Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Life On The Road Part I

So...   its time to explain a little bit more about my crazy life on the road and trying to juggle travel, work, and training.  So here's a little bit about what I've done today.

This morning I was up at 5am and out the door by 6 to get to the airport.  A whole lot of dull time later, including a two hour delay in the middle and I finally landed in Denver and found my way to the hotel by around 4pm local Denver time.  First order of business was to get a run in.  Running is obvioulsy the easiest thing to do on the road.  All you need are sneakers, and a place to run.  Even in the most dangerous and dodgy of cities there is always somewhere to run.  Now since Denver is at 5500 feet and Rhode Island is at 0 Feet I figured I should play it safe.  Especially as right after I landed I felt like I was having a little trouble breathing.  So I figured I would run on the hotel treadmill.  That way if I tired early I could stop, maybe do some weight work instead and not be two miles from the hotel and exhausted for the change in altitude.  Well apparently I adjust to such things very quickly as I had no trouble running on the treadmill.  I started at a cautious 9:30/mile pace and I quickly ramped that up to 9s.  That was fine so after two miles I changed it to my usual 8:30s.  Then I got bored.  So after I'd run five miles I had some fun with the sixth by doing a descending ladder.  First quarter mile was at 8s, next 1/4 at 7:30, next 1/4 at 7, and the last quarter at 6:30.  At 6:30s I could definitely feel the effect the altitude was having on me but it wasn't that bad.  So it was a nice little 6 mile run.  Great.

So...    quick trip back to my hotel room to get showered and then its off to the front desk to start gathering information.  First order of business for me on the travel day after getting my workout in is to try and find a grocery store.  Although all of my meals when I travel are typically catered, they are typically NOT healthy.  This particular show has a staff of probably about 10 adults, and 20 college aged kids.  So catering can be crap like pizza, or chaffing dish hamburgers swimming in grease.  Not healthy, and not even remotely appetizing.  So I try and find a grocery store and stay as self sufficient as possible.  So myself and another crew member who is also a runner and a healthy eater and I headed off to front desk to figure out where the closest grocery store was.  We asked if there was one within walking distance.  We were told no there isn't one in walking distance, but there was one 1.5 miles away.  So I said...  "thats walking distance!".  She looked at me like I had three heads.  Apparently excercise is frowned upon in her world.  So we got directions and headed off to the store to stock up.  As always my eyes are bigger than my arms and I bought a lot of stuff that I now had to carry back for 1.5 miles.

So what do you buy when all you have is a hotel room with no fridge and you want to be somewhat healthy?  Well heres what I bought

Cliff Bars
Power Bars
Balance Bars
Natural Peanut Butter
Reduced Sugar Jelly
Bagel thins to make PB+J sandwhiches out of
Some Gatorade for my long run
Fruit Salad
Cheese sticks
Baby Carrots

This is enough food to get my through a week long gig.  But where do you put it?

Well first I turn the desk into a pantry of all the dry goods.....
And then I make a "sink fridge".  Sink fridges is a trick thats been passed down from road dog to road dog.  Usually for the purpose of keeping beer cold.  But it can be adapted to healthy uses.  You simply fill the sink with ice and stuff anything you want to keep cold in it.  When the ice starts to melt you let the water drain out and top off the ice again.  Drives the housekeepers nuts.  With no sink you just have to shave and brush your teeth in the shower.  A small price to pay for cold cheesticks, frut salad, and baby carrots.
Ignore the plastic bottles in the shot...  those are from my fuel belt.  I was just rinsing them and letting them drain.

Ok so now we have food for the week thats a lot healthier than the crap they put out for us.  Its not the best food out there, but its the best I can do out here without a real kitchen.

So next up is figuring out the rest of my workouts this week.  The day we travel in is typically the day I have the most free time to figure this stuff out.  The hotel gym here has one excercise bike in it.  And its a recumbent bike.  To me those are useless unless they are the only way you can get excercise.  To me they serve no purpose.  Thats not a bike, its a chair with pedals.  So I then checked out the pool.  Its tiny.  In fact its really challenging where you draw the line between something being called a pool, or a bathtub for more than one person.  Its MAYBE 10 feet x 15 feet!  Yikes!  No way I can deal with swimming in that.

So I went to the front desk to ask them about nearby gyms.  Little miss 1.5 miles is way beyond walking distance was there again.  She gave me a look like Oh...  its you.....  that annoying healthy guy who walks over a mile to buy groceries.  What do YOU want.   So I asked her if she knew of any gyms in walking distance or any lap pools in the area.  She typed in her computer for a minute and spit out the address of a gym for me.  She had no idea if they had a pool though.  Nor was she willing to call for me.

So I went back to my room and got on and found out that there is in fact a pool at 24Hr Fitness.  And I got on google maps and found out the gym is 5.5 miles away.  I wanted to call the front desk woman and tell her that even I didn't think that was walking distance.  But it is cab distance.  So I called the gym and found out they do in fact have a 25 yard lap pool, they are open 24hrs, and I can buy a week long pass for 15 bucks.  Done and done!  So depending on how my schedule works out I'm going to try and do some wacky bricks.  Stuff like cab it over there, do an hour on the upright bike, and then run the five miles back to my hotel and then go to work.  Tomorrow I'm slated to do an hour on the bike.  So I may cab it in both directions as I have already run 4 on tuesday and 6 today.  Friday however when I swim I may just run back if I have time.  Should be good fun.

Oh speaking of tuesday....

The TT last night went great.  I don't have official results to post yet though so no idea how I did.  I think I just missed setting a new PR but I could be wrong on that.  I did a nice warmup lap, and then had a nice strong run of the course and then I did a 4 mile brick run with the other 3 other guys.  It was nice as we ran in a pack and chit chatted the whole way.  Great workout.  I think the best thing about it was just that I felt really strong and that I had recovered well from the weekend's intense workouts.  So I was really happy with that.  Definitely a good day.

Right...   now its time for me to go to bed.  Word is were starting work early tomorrow...  which on the plus side means I'll be done by 3pm or so if all goes well so I can then get to the gym and get on the bike by 5pm or so, get my workout in and then get back to the hotel for dinner.  Going to be a long day. 

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