Earlier this week I went on a very mini business trip to Houston. It was my first time in the Lone Star State, but I have a sneaking suspicion it definitely won’t be my last. Quite a few of my friends have recently put down roots there (Austin seems to be quiet the hot spot) and I am extremely overdue for a visit, so I hope to make my way back and see more of the state soon.
For those of you who travel for work, you know that these kinds of quick trips can be tough on the old fitness routine. Most of your hours are spent at the office, and those that aren’t can easily get gobbled up by the allure of an oversize hotel bathrobe, room service, and sinking into a pile of those always-fluffier-than-home hotel pillows.
Believe me, I totally get it. After a long day of being switched on at a new work site in an unfamiliar city, the struggle is real.
That’s why I always try to do a little advance reconnaissance work before landing to ensure I have a plan of attack upon arrival.
Shameless plug: The Fit Crasher map is a handy resource in these types of situations. Just sayin.
Do my workout plans always shake out as intended? Nope. But you can’t blame a girl for being prepared and giving it the old college try.
Here’s a recap of my fit crashing adventures in Houston.
Day One //
Scoped out the hotel gym, which had no widows, a black + red motif, and a burried in the basement location. Not the most inviting place to go after a long day of travel and work. I had zero intention of staying there any longer than I had to, so I pulled up my favorite 12 Minute Athlete app and went as hard as I could for a total of 16 minutes.
The workout included non-stop rounds of high knees, lunges, spiderman pushups, v ups, and kettlebell swings. The gym didn’t have any kettlebells, so I held on for dear life to a 25 pound dumbbell instead. A good trick in a pinch, but definitely not the safest move.
I finished in a puddle of sweat, huffing and puffing and thanking the fitness gods for delivering the almighty power of HIIT via my tiny phone. It was exactly the shake out I needed before bed.
Day 2 //
I’ve been known to go to questionable lengths to find just the right thing to eat for breakfast. If you know me well, you know that I’ve done some serious hustling for fresh bananas in the morning. Scrounging for change and walking to the nearest fruit stand in my pjs kind of hustling.
So when I noticed that the hotel breakfast buffet wasn’t cutting it, I bopped across the street to a cute little cafe to see if the options were any healthier.
Please see photo above. Because I’m pretty sure it speaks for itself. Plain greek yogurt, fresh berries, homemade coconut granola, drizzled with honey. Washed everything down with a drip iced coffee with almond milk and oh my lawd. Perfection. If you are in the area you must visit Honeymoon Cafe. Go.
Tuesday is a run day according to my Brooklyn Half Marathon plan – so I laced up my sneaks and hit the road for five miles along the Buffalo Bayou trail. Which is a gorgeous paved and dirt path running alongside the Buffalo Bayou (not a river, a bayou) with sweeping views of the Houston skyline.
This run was one of those magically disproportionate experiences where I felt better and better the longer I went. I can point a finger at a number of reasons why. First and foremost, I was wearing shorts and a tank for the first time in centuries. I saw ducks, swans, and a horse. The entire pathway was buzzing with runners, bikers, and people soaking up the warm evening. And I was surrounded by lush, gorgeous greenery and a big blue sky the size of Texas.
I mean really guys, the run made me postiviely giddy. And really sweaty.
Day 3 //
This day was so much fun because I got to finally meet Lindsay, a fellow fitness fanatic who lives in Houston. We had been emailing back and forth for a few weeks and when I found out I was flying in for a trip, I knew we had to try to meet up in person.
The studio is over-the-top friendly and I couldn’t recommend it enough for visitors and locals alike. It has a huge boutique full of drool-worthy items, two heated studios, showers, and a juice + smoothie bar for that perfect post class treat.
We took the 6:15 a.m. class with Dana, who led us through a powerful and playful hour-long sequence. She was fantastic and I give her class two thumbs way up. I love that no matter where I am in the country, a Baptiste yoga studio always feels a little bit like home. The sequences, the method of teaching, the vibe – I just love all of it.
Lindsay is in the middle of teacher training here – good luck Lindsay! A fellow former-swimmer, current runner, and lover of all things fitness, she was the perfect ambassador for Houston’s sweat scene. I’m just sorry we didn’t get more time to hang out and explore more studios. Define, Orangetheory, and Revolution Studio are on my list for next time.
A creature of habit, I topped off my morning fit crash with a giant green smoothie. Which was still, oddly enough, just as expensive as in NYC. So that makes me feel a wee bit better about my expensive taste. It’s not me, it’s the ingredients.
Flash forward to today and I’m back in New York City, getting ready for an entire weekend of 75 and sunny. That will definitely help get me over a little jet lag and the post-travel blues. Perfect weather for my upcoming longest training run so far: 11 miles!
Happy weekend fit crashers!
>> Tell me friends, any favorite spots in Houston? Do you have any business travel fitness tips? I’m all ears!