In January 2017, I started running to work. Nearly every day for the last three months I have run to and from work. It has been quite the process to figure out a good and sustainable routine. In this post, I share my routine in hopes that others who can, will gain the courage and motivation to try running to and from work.
Packing for the Week
Each Sunday I pack 5 lunches into a cooler that takes up a decent amount of room in the break room fridge (sandwiches, yogurt, candy, Gatorade). I pack or grab 5 outfits from the closet for the week and the associated undergarments. I pack enough shoes, planning my outfits in such a way to reduce the number of shoes needed for the week. Lastly, I pack 5 running outfits that are individually placed into a gallon sized ziplock bag. I then take all of this to work.
The cooler goes in the break room. The clothes for the week hang on the back of my office door between two heavy duty command hooks. The associated undergarments are stored in the middle of a little three drawer chest. The running clothes in ziplock bags are stored in the third drawer of the chest. The top drawer contains all the things needed to get ready each morning. Items such as deodorant, baby wipes for all the sweat, makeup, lotion…you get the picture.
I get up each morning, take a shower, get my son ready for school, and dress in running clothes. I walk my son to school (.25 miles) then run the rest of the way into work (3.25 miles if I go straight to the office). Once at the office, I drink water and check the morning’s emails while I cool down. Then, I get ready for the day. Now, since I took a shower before running to work, the baby wipe “shower” that comes at this point in my day is more than sufficient.
Ziplock it up!
Now, this is the point in the day where the ziplock bags come in handy. I choose the running outfit that will take me home at the end of the day. Then, I remove the clothes from their ziplock bag. I place my sweaty gross running clothes that got me to work that day into the ziplock bag. I close up that bad boy to keep the smell from permitting the entire office building. The ziplock bag with the soiled running clothes then goes into a backpack under my desk.
I go about my day.
At the end of the day, I change out of my work clothes, placing these clothes in the same backpack that contains the ziplock bag o’ dirty running clothes. I head out the door for the 3.5 mile commute home.
This process repeats each day. On Fridays, I take home the empty cooler and the backpack of dirty clothes. I wash everything (or take them to the dry cleaners) on Saturday. Then, the process begins all over again on Sunday.
After three months running to work nearly every day, I have noticed the following changes in my behavior:
I plan a lot better.
I eat a lot better.
My stress levels are much lower.
I am more effective in my role.
I am a MUCH stronger runner! (Award-winning now, actually)
It has taken a great deal of work along side trial and error to finally find a process that works for me. The payoffs of running to work have been well worth the work. I hope yours will be, too!
This post is part of our #SAfit series for May. With the constant hustle and bustle of our profession, we can’t forget to put ourselves at the top of our to-do list sometimes. It is essential that we remember to take time for self care and this series highlights how our colleagues work #SAfit into their lifestyles. This can look different for each of us and your journey is your own. For more info, please see Mandi Stewart’s intro post. Be sure to check out the other posts in this series too!