Recently I have read several blogs discussing cyclists, not commuters but guys who really only use their bikes for exercise, using their bikes to run errands rather than just for training. I love this idea and have even occasionally run errands on my bike. However, as I was reading these blogs I began to think why can't I do this with my sport. Yeah I walk to the grocery store occasionally and walk to buy our fruits and vegetables from the guy who sells on the street here but why not actually do what the phrase says you are doing, "run errands?" I mean throw on my Sauconys, my shorts, dry wick shirt, grab a back pack, turn on the Garmin and run some errands. There have been occasions when my wife knew I was heading out for a run and she would ask me to pick up some things during my cool down but that’s not what I'm talking about here.
So the other day I had something I needed to pick-up from a store on the fringe of the old market here in Marrakech and I had a six mile easy run to do but not enough time to do both. As I was thinking about whether I could put off this little errand one more day, I realized why not just run there buy what I needed and go home? This would be the perfect opportunity to try out my new excuse to go for a run.
When I got home I grabbed a small running back pack that I bought last year in Spain (something like this), some money and headed out the door. I knew a route that would take me three miles to get to the store so off I went. One of the places I occasionally run is down by the old market, there is always so much to see. What I don't normally do is run down there after 5pm when everyone is driving or riding home. Traffic is nuts! But that is about what time my run was.
This is the kind of traffic I have to deal with all the time. Buses, taxis, cyclists, and donkey pulled carts.
One of the entrances to the old market
I made it down there taking an easy pace and without any problems. After about a minute of looking for the store then explaining to the man what it was I needed I secured my purchase in my bag and headed off back home.
The store where I bought what I needed
An old gate
Bab (Gate) Doukkala
So how would I say my little experience in "running an errand" go? I'd say it went great. But I have come to realize the limitations associated with this kind of endeavor. Let me list a few:
- Just as with a bike you are limited by the size of your bag. It is unlikely that you would have a pleasant experience doing this kind of shopping with a 35+ liter hiking pack (like this).
- Carry something liquid and your likely to have problems especially if that something is a soda... think about that for a second.
- People in the check-out line will think you're crazy, but many people already think that about your running already so who cares what they think. Just don’t use a towel in the store to wipe your sweat unless you plan to buy it.
Well, I hope I've given you something to think about. Now get out there and run some errands.