Save the nips: Red11 Sport anti-chafe salve review

EDITOR’S NOTE: As of Feb. 2017, Red11 is no longer available for purchase. A good replacement is Body Glide.

I, like so many, have since my first tentative steps as a runner dreaded this happening to me. During an out-and-back segment of my first ultra, 24-ish miles into a grueling 50K, a runner in the opposite direction had upon his face not fatigue but wide-eyed fear mingled with agony. I understood why. Upon his white shirt: twin red streams trailing toward his waistband. And he had six more miles to go.

Bloody nipples. Nipple chafe (clinically: nipple fissures). Hell, chafe in general, as M. Suzette writes, in any of the body’s geography. Every runner harbors this terror in the heart and the skin above it, and holds forth numerous methods of mitigation: adhesive bandages; sport tape; petroleum jelly. But I give you today Red11 Sport, an anti-chafe agent unlike others I have known, a salve to save your nipples and nethers from being churned to hamburger when you run.
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The Run Commuter team has been using Red11 Sport for several months now, putting it on our delicate tissues, then putting this through the wringer. My first impression was a chuckle for its clever, snarky name. (Think about my description above of the afflicted gent.) Red11 Sport is a New York City-based newcomer, cheeky in its marketing and seems so in its company culture, judging by our correspondence with them. That is a good beginning to recommend it to runners: they’re like us.

But they can get away with it because the product works, and works extremely well. Red11 Sport is composed of shea butter (main ingredient), vitamin E, coconut, mineral wax and peppermint. In fact, the peppermint scent was among the first things we noticed, as soon as we popped the tin open. It’s present but not strong, just enough to notice. You won’t feel it on your skin, and don’t worry that your areolas will smell like candy canes: they won’t.

Red11 Sport feels to the touch like a lip balm: a bit waxy, smooth, but spreadable. In fact, one of our contributors, Nic, has used it just so when he forgot his lip balm at home. Rub some on the end of a finger; rub the finger on your nipple(s); go running: simple. Both sizes come in tins small enough to fit in a pocket.

Here’s the meat of this review: it works. This tiny tin of chafe-halting nectar works so much better than anything I have found. I’ll explain by way of comparison, then tout Red11 Sport’s merits.

IMAG1466The primary anti-chafe methods, anecdotally and from experience, are bandages/sport tape, petroleum jelly and BodyGlide. The latter will likely be Red11 Sport’s main competitor. Bandages/sport tape will protect nipples from being rubbed raw, but sweating will dislodge them. That’s been my experience with bandages, anyway, though sport tape usually stays put. Unfortunately, you can’t put them in your armpits, butt crack, upper thighs, and balls, all areas prone to chafe.

Petroleum jelly always works but it stains shirts, leaving competitors and onlookers to wonder why you’re lactating. I slathered it on my thighs mid-race in the 2011 Detroit Marathon, experiencing some chafe then, and it again worked but my shorts clung to it, riding waaaaay up into the nethers. And my shorts are short enough already; there’s little room to travel.

I’ve never been a fan of BodyGlide. It wears off too quickly. I’ve tried it, tried it again to be certain, but it seems to slough off maybe 5-10 miles into a long run or race. I’ve seen teammates and competitors in longer ultras reapply it periodically, which I never had to do with petroleum jelly. It always leaves me disappointed and raw.
IMAG1468Red11 Sport came to us just before the crush of southern summer. Most of my use has been on run commutes, but I’ve used this precious goo on shorter and moderate runs, about 5-10 miles, and several times on long efforts, up to and past 20 miles. No issues. No need to reapply. And nary a hint of chafe! Nor has there been any stain or mark on my shirts, any time that I have applied Red11 Sport. That is hugely important. Stains in no way alter the function of tech shirts but it is embarrassing and ruins some very cool race shirts.

It also has proved effective with irritation from heart rate monitors. Hall has used applied it in that way and had none of his usual chafing. We passed it along to a female friend who was experiencing significant chafe from her monitor whenever she ran. She says, “I ran twice last week with the heart rate monitor strap and used your special cream. I was free of all irritation!”

