How to Run 13.1 Miles: Try a New Route

At this stage of training, it takes a lot of willpower to keep going. Our blogger gets out of a running rut. And how.

by Jennifer Braunschweiger • Deputy Editor
My running shoes, my computer. Two great tastes that don't usually go together

I did it! I ran home. And no, I don’t mean I hurried home. I mean, I changed into running gear in the office bathroom (“Why are you wearing a track jacket?,” one woman asked), tucked my purse into my filing cabinet and headed out.

Was it awesome? Yes. Was it the answer to all my problems? No.

Here’s how it breaks down.

The good: Hallelujah—I essentially skipped my commute. I didn’t leave the office any earlier than usual, I got home on time, and I had a longer-than-normal run to show for it. I got to be in neighborhoods I rarely visit at an hour when I’m typically on the subway, escape my rat-trap treadmill work-home loop and finish my day with a run over the Brooklyn Bridge. All awesome.

The bad: Unfortunately, the run wasn’t an unmitigated success. It boils down to this: There are too many people in New York. OMG running on the sidewalks at rush hour is a nightmare. I ran in the streets when I could (not safe) and tried to be zen about the large groups of tourists meandering slowly over the bridge. But between the stop lights and the people, it was probably the slowest 4 miles I’ve ever clocked.

And the even bigger bad thing is that I am just not an evening runner. By 6:00, after a full day at work, I am tired. It was all I could do to make myself tie on my shoes—and if I hadn’t told half my colleagues about my adventure, I probably would have skipped it. I hadn’t managed my eating very well that day—I didn’t eat lunch until 3 o'clock and finished it off with a handful of jelly beans—so, of course, my stomach was upset.

Color me grouchy.

I carried my keys, wallet and cell phone in a little pouch strapped to my arm, so that worked well. But everything else—my gym bag, my Kindle, my lunch-time Tupperware—I left at the office.

The next day, I ended up carrying home four bags.

The verdict: Yes, I will do it again. Giving up the subway commute is compelling enough to make me figure out the logistics. I will experiment with the route, get more rigorous about my day-time eating habits, and streamline the junk I carry to the office.

No one said it was going to be easy. But with just a few more weeks until the MORE/Fitness Half Marathon, I'm almost home.

Read Jennifer's Training Week 1: Handling a Setback

Read Jennifer's Training Week 2: The Pros & Cons of a GPS Watch

Read Jennifer's Training Week 3: Finding Time to Train

Read Jennifer's Training Week 4: Strengthen Your Weak Parts

Read Jennifer's Training Week 5: Stay Motivated

Read Jennifer's Training Week 6: Don't Stop

First Published March 28, 2012

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