Working Moms Who Run


Greetings!  I’m Crystal and happy to be here guest blogging for Heather!  I have been running for about 3 years now, and have run 6 halfs and one full.  I even ran the 2009 Disneyland Half Marathon at 34 weeks pregnant!  

I have a 19 month-old son and work full-time in architecture.  He keeps me pretty busy before and after work, so the only time I really have to run is during lunch.  It is difficult to find time to work out at ALL when you have a busy toddler, so lunch runs and restroom exercises have to suffice.  With a bit of planning, though, you can definitely make it work…even if you are training for a race!  I am not currently training for anything right now, but run during lunch 2-3x a week to stay sane.
The key to a successful lunch run is to be relatively low maintenance.  I say this in all practicality.  If you must have perfect hair and makeup, perhaps the lunch run is not for you (for example, if you would spend more than 10 minutes fixing yourself up after your run).  Showers, while they would be welcomed, can be done without, as most offices do not have showers.  Pretty scenery is nice too…but I digress.
At the start of your lunch hour, go change into your running clothes.  Don’t forget the sunscreen!  Running at lunch puts you at the worst time of day to be out in the sun, so cover up.  Long sleeves with an SPF if you can stand it, otherwise use the highest SPF you can.  I use a lotion with SPF 30 in the morning, and touch up with an SPF 55 spray before I go out.  Sunscreen needs to be applied 30 min before you go out, which is hard to achieve when you are doing your lunch run.  Do the best you can.  I wear a hat and sunglasses, too.  Don’t forget the lip balm, either!  I strap on my Garmin and SPIbelt, then head out. 
At my current pace, I aim for 3-4 miles in 30-40 min, depending on how I am feeling and the weather.  Use your own discretion.  Sometimes I will work in speedwork.  Other times, I will just enjoy being out of the office.
Cleaning up afterwards may be a daunting task, but fear not!  Once you get the hang of it, it’s a snap.  First cool down with cold water and some body wash.  You can use paper towels, but if you bring your own towel, it is nicer.  Completely change your clothes, even your underwear.  It’s amazing how just a change of underwear can make you feel like you’ve showered.  Body powder like Shower-to-Shower, lotion, and deodorant are also necessary staples.  A quick touchup to your makeup and a brush through your hair and you are done!  Go rehydrate with water or an electrolyte drink and heat up your lunch.  Feel good that you have gotten in your workout without taking any time away from your child or spouse!
Supplement your lunch runs with restroom exercises.  Whenever you need to use the restroom, take a couple minutes afterwards to get in a set or two of exercises.  Great ones to do are sink tricep pushups, sink regular pushups, squats, and/or lunges.  It’s a good way to get in some strength training on the side.  They say that exercise is cumulative, so if you do 3-5 sets of 10 sink pushups in a day, look how many you have done!  
If you are training for a race, the only time you will have to dedicate outside of work would be your long run on the weekend.  If you have a jogging stroller, you can put the kid in that and spend some quality time out on the road or trail with him/her.  If your spouse runs too, that’s some bonus family time!

For fun, I took this sweaty, post-lunch-run Heather tribute pic.  It was actually a really nice day to run, so I’m not as red/sweaty/gross as I could be.  LOL.  In case you were wondering, yes, that is the strappy tank from 😉  I love it, even if it is a bit snug (should have sized up).

Well, I hope this has helped some of you working running moms out there figure out how to get in your runs.  Come visit me at Preparing for the Next Adventure!  I am trying to work on being a better blogger, but alas, like most things these days, blogging has fallen victim to everything else I need to do.  At least I can still run! 
Have a great day!

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  1. I really appreciated the details in this post. I always hear about people running on their lunch break, but I was always wondering how they actually transitioned back to the office. Change underwear…got it! Thanks!!!

  2. I love your tips Crystal! I think it’s super admirable to be a full time working mom AND running mom. You’re my hero 🙂

  3. Thanks Jen! 🙂

    At first, I think some people may have thought it was weird, but now people will ask me in the morning if I’m going for a run! Me in running clothes in the elevator is a normal sight now. LOL

  4. Great tips! Gosh you are efficient! I turn beet run and sweat buckets when I run, so I’d have to shower. I opt to get up at o’dark-thirty and get my run in before everyone else gets up.

  5. I forgot about bathroom exercises!!!!!! I have to start to do those again!