Here’s what one of our contributors, Nic, had to say:

“I have used the Red11 for about 150 km since I received it, and it is great. Seriously, it is the best anti-chaffing stuff I ever used (I got absolutely no chafing at all last week, and I ran a total of 114 km). My only comment would be to replace “nipple protection” on the container by something more gender neutral, but beside that, I liked the product and the format of the container. And I even used it as lip balm this morning since I could not find my usual one!IMG_8431

“I wore my chafing shorts for a 15 km interval training/run commute. (These shorts are very old, and I always have problems with them, even with Vaseline and Nok). So I decided to wear them, over a generous coating of Red11. And I am glad to report … nothing! Nothing at all! Baby skin throughout. I am very, VERY impressed.”

Heed Nic’s suggestion to alter the “nipple protection” labeling on the tins. That’s how Red11 Sport is primarily marketing the product — indeed, that is the top-tier trouble zone — but I’ve used it everywhere, as Nic has. Thoroughly saturated by sweat in 95-degree heat and maximum humidity after 18 miles: I felt nothing in any of the typical problem spots. If you see Red11 Sport at your running store, snap some up. Your nipples/genitals/miscellaneous, and anyone who has to see them, will thank you.

DISCLOSURE: Red11 Sport provided gratis samples for our review.

By | 2017-02-24T10:03:50+00:00 August 6th, 2014|Categories: Gear|Tags: , , , , , , |4 Comments

The Run Commuter’s bundle of joy

Welcome Wyatt J Woiderski to this wide, wonderful world, and congratulations to Rebecca and Josh on what we’re all certain will be another rad kid!

Closer to home, this means Josh will for a short while take a back seat at The Run Commuter, as he tends to his ever-expanding stable of sons, and consoles Rebecca for having to dwell in Fort Sausage Fest. It also means Hall and I will be stepping up to take on Josh’s usual duties at the site, so you can expect a good deal more salty language.

Will this papoose fit in a run commuting pack??

Wyatt

 

By | 2016-10-22T20:26:36+00:00 August 4th, 2014|Categories: General, News|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Review: Purinize water-purifying tincture

I was as a young man waaaay into Dungeons & Dragons, as well as video game RPGs like the Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior series. There was always some bottled liquid to cure your ailments and even restore life, should your mighty berserker be somehow felled by an elf. Those indoors-for-hours days rushed to my memory when we received our latest product to review: Purinize, a potion promising to render water potable by vanquishing microscopic assailants and coagulating sediments.

How does Purinize manage these extraordinary feats? Why, by the sensible and scientific application of VOLCANO SALTS. (more…)

By | 2016-10-22T20:26:37+00:00 June 13th, 2014|Categories: Gear|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

The New Run Commuters – February 2014, Part 2

Welcome back! In our second February installment of The New Run Commuters, we feature Brent, a lawyer from Washington D.C., and Ivan, a Certified Financial Planner from San Diego, CA.

In March, we will return to a once-a-month, double feature of TNRC. Be sure to contact us if you are interested in being featured! 

Runner Basics

  • Name: Brent Allen
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    New Run Commuter Brent.

  • Age: 45
  • City/State: Washington, DC
  • Profession/Employer: Lawyer
  • Number of years running: 15-20 years on-and-off (sadly, more “off” than “on”)
  • # of races you participate in a year: None. I’ve never tried a race.
  • Do you prefer road or trail? I run only on sidewalks, or paved paths in nature areas. I’d love to run on trails, and there is a system of trails in nearby Rock Creek Park. My secret hope it that I will get good enough to start using those trails to commute home over the summer.

Run Commuting Gear

  • Backpack: Osprey Stratos 24. Thanks to TRC for the recommendation! Great advice to get a large-capacity backpack, so I won’t run out of space. Over this winter, I’ve needed the extra space for carrying coats and sweaters. During summer, the extra capacity does not add any meaningful weight.
  • Shoes:  Asics Nimbus / Brooks Trance. But I’m flexible, so I’ll try almost any well-rated shoe that’s on sale.
  • Clothing:  Still learning what works best. Ideally, just shorts and a cheap running shirt. I’ve discovered I need a high-necked shirt to prevent the pack from chafing my neck.
  • Outerwear: Over my first winter of run commuting, I’ve been testing all the old winter gear that’s collected in our closets, to see what combination works. So far, the best combo is thermal long underwear from cross-country skiing, topped with a zip-up fleece, and maybe a nylon shell if it’s wet. I’m cheap, so I want to avoid buying new gear unless I really need it. But I’m really hoping to find some excuse to buy a nice running jacket! 
  • Headgear: A basic Headsweats hat during the summer was a good investment. During the winter, a Pittsburgh Steelers baseball hat works well. (Go, Steelers!) I like having a hat with a visor, to help shield my eyes from stray tree branches hanging over the sidewalks.
  • Lights: When it got dark this winter, I bought some eGear flashing lights. They make me feel incredibly dorky and conspicuous, but I’d feel even stupider getting hit by some car. 
  • Hydration: So far, just a 12-oz plastic bottle I refill with water. I like that it gives me an excuse to stop and walk for a bit. Also, I’ve found that my evening run is much more enjoyable if I drink lots of water during the day.

