The Cost of a Run: Now and Then

Every time I check the On This Day in Facebook, there is inevitably at least one or two memories of me going for a run.  My posts were pretty boring in the early days of FB (spoiler alert: they still are).  The longer ago the memory, the longer the run it would seem.

I use to think it was hard to get my mileage in back in my single, younger days.  Back then I had more energy to run faster and more endurance to run farther. I was more fit and healthier and of course younger.  I also had the temporal equivalent of  disposable income aka Free Time.  Yet somehow it was next to impossible for me to get up before work and get that run out of the way.  I’m not the only runner who faces this challenge.  Many of my running friends have to walk the line between sacrificing sleep and getting in their required run.

Photo Courtesy of Robert Meyers

Photo Courtesy of Robert Meyers

Back in the day, I use to ask myself, is it worth putting on running clothes for this distance? Back when I could run fast and far, the minimum I would bother with was 4-5 miles.  Anything less wasn’t worth sweatin up my running clothes.   To be fair, I was usually training for some marathon and the scheduled mileage was too much to try to fit in before work.  Except at the beginning and end of the training season, when the mileage is lower, then I would manage to squeeze in a run before work and feltl like a rock star for getting my lazy ass up before work for a morning run.

Today I am challenged by Old Age and Young Childrens.  I never know if my kids are going to wake up at the ButtCrack of Dawn or earlier, so if they let me sleep in, I sleep.

Nowadays, the question  I ask myself is: “do I have enough time to get any miles in at all?”  I cannot really run before work because we are either stealing as much sleep as out terrorist twins will allow, or we are up because they got up and need to get them ready for daycare.  Running after work is out of the question because by the time we put them to bed, we have like an hour of alone time to try and decompress and get ready for the next day.  There may or may not be adult beverages in the equation.

That leaves my lunch break during work.  I belong to a gym next door so I have the option of either running on their indoor track, their dreadmills (or a combination thereof), or running outside and using their facilities afterwards.  Whenever possible I prefer to run outside.  So in a perfect world, let’s say I punch out at 12:05.  It takes 10 minutes to get from my desk to the locker room and change into my running clothes.  That is assume the elevator doesn’t stop at every floor.

These days at my current level of endurance, I can usually belt out 3 miles in just under 30 minutes.  So that means I have 20 minutes left to shower and return to my desk, inhaling whatever food I brought for lunch.

So if you are lucky enough to have a flexible work schedule, take advantage of it and run when you can.  Otherwise, make the effort to get up in the morning and catch up on sleep by going to bed earlier, or deal with the fact that your evening is gonna be shorter than you’d like because you are making up mileage.

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