A week without wheels: Run to work
I'm a runner. I run the Mini Marathon every year. I've also done seven marathons, so I spend considerable time pounding the pavement, but not once have I thought about running to work until this week.
Why? For starters, who runs to work? And at my slow pace, it would take 50 minutes to an hour. Plus, what about my clothes, shoes, make-up, etc? And then after a long day at work, I have to run home? I have many more excuses but I'll stop there.
Still, I've always been envious of people who live close enough to walk to work, and I do know a woman in Des Moines, Iowa who takes the bus to work in the morning and walks home at night. It's a five-mile trek and she does it year-round. So, thinking of Bonnie made me say, "Oh, just give it a try."
Then I heard about Budd Glassberg, who lives in Zionsville. Budd is one of those barefoot runners, but he's also a running commuter, of sorts. He usually runs or walks the two miles to his job every day (walking when he needs to bring his briefcase to work.)
Budd also volunteers at Second Helpings, southeast of downtown, every Thursday. He often drives to Broad Ripple and rides his bike or runs there. He said he'd love to join me for my commute to work Thursday, before continuing on to Second Helpings.
It's not about saving on gas.
"It's for the exercise and the fun of it," Budd said. "I enjoy running. There's no other reason. I almost need to do it every day. I like it."
He meets me at my house and we take off just before 8 a.m. I'm in my running shoes, and Budd is in his socks (but that's another story for a different day.)
As we head out, it's probably 38 degrees, but sunny, a great day for running. I have on several layers and gloves. I'm comfortable. Budd wears a backpack with shorts and T-shirt for the run back.
"It's small enough that it's easy to run with," he says.
We run a 10:20 pace and talk the entire way. I learn a lot about Budd - he has a wife, two daughters and a dog. He got into the barefoot thing following a bout of Plantar Fasciitis several years ago. He didn't think he'd be able to run again until he learned about running barefoot or in minimalist shoes.
Bud's an ultra-marathoner. He's done 100-mile races. He's also the guy behind the anti-Mini, a race he started after registering too late to get in one year. He also taught cross-country. He's always run in some form.
"It's a nice time to think. It's getting away from the radio, calls, things like that. It's time for yourself and walking is just as good as far as I'm concerned," he says.
Budd and I arrive at WTHR at 8:47 a.m. or 51:58 seconds after beginning our run. Budd continues on to Second Helpings and I grab my clothes and other gear from the news car, realizing that if I do this again, I'll have to get everything to the station the day before. Unlike the bike, I can barely carry my cell phone, which is strapped to my arm.
Because I'm lined up to do another running story in the morning, I wait on the shower until I'm done shooting. I think about the pros of running to work. For me, it's kind of like multi-tasking. I get my run in while getting to work. I still have some flexibility as to when I leave and what routes I take. I don't have to worry about construction, detours or traffic jams, it doesn't cost me a dime and the equipment needed is minimal (big plus -no need to worry about getting a flat tire on my bike like Wednesday!)
The cons? It takes me an extra 35 minutes to get to work. I can't carry anything with me - everything has to be at work. Weather can be a factor and if I'm feeling under the weather or lacking in energy, I'm unlikely to go the distance. Then there's getting home. After a long day at work, I'm not sure running another five is all that appealing. Having said that, though, I could hop the bus or get a ride from a colleague.
So, yes, I'd run to work again - especially when I'm training for an event and especially during nice weather. But I also know that running isn't an option for most people, walking too. Still, I'm sure there are some runners out there who like me have never thought about running to work, perhaps until now.