Feb 27 2013

Back from the Cruise and into…

For those of you keeping score at home: (redacted), (redacted), (redacted), and Jenny… and Tad? I did NOT perish on the cruise, nor was I on the ill-fated Carnival Triumph! I’m back, despite not having posted since Jan 30th, and have yes been enjoying all the snow same as you.

What a difference a few thousand miles makes eh?

From this: (here’s our ship, my daily view, and the beach)
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To this: (a view early Thursday night before the snow really piled up)

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But that’s ok with me. I don’t mind the snow… I actually like it.

The cruise was very nice… prior to leaving (this was my first cruise) I had wondered about running on the ship. There’s actually as much opportunity to run as you like, without being a nuisance to anyone too!

They have a “jogging” (their words, not mine!) track on top of the ship. This was pretty neat! I really wish I could have used it more. I ran on it one morning and it was amazing. I had this thought that my GPS would be showing little circles out on the ocean slowly going south… nope. The ship was booking it south. So much so that I have some amazingly fast stats to go along with the really boring GPS graph… see for yourself:

The track was fairly small… here’s the sign from it:
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Sorry about the bad picture there… but it says 11 laps is one mile. Well I believe I ran 22 or 23… I lost count. So roughly two miles. As you see from the (previous) above graphic though I quite incredibly ran over six miles in 17 minutes at a pace I can’t even reproduce on my bike going downhill. The best part of course though as you can probably imagine was having that sea view. It was very nice, if a bit warm and slightly crowded. There were plenty of other people up there running too.

Another experiment I wanted to try was running on the treadmill on the ship. I know I know you’re saying… why on earth would you run on the treadmill on the ship? Well it was just an experiment! And check this out… how often do you get to wear your GPS watch on a treadmill — and have it do anything? Landlocked – that’s going to be one boring Garmin Connect activity… you’ll be lucky to register any movement at all. Here though I clocked along at another furious pace:

The stats are a little less fluctuational here since I’m running in one direction… previously I was running against and with the ship as I did laps, subduing the speed and exaggerating it accordingly.

So… that’s the skinny on running on a cruise ship. After doing a little research it appears that nearly all ships have the running track and quite probably most of them are better than the one I was on, but I found no faults and enjoyed it all thoroughly. The gym where the treadmill was was also quite nice looking out over the ocean with extremely spacious and adequate changing rooms, showers, and a dry sauna and a steam sauna.

Well that was that. A fun experience … would definitely go again, although I do think I prefer the woodsy outdoors opposed to the “beachy” – but hey I won’t pass it up… especially from February in Kansas.

…BUT as I told you… I enjoy the snow! I went for a nice run Saturday (right after about we got 12″ snow here locally in Lansing) after I had noticed while driving around that most sidewalks looked plowed. Well it was cold… and only some of the sidewalks were plowed, almost none of the ones I was going to run on… and as much as I wanted to hit the local dirt trail, even I know where to draw the line. My shorts and non-snow-shoes probably wouldn’t do too well in 12″ (and more in drifts) on the trails.

So what to do? Well I was running by the deserted local Elementary school (it was Saturday!) and I’d oft wondered… just how far was it around that parking lot? Heck… why not take a few laps. So lap it I did. The second time around I discovered it was .57 miles around the perimeter. I tested this the next time around by predicting my mileage at the loop (these are the crazy things you just love to do while wearing a garmin) and wa-la. The science was solid. So anyway I did a few laps here and eeked out a measly 4 mile run:

Zoom and and look at the southern portion… yep that’s a parking lot! Was it a boring run? No it wasn’t! It was ok! So the point is: the miles are where you make them! Sidewalk snowed up? Dying to run outside? Try a big (plowed) parking lot! Preferably one you can run to… wouldn’t you feel dumb for driving to one? No you wouldn’t? Me neither… but I’d rather run there.

