The Nike Women’s Half Marathon is this weekend! How did that happen?! The taper time is always an anxious time for runners. This race and my last big race – the Niagara Marathon – both had one thing in common for my taper period: each race happened directly after my company’s annual convention and at least a week on the road. Last year was worse as I flew out for a weekend of fun at a friend’s wedding in St. Louis, flew directly from there to a week in Boston for the convention and flew from there to Buffalo where my boyfriend picked me up and drove me to Canada for the marathon. This year I flew to Chicago for convention, but was home late Thursday night and being a local race, didn’t have to get myself anywhere else.
Traveling while on taper has some pros and cons. Being such a busy week, it would be hard to fit my regular duration and intensity of training runs in. On the negative side, one of the most difficult things about the taper for me is realizing you don’t need to eat as much as you did during your normal training weeks since you’re not burning nearly as many calories, and eating healthy on the road – especially during busy work trips – is not something I’m great at.
My meals usually consist of more beers than usual, comfort foods like the picture below from a diner that claimed to serve Chicago’s best mac ‘n cheese (it wasn’t) and one too many desserts.
A big postitive for this trip though was the hotel gym at the Chicago Hilton. I’ve stayed at some hotels with really nice gyms lately, but this might be the best one yet. It even had an indoor track! Despite the fact that it took 18 trips around, I happily did my 3 miler on it instead of the treadmill on day one.
Every cardio machine also had its own individual TV built in, which I love. I took advantage of this for my interval workout.
As soon as I saw the pool area I was really bummed I hadn’t brough my suit. It had a great lap pool and two hot tubs!
It was really an impressive hotel gym. It made it a lot easier to get my workouts in this week since it was freezing here in Chicago. Still, I hope I’m not on the road for my next big race. It takes a lot out of you and I’m glad I’ll have a couple days off before the run on Sunday to hopefully recover from the week! I can’t wait! I’ll be volunteering at the expo from 3-7 on Friday, so stop by and say hi if you’re picking up your packet then.
I’ll leave you with a few more pics of the gym…