Winter Running

This fall has been one of the warmest I can remember in a long time.  There were a couple of cool mornings that I had to break out the toque and gloves but I was still running in shorts.  I knew in the back of my mind that this would come to an end very shortly but I didn’t let myself think about it.  Well, after an amazing two-week vacation to the wine country in Niagara, we returned home to snow and sub-zero temperatures.

In my last post I think I said something like “I can’t wait to run in snow and freezing weather!!”.  Now that it’s here I’m not quite as keen about it!  I guess it’s kinda like having company in from out-of-town.  The thought of having them around is great until they’re using all the hot water and drinking all your beer!  Mmmmm, beer!!  I wish I could drink beer to get home from work!!  I’m getting side tracked here….

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By |2018-02-27T15:01:10-04:00November 2nd, 2012|Categories: General|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

What has TRC been up to lately?

Hey Run Commuters,

We just wanted to let you know what’s been going on in the land of run commuting over these past few weeks.

Atlanta Streets Alive!

Run Commuter Marathon Relay

On October 7th, TRC organized a marathon relay along the Streets Alive route (we were #62 on the map).

We had a lot of fun with this.  Many people stopped by and inquired about run commuting, or told us about their own run commutes.  The sports editor of Urban China magazine (who wrote about us in one of their issues) even stopped by!  She’s now pursuing a post-grad degree at Georgia Tech.

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By |2016-10-22T20:26:47-04:00October 20th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on What has TRC been up to lately?

Run commuting in Canada!

 

Hello fellow run commuters.  My name is Jeff and I’m an engineer working in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  I’ve called Calgary home for the majority of my life and even though the weather isn’t always the best for running it’s the only place I can imagine calling home.  I’m also a new dad which is both incredibly rewarding and tiring all at the same time.  Our little girl Keira is 3 months old now and is the cutest little thing in the whole world (I’m slightly biased though)!

A few years back a friend of mine convinced me to do a triathlon with him so I decided I’d better figure out how to run further than just to the bus stop.  I hated it at first but now running has really become a way of life for me.  My wife and I run together and I’ve made a bunch of new friends from running.  I couldn’t imagine my life if I couldn’t run, so it seemed pretty natural to run as a way to get into work.  I work downtown and live about 8 km (5 miles) away from the office.

Cramming myself into a bus has never been something I enjoyed and I didn’t feel right about driving to work everyday when there are so many other good options.  My usual lunch time run is around the same distance as my commute, so I figured why not just run to work in the morning and that way I can avoid the bus and get my workout in first thing in the morning!

This view is much better from the running path than from the bus!

Calgary has a great path system that follows the river and goes straight into downtown making for a really nice run to work and some great scenery.  The majority of people using the paths are on bikes, but there are a few run commuters out as well which I was happy to see.  I still haven’t picked a favorite route, but I think that might be the best part about it.  There are so many different ways for me to get to work I’ll never get bored of it!

Fall is short but sweet in Calgary!

The river is amazing when the leaves are turning!

 

The days are getting shorter and the mornings are getting cold.  It’s only a matter of time before the snow starts to fly and the sub freezing temperatures set in.  It may sound strange especially to those of you living in warm climates, but after running through all four seasons I always look forward to running in the winter.  Maybe it’s the sense of accomplishment or maybe I’ve got a screw loose.  Either way I’ll be sure to share my thoughts on running in the cold and what’s worked for me in the past.  I’m also planning to do a post on cold weather running gear.  So that’s a bit about me and how I started run commuting.  I’m excited to be a part of something so positive and look forward to contributing.

By |2016-10-22T20:26:47-04:00September 25th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , , |4 Comments

Is Run Commuting a Movement?

Did anyone see this question in the latest edition of Runner’s World?

“Ask Miles.” Runner’s World, October 2012:18.

We were asked whether we thought run commuting was a movement earlier this year during the WalkJogRun interview (though it was later edited out).  I said that I didn’t think so.  But since then, it really does seem like it has been taking off.

