A Day in the Life of A Fast Paced Life

In the last few years of blogging, I’ve read a few of these types of posts with great interest. After following and reading a blogger for a while, I feel invested and naturally I’m a bit curious about them as a person, and just as a blogger. I’ve wanted to do “A Day in the Life” post for a while, so I guess today is as good as any day.

It’s going to be more like a description of a week because every day is different terms of schedule and what I do, but there’s a certain pattern that’s pretty stable. Also this is what my work schedule is like from September to late December. It varies with the time of year; summer is far more relaxed and I work fewer hours, so don’t think my work schedule is like this all year round.

Mondays & Wednesdays

My alarm goes off at 6 am, but I probably roll out of bed at 6:15. I’m not a morning person. It takes a lot of effort for me to get out of bed. Ben makes coffee for me every morning. We spend the next half hour drinking coffee, reading the paper, and making small chitchat while Bandit is snuggled with me under a blanket. This is my favorite part of the day. At 7, I get dressed and leave the house by 7:15 am.

Depending on traffic, it takes me 75 or 90 mins to get to work. Before I get to work, however, I almost always go to the small shopping center that’s right by work. Sometimes I do some light grocery shopping because that particular Whole Foods usually has some great deal on fruit, so I load up. Sometimes I run an errand at Target or at the post office. Sometimes I stop to buy another cup of coffee because I know it’s going to be a long day at work.

I get into my office by 9 am. I don’t talk about work here on the blog because I keep separate spheres in my life. It’s less about having privacy from readers, but more about I need to enforce privacy on my personal life from work.

I spend the first 30 minutes reading and answering overnight emails, and getting organized for the rest of the day. Come 9:30, and it’s crazy busy at work. When we first started dating, Ben wanted to show that he was sweet and considerate, so he’d call me during work just to say that he was thinking of me. He quickly figured out that I had no time for phone calls and unless it was an emergency, he shouldn’t call at all. I take lunch around 1, but depending on how things are, sometimes lunch is around 2 pm. At 5:30 things are officially done for the day. I spend another hour to hour and half finishing up and eating dinner while working. When work gets really busy, then I’ll stay even later. It’s not uncommon for me to finish at 10 pm. I usually try to leave by 8 pm. If I’m done before 8 pm, I’ll either go home earlier or I stay at work a little later to take care of personal stuff (pay bills, do online shopping, blog) because I like doing those things on a desktop better than on my own personal laptop. I would say most of the time I leave work at 8 pm, but starting around late Oct til Dec, I’ll be working past 8 pm.

The evening commute usually takes an hour, but if there’s a car accident (once a week?) then it’ll take longer. So I’m home between 9 and 9:30 pm. If I’m still hungry, I’ll have something small to eat. When I’m home, this is when Ben and I catch up with each other’s day. We try to go to bed by 11 pm each night (don’t always succeed).


I sleep in til 7 am. Sometimes I’m really tired and I sleep until 8 am. Again, Ben makes me coffee and we do our morning ritual of drinking coffee and reading the paper. Then I go run. Tuesdays mean speed work. For speed work, I go to the gym, track, or Prospect Park, depending on the weather, the type of speed work, and what I feel like. I come back home, shower, and then go to work. On Tuesdays, I show up to work at about noon.

Tuesdays are busy, but not as crazy and busy as Mondays & Wednesdays. I almost always leave by 7 pm or earlier. Sometimes Ben and I get to have dinner together on Tuesdays, if I come home on the earlier side and he didn’t eat earlier. Because my schedule can be erratic, we don’t schedule eating dinner together from Mondays-Wednesdays. We’re both on our own.

On quiet days when I get to leave by 5 pm, I’ll go Korean grocery shopping. There are certain ingredients that I need for cooking that I can only get from a Korean market and often the fruit and vegetables are cheaper there too.


I almost always sleep in on Thursdays because I’m so tired. When I get up, we have our morning coffee ritual and then I go run. Thursday is tempo day. I’ll either run at the gym or at the park. Ben occasionally joins me, but these days we’ve been going to the park together, but we’ll do our own separate workouts.

