IHRSA 2013 Wrap Up: The Trade Show and Random Happenings

As my final wrap up of the 2013 IHRSA Convention, I wanted to share some of the great photos from the trade show, plus a few random stories from my visit to Las Vegas.

I don’t think that I mentioned that I drove alone, because my husband couldn’t make it and my coworker was driving up the day before. It’s a long drive, over four hours, and I chose to take what we call the long way, as opposed to the back way, which cuts through the desert, but is a lot more isolated. It takes about a half hour longer, but since it is up Interstate 15 it is a lot safer for a solo driver. Not to mention the Starbucks in Barstow and the rest stop about an hour outside of Vegas.

After checking in to my hotel, I needed to get to the Mandalay Bay before 6:00, because that is when registration would close for the day. Since I planned on attending the opening reception at 7:00, I needed to have my pass first. I took the time to unpack, then left about 5:15 to drive the two and a half miles. I actually used my GPS, even though I knew where I was going, and it insisted that I take Las Vegas Blvd., the Strip. My instinct was to avoid it, but I soon found that all roads were packed with bumper to bumper rush hour traffic, and the Strip was as good as any.

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My only time on the Strip was spent in my car.

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Ah, Vegas

It took me a half hour to navigate that short distance. Once there, parking was easy, though it was a long walk from the parking garage to the convention center (I estimated about a half mile, based on it taking me about 10 minutes, walking briskly).

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The only gambling I did was while waiting to meet my coworker on Tuesday evening. I lost $5.

Fast forward to Wednesday evening. I had invitations to two dinners. As I wrote in a previous post, my company, WTS International, was hosting a dinner at the Yard House, which is about a mile south of the Mandalay Bay. At the same time, FitFluential, for which I am an Ambassador, was hosting a dinner at the Mandalay Bay. I felt obligated for the company dinner, but I really, really wanted to meet some of my fellow Ambassadors. I had what I thought was a great idea.

I would leave my hotel early enough (the last session was finished by 3:00, so I had time to go back and change), drive to the Mandalay Bay, pop up and meet some FitFluential peeps, then dash off and drive the one mile or so to my company dinner. Great plan. But you know what they say about best laid plans.

My plan started to go awry as soon as I started my drive from my hotel. I planned to take a half hour, as it had the night before. I planned to take the Strip, since that was the best choice from the day before. So much for plans. After driving for 20 minutes, I found myself less than a mile from my hotel. I was in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and I could finally see ahead of me that all the southbound lanes of Las Vegas Blvd. (my side) were closed. It looked like there was some kind of protest in progress (I found out later it was the culinary workers on strike). They were making all the southbound traffic U-turn and head back the way we came. So, after 35 minutes on the road I was right back at my hotel. Not good.

By the time I maneuvered through some side streets and made it to the Mandalay Bay, it was already 6:00, so I decided I had to skip my FitFluential meet-up. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time with co-workers, but I was disappointed that I missed out meeting some bloggers that I admire.

Enough talking about Las Vegas traffic. Let’s get to the fun. The trade show started on Wednesday. As I’ve written before, it is always an amazing experience. Just imaging this huge room, filled with every kind of fitness toy that you can imagine (and some you’d never imagine). All the big equipment manufacturers, the supply companies, anything you could possibly need to manage a health club or fitness center. Treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, weights, functional exercise equipment, software, locker room supplies, saunas and steam rooms, Zumba, Les Mills, Anti-Gravity Yoga, Spinning, Kettlebells, TRX, and much, much more. It’s like a toy store for fitness people. Plus the place is crowded with people, music playing, classes going on all around. Here are some pictures so you can imagine you’re there.

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Before we even entered the trade show. A sample of what was to come.

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The Matrix booth. Some of the companies had floor space larger than the fitness center that I manage.

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Lots of people!

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So much has changed in a few years. This type of frame, used to attach TRX and other functional exercise aids were rare four years ago, common now.

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Big Ass Fans

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More frames and functional equipment

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This was the Balanced Body booth. I loved this piece of equipment (and it’s inventor). Simple, elegant, functional.

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Life Fitness, with more functional equipment.

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Zumba!

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I did finally get to meet fellow FitFluential Ambassador Lindsay, of Lindsay’s List. She was working the Technogym booth.

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The very cute Exercise Lab girls.

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Ready for spin class?

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Yet more functional equipment. I love the bright colors!

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More indoor cycling.

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In this spin class you can imagine you’re outside climbing steep mountains.

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My husband Alan used to surf with Laird Hamilton’s dad. I told Laird this, but he didn’t seem impressed.

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If you’ve ever used the eSpinner, you will recognize master trainer Josh.

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I did want to share a picture of my co-worker. I hope she agrees that this is a great photo!

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In case you forgot, I got do experience the Anti Gravity Yoga too.

Altogether a pretty amazing experience. I can’t wait until next year. IHRSA 2014 in San Diego!

I hope you enjoyed my recap. If you missed any of the previous IHRSA posts, here they are:

Back from IHRSA: The Teaser Post

Weekly Training Recap: Includes Vegas Workouts!

Vegan in Vegas: IHRSA 2013 Dining Options

IHRSA 2013: The Sessions, Part 1

IHRSA 2013: The Sessions, Part 2

Now that you’ve read all that, wouldn’t you like to come visit me next year and attend IHRSA 2014? Hope to see you there!

Weekly Training Recap: Week 9. Including Las Vegas Workouts and a 5k!

