Things that came to mind on a forced commute home x3

Sometimes life can throw you a curveball and plans don’t work out. I found myself having to walk home the other day as my car was in the shop and my son, who was picking me up after work had his start time for work change. So I ended up having to walk the commute home. No big deal I thought, it’s only 5 or 6 kilometres (3.1 – 3.7 miles) from work to home, so shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
It did bring up some thoughts, questions, ponderings and considerations on the way home. Here are some of the things that popped into my head during or shortly after the walk home.

How long will it take me?


To answer this question, you need to know two things – firstly – how far is the commute? And secondly how long does it take you to walk a kilometre (or mile). To answer the distance question I knew from running the streets and from car commuting it would be roughly five-six kms (3.1 – 3.7 miles). If you have no idea of the distance, you can use google maps (https://www.google.com/maps/)

Type in your start address (1), and this will drop a red pin (2) on the map for you.

Then click on the Directions icon (3) and type in the end or destination address (4).

Google Maps has shown us the route is 2.0 km (1.24 miles) and will take 4 minutes by car (5).

If you change the travel mode (6) using the icons along the top, you can choose walking.

We now have a walking time of 23 mins and an elevation of mostly flat (7) which you can view the elevation profile of by clicking on the drop-down arrow. I’m not sure how Google works out walking times, but it looks like it is using a walking pace of 20 mins a mile or 12 mins a km.
I usually walk at 10 mins a km, so for my commute home, I knew it was going to take me between 50 and 60 minutes to do the commute.

Footwear


I was lucky enough to be wearing an old pair of running shoes for my forced commute but even saying that my feet started to become sore towards the end of the commute. If you are going to commute by walking or running your shoes are going to be one of the most important things to consider. If you are in the position of a forced commute like I was and you’re not wearing appropriate footwear – one word comes to mind – DON’T. Your feet will not forgive you for it, and you will spend more time recovering from the commute than it took you to make it. Take the bus, a taxi, an Uber or cadge a ride from a colleague or make a phone call to a family member you would like to catch up with or have been missing – there is no better excuse for catching up then needing a ride home.

Getting your sweat on


Although my walk home was only six kilometres (3.7 miles), I did start to sweat. It is only the first month of spring, so it wasn’t too warm – I think on the day of my commute it was 18C (64.4 F), but it did bring to mind some questions. What if it was the middle of summer? Does the commute allow me to get any shelter? Would I need sunscreen? These are all questions you need to ask yourself depending on your commute conditions and weigh up the consequences. Some of the things covered in this article may help – RUNNERS ISSUE – THE DREADED “CHAFE”.

Hydration

My commute was going to be under an hour in reasonably coolish conditions, so I made the decision that I would hydrate when I got home. You should consider these things before your commute.

  • Begin well hydrated – have something to drink at least thirty minutes before your commute.
  • Avoid caffeine before your walk – it can cause you to lose fluid and make you thirstier.
  • Can you buy water on your way home? Do you pass a shop, gas station or supermarket – pop in and buy some water to stay hydrated if you need to.
  • Let thirst be your guide – drink when you are thirsty.

Rain – just more water

So with it being spring, it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t get a bit of rain on the commute home and sure as we did. It was only a sun shower which lasted probably five minutes. I had an umbrella, so I kept dry, so I didn’t overthink it. Day two of my forced commutes, however, provided some different reality altogether. The rain was heavy, and the wind blustery. I had a hard time trying to fight with the umbrella and keeping dry. I won the battle with the umbrella but lost the war to stay dry. So for days where there the wind is an issue, I would suggest a good set of weatherproof gear would be much preferable and safer for all concerned than a possibly dangerous weapon in the form of a hard to control wind-assisted umbrella.

My times and distances

Just in case you were interested in the outcomes – here are my actual distances and times involved for my three forced commutes – yes, it was three in the end. The route home was the same each time but with different weather conditions on all three occasions.

DayDistanceTimeWeather conditions
16.13km (3.8 miles)0:59:38Sunny with a short rain shower
26.13km (3.8 miles)1:01:59Heavy rain and strong winds
36.09km (3.78 miles)0:58:44Nice sunny day

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