Thursday, May 11, 2017

Run commuting

In the past, I've always been able to walk to work or take the bus, as living in the city means that my workplace is usually only about a mile from my apartment. I started a new job in January, and it's a bit further out (roughly 3.3 or 3.5 miles depending on the route) and is only serviced by one bus route. The company I work for also does not provide a free or discounted bus pass like my previous employers, so I've been driving to work to avoid paying for the bus out of pocket. We're fortunate enough to have free street parking around our workplace, and the drive only takes me about 15 minutes.

However, I'm not a very patient driver, and I also don't like that my drive is time out of my day when I can't do anything else (for example, you can read on the bus). Luckily for me, I recently found out that we have access to showers in the building next to my workplace, so I began running to and from work three days per week.

I think it's great, because I don't have to deal with road rage while driving and I spend less money on gas for my car, and my workout for the day is done by the time I get home. While I'm pretty good about not skipping runs because "I don't feel like it" after getting home from work, making my run and my commute the same thing does even more to ensure that I don't skip a run. I've also been able to increase my mileage this way, since running to and from work ends up being a little over 6 miles total for the day. 

Running to work has also been a fantastic way to train for my upcoming races in June, which will be outside of Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Most of my runs have felt too easy lately, and I've been left feeling like I didn't even workout that day. That has changed with my runs to work, primarily because Seattle has insanely steep hills. The first time I did this I was quite worn out afterwards. I make it a point to run (sometimes it's more of a slow shuffle) up all of the hills. Going back down these hills on my way home is difficult as well, because it's easy to get out of control and end up hurtling down the hill.

Running to work is like running up one big hill

After an initial large uphill portion, running home is almost all downhill

The grade of some of Seattle's downtown streets. On my way to work I usually run up a few of the ones near the top of the list.

Even though I've only been doing this for two weeks, I can tell that I'm getting better at it, and the hills are getting slightly easier. During a run along the waterfront this past weekend, I went by the train yard, where there is a ramp I have to run up. It's nothing intense, but in the past it would always slow me down a little and I'd feel out of breath. This time, I ran up the ramp quickly and easily and didn't even think about it. I was happy about that!

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