During this past Holiday Running Streak, I did consider combining small, nearby errands with my workouts.
But unlike Run, Karla, Run!, I never actually did it. I forget why. I'm sure the reasons weren't very convincing (though in my defense, I have done errands by bike instead of by car).
I broke that particular streak this week, however, and I think I may have found the perfect motivating factor: laziness/incompetence.
Let me explain. I'm well aware that often, it's easier not to drive because of parking and traffic, and when it comes to downtown events after work on Fridays, I wholeheartedly support hoofing it. And while I haven't made a habit of it, I have willingly done a few errands on two wheels instead of four.
But returning a library book midday on a Wednesday, when you literally will pass by the library on your commute to work? It was tempting to find an easier route — coming back from downtown is slightly uphill and into the 9 mph wind (imagine a baby crying) — and just head to work a few minutes early.
And then I thought about parallel parking, which I never learned in high school and never attempted by myself until I moved to Des Moines in May 2012; and parking meters, which no one likes, but which especially annoy people accustomed to living in second-rate cities that don't dare discourage shoppers by charging for parking.
Oh, and don't forget how, if you park with the driver's side next to the curb, which I find easier, you have to climb over the frozen snow to get to the meter and sidewalk.
That settled it. I may be the world's biggest baby, given all the minor inconveniences I just listed, but I can carry a single, pathetic paperback book for less than two miles as I glide downhill, the wind at my back, while deliberately running slowly because it's base-rebuilding time.
Fashionistas would likely be horrified to hear that not only did I do it and survive, but that I also realized there's no reason I can't actually pick up a book or a few small groceries while doing more errand runs.
There will be spandex and a light sweat. But hey, even though Des Moines is cool enough to make people pay for parking, it's not so cool that it can't handle my midrun rosy cheeks and messy hair once in a while.