Monday, November 21, 2011

Vacay Baybay!

The last two weeks have been pretty hectic and I've neglected blogging quite a bit. Stress has been building with our upcoming vacation, making sure we have all the right documents, all the right clothes, all the things we need to have a relaxing time. We leave Wednesday morning to drive to visit family for Turkey day and then Satruday we board the Disney Magic for a 7 night cruise. It will be the first cruise for all of us (i'm not counting what I did a couple of weeks ago, because that was decidedly not a pleasure cruise) and the first Disney experience for the girls. We're all really looking forward to it.

Running has been going in fits and starts the last two weeks. A week ago satruday I ran 4 miles, which was my longest run ever. Then on Sunday I took the girls out to run with me for about a mile, but that didn't work out as I'd hoped. One daughter is into running and would probably run most of the way with me, but the other wants nothing to do with it.  She just doesn't want to be left home while we go to run. Next time I'll just take one of them and we'll see how it goes. 

Its been difficult to get up and out of the house for runs in the morning these weeks. I made it to the gym once each week to run on the treadmill, but I haven't been getting in the 3 or 4 days a week I feel like I need. I'll buckle down more after vacation. This past weekend I paid for it when I could barely make it through my 3 mile run. I'm still planning on running during the trip, and will attempt to run the 5K on the Disney island when we visit there next Friday. 

My sister ran an 8k this past weekend at the Philadelphia Marathon. I think the half marathon there would be a great goal race for me. I love the city of Philadelphia and could turn the trip into a family outing as well. Still in the very infant phases of thought.  I'm not sure that I'll be ready to run a half in 12 months. I know that I could probably do it physically, but I don't really want to commit myself to something like that until i'm sure that I could do it well.  I don't want to survive, but I want to run! Under 2:30 would have to be assured for me to consider it. That might be 2 years away at this point. We shall see.  For now, I need to focus on running consistently and building base miles.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm Sailing Awayyyyy

I'm back on dry land after what can probably be described as the most unlikely business trip location I've ever had. I spent 3 nights on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, helping with the implementation of a pretty cool use of the technology that I've made my living with for the past 8 years. I can't say that it was a lot of fun, because we worked long hours, but it certainly was interesting. Back in my younger days I tended bar, so working in a place where other people are having a good time isn't new to me. But then I was at least working with the people having a good time, here I was just working where they were having fun. The ship was beautiful though and I did get a chance to run a couple of times in the mornings.

The ship has a track on the top deck that measures just under 1/4 mile. The sign said 4.5 laps per mile. So Monday morning I got up early and hit the deck at about 7am and immediately headed off into a 35 mph wind. Whoa, talk about slow going. Between the wind and the fairly pronounced movement of the ship, i was all over the place.  It was pretty cool when I turned the loop and had the wind at my back though! I kind of lost track of how many laps I did, but I ran for just over 20 minutes before I got really sick of battling the wind and called it quits. I'd guess I did just under 2 miles. I tried to run out there again Wednesday morning but it was rather rainy, so I went into the fitness center and used the treadmill instead.  I'm not a very good treadmill runner as it is, but throw in the rocking of the ship and I almost ran off the side a couple of times. I finished my run with some time on the weight machines and felt pretty good about my trip.

As for food, well that was a struggle but I did pretty well. We ate almost every meal at the buffet and while I didn't always make the best decisions, I did well with my portion sizes and stuck to the sugar free desserts. I weighed in at 268 before I left sunday morning and today I was 266, so I call that a success. 

Overall it was a cool experience. I got a little taste of what cruising can be like and its really got me excited for our trip in a couple of weeks. Now I know that we're going to have a great time. When I debarked yesterday in St. Thomas, the Disney Magic was also docked there and it was a thrill to see her. Can't wait to get on board.

I bought a runners world magazine in the airport for the ride home and it started a couple of really nice conversations with strangers. One of the flight attendants started telling me about his running. He once ran a half-marathon in Amsterdam on a layover. Then the lady sitting next to me told me that her husband ran the Marine Corps Marathon last week. We talked about running and how he trains for his runs. He's missed qualifying for Boston twice now by seconds.  Well, actually this year he qualified by 12 seconds, but the race filled up and he wasn't able to register. Heart breaking. I'm feeling good about my current running even though I haven't been increasing the mileage as quickly as I planned. With the vacation coming up in 2 weeks, I'm going to maintain where I'm at for now, run the 5K on the cruise, then I'll start to ramp up over the winter to get ready for a great spring.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Life Gets Busy!

So my running build up hasn't really started yet.  The last couple of weeks other things have gotten in the way, but I've been maintaining my 9 miles a week. This morning I ran race #3, another 5K benefiting the local Special Olympics. This one was fun even though I ran for the first time all alone. It was cold early when I got there, but I warmed up pretty good and was dressed well. Shortly after the start I began to have trouble with my shorts falling again. I had to stop twice to tighten the drawstring and finally got it right the second time. As I passed the first mile marker I heard a guy on the side counting just past 11:30, so I knew I was moving pretty good. The second mile had a pretty long hill on it, and I walked about the last 100 yards. The good thing was the top of the hill was the turnaround and I flew back down the hill. There was a lot of crowd support on this run as we went past the start finish area twice, so that was really cool. The local high school cheerleaders were out there keeping the energy high. After the first mile I really didn't get passed by anyone other than when I was walking, and even then I passed them back when I picked up the run. So I felt pretty good. I finished at 35:45, which is exactly an 11:30 pace, my fastest yet. The only people that passed me were right on the finishing straight, a dad and his 12 year old daughter who I'd passed earlier on the hill came sprinting by.  I cheered them on as they passed. I felt pretty good after and really enjoyed this run.

I finished right behind a couple who were alternating pushing a stroller through the race. I joked with them after that I was going to protest because they were able to pass off their extra weight but I was stuck with mine. Even though I didn't beat the stroller guy, I did beat 2 out of the 3 dogs that were out on the course, so that's something.

Now my next race will be on our cruise in 3 weeks. Looking forward to that one. Speaking of cruises, through some lucky timing and positioning by me, I'm headed out on a cruise for a couple of days this week. Its a working trip, so I don't know if there will be too many margarita's by the pool, but it will be cool to spend a few days aboard a cruise ship, as it'll be my first time. The family are all a bit miffed that I'll be cruising first before them, but I've assured them that I plan on having no fun at all. Oddly enough, though maybe so considering the nature of my blog, the part I'm most looking forward to is running on the track aboard ship. I'll be aboard the Freedom of the Seas and from the pictures, it looks like the track will have some excellent views.