Saturday, 27 October 2012

Washington D.C. Interlude

I had a conference in Washington, D.C. this week, and it has thrown off my routines for the entire week. 

I started off on the wrong foot Tuesday afternoon.  For some reason I thought that I was traveling to D.C. Thursday morning, when in fact my flight was scheduled for Wednesday morning at 6.45 a.m.  This meant that all the work I had planned to do Wednesday was all thrown in a tizzy, and I had to rush to pack, get ready for my trip, and try and get a couple of hours of sleep before leaving for the airport at 4.30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

I had a good flight down on Porter airlines (my new favourite airline), and was able to check in and have a nap.  What I was not able to do was work out, because I selfishly opted for 2 hours of sleep rather than 1 hour of sleep + 40 minutes on the elliptical.  So we're going to call Wednesday my rest day this week.  I did get some exercise lugging my heavy briefcase through various airports, but it doesn't really count as a workout, not in the traditional sense.

The hotel is good, as always, and the conference has been a whirlwind of sessions and networking with people.  As a natural introvert, I find all the networking activities to be exhausting, and I find I need to make time for myself away from other people from time to time, to recharge.

 I did something this week that I have never done before - - I went to the hotel fitness center and worked out.  This is a huge triumph for me, because I was never confident enough in my ability to work out in front of other people before.  The reality is that in a hotel fitness center everyone is completely self-absorbed and no one is paying attention to anyone else, but I was still too self-conscious to be seen in one of those places before now.  It helps that this hotel has a 24 hour fitness center, which meant that I could choose a time of the day when fewer people were likely to be there.  It turns out that the place is a veritable ghost town at 4.30 in the morning.  I had my choice of elliptical machines each day, and there was never more than 2 other people in the gym at any one time.  It was almost perfect.

I say "almost perfect" because my legs are quite stiff and sore after having worked out for 3 days straight on the hotel's elliptical machines.  The stride on the hotel's machines is shorter than the stride on my home machine, and I found that I was prone to keeping on my toes more than I should.  As a result, I was working my legs in a completely different way, and I can really feel stiffness in my quads and calves right now.  Tomorrow morning I will be back into my routine on my home elliptical machine, and hopefully my legs will settle down once I return to my normal stride.  Stiff sore legs are no fun.

But still - - working out 3 days this week on the hotel elliptical out of 4 days of my trip, I will take that as a win for good habits and be happy with this new development.

On the food front it has been extremely difficult to eat healthily this week.  American restaurant food is generous - - far too generous for a sensible portion - - and full of fat, sodium and calories.  Sure, the hotel had salads (dripping in dressing), and grilled chicken (smothered in cheese and sauce) and fish (breaded).  I have tracked everything and have tried to be as disciplined as possible, but there's no question that I have been eating much less balanced meals than my normal routine.  For that reason alone I can't wait to get home.  Is it strange that I just want some greek yogurt, strawberries and bran buds? 

Of course, because I have been eating such unbalanced meals, I am terrified to get on the scale tomorrow morning when I get back home.  Oh well - - I knew this trip would be a difficult one, what with all the cocktail parties and drinks / meals with foreign associates.  I did the best I could, though, and tried to keep under my calorie targets every day. 

Only one more networking event this morning before I head back home to Toronto.  Hopefully Tropical Storm Sandy will not pose too many problems for me in getting home in my small prop jet.  Turbulence is no fun. 

Tomorrow morning it will be back to my normal Sunday routine of elliptical and weights.  And the Nerd's cooking.  Let's not forget how spoiled I am...!

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