Monday, December 16, 2013

December travel

December for me this year is dominated by travel.

Last weekend and the last part of the preceding week was consumed by a trip to a company internal conference in San Diego. San Diego is cool: I'd previously been there for a Christmas bike tour supporting Hostels International maybe four years ago. But that was just in-and-out. This was first time spending real time there. The hotel was near the convention center, so it had excellent access to a bike-ped trail along the bay. At 6 am the first day was a 4 km running race for conference attendees along the path. That was fun: my first "speed work" since my injury, and all things considered I did okay, finishing 5th. In total Wed PM - Sun AM I managed 3 yoga classes (two in a local studio, one affiliated with the conference) and 4 runs (the race, a stair climbing session in the hotel stairwells, and two long runs). This overindulgance in running took a certain toll, and my legs are still a bit tired a week later. I look forward to getting my running legs back.

Then after returning on Sunday, on the following Saturday (two days ago) it was back on a plane for an important family event in Philadelphia. I was on a Saturday night red-eye, since it required late-in-the-game flight changes, and changing flights during the holiday season is difficult, more difficult every year.

Today I'm on a plane again up the east coast for a work trip. I'll be in the frigid Albany area until Wednesday, then it's back to Philadelphia Wednesday night.

From there: a train to New Jersey for more family visits, back to Philadelphia, and eventually back to San Francisco.

It's great seeing family, of course, and the work trip is what it is. New York state has its charm, anyway. On the fitness side, however, all of this is a real challenge. At Philadelphia, instead of hopping in a taxi at the airport, I took the regional SEPTA train, then walked around 1.5 miles to my destination, reversing that this morning on the return. This is what I call "incidental excercise": getting excercises in tasks which need to be done anyway. It's gotten a lot of attention in the wearable activity sensor market, but no technology is needed. The walk to the main train station is a nice one along the river. Had I been in a taxi, it would have been a totally unrewarding trip.

The Albany area will be a bigger challenge. There's a yoga studio near my hotel. I'd like to get some running in but I'm afraid it will be simply too cold, with temperatures dropping as low as -4F in the forecast for my stay there. Maybe I'll find a treadmill in the hotel. Once back to Philadelphia, then in suburban New Jersey, I'll get some running in for sure: hopefully my legs suffered no sustained damage from my San Diego excesses, and I'll be able to get some aerobic work in.

You'd think the running would be better in "rural" New Jersey than in urban Philadelphia, but this is very much not the case. There's great trails along the river in Philadelphia, and the steps at the Art Museum are a must-do for anyone who's seen a Rocky movie. Philadelphia is a great place to run.

So running, some yoga... not the best preparation for the San Bruno Hillclimb on 1 Jan near San Francisco. I'm still on the fence about whether to do that. It's a great tradition, but going with only two decent rides in my legs in the previous month doesn't sound like a winning plan. But maybe I should just do it and not worry about how well I place.

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