A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Planning the Plan


Registering for races is funny. For many of them to have to register months in advance just to make sure you get a spot. For others, you feel the pressure to register ASAP just in case they sell out. And sometimes you register just because you need something to motivate you. Especially for those of us that spend half the year in a winter "wonderland." There needs to be a light at the end of the tunnel. That light? Race season!

So, with that in mind, here are the races I already know I'm planning to run:

Race That's Good for Life - April 11, 2010

Wisconsin Half Marathon - May 1, 2010

Cleveland Marathon's 10K - May 16, 2010

Solider Field 10 Mile - May 29, 2010

And I'm still debating the Shamrock Shuffle 8K which is the official start of race season here in Chicago. Run or volunteer?

Plus, there's the marathon I want to run this year. I'm pretty sure I've decided on Chicago. Registration opens February 1st. Rather crazy for a race that isn't being run until October 10th! On the plus side, my parents can kill two birds with one stone: they can visit my brother on his birthday AND see me run my first marathon :-)

As you can see, my calendar is busy busy busy in May. 3 races in one month? How will I ever manage it all?

The plan is this:

1. Train hard for the half marathon and run for a PR.

2. Get my friend Rae in under an hour in the 10K

3. Enjoy the 10 Miler with my friend Holly. I've never run a 10 mile race before so regardless of the time it will be a PR!

4. Have the BEST May ever!

I don't think this is too ambitious at all. But I'm sure you can see why I haven't scheduled anything else out until October :-)

Anyway, I spent part of yesterday working on my training plan for the half-marathon. I've decided to incorporate both the Hal Higdon Intermediate Plan and the Runner's World Smart Coach plan and use the group runs I already do as part of my tempo, pace and speedwork runs. Check it out! And, as you can see if you click on the Runner's World plan, the Smart Coach seems to think I can run this race in under 2 hours. As that's my ultimate goal, I'm sticking with the speeds they suggest. Although, as Kristen commented on my last post, sometimes the speedwork is too fast the long runs too slow. So, I won't be upset with myself if I don't hit those times exactly.

This plan starts February 1st. I think the hardest part will actually be sticking to the slower speeds during some of the group runs. I'm just going to have to be upfront with people and tell them I don't mind being at the back and that I HAVE TO run slow to stave off burn-out and injury. I'll let you know how it goes :-)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Running with the Grumps

This is totally how I felt on Saturday.

You all have my husband to thank for this post. Yes, he's a computer geek but you're not thanking him because of anything related to that. No, instead, you're thanking him for the fact that I even have a run to blog about.

On Saturday I was feeling lazy and irritable. Sure, the temperatures had warmed up to above freezing but all that did was cause the snow to melt. Everything was damp and gray, all the plants, trees and grass are still brown and dead-looking, and the moisture makes it feel colder than it actually is. I didn't want to go outside into that mess. Yet, I didn't want to sit around the house anymore, either.

So, as a way of feeling less like a lazy slug, I suggested we leash up the dogs and walk to one of the grocery stores so I could grab a few things for dinner. I was a little worried about running due to some foot pain I experienced on the treadmill on Thursday. Instead of running, I was envisioning a nice power walk to accompany the errands. The husband, however, was envisioning a nice leisurely stroll. In the end, he suggested I just go run off my grumpiness. "Stay in the neighborhood," he said. "That way if you have pain you won't have very far to go to get home."

I leashed up the Phil dog and he and I went for a run around the neighborhood. Probably close to 1.5 miles. I didn't take the Garmin so I have no idea how fast or slow we were going. There were a few stops (boy-dogs like to pee on EVERYTHING) but we made it the whole way. I dropped off Phil and leashed up Trinka Deu. Sadly, Trinka Deu seems to be no longer interested in running. We trotted along for a bit but she decided early on that she would prefer to walk. I turned towards home and tried to hurry her along. I wasn't really dressed for just walking!