See ya soon. I start officially training (yes that’s right, I’m not even training yet!) March 10th. So see? If you’ve been slacking off you’re fine! You got time! March 10th will mark 12 weeks out. I think. 🙂

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Jan 30 2013

Finding the time for a long run

Well forget trying to find the time and energy to complete a long run… how about the time and energy for a run of any sort… that I would be happy with, or perhaps even time to get a blog post done? There’s a good start. Well making the most of every second I’m writing this from volleyball practice. Yeah – that kind of volleyball… I’m sure plenty of you are familiar: the kind that runs year-round through every season and just never quits. That’s ok though, for the most part its fun… except we have two in it… and another in boyscouts… uh, dance, basketball, etc, etc, yadda yadda you know the rest. Our schedules are packed to the brim every week. Somehow I do squeeze in some runs though.

Last week I wasn’t writing from volleyball… I was running! You just never know where you’ll find a nice run. Last week it was about 35, dark and stormy, windy. I thought as I was leaving — I don’t care! I’ll just run around the parking lot. Well I started doing some laps in the parking lot yes, but I soon found a decent enough sidewalk and heading back the other direction for a while – ran into a nice park that I had forgotten was there!

You can see the parking lots in the upper left and the riverfront park in the lower right:

VB Run
And here’s all the run details for that matter:
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/265408141

You can always see an RSS feed of all my runs here too: http://www.runsometimes.com/statistics/ – as well as some other junk. That way you can always keep tabs on me. If I say I took a 20 mile long run, well you can look and check. Only a few obscure scenarios would lead to one of my runs being missing from that list:

1) I forgot my Garmin… not likely… but it *has* happened… and at Hospital Hill (2011) no less! I think that’s the one major race I ever forgot to take it to. Boy did I beat myself up over that one. It’s really made me remember it since then. You know what though? Everything turned out ok. (not really).

2) Garmin dead. This happens all the time. One because its old and I’ve used the hell out of it… and also because sometimes I forget to charge it. Normally I will even postpone a run for just a little bit though to take it and it can survive the run. It really is starting to show its age though. 416 runs with it as of today since July 13, 2008. It’s getting to where it dies about 17 miles into a trail run, or more recently this past October at 12 miles into the 2012 KC Marathon. Hmmm… that doesn’t bode well for a half-marathon does it. Might need to get that replaced before then… stay tuned for that adventure — glad I reminded myself!

Uh… where was I. Hmm… scenario 3 not to have… oh yeah:

3) I ran it on the treadmill. 20 miler? Hah! Not likely… but believe it or not I’ve done it before. Well, ran about 3 hours on the treadmill anyway. That’s kinda fun… in a sadistic sort of way if you want to try it sometime.

Ok so point is… if I say I ran that long run, I probably did, unless I didn’t, in which case no one cares anyway.

So now REALLY let’s see where were we? Well I had just completed that really nice run last week by planning on running laps in a casino parking lot but ended up on the river and through a park! You just never know where that mediocre run is going to take you!

Now why am I blogging tonight instead of running here again?

It’s a tad colder for one.

For two I REALLY needed to get this blog post done and I had some time tonight of course…. why the crunch for time? Well I’m going on a cruise soon… and I don’t plan on blogging while cruising… at all. What I do plan on doing is running though. I’ve never been on a cruise before so I was wondering about the running… do people run on the deck? The people I’ve asked (none of whom were runners, but all were cruise veterans) said “yes! they saw those stupid runners on the decks constantly and were constantly almost being run into by them! why do you ask?” oh no reason… except I plan on running those decks too… hopefully. Anyone here experienced (runner *and* cruiser)? Oh I’ll be relaxing some too of course I’m sure and doing whatever else it is you do on a cruise… I know we’re gonna be on some beaches… and guess what I plan on doing there? That’s right!! More running!!! And check THIS out! When I’m done I’ll hop in the ocean! Kabam, yeah I got that one!

Third reason I’m not running tonight…. Well I did do that 13 mile long run earlier.

So you see, the moral of the story is no matter if you are stuck at volleyball practice for two hours, or stuck on some ridiculous ship in the Caribbean in February, you can always find time to run.*

*(I’ll know for sure about the latter when I get back… and I will be sure to tell you all about it (the running) in a very matter of fact manner.)

Happy Running!

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