One of the side effects of working long days is having to cram all my errands into the weekend alongside my long runs. Laundry, appointments and shopping absolutely must take place on one of my few days off, and I prefer to get them all at once if possible. So how to fit in all the weekly tasks and a 9 miler? Running errands!
When I started really training for my first half I learned early on to love Google Maps for its walking directions. The best part is that I can grab the route with my mouse and drag it to change, so if I want to avoid busy streets like Flatbush Avenue or switch from the tourist-laden Brooklyn Bridge to the Manhattan Bridge I can. I can even add in off-road trails in major parks! The resulting map tells me how long my route is to 1/10th mile and I can adjust it to make sure I drop off my laundry, then run to the bank before I take a circuitous six or seven mile route to the grocery store. If it’s okay to split the workout I might work in an appointment; ART or massage works great when your muscles are warm, and running home from the salon lets you test your new ‘do in a ponytail!
A few months ago I purchased a little backpack to run with, which frees me up to run to my dance class (5 miles), to Trader Joe’s in Manhattan (6 miles), or even to or from work (3-7 miles). The hitch is feeling comfortable once I get where I’m going, so I make sure to give myself plenty of time to change and freshen up, especially if I have to work all day.
The only real worry is how to get home if you finish your run with lots of groceries or some other kind of shopping trip. You could always arrange to have someone pick you up – when I visit my mom in Ohio, I often run at a nearby trail while she does her shopping. Lucky for me though, when I’m home I can just hop on the Subway!
Do you incorporate running with other parts of your life?