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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