On Business Travel

Having traveled extensively for a previous job (how this blog got started!), I came to find that business travel was overrated, and it made me even more of a homebody than I already was. Since joining the current company I'm employed at, I haven't had to travel at all until this past week. I spent the past few days in Austin, TX on my first business trip since 2007. I'm a creature of habit and traveling, whether it is personal or business travel always wrecks my routine. Before I left I swore that I would attempt to maintain some semblance of my normal routine, as much as possible, but with day-long meetings, I wasn't sure things would pan out.

San Francisco - Austin On Monday I took a 6 am flight with a connection through LAX. I only had 30-min to make the connection and my SFO-LAX flight was delayed by 15-min. When I got to LAX I had to literally RUN, with my carry on luggage and laptop bag clear across the terminal and made my connecting flight with seconds to spare. As I boarded the flight I realized that it was a SkyWest flight; i.e., tiny plane with only about 15 rows.

United SkyWest Plane
United SkyWest Plane

Not only was I freaked out about the size of the plane, I also felt claustrophobic, sitting in the last row next to the rest rooms. I asked the flight attendant if the plane could make the 3-hour flight. Based upon her reaction, I think it was a "dumb question."

We made it to Austin without incident (unless you count all the turbulence we felt due to a smaller plane) but the cab I took to the hotel had to stop to put air in its tires twice. And the driver kept the meter running the whole time. I was creeped out by this and kept my phone in hand in case I needed to dial 911.

Workouts

Upon checking into the hotel, I got to my room and found this in it:

A treadmill in my hotel room!
A treadmill in my hotel room!

I am not a fan of running on treadmills, but I thought it was pretty cool to have one right in my room. I wondered how they knew I was a runner?

Apparently rooms with fitness equipment in them are called "Westin Workout Rooms." Weston properties around the world have a limited number of these kinds of room. I guess I lucked out to get one!

I had an interval run scheduled on Tuesday and an easy run scheduled on Wednesday. Given the time difference, and early morning meeting schedule I gave myself permission to sleep in and skip the runs in order to be fully alert for my meetings. But when a treadmill was the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes, how could I not run?

On Tuesday I did a 4.70 interval run and an easy 30-min run on Wednesday. Other than my usual yoga classes, I didn't miss any of my marathon training workouts!

Meals

I'm not an extravagant business traveler, but I fully believe in starting the day with a solid breakfast - just like I do at home. So just before I starting each workout, I ordered room service. Both times breakfast was delivered just as I was finishing my run. I was able to have a full breakfast of scrambled eggs, ham or bacon and breakfast potatoes. Having a full meal kept me alert for the morning sessions of my meetings.

In between meals I snacked on the Picky Bars that I packed in my work bag.

I tried really hard to eat healthy for the rest of the meals.

Lunches were salads...

Chopped Shrimp Salad
Chopped Shrimp Salad
Steak Salad
Steak Salad

The problem with this steak "salad" is that it turned out to be three pieces of butter lettuce, strips of steak and onion rings. (I didn't eat the onion rings). That's it, there weren't any other vegetables on it.

I didn't take any photos of my dinners but I had mostly fish and salad entrees...and this amazing side of Brussels sprouts!

Brussels sprouts!
Brussels sprouts!

The one dinner I did take a photo of wasn't mine, but a colleagues. I was so fascinated by it I had to take a snapshot...

Bacon-wrapped meatloaf
Bacon-wrapped meatloaf

I have no idea how it tasted, but I could feel my arteries hardening just looking at it!

Despite eating relatively well I still came home feeling like I needed a detox. I am just not used to eating out for every-single-meal.

Fun Stuff

We did get to do some fun things in the evenings. My manager took the group out for a ride on Lake Travis on his boat.

Boat docks on Lake Travis
Boat docks on Lake Travis
On Lake Travis
On Lake Travis
On Lake Travis
On Lake Travis

The lake levels were extremely low. The bedrock that is being pointed to is where the lake usually levels are at.

I got to drive the boat too!
I got to drive the boat too!

We traveled down the lake for about 30-min, then took a ski lift like elevator up a cliff to the Yacht Club for dinner.

Ski lift elevator to the Yacht Club
Ski lift elevator to the Yacht Club

After sitting in a windowless conference room staring at PowerPoint for 8-hours it was so nice to be outside and get some fresh air!

Sunset on Lake Travis
Sunset on Lake Travis

This morning I took an early 6 am direct flight (4 am Pacific Time!) and was back in San Francisco by 8 am local time.

Overall it was a good trip, but I am grateful that I do not have to travel for business on a regular basis. I really don't think I would be able to train for any races if I had to travel more often. How does one manage marathon training when traveling?