ALBANY -- OK, there's something about Albany and snow that just is plain wrong.
A few weeks ago, I got stuck in the state capital for an extra two days while covering Canisius and Niagara in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference basketball tournament in a downtown hotel with a fitness center room that left much to be desired.
This morning I wake up to snow covered and slippery roads with a light but steady wintry mix continuing to fall as I'm back in Albany to cover the Niagara men's hockey team in the NCAA tournament.
OK, so much for going to the canal running path for today's workout.
Which is a major bummer on several fronts.
See, I was going to run a race. Well, sort of. I was going to wear an old bib number and do about a 5K in my 30 minute run. I was going to come up with a name for it. (Thankfully it can't be the "Amy Moritz Memorial" just yet. That may change, however, after my first open water swim.) I was going to finish both first and last and generally just have a good time with it.
The reason? Three of my four training races have fallen on days when the Niagara men's hockey team has played a game. And all three of those times, the Purple Eagles have won. Tonight, they face national No. 1 Michigan in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
And though it makes no actual difference in the outcome, I was going to race anyway. For the record, should they upset Michigan tonight there is a 5K race at the University at Albany on Saturday and I'm ready for that.
In the meantime, I found a promising fitness center near my hotel which looks like it might actually have an indoor track and a pool (insert gasp of disbelief here) along with strength training equipment that is, you know, useful.
Heck, if it works out, maybe I can do a mini version of the indoor tri and time and pace a swim and a run.
At least then I'll actually get a good workout in on the road and for once not feel like a total slacker when filling out my daily training log in a hotel.
When I last came to Albany I stayed downtown in order to walk to the arena and avoid things like traffic and parking. My colleague Mike Harrington was slightly appalled, since there is no Marriott in downtown Albany and if you know anything about sportswriters it's that above all else, earn the Marriott points. I headed his advice this time and stayed on the outskirts of town in a Marriott-brand hotel.
And lo and behold, there was a fitness center just down the street and around the corner.
I mean a real fitness center. With a pool and an indoor track. Heck it even had an indoor water slide and basketball courts. It was a freakin' fitness cornucopia.
So even though I was not scheduled for a swim, I jumped at the chance to get in the lap pool (thankfully I had thrown my bright orange swimsuit with "Andiamo" emblazoned across my rear into my workout bag) and swam for half an hour doing about 1,000 yards. I'm not quite sure that's exactly what I did. I tend to lose count when I swim as different things pop into my mind to distract me: feature story ideas, the possibility of pancakes, whom I could get to smuggle me some Coffee Crisp and Aero Bars in from Canada. You know, the usual mental banter during training.
I then moved up to the indoor track and ran my prescribed easy pace for 30 minutes. Then for good measure I threw in some functional strength training.
Thank goodness a bunch of pint-sized boys invaded the basketball courts or I might have goofed around for another half hour or so.