When I ran in my previous life, my challenge was fitting in workouts on a big law schedule. I found that by becoming a morning person and hitting the pavement at 6:00 am or earlier I could make it work during the week, and I was typically able to get my long runs in early Saturday morning, even if I had to go to the office in the afternoon.
In my current job, the challenges are different. My schedule is flexible and totally inconsistent. Trying to set a schedule when your travel days differ week to week, and you never know what facilities you are going to find in any particular location keeps you on your toes.
But, since I’ve recommitted to fitness and running in mid December, I’ve averaged at least a couple of days on the road a week, and managed to go from not running at all, to breaking my previous 8k time by more than 12:30.
Running on the road requires two things. Flexibility and commitment. I need to be flexible on location, time of day, length of run, and workout. Even if Saturday is my long run day, If I’m staffing a trip over a weekend, I might need to do it Friday or Monday. I might not want to do two hill workouts in a row, but if my hotel is in a hilly neighborhood, that’s what I get. Learning to be flexible has been good for me, but my type A calendar and check list personality has had to adjust.
Commitment means that no matter how much room my size 13 women’s Asics take up in my suitcase, a set of workout clothes and my running shoes are always coming with me.
This post in the first of what I hope to be is a regular feature on running while on the road. I’ll talk about my life as a running road warrior, tips on gear, workouts, etc, as well as posts about running in specific locations.
This week I was in Atlanta for work, and stayed in a hotel in Midown.
After a terrific race on Saturday, it’s been a challenging workout week. Bronchitis and asthma really took their toll, and I’ve been tired and sluggish and unmotivated all week.
Since I wasn’t able to motivate to get out of bed for a spin class before my flight on Wednesday, I knew I needed to get a run I before dinner plans. Over the past few months, I’ve learned that hotels can almost always suggest running routes in the neighborhood.
In this case my options were Piedmont Park and the Georgia Tech campus. The park was about a mile a way.
There were a lot of things wrong with the run. First, I was still feeling terrible. Coughing, maybe still had a fever, but doc had ok’d running so long as I felt ok with it, so i forced myself to try. Second, it was 3:00 pm, 80 degrees and humid. Third — the mile route to the park was rolling hills.
Needless to say, it was not my best run. But I did learn that the park was beautiful, with more rolling hills, and a half mile gravel fitness oval.
Thursday I got up to run before my meetings started. Another lesson I should have learned is that knowing sunrise is very important. At 6:45 it was still fairly dark in Atlanta, but by 7 I headed out the door to Piedmont Park. 65 was a lot better than 80, and I was prepared for hills, but still struggled quite a bit.
It was a gorgeous morning for a run, and I enjoyed watching the sun come up as I headed toward the park.
I had hoped to do speed work on the oval, and was jealous of a running group I saw doing 1/4 mile repeats, but just didn’t have it in me, so an easy 45 minutes at least gave me some sort workout.
All in all Piedmont Park is a fabulous place to run in Atlanta. Winding roads on gentle rolling hills, lagoons, a view of midtown and the oval track provided a lot of options. There seems to be a terrific runnincommunity, and I wish I had been feeling more myself. But, hopefully there will be a next time.
Next up, next week: Moscow!