When we finally made it in the door, Jason was sitting on the couch eating lunch. I realized I was hungry. I came thisclose to calling it a day. Instead, Jason encouraged me to get back out there for a little bit longer. So, I hit the streets and, since my foot was still feeling fine, I ended up doing another 4.8 miles. I took the Garmin that time :-) Total for the day? 6.3 miles. It certainly wasn't a speedy run (I believe I averaged 9:53/mile for the part I had the Garmin on for) but I still felt like I was working really hard to maintain that pace and I totally could have taken the world's longest nap when I got home. I just keep telling myself that when I looked up training plans on the Runner's World website they all indicated I should be doing my long runs even slower than that!

Speaking of training plans, I still need to talk about my upcoming training and racing plans. I think I'll do that tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dear John...er...Treadmill


Dear Treadmill,

I've been trying to recall how our love-affair started. I've been thinking about this time last year when we spent so many hours together. Our time together, while not always perfect, was good. I had stars in my eyes and you were there to help me fulfill my dreams. And for that I thank you.

But the time has come. It's difficult for me to say this, but I think we need to break up.

I don't want to say that old, tired line about how it's not you, it's me but I think it might be true. You just don't motivate me anymore. We seem to be stuck in a rut, doing the same thing over and over again. We're not going anywhere. I'm sure you agree.

I don't want to accuse you of lying, but I can't understand why you make things so much harder when I do them with you as opposed to without you. You stand there, so full of promises. So full of potential. But then, the last few times we've been together it's just been so difficult to stay with you. Instead of joy and exhilaration, I feel pain and defeat when we're together. I think I can do better than you.

So, Treadmill, I think I'm going to move on. I'm not going to depend on you anymore. I don't want to string you along. I'm sure we'll still see each other occasionally and I hope we can be friends. Maybe we'll go on walks together in the future, but for now I think the most you'll see of me is a wave as I run past the window.

I hope there are no hard feelings.


The girl who attempted a 4.5 mile run at the gym last night but couldn't even make it a full 2 miles even at 10:00 minute/mile.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fast Running, Slow Spread

Last night's group run was a pile of crap. I just KNEW it was going to be an off night. I was so cold walking home from the train that I totally overdressed for the run. I rushed out the door and forgot my fleece headband. I tried to come up with all sorts of excuses for skipping. And then when everyone in the group started out super fast I knew I was going to be in the way, way back. Thankfully I know the route like the back of my hand now.

Anyway, I was at the very back of the group for the first mile. Then, one of the women in the group slightly ahead of me paused and called to me. I told her she didn't have to wait for me, but she did. I managed to keep up with them for the next two miles (which we ran at just under 9 minutes each) but faded at mile 3 and then to the very, very back after our break at mile 4. I forgot to upload all the data but the splits looked something like this:

Mile 1: 9:13
Mile 2: 8:54
Mile 3: 8:56
Mile 4: 9:15
Mile 5: 9:50
Mile .5: 9:20

Average pace? 9:15. And that's ONLY because I was able to keep up with the "slow" part of the group for two miles.

I skipped my lunchtime run today because I just didn't think my body could handle running another 3 miles at a 9 minute/mile pace so soon. I KNOW that running faster will make me faster, but in the mean time I have to remember not to overdo it and hurt myself or burn out. I can't run my 10K race pace all the time :-)


In other fitness-related news, I'm having a crisis of desk-spread. See, from June 2002-June 2008 I worked a job where I rarely sat at a desk all day. I was up and down from my chair, hauling heavy boxes and books, climbing several flights of stairs multiple times per day, and just generally moving around a lot. Since July 2008, however, I've started working a desk job where the only reason I typically have to get up is to use the bathroom or heat up my lunch. In fact, the stapler in my office broke and I purposely haven't replaced it so that it forces me to get up and use the one in the copier area. Which is all of 15 feet from my desk. I can tell that even with my running and gym-going that my body has changed and not necessarily for the better. Yes, I'm running faster than I was two years ago, but I feel like I'm not in as good of shape overall.

And then I watched the following video:

How to live to be 100+

(If you're viewing this via a reader, you'll have to click through to watch the video.)

