It’s All About the Layers (3 miles/3.5 miles)

Right now, I’ve got conflicting responsibilities over my lunch hour.  On the one side, I really need to run: it helps me deal with the stress at work, makes me feel better physically, and keeps me in shape. Currently the weather is ideal, but there is only so much time I can use for running in the afternoon, what with a toddler and a household to help keep up and all that, so my lunch hour is perfect.  On the other hand, I am pretty much constantly behind in my work at school: the most recent homework assignment I’ve put into my grade-book is dated 2/17, I’m making up my lesson plans during my subway ride to school, and I’ve only managed to correct and grade 6 of the 100 odd essays that I collected last week.  Right now, I’m pretty much going with the “screw it, I need to run” approach, and figuring work will just, well, work itself out.  For one, I’m rather attached to my contractually dictated “duty-free lunch.”  Also, I think spending my lunch running rather than frantically grading papers makes me a better teacher for the rest of the day — at the very least, it makes me less likely to toss a student out the window of my classroom.  The trick is to make my lunch hour running as effective as possible, so I can get in some running and still do my job.

Today I wore my running shorts and shirt under my teaching clothes, so the second the bell rang at the end of forth period I could just strip off my tie, vest, button-down shirt and jeans and head out the door.  Literally three minutes after the last student left my room I was on the sidewalk, running up the hill towards Grand Concourse.  I just did the three miles out-and-back to Washington Heights that I’ve written about before, and there isn’t much to say about it in particular.  The weather was chilly but brilliantly bright and clear, and I was inspired by this weekends 5K to push myself to keep up a faster pace than I normally would have.  I didn’t take my Garmin or anything else electronic with me, so I didn’t record my time, but I think I made it back in about 25 minutes; whatever my speed, I was back with 20 minutes left in the period.  I think Thursday I’ll do 4 miles, and see how that works out.

After work, I took the A train to High Street, the first stop in Brooklyn, and ran home from there.  Again, the route was routine and there isn’t much to say about it either, other than I’m happy to have my feet feeling healthy and am feeling faster again.  I also love that running home doesn’t really add much time to my commute: by the time I take the train the next seven stops, then walk the 8 minutes from Fulton, its about the same as hopping off the train and running.  Besides, it also means that I get walk in the apartment and be greeted by Nat happily shouting: “Daddy running!  Daddy running!”  Now that’s a great way to end a day at work.

Total Distance: 6.5 miles          Total Time: Not Recorded


About Chris Van Dyke

I am a 33 year-old high school English teacher and long-distance runner. I live in Brooklyn with my partner, our 3 year-old son and 1 year-old daughter and a growing collection of muppets and trains. Besides running and teaching I like to draw, read, write, cook, and play the harmonica. While I didn't get to run my first ultra-marathon on my birthday, I've got a few more I've set my sights on. You can follow my (seldom updated) twitter feed @aboutrunning. I also blog as part of the Run Smiley Collective.
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