[diet soju & ravioli 2]

This week I tried something completely new.

It worked so well I'm having a hard time imagining not doing it.

But first, let me explain what brought me to this point.

It all started with an email from my manager to a select few employees, asking us if we would like to put in overtime this past week. We have a lot of work to do before the end of the year. It wasn't a mandatory thing: there wouldn't be any sort of retribution for saying no. So I waffled. And waffled. And waffled.

But then the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I needed to work that overtime. You see, bar prep starts in a few weeks. I'm taking the course online which means hours in front of my laptop when I get home from work each day. I've had nothing but trouble with my laptop since I bought it, which is disappointing. I'd saved up in law school to buy a Macbook because everyone had them and everyone talked about how they were soo much better than PCs and they hardly ever had problems. So I bought into the hype and got myself one.

I thoroughly regret that decision. Thoroughly. But that's another post. The bottom line is this: the computer is not going to last through another round of bar prep. It needs replacing. Unfortunately life has gotten in the way of that in the form of: a key stuck in an ignition, bar exam fees, bar prep course fees, a cellphone that stopped holding a charge, and a car that just decided not to start one morning. Don't worry, the car's fine now. But still. My savings were quickly bled dry and I was left with an unreliable laptop.

10 hours of overtime (at time and a half) was just what I needed to finally get that laptop. So I agreed to work until 6:30 four days this week (I normally work 7-4).

But then something dawned on me: when I left work, it was going to be dark outside. That meant no running. So I started pondering my options.

Stopping the workouts was not an option. I had to find a way to make this work.

What about getting up before work? I already wake up at 4:50 so I'd have to wake up by around 4:15 to get ready and go before work. And there was no way on God's green earth that was going to happen.

What about doing some other workout after work? With traffic, I wouldn't getting home until close to 7:30. I go to bed at 9. I'm way too old to workout that close to bedtime and still be able to sleep.

This was turning into a real pickle. I angsted. Then my angst increased when I realized that Bar prep was starting on January 2 and would take almost all of my post-work time. That meant no time for workouts for two whole months. Unacceptable.

Suddenly it dawned on me.

I stopped working as a single thought overwhelmed me: what if I went for a run over lunch?

It was perfect.

I could eat at my desk so it's not like I would be giving up lunch. My runs are only 30 minutes and my lunch breaks are an hour. That left me plenty of time for changing and reapplying makeup/perfume/deodorant. Plus on my first day they had mentioned something about some trails across the street. If nothing else, there was plenty of sidewalk to run about on.

The following Monday, my first day of overtime, I decided to give it a shot. I packed up a bag (not a gym bag because mine's in storage), and headed to the office. At noon I grabbed my lunch out of the fridge and ate while I worked. Then I fidgeted for about a half hour. I wanted to go before I  lost the nerve but I had just eaten. Running right after you eat is never a good idea. So I fidgeted. Finally at 1:00 I changed my status from production to lunch, grabbed my bag, and headed downstairs to change. While I was changing in one of the stalls, someone came out of what I thought was a supply closet. Seeing that they had left the door open, I poked my head into the room and discovered that it was in fact not a supply closet but a small little room with a shower and a bench. Perfect. I was feeling guilty about changing in the handicapped stall: what if someone who needed it came in?? I was only using it because the regular ones were way too small for changing but I spent the whole time worrying that I was in some handicapped person's way.

After changing, I went outside, deposited my bag in my trunk, and set out. I had thought about going back upstairs but that would take too long. Plus I didn't want anyone to know what I was up to and going upstairs in my running clothes would give it away. So I dropped the bag off, took my car key, and hit the road.

Day one I spent on the sidewalks in the area. I found the entrance to the trails on the way back in from my run and decided to try them the next day. Day two was glorious. The trails wind through some "woods" across the street from work. They're paved, which is a plus for someone as prone to tripping over tree roots as I am. Plus they were isolated enough to be refreshing but not so isolated that I was worried about safety. I jogged blissfully through the trees and past small ponds.  As each day went by, I felt more and more like I'd stumbled across a hidden gem that I wanted to keep to myself. So it became a game to try and make it back upstairs without anyone finding out what I had been up to (not that they actually cared). Even if no one cared in reality, I liked to pretend that I was getting away with something naughty on my lunch breaks.

The thrill of having this dirty little secret wasn't the only good thing to come out of my runs. I normally run out of energy around 3 and find myself reaching for a diet soda or a sugary snack to boost my energy and carry me through my day.

Not on running days. On running days, I got a boost of energy that didn't run out until close to 6. Since I was leaving in 30 minutes anyways, I refrained from the snacks and sodas. Not only was I then eating better, I was also getting a boost in focus and productivity. With each day that went by, it became harder to imagine not running over lunch.

I have to say, if you're in a situation where you can squeeze in 30 minutes of exercise over lunch, do it. Not only do you get that energy boost and better eating habits, you also get to leave work without worrying about trying to fit in a workout. If something comes up, no worries, you've already done your workout today.

Will I lose more weight because of this? I hope so. But that's not my motivation anymore. Now I just want that high to carry me to the end of my day.

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