Life is Moving Fast

Thought I would be back on track in the last few weeks with my training, but work had different plans for me. We are very much underwater with too few resources and too much business, so most of my days start when it is dark and end when it is dark. That makes it difficult to get any training in at all.

I have always had a challenge with working out too late in the evening as it keeps me from getting meaningful sleep. This makes it hard to get up the next day and makes the day even longer. The cycle is vicious and impactful.

Not sure what I am going to do about this as my next race is in about a month and I have given in to the fact that I will need to walk run to make it through. It makes me cringe to say that but if I push too hard, it will be very difficult to recover so I can start training for my next race.

Back in the Saddle

Travel has been crazy the last few months (writing this while sitting in a seat on a flight from MSP to PHX), and I don’t see it getting too much better. My training has definitely suffered as it is had to find time to get even a small run in. The body and mind are willing but the location is not always able. I know I can try harder to make that happen and I need to do that soon, as the Dark Side Half in Disneyworld  in April is going to be painful.

I had hoped to finally get my sub 2 hour PR but I don’t think that is possible now. Running is not something you can catch up in quickly like catching up on email or even sleep. If you don’t put the mile in, you don’t get the results. You can’t do 11 tomorrow if you got 5 in two days ago but missed your 6 yesterday. That would not only be painful but also foolish for your body.

The good news is I was able to get into the Disneyland Paris Inaugural Half Marathon in September so I have plenty of time to train for the PR during that race.


The focus not is planning for runs during travel, even if it means inclement weather locations like Minnesota this week. I have never had good luck with my lungs and running in cold weather, it always end up in a hacking cough and sickness. Perhaps I need to look into a nationwide chain of fitness centers like LifeTime, or even check on day passes if the weather is bad and my hotel does not have facilities. I have some homework to do.

Workout While on the Road

I was traveling again this week and had a chance to try out the Westin WorkoutWestin Bag while staying and the Westin Imagine in Orlando, right across the street from the convention center. Trying to workout while on the road can always be a challenge, but at process at least helps simplify the solution. During check-in, I mentioned that I would like to participate in the rental of the workout gear. The woman checking me in simply asked what size shoes, shit and shorts I needed (woman can get capri pants or a sports bra as well). We finished check-in, and she stepped away for maybe 3 minutes before returning with a mesh draw string bag that contained all the gear. She explained that I just needed to leave the gear in the bag in my room when I was leaving for checkout (I was staying for only one night) and that I would be charged a small fee of $5 for the rental. The rental also includes a pair of padded shortie New Balance socks that you get to keep, so the total cost is really just a few bucks.

Westin GearAll four items in the bag were clean and fresh smelling and the shoes and socks were brand new. The shoes were in the retail box with the normal crushed paper stuffed in each shoe and the socks still had the not for resale zip tag on them. Also included in the bag was a 10% off coupon for a next purchase on New Balance gear from the New Balance website, and a small postcard explaining the program and the philosophy of the program. You can also request maps of local running trails or paths when you request your gear. I did not this time as I knew my time for a run was short (explained below).

Each item fit very well and the shoes themselves were fresh, shiny New Balance model 759s. The shoes were very light and comfortable to wear. I laced them up and went downstairs for a quick workout. I unfortunately had recent back surgery (external) so I was only able to do a quick run so as to not aggravate the wound. Since I knew I would not get to do a full 1 hour test of the shoes, I had planned to go over to Downtown Disney and walk over to Saratoga Springs for dinner, wearing the shoes as a test.

Westin Shoes

I spent a good 3 hours in the shoes today and overall was impressed with their weight, comfort and size. They felt a bit less  supportive than my Brooks Adrenaline 11’s, but I think I need a 1/2 size smaller next time. I was not a picky during this process as I would normally be if I was buying so I just estimated on the size I normally wear.

Bottom line is this is a great program if you forget your workout gear or if you just want to try some new equipment. The possible downside is the property could be really busy with health conscious gests and could be sold out (rented out) of your size. Since this program is so new, that was not an issue for me. I will be adding this to my list of positives when I am deciding on which property to stay as during my business trips.

What do you do to stay on track for your workouts when you are on the road? Please leave a comment.

Westin Now Offers Workout Gear During Your Stay

Being on the road so much I needed to choose a hotel loyalty program that meets my needs and has properties in most of my destinations. I choose two a few years ago and have attained top level status for both of them. I choose Priority Club because you can find a Holiday Inn or one of their other properties in pretty much any town in the US or Canada, and I choose SPG because I live the rooms, the upgrades and the points I can earn with Sheraton and Westin properties.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Westin has recently started a program called the WestinWorkout whereby guests at a Westin property can ‘rent’ gear from New Balance during their stay. In addition to gear, the hotel will provide running maps for local routes and in-room video workouts to help you stay on your training track when you are away from home.

If you ever wanted to try New Balance shoes (I am a Brooks guy myself), this would be a great way to be able to do so at very little cost. They are offering the 759 as their rental shoe as of this article. For clothing, they offer the NP Short and Tech Tee for men and the Fitness Capri and the Tonic Crop plus CB Tempo Short Sleeve Tee for women. The product types and availability will vary by property so you should check before you arrive at your hotel.

If you don’t like the idea of wearing someone else’s clothes, thoroughly washed or not, you can wear your own, but this is great if you forgot to pack your own stuff and want to stay on your training regiment. I buy lots of my items at the local thrift store so this does not bother me at all.

The email I received says the rental is only $5 for shoes and clothing but does not say if it is $5 each or for the whole package. I will do a little research and find out. You can find more information at

I have two stay in Florida this month so I will try the rental program and report back.

Happy running.