On Run Commuting

Why did you decide to start run commuting?

About 8-9 months ago, I got frustrated because I never had enough time to exercise. My job is pretty time-consuming, and I have three young kids at home, so exercise was always an after-thought. Also, I found it too easy to skip exercise, and use other commitments as an excuse for my laziness. Since I reached my 40s, doctors had been warning me about the need to get healthier. I want to be around to watch my kids grow up, so I needed to create a dedicated routine for exercise. After considering the problem for a while, I hit on run commuting as a possible solution. Then when I researched the topic, I discovered TRC and other resources with great advice and encouragement.

 How often do you run commute?

Every day if I can. I skip only when I’m traveling for work, or have some evening commitment that prevents me. I find that I need consistency to keep committed.

 How far is your commute?

6-7 miles, depending on my route. I only run home from work in the evenings.

 Do you pack or buy a lunch?

n/a. I usually take the subway to work, and then run home, so I never run with food.

 What do you like most about run commuting?

It has found time in my schedule! Before run commuting, I’d spend 45-60 minutes at the gym at work (when I actually went), then stay late at work to make up that time, and then lose another 45-60 minutes on my commute home. Now, by combining my commute with exercise, my total time spent is just a little over an hour. That’s more time with my family almost every day!

 Do you know of anyone else in your area that runs to work?

I don’t know anyone personally, but I’ve been trying to encourage various friends to give it a try. Now that I’m running, I notice lots of other run commuters on the streets though. They’re a friendly bunch, so I’m waving often. It might be my imagination, but I think the number is increasing.

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Brent, on his way home.

When not run commuting, how do you get to work?

It varies depending on the day – train/subway/car.

 If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who was considering run commuting, what would it be? 

Don’t be intimidated to try run commuting. It looks much more difficult than it is. It’s OK to walk; it’s OK to go slow. The running itself gets much easier once you develop a routine. Also, the logistics need not be an obstacle. As a lawyer, I often need to bring work home, and I worried that would pose a problem. But over time, I’ve discovered work-arounds for almost everything: I access most materials electronically, and plan ahead to minimize what I need to carry.

 Anything else that you would like to include? 

Run commuting is the single best change I’ve made to my lifestyle/schedule in the past two years. It’s got all sorts of positives for both my family life and my health. After my most recent physical, the doctor noted my improved vital signs and commented that I must’ve started running regularly. My kids cheer for me when I get home each night, and run away to avoid “sweaty kisses.” I love that my kids are seeing me exercise regularly, and I’m hoping it will help teach them to keep fit.

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Runner Basics

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New Run Commuter Ivan.

 

  • Name: Ivan
  • Age: 41
  • City/State: San Diego, CA
  • Profession/Employer: Certified Financial Planner
  • Number of years running: 30 years, off and on
  • # of races you participate in a year: None since high school
  • Do you prefer road or trail? Road only. Because I’m afraid of turning an ankle!

Run Commuting Gear

  • Backpack: Black Diamond BBEE. Took me over an hour trying on everything they had at REI! Went with it mostly because it was light, and had comfortable shoulder/stomach straps. Also, a bonus was a small notch to attach a bright bike taillight.
  • Shoes: Currently Merrell Road Glove (also tried Saucony Virrata) – Anything zero-drop is the only way I go anymore.
  • Clothing: Dri-wick t-shirt (during the winter also a thin compression undershirt for warmth) and compression shorts. Also Giro biking gloves in the winter.
  • Outerwear: Nothing additional is ever needed living in San Diego, even in the winter!
  • Headgear: Pearl Izumi Thermal skullcap all year round (keeps me warm in the winter, and collects sweat in the summer)
  • Lights: Black Diamond Storm Headlamp 100 lumens in front, Planet Bike Superflash 1 watt bike taillight attached to the backpack (bike taillights were the only ones I felt were bright enough to be safe)
  • Hydration: Don’t bring anything with me. But I always drink a couple gulps of water before starting the run.