We’ve heard from some readers who have been running to work for years, some who just started last week, and others who have started running to work with their friends/coworkers.  Many of you are current or former bike commuters.  Some are run commuting to train for marathons and ultramarathons.  All of you are runners…

I want run commuting to be a movement.  I want it to gain momentum and, drawing from Runner’s World poll question, become a “realistic option” for getting to and from work.  Where do we start?

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Surgical Swagger: I Can Run – Part 2 SA, TX Run Commuter

One of the things I do now is work with children having cognitive skills deficiencies such as Autism and Asperger syndrome.  The center where I help out is perfectly placed at a manageable 7 miles one way.

I only mention I work with children because for me it has significance to my story.  Doing the type of work I did in the past; I only did it for the money – period.  There’s no kicking it around and I won’t kid myself or you by attempting to make it something it was not.  I had a longtime fear of never having enough money so I did everything I could to make sure I was never without it.  That ‘mindset’ cost me dearly in all aspects of my life especially where health was concerned.

I would never have run commute to any one of my past employments.  There were many times I didn’t even want to get out of bed much less contemplate the thought of getting up earlier and challenging myself physically to get there.  Even though I was very good at what I did, I did not enjoy it and the work relationship(s) were definitely one-sided.  Therefore, transitioning to do things which provided me real satisfaction, joy, excitement and which were in-line with a newly defined purpose of health and happiness drastically changed my outlook.  I began to contemplate taking on a run commute endeavor.

Firstly, it’s hot here – real hot.  The children I dedicate time to all come in the midafternoon and early evening so running in 100 degree temperatures was/is something I just have to deal with.  I wasn’t crazy about running in those temperatures and I wasn’t willing to destroy my body for the run commute.  I went ahead and bought a bus pass so if I felt like I was going to drop out I could at least haul my limping carcass onto an air conditioned transport for some of the way.

I have taken mass transit systems in the U.S., Japan, Korea, etc., but I honestly had never taken the bus in San Antonio.  I was excited to learn though.  I hopped on a bus just to see how to navigate my way through stops and pickups.  I was happy and rode with a smile.  I will comment that it seemed like I was pretty much the only one enthusiastic about riding the bus.  Even though I was beaming with excitement, none of my smiles were returned to me.  As a matter of fact, one guy’s look made me almost want to pin my lips over my teeth all together.

I didn’t even know how to exit the bus.  This fact was graciously, but aggressively, pointed out to me from a large burly fellow who yelled, “Push the door open!”  I told myself, “No sir, you’re not going to steal my sunshine” as I skipped off the bus steps.  Obviously, I am kidding there.  But, it really didn’t shift my mood all that much.  What I was doing was for me.  It was something I wanted to do so my want of doing so squashed any bad feelings which would have risen up and gotten out of control.  Besides, after being to a variety of places around the nation where people tend to interact with you more antagonistically, this guy with his sparkling attitude seemed rather charming.

I am a first time run commuter.  I mean sure I had been on long hikes, camping trips which required me to haul a lot of gear, ran with a hydration pack, – I won’t go into the entire minutia of activities.  But, I had never run to environment where I had to look presentable and then instead of relaxing, refueling and cleaning up, transition straight into performing a task.

So naturally my first time run commuting I over-packed and over-prepared.  I packed all the things I thought I might need: extra food, toothbrush, tooth paste, night lamp, extra socks, sunblock, water bottle, reading material, bus route maps, air tight food bags, dry clothes bags, wet clothes bags, and on and on.  I had an insane amount of stuff on top of the things I would actually need like my dress clothes, shoes, belt, lunch, snacks and drinks.  It was like I was going on a three day excursion! Needless to say, I stuffed all my items into an old dilapidated North Face backpack which I had modified (i.e. disassembled for makeshift parts).

