The Run Before the Storm

On Sunday evening, before dozing off, I checked Monday’s weather to determine whether I should set my alarm for a run or a living room workout (because the former requires an extra 15 minutes in order to get dressed).


Snow. But not until after 8am, which meant I’d need to squeeze in a few miles before the clock struck 7. It was a real Cinderella kind of moment.

Anyway, eager to get going, I planned for a 3-mile quickie in order to start the week off right. Not necessarily strong, but definitely right.

On mornings when you can’t afford a solid 60-minute workout, rest assured that even 30 minutes of sweat will make a major difference in the quality of your day. Do what you can, and your body and mind will offer their praises.

3 things to keep in mind when pressed for time:

1. Be practical.

Have a bit of foresight. Check your alarm the night before, and be sure that you’ve left enough time. There’s nothing worse than waking up with the intention of running to only learn that you’ve underestimated the amount of time it takes to get dressed, run, take the elevator back up to your apartment (which in my case can take for-e-ver), shower, do your hair (re: girls only) and get going.

2. Manage your time. 

Equally frustrating — and possibly frightening — is overestimating how much time you have. All of a sudden, you’ve reached the turnaround point and you’re still 3 miles away from home, and you’re supposed to be at an important meeting in 40. Should I take a cab? Subway? Crap, no money. Better run fast.

Some might call this inadvertent “speed work.” To me: It’s just plain old stress.

3. Have a backup plan.

We can’t always be perfect (no matter how freaking hard we try). Sometimes, that 30-minute leeway turns into 30 minutes more of sleep that you could really use. Cut yourself some slack. There’s always a quick nighttime workout, or if all else fails, tomorrow morning.

Fortunately, the odds were totally with me on Monday morning. I set my alarm for 6:27 (I only wake up on odd numbers) and actually managed to press snooze just once. By the time I jumped out of bed at 6:37, it was on to my morning routine (brush teeth, check mail) and out the door.

Outside, Manhattan was still waking up.


Monday morning was pleasant and mild (though I am disgusted that 30-degree temperatures are now to be considered “mild” after last week’s arctic blast). The route took me straight up Lexington and slightly east to the Queensboro Bridge, then back home again.

Quick. Easy. No thinking. Just running.

After a weekend of cookies, sleep and perhaps a little too much wine, it felt great to get going on Monday morning in a positive, energizing way. As for once I got to the office, I can’t say the same. Immediately, I wished I were back in bed.

Monday marked my fourth day in a row of running (including 6 miles on Sunday), and trust me, I could feel it in my achy shins. As the week goes on, I’m assuming I’ll need to find a few supplementary ways to get a move on. I’m not sure what I’m feeling — maybe yoga, maybe some living room strength training. As always, I’ll have to make a game-time decision to figure all that out.

  • How do you squeeze in workouts when you’re pressed for time?

4 thoughts on “The Run Before the Storm

  1. I’m terrible at figuring out how much time to allot–I either allot way too much or not at all enough. I need to be at work at 9 and I was 40 minutes into a planned 60-minute run this morning at 8. A little extra speedwork for the win?

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