I am away from home 20 days until December 20.  Today is Day 1. This means I really have to be diligent in sticking to my running plan.  Today was a good start.  I’m glad I got started on the right foot, but it wasn’t easy.

I am in my mid-program taper (reduction in distance in the middle of my program so I don’t injure myself), so today instead of the usual 10-ish miles, it was 7.5 miles (12 km).  Despite the reduction of distance, I wasn’t really wasn’t up to it.  After being awake from 6:30 a.m. this morning (a Sunday), on two planes, then a little highway driving a car with crappy wiper blades, running 7.5 miles was just not appealing to me.  I knew that I had to get the run done and out of the way.  I knew that if I had taken a 30 minute rest once at the hotel, I would have been less likely to have actually gotten the run done.

I immediately unpacked my running gear, downloaded some new podcasts, and made my way to the hotel fitness room.  There is a park nearby that is probably good for running, but I will want to get used the area first (I’m here 6 days)… also it was ridiculously windy/cold out.

The fitness room was one of the best I’ve seen.  I’ve seen some pretty bad ones, some where it looks like they just took their smallest hotel room and threw some equipment in it – not even that fancy rubber flooring.  Anyway, this one was pretty great.  Lots of free weights, some bikes, some elliptical machines… and of course… treadmills.  There were only two, but I have a feeling they don’t get a lot of use anyway, no one else came in while I was there.  There was a lot of light, space, mirrors, water fountains, towels, and even the rubber flooring stuff!  I was pretty happy! The treadmills were good and sturdy, gym-standard kind, but then I discovered they had no built-in fan.  I guess that’s why all the towels! Also, the water did not taste good.  Is it possible for water to give you heartburn?

Within five minutes of my run, I realized the podcast I selected was very boring.  I hit pause on the treadmill so I could find a different show.  I don’t think I was paused that long, but the next thing I knew, it had reset my entire workout!  There was no way I was doing five minutes of running more than I had to, so when I restarted, I made sure to make note of my mileage at the 5-min mark so I could add it back in to my run.

I got bored of podcast #2 about 40 minutes in. I also got bored of podcast #3. I was really not having a good run! The clincher was when the treadmill decided to end my workout at the 60-minute mark!  Apparently it had enough. I just Googled the treadmill brand with the word “quickstart” and found that Quickstart is a 60-minute time goal workout. So I noted my mileage and time and started again for a third time.

My tapered 12 kilometer long run felt more like 12 miles.  I am totally having a cheeseburger for dinner.

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