Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Running Off Kilter

Working for the railroad is challenging on your running schedule. VERY challenging. The hours are CRAZY and long. Plus as a student, I am studying a lot between my 5 to 6 trips a week.  But mostly, it is the screwy hours that are causing my running problems.

  • I am working more hours each week than I was before
  • I am away from home during my off hours several days a week
  • I am sleeping through daylight hours more than ever before
The good news about the job is:
  • I am walking far more than before
  • I am walking stairs more than before
  • My upper body is getting fitter with railroading (lifting, climbing, etc)
My few daylight hours off are dedicated to spending time with my husband (because we rarely have the same hours off now!); getting my uniforms washed, dry cleaned and ironed; doing normal laundry; cleaning; shopping; chores; pets; recuperating from the hours; and the few hours for just ME seem to be now those minutes in bed when I read before going to sleep, or when I can actually take time in a hot shower. 

My runs now average between 3 to 5 miles each and are HARD. I actually pray for red lights at intersections now!!! That is HORRID. I used to pray for greens so my runs wouldn't be interrupted. Also, now even the slightest variations in the level of the route feels like mountains and on one route (on a work layover in Spokane) I often have to stop after these little hills to get my heart rate back down. Of course, the summer heat isn't helping either. Those high heart rates are also a part of hydration issues. I do bring water now on every run, no matter how short and it helps.

I am not hydrating like I used to.


But, when you are working on a train and are not given any actual "breaks", you have to take what you can (sometimes in just a spare minute or two) and you don't want to have to pee during those long hours. In fact, what most people don't realize is that a conductor is CONSTANTLY working - even on the 10 hour runs. You are not only loading and unloading passengers and baggage, you are walking the train, assisting people, listening to the radio, watching mileposts and communicating to the engineer. If you miss a transmission or mile marker, very bad things could happen. Things that could result in deaths at worst, or your being fired, or just making for issues you don't need.

Today, it frustrated me to feel so miserable running just 3 miles. I then ran/walked an additional mile. 

I have a DUATHLON coming up just NEXT month. I fear that I will be in last place, as I am NOT fit enough to do this without walking or stopping on the jogging portions (let alone adding a 12,5 mile bike ride between the two 5K's). But, I AM GOING TO DO IT. Even if I have to crawl. :)

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