Saturday, February 24, 2007

Running for transport

When you don't have a car and rely on Boston's pseudo dysfunctional public transporation system, running is a great way to get around the city. You can go any direction you please down one-way roads, cut across highways and sidewalks while cars are stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and avoid parking tickets, grimy trains, and unreliable bus schedules.

I've always enjoyed running my errands - running to the bank, the grocery store, the cleaners, friends' houses, etc. You just learn to be a bit creative about carrying everything you need on your person. In high school, I used to run to friends' places, to the mall, and home from after school activities, folding up homework assignments and class notes and money in my pockets. When I lived in California and Australia, I ran home from pubs and parties (far later than I should have been running, I know) when I craved some fresh air and happened to be dressed appropriately enough to jog back. It was never more than a few miles, but it was usually always faster, cheaper, and more enjoyable than sitting in traffic or navigating the public transporation routes. I just wish it were more socially acceptable to wear running tights and sneakers and T-shirts in all public places.

Lately, I have been running to the market and the grocery store, to and from the office, to the movie rental store, and home from class. It sounds silly, I know, but when it's 0 degrees outside and your time is limited and you're trying to run 90 or 95 miles a week and also get all your errands taken care of, running places is a great time saver, and having a destination in mind is an ideal motivator.

The past week or so, I have really felt like a human car, since I've been stuffing my pockets with my credit cards or cash or T pass or mail or whatever and running on the roads alongside the cars, since most of the sidewalks are still covered in ice. Drivers usually hate when pedestrians or runners try to share the roads with cars, but this week most drivers have been more understanding and haven't cursed and honked at me like they usually do. Last Wednesday I spontaneously decided to run home from work and had a few things from work with me, so I just knotted up the straps on my drawstring running bag and comfortably transported myself and my stuff all the way home. I know I must have looked like the biggest geek running home with my little backpack flopping up and down, but it was the only way I could fit in my mileage for the day! I plan on doing a lot more running for transport -- at least for those token easy runs when pace isn't much of a worry.

*megha the human car

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