If you have 20 minutes, I HIGHLY recommend it. Their conclusions lead me to realize that my previous job may have been doing more for me than I realized. Also, that I really wish I had good friends living next door, across the street, or just closer than 45 minutes away. Preferably friends who like to have a glass of wine or two after work :-)

Anyway, I'm now on the hunt for ways to get more movement into my day. At least, movement that one can accomplish while wearing business professional clothing and that won't cause me to break into a sweat. And that doesn't involve going for a brisk walk in the freezing Chicago winters. Or purchasing the treadmill pictured above. Any ideas?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Frozen Solid / PLUS! Giveaway Winner

Photo from http://www.jconner.net/blog/

Solid chocolate lungs would definitely been an improvement over the frozen solid lungs I had after my long run on Saturday afternoon. I did 8.5 miles outside where the air temperature was hovering around 28oF. I've certainly run in colder, but for some reason Saturday's run left me coughing and hacking for most of the rest of the afternoon.

I wore a tank top, two long sleeved tech shirts, tights, shorts and mittens. I got a little warm but never warm enough to push up my sleeves or take off my mittens. Because I never rolled up my sleeves, I couldn't see my Garmin for the entire run. Since I was pretty much running blind it was a good exercise in trying to pace myself. I have to say, I think I did pretty well. Not perfect and, of course, some of the times are thrown off my waiting for stop lights, but overall I was fairly consistent. During mile 8, however, I hit some sort of strange disconnect where my legs were moving but I wasn't even aware of it. It felt GREAT! Now, if I could just figure out how to harness that feeling for the entire run.

The sidewalks were mostly clear although there were a few icy spots where I had to tread lightly or veer off into the street. I saw lots of people out walking their dogs but I only saw one other runner. That may have been because I ran in the afternoon instead of in the morning. Why the afternoon? Because earlier in the day I hit the gym for 45 minutes of strength training! So, yes, 45 minutes of weights and an 8.5 mile run in the same day. Pretty awesome.


But enough about that. On to what you're really here for. To find out if you won the Infinity Scarf Giveaway! We're pretty low tech over at Eri-thon industries so instead of using an online random number generator I just drew names out of a hat.

This hat, to be precise:

See? There are all your names (if you linked to my post in your blog and told me about it your name is in there twice, I promise!).

So which lucky person had their name drawn? Well, the winner is: Kelly!! Turns out, her birthday was also last week so this is sort of a belated birthday gift as well. Kelly, I'll be in touch!

Thanks for everyone for commenting!


Saturday's Stats

Route:--Elev. Avg:626 ft
Location:Forest Park, ILElev. Gain:+0 ft
Date:01/16/10Up/Downhill: [+52/-52]
Time:01:32 PMDifficulty:3.0 / 5.0
Weather:Overcast with Haze
 28 F temp; 81% humidity
 28 F heat index; winds SW 6

Distance: 8.52 miles
Speed:6.2 mph
Pace:9' 38 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
19' 33-0' 056.3+0.1+3 ft
211' 44+2' 065.1-1.1+6 ft
39' 31-0' 076.3+0.10 ft
49' 22-0' 166.4+0.2-6 ft
59' 47+0' 096.1-0.1+7 ft
69' 40+0' 026.2-0.00 ft
710' 36+0' 585.7-0.60 ft
89' 18-0' 206.5+0.2-9 ft
end9' 52+0' 146.1-0.10 ft
Versus average of 9' 38 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com

Friday, January 15, 2010

Double the Workout, Double the Stuff


Yesterday we had a freaking heatwave in downtown Chicago. 40oF at noon! I met 5 of the guys from our running group outside the locker room at lunch. They were all wearing long pants, long sleeved shirts, gloves, hats and jackets. Me? I had on capris, a tank top, and a long sleeved tech shirt. Sure, my hands were cold when we first started out, but I was definitely warm by the end!

It was quite the workout. We slowly drifted into two groups of three. I hung with the "slower" group until just after mile 2. Then I slowly started to fall back. On the back portion of our out and back run I lost even more ground. Soon, they were all almost specks in the distance. However, since they're all nice guys, they waited for me at the stop light and even told me "nice job" when I finally caught up.

I tried to tell them that I was essentially running my 10K race pace with no race prep. Unless, of course, you count two of these the night before as "race prep":


Hey, it was my birthday dinner. I'm allowed :-)

Anyway, you can see my stats at the bottom of the post. Just know that I was definitely pushing it at the end even though I felt like I was running through molasses.

