Because I have a fall running event coming up, I’ve inserted a couple of run commutes into my weekly commute diet. While cycling is my primary mode of commuting, mixing it up with run commuting has proven quite pleasant.
Not surprisingly, my running route to and from the office varies from my bike routine. First, I don’t run in the streets. HA! Second, I don’t run in the 15th Street bike lane. HA HA!
I’ve figured out a quiet, low-traffic, point-to-point run commute route. It takes me through one of the Smithsonian gardens and across the National Mall, both of which I find to be particularly peaceful in the morning.
The most direct path is 2.5 miles one way, and I can easily extend the mileage if I choose, basically by adding extra miles along the Mall. Who doesn’t like running on the Mall? The lack of cars (except at intersections), the hard packed surface that’s easy impact on the body, the striking memorials and monuments… I’ve been a D.C. resident since 2001 and I never tire of it.
Run commuting forces me to travel light, since everything I take to the office on my back, I have to haul back home on my back. On my run commute days, I minimize. There’s also no coasting (unlike cycling), though I will slow my pace to a walk if need be.
Perspective also shifts not only due to the distinct route, but also because I morph from cyclist to pedestrian. I watch tourists peruse maps and glance uncertainly at their surroundings. I see the inscrutable faces of people walking to work, and encounter the occasional work colleagues chatting and striding purposefully from the nearest Starbucks, cups in hand, ready to get their day under way.
I also spy other run commuters. While not plentiful, there are more than I thought when I first began to run commute. You can recognize them by their workout wear and backpacks. Oh, and the fact that they’re running, too!
Running and biking. Both great ways to get around they city, each with their own appeal. I’m happy to be changing up my routine this summer. Plus, running keeps my bikes clean.