Last week was my first week of travel in nearly a month. No complaints there.
Work took me to the Windy City and an international conference of professional fundraisers. The bonus: I stayed in a hotel several blocks from Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.
Before flying out Sunday morning, I Googled area running routes and found two gems: 5.6-mile river and 14-mile lakefront routes with access points a few blocks from my hotel.
Alas, however, they weren’t meant to be.
I arrived late Sunday morning to a blustery day. After checking into my hotel and dressing for the conference’s opening session, I headed to the exhibit hall. There were clouds in the sky and a chill in the air, but things could change, I rationalized.
They didn’t. As I left the conference Sunday afternoon, it was evident the temperature had dropped. So after scurrying to my room and jumping into my running gear, I headed for the hotel fitness center and slogged my shorter weekend run — I’d logged my LSD the day before — on the treadmill.
There’s always tomorrow, I thought as the miles ticked away. Think positively, I told myself.
I awoke Monday optimistic about the day’s outdoor running prospects. Several runners with whom I’d talked Sunday said reporters were forecasting a sunny, temperate day.
But for a second time, fate was not on my side. The day was intermittently cloudy and sunny. And though the sky was clear when I left the conference center that afternoon, the wind was sharp.
After returning to my hotel, I again donned my running gear and resentfully rode the elevator to the hotel’s top floor to slog my daily miles in the hotel gym. With the beauty of downtown Chicago spread out beneath me, I could almost feel the mist from Lake Michigan spraying my face.
I didn’t chance things Tuesday morning. I woke up in time to return to the hotel gym for a third run on the artificial road.
The week’s fate continued after I returned home Thursday. I logged two runs Friday on the YMCA treadmill — six 800m intervals at 10k pace with a 400m warm up and recoveries over lunch and a 60-minute tempo run after dinner. And I ran five miles at race pace today on the rubber ribbon.
I hope to hit the pavement tomorrow for my last pre-Rock the Parkway (www.rocktheparkway.com/) LSD run. I’ll log two hours at an easy pace.
The best news is that temperatures are forecast to steadily rise into the mid-70s by next Saturday — just in time for the half marathon starting gun. If putting in time on the treadmill is the price of good race day weather, so be it.
Kansas City Runner