There are people out there that truly love to run, but I definitely wouldn’t consider myself to be one of those people. Oh sure, I find myself running from time to time, but that has nothing to do with loving it (or liking it, for that matter). In fact, running makes my knees hurt, it makes me tired and out of breath, and after I’m done running I usually wonder, “Why did I just do that?”
Yesterday after work I found myself running up Michigan Avenue in hot pursuit of an express bus that I had just missed. I was slightly annoyed that I had missed it because I normally time it perfectly… I check the bus tracker from the office and when it gets to 4 minutes away from my stop I leave work and catch the bus. Not yesterday though… as I was walking out of my building I noticed my bus zoom by towards the next stop. What the – ?!? Well, I wasn’t about to let the bus get away, so I started running up Michigan Avenue. I needed to catch that bus because I knew that the next express bus wasn’t coming for another 25 minutes (I mean come on, I’m not going to get stuck taking a local). I thought I could run to the next stop and hopefully catch the bus at a red light. I made the light at the next street, but so did the bus. At this point I was sprinting and… I just missed it!
After missing the bus at that stop, a decision had to be made. I could do one of three things:
- Give up and either wait for the next express bus or get on the local in a few minutes
- Keep running and catch the bus at the next stop, or
- Walk to Walgreens, buy two Snickers bars, a box of junior mints and a pint of ice cream… Nothing heals the pain of defeat like a sugar and lactose induced coma.
I chose option number 2 of course. Unfortunately I didn’t just run to the next stop, or the next stop after that. I ran for a total of seven more blocks up Michigan Avenue, dodging old people, side stepping around slow tourists and nearly running into about five different people that weren’t paying attention. I caught up with the bus though… one stop before it went express to my stop in Lincoln Park. Mission accomplished.
The distance from work to my apartment is actually about 2.8 miles. The distance that I ran to catch that bus was about .7 miles. That’s 1/4 of the total distance. Next time I might just run home.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I’ve done this. Last night I started thinking about all of the other times I just decided to start running (and I also decided to go back and track the distance on Google Maps). Here are some of the more memorable runs I’ve had:
- In college I ran home from a bar to my dorm room. A girl on the street actually yelled, “Run Forrest, Run!” – Total distance: 2.5 miles
- In the past year I’ve also run home from my improv class numerous times when there were no buses coming – Total distance (each time): 1 mile
- Last year I also ran to catch another bus here in Chicago. I was actually surprised I caught it… it was two streets ahead of me – Total distance: .8 miles
- Then one night after a work happy hour I just decided to run home – Total distance: 1.7 miles
- And the list could go on and on…
I guess you could say that I’d rather run than pay for a cab. Maybe I should tag this post under “Saving Money” as well. Seriously though, don’t pay for cabs unless absolutely necessary. That’s rule #14 in my guide to saving money.
Why run though? Why not just walk? I’m sure that’s what you’re asking, but if you’re not then maybe you should be. Well, I was wondering that myself and I guess I’ve come to realize that I don’t like how long it takes me to walk places. This is why when I’m at work I run around the office. I run to the bathroom. I run to the kitchen. I run back to my desk. It has nothing to do with being in a rush, I just don’t see why I have to waste all that time walking. So, don’t be alarmed, there’s no fire or other type of emergency… it’s just me, trying to get some place faster than the average walking individual.
“From that day on, if I was going somewhere, I was running!” – Forrest Gump