Make no mistake; the benefits of being a runner far outweigh the drawbacks a majority of the time. But there are times I wish I could turn off my neurotic runner’s brain and function like a normal human being, if just for a little while, in order take care of some normal person business. Like, say, during business trips.
I am in Denver (well, Westminster, Colorado to be exact) for a couple of days for a fairly important full-day briefing with one of my largest accounts. I have my contact center specialist with me from Boston, the Account Manager from our channel partner with several of her executives and engineers, key executives from my customer who’ve traveled from Boston and Dallas, and a whole lineup of really smart (not to mention expensive) subject matter experts from my company’s Denver labs lined up to deliver a kick-ass briefing that could position us to do great things with this customer over the next 6 to 18 months. And I’m stressing over what this week will do to my mileage now that I’ve actually managed to string together a few weeks of something resembling training for the first time since before Baystate, last October.
The last time I was in Westminster I stayed at the same hotel—the Westin. It’s a nice place with good facilities and a really nice running trail outside. But that was for a company event and the hotel was overrun by Type “A” nut-jobs like me, and so when I got up bright and early to run on the treadmill the fitness center was packed. I remember running back up to my room, putting on what scant outdoor running gear I had with me and heading out on the trail in single digit temps. This time, betting that without the same concentration of Type “A” nutjobs I’ll be able to get on a treadmill, and knowing the forecast is for snow and it will be pitch dark and probably snowy out on that trail at the hour I would have to run in order to get to the office early enough, I didn’t even bring outdoor running gear—just shorts and t-shirts. I was trying to outsmart myself, see, so I wouldn’t be tempted to do anything really dumb since I am here to do a job and whatever running I get in is just a bonus. And now I’m freaking out over it.
What if I can’t get on a treadmill tomorrow morning? Will there be time between the briefing and dinner? Maybe I should try and bang out some miles tonight just in case…I wonder what time the fitness center opens and closes? What if it’s under construction or flooded or out of order or there’s a power outage or something weird? OMG! I want to punch myself in the face, seriously.
But then that’s the thing about being a work-a-day hobbyjogger--you have to force yourself to keep your priorities in order. Because at the end of the day my boss, my customers, my mortgage company, my kids’ dance school, my oil heat dealer, the United States Department of the Treasury, and a whole host of other people couldn’t give a rat’s ass if I ever break 17 minutes for a 5k road race.
That will be just for me.