Since this is my blog, I can make posts that tie two totally different aspects together like I've done here. :) The best of both worlds IMO. If only I could tie in drumming and banana's. Actually, I can...
Last week I was in Orlando for TechEd 2008. This is the show that Data Dynamics has been talking about and excited about for a very long time. We were able to show off some new products as well as demonstrate some cool features with our existing products. We had a very good turn out to say the least.
My team had a sprint meeting on Sunday night @ 11pm, and my flight for Orlando was Monday @ 6am. This means that I have to be at the airport at 5am, which means I have to leave my house at 4am, which means that I had to wake up at (no later than) 3:30am. So basically, by the time I was done with my meeting and finished packing, it was about 2:45am, so I got about 15 minutes of (very bad) sleep before I decided to just get up and eat some cereal. I made it to the airport around 5am and made my flight with time to spare; I was Orlando bound...
Monday was off to a no-sleep start, and the sun was coming up, so I had a full day ahead of me. James was in the same boat, although he had 0 minutes of sleep, whereas I had whopping 15. We were both pretty skitzo to say the least. When we landed, we got checked into the Peabody and then met with Issam to setup the booth. Once the booth was setup, I went back to my hotel room and crashed. I slept from 5pm to 10am the next morning... much needed!
Tuesday came and went. Woke up, did booth crap, did some networking, ran 3 miles in the sun, more booth crap, dinner with colleagues, then fell asleep at 4am after chatting with my Novosibirsk comrades all night about our amazing product.
Wednesday was very cool. I woke up at 10ish and spent all morning and early afternoon manning the booth in the exhibit hall. When exhibit hours were done, I got my 4 miler in and sweat like crazy in the Florida sun and humidity. After my run, I got ready to go feast at Texas de Brazil (the best restaurant in Florida) with our friends from ComponentSource. After I stuffed my belly with 28 1/2 kinds of meat and too many cinnamon glazed banana's, I attended the MSDN party at the Lux Night Club where there was nothing but good times and booze. I got to network with a lot of people including my FarPoint people, Scott Hanselman, Carl and Richard, Telerik crew, Wintellect crew, ComponentSource crew, Dundas crew, CodeProject crew, nSoftware crew, and many many others. I actually got to be the sit in drummer on RockBand with my Dundas buddies. We sucked, but had lots of fun. :) I got home around 12:30am and crashed with a pretty bad headache (too much loud music and yelling).
Thursday morning came very fast. I woke up around 10:30 and got to the exhibit hall a bit late, but it was still pretty slow by then. Once it got busy, the booth stayed bumping all day and I got to show off Data Dynamics Analysis to a lot of unsuspecting people. I feel we made a lot of sales leads today, as my demo's were packed. At one point, I found myself talking to ~10 people. My voice was a bit scratchy from the yelling I did the night before. People would still hear me, and I made it a point to make eye contact with as many as I could so that they new that I was genuinely passionate about this product. All in all, it was a great day at the booth!
After the exhibit James and I went back to the room and I took a 6 mile run. This run was extremely hard. It was about 96 degrees Fahrenheit with 100% humidity. The training schedule said to do hill work, but... I was in Florida and there are no hills. I decided to just run at a good pace and keep my heart rate elevated instead. Unfortunately the sun and heat got to me and I found myself getting cold chills after only 2 miles of mildly-intense jogging. I decided to slow it down and walk at a few points. I poured some water over my head to avoid passing out and it helped a bit. I picked my pace back up once my cold chills went away, and put in the full 2 loops around the Convention Center and the Peabody hotel. Oh yeah, my iPod took a crap on me about 1/4 mile into my run, so I carried it the entire run for no good reason. That was pretty frustrating...
By the time I got back, it was almost time to go to Universal Studio for the TechEd attendee party. Microsoft bought out 3/4 of Universal Studio and all attendees got to eat, drink, and ride any ride for free for 3 hours. I had about 3 beers, a hot dog, an ice cream bar, a cheeseburger, and got to ride a few rides before heading back to the hotel. We hung out with FarPoint crew and had a blast! Got home around 1am and crashed.
Friday was our last day at the exhibit, and it went pretty well. We did more showing off of our products and then broke down the booth. After the exhibit, I put in my 4 miler and then we all went to a really fancy restaurant called Christini's. It is also the best restaurant in Florida, but on a different (higher class) level. I got the Fillet Mignon and gorged on it. I, of course, topped it off with some espresso and Florida's best Key Lime Pie. We got home around 9:30pm and watched a weird movie called Shrooms (ehh), then a really funny movie called Strange Wilderness (must see). James passed out while I spent the rest of the night packing until almost 3:30am.
Saturday we woke up around 10 am and headed downstairs for breakfast at the B-Line diner (in the Peabody) before we went our separate ways. James was going to hang out with Issam and do some shopping at the outlet malls, while I spent the day poolside soaking up the sun. I did just that! I had nowhere to be, nobody to answer to, no "tasks" on my task list except for "Pool". I got toasty red in no time. I was at the pool from 12:30 - 4pm and I loved it. I spent a full week of running in circles for my training plan and going crazy doing "geeky" things here and there, so I didn't really get the chance to enjoy the pool at all. Issam and James picked me up around 5pm and we headed to the airport. I got home around midnight and it felt real good to be with my girls again.
Sunday, I spent all day with my girls and then took my 7 miler around 8pm and got to enjoy the a nice summer night in Ohio and see the sunset while I leisurely chugged along my country roads. Very peaceful!
Conclusion: TechEd was awesome and my training was not hindered by the crazy TechEd schedule at all. It was great to stay so busy with work related stuff, yet not let my insane schedule get in the way of my marathon training plan. The best part of my training efforts so far has been that Jennifer is taken note of my subtle weight loss and transforming shape... as funny as that sounds. It definitely keeps me motivated. :)