On Run Commuting

Why did you decide to start run commuting?

I started bike commuting about 3 years ago, and was looking for more of a challenge! Plus, since switching to zero-drop footwear and transitioning to a mid-foot strike (not the heel) a couple years ago, I’ve found a renewed interest in running in general.

How often do you run commute?

I run commute 2-5 days per week, depending on my energy level and time.

How far is your commute?

Seven miles each way.

Do you pack or buy a lunch?

I don’t carry any food with me. I keep my office stocked.

What do you like most about run commuting?

I enjoy the challenge! Plus the automatic workout that it builds into the day saves me from having to “work out.” And the auto expense savings ain’t bad either!

Do you know of anyone else in your area that runs to work?

I don’t know anyone else who run commutes. In general people think I’m nuts.

When not run commuting, how do you get to work?

By bicycle. I’ve actually driven my car to work only 5-6 times in the past 3 years.

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who was considering run commuting, what would it be?

Travel light! Stuff like don’t pack a full towel for after your shower, just a dry washcloth. Make sure all your toiletries are small travel size. Don’t bring jeans, do khakis (they’re lighter), switch your huge, heavy metal watch for something thin with a leather band, buy the lightest backpack in the store! Buy only bright colored tops, and also if you run in the dark, invest in the brightest head and taillights you can find. Can’t be too careful!

Anything else that you would like to include?

I have access to a full locker room/shower at my office, but don’t let not having one stop you from run commuting! The showers were out of commission for a couple weeks a while ago, so I just brought an extra washcloth (or you can bring some baby wipes if you’re picky), and hit the bathroom stall for a quick “poor man’s shower,” change the clothes, brush the teeth, comb the hair (though I shave my head), and I’m set to go!

I bring a plastic bag in the backpack and bag my run clothes for the day, and re-wear for the run home. So, honestly, they’re a bit damp for the run home, but nothing’s perfect. I guess one could backpack a fresh set, but I don’t want the extra weight in the backpack.

 ——————————————–

If you are a new run commuter and want the running world to hear your story, let us know!
We are now accepting submissions for May and June. If you are interested, submit the form below and we’ll contact you.
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By | 2016-10-22T20:26:42+00:00 February 27th, 2014|Categories: General, News, People|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

Book Report: Eat & Run by Scott Jurek

Scott Jurek and Arnulfo Quimare

Scott Jurek and Arnulfo Quimare

I’ve been following Scott Jurek’s progress on the ultra racing scene for the past few years with great interest.   I first learned of him – as did many, many others – while reading Chris McDougal’s bestselling book, Born to Run.

Jurek took the ultramarathon scene by storm, winning race after race, breaking records, and continuing to push himself harder and faster with each new year.  Eat & Run fills in the backstory of this legendary runner, his transition to veganism and ultramarathons, his early years at home in rural Minnesota, and his recent successes in racing. More importantly, and of great relevance to us here, Jurek used to run to work – 6 miles each way – to his job in Seattle!

Eat and Run, Jurek

Eat & Run by Scott Jurek

I had a similar upbringing as Scott.  We’re about the same age, we grew up in the Midwest hunting and fishing, tried track in high school without much success, and then began running long and far while making the transition to veganism (not to mention, we’re both Polacks).  But at one point in our lives, we diverged.  He ran mountains, killed the ultra scene, and made healthy, competitive running his profession.  I ran short, local races, had (and continue to have) great running adventures, and I’m more than happy just to finish a 50K.

It’s hard not to over-promote yourself as a professional runner.  Your whole career revolves around running, winning, looking good, and marketing yourself.  Do you know who Dean Karnazes is?  If you even follow running just a little bit, you probably do.  He is the king of self-promotion.  But that’s his job, and he does it well.

