Friday, May 20, 2011


Yesterday I spent the day in Indianapolis, arriving Wednesday night, and staying at the new JW Marriott hotel downtown. While an attractive hotel, the noise from the street was louder than I liked – after starting in a 5th floor room, I changed to one on the 18th floor, which mitigated the traffic sounds, but did not wholly get rid of them. Marriott owns the entire block and has situated 3 hotels and a conference center there, so I am really surprised that this flagship hotel faces downtown and sits on one of the busiest roadways, when the other end of the block overlooks White River State Park, the zoo and the river. Poor planning on that one. Otherwise, the service goes well above and beyond, and the furnishings are modern and comfortable – nothing like lounging on a “heavenly” bed in your plush robe, is there? My suggestion, if you are staying in Indianapolis and want to try the JW Marriott: request a high floor on the west side of the building.

High Velocity Sports Bar on Urbanspoon

Being the decadent traveler I am, I ordered room service and ate sitting on the bed, watching the Tour Of California (a rare treat since we no longer have Versus). The hotel allowed me to order from either of the two in-house restaurants, so I mixed it up and tried both. From High Velocity, I got the Crispy Sesame Chicken salad, which was much better than anticipated and surprising as well. The chicken seemed to be hand-breaded and lightly fried, rather than the popcorn-style chicken I was expecting. The lychee fruit were a nice twist as well. No dressing (though a vinaigrette was indicated on the menu) initially seemed like an oversight, but the salad was the better for it ( and healthier to boot). To satisfy my inner glutton (which is displayed in an outer glutton’s body), I opted for the Lava di Cioccolato (Lava cake served with warm zabaglione sauce and vanilla gelato) from Osteria Pronto. I normally am not a fan of sauces with my deserts, but the chocolate syrup mixed with the Haagen Dasz ice cream (in lieu of the gelato?) made for sweet tooth satisfaction. To complete the experience, a Guinness Stout (recently learned it's not vegan, but since the fish scales imparted no taste, I can’t complain too much).

Osteria Pronto on Urbanspoon

After tossing and turning most of the night (as my kids say, when I’m away it’s “sad and lonely”), I didn’t have much impetus to go outside for a run. Dutifully, however, I stuck with the plan and headed out. Being near the White River and Central Canal, I knew I would only have several blocks to run along city streets, always a nice treat. After a half mile of barefoot running, I continued along the canal before heading out and back along the White River, enjoying the early morning zoo smells along with nearly perfect running weather. Not sure what got into me, but my first mile was run in 6:40, beyond blazingly fast for me, as I normally plod along in the 8:30-9:00 minute per mile pace for my tempo runs. The results of this fast start? Heaving lungs, a surprised body, and 5 miles in under 40 minutes. Where did that come from? I think my Garmin may have been acting up.

Except for missing my family, I always enjoy visiting Indianapolis. The city has made great efforts to keep this a walkable, interesting city, one well-worth visiting. Multiple museums, monuments, historical sites, as well as university and private arenas provide for something of interesting to just about anyone.


  1. I dream of spending a night by myself somewhere one of these days soon. I don't think I've done that since either one of my kids has been born. Even just eating dinner by myself in a hotel for one night...luxurious :D
    Only one night, though - I would miss them too much!

  2. That's a great run, man. Well done. I'm a Westin man myself.

  3. Indy's a really nice city. The JW Marriott looked really nice! sounds like you had a great run, too!

  4. Great job on your run, fast pants!
    I'm from Indy...if you visit again and are a meat eater you should visit Shapiro's for lunch (near south side of downtown) or Sakura (on 75th so you'd need a car) for sushi...sorry you didn't ask for that, but there you go!

  5. Just recently found your blog, and am enjoying your posts.
    That is an awesome run!
    And...I am a dork. I was reading too fast and thought one of the restaurants was High Velocity Sports Bra. :)

  6. Well, the High Velocity Sports Bra sounds dangerous and enticing, I think it would be on my list of places to visit.

  7. I'm with Julie. When I'm away, I'm relaxed and happy. :) And then glad to be home again, of course.

    I love Indianapolis. My cousin lives in a suburb, so we try to get there every once in a while to visit. Super fast run!

  8. I LOVE Indy ... seems like there's a disproportionate amount of homeless folks for a city that size for some reason. I've seen the Indianapolis Indians play numerous times at Victory Field - it's a great minor league park!

  9. very cool.

    My sis is moving to Indianapolis. I liked reading this because it made it seem better than she said. ;)

    Room service sounds like complete bliss.

    fab job on the run.
    PS I HATE being away from my fam [P&P] not fun but the reunion is sweet. :)

  10. So, umm...where can I get one of THOSE Garmins?

    Nice run, Kovas.

  11. That is a great run, well done! For some reason, when I run in some strange or new place, I always start way too fast.

  12. LOVE Indy! I also love to get room service when traveling...we deserve it...


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