Since quitting running in July I’ve wanted to start again, but it’s only now, October, that I’ve restarted. I had legitimate reasons preventing me from running, scratch that, I could have run but I had more fun things on, namely being a volunteer in the Olympic and Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies. So running was off my agenda this summer (obviously it was firmly on Mo Farah’s).

Now that there’s a void in my life the size of the Grand Canyon x 10 I can see space for running. So today I pushed the boat out, really really really far out, and went for a run during my lunch break.

As if having to work for a living, and not having inherited/won/found a pot at the end of a rainbow or got my wishes granted by a blue genie wasn’t bad enough, I was throwing running into the 9-5, Monday to Friday, until I retirement mix. Would it make me more productive at work? Who cares*! But I have no other option. You see, I’m not going to run before work (I like my sleep) or after it (I like not getting killed  – it gets dark at 6.30pm now), so I have to run in the middle of it.

Where on Earth do you find enough motivation to even consider running a lunch time let alone actually do it? I hear you cry.

Well, I think it’s that damn book working (don’t tell the author or the publisher). It rabbits on about ‘no more excuses’ etc etc.  The book propelled me to think outside the box, and running in the middle of the day was one of the solutions I came up with.

So, yesterday I put the idea to the test. I started work at the normal time but asked my boss for an hour lunch break instead of  a 30 minute one. I changed into my running gear in the disabled toilet (very spacious) walked to the canal, stretched, ran along the canal, ran back, changed back into my work clothes, and returned to my desk in under 60 minutes. In total, I ran for 20 minutes.

Pros

  • I got to enjoy the best part of the day. The sun was emitting a decent amount of light and heat, which can’t be sniffed at in October!  Also, it was nice to experience the good weather from outside the office instead of from inside.
  • It was a break in my otherwise 7 hour stint sat at my desk. Studies are showing sitting at a desk is really bad for your health.
  • As I don’t work from home I got to run along a different, and much prettier, part of the canal.
  • It only extended my work day by 30 minutes. So I had the evening free and didn’t have ‘I need to go for a run tonight’ hanging over my head.

Cons

  • Work colleagues saw me in my running gear. No one looks good in running gear.
  • It didn’t make the afternoon go any quicker.
  • I probably stank to death. I sprayed lots of deodorant and body spray, and opened a window, but I don’t know if that was enough. People might have just been acting polite but secretly wishing I would take a shower. I’ll just have to wait and see if HR send an email about personal hygiene over the next few days.
  • An hour lunch break doesn’t give me much time to run.

Observations

  • I wasn’t alone. Lots of people run at lunch time. LOTS. But it didn’t annoy me as it was just runners and not the dreaded cyclists.
  • I rushed the warm up. As I was conscious of time I didn’t warm up properly and whilst running my legs really ached.

*The book says it will.

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