Training in the middle of nowhere

My travel for work goes in spurts – sometimes there are dry spells, and sometimes it gets…umm…undry.  I’m currently in the midst of a rather busy work travel set.  While sometimes my travels take me to interesting places at home and abroad – there are many, many times where I’m going to less exciting places.

This week would be one of those places.  A place without any cell phone coverage for 30 miles.

The town (a ‘town’ implies some sort of township, this doesn’t really have one) I’m working in has no hotel – so I have to stay some 30 miles away.  And while my daily schedule ranges from 12+ hours a day of work, I am finding bit and pieces of time in between during the evening to get in my workouts.

The good news is that the middle of nowhere turns out to be a really good place to get in your training.  This place happens to have perfect slowly rolling country roads with huge wide shoulders.  And, on top of that – there’s swimmable water.  Lots of it.  It’s like a million elephants came along and peed all over the countryside – tons of water (you have seen elephants pee at the circus, right?!?). And, plenty of good places to run around.

So yesterday (Tuesday) I had a bit of a brick to knock out.  I found a nearby state park that’s a few miles in size…but on a weekday in the middle of nowhere, I was the only one there.  All by my lonesome.  So I went ahead and unpacked the car and my bike right there in the parking lot:


From there I headed out on the road for a bit for a 10 or so mile pushing hard bike prior to my harder interval run.


(I took out both the Garmin FR110 and the Garmin Edge 500 on the bike)


I ended up wandering around a bit and then eventually over a nice bridge.  It was during this bridge venture that I determined where I’d be able to later swim.


After the ride I stashed my bike in the rental car and headed out for a run.  It was a set of roughly 1-mile repeats in the lovely 98*F hot and humid heat.  I ended up making a nice little circle out of the state park, enabling me to throw a water bottle by the side of the deserted road to drink from each loop.  I didn’t realize until the end, these little posts along the road side:


Afterwards though it was time to add more water:


From there I’d go ‘outta town’ to find something edible.  At times I actually have to cross state lines to get any form of food not consisting of triple-deep-fried-who-knows-what.

Earlier this evening (Wednesday) I had a swim scheduled.  It turns out however there’s not a single lap pool in this entire county, or the state next door’s county.  But there are plenty of lakes!


So, I went back to ‘my park’ (where it was again empty) and got my swim stuff all on.  I added both the Garmin FR310XT and Timex Global Trainer for fun, to see where I went…and then hopped into the water.


At which point…I swam.


I ended up doing a big old wonky triangle of sorts.  The water was crazy-hot.  Like bathtub-hot-tub hot.  I think peeing in the water made it colder, not warmer.  Weird.

Anyway…about 2 or so miles later, I wrapped up my swim and went back down my cove to the dock, where I got out…and called it a day!


That’s it…back to DC Thursday evening hopefully…for about 18 hours anyway…


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  1. I am interested to know where you were; you don’t mention the location.

  2. On the border of NC and VA near Bullock, NC.

  3. Wes

    so, what you’re saying is human pee is colder than elephant pee. I’ll buy that :-) and you swam by yourself… tsk tsk…

  4. That is great that you were able to find places to workout. I probably would not have been so dedicated.

  5. Oh, I will be doing this in a few weeks when I’m up in Washington for a dog event in the boonies outside Auburn. I have to find some safe routes for long rides up there. Traveling always makes training a little more interesting – good job getting your workouts done!

  6. you should check out the middle of nowheres we have in the midwest sometime, they are the middle of nowhere for sure!

  7. I’m a total freak, but I love bathtub warm water! It takes the edge out of swimming for me. Jumping in a lake in Bellingham this weekend is NOT going to be fun.

  8. Dan

    You’re swimming in the wonderful Kerr Lake I believe. I’ve ridden in the area on some long rides from Raleigh. Hope you’re not melting in this heat though.

    BTW, it looks like you’re getting violently sick in that one pic of you drinking water!

  9. It was like you had the roads and the lake all to yourself. That in itself can be sweet.

  10. Hi, I’m based in the UK and wish we had those kind of routes nearby!
    Great blog by the way, keep up the great info.