Before I had my son (he’s almost 2.5 now), I worked on leaving my car home as much as possible. My office was about 4.5 miles away from my office (it’s now a little under 6 miles). I regularly biked/bused/walked/ran to and from work (even occasionally in rain and snow), though not nearly as often as I could have. We live at the top of a 500′ hill and that elevation gain kicked my butt and convinced me to take my car way too many times.
Flash forward to life with a toddler in tow. The first few years as a new mom were so overwhelming to me that the idea of making my commute longer/harder didn’t even enter my thought process.
As my son has gotten older and life started to feel more manageable again, I started thinking every once in a while about trying an alternative commute again, but every time I looked at distances and childcare drop off logistics, I would decide it was too complicated and table the idea for later.
And then about a month ago, MrMoneyMustache wrote a blog post about a guy who bike commutes every day in Houston, Texas (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2017/06/08/bike-to-work-houston/). This of course started quite a few conversations online about how to make the bike commute work, and I started thinking again on how to ditch my car commute. To be perfectly honest, riding a bike, especially up a steep hill, is not my favorite thing to do. But running is. I’ve managed to squeeze in 2-3 runs a week (usually 2-5 miles), but it hadn’t occurred to me to combine them with my commute. This time around though, I was determined to ditch my car at least once a week.
And so began my weekly run commute. Tuesday afternoons I pick my son up from daycare (3 miles, mostly on a lovely gravel trail) and then he and I hop on the bus and head home. The bus drops us about 3/4 of a mile from our house, and we get a bonus walk through the woods on our way home, looking at birds and plants and snacking on edible berries. Wednesday mornings my husband takes my son to my mom’s for the day, and I take off for work when they leave (6 mile run). My car is at work where I left it, and I drive home that afternoon.
This has been our routine for a month now, and I have to say my son loves it as much as I do. He loves riding the bus and gets excited for our Tuesday “adventures” home. I have worried about how an alternative commute would take time away from him, but I now realize that I haven’t lost any time at all. In fact, I have gained the time I would normally be in my car. I had been running those days anyway, and now I’m actually getting somewhere. Heading home Tuesdays now isn’t just about getting home but about doing something fun together. Getting out of the car and saving money and gas is just an extra bonus.