew we were going somewhere when we got our first public criticism. Rather, I should say our first public concern: hygiene; more specifically, co-workers’ exposure to our assuredly horrendous hygiene. One Reddit reader voiced it thus:

“Anyone who would run commute to their office without showering before they begin work is an inconsiderate ass hole. You think your coworkers want to smell your sweaty crotch all day long? … Yeah, that’s usually the kind of attitude ‘that guy’ has about his poor hygiene.”

First off, asshole is one word. More over: I am about the sweatiest runner you could find; in anything over 70 degrees, you are likely to hear my shoes squish as my mileage climbs into the teens; yet I am also very finicky about my grooming, and I assure you, dear readers, no co-worker nor compatriot has ever had a whiff of my tender bits. I will explain how you can run to work, even in the height of Atlanta’s sweltering summer months (all eight of them), yet still achieve a rosy glow and pleasing scent around the office.

NOTE: Some will certainly say this is gender biased toward men, for whom hasty grooming might be considered easier. As with bicycling, we have heard concerns from ladies of their hair becoming a fright. I let my tumbleweed hair grow 14 months, 11 of them in 2011. I hear you on the hair; I will give the best advice I can. If any female run commuters have ought advice to add, fire away!

 1. Start your day with a shower
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day; showering is a crucial aspect of your morning ritual, too, especially if you seek to stanch the lurking workplace crotch-scent some purport to fear. Ready as you normally do. Gentlemen, shave what you want or must. Put on deodorant and lotion. Brush your teeth. Comb your hair. Stand up straight. Smile.

As my hair increased in volume (better measured thus than in length, curly as it is), especially in humid summer, I wore a hat. I hate wearing hats but I must admit this helped. My hair was sweaty but it remained tangle-free. (It also reduced my wind resistance.)

2. Planning is everything: gather your goods
Before you set out from home, know what you need for the day, and know that you have it. I typically gather everything on our bed, then view my accrued items as I mentally dress myself and plot my day’s events: socks; underpants; trousers; undershirt; shirt; belt; sweater (December and January); lunch box; BlackBerry; notebook; camera; and so forth. Then go over it again as you pack your bag.

This is the most crucial part of the process. I have several times neglected to bring a belt, or socks, and a few times my lunch. The belt is the only thing that aggravates me. You will find it difficult to maintain a professional demeanor when you are manually holding up your pants.

Stoke 19 Contents - Smaller


3. Leave or keep at the office whatever you are able
Just as there is little need to daily haul dress shoes to and from work (I keep two pairs of shoes under my desk: black oxfords and saddle oxfords), it is not always necessary to pack your dress clothes in and out. It will lighten your load, and also leave you with room enough to cart home, say, a 5-pound box of strawberries you obtained from the fruit vendor outside your office, which you can then in turn present to your sweetheart. (This happened.)

On a day I bicycle to work, I might bring several clean pairs of pants and shirts along. I always wear undershirts, so I can get two wears out of each shirt, and about as many from the pants. I keep most of my ties at work. Find an empty drawer in your desk, a filing cabinet, or some abandoned cubicle; use it like a dresser drawer.

I could really use some more blue or purple shirts.

(Again, ladies, I am sorry: this is gentleman-specific advice. Your ways are truly a mystery to me and I have little idea how to transport dresses or wrinkle-sensitive garments, or outfit-specific shoes. Perhaps plan an outfit well in advance, specifically for run commute days; haul those in.)

NOTE: I keep two pairs of emergency socks at the office. I have learned over the last year or so that I am most likely to forget socks, if I forget anything. Black, gray, or zany argyle are my choices.

4. Shower if one is available; if not, take a bird bath
This is the crucial step toward avoiding stink. I now employ the term “bird bath” rather than “whore’s bath,” as the latter earned some quizzical looks from a few co-workers. Turns out I hadn’t offended them in explaining my methods; they thought I had said “horror bath” (syllables and consonants are subject to wide interpretation in Georgia), but I still wish to avoid giving offense, in sense and scents.

You can easily obtain everything you need for a quick clean-up: soap; deodorant; shampoo; comb; baby wipes; foot powder; lotion. Look in the travel/sample section of your favorite grocery or department store. Check, too, for a little bag in which to keep them; stash that in your filing-turned-dresser drawer.

All signs point to spring-time freshness.

Except in the sweatiest of months, I typically eschew the full-on sink bathing experience, instead washing my face, neck, and behind my ears (the salt really gathers there), and wetting and resetting my hair. I do these in the single-occupant, lockable restroom down the hall; however, I have at times tended to superficial clean-up in shared-access restrooms. My curly (wavy when short) hair pretty much takes care of itself. Most days, typically fall through spring, I simply tend to salt- and scent-sensitive areas with baby wipes. After a great deal of field testing, I find Huggies wipes to be supreme.

Put it all together, and you can go from something like this:


… to something like this:

If you can take a better self-portrait of a 6’4″ man when the tallest object in your office is 4 feet tall, I would like to hear how.

(No need for you to look surly, though, and I am very peppy; however, Josh mandated that we never smile, and I abide by it.)

5. Practice makes perfect
When changing your commute to bike or foot, you should one weekend plot and time your route to work. Too, I encourage you to practice readying after returning home from a weekend run. This will give you a sense of how long it might take you, what items you will need in order to complete your transformation, and the general process through which specifically you must go; you will be able to tailor this advice to your routine.

