With a family trip coming up, a cruise to the southern Caribbean, I was looking into ways to stay fit while afloat.  After searching other blogs, and listening to Chris, Tony and Steve on last Sunday’s run, here’s some ideas:  Don’t expect to go long.  Get a run in on the boat early in the morning, say 5ish, to avoid the strollers and the kids.  Use the time to do tempo runs.  Use the treadmill (I have never liked running on a treadmill).  Expect it to be hot and humid.  Bring two pairs of shoes, so one can dry each day.

Tom suggested running whatever deck is the greatest perimeter of the boat, and treating the obstacles as part of the challenge.  I’d do that, but I might get keelhauled, for not following etiquette. I found out there are ten laps per mile for the running track on the boat.  That’s a pretty short track!  Finally, and probably one of the most important suggestions, watch out for all the food that is so available.  It takes severe discipline to stick to low calorie and low volume eating when there is so much offered.  Here’s someone’s take on running while on a cruise:


this Sunday was…

this Sunday was a “welcome to summer” run complete with heat and humidity…and sweat. Good run though I’ve become very much aware of water fountain placement. I think if I were to go back to college I’d like to major in water fountain placement. Funny the best water fountain out there is by the dog run. Anyway a sparse running crowd out there today and the few runners seemed to be friendlier than usual I suggested the heat made people friendly though I was roundly comdenmed for such a silly statement. There was talk of Mussolini; castration; cruises; priests in Ireland in the 1800’s; and with 2 doctor’s on board if someone had a heart attack which one would take the lead on mouth to mouth. All in all a typical menu of topics for a run. Also where the hell was Bryan? We know Michelle was sleeping in after her 1/2 marathon yesterday. Lastly, in honor of Frank and his Dad’s love of Rheingold beer…”My beer is Rheingold the dry beer. Please try Rheingold whenever you buy beer. It’s not