Shortly after I accepted my new job, I realized my office was a mere 6 miles from our new apartment. I could run to work!

Except … that would require planning in advance and figuring out logistics. Plus, even with clean towels and a hair dryer in the locker room of the fitness center at work, I really prefer showering at home. And I’m not a morning person. Runs before work didn’t feel like quality runs, so I stopped doing them.

But … obvious solution! I could run home from work! Tonight was my first attempt to do so.

I don’t really like leaving stuff behind at the office, so I didn’t want to leave my work clothes there. Luckily, when Teva sent me a pair of trail shoes to review, they also sent me a CamelBack backpack. I removed the water pouch, and it was pretty ideal for wearing while running. The back and shoulder straps are padded, I feel like it distributed the weight pretty well, and if I tightened the straps and hooked them together in front, the bag didn’t jostle too bad. (But it was still noticeable and might chafe on a longer run.) It was noticeable extra weight, and I feel like it did slow me down a little bit, but just extra resistance, right?

My normal commute takes 45-50 minutes door-to-door. Running home took just over an hour, plus the time to change into my running clothes. If I ran without the bag, maybe it would have taken just under an hour. So, a little bit longer than taking the L, but definitely less time than taking the L, and then going for a 6 mile run.

Plus, the fun part is, I get to run through Chicago! Today’s run took me down some new streets, and also took me past some bars I haven’t thought about in a decade (ahhh, college). And, thanks to Chicago’s many diagonal streets, there are a few different routes I can explore without adding extra distance.

I definitely hope to make this a regular thing, hopefully at least a couple times per week. My only concern is what to do when the temps drop more, and I have to wear a coat to work? How do I transport that home so that I can wear it again in the morning? (Might be time to start doing a “runch” = run at lunch. I can get away with showering w/o washing my hair, right?)

I was already going at a slower pace with the backpack and also stopping at all the lights, so I didn’t want to take pictures during my run (plus my phone was buried in my bag). But here I am modeling my bag post-run.

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I ran into another runner also wearing his Oktoberfest 5K race shirt. Of course we had to comment on each other’s shirts, yay runners.