Friday, July 23, 2010

TT Update / Life On The Road Part II

Before I get back to a little more about life away from home, here's a quick update on the TT.

Sadly I did not set a new PR on the course this time. I was 12 seconds slower than my best time. But I have to say I'm still very pleased with that. Mostly as that was the tuesday after a very big workout weekend for me. So to me being that close to my PR which happened on much much fresher legs just means that I recovered really well. I also felt strong on the 4 mile run afterwards so it still qualifies as a great day. Hopefully I manage to match that or go a little faster next tuesday. We'll see!
So... back to life on the road.

So after much debating I finally put my workout schedule together for this trip and put a plan into action.  Being that we were starting the first day of setup at 8am and I knew we would be done by 4pm I decided to hold my workout off till after work.  I'm not a huge afternoon workout fan but being that I hadn't been to this gym yet and wasn't sure how long it was going to take to get signed up with a guest pass and cab it back forth I figured I'd wait till the afternoon to do it for the first time rather than risk being late for work.  Which is just not an option.  I can say with certainty that I have never ever been late to a gig.  Anyway...   I still got up at 5am to do my best to stay on east coast time and fussed about for a bit before heading into work coffee in hand at 7am.  At which point I was greeted by yet another empty convntion center hall and a truck waiting to get unloaded.

Said hello to the boys and stared at the trailer for a while with coffee in hand contemplating my day.  This particular show is a pretty easy one.  Its part of the series of shows I've worked on for five years now as part of the Major League Gaming Pro Circuit Tour.  This particular event is part of the B circuit which is tiny compared to the larger events.  Its sort of a glorified tradeshow booth type thing.  So its quick and easy to setup.  Well at least it usually is.  This particular venue is so small and so lacking in ceiling height that we were not able to use the typical chain motors we would use to raise the trussing up into the ceiling.  So instead we got creative with three forlifts to life the triangle structure up to trim and stick the legs under it.
The funniest part is that this triangle went up to height between two areas of the ceiling that are a bit lower.  It just fits in this gap.  The problem we encountered however was that once we had the thing in the air we couldn't back up one of the forlifts without hitting the ceiling sophit.  So instead we took the forklift apart in the air and removed the forklift cage and forks so we could get the fork to clear the ceiling and be able to back up.  Oh the joys of cramming 20lbs of potatoes into a 10lb bag.  But this is why they pay us the big bucks.

So that challenge out of the way I finished the rest of the setup and managed to get out of work around 4pm.  At which point I changed into workout clothes and headed off to figure out how to get to the gym.  The hotel gym here does not have a suitable bike substitute in it, and the pool is tiny so I found a 24hr Fitness gym about 5 miles from the hotel that would let me purchase a one week pass for 15 bucks.  So after failing to convince the shuttle bus driver to take me to the gym (apparently a five dollar tip wasn't worth it to him, thats a first!) I hopped in a cab to get to the gym.  I'm always surprised that five miles costs so much in a cab.  Its 18 bucks including tip every time I go to the gym each way.  Yuck.  But more on that later....

Once in the gym I went through the process of getting my week pass.  Which at first they tried to charge me 15 dollars a day until I mentioned the guy on the phone said 15 for the week.  At which point they went, oh yeah, for the week.  Anyway, once that bit was all settled I headed into the gym to find a nice bike substitute.  The gym itself is really nice.  Its a great facility with TONS of cardio gear, a huge weight area, and a three lane 25 yard lap pool and hottub.  Perfect!  I had my choice betweena  few different varieties of stationary bikes, and even better, a bunch of spin bikes out on the gym floor too.  So I decided to give a spin bike a try.  I've never actually used one for no good reason.  Too busy running before I got into triathlons I suspect.  I have to say it was a much better approximation of what its like to ride a road bike than any stationary bike I've been on.  I also loved being able to tweak the position of the seat fore and aft, up and down, as well as the position of the bars.  So I set myself up in a good position and set about getting to work.  I planned to do an hour on the bike at steady intensity.  So I set the resistance to something challenging and went at it.  I loved that the bars on this thing allowed so many different hand positions.  I messed about with this quite a bit and approximated some triathlon style aerobar type positions to see what those felt like.  I worked HARD for that hour.  There was a lovely puddle of sweat under me and I was soaking wet for the entire hour.  It made for a great workout. 

After my ride I went to look at the lap pool and the locker room to check those out.  They all looked brand new and very very clean which was nice.  This place is going to workout well.  Except for the cab far each way.  Yuck.  Then it occured to me that it was only 630pm or so at this point and I was only 5 miles from my hotel.  So I decided to walk back and save the cab fare.  It was a really nice walk despite the fact it rained on me almost the entire way back.  I made it back around 8pm, ate a little and then went right to bed.

This morning I was up at 5 and managed to make it to the gym via cab by 6.  Today's workout involved getting in the pool for some laps.  I'm still learning to like the pool.  I much prefer open water, and I'm still a very weak swimmer without a wetsuit on.  But I'm never going to get any better without working on it so I went to work.  I started with 50 yard repeats on 30 seconds of rest.  A lot of rest yes, but its what I need currently in order to keep at it.  I'm still kicking too much and exhausting myself too quickly but I'm slowly getting it.  After twenty minutes of these repeats I was miserable.  There was a serious mental battle going on in my head.  My brain was screaming at me to get out of the pool and call it quits, and I was fighting this with everything I had.  In the end the only thing that kept me in the water was picturing a friend of mine being mad at me for getting out early.  That image was enough to motivate me to keep going.  In the second half of my workout I manged to get most of the rests between repeats down to 20 seconds.  And in the last ten minutes I managed to get some 100's and one 150 in.  I was starting to feel a little better in the water.  In the pool I get glimpses of what I know is better form that will let me keep going for as long as I can in open water in a wetsuit, but thats all they are.  I just need to keep stitching those glimpses together till they become more and more natural and normal for me.

After 40 minutes in the pool I jumped in the hot tub for ten minutes and then hit the showers.  At this point it was 7am.  My call time got pushed back to 10am so I knew I had some time to play with here.  So I decided to walk back again and save the cab fare.  I got back to the hotel around 8:30 and spent the next hour getting cleaned up as well as prepping for Saturday's workout.  Today its likely I'm going to get out of work pretty late.   Somewhere around 11pm by the sounds of things.  Which is earlier than the initial schedule said which is great, but its still late.  My plan is to go right to bed as I have to get to the gym tomorrow by 5:30AM so I can get a 50 mile ride in on the stationary bike and then run the 5 miles back to the hotel for an indoor/outdoor brick before I have to be at work at 10am.  Thats going to hurt, but its the only way to keep to my training schedule.  So having all my stuff laid out and ready to go means I can pretty much jump out of bed and head straight to the gym. 

And now I'm here at work at the beginning of a 12 hour day.  However its a pretty easy day.  Not too many cues so its a nice laid back day where I can do things like update my blog and work on some other projects at the same time.  Should be a good day.  Here's the view from my office today.....

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