Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cross Country Running (literally)

I travel a lot for work. Not so much for the event planning job, but for my other job as a field marketer for a national restaurant chain. This is the job that pays the most of bills while the event company gets up and running. One day I hope to have just one fabulous job, but until then I will continue to be a busy bee.

As a mentioned in my first post, I am training for my second half marathon. This means I need to run at least 3 days during the week so that I can make it through my long Saturday runs without my legs falling off. With my ever changing work schedule, it can get hard to work in those runs during travel. I'm having to learn to keep myself disciplined enough to drag myself out for a run in a strange town after 6 hours of flights or get up extra early to run in the morning before a full day of meetings. It has been an absolute test of will. It's so easy to say, "It's too late, I'm tired, I'm hungry, I'm too busy." I am proud to say, more often the side of me that knows I will not only feel guilty for not doing my training, but also pay for it in extra sore legs at the end of the week, wins out. 

Because at the end of the race, I want to look like this:

Not this:

For awhile, when traveling I stuck to running on what I disaffectionally like to call the "dreadmill" in hotel fitness centers. Running in place, while staring at a spot on the wall is next to torture for me. Even though running is a constant challenge, it can be pretty fun to get out there on a nice day and explore your surroundings.

So, I've made a decision to do just that while traveling for work. It can be a great way to get to know a new city -- something I don't get to do a lot of on my limited free time while on trips. As I continue to explore new places on my runs, I thought I'd share them with you and some of my impressions about the city. It's also a great way to figure out things like dinner plans for the evenings and whether or not that place should go on my giant list of future visits.

This week's runs were in Jacksonville, Fl and Charlotte, NC. This time around, due to weather, I had to suck it up and run on the dreadmill. However, during my last visit to Jacksonville, I took a run down a little greenway right behind the hotel that parallels the St. John's River, which was an absolutely gorgeous view.

The second half of the week was in Charlotte. I've flown through Charlotte about a gazillion times, but this was my first time to stay there. I stayed right in Uptown and got a few good runs in around the  city. Charlotte is a super cool city and it looks like there is an absolute ton to do. I am a foodie and the streets are just packed full of restaurants and bars. A couple of note that I'd like to try on a future trip back there: Malabar Spanish Cuisine on Tryon Street. It looked super fun. There was also this cool bar i passed called Prohibition. Will definitely check that out next time.

I also got to see things like this on my run:
From left: Charlotte Panthers Stadium, Duke Energy Center, Charlotte Bobcats Arena & Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

Is it just me, or does the Duke Energy Building look like it has a giant martini glass on it? Yum...Finally, had to snap this photo from the car on my way out of town. How cool is this retro Dairy Queen?

Finally back home after this week's trip and had a great 8 mile run today which went well after keeping up with my mid-week runs.

Where will my next "cross country" run be?