As the days grow longer and the evenings are warmer, I find myself craving uninterrupted family time at the end of the work day. Playing and working in the garden and yard rank top on the list of activities that are feeding my soul. Running is up there, too… but lately I have not found much motivation to run during the dinner hour. Not able or willing to take a break from my midweek runs, I am trying something new. I’ve started running on the trail during my lunch hour. It’s a quarter of a mile from the edge of campus to an opening for one of my favorite running trails. With time factored in for changing clothes and climbing up and down the steep steps from campus to the trail, I can reliably fit in a four mile run and get back in time to resume my afternoon work.
So far, I am finding this change to be very positive. I get my miles in without an impact to family time in the evenings. I also enjoy the benefits of fresh air and exercise during the middle of the work day, returning to my tasks and projects refreshed and with renewed mental sharpness. Finally, just like I have come to recognize and adore the cast of characters I encounter on my weekend long runs, I am beginning to encounter a new group of wonderful folks… the lunchtime runners. With a new option to alleviate the burden of juggling dinner with running (there are only so many hours in a day), I am feeling energized about my current training goal and excited about what I might be able to accomplish this summer through my running practice.