I work from home on Thursdays, so it’s a much quieter and relaxed day. I’ll do laundry or run other errands that I need to get done. I probably work about 6 hours on Thursdays.


Fridays are busy days, but usually because I’m in meetings. I try to leave by 7 am because I can’t be late for meetings. I leave early just in case there’s a horrible car accident that snarls up traffic. I’m usually done by noon and then I head out. I try to work a short day on Fridays, but this is dependent upon what’s going on at work. For example, this past Friday, I worked until almost 8 pm.

Saturdays & Sundays

There’s no such thing as a typical weekend because we usually have something going on: long runs, races, travel, errands, whatever. I always feel like we have packed weekends full of things to do. If we’re home for the weekend, we like to go out for brunch after a long run or a local race. On Sundays I try to cook a very large meal for Sunday dinner, so on Monday there are delicious leftovers to eat.

Over the weekend, I work about 8 hours (not all at once, but in between things).

Some caveats, like I said earlier, I don’t work like this all year round. If I did, I’d go crazy. There are some months where I’m busy, then super crazy busy, and then I’ll have several weeks of relatively little work.  As I wrote this, I realized I should try to go to bed earlier, like by 10 pm, because I’m so tired in the morning.

Coincidentally, it’s just after 10 now, so I’ll start now.

Do you go to different grocery stores? What’s your day like?

19 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of A Fast Paced Life

  1. My job back in New York was flexible about our hours; I used to work 10-6 and so had plenty of time to “sleep in” and run before work (even more if I did a run commute to Rock Center). My first two jobs in publishing were not as lax about hours, so it was definitely a perk to not start the subway commute until after 9! Of course, nowadays, my schedule is even better since I work from home and set my own hours. I told myself all summer that I was going to get good about going to bed early every night and knocking out every run bright and early–yeah…that hasn’t really happened. I’m still a morning runner, but I don’t like to set an alarm, so most runs don’t start before 8 (save for the 6:30 AM Saturday long runs I’ve been going to with Nike). So most days I get up, run, work for a few hours either from home or from a nearby coffeeshop, take an afternoon nap, and work some more. My friends are getting better about asking me earlier in the day if I want to meet for dinner or drinks after they get off work so that I don’t have to turn them down because I procrastinated and didn’t start working early enough in the day. As for grocery shopping, after the nightmare of NYC grocery stores, I’m taking advantage of being able to go to Trader Joe’s in the middle of a weekday when no one else is there! The fastest one for me to get to is actually outside of Chicago in Evanston, but only a couple of blocks from the L (the closest one to me in Chicago proper would require about 15 minutes of walking between the store and the train). There is a Whole Foods within walking distance of my apartment, but I try to only shop for a few basics there–$$$$$$$$$.

    • Your freelance schedule is what my summer schedule is like.

      I only go to Whole Foods because right next to work and they often have such nice deals on fruit. I go to the salad bar too if I need something for lunch. I love TJ’s, but I rarely go because it’s too much trouble with trying to find parking and then the crowds. Wegman’s is supposed to arrive at the Naval Yard in 2017 (most likely 2018), so I’m excited.

  2. Out of curiosity, what industry are you in? (What unicorn jobs have these hours?)

    When I was a reporter, I was always a morning runner. You never know what’s going to come up throughout the work day or when you’ll be done with work, so it’s always best to get the run out of the war as early as possible!

    • I’m in a STEM field with lots of autonomy in terms of work scheduling. For a change of pace this quarter, I scheduled a much earlier morning than I have in the past, but I’m not liking it. I’ll go back to having a later morning and later evening because I tolerate a late evening better than an early morning.

      Erratic schedules are tough.

  3. Wow. Now I’m curious to know what kind of job you have, but I understand if that’s too personal.
    Crazy schedule! Mine is a lot more regular, since my work hours are the same Mon-Fri. I usually buy all my stuff at one store, and then get things I couldn’t find there in other stores. Only rarely do I visit a completely new or different store, because I shop with my eyes, not my wallet and tend to go over my budget. 🙂

    • Hahahaha! I do too, but it drives my husband crazy. He loves going over receipts and making sure that we got the best prices for everything. We live in a bit of a food dessert so the grocery stores near us aren’t that nice, so if we have time we drive out to the nicer stores to do our shopping.

