Back from a much-needed island cruise, and into the last 6 weeks of training for M2. As much as I hate to admit it, I feel like I’m going through the motions right now with my training runs. I’m not missing any, and I’m doing the miles that are needed, but I’m just not feeling it. Kinda tired of my playlists, tired of the same routes, tired of being tired (4:45AM every day is taking its toll, especially when it’s still crazy dark when I’m finishing my runs), and really tired of my feet being sore all the time. I suspect the malaise will pass quickly, and I know I’ll continue to get all the training done since I’m stubborn as a mule about my training plan, but for the time being I’m in zombie-runner mode.
As for the cruise … good stuff. Didn’t realize how much my wife and I needed to get away from everything for a while until we were out to sea. The beauty of it was we were truly away from everything. No kids, no dog, no cars, no cell phones, no computers. Felt a little naked without all the electronics, but in a good way. The Bahamas were very nice, and the cruise itself was pretty good, but I wouldn’t say I fell in love with the cruise experience overall. I think I either need a lot of activity on a vacation, or basically no activity at all, and this sort of fell into a gray area somewhere in-between, depending on the time of day. People watching opportunities were plentiful … perhaps a little too plentiful at time. Major thumbs-down for the quantity of smokers we encountered everywhere we turned. The casino was a smokeapalooza, which was unfortunate because it was the most popular haunt for the folks we were cruising with. Apparently the cigarette industry is still doing quite well.
The question for the weekend was if I could manage to get in my training runs in between buffet trips, martinis, and second-hand smoking. Good news is I pulled it off. The workout room had 8 treadmills lined up in front of a glass wall looking out over the ocean. A wonderful setting for running to stand still. Two problems: 1. I don’t really like running on treadmills, and 2. The smell in the workout room was unlike anything I have experienced before. I didn’t think humans were capable of creating that kind of odor. I’m fairly confident most animals couldn’t create that kind of odor.
This left the onboard track as the other option, and thankfully it worked out very well. The track was slightly longer than a quarter mile (3.5 trips around the track equaled a mile), and not very crowded in the early AM when I was using it. I did wear the Garmin when I ran, but parts of the track were enclosed, and all of it had overhead obstructions, so satellite pickup wasn’t great. Garmin filled in the blanks where it could, with varying results. Saturday morning I did a 4-mile run to see how the track was going to treat me. We were in the process of docking at Nassau, so the boat wasn’t moving much, and thus wasn’t rocking much. Here’s how the Garmin saw things:
Longer range view for an idea of where we were:
Sunday morning called for 14 miles. Things were going well, if a bit monotonous, for the first 9 miles or so. Sunday’s activity was going to an island that Norwegian Cruises owns, so once again we weren’t moving much while I was running, so the track was fairly level. As I came around the corner just after the 9-mile mark, I was met with a rope across the track with a ‘section closed’ sign. They were doing maintenance on one of the lifeboats, which were suspended above the track. With a wall on one side, and lots of ocean on the other, once a section of the track is closed there aren’t a lot of options unless you’re Spiderman. Turned around, ran up the stairs to the workout room, and hopped onto the treadmill for a final 4 miles while the odor singed the hairs off my arms and legs. Net result was somewhere between 13 and 14 miles, which falls into the ‘close enough’ zone. Here’s what the on-track portion looked like:
Longer range view:
All in all a successful weekend both in terms of running, and life. Weather has turned decidedly cooler here, at least for this week, so my morning runs have been in the 40s. It’s been a nice change, but I’m going to need to shift to some evening runs so I stay trained for the heat, in case it’s hot on race day.
Just writing this post has actually lifted the running funk a bit, which is good since my longest training run is only 10 days away. 23 fun-loving miles.