Thursday, September 24, 2009

MFM Day 25: Sole Power

September 23rd, 2009: Motor Free Month Day 25, Sole Power

We're taking it to the streets today, baby. No car, no bike, I'm getting around on sole power alone today. Why? For the No Impact Factor? Naah, there's really no "impact" difference between biking and running, once one disregards the sunk impact of manufacturing and shipping the bike itself. Of course my running shoes had to come from somewhere too, so there's some impact there. Oh never mind. No impact drives me crazy.

James Brown, Soul Power, Pts. 1 & 2. That's what I'm talkin' about.

More for the experience, the challenge, am I lacing up my running shoes and jogging to work this morning. All well and good, but a car-and-bike-free day requires some advance planning to pull it off. First of all, the night before I had to stash my work clothes at the office. I could have carried my work clothes with me, but that is really annoying and uncomfortable, so I stashed. Since my commute is only 2 miles, I can bike to work in my work clothes without any issues. Running 2 miles, however, is somewhat more strenuous than biking 2 miles, and how do I put this delicately, leaves a more aromatic trace on my clothing. Hence, work clothes were stashed the night before.

Secondly, since I really don't want to run with a backpack or carry anything extra at all while I run, yet I still needed to eat lunch, I had to carry some lunch money, on in my case, my credit card. The rest of my wallet was left behind as unnecessary, but it did make me feel a bit naked during the day. It just felt strange to not have my wallet with me. The only other required item was my work badge, but I also brought my mobile phone and my camera, though the latter was only included since I'm obsessively documenting every aspect of this greater adventure.

The 2 mile run into work was very enjoyable. The weather was cold, probably in the low 40's, which necessitated a jacket, hat, and gloves, but overall I think it is more pleasant to run in those conditions than bike. Probably due to lack of wind chill action on foot as opposed to bike. It usually takes me about 20 minutes to run to work, as opposed to 12 or 13 minutes on the bike. I didn't bother bringing my running watch with me today so I don't know how long it took this particular time.

I got to the office and changed into my work clothes. This time the only article of clothing I forgot to stash was an extra pair of socks. So I had to wear my stinky running socks all day but it didn't bother me. Probably bothered everyone else in the office but I was comfortable. As an aside, I must admit that going motor free has resulted in a smellier, sweatier, dirtier me overall. And I must also confess that I think I'm getting used to it. One of the more subtle drawbacks of going motor free is that I may end up driving all my friends away due to my relative decline in hygiene.

The work day passed uneventfully. At lunch I walked over to the grocery store across the train tracks and used my credit card to purchase a sandwich, chips, and a drink. Typically I ride or run home for lunch to check in on our animals, but C_ graciously agreed to do it today, saving me a trip. I will point out that this was only the second time all month that I have not gone home for lunch, so generally speaking I am not slacking off there too much.

After work I was to meet my friends for our weekly group run. So I changed back into my running gear from my work clothes and stashed my work clothes away once again. Then I ran over to where the running group was meeting, went on the group run, and finally ran home. I didn't have my watch with me but I think I ran about 10 miles in total during the day. A good workout!

Observations on going motor and bike free; probably not sustainable, even for me with a 2 mile commute. I think I could do this about one day per week, but it's near impossible to sustain for multiple days in a row. Stashing work clothes for multiple days alone makes this concept nearly impossible to execute. The experience didn't feel too much different than riding around everywhere, but the novelty counted for something.

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