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Forced Run


I had a really odd work schedule the last 24 hours, so I decided to take a couple of steps to ensure that I got in a decent run.

Even though there's a sign stating not to drink the water in the lav, we still have to ensure it's fit for consumption.

Even though there’s a sign stating not to drink the water in the lav, we still have to ensure it’s fit for consumption.  It comes from the same tank that supplies the coffee makers.

One aspect of my job with the airline involves sampling the drinking water on board, to ensure it’s fit for human consumption.   Lucky for me, it’s a laboratory sample, and not a “drink this and see if you get sick” sample.  According to the EPA, the water tanks on board aircraft are essentially classified as a public water source (like the faucet in your home).  While another member of my work team does the majority of the sampling, I’m the backup person when he’s out of town.  Last night was my lucky night to go do the water sampling. Most of my job involves dealing with hazardous waste and reading up on EPA regulations, so this is outside of my normal day-to-day routine.

Since I was heading back down to the office/airport late at night, I decided to load up my bike into the vehicle and take it with me.  I left it in my cubicle, essentially forcing myself to run in to work this morning.  We’re a one-car family, and my wife needed the vehicle today, so my options became run into work, or don’t show up at all.  I knew if my bike was still at home, I’d take the bike instead of running in.  But by dropping the bike off at the office, I still had a way to get home at the end of the day without having to run both ways.

I’ve run into work a few times over the past year, but this time I was smart enough to leave a change of clothes with my bike so that I wouldn’t need to run with a backpack on, as I’ve had to do in the past.

Since I’m up late doing the water sampling, I’m not expected to be in the office first thing in the morning.  I headed out the door mid-morning, and fell into a decent groove.  I average about 7:25/mile for the first six miles.  Then I looked at the time, and realized that if I pushed hard enough, I might be able to make an earlier train (rather than waiting around an extra 20 minutes).

I managed to average about 6:35/mile for the last 3.7 miles.  Not quite as fast as I wanted, but at least I made it on to the train (with 3 seconds to spare!)  Those last few miles definitely took it out of me though!  Total run was 9.7 miles, averaging 7:10/mile.

Happy to have made it on to the train, and happy that I didn't have to step over vomit like yesterday - oh the joys of public transportation!

Happy to have made it on to the train, and happy that I didn’t have to step over vomit like yesterday – oh the joys of public transportation!

Oh, and for the record, I would drink the water on our aircraft.  I wouldn’t drink it from the faucet in the lav, but I also wouldn’t drink water from the faucet in any public restroom.  If I was a coffee drinker, I’d have no worries drinking that on board.

Also, we have a new “social media policy” at work, so anytime I mention my job I’m now supposed to say something like: “The opinions expressed above are my own, and not necessarily representative of [the airline I work for].”  I think that covers it.  For some odd reason they don’t want me, an Environmental Specialist, to speak on behalf of the entire company.



  1. Wait, water tester! Why wouldn’t you drink water from a faucet in a public restroom? Uh-oh…Should I be worried that I’ve done that many times halfway through a long run or long ride? I thought it better to save the world from consumption of another plastic bottle? Do you know something that I don’t know about public restroom water? Or do I just have lower standards of acceptable public behavior 🙂

    • I wouldn’t drink the water from the tap in any public restroom because of what splashes up onto the aerator from people’s hands when they’re washing them. This really isn’t anything (generally speaking) that would live in there that would hurt someone with a non-compromised immune system – I’m just a self-professed germaphobe (I won’t eat from an open bag of chips/candy in the breakroom at work, use my foot to flush public toilets, …)

  2. I love the dedication! Leaving your bike at work is a brilliant way to make sure you run. Hope your half training is going well!

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