Anatomy of 48 Hours of Business Travel and Running

This started as a tweet but I couldn't fit everything into 140 characters. Staying committed to a training program is tough enough, but throw in business travel and it takes a bit of planning and fortitude.  I'm in week seven of training for my first marathon with my special needs buddy Liam in Sacramento at the California International Marathon. Miles and pace are picking up as is my day job which is NOT running.

Before vacation, I had to cram in business travel from Denver to Kansas City to San Francisco, and maintain my training. Easier said than done.

Tuesday AM

5:30 AM alarm as I need to head to the airport no later than six.
I arrive with enough time to catch a crappy cup of coffee at the airport, buy a newspaper (real not fake) with a roll that is NOT in the marathoner's training diet.
Flight is normal and arrives in Kansas City on time. I head to the rental car lot as I've got a little over a marathon's distance to my hotel.
Meetings are not until tomorrow, but I take the God-awful early flight due to cost and I need a a speed workout on Tuesday.
Getting up at 3AM didn't sound good, so I took the 8 AM out of Denver.
The rental car lot has 39 Dodge Minivans and one pickup truck. What in the wide world of midwest transportation is going on in Kansas City. I politely "pass" and wait for a sedan and take off in an Impala.
With a long drive, I call my mom. (I try to be a good son.)
Walnut Creek Long Run

With the weather hovering 95 degrees and short on time, I'm stuck with the Marriott Courtyard fitness center. Is it really a center when it's 400 square feet with five machines?
I start with two miles of warmup at a nine minute per mile pace. Today's plan called for mile repeats which I complete at 7:18, 7:24 and 7:14 pace. I'm sweating cartoon or much it looks like an SNL really fake. I felt AMAZING! I record a video clip for Liam and share with his mom (Joan) this is likely the best speed workout since training for the NYC Marathon in 2015.
After hand-washing my run clothes in the sink, my work colleague texts me that he's starving. So am I but it's 3 PM. I guess it's Drunch. We plan the next day and devour some local KC barbeque. I order dessert--I need to stop that shit.
The evening is quiet as I have a full couple of days to go.

Wednesday AM

Alarm goes off at five AM (body clock) to get back to the aforementioned "Fitness Center" for 40 minutes of cardio. I sit on the spin bike and it's pretty tame, but mission accomplished.
I meet the same colleague for breakfast at 7:30 AM (local.) I head to a bakery cafe near our customer and it's closed. We "Google" (and they didn't alter the algorithm or results based on my political views) and found Jerry's Cafe. Jerry cooked, served and was displayed in the "Catfish" poster in the window. I didn't order the catfish. I go American with eggs over easy, toast, hash browns (barely touched) and bacon. Carol (very chatty) served hot coffee to both of us with mugs that didn't match (which reminded us of our mother's coffee cup collection.) I feel young as it's an old man's diner. A man pulls up in a Mercedes and uses a walker to get to his table. I feel 26 years old here. I will come back.
Speed workout in Kansas City Hotel "Fitness Center"

Meeting goes well, goes long, but we have a chance to catch early flights. I'm heading to San Francisco now. Getting an earlier flight will make my early morning out much better.
I sacrifice the later flight with a first class seat for a middle exit row. Large person on the left. Book reader on the right. My back hurts from the shitty ergonomics of the seat and contorting my body trying to not make body contact with the two women. I give up, make full arm contact with both of them and watch a movie.
I arrive early in San Francisco, but I have to drive through the city at rush hour. A two hour drive.
I pick up dinner and eat in my room. I call my wife from the car, text my daughter, and hit my head on the pillow. I realize I don't have my long run gear, but I have a long run in the morning.
Good night.
I get to the hotel at a reasonable hour but way past dinner time. I find an Outback Steakhouse and order food to go. I have a glass of Pinot Noir at the bar while I wait for my bag of food.
I gobble down the food, and crash hard.

Thursday AM

I get up early to get in my ten mile run. The sun is barely rising. I haven't had many of these as most of my training has been on my lunch hour (at least during the week at home when I'm not traveling.)
I stay at a Marriott Residence Inn, and plot a run route the night before. I'd run along parts of the Iron Horse trail in Walnut Creek, but it's been probably four years.
I head towards a shortcut to the sidewalk that headed under the freeway, but it's a deadend. I turn back and go the safer route and finally find the road that goes under the freeway to the restaurant parking lot where I can pick up the trail.
I'm two-fisting two water bottles from the hotel...did I mention I forgot my long run gear? It's awkward and I leave one bottle around the two mile mark figuring one bottle will last me until the back part of the out-and-back run.
I have ZERO energy.
I decide that I'm wisely going to have to cut this one short. My feet are dragging. If I was a cell phone, I'd have one battery square. I disregard any notion of goal-paced miles.
This run was supposed to be on Sunday, but I'm flying for vacation on Friday morning and wanted the weekend free to enjoy Barcelona vs. starting the vacation being scheduled around a long run.
It worked with the wife, but clearly this early in the training plan, too close to my speed workout in Kansas City, and not having trained for a marathon since 2015, I had nuthin' on this run.
After the run, I get back just in time for a conference call. Good thing this was not a smell-a-phone or video call. I'm disgusting smelling like a dog pissed a steak and cheap glass of wine mixed with sweat. I knock out some emails and phone calls, and shower.
Once again, I'm out the door for a lunch meeting.
We have another meeting in the office afterwards, then off to (you guessed it) another airport.
This time to get home.
I get home around ten and double check my bags for my flight in the morning. I can't remember it was after eleven when I went to bed. The alarm will go off at five.

Sound confusing and complicated? Yes, it is. Marathon training requires dedication, but business travel and marathon training REALLY steps up the dedication (and planning part.) Barcelona awaits, but training will continue abroad.


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