November 28 2016
Well if this doesn't make you feel like a star among the stars...
One of my first jobs out of college was for a major running shoe company as a technical representative. The job involved a lot of talking about running and a lot of driving. For the first couple of months I struggled to fit in running. It sounded crazy to others—how can you work for a running company and not have time to run? I was working when runners weren’t, so the times that I had to run were completely different from those I had been accustomed to. When I wasn’t working an event, at a fun run, or at a running specialty store, I was traveling to and from those places/events. It sounded like the ideal job to fit in lots of miles, but it was the opposite.
On the recommendation of a friend I created a “running locker” for my car. It was only then that I was able to start squeezing in my runs and train the way I wanted to. Learning to squeeze things in ended up being excellent training for what it has been like to train for marathons while raising three kids.
My first locker was a giant plastic bucket in the back of my SUV. I was single, had a large car and space wasn’t an issue. As my family has grown and the space I have in our car has dwindled I moved to a duffel bag. I now have progressed to smaller bags, that only hold the essentials. My current favorites are the Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport™ Shoe Locker and Fitness Locker.
Have you ever been on a solo drive or even with a friend and spotted an excellent place to run? Before I had my back-up running gear, I’d think, I wish I had packed some running clothes. Sure I could have thought ahead, but I didn’t know I was going to want to run or that I would find time or a spot to run. Always having running gear in the car meant that I didn’t have to think about whether I was going to run that day. If I wanted to, I had the option of doing so because the gear was there.
These days I find myself using my back-up gear during my kids’ sports practices. I love hanging out chatting with other parents during the practices, but sometimes I show up and none of my mom friends are there, so rather than read a book or waste time on the internet, I change in my car and go for a short run.
Keeping what I need in small bags vs a duffel bag means that I can grab my gear at any time and shove it in to my backpack or bring the sweaty clothing inside after the run and switch it out for a new outfit, while leaving my shoes in the car for another day.