I've run (or I should say raced) many marathons. At least 10 I think. People have asked me later about some fact or other about the course or the scenery,...
My time saving superpower
I often recall a friend of mine in University telling me that she always ran between classes on campus. Yes, she was a runner, but that wasn’t why she did it. “Why would you walk?” she asked, “Don’t you want to get there sooner?” Good point. I found myself following the same train of logic whenever I drove (I mean really, I still do not understand people who drive the speed limit – aren’t you trying to get somewhere??) but I hadn’t yet applied it to my transportation by foot.
Now it is a different story. A few too many speeding tickets have led me to restrain myself behind the wheel. However, I always seem to be in a rush and am fitting in one last thing before I head out the door. The result of this is that when I am “walking” somewhere, I always want to get there faster, so I often find my fast walk turning into a run. It doesn’t matter that I’m wearing street clothes and carrying a purse. I’m comfortable running, and I would rather not be late, so I run. I know it may look strange, but I now wonder why more people don’t do it. I mean, if you’re a runner, you have this superpower of being able to get places more quickly. The only problem is that it becomes addictive. Once I’ve made it to a certain destination in, say, ten minutes, I will only ever give myself ten minutes to get there. So if I’ve run there once, I will always have to run if I want to be on time. I am not sure why I do this to myself – I just cannot seem to give myself a time buffer. So I am now destined to run to my dentist and hair appointments, run to pick up my kids from school, run to the restaurant to meet my friends, etc…
Since I am now an expert, I will share with you a few tricks to running in your street clothes.
Depending on the distance, footwear can really be a factor. I don’t recommend running more than a few blocks in heels (I’ve done it while pushing a stroller and although it may garner sympathetic looks from passers-by, it can also induce painful toes).
If you have a hand-bag, make sure it is closed. Knapsacks are the best, but purses are fine. Just make sure the strap is crossed over your shoulder.
Keep your pace conservative. All out sprinting will invoke suspicious looks. A gentle jog is really all you need to get you to your destination up to 50% faster.
Make sure you’re wearing deodorant or have some on hand. You may not think of it when going for a normal run, but it is crucial for when you run in street clothes.
If your destination is far away, take walking breaks. Stop and compose yourself every now and then – you don’t want to look like a disheveled sweaty mess.
Make sure you stop and walk at least fifty meters from your destination. Catch your breath, straighten your clothes, then breeze in the door gracefully. No one will be any the wiser and you will have used your running superpowers to save yourself your most precious resource: time.