July 12, 2011

Vineman Week Twelve (at sea!)


I had grand plans to maintain some level of training during the cruise, and so one of the first things I did when we got on the ship was visit the fitness center to see what I'd have to work with. Located at the very front of the ship, it wasn't very big, but it seemed to have the basics. A row of ellipticals and treadmills lined a wall of windows looking out to the ocean and directly behind was an area for group fitness classes, and there was also a small area devoted to free weights. Obviously I could use the treadmills to get in a few runs, but cycling and swimming posed a bit more of a challenge. Luckily I discovered that they offered spin classes (for an extra fee), so I signed up for a couple and figured that would be better than nothing. As for swimming, while there were at least 4 recreational pools on the ship, none were suitable for lap swimming. There was an "infinity" pool in which a large jet is meant to keep you swimming in place (kinda like a treadmill for swimmers), so I thought I might try that out (this, sadly, never did happen, whoops!). After surveying the gym, I looked over the schedule for the week and penciled in what I hoped to accomplish. Not everything went according to plan, but considering my circumstances, I think I did pretty well, and at least offset some of the extravagant food and drink consumption that ensued : )
 view from the treadmill

After getting things off to a good start Sunday with a strength workout, run, and spin class, I decided to take Monday off. We arrived at our first port, Juneau, early in the morning and didn't leave til that evening, so I opted to enjoy our time off the ship and take a rest day. We did do a fair bit of walking around Juneau, though, so I didn't feel too guilty about not working out!

run: 6.5 mi, 9:14 avg pace.
The day started out super early with our arrival in our second port, Skagway. I had signed up for a tour that would take up most of the afternoon, and while it was absolutely spectacular, I was pretty tired when I returned to the ship later that afternoon. I had planned on doing a run in the gym that evening, but I figured I better get it out of the way before I ended up too tired and lost my motivation. I made it all the way to the fitness center before I asked myself, "what the hell am I doing?" We're in a beautiful Alaskan town along the coast with towering mountains surrounding us, cool weather, and time to spare. Why on earth would I run on a treadmill instead of outside?! And with that, I turned right around and headed back off the boat. This also meant I could use my Garmin without the foot pod, and I'll admit it was nice to see my usual 9ish pace instead of the 11+ pace I was getting on the treadmill.
It was misting slightly when I got going, but the cool air was invigorating. As I headed away from the docks toward the quaint little city, I took a turn away from the main drag and soon found myself away from all the tourist sights and in a real little frontier town. Passed by only a few cars, it was quiet and solitary. After a couple miles I turned back toward the main part of town, figuring I could window shop and explore Skagway a bit more on foot. I got some strange looks from all the tourists, like they couldn't understand why someone would be running through town, but I thought it made perfect sense and I was surprised I was the only one! I stopped a few times for some pics of some of the cute little shops and the scandalous Red Onion Saloon, which was once a popular brothel for the plethora of gold miners.
 exploring Skagway, AK on foot!
 I couldn't resist : )
 downtown Skagway
At this point I was about 4 miles in and decided I wanted to go a bit longer, so I looped around to the famous railroad (on which I'd started my tour earlier that morning), then headed down to the docks, past the RV park, then finally back to the ship to finish with a nice 6.5 miles for the day. It was a crazy long, jam-packed day, but it ended up being one of the best of the week, too. I'm so glad I got a chance to actually run on dry land, and in Alaska no less!
 railroads of the famous "White Pass"
 the snow fleet responsible for clearing the tracks

This was another day at sea, but the morning and afternoon were spent cruising through Glacier Bay National Park. I was still pretty tired from the long day Tuesday, and I didn't want to miss out on the awesome scenery around the boat. And honestly, I just didn't want to get back on that unstable treadmill! So Wednesday became an impromptu rest day.

bike: 45 min spin class.
My second spin class on board wasn't quite as good as the first. I was a bit tired after our morning in our third port, Ketchikan, and for some reason it was a bit shorter. Including the post-spin stretching, it only lasted about 45 minutes. Since I was paying for it, I was a little disappointed. Better than nothing, though!

run: 2 mi, 10:00 avg pace.
To get a little extra sweating in, I hopped on the treadmill afterword, but could only tolerate the rocking of the ship and the slow speed for a couple miles before saying enough is enough!


We arrived back in Seattle bright and early and then settled in for a long day of travel. We finally got home around 6pm, and while I had entertained thoughts of a swim, I just didn't have the energy. It was good to be home, though!

bike: 30 mi, 18.0 avg mph.
With my somewhat pathetic attempts at riding this week on the ship, I wanted to finish off the week with a solid ride, especially with race day just a week away (yikes!). I got off work a bit early and took advantage of the daylight to go for a medium-long ride. I don't know if it was just fresh legs from taking a break or what, but I found myself cruising at a 19 mph average for the first half of the ride! Part of me knew I could never maintain that speed for the whole ride and was afraid I'd blow up with a lot of miles left, but I went with it. By the time I finished, as expected, my speed had dropped to an 18 mph average, but that is still a lot better than my usual speed! It felt pretty good to be back on the saddle, so I'm hoping that will mean good things come next Sunday...

p.s. I'm working on a recap of the whole trip with a lot more pics, so hopefully I'll have it up by the end of the week!

swim - 0 yards : (
bike - 30 miles + spin x2
run - 8.5 miles


  1. I went on an Alaskan cruise when I was a kid and really want to go on one again as an adult. SO jealous you got a land run in :)