Sunday, June 16, 2013

Recovering From a Bad Trip (Or, Why I Loathe Business Travel)

My Runner's World Summer Run Streak came to an abrupt end earlier this thanks to a familiar foe: The business trip.
When I travel for work, I'm almost always covering a conference. That means waking up early to get breakfast, spending several hours sitting in keynotes, panel discussions and technical sessions, making small talk and, usually, eating a late dinner. It's a necessary evil.
I packed my running shoes this time, fully intending to run when I got to the hotel, but instead hit the hotel bar with a former colleague I hadn't seen in more than a year. Bye bye, streak.
That was Tuesday. Wednesday was a loss, as it was legitimately a 14-hour day. And then the Bruins went to triple overtime. I fell asleep at 1 a.m.
Six hours later, my alarm went off. I thought about hitting snooze 23 times, as I had the previous morning, but it was time to suck it up, hit the pool and swim for 15 minutes before moderating a panel discussion at 9 a.m.
Then it took me 21 hours to get home from the conference in Florida. (Stupid weather made my flight into Dulles land right about the time my connecting flight to Boston was taking off, and I spend the night at the airport.) Ninety minutes of work on Friday quickly gave way to a four-hour nap. Needless to say, I didn’t run Friday, either.
One 15-minute workout in four days sucks. But, just as it’s important to recover from bad races and bad workouts, you need to put bad stretches behind you, too. Celebrate the small victories -- for me, swimming at 7 a.m. on less than six hours of sleep and getting bumped up to first class on my flight home after my night at Dulles -- shake the cobwebs off your legs and get back out there.
I made up for my poor showing with 3.5 miles on Saturday and 9 on Sunday. Neither were tremendous efforts, but after four days off, that doesn’t matter. There’s plenty of time to return to form. The end of my running streak, in the long run, is but a blip on the radar. 
(I thought I had ended the Runner’s World Pun Streak, too, but I guess not....)