Utah Gecko

The elastic side-mesh pockets were all stretched out and did not function anymore to hold items.  There is only one center holding area with its failing zipper system.  The center synch bungee on the back didn’t really do anything but roll the bottom of the backpack up away from my body.  There is no waist belt because I cut it away years ago to be used on something else which I cannot remember.  It does however, have a sweet Utah gecko patch from an old Moab trip, so that pretty much alone spits coolness and makes the bag a keeper.  Okay, maybe not, but it is what I have so I use it and I am grateful for it.

Am I getting a new pack?  Yes, eventually.  My outlook was/is I want to learn from the run commuter experience(s) so I get exactly what I really need.  I think this is important because only I know everything I really need on a daily basis.  There are the basics items you want to have with you of course.  I won’t go through the items I take/use right now but definitely check out the posts Josh’s Gear, Kyle’s Gear, and Sophie’s Gear for some great gear information and also the ‘How To Get Started’ section under the contributor’s block starting here.

“You don’t have to have everything all figured out.  Just get moving…”

By |2016-10-22T20:26:48-04:00August 31st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Surgical Swagger: I Can Run – Part 1: San Antonio, TX Run Commuter

My neurosurgeon and neurologist told me I would never be able to engage in physical sports again.  They poignantly added that the likely hood of even running would probably not be an option as well.  Though I had never really ‘run’ with any consistency in the past, my numbness and loss of motor control in my left leg seem to support what the doctors were preparing me for.

I didn’t believe it though.  I didn’t want to believe it.  It didn’t make sense to me.  How could a person or persons tell me I would probably never be able to run because of numbness and loss of lateral control at my knee when there are people running with prosthetics?

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By |2016-10-22T20:26:48-04:00August 24th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |0 Comments

The Run Commuter in Urban China Magazine

We’re going global!

The latest edition of Urban China magazine featured a very cool article on “Community-based Micro-sports,” devoting a two-page spread to run commuting (and a pic of TRC’s Josh and Kyle).  They even included a bit about the Atlanta BeltLine and Historic Fourth Ward Park.

The section on run commuting features general tips on gear selection and packing, choosing a route, and cleaning up once you arrive.  Other pages cover running at work during lunch hours, after work and on weekends with friends, and fitting in workouts when you only have a short amount of time available.

Editor Tao Shiqi writes, (and this is translated very loosely using Google Translate):

Although we in China are successful in competitive sports, our public awareness of fitness is still in its infancy.  A 2010 survey in Jiangsu Province revealed that more than 80.3% of the respondents do not have any fixed fitness habits.  Micro-movement is a more social and effective way for city people to regain the habit of doing exercise. From the use of fragmented time, micro fitness is an intermediate state with aspects of commuting, socializing, and working, to the movement regarding habits of life and enjoying the fun of it all.

For the non-run commuters out there – how do you exercise when you are short on time?

By |2016-10-22T20:26:48-04:00August 16th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |3 Comments

First Timers

It seems like a lot of people have been trying run commuting lately.  There are many possible reasons for that, including nicer weather, training for upcoming races, or maybe,  just maybe, it’s starting to catch on…  Whatever it may be, here are a few recent stories or posts from or about people new to run commuting.   Check out the rest of their sites, too, and show a few fellow bloggers some love!

Kristin’s Fitness Nook: The adventures of running to work a.k.a. – dodge car

It’s a yellow light, I can make it! CRAP, go faster, go faster.

Please see me car. Oh good, you did.

Seriously…it’s f-in hot at 7am!

What are you looking at d-bag in your jacked-up gas guzzler.

McDonald’s drivethru packed…no comment.

I cannot wait to sleep in on Saturday.

Yeah, someone else running to work…no, they’re just teenagers trudging along for summer training.

