I am a big fan of winter and snow and the cold does not scare me. My holidays include heading to YellowKnife in the middle of winter and enjoying the frigid temperatures – except that with all this global warming finding cold places to visit is getting difficult. But what I don’t enjoy about the winter is all the slosh, and all the mess from melting snow in the city. So during the winter, although I continue to run, I don’t walk to the office. You see I live a mere 5 kilometers away from the office and walking back and forth between the office and my home is a great start and end of the day routine. Since I started working – and that’s two decades ago – I have never lived more than 5 kilometers from my work – with one exception which we will not spend time discussing 🙂
I have been a walking commuter for a month now (since the snow melted and spring arrived) and nothing stops my walking – not even the rain!
I headed to the office on a holiday Monday and got totally soaked heading back home with my dog. I had not gotten that soaked since childhood! Water was in my shoes, socks, my pants, underwear … well pretty much everywhere and standing in the living room I formed a puddle of water large enough that it could have been used as a small swimming pool for a 5 year old!
Toronto’s streets are incredibly quiet when you venture out early in the morning. When I manage to leave the house at 6 AM, I own Queen street. There isn’t a soul outside and pretty much everyone is just about hitting the snooze button on their alarm clock. But when I leave late – say 8 AM or later – well, the hustle and bustle of Queen street is so unbearable that sometimes I duck into Graffiti alley to get all the way to work. You see I live on Queen West and work on Queen Est. So I have an all Queen Street daily commute. Never a dull moment.
Last month I started using Runkeeper to keep track of my running and walking. My running this year has been pretty pathetic – but I will be fixing that shortly. As I started using Runkeeper I started to make an effort to walk to the office every day and walk back home every day. That’s 10 kilometers a day. Each and every day. What I really liked seeing in Runkeeper was an uninterrupted week of walking to the office. When my walks got interrupted you know I was on the road and not home! I started enjoying entering my walk data, watching the kilometers accumulate and realizing that I actually looked forward to the morning data entry routine! I had downloaded Runkeeper for my iphone a while back but my iphone crashed and killed all my apps and has since been refusing to sync – more on my iphone battles later but suffice it to say that this old iphone’s days are numbered!
So how does this bring me to improving my running? Well simple: I am interested in building mileage and would like to see my average weeks include 50 to 70 kilometers in a combination of walking and running. When I manage to commute to the office daily, that’s almost 50 kilometers in a week (provided I walk both to the office and back home). And any running that I do tops that off! So that’s what I call building mileage. I am not focused on how quickly I can run or walk to the office but focused on doing it every day. Once that routine and discipline is set in stone, I will start looking at how to improve my time.
There is something pretty awesome about discovering the city you live in by commuting to work and re-seeing all the buildings and streets that you take for granted when driving. Walking brings me closer to my city. I also get to discover awesome graffiti along the way and the odd abandoned objects.
So here is to building a 70 kilometer week! And how is your commute going?