70-Minute Getaway

I knew that back-to-back presentations would have me out until past 8
yesterday, and since I usually work a 10-hour day, I decided to take
the morning off and roll in at 10. This is not an unusual start time
for many, but was a revelation for me. Combined with bringing the
kids to day care one hour early, it meant I could not only go running
after I dropped them off, but go for a longer than usual jaunt.

I can't tell how you how giddy I was with anticipation. I rousted the
kids up at 6:20, sped them through diapers and clothes and breakfast,
and had them out the door by 6:45. After dropping them off at 7 and
returning home with the stroller by 7:15, I was out the door with my
running clothes on within minutes.

For someone whose usual run needs to be done before the kids wake up,
running at this hour - and without the pressure of having to get done
quickly - put a whole new spin on things. Daylight also makes for a
more relaxing run; you can look at things, and don't have to worry
about people jumping you.

I decided to take Walnut Street through the Penn campus and into
Center City. I passed by Le Bec Fin and high-end retail, crossed
Broad Street, entered the Jefferson Hospital area, and then darted by
Independence Hall. From there, it's a big pedestrian bridge that gets
you across six lanes of I-95 plus Columbus Boulevard and onto Penn's
Landing. I stretched there, looking out into the Delaware River,
Camden, the Ben Franklin Bridge, and battleships. From there, I
followed the water's edge and then cut back across Columbus Boulevard
and I-95 and onto South Street. Surprisingly, since I was well past
my usual run length, I felt great, so crossing back across Broad
Street, cutting through the Graduate Hospital area, and taking the
South Street Bridge back to the Penn campus, I actually quickened my

When I got home, I was able to stretch thoroughly, shower leisurely,
and read the paper over breakfast. No kids, no rushing, just me. Of
course, I have my wife to thank for getting everything ready for me in
the morning and for tending to the kids solo in the evening while I
was out late, so this was a nice treat but not likely a regular
addition to my routine. Still, it was nice to have a little morning
getaway in the midst of a very busy week.

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