Confession time: I crave structure and a good game plan almost as much as I crave a black and gold Chanel 2.55. Or rosewater waffles from my favorite NYC haunt. Though I try hard to leave room for those beautiful moments of serendipity, I tend to do really well in all facets of life when I have Plan A, B and even C lined up and ready to go. Take any vacation with Team Krause and you’ll often hear throughout the trip, “Oh Kelly, she’s our planner.”
By now, I can say with confidence that my travel game is strong. I know how to pack, plan my workouts and scout healthy restaurants so I’m ready to go once I land. In London I found a running trail, in Dublin I used my hotel gym and every trip to New York City involves a visit to Soul Cycle. But what I haven’t quite mastered yet is planning around an 11-day festival that requires early mornings, late nights and all of my brain power. Did I mention that I run publicity for SXSW Interactive and program content for our newest addition, SXstyle? I often joke that: by day, I am a Publicist — by night, I’m exhausted!
This will be my fifth SXSW, though last year was the first year I strived to make it my healthiest. I went into the event thinking I’d excerise daily and eat as clean as possible. While it wasn’t my best performance, my decisions were far better than previous years of little activity and processed junk food. Four days after the festival ends, I’ll be on a 5-day trip in the Texas Hill Country, riding my bike for 30-60 miles each day with a bunch of new friends. Though not relaxing per se, it’ll be a nice way to decompress post-event. Because I’m in for a busy 11 days where sleep might be more crucial than a morning run, I can’t help but feel worried that I’ll arrive to the Hill Country exhausted, tired and the girl that’s slowing everyone down.
My circumstances are really no different than anyone else’s. We all reach busy junctures in life (vacations, work trips, family events, etc.) that have the ability to rattle our structured schedules if we’re not prepared. Keeping in mind that sometimes even my plan C won’t work out, I’ve answered 5 questions to help me tackle the busiest time in my life and hopefully come out on the other side not feeling too rocked and ready for lots of time on bike.
1. What’s the #1 goal for the next 2 weeks?
Aside from work being my #1 priority, taking care of myself and not letting my fitness take a back seat is paramount. Sleep is a hot commodity and long nights with clients and events might mean late dinners. I don’t want to end the event gaining weight, feeling sluggish, not confident and stressed. That means, I have to check in with myself every day and adjust accordingly.
2. What are my options for exercising?
Time to get creative. I’m limited on time and resources, which means my workouts need to be quick. Thankfully, I’ll have my road bike set up on a trainer in my room for an early morning spin. I’ve packed resistance bands for arm workouts and no equipment is needed for sit-ups, squats and lunges. Plus, I can’t forget the amount of walking I’ll get in everyday. Every step counts!
3. What are my options for eating clean?
Last year, I ended up living mostly off of nuts and dried fruit. Those are great in a pinch, but this year I’ve indentified a few local spots for quick salads, smoothies and lunch options that won’t leave me feeling full and tired. Plus, I’ve leaned on a few friends to drop off a healthy breakfast or lunch when they’re headed to the event and close by. My biggest fear is not eating enough during the day and making up for it and more at dinner. For that, I’ve stocked up on KIND bars so I have a quick go-to in between meals.
4. How can I take time for myself?
Not only do I do well with structure, but I also do really well starting my day off with solo quiet time. Some mornings, a 10-minute sit down with coffee in my reading nook is more beneficial than a quick run. To make the next 11 days feel a bit like home, I’ve packed a few of my favorites that I swear induce relaxation before bed, including this, this and this. As well, a quick walk around the block seems to help reset my mind.
5. What’s the worst-case scenario?
Worst case scenario is that I don’t get in a single workout and I don’t eat as clean as I would’ve liked. That has happened before and while I was a little bummed, it wasn’t the end of the world.
Point is: life happens. You can have Plan A-Z ready to go and something will still throw you for a loop. As long as you go into it aware things may not go according to plan, you’ll make it out just fine.
all images above from lululemon spring 2015 lookbook, “the great escape”
*Kelly Krause with Randi Zuckerberg at SXSW 2014