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Musings of One Traveler

This introspective Blog was written by Shawn Burke, one of our MVPs, an Ironman, and a VERY frequent traveler:

I am a planner - I plan ahead - I make time to fit in all of the things I need, want and should do. So when my plan gets tossed out like the green beans on my son Coen's plate, I get annoyed. I have tried all kinds of coping skills as the nature of my job forces me to be VERY fluid in my schedule but I still get annoyed. Perfect example: Monday I went to lunch at noon - got a haircut - the grey was showing - yes - again-I went back to work and 15 minutes later I was calling to get a flight to Seattle, a hotel, and I had to leave in 4 hours. This cannot be planned for.

I did my usual coping mechanism - first I became annoyed - then I packed my running shoes, a swim suit and goggles, and put everything into a bag and headed for the airport.
Running for me is usually the easiest to fit in when I travel. Biking is tough but it can be done - but not with 3 hours notice.

I have learned how to sniff out good gyms and good routes and I actually enjoy the challenge of all this - if I have time (with a lot of help from this site, no doubt). I also have favorite runs in Portland, Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco, NY, Chicago, and even my favorite treadmill in Cedar Rapids Iowa for the winter - I know that is weird :) Problem is - even when I get where I am going I don't always have time or energy to fit in what I want to do. Jet lag on a quick trip can really mess up training.

"Medium coffee with a shot please and room for cream," usually does the trick.
And, NO, I won't call it a "Grande" no matter how many times, in how many cities, no matter how many condescending looks you give me! It is my own personal war against the Green machine but I am winning. You may be eating away at my kids' college fun(d) at $1.61 a pop, but you won't break me - I won't crack - I won't say "Grande"...ok, I think I've made my point.

So, coffee helps. I try and get up early and fit it in. I actually have set the alarm for 3am while on the road in order to run 90 minutes, shower and leave for the airport at 5:30am. I knew I could sleep all day on the plane and I wouldn't have time or want to work out when I got home. I also knew how grumpy I would be all day if I was going to miss a key workout and I could not make it up later in the week.

I'm always amazed at who is in the gym at 3am. 24 hour fitness in Seattle apparently had a buy-one-month-get-one-free if you were ever featured on America's Most Wanted.
This was not today. I slept in and thus this rant. I am WIDE awake and Starbucks in Seattle is kinda like beer in Germany - it is a much stronger brew than Florida - so I might have been a little over served.

The point of this rant is we can't always control all of the dynamics in our schedule.
Key workouts are, well, key. Easy, right? Those are workouts that you cannot-should not-try not to-skip. In most training plans the longer and more significant workouts are scheduled on the weekend so we can squeeze them in while simultaneously escape going to Bed Bath and Beyond. If you can't do them on the scheduled day, move them around. If a 3 hour ride on Wednesday is what it takes to make sure you get to toast Cousin Cindy and Daryl's first dance on Saturday, then do it.

My rule for this is-be reasonable. You really shouldn't do a long ride and a long run on the same day. You should also try to keep intense workouts away from each other and from long endurance workouts by at least a day. I try to keep the same number of hours - same workouts within the week.

Seriously, if you need to move things around, do it. Adapt the plan to how your schedule and how your body is doing. That is all the caffeine I have, thanks for reading. I have to nap now as I have a big day tomorrow: in the morning, I have to make up 3 hours swimming; I am running track at lunch; anyone riding group tomorrow night?


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