After work I came home, prepped dinner, and changed into gym clothes. See, here's the problem with running at lunch and then going to the gym after work. My running clothes? Still wet with sweat. Yuck. This means that I put on a new outfit to go lift weights. My laundry basket runneth over.

I see a lot of laundry time in my future.

P.S. Don't forget about my Infinity Scarf Giveaway! You still have some time to enter.


Route:--Elev. Avg:590 ft
Location:Chicago, ILElev. Gain:-4 ft
Date:01/14/10Up/Downhill: [+150/-154]
Time:12:24 PMDifficulty:2.2 / 5.0
 40 F temp; 72% humidity
 40 F heat index; winds SW 10 G 20

Distance: 4.48 miles
Speed:6.7 mph
Pace:9' 00 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
18' 54-0' 066.7+0.1-6 ft
28' 47-0' 136.8+0.2-7 ft
39' 35+0' 356.3-0.4+3 ft
49' 07+0' 076.6-0.10 ft
end9' 10+0' 106.5-0.1+6 ft
Versus average of 9' 00 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Age Group Ahoy! Plus a GIVEAWAY!!


Monday night was my last run in the 25-29 age group. Why? Because today (Tuesday) I turn 30! At running group on Monday night our intrepid leader asked if anyone had any announcements. "It's my birthday!" one guy yelled.

"Are you moving into a new age group?" another person asked.

"No," he said.

"But I will be tomorrow!" I exclaimed.

Funny how other runners don't ask how old you'll be, just if you'll be changing age groups.

How did I celebrate 30? Other than dinner, movie and dessert with friends this past weekend?

Well, Monday night I ran a great 5+ miles. I also had a book club meeting (The Shadow of the Wind....I highly recommend it) immediately after running so I decided to run fast in order to make it back on time. It was a little bit of a struggle at first and the last half mile was tough, but overall I did well (9:04 average pace). And that's with only two days of running in the past two weeks!

I also got some great running related gifts. A friend of mine made me an entire CD full of songs with the word "run" in the title.

Click to see larger

Isn't she creative?? Many of these I've never heard so it will be fun to listen to!

Kim got me a book I've had on my to-read list for awhile:

Have any of you read it?

Finally, I got a $30 gift card to Fleet Feet from some friends of mine. They said they knew what THEY wanted when they ran, but they didn't know what I wanted. This way I can pick it out myself.

And tonight I gave myself the gift of going to the gym. 30 minutes on the elliptical followed by an hour of strength training. Pretty nice gift to myself, huh?

So now I have a gift for you. At the end of last year I hinted that I might have something to give away. Well, I do. It isn't running related per se. But I suppose you could use it post-run to warm up.

What is it?

An Infinity Scarf!

What's an infinity scarf? It's essentially a tube of fabric that you can loop multiple different ways for many different looks. I bought myself one but, strangely, two came in the package. Since I don't need two of the exact same scarf, I'm giving one away to one lucky reader.

Just so you have a better idea of what you're getting, here I am (post-gym, so sorry about the lack of hair and make-up) modeling mine. The one I'm giving away is the exact same color and style.

A sample of ways to wear it



Don't worry, it comes with a little card explaining some of the different ways to wear it. It's also super-light weight so even looping it numerous times doesn't make it bulky and annoying.

How do you win?

For one entry all you have to do is leave me a comment telling me Happy Birthday or telling me one running or non-running related thing you'd like for your next birthday.

For a second entry just blog about and link to this giveaway post in a blog entry of your own. Please leave me a comment telling me you've done so.

Then the random number generator (or pieces of paper in a hat) will take care of the rest.

I'll draw names on Sunday, January 17th. So, get to commenting if you want to win!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Abominable Snowrunner

Even though the temperatures yesterday were in the teens the sun decided to grace us with its presence. I decided to bundle up, strap on my YakTrax, and head to the forest preserve bike path. Last year when I ran though the snow on this path I had a great time. Yesterday? Not so much.

