Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Getting 23:59:59 hours out of every day :)

This entry has been a little while in the works – ahhh – 6 months :)

I started this entry last October and I somehow lost it…and not even with Google Desktop – (one of the all time greatest applications I have EVER used…if it could only find my keys) – could I find the original file – so here we go…the sequel.

I try not to brag – ok – except about my Bread Pudding which is


This is NOT a biased opinion but moreover it is actually a scientifically derived observation by a trained observer – errr – me :)

With the exception of an Indian Mango Bread Pudding at a restaurant in San Francisco which I just could not muster up the courage to try – I have been trying Bread Pudding at EVERY restaurant that I have eaten that offers it on the menu.

Seriously, if it’s on the menu, I order it. I order it and I eat it to make sure I don’t bias the results of this 9 year continuous study. After 9 long years of grueling research, the results still stand.

My bread pudding, my recipe, is the best in the free world…period.

In 2nd place is Montego Bay in Panama City Beach...


and 3rd goes to Red Fish Grill in New Orleans...


I have to admit it has been a while since I have been in the Big Easy (pre-Katrina) and I am not sure that they are still even doing the same menu that they used to have. An internet search let me know they got rid of the best Main Entre ever created – Sweet Potato Catfish served over blanched collard greens with an andouille cream drizzle. Quite simply, if I had a “last meal” with access to ANYTHING from ANYWHERE in the world - Sweet Potato Catfish from Red Fish Grill would be my choice – it’s simply just that good.

After stopping for a few minutes to re-read what I have written so far (I read slow and C-bone actually proofreads better) I realized that I must be hungry :) This entry has absolutely nothing to do with nutrition or lack of it or anything like that…sorry…Bread Pudding is a passion of mine :)

Let me try again – I try not to brag except about my bread pudding which I am proud of (better? :)) but I also get a secret inside smile at days like today.

People often tell me that they don’t have time to fit in their training or couldn’t do it as they are traveling. I travel a great deal for my work and often it is a last minute deal and only for a day or a single overnight. I will admit, it is hard to be consistent in your training when you have these variables thrown in but there are ways around it.

Today, for instance, was an 8am departure to Chicago (20 degrees and snowing and windy - probably not running outside in this) and a 6pm return flight that got me home at 10pm. Nowadays with my 4.6oz bottle of Crest toothpaste and the 88 year old great grandparents in the wheelchairs representing the two biggest threats to our National security – it takes a little while to get through the airport security. I could write a book on the stupid sh!t I have witnessed in an airport security line…note to the TSA…if you have to help grandma or grandpa out of their Rascal scooter…they probably do NOT pose a hijacking threat – just a hint :)


Back to my day…

My military training taught me backwards planning…flight leaves at 8am – I need to be at the airport at 7am – that means leaving my house at 6:20 and today I need to be dressed like an adult, in a suit as opposed to my normal jeans and t-shirt office attire which means in the shower at 6am. I had 1:30 minutes of “planned training” for Monday and that would mean getting up at 3:30am to fit that in…hmmmmm….nope…not today. I have done this before…I know…I have issues…but not usually on Mondays and the flight to Chicago is only 2:30 so I can’t count on a big nap.

So what do I do?

I actually planned to move my training to Tuesday / Wednesday and just take Monday as a recovery day. BUT – in the slim chance that my meetings would get moved around and/or cancelled – I took a pair of running shoes, shorts, socks and shirt and stuffed them in my brief case. I was actually very surprised at how little room this actually took.



Arriving in Chicago at 9:45am, I was picked up my good friend Tomas and we drove and chatted our way to Cook County Hospital. I met with the head of CT surgery for 1 hour from 11:00-12:00. My follow-on meeting from 12:00-12:30 we did in the lobby of that hospital. The last meeting for the day was tentatively scheduled for 3pm but that was a maybe all along and it didn’t go. At 1pm I was left with 4 hours until I had to be back at O’Hare to fly home…time to hit the gym.

A few phone calls and a favor from Tomas and Joe and I am into Equinox on Michigan Avenue (super HIGH end facility) and at 1:30pm I am grinding out my bike intervals and even squeezed in a 32 minute 4 mile t-run. Caught a quick shower, put back on the monkey suit, grabbed a smoothie and caught a cab back to O’Hare at 3:30pm – relaxed, refreshed and very smug that my back up plan worked.

I have done this a bunch of times and it works…


I have used gyms near the airport in St. Louis, snuck into hotel gyms in Los Angeles, pools in La Jolla, paid a day use fee in Salt Lake all to get in a 2-3 hour block of training rather than sitting in the terminal stewing that I didn’t get to train that day. Google maps and athletic minded traveler ( work perfectly together to create options and all you need is running shoes, shorts, t-shirt, 3 hours and a desire to fit it in.

Sometimes this 23:59:59 philosophy even allows use to practice transitions.

I was San Francisco a few weeks ago and I did a long run before work (1:45) and got back to the room at 8:10…I needed to be at my booth at 8:30 and it was a 5 minute walk from the hotel which - you do the math - meant leaving at 8:25.

8:10 in running clothes...



8:21 in a suit and out the door – showered – shaved (not the legs this day:)) and ready to go :)


after_1's good transition practice :)

Last few ideas for you – Point to Point rides and runs - Family support runs.

I have ridden from Atlantic Beach to Palm Coast / Daytona to meet the family to drive to the Keys. They sleep in - I leave in the dark and I meet them when they get close to me. I have been dropped off in Daytona to ride home from an Orlando weekend. I have ridden up and down the California coast to and from surf breaks while the munches got breakfast or lunch or slept. Again – it all works – you just need to be creative.

My favorite runs of the week are with my support crew. It usually starts with a request "Anyone want to keep the old man company?”

Shane and Josh will usually groan but they will ride a beach cruiser with me and we can just chat.

C- Bone digs his role as water bearer and now I don’t worry about him riding so much so it’s great.

We catch up on school, girlfriends, complaints and requests for money…think about it from their side…I am running…they have my water…they ask me for money – what I am supposed to say – no? Ok – there goes my water :)

I will close with this…


It also really helps to have a GREAT travel agent and mine is a close personal friend…she takes INCREDIBLE care of me and my family. We met in Vegas last week as I was there for the Orthopedic Meeting and we grabbed breakfast before she went to the track – yes – she is a Neck Car fan and we still love her :) If you want to give her a try – Travel Leaders is her company and she is 1-800-826-6644 – ask for Cindy.


Almost forgot – I got hear Floyd speak at the meeting at the Smith and Nephew booth - they did his hip – VERY COOL – that guy is tough!!!


After re-reading – like I said – I don’t do this well - I guess it does sound a little like bragging and I don’t mean it to be.

Fitting family commitments, work and training is hard sometimes but it can be done…

By the way…I started this entry after writing the recap of my meeting and sending my work emails that I needed to finish…sure it is after 8:00pm and I am working but I don’t mind at all because I did all my work and I got in my training and I don’t mind.

Now I get to do what I want to do - albeit at 35,000 feet and at a strange hour again…

Tonight I’ll go home, kiss C-bone on the forehead and go to bed.

The next few weeks I am at home and training will be MUCH easier to fit in. I have control over my mornings…I can always get my training in if I just get up and get out of bed…the alarm is set for 4:45am…it’s just that simple. For me - after work is family time and my time at lunch is not reliable so I get up and get it done before my outside commitments take exert their influence.

There are 24 hours in a day and I admit I try to use at least 23:59:59 of them – I know – I could get more done if I used that last second – but hey – I need to relax too :)

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