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Run Commuter Buddy – Eli

Eli contacted me a few weeks ago and wanted to set up a run commute.  He lives close by, so it worked out very well.  We lit out at 7:00 in the morning last week, arriving 45 minutes later at his place of work 5.5 miles away, with plenty of time left over to talk some more before he had to head in and hit the shower.   He ran with a Nathan HPL Race Vest.

Check with some of your local running clubs or ask a running friend to try running to work sometime with you.  It’s a great way to change up your old routine – or start a  new one!

Start Slow, Then Taper:  Run to Work Day

Monday – I ran to work. My car battery died Sunday afternoon before I was to go for a run. After taking my wife’s car out to go run at Lake Conestee, it was too late to take the battery to get checked – priorities you know!

I only live 4-5 miles from work, depending on the route, so it was very manageable. What made it a little more interesting was the fact that I had to carry my laptop and my clothes/shoes for work. My camelbak was full!

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Barefoot Runners Society: First Try at Run Commuting

RunningPirate’s Part One

Today, I made my first try at run commuting. I’ve been toying with this for about a month or so – that’s when I heard about the concept of running to work. Up to this point, I’ve been bicycle commuting and either running on my days off, or doing a short run at lunch. When I heard of run commuting, it opened up some new possibilities.

My commute is broken up into different sections, so I run BFR the first 2.4 mi to the local train station, take the train south for a bit, and then run shod the remaining 3.8 mi in to work. Over time, the plan is to gradually increase my BFR mileage (using the 10%/week rule) so that the entire run is barefoot. As of yet, I am not running home, but that can become a possibility in the near future. Ultimately, the thought is to run the entire 11 miles in to work.

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RunningPirate’s Part Two

I took my second swing at run commuting, today. Did the same route and run/mass transit distribution as last time. I did, however, learn that my route is 0.3 miles shorter than I originally thought – a discrepancy between manual mapping and real-time mapping with MapMyRun. I understand this is quite silly to fret over, but I’m still a little bit of a data junkie.

Anyway….

I tried a couple of different things, this week. Last week, I was having problems with the shoulder straps loosening while I was running, which led to the pack wagging left and right while I was running. Also, when I got to work, my lunch salad was…well, let’s just say that all the jostling made it less than crisp.

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Overgrown Sidewalks and Urban Bushwhacking

Spring came and went like a bat out of hell, leaving us Georgians with 80+ degree days in February, followed by a summer that started in March.  While the rest of the U.S. went from shorts to snowsuits and back again almost overnight, new plant growth down south greedily attacked the open spaces around it without mercy, leaving hazards and obstructions in its wake.

Personally, I’m a sidewalk runner.  We are pedestrians and not vehicles after all.  Some runners say you should only run on the road and they have their reasons for it, but I like to keep myself separated from bicycles, cars, and motorcycles as much as possible.  However, like the picture above illustrates, that can be hard to do when the sidewalk is blocked by obnoxious plant life.  What’s a runner to do?

There are several options: (more…)

What I saw on my summer vacation

Laura and I just returned from Washington, D.C., a trip we’d planned more than a year. To give you the flavor of it: after a long day visiting historic sights and museums, we unwound in our hotel room by reading the founding Charters and other important American documents, and learning about the policies surrounding the War of 1812. RIVETING. (Seriously, it was.)

But what of the unplanned things we saw? Sure, there was a wealth of bicyclists, barreling this way and that, but how ’bout the profusion of run commuters? We saw at least a dozen during our week there, earnest hoofers sporting backpacks in the evening rush, heading home, to the Metro, or destinations unknown.

Seriously: sweet shorts.

I hope his backpack contains a suit that matches those shorts.

Each time, I over-eagerly pounded Laura’s surely-bruised-by-then arm, crowing, “Look, another one!” wondering after, “Why was there another one?” Why did D.C. proffer more run commuters than Atlanta? I can say with certainty that both cities are equally flush with runners. If you don’t get out before 6 a.m. in Atlanta, you will share your neighborhood’s streets with at least a dozen folks. I think herein lie some answers: (more…)