The packed down snow I had been expecting was nowhere to be seen. Instead, I saw what you see in the above photo. And, in some places, it was worse than that. Lots of loose, divot-filled, snow. I saw exactly ONE other runner, several people walking (either with their dog or with ski poles!), and lots of cross-country skiers. Oh, how I envied those cross-country skiers. They weren't going that fast, but they were making it look so much easier than what I was doing.

I knew after my first quarter mile that there was no way I was going to be able to complete the 6-7 miles I'd been planning to do. Even with the YakTrax I was sliding and slipping and my form was awful. My hip stabilizers were talking to me after only half a mile and towards the end my right Achilles tendon was singing as well. I suppose I would compare it to running in loose sand. But colder. And wetter. In fact, the snow seeping into my shoes make the callus on the tip of one of my toes ache.

There were sections that I had to walk for safety reasons. And there were sections that I had to walk for aches and pains reasons. So, instead of running for distance I decided to run for time. 6-7 miles would have taken me around an hour so I put that as my goal. 30 minutes out and 30 minutes back.

In one hour I completed 4.58 miles with an average pace of 13:19 minutes/mile. Officially my worst run since I started running, I'm sure of it. I felt totally drained afterward. My hips and Achilles tendons are sore today. Yet, I feel rather hardcore for even attempting a run in those conditions.

The best part of my run? Seeing a male deer bound across the path in front of me in full antler regalia. They're so graceful and lovely. Too bad I can't be a deer!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Return of the Treadmill

I really, really wish I could have gotten a good picture of what it looked like outside at lunch time yesterday. The best I could do was the following photo out the window of my office:

Click to see full size

Yeah. It was snowing. A lot. And windy. And the sidewalks were kind of scary. So, although two people from our usual lunch running group braved the elements, I wussed out and stayed in.

This gave me two options: run on the treadmill at home after work or run on the treadmill at the gym after work. I decided on the treadmill at home. At least there I had a commercial-free episode of Bones to watch (aside: I am like two seasons behind on Bones so no spoilers, please!).

If I had run at lunch we would have done a minimum of 4 miles. So, that was my treadmill goal. A commercial-free episode of Bones runs about 42 minutes. Even though I run like a sloth on our treadmill I figured I should be able to finish 4 miles in that amount of time.

I'll admit. It was hard. See, I attended my favorite aerobics class on Wednesday night and I think I was the hardest working person in the room except for maybe the instructor. And after not working out for over a week, well, let's just say I was feeling it! In fact, I was still feeling it on Thursday when I started up the treadmill. My shoulders were sore and my calves were screaming at me! But, I made it through 4 miles. My first miles of 2010.

Kim asked me if I had any mileage goals for 2010. I've thought about it and my answer is no. I want to run the miles that I need to run in order to accomplish my race goals and that's it. Whatever that ends up as is fine for me. I would hate to get so tied up in hitting a specific overall number that I obsessed and stressed over making up every missed run. So, no set mileage goals. Maybe next year :-)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Year in Review

Over in the Original Livejournal Runners' Club they put up an Year in Review Questionnaire. I thought it was good enough to fill out over here as well. Enjoy!

How many miles/km did you run this year?

743.18 miles. Approximately. This is the first year I've ever kept track of my running mileage. I'll admit, I'm really proud of this number even though I have nothing to compare it to. If Google is to be believed, I could have run from London, England to Paris, France with this distance. Google doesn't say if that's over or under the English Channel, however.

What was your best mileage month?

Hands down it was June. 87.15 miles that month.

What was your longest run?

14.27 miles

How many races did you enter in 2009?

I ran 8 races!

2 5Ks, 1 3.5 miler, 1 8K, and 2 10Ks and 2 half marathons. Check out the 2009 Race Calendar on the right hand side of my main blog page for links to recaps of each.

Do you have a favorite/memorable run from this year?

So many of them were memorable. Not all for good reasons. But I think my favorite and most memorable runs of the year were my races. Every single one of them was unique in some way. Here's why:

The Illinois Marathon Half Marathon. My very first half marathon. Memorable not only because it was my first, but because so many people came out to cheer for me along the way.

