Thursday, 5 June 2014

Run2work day - My commute

So run2work day is here! As a run2work virgin this is my first time at running part of my commute to work although I have ran part or all the way home form work quite a few times. 

I am writing this on my journey, no no no I am not clever enough to run and type at the same time I am on a train. Why a train on run2work day you ask? Let me explain...

Leg 1

Deciding its too long and I am not fit enough at the moment to run the 15 miles from my home to work I then decided to split my journey up.

My first leg was a 1.6Km run from home to Upminster train station. I set off on a glorious morning with the sun in the sky, a great morning for running I thought? Oh yes it is! Apart from the fact I am now stood on the train sweaty away despite the air conditioned carriage.

Having completed and thoroughly enjoyed by run2work experience I can now look back and reflect on the rest of my journey. 

Leg 2 

This is then the non running part as I let the train take the strain on a 20 minute train ride from Upminster to Limehouse.

Although I was only on the train for a relatively short period it was long enough for me to wish I had ran the entire journey as I was stood squashed up with other commuters in a cramped train carriage. 

Leg 3

So the third part of my journey and the main running component, its the first time I have run it from Limehouse to London but I have ran it the other way on my way home several times so I am familiar with the route and what to expect. 

After standing around on the train for 20 minutes I did feel a little cramped up especially as my legs were feeling somewhat tender from a squat session I did yesterday. 

I soon hit my stride and starting bounding along down Commercial Road and into the City, I have always found this area fascinating as it seems so run down and derelict but is yet so close to the City and in particular the thriving tourist area around the Tower of London and the business districts of Liverpool Street. 

It was at around this time I was really starting to enjoy myself and starting to thing how often I could do this in addition to the suggested first Thursday of every month that run2work are trying to promote. However all was not plain sailing as I started to get one of the worse feelings known to runners, the dreaded stomach cramps that signal the onset of runners belly. 

Unfortunately I am not a stranger to this issue especially when running in the morning and slightly out of my usual eating and toilet routine. 

I will try and spare you the details but needless to say I came very close to doing a Gary Lineker (If you are unsure of this reference type Gary Lineker into Google and its about the third search suggestion that comes up) and subsequently had to take a diversion to accommodate a toilet stop near Fenchurch Street. 

After this rather unpleasant pit stop things were plain sailing especially as I now joined up with a familiar running and walking route through the city along the North Bank of the river Thames. 

I managed to find a decent bit of pace along these few kilometers and got to my finish line on the river opposite Temple Tube Station at around 8.10AM. I had aimed to get here for around 8.00AM so I wasn't too unhappy with my time baring in mind my diversion and unintended pit stop. 

Here is where I have to come clean, I wasn't exactly running to work! Although we have shower facilities at my work I decided to instead run to my gym and take advantage of having a quick cool down and stretch before using their slightly nice shower facilities.

I feel a bit of a fraud firstly I haven't ran all the way to work and have taken a train for part of the journey and secondly my running destination was not even my work place! Sorry if anyone feels I have cheated them out of a true running2work experience. 

So how did i find run2work? 

I was quite lucky as today I was only at work for a half day due to a dentist appointment this afternoon. So I therefore didn't need to bring with me my packed lunch and I knew I didn't have such a long grueling day ahead of me.

Also although this is my first time running2work I am not a stranger to running in the morning either at home before my commute into London or in London after I have got the train in.
So I am quite used to being organised and leaving things like my work shoes at work.

However I did find it strange wearing my running kit and packing up my work clothes as opposed to what I usually fo which is the opposite.

I also did have that nagging sensation in the back of my mind that I had forgot something. I had my oyster card in my shorts pocket safely zipped away and I made conscious decisions to check, double check and triple check my bag to make sure I had the essentials of wallet, keys, deodorant and hair wax. 

I must say I found it incredibly rewarding and pleasing though, just the feeling of getting into London under mostly my own steam and not having relied on public transport too much. 

The usual buzz I get throughout the morning following a pre work run was heightened by a greater sense of achievement and satisfaction and my renewed plans to attempt running the full journey to work soon! 

To ensure I stayed full and felt refueled after my run I had prepared myself a post run snack which I hungrily devoured at my desk when I got to work.