  4. I had no idea your schedule was that crazy when you are at work! This was so fun to read. When I am in NYC I go all over to different grocery stores. Last time, just at the end, I realized that a specialty store right by us had much, much cheaper and nicer produce than other places. It looked pricey so I just never popped in. In Chicago we lived about a half mile from the most amazing grocery store that had 2 bars in it and the carts had a wine/beer glass holder. It was so inexpensive and had the best stuff. Rock said that was going to be the place I missed the most. Now we only have two grocery stores in the town we are in and do a once weekly trip 20 mins away for a major grocery haul. But both of our stores here have plenty of great options…..I was just spoiled.

    • The store with the two bars sound amazing. I would love something like that here. The grocery stores near us are sad, so we drive out to the better stores to do major shopping. We visit the local ones just to pick up stuff to tide us over until we do the big shopping for the month.

  5. Wow – your schedule is pretty crazy! I don’t think I could do it. Mine is much more regular: up at 6 am (well really 6.10 am with the snooze) for a walk or run with the dog. In work from 8.45 am to 5.45 pm and then the evening to relax and chill. I have to say I have no problems going to bed – once I lay a little horizontal on the couch I am out. We have a couple of Trader Joes in SLC and yesterday I stocked up on a bunch of pumpkin-flavored stuff. In summer, we usually do a CSA or hit up the farmer’s market. Right now,the peaches here are amazing.

    • I’m a bit envious of people with regular hours and who don’t need to bring their work home with them. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great advantages to the career that I have, but there are drawbacks too. The constant never-ending work is one of them.

      The Trader Joe’s in NYC are always so crowded. I love TJ, but I can’t abide the crowds. I go when the call of the dried mango gets too strong for me to resist.

  6. OMG I’m so glad to hear your schedule isn’t like this all the time, because if it was I wouldn’t know how you’d get anything else done ever.

    I do all my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s and Publix. Publix is where I get most of my food but I like TJs because – as my husband says – it has the best fancy snacks. 😀 If I had more time on the weekend I’d hit up St. Petersburg’s morning market – super cheap produce plus great local artisanal treats – but training is really screwing that up right now. (Only three more weeks…)

    • I love Publix. We always go when we’re in Florida. Because we live in a bit of a food dessert, visiting nice grocery stores is like a huge treat for us. We ogle over the wide clean aisles and bins and bins of fresh vegetables and fruit.

      Summer Saturday mornings after our run, Ben and I used to visit the farmer’s market in the park to buy fancy bread. Nothing better than juicy summer tomatoes, freshly baked bread, and some local artisan cheese for lunch. Topped off with a glass of wine and a nap!

    • Aw, I remember as a kid playing on the kitchen floor as my mom cooked dinner. I’m sure my mother found it annoying that I was literally underfoot, but I just wanted to be near her all the time.

      Do you and your daughter do tea parties too?

  7. This was a really interesting post – thanks for sharing! I can definitely imagine the upsides and downsides of a flexible/varying schedule. My current work is pretty regimented – I have to be at work 9-5, even if I don’t have any actual work to do. (It’s more of an on call thing.)

    As for grocery stores- I can relate. About two years ago, we moved to an area with less attractive grocery stores. (I suppose anywhere after Berkeley/Oakland is going to be a major step down.) I will often plan runs or errands around a particular grocery store. My favorites are Berkeley Bowl, Monterey Market (also in Berkeley), whole foods, and 99 Ranch (for Chinese groceries). I like TJs and Sprouts too. The new Wegman’s sounds exciting- I’ve only ever been a couple of times, but I was super impressed.

    • I miss Berkeley Bowl. I haven’t thought about 99 Ranch (I always thought of it as Ranch 99 though even though I know its real name) in ages. I like Ranch 99, but I didn’t shop there much.

      Wegman’s is so wonderful. The BK one will not be nearly as big as the other Wegman’s because of space, but who cares! We’ll be thrilled to have a quality grocery without the astronomical prices.

  8. Pingback: Oct & Nov Training | A Fast Paced Life

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