Thursday, May 8, 2014

Running to get somewhere

It's not often that I get the chance to run as a means of transportation, to simply get from one place to another under my own power.

Usually, I drive to a trailhead, run around for awhile, ending up back at my car. Then I drive home.

From the house, its ever changing loops that take me through new neighborhoods, new towns. But I always end up back in my driveway panting, hands on my knees. Right where I began.

Worse is the dreaded treadmill downstairs. There I claw my way through miles staring at an earth toned-wall twenty inches in front of my face. I will time to move faster so I can get to my predetermined point of accomplishment. There is no physical travel. Just some lit up numbers on a dashboard. When I'm done I turn it off. I've gone nowhere.

But on occasion I remind myself that I can commute by running. At least part of the way. I remember that I can carry my gear in my GoLite pack, change at work before I head out, and get creative with how I get home.

During a treadmill run last night, I was attempting to plan my run for the next day. No matter which way I chopped it, I couldn't come up with the time to get my miles in. Then I remembered. Get off the train a few stops early and run it home. I'm pleased with myself when I can problem solve life's tougher issues.

So I commuted part of the way home with the rest of the workforce. I sat there in synthetic fabrics feeling exposed in my shorts. I always find it awkward getting off a train full of commuters and leaving the station. When do I start running? Right off the train or do I wait until I get to the street?

While others are beginning their short walks to their cars, I tear off out the doors and bound down the road.

There are a lot of runners in my area. Early mornings, post-work dusk runs, those doing their "work from home" lunchtime loops. Everybody understands these people and the madness, the compulsions that push them out every day, rain or shine.

I found today on my commute home that people do not get someone leaving a train to run a distance with a full pack on ones back, with the simple purpose of getting home. I got strange looks and confused stares. Even runners I passes looked confused. It must have been the pack. Why would he be running with a pack?

I like running to get somewhere. It makes sense to me.