Well, from Las Vegas to a 5k race, my training has been, well, interesting this week. I always know that traveling can be challenging to workout plans, but, as I was heading to a fitness conference I thought that gave me an edge. While the IHRSA Convention does offers a multitude of workout options, several of which I had hoped to attend, instead I opted for a few shorter, at-the-hotel sessions. I finished the week with a 5k. As I wrote over a month ago, I was excited to run this race in week nine of my program because it was on a similar course to the 5k at the Palm Springs Half Marathon, which I ran in week three. Here is my week nine training recap.

 weekly training recap

Strength Training

I only did one strength training session, a Fast and Furious class on Monday before I left for Las Vegas. It was challenging though, and I’m okay with missing my other classes during the week. I’m back to work on Monday, so I’ll be back on track with my classes. Still haven’t made it to the gym for any “real” training, though.

weekly training recap

Yoga

While I didn’t make it to a “regular” yoga class, I did two short workouts in my hotel room in Las Vegas. I had a huge room, at the Tuscany Suites (an awesome deal, by the way), with plenty of room to lay down my yoga mat. I used a couple YogaDownload.com audios, so I could choose the length, level, style, etc. By the way, I chose short, intermediate, vinyassa.

weekly training recap

My other yoga-style workout was at the trade show. While I was wandering with a couple friends, who manage fitness facilities near me, we got to the Anti-Gravity Yoga booth just as the class was starting. I’ve wanted to try aerial yoga for a while, missed the classes at last year’s convention, so I was on it.

weekly training recap

weekly training recap

weekend

weekly training recap

weekly training recap

Sorry for so many pictures, but I loved this so much. It was challenging, especially because I felt kind of awkward and tended to get caught up in my hammock. The core work was amazing, imagine doing a crunch as you hang upside down. The handstand, something I am nowhere near to doing in regular yoga, left me feeling elongated, like I’d grown an inch. I haven’t had a chance to check to see if Anti-Gravity Yoga is available in my desert area, but I truly hope so. I’m hooked!

Running

While my mileage was down for the week, I was happy that I did at least get in one run in Las Vegas. As you know, I’ve written about running on the strip, and I love the experience. But I found that it was just a little too dark in the morning for me to feel comfortable running outside. So, on my one run in Vegas, I took to the treadmill. The Tuscany Suites had a nicely set up gym, which is always a nice find at any hotel. I managed four miles on the treadmill (a miracle for me), and added four 1/4 mile intervals at an 8:00 minute pace. Not much, but better than nothing.

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weekly training recap

I was so happy to be home for my Saturday run, and back outside where I belong. Alan and I took Penny and Buddy out on the trails for our run. It was so good to be out there with my favorite running partners. We ran about 5.3 miles, then dropped off those two dogs. While Alan took Sydney and Goldie for a walk, I took our other two little dogs, Lily and Olivia, for another mile and a half run. Everybody was happy and well-exercised!

weekly training recap

So finally, on Sunday, I had the Women Running Wild 5k. Alan was announcing, as he has done for about 10 years. I was excited to see what changes my training had brought. It is so funny. I know that the training makes a difference, obviously, but I didn’t feel like I was faster. I guess it is partly because as you adapt, increase your V02 Max and your lactate threshold, you keep pushing yourself, so the workouts are always hard. I was afraid that after all my talk, my time would be the same or even slower that my last race.

I needn’t have worried, as it turned out. I felt great through the race, though I worried a little at the start of mile three that I wouldn’t be able to sustain my pace. I finished the race in 25:07 (my official time), which is an average of 8:04 per mile. Compare that to my time six weeks ago of 26:55, and you can see why I’m feeling pretty good tonight. Any time you take off almost two minutes feels pretty good. I may not have any PRs in my future (don’t think I’ll get back under 20 minutes), but I am happy to have a new PR as a 55 year old.

weekly training recap

weekly training recap

Women Running Wild raises money through the Jody Klein Memorial Breast Cancer fund for the City of Hope. I have been involved with the event for years, either as a participant, volunteer, or, for five years, as the volunteer coordinator. It is a wonderful event, run my my friend Greg Klein (Jody’s sister). The women’s race is separate from the men, which is fun, and has many divisions, including walkers, baby joggers, big and small dogs, and pregnant women. I was excited to finish second in my division (and 40th overall, not too shabby!).

It is also quite an emotional event. Greg lost his sister to breast cancer about seven years ago, his mother is a 10 year survivor, and this year was the first without his step-dad, Cy, an amazing man who raised thousands of dollars for the event and died last year at the age of 100. There is always a balloon release before the awards ceremony, where people write the names of loved ones they have lost on the balloons before the release. This year they had a special gold balloon in honor of Cy. My sister Susan died of another type of cancer, but I always send up a balloon in her honor.

weekly training recap

weekly training recap

Also present (and participating in the race), were Jeff and Amy. Remember them from the post I wrote in December. Jeff was diagnosed with brain cancer last November, given basically no hope of surviving the surgery that removed the tumor, and yet here they were.

weekly training recap

Alan was there of course. There is nothing like hearing him announcing my name as I finish. He always says, “Here comes my favorite person in the whole world!” Here he is with another fried of ours, after the race.

weekly training recap

All in all, a successful week and a great event.

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If you are interested, here are the details of my weekly training:

weekly training recap

So, how was your training week? Did you participate in any events? Go anywhere fun (though it’s hard to beat Vegas, isn’t it?)?