There are a number of things that make running joyous. One of my personal favourite running perks is the lunchtime run, or the RUNch. It’s a fantastic way of getting a run in when it’s not possible before and/or after work. It also feels like you’re getting one over on ‘the man’ – although I can’t actually work out how. It is however a beast with two heads.
Picture the scene, it’s the height of summer, it’s getting close to lunchtime and the sun is up high with a backdrop as blue as a very blue thing, but as your colleagues settle back a their desk with a limp sandwich you – like a magician pulling a rabbit from a hat – produce your running kit from your bag and do an impression of Superman (getting changed quickly in a small space). Out the office and into the warm afternoon sun with a hop and a skip. Within a matter of moments, the stresses and strains of the working morning ebb away. The sun rays warm your face, the bird song lifts your heart and the freedom – even less than an hour of it – is great for your mood. You return to the office safe in the knowledge that something has been accomplished in that hour, even if you can’t stop sweating.
Winter lunchtime runs are a much harder sell, there’s wind, rain maybe even snow – if you’re lucky. Rather than limp sandwiches, your colleagues are settling into warm soups and mugs of hot chocolate. The actual running is fine, it’s better than fine its running which is always good but stepping out the office into the blizzard takes a moment to dig deep. The tricky bit is when you get back to work that it is a bit of a faff, particularly if you need to defrost. If you’re not lucky enough to have a shower at work it’s as simple as; have a shower, get dressed. If you don’t it’s a delightful combination of towel to dry off and wet wipes to refresh.
Once you’re back into more appropriate work attire the fun doesn’t stop. On your return the office is always too hot in the summer (where you can conceivably keep sweating for the rest of the working day) and too cold in the winter yet you emit a warm glow – which probably means your face is a fetching shade of beetroot. Post run, I always find I struggle to stay awake for about half an hour to an hour from about 3. I begin to feel my eyes glazing and my concentration wain, but don’t tell the boss – RUNch sessions make up the bulk of my midweek training. The mid-afternoon struggles are combatted by a cup of coffee, or three, and a change of scenery for a while. Once the caffiene has done its job, its back at it in the satisfaction that while others wasted their lunch hour mine was both mentally rewarding and phyically productive.