Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Working out in transit

For the past month or so, we've been nomadic. I choose to use that word since it has a better connotation than "homeless." But same thing -- living at hotels or crashing with family/friends. I miss the convenience of my bike trainer being available 24/7 or knowing where the good run routes are. But that isn't an excuse to not work out.

My bike is currently packed up and in transit with the rest of our stuff, but running and swimming are great options. Compared to cycling, the amount of equipment needed for these is minimal, which is great when you also have an airline weight restriction.

Sure, you need a pool. Usually hotel pools aren't meant for swimming laps. But Swimmers Guide is a great resource for finding local pools. And swimming wins in the "least packing space required" award.

Unless you're smack dab in the middle of an industrial area, running is probably your most reliable option. I was trying to come with a list of all the countries I've run in; I think I'm up to nine (US, Poland, UK, Estonia, Sweden, France, Austria, Germany, Ukraine.) I haven't been able to find a good program that will map all my GPS locations on a broad scale.

Here are some helpful tips I've discovered:
1. A GPS is a big help. Plan out your runs and load them so you know where you're going. (A handjammed map will get sweaty.) And please set your home location before you set out. I would still be stuck in rural France if I didn't do this.
2. People in some areas will look at you like you are crazy. Ignore them.
3. Running is a great way to get a "once over" orientation to an area. Then you can focus your touristy time better!

Maybe the weather is too cold/hot/wet for running. If your hotel has a fitness center, this might be the best choice. But beware, not all fitness centers are created the same. One hotel we stayed at recently had a 15 year old stairmaster and a recumbent bike with the resistance permanently set at the max. So I'd advise checking it out before assuming that you can do your workout there. Maybe you'll decide it isn't too cold/hot/wet outside.

Happy travels!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Farewell to Kansas!

We are on our way to a new adventure: three years in Europe!  As excited as I am to go back, there is always the problem of assembling a new "team." So as a list for others in the Leavenworth area, here are the outstanding people who were critical to my success last season.

Leavenworth Triathlon Club
Bob and George welcomed me in with open arms and were a great source of encouragement, information, and inspiration. I really enjoyed the monthly meetings with such a wonderful group of friends. I could have totally used a club like this when I was starting out in triathlons. Bob Garven was my coach for the 2012 season and definitely one of the reasons for my great results.

Santa Fe Trails Bike Shop
The group rides were a great way to get to know people and improve my cycling at the same time! I credit Brendan for encouraging me to join the race team, where I discovered that crits are great training and cycling races are blissfully low-key. Lamont and Lance were awesome mechanics who were always looking out for my ride and helping me when I got a little too into maintenance. They have set a high bar for what an LBS should be...

Deenise Thorsen at Body Kneads
I came to realize the value of preventative maintenance massages when I was in Poland, where my massage guy was really effective, but lacking in atmosphere. So I was so happy to find Deenise, who was just as effective, but with a very relaxing room in her house out in the country. She also shares many of the same culinary tastes as me and has been an excellent resource for homeopathic remedies. Going to her was a win, win, win situation.

Dr. Walters at Mid-America Chiropractic
Another smart idea was setting up regular chiropractic work every few weeks. Dr. Walters did a great job of noticing what had changed over time and getting me straightened out. Since the aero position is not one found in nature, it makes sense to have someone who can unfold you as necessary.

Dr. Shonkwiler at Spine and Sport Physical Therapy
It was kind of a hike to go out to St. Joseph, but Dr. Fred made it worth it. After our various discussions about posture and mechanics, I have a new appreciation for the importance of technique and body position. They got me back on the road after my (first) bike crash so I didn't miss the rest of the 2011 season.

Mike at BikefitRX
I've mentioned Mike before in my AAA#1, but I still think he's pretty great.

So thank you to every who supported/helped/encouraged/cheered for me during my time at Leavenworth. I will miss all of you!