Update: I called the Westin Imagine in Orlando and she confirmed that it is a flat $5 fee which includes the shoes and the clothing.

Trying to Get Back On Track

wdw2011medalIt has been a tough couple of weeks for me physically. I contracted some type of chest cold like whooping cough, that hung on for 5 weeks straight. That made it very difficult to stay on my training plan for the Disney Half Marathon in January. I was up to 6.5 comfortable miles and was looking forward to pushing on to 8 when that ailment struck.

I was able to get over the chest ting and start up training again, but now I have the flu and only 8 weeks left before the race. I know I can easily finish the half, but I wanted to really enjoy it this time and not struggle through ANY of it.

My lack of sleep is what always seems to bring on the cold and/or flu. At the suggestion of my brother I am going to try Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc tablets before I go to be each night. He swears by them so I figure what do I have to loose and it is better that trying to slurp some Nyquil every night.

What do you do to help you sleep?

Mile Marker

Mileage 5.5 Miles
Time 7:00PM
Location Indoors – Treadmill
Weather Hot and Sticky

The weather continues to be brutal here in the Chicago area but at least the village finally sprayed for mosquitos this past week. It was to the point where even stepping out on the deck in the early evening was like ringing the dinner bell for the little blood suckers. Running outside was a double whammy as it is too hot during the day to put in any meaningful mileage and there are too many flying pests to run at night. This continues to perpetuate my habit of running inside, which I KNOW is not good for me, but at least I get the (junky) mile in.

Mile Marker

Mileage 5
Time 1PM CST
Location Indoors – Treadmill
Weather Hot and Sticky


I have a co worker and his family coming over for dinner tonight so I wanted to get my run fairly early so I could get all the shopping and prep work done before they get there. It was a little tough to get through as I am still feeling pretty sluggish and blob like, but I managed to get all five miles in while watching the US/Ghana World Cup match. The match was depressing but the run was promising.

I am going to be good tonight and stick with veggies, fish, protein and a little bread to see how I feel tomorrow. We will start off with some Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Pita triangles for the appetizer, then a nice spring green salad with blue cheese crumble, dried cranberries and cranberry walnut vinaigrette. We will be making some New York strips, Cedar Plank Salmon and Sweet Potatoes on the grill for the main course.

Should be a nice evening out on the deck, despite the extended humidity we are experiencing.

Mile Marker

Mileage 3.5
Time 2PM
Location Indoors – Treadmill
Weather Hot and Sticky

Today was a tough day for a run. I had zero energy and just getting the 3+ miles in was a chore. I am convinced I need to revamp my diet as I am not loosing any weight despite my running. I know I have to increase the frequency and the mileage to see better results, but that is tough when I have no energy.

What do you eat to stay fit?

Karhu Shoe Giveaway

We are having our first giveaway this month to celebrate the upcoming 13.1 Chicago Half Marathon and Karhu 5K, which both take place on Sunday June 13, 2010 along Chicago’s beautiful lakefront. Our generous sponsor Karhu is giving RunMorganRun readers a chance to win a brand new pair of Karhu “Forward Ride” running shoes. The lucky winner can sport a new pair of kicks while they enjoy the sights and sounds of the 13.1 Chicago Half Marathon or the Karhu 5K. Please note that the winners choice of size and color subject to availability. Instructions are below.


image  image

Forward Fulcrum Ride
Women’s in charcoal and violet – Men’s in charcoal and yellow

Multiple Options for Multiple Entries:

1.) Just visit to read about the awesome Forward Fulcrum Ride shoes, then leave a comment on this post about what you think is the best feature of the shoe and how you would like to incorporate the shoe into your running lifestyle. (You may enter once a day.) Remember, leave an interesting comment. If I cannot contact the random winner, you might be chosen instead based on your comment.

2.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back to this post. Come back and leave me a Comment with a link to your blog post. (If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry – it may have been filtered and just need approval.)

3.) Tweet it. If you Twitter a link to this giveaway, come back and comment here to let me know your Twitter name for another entry!

Feel free to do all three to gather multiple entries to win! You have until midnight CST on Monday, June 7, 2010, to enter so that we can get the shoes to the winner in time for the run. The winner will be drawn at random from all entries and will be notified by email. Good luck.

Note: This contest is only available to Chicago area residents.

Update: 6/8/10 Congratulations Mike S. He is the winner of our shoe giveaway. Look for his review here after he has put them thru their paces.

Mile Marker

Mileage 3.3
Time 8:45 AM
Location Outdoors
Weather Overcast – Warm

I had a really nice run with my sister in law up at the lake in Elkhorn Wisconsin today. It is always nice when you can share the run with someone else and it makes the miles go by quicker when you can have a nice conversation, unless your out of breath. We had planned to go for a run yesterday but by the time we finished with our chores, it was just brutally hot and we decided to enjoy the day swimming and playing with her kids.Lake House

Today was much cooler and a bit overcast which was perfect for running. There is a nice route we run that is just over 5K (3.3 miles round trip to be exact). It has a nice mixture of hills, curves and a long straight patch from mile 1.5 to the turnaround back to mile 2.

Mary had not run for a while so we decided to take it easy, which was fine with me as I have been slowing down a bit lately. I know it has to do with my lack of mileage but I found out it also has to do with the Nike+ module being out of calibration. I purposely brought the Nike+ and my Garmin 305 watch to see how far off the Nike module was.

Turns out at the end of the run, the Garmin said we ran 3.3 miles while the Nike module said we only did 3.18 miles. The Garmin clocked an average of 9.48 minutes per mile while the Nike put us in at over 9.55 minutes per mile. It’s not that big a deal but it looks like I am going to have to go to the track at the high school and recalibrate the foot pod to the receiver.