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When the ridiculous becomes the routine

February 26, 2014

Yesterday I went for a total of 8 runs. Today I did 7 more.

This isn’t intended as bragging. Some of the runs were only half a mile, and none exceeded 3.5 miles. But they do add up.

My new several-short-runs-a-day schedule sort of emulates that of Pam Reed. As reported by 60 Minutes in 2005,

Reed, from Tucson, Ariz., has an unorthodox approach. With no coach, no nutritionist and no training schedule, she simply runs as much as she can – up to five times a day. For a mother of three, that means in the middle of the night, in between errands, or during her son’s soccer practice.

When I first heard about this, I thought, “That’s ridiculous. Can’t she just carve out the time to do one or two ‘proper’ runs per day?”

It doesn’t seem so ridiculous anymore.

Before my left Achilles tendon gave out in 2010, I had adopted a Reed-like approach to commuting. But that was just a single 6-mile run on an easy day, or two of them on a harder day.

Fast-forward to today. I’ve moved to a different home, my Achilles is healthy again, I’m splitting my work time between UW’s main campus and a lab at the south end of Lake Union, and I have child drop-off/pick-up duties. All of this leads to itineraries like yesterday’s:

7:20 AM: B.F. Day (my son’s school) to South Lake Union (SLU), 2.5 miles

8:30 AM: SLU to Padelford Hall, 3.5 miles

11:25 AM: Padelford to Guggenheim Hall, 0.5 miles

12:20 PM: Guggenheim to Padelford, 0.5 miles

12:40 PM: Padelford to SLU, 3.5 miles

1:55 PM: SLU to Hitchcock Hall, 3 miles

3:45 PM: Hitchcock to Padelford, 1 mile

6:00 PM: Padelford to B.F. Day, 3 miles

You may ask whether I’m getting in any speedwork. Yes, I am. A couple of times per week, I’ll find myself late for an appointment across town, so that leg becomes a hard “tempo run.”

It remains to be seen whether I can translate this routine into decent race results. Pam Reed managed to win Badwater twice and set American records for distance covered over 24 and 48 hours, so I suppose there’s hope for me as well.

One comment

  1. […] now, all I have to say is that I’m glad to have gotten in some decent (though unorthodox) training, and I hope to break 7:20. If I succeed, I’ll probably place in the top 5, though probably […]



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