6. If you lack a private office, share a work space, or lack storage
Many offices have drop ceilings. Find a remote panel, possibly in a lockable bathroom or above a stall, perhaps even in a closet, and stash your kit up there. I have done this and it works. I got the idea from Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash.

7. If you remain concerned about stinking:

 

By | 2016-10-22T20:26:51+00:00 December 29th, 2011|Categories: How To, BecomingARunCommuter|Tags: , , , , , |27 Comments

Sophie: run commuter, bumper surfer

Lordy! A season has passed and the weather has turned tempestuous in Georgia, nigh-freezing nights and too-warm days, with winds whipping flags, leaves and my massive hair to and fro. In short, perfect conditions for running. There has been a significant deal going on in the Atlantan run commuting community (e.g. us three), little of it related to run commuting; however, its time consuming-nature has kept us from the keyboard.

Josh’s family recently grew, having taken on a 9-year-old ward. It is a backhanded blessing. Their addition came via subtraction of a dearly loved friend. I put all my time into training for the Detroit Marathon, then needed a month-long reunion with my bicycle and Laura. And when Sophie has found time away from applying to graduate schools, she has been playing Frogger.

That is: Sophie was hit by a car.

Exhale! Cease picturing Sophie’s mangled, Frogger-mashed body. She was OK, but for jangled nerves, a broken toe and what she described as “some pretty sweet bruises.” Afterward, she continued on to work, about a mile north of the intersection. This is not an indicator of the lightness of the incident, but how bad to the bone Sophie is.  But I was surprised by the intersection at which it occurred, one flush with pedestrians; upon further reflection, though, given the abilities and awareness of Atlanta’s drivers, I am more surprised by such encounters’ infrequency. (more…)

By | 2016-10-22T20:26:51+00:00 November 17th, 2011|Categories: General|Tags: , , , , , |2 Comments

Run@Work Day or Run2Work Day: both great options

Man oh man, I hope your Run@Work Day/Run2Work Day has been as good as mine!

I rose at 4 a.m. with Laura, who was assigned overtime on the dayside shift. She works for an international media organization headquartered in Atlanta; normally she is on overnights but those dayside wieners needed some extra fire power today, so they recruited my tough-as-nails, sweet-as-pie darling.

After seeing Lo-town off, I readied myself for work, and walked around the neighborhood with my coffee, taking in the sweet silence of our seldom-sleepy, yet hardly rowdy, street. Nothing but crickets, wind, sprinkler whispers and the distant howl of trains.

Then, I was off, taking a long route, about twice that of my normal commute, since I am the only one in the office today and Atlanta is finally enjoying some sub-90, sub-80 — indeed, sub-70-degree weather! Rather than south, I headed west, young (wo)man, and am delighted to share with you my Run2Work Day adventures. (more…)

By | 2016-10-22T20:26:57+00:00 September 16th, 2011|Categories: General|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Crunched for time, so here is a quick run through a National Park!

Whew! This week has been hectic and, as everyone in the country knows, hotter than the molten core of the earth. We all had heavy case loads this week, preventing us from writing anything for your amusement or amazement, but will return next week with gusto. Benefit of run commuting: stress relief.

Though said run commutes ease stress, and give both barrels to getting you home and getting you exercise, there is the larger part, at least for me, of seeing and experiencing the city. I love Atlanta. Atlanta is my city; likely you all feel the same way about the spaces and places in which you live.

Every day I relish the experience of exploring it, seeing its myriad pieces and people mingle. Part of our aim here is to share that with readers. So while we recoup over the weekend and regroup next week, here are some quick pics I snapped running down Auburn Avenue through the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, of which I wrote earlier this week. (more…)

By | 2016-10-22T20:26:59+00:00 July 22nd, 2011|Categories: General|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

My favorite run commuter(s): Doug Coyle and his dog

My daily commute to downtown Atlanta, by run or bike, takes me through several parks, one of which is a unit of the National Parks Service. Auburn Avenue is the heart of the Sweet Auburn Historic District, boasting many historic structrues and sites, not least of which is the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site.

The park’s most-visited structure is MLK, Jr.’s boyhood home, in front of which you will see visitors from all over the world posing for photographs almost any time the sun is up. I am obsessed with National Parks, so it is a great pleasure to pass through or by here several times daily.

And often as I pass, I see Doug Coyle.

Doug Coyle and his service dog commuting to work.

I only learned his name last week, when we happened to pass each other on the sidewalk. (more…)

By | 2016-10-22T20:26:59+00:00 July 19th, 2011|Categories: General|Tags: , , , |6 Comments

Our first Run Commuter Summit

We gathered in Atlanta last week to host our very first Run Commuter Summit, discussing the perils and peaks associated with this noble activity.

It actually was just the three of us — Josh, Sophie, Kyle — drinking beers at Mellow Mushroom and talking shop. We did meet Terry the Psychic, though, who was there to read palms and tarot cards. Terry was kind enough to snap a photo of us, on the condition that we not “call her a dude.” (Wednesday also has trivia hosted by Ruby Redd, a drag queen. A few errant participants made that mistake of Terry not long after.)

Run Commuter Summit

From left: Sophie; Josh; Kyle. Also the descending order of personal condition and appearance.

The appellation “Hotlanta” is as dead as Marley, generally used by tourists whose primary information on Atlanta comes from articles on the 1996 Olympics, and our ginormous airport; however, there was no denying it was hot last week in Atlanta. How hot, you ask? (more…)

By | 2016-10-22T20:27:00+00:00 July 18th, 2011|Categories: General|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment
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