Chase Corporate Challenge. A race "sponsored" by work! And with our own private party afterward. The race itself was strange, but by running it I learned about the running group at work.

Skirt Chaser 5K. Unique concept and my best 5K time to date. Memorable because I thought I'd bombed this race only to find out that I hadn't. Also, memorable because new friends came out to cheer for me AND take pictures.

Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon. TOTALLY memorable. I got to meet and run with Holly as well as take a vacation in California wine country with my husband and my parents. Wish every race came with my own private pool to jump into afterward.

Rally for Autism 5K. First race with Kim! Not our best race ever, but I love running with her regardless.

PAWS Run for Their Lives 8K. My first race with a pacer! And a killer PR. Still can't believe people from my running group offered to pace me. Amazing.

Westchester VeteRUN 10K. Crazy warm weather...in November....in Chicago! Totally set a personal record with my time for this race. Until...

The Lincolnwood Turkey Trot 10K. My best 10K time yet! Followed by breakfast with people from the running group from work. A GREAT race and great company.

What was the craziest weather or other type of adverse conditions you endured on a run in 2008?

Granted, I wasn't running, but thousands of other people were on March 29, 2009. That was the date of the Shamrock Shuffle 8K. I didn't register in time to run so I decided instead that I would volunteer. We woke up to a blizzard and freezing cold. I almost wished I was running instead of working at gear check. Maybe then my hands and feet would have been warm.

What were your goals for 2009? Did you achieve them?

My main goal for 2009 was to run a half marathon. I ran two. I'd say I achieved it! My more minor goals were to PR at my other race distances and, yes, I did that as well.

What are your goals for 2010?

Number one main goal? Run a marathon! I *think* I'm going to register for the Chicago Marathon. It really makes the most sense.

Other goals? I'd love to keep getting better and better with my 5K and 10K times and get a PR in the half marathon. I'd love to get my half marathon time under 2 hours but I don't know if this is the year for that or not. Maybe. I also want to have fun at as many races as possible as well as volunteer for a few along the way.

Also, I would like to point out that as of January 2, 2010 this little blog is officially one year old!

When I started this I had no idea if I'd really log all my runs (I have), if I'd have something to say for each one (apparently I have), if anyone would read this thing (you do!) or where it would go.

To say I'm proud of myself for doing all the writing to go along with all the running would be an understatement. I'm so happy I started this blog. If not for this, I never would have found Kim who got me through much of my summer running (and who will hopefully join me again this summer!) as well as became a good friend and I never would have discovered such a huge world of bloggers out there. A big huge thank you to everyone who comments (either here, via email or in person). Thanks for making this past year great. Every time I go for a run I think about what I'm going to share here. Your comments really do keep me going sometimes.

So, keep them coming in 2010! I've got big plans :-)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

December Wrap Up

Image from TSVBI

Yes, I know it's January 6th and I'm just now writing about December. But I was on a cruise! I've only been back 3 days! Hush.

So, December. My only goal for the month was to stay around 50 miles total. How'd I do? If you don't count the mostly walking jaunts I did on the treadmill then I came in at approximately 44.03 miles. If you DO count them then I hit approximately 47.23. Either way, that's close enough to 50 for me. It's December. The weather is horrible. Work and holiday celebrations and vacations ate up a lot of my time. But I ran in a Santa hat and I ran on a cruise ship. Those are pretty memorable, don't you think?

Take that, December! I came close to my mileage goal AND had some fun runs in the process.

Now, January? Not shaping up to be a good month so far. I haven't run once since we switched over to 2010. I'd better make some more race decisions and find me a training plan. A half marathon (somewhere) on May 1st? How's that sound? Actually, I've got a post brewing about my goals and my upcoming races (so far) for 2010. Hopefully I'll get that up this week. After I do my year in review, of course :-)

As always, stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Walk on the Ocean

Click any of the photos to see them larger

I'm back! And I have a whole list of posts to write. Sadly, only one of them details an actual run. I didn't run as much on my cruise as I wanted. A combination of booze, staying up late, partying and catching a cold conspired to put running and working out on the back burner. I only ran the first full day and did the elliptical the second day. I did weights both days. And then I lazed about for the rest of the time. Okay, technically I didn't laze about the ENTIRE time. But I'll get to that in a second.

