Why I can’t settle during my runs home from work

I have been quite successful at walking home and not to work every day for the past month and I enjoy the hour-long walk each morning and evening. I know I am getting a good bit of exercise and it is interesting to see things around me. But, for some reason, the run home from work is almost always a struggle and I really want to fix this issue, though I simply do not know how to at the minute.

My calves will tighten up after 1 mile

Almost without fail my calves will tighten up at the same point on my run home along the Lagan embankment. It is so frustrating! I have tried standing up and gently stretching for the last hour to work (luckily I can stand at my desk at work as well as sit) I have tried to give my legs a good stretch beforehand and try and loosen everything up. But as soon as I get close to a mile, I feel it tightening, so I slow down a little to try and ease it, but nope. It is here and it really wants to say hello to me. So I stop and stretch it out a bit more and then off I go again before it tightens again.

I do not know why it does this, my calves have been doing this a lot less when I am running at any other time as for a while I thought I just had a niggle with my calves. Unexplainable for me so far, and it is something that is just so damn annoying, my breathing is great, I am not struggling and then wallop my calves stop all the enjoyment.

The need for the loo

I have spoken about this before and for some reason on my run home, the need to go to the loo catches me a couple of miles in, but almost always safely away from a nearby toilet. I have tried everything with this, going to the loo beforehand, but for some reason, it never feels like I have completely done the job, but I don’t have enough time to sit and wait. I want to go home! So off I go and then the need arrives.

Trying to go more throughout the day has not worked either and it has ruined runs where I have felt really good and then have to stop because the bathroom is needed. I am not sure if my brain is stopping me from going to the toilet and so the stress and worry cause me not to go completely, but when I am running there is no hiding spot. Or, is this running home from work just not for me? Answers on a postcard regarding that one!

Weight of my bag

When I am out running, it is a very rare occasion that I am running without my hydration pack, and there are times that the water in the pack are full, so I always felt like I was used to running with a bit of extra weight on me. But, for some reason, I really struggle when I am running with my work clothes, etc in the same pack with no water.

I have tried to pack it as correctly as I could each time, but it is an issue with me, it could all be a mental block with me, but it FEELS heavier. I know from talking to people that they roll it or leave their work clothes at work and then collect on a non-running home day. But, I don’t really want to leave my clothes at work, so I am automatically in a stupid position. If anyone has any tips on how to run lighter then let me know!

Cyclists

I run along the embankment on the way to and from work and obviously cyclists will use that embankment towpath to get from the city centre to their homes. BUT, they go at a such a pace down the path that it is actively more work to try and dodge them and make sure you are out of their way than it is to concentrate on the actual run.

I have spoken before about wanting to be a cyclist so I can cycle to and from work, but I can’t reason why they speed the way they do, weaving through people walking and running at dangerous speeds. I have seen a few people get clipped by a cyclist as they are not letting the walkers in front of them know that they are going to be speeding up along them.

Another annoyance is that there is a portion of the path that cyclists are meant to get off and walk, but they decide to weave and speed down this ramp while we are trying to go up it. How much of their day are they losing that they can’t stop for a few seconds? It is crazy to me. I am always actively giving way to others to make sure that others are safe. For example, when I run with Victoria, there is a pathway that has overgrowth that causes the path to only allow just about two people through. But I run in front of Victoria so that if there is an incoming cyclist from either direction, then we are both safe and most importantly the cyclist is safe.

What I am saying is that cyclists just need to calm the hell down with the speed they are going. It’s okay that one minute lost won’t cost you!

If you have any tips on how to improve this, please let me know!

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