I was traveling again this week and had a chance to try out the Westin Workout 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.
All 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.
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.
I had a long day today with a few deadlines to meet. One customer was going live with a new system we installed and I was on call remotely (they are in Calgary, AB), while another customer needed some changes to an existing system for a new group that is coming online for them. The go live went very smooth with just one frantic phone call which turned out to be an admin error (she was pointing to a test server instead of the new live production box). I assured her all was well, pointed her in the right direction and let her know that mistakes like that are normal. We sometimes get overly excited and nervous about a brand new system, even though we have done lots of testing and UAT.
The customer was on Mountain time so I was on call till about 6:00 my time and still had to package up some changes for the second customer so I could do some testing that night and Saturday. That meant I would not get my run in until almost 8, which is close to my do not run after rule. If this was Saturday night, I could break that rule as I could sleep in on Sunday, but I have class tomorrow morning so no such luck.
I was able to get in a quick 5 miles on the treadmill and it felt very good. All the pain I had in my ankle is completely gone and I no longer feel or hear the creaking that I had following the marathon. It has taken 3 weeks to rid myself of the pain and swelling so the doctors estimate was pretty close (he estimated 4-6 weeks).
My run took place during the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympics so I had that turned on with the volume off (I recorded it for later viewing as well) and was listening to my This Week in Google podcast. I did get a bit of a speed boost as I watched the US athletes enter the stadium. The look of pride and excitement on their faces made my exertion feel very minimal. I am amazed by the dedication and sacrifice many of them have to make in order to achieve that level of athletic ability. I wish them all the best of luck and I will be cheering for them during my workouts over the next 10 days.
I finally got back in the swing of things after my marathon induced deltoid ligament injury. I was able to squeeze in some time on the hotel treadmill following a client site visit, but I broke two of my basic rule of training.
Don’t eat right before you run
Don’t run after 8pm
Breaking these rules resulted in a very painful return to my road to recovery. I returned from the client at 8:30 and was dying to work up a sweat so I got changed and headed down to the exercise room for a quick 5K. The exercise room was just one treadmill and one bike but it was good enough to stay my craving for a workout. The treadmill was angled so I could see the TV for some no volume distraction, but I could also see myself in a full wall of floor to ceiling mirrors. That was pretty depressing. I knew I felt heavy from not running full on for almost 3 weeks but the giggle factor was not very attractive, at least not for a guy. I felt like and it looked like I had swallowed a small balloon which was hovering just below my rib cage. The bloat from dinner was very distracting and I felt like I was working harder to cover the usual distance at my usual speed. Sure I have lost much of my capacity (you can loose up to 70% of you training capacity if you stop your workouts for 1 month) but the recent meal was just messing up my focus.
I always travel with my 4GB 3rd gen iPod and a Nike+ add on for my shoes so I can multitask and catch up on the podcasts I subscribe to. I don’t believe you can regularly multitask as you are dividing your attention or time slicing instead doing two or more things at the same time. Running requires very little concentration so it does allow me to focus my attention on something else and podcasts are perfect for that activity. Pacing is the only thing that usually requires my concentration. If any part of my body wants me to pay attention I know pretty quick and I can focus on that ache or pain instantly then get back to the podcast if I determine it is not urgent or a threat. I had just a tiny bit of swelling in the previously bad ankle and no noticeable pain so all in all, a good return to my training.
I am looking forward to the races in 2010 and want to get some of my old friends involved. If any of you in the Chicago area want to get off that couch and join in, there are many great local running clubs that can help you with that goal. I highly recommend Dick Pond Athletics and Runner’s Grove as sources for encouragement and mentoring. See you on the road.