Similarly, Jurek spends most of the book talking about himself – not only filling in the history of his running career, but also about how awesome he is.  Don’t get me wrong – I think Jurek is an amazing ultra runner and his race times and records are phenomenal.  But, the book reads more like a curriculum vitae with recipes, than a story about the connection between food and running.

I was expecting to hear more about being vegan and why people choose to become one – not just “I ate vegan and felt better,” and “Is being vegan going to hurt my running?”  The book is called Eat & Run after all.  Sure he talks a bit here and there about Hippie Dan and others who gradually changed his mind about eating meat, but I was hoping to see something beyond,

“What we eat is a matter of life and death.  Food is who we are.”

Scott Jurek, Eat & Run, pg. 57

That line in particular, could have been expanded into an ongoing lesson, interspersed throughout the book, about the animals themselves and the short, torturous lives they live before a piece of them finds their way to our plates.

Instead, Jurek says that the “…healthier he

[I] had eaten, the faster and stronger he [I] had become.”  Sure, but what about the other part of that seemingly simple equation?  He had been running and training his ass off for a long time!  Dude, I’m vegan, too.  And yes – I feel better since becoming one, but I can’t discount the effect that solid training has had in making me a better runner overall.  It cheapens training by saying otherwise.

Aside from that, there is the big unanswered question:  What the hell really happened between Jurek and Dusty?  Friends don’t text you out of the blue after a couple of years, saying, “You fucking loser” (pg. 204).   They were close.  And then – suddenly – they weren’t.

There’s more to that story, dammit.  Hopefully, Dusty will write a book about it someday.  If so, you’ll hear all about it here.

By | 2016-10-22T20:26:46+00:00 February 19th, 2013|Categories: General|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Graphic: Americans’ annual consumption

Here I mean “graphic” to mean both a visual representation of what our nation is ingesting, and the more colloquial sense of looking upon something that churns both one’s soul and stomach.

I saw this image from Visual Economics, representing Americans’ average ages, heights and weights, and the things we eat. The graphic’s title, too, seems to have two meanings: the informational sense of what we are eating, and the critical questioning.

Americans eat candy for breakfast

GADZOOKS. (more…)

By | 2016-10-22T20:26:49+00:00 March 20th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |2 Comments

TalkJogRun Interview with The Run Commuter

On Monday, Kyle and I sat down for a chat with Caitlin Seick of WalkJogRun, a popular running route finding and planning website, and talked all about run commuting. WalkJogRun’s iPad app recently  hit #7 in the health and fitness category, so check it out now, hipster, so you can say you knew all about it before it was #1. Blog post with audio/podcast below.

Article:  Running To Work – WalkBlogRun

The Run Commuter News Roundup – January 16, 2012

Welcome back to another edition of the News Roundup at The Run Commuter!  I didn’t think we’d have another edition so soon, but I was happily surprised to see a few news alerts hit my inbox this past week.

Today’s articles come from bloggers around North America and they’re all writing about one thing in common – How to run commute.  Enjoy!

How to Beat Westside Traffic:  Run Home

LOS ANGELES, Cal. – Excluding weekend long runs, I’m not a morning runner. I could be if I didn’t go to bed so late.

Still, I’m not about to change my habits since running after work fits my schedule. Working out between 5-8 is a big improvement over my old habits. When I first started working out regularly 3 years ago, I rarely made it to the gym before 10. That worked for me then too. I was was a super self conscious newbie uncomfortable about working out in front of other people. So, working out in a nearly empty gym was just what I wanted.

Now, I’m used to running on weekday evenings. In the spring and summer, getting in my post-work run in is not a problem. I look forward to it during the day. I don’t mind running at dusk or in the dark. In the winter and fall my motivation wanes when it’s very dark at 5 or 6. At least it’s not very cold here. It’s worse when I leave work around 6, have a 45 minute commute (if lucky) and don’t get a run in until after 7. In January, that feels late.

One way I’ve found to deal with the winter running is the run commute. I’ve seen other bloggers talk about running to work (Runner’s Kitchen). I could do that, but I prefer the run home. It fits with my evening running habits. Plus, it’s logistically easier and the route is almost all downhill.

By | 2016-10-22T20:26:50+00:00 January 16th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |0 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.

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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: , , , , , |28 Comments
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