The cruise ship has a small track that runs around the top part of half the ship. The part that surrounds the giant exhaust/smoke stack. And when I say a small track, I mean it.

I headed up there about 1:30 PM last Monday. Thankfully, even though we were on the Pacific the weather was cool. In addition, the boat was moving which created quite a breeze. In fact, I would say that it was rather windy. At least when running the same direction the boat was moving. Running around and around on the track was certainly not the most exciting thing on the planet. However, believe it or not, I broke some speed records! Seriously, I ran 11.63 miles in 30 minutes! That's an average pace of 2:35 minutes per mile! I'm the fastest person on earth!

Just kidding. I wore my Garmin and instead of it picking up my speed it picked up the speed of the ship. Which was cruising along at just over 20 miles per hour.

I ran for 30 minutes and didn't bother to count the number of laps I did. Perhaps someone out there who is WAY better at math than I am can figure out how far I went. I'm just guesstimating that I went 3 miles. I have to say, even though going around and around in circles isn't the most thrilling way to run, looking out into the open sea makes for some unique scenery!

After running, I hit up the gym on board. It's not huge and they had the temperature way too hot. I avoided the treadmills and did weights after my run. On Tuesday I did 30 minutes on an elliptical and then did some weights. Let me tell you, using a balance ball or an elliptical on a moving cruise ship is a challenge in and of itself!

Photo by Cathieo

Wednesday I didn't hit the gym, but that doesn't mean we didn't get a work out. See, we decided to go zip lining in the jungle outside Puerto Vallarta. Combine hiking up steep dirt paths, climbing rope ladders and hanging onto a cable for dear life and you have our two hour workout. Sadly, due to a lack of funds we don't have our photos yet. Perhaps in 2-3 weeks. So, for now, I leave you with a taste of what it looks like to watch someone zip line:

Thursday we didn't leave the ship. Instead, we slept in and then relaxed on the deck by the pool. This deck, actually:

I kept meaning to get up and run or hit the gym, but the sun (and my book) sucked me in. So instead of running around the track, I stared out of the cityscape of Mazatlan, Mexico.

And Friday. Oh Friday. The aftermath of New Year's Eve. Thursday night I wore a killer dress that showed off my awesome runner's calves and I danced (and drank free champagne) until way too late.

And then somehow dragged myself out of bed to go parasailing at 9AM on Friday.

Then spent the rest of the day on a chaise lounge on the Adults Only deck basking in the sun.

Saturday the boat pitched and rolled as we drove at full speed against the swells to make it back to port by Sunday morning. The cold I caught combined with feeling a little seasick left me prone in our cabin with a book. At least our cabin was comfy and we had our own private balcony.

So while I didn't work out as much as I had originally planned, I think that's okay. I mean, it's vacation!

Now it's a new year and I've got a December Wrap-Up post to write, a year in review post to write, and a year in preview post. Stay tuned!

But first, one last little bit of the holidays. The group photo from our Christmas Eve Santa Hat Run:

I'm in the front next to the guy in the yellow vest.

"My" stats from my cruise ship run

Route:--Elev. Avg:0 ft
Location:Guerrero Negro, Elev. Gain:+0 ft
Date:12/28/09Up/Downhill: [+0/-0]
Time:01:38 PMDifficulty:0 / 5.0

Distance: 11.63 miles
Speed:23.2 mph
Pace:2' 35 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
12' 37+0' 0222.9-0.3-- ft
22' 37+0' 0222.8-0.4-- ft
32' 35+0' 0023.1-0.1-- ft
42' 35+0' 0023.1-0.1-- ft
52' 34-0' 0123.3+0.1-- ft
62' 34-0' 0123.3+0.1-- ft
72' 30-0' 0523.9+0.7-- ft
82' 35+0' 0023.1-0.1-- ft
92' 36+0' 0122.9-0.3-- ft
102' 36+0' 0123.0-0.3-- ft
112' 30-0' 0523.9+0.7-- ft
end2' 33-0' 0223.5+0.3-- ft
Versus average of 2' 35 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com