Monday, September 24, 2012

Running errands (literally)

I’ve gotten into the habit of literally running my local errands, like to the nearby grocery store to pick up a few items, or the bakery, or the bank…. I’m able to turn it into a 4 to 5 mile run with no problem, and doing errands actually gives the whole running event a purpose.  I run with a small day-pack – it’s not very big, for obvious reasons; I don’t want to wind up buying more that I can actually carry.  Worse, I don’t want to wind up with an awkward load to run home with.

The first time that I did it I had to make sure that I packed the non-compressible items on the bottom of the backpack, so that the stuff that might get squished, wouldn’t.  And it did work out (nothing got squished), but it took about half a mile for the load to wiggle its way into some form of equilibrium.  At first things were pretty much wiggling around - not very comfortable.  After that, the backpack was fairly stable and I had a good mile or two of comfortable running..

I have to admit that I get some weird looks from people – first of all, I’m walking into the grocery store in obvious running clothes, and clearly I had gotten there running (I’m still breathing a little hard – note to self: take a few minutes to catch my breath before entering the store…), and then secondly, I’m walking in with a backpack.  The first thing that store security looks for is people with backpacks (shoplifters)…  but fortunately, I’m somewhat recognizable since I’ve only been in that store several thousand times, so they tend not to bug me.  But still….

Then after checking out I have to go to a little side area so that I can ‘pack my pack’ for the run home.  But once I’m all set, and I step outside, I’m back in running mode:  sun glasses in place, hat on, music on, let’s go.  

Going to the bank is interesting: I run up to the bank with my sunglasses, hat, and backpack.  The staff know me there as well, but I’m sure it looks interesting to other people as I get my receipts or whatever from the transaction that I did, stuff it into a zippered pocket on my backpack, step outside, do the sunglasses and hat routine and start running away from the bank….  It did occur to me that I should not be surprised if someone might call the cops to report a guy with a backpack running away from the bank….

But the best part of it is the fact that I feel that I’m actually accomplishing more than just going for a run; I’m paring down the list of things on my to-do list that I might otherwise have used my truck for.  I’ll try to do more of this – the trick is to make sure that where ever it is that I’m going, that it is ok to arrive a little sweaty…

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