Sprints of Various Types

My weekend has been so busy (in a completely lovely way) that I thought for sure I wouldn’t have time to do all the domestic things I wanted to do: clean the house top to bottom, take recycling to the center, do laundry. And I was right; I didn’t have enough time. However, I just came home from a friend’s house, put on a good album (Adele), and cleaned the house sprint style for about 30 minutes.

It is amazing what a huge difference just a half hour can make. I completely picked up my living room, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. All of the accumulated clutter, discarded shoes, mail, and random items? Gone. I took out all of the trash, cleaned the cat box, wiped down the counters in the kitchen and bathroom, vacuumed, dusted, and Febreezed. Oh yes, I did. Granted, the vaccuuming and dusting were pretty cursory and I didn’t touch the tub/shower or kitchen floor. STILL. I feel incredibly better about the state of my home after only 30 minutes of concentrated effort.

I got the sprint idea from Jane Espenson, whom I follow on Twitter. If you don’t know her, you must not be a fan of Buffy, Gilmore Girls, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Dollhouse, or any of the other amazing shows she has written/produced. Jane Espenson is awesome. Anyway, on Twitter, she will occasionally announce a writing sprint, where she asks people to join her in 30 minutes or so of concentrated, distraction-free effort on whatever project (writing or not) that they have been putting off. I LOVE the concept. Of course, you don’t have to wait for Jane to announce a sprint — I do sprints with paper-grading really often, and occasionally with cleaning, responding to emails, paperwork, or other such tasks. Oddly, I don’t use this as much with writing, but that’s probably because with writing I like to linger over things for longer periods.

I just thought I’d share the concept with you in case you can use it. It really is incredibly effective. I went from getting home at 4:30 feeling that I had used up all the time I had for domestic stuff to sitting here just after 5:00 having markedly improved my home situation. BAM. DONE.

Anyway, the second week of classes is about to start and I have a feeling that sprinting is going to become a big part of my life this summer. Sure, I’ll be putting in plenty of speed workouts at the track, but I’ll also be busy enough to need today’s kind of sprint, too.

So what was I so busy with all weekend? Well, I shall show and tell you. Friday morning before work was the first official swim of the triathlon training season. I was worried I’d be tempted to blow it off (swimming is not my favorite; I swear, it feels like one long session with the neti pot if you ask me), but I tweeted a promise to go to the pool and then I felt all accountable and shit, so I went. I tweeted this when I got there, just for proof:

Let's do this thing.

Friday afternoon/evening I spent some MORE time at the pool, but in this case I was with my friend B., relaxing, getting some sun (don’t worry, I was sporting SPF 70; I am Nordic after all), dangling our feet in the pool, and chatting.

[140/365] Dangling Conversation

[141/365] Shoes

Saturday morning we went on a four-mile run and then that evening I attended an engagement party for my friend S. It was a blast, even though I didn’t know most of the folks there. Her fiancé’s family are super fun and were great hosts. They made us feel welcome, like we’d been friends forever, and even had plenty of vegan-friendly food on hand.

Today I was supposed to have a group bike ride, but it turned into a solo ride as my bike friends bailed. I wound up doing 20 miles even though I only planned to do 15 — when I wound up home at about mile 17, I just figured, why not make it an even 20? It’s only three more miles! I felt great the whole time. I am just loving the bike this summer, I gotta tell you.


This afternoon: hanging with the gals, looking at S’s wedding dress, drinking champagne just because, and checking out her AWESOME new dance game on X-Box Kinect. I’ve never been a fan of video games, but that looked super fun. I think we are all going to try it out together soon.

And that brings us to the cleaning sprint and this here blog post. Whew. That is what a weekend looks like when you are trying to work, hold together a social life, and train for a triathlon at the same time. Busy but really good. Your laundry might not get done. Life is still good, though. How about you?


  1. Oooh, I dig that idea. But, ummm, could you come over and sprint and clean up my house? You know, instead of me doing it? Because I feel like that would be even better. And think of how accomplished you’d feel!


    1. Um, of course! I assume travel costs will be covered by you? Heh. I actually WOULD feel very accomplished. Cleaning is so satisfying.


  2. I’m in for beer sprints! When do we start?

    I sympathize with the high SPF lotion. I was in the Carribean once and it was misery even when I was covered head to toe in sunscreen. I still got burned, developed freckles and my hair bleached to the point where people asked if I dyed it. I also had the “raccoon eyes” from wearing sunglasses.

    This is indeed the curse of Scandinavian genetics.


  3. I am never, ever caught up on laundry. And my laundry is full of pretty stinky workout clothes, so it’s kind of a big deal. But I’ve made peace with it. I get my laundry done slowly, in stages, and I’m never naked so it works out. 🙂


    1. I always put mine off forever (I have even been known to buy new unders in order to postpone it even further — not recently, but in years past), and then I have to get like two rolls of quarters from the bank to get it all washed. So annoying! I keep thinking that as soon as I have my own washer-dryer I will always be caught up. We’ll see.


  4. Sprint cleaning is my favorite way to clean! It’s amazing just how much of a difference a quick counter wipe down and decluttering can make. If I had all the time in the world, I would have a showcase home because I do love a good clean house. But I’ve long made peace with the fact that training for races, building a career, and having a social life means less showcase-y of a home. But it’s a good trade off, I think.


  5. Wow, look at you, rocking those triathlon work-outs! I am inspired. I’ve been pretty lazy on the work-out front lately, but you and Chrissy are showing me that running really can be done in hot, hot weather.

    And I LOVE the idea of sprinting here! Maybe I’ll do some sprint housework when I get home today 🙂 Laundry and bathrooms, watch out.


    1. Thanks! Running in summer is definitely possible — you just have to acclimate with caution and be persistent. Happy sprinting to you!


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