I did something today that I’ve never done before. I went running at noon, in the middle of my work day.
Due to the slightly chaotic nature of my daytime job, I hardly ever take a lunch break. I’ll eat at my desk while I work or while I’m in a meeting. Taking an actual break is something I rarely do. And taking a full hour to actually go running has pretty much been unheard-of. But I decided to change all that, starting today.
I mean, why not? Magazines and such always say to schedule in your run just like any other appointment on your calendar. So why can’t that be at 12:00noon instead of at 6:00pm? It also strikes me as unhealthy to never ever take a lunch break. And what about all the people that say a lunchtime run invigorates them and makes them more productive the rest of the work day? Seems like a great idea, right?
I figured I could do this once a week without it being an issue at all. More than that and it might start meaning I work even later to make sure I get my work done, or people would start wondering where I am, or something. Or maybe not. But I guess we’ll find out. Once a week for now, if I could do twice a week it’d be great.
My run was sandwiched in between two meetings. So I had exactly an hour of free time between 12:00 and 1:00. I wasn’t planning on running for a full hour. Maybe for about 30 minutes. But I wanted a lot of time because I was so anxious about the logistics of it…. changing my clothes, getting out the door, getting back, taking a shower, getting dressed again, actually eating something, and getting to my next meeting on time without looking harried.
My Garmin wasn’t working because it couldn’t find a signal. But on Map My Run the course I did was 2.7 miles. All on hilly terrain, which is one of the reasons I wanted to run at lunch. The area around my work is all hilly and a great course to practice running hills. Since I’m terrible at running hills this idea of lunchtime running on hills seems perfect to me.
It took me a full 45 minutes to change, run, cool down with a 10 minute walk up hill and up two flights of stairs back to the locker room, take a 2 minute shower, get dressed, fix my hair, apply mascara, and stroll on back to my office. I actually would like to run more like 3 to 3.5 miles at lunch. So this would add a little bit more time but I think I can still do it in an hour. I run pretty slow on hills. I was pretty anxious about how long I would be gone, mostly because of my 1:00 meeting.
So what about all you experts out there that do lunchtime runs all the time?
How do you fit it in? Do you ever have trouble fitting it in due to work commitments? At what point does work “‘win” and you pass up a run, versus committing to your lunchtime run like any other meeting you need to attend?
What is the longest mileage/time you can do on your break and still get back to work?