Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Shortest Run Ever

Ever have one of those days...a day when you think you can fit it all in, scramble like heck to satisfy all parts of your persona, the hard-working employee, the loving spouse, the attentive parent, the engaged community member?

Some days you dodge the crush, other days you get buried. Despite some furious digging, yesterday I got buried.

The day started with a 5:30 a.m. alarm, set that early so I could get up, get ready and head off to Boulder in time to get in a solid pre-work run (I went to bed the night before with visions of an early morning atop Bear Peak). The only problem was the steady rain that was pounding the Denver/Boulder area until mid-morning. Fine, I thought, I'll start work early and get in a run on the way home.  Perfect plan.

Whoops. Very busy day at work. Fine. I'll work later than planned and JP can pick up the kids. Hold on, JP came down with the crud and left work early to convalesce. She needs to stay in bed and rest.

Plan C. - leave work just a bit early, squeeze in a short run on the way home. Perfect plan.  There's several trailheads literally right off of Highway 93, my commuting route.

I timed things pretty well and got to the Greenbelt Plateau trailhead right around 4 p.m. I had enough time to run and pick up the kids.  So, off I went at around a 6:40 pace through the yellow grasses on the rolling High Plains Trail. Three minutes in I suddenly remember that CP had play practice after school and it ended early.

I stopped in the middle of the trail, put my hand on my chin and started thinking. After a solid minute of pondering I realized there was no way I could finish the run and pick up CP and jP on time.  So, I high-tailed it back to the truck, jumped in and raced off.  Three-quarters of a mile run.  .75. My all-time shortest run.

I did managed to pick up the kids on time, dropped jP off at home, took CP to piano lessons (grabbed a slice of pizza while she was with her teacher), dropped her off at home and then raced (late again) to a meeting of a foundation board that I'm a member of.  Ridiculous.

I am a big believer in the value of actually putting runs on one's calendar so it's reserved time. I don't always do it, but know that I should.  Yesterday was Exhibit A of why one should purposefully block off time to run...or just suck it up and run in the rain.


  1. "After a solid minute of pondering..."

    Oh man, while reading this, I could totally feel your angst. Hey, from what I can tell, you're doing a great job managing all those persona parts!

    Yesterday, I sat in a comfy chair at 5:35 am with running gear on and a cup of coffee in hand...listening to the rain ping the windows. Inner turmoil was raging. Do I go? Do I skip it? I went, but all the while was thinking about how long the cold, dark, windy winter is going to be.

  2. Amen to reserving running time!

    I'm not sure I've ever run less than a mile in one outing, but I've certainly cut a few runs short after remembering a previously forgotten commitment.

    It's a shuffle, and sometimes you lose a run here and there. I call those missed runs recovery days.

  3. I don't know how you runners with families do it. My lack of structure breeds laziness when it comes to planning.

    And especially with mountain running, it always pays to have a plan "B", or even "C". I got burned a couple of times this summer on weekends where things didn't go as originally planned (weather, late start) and I basically lost what should have been a great long run.

  4. Excellent.

    I block out time in my schedule specifically. It is as much about me getting head space as much as it is about getting exercise.

    Still - even then, the best laid plans are sometimes scrapped.

  5. The other day as I was leaving for Green, Kim says "You have enough time?". Hell, yes, woman! Leave me be. I drove out of the neighborhood and then did some math. U-turned and came back home. Oops. Would have been 20 minutes late for a kid thing. 0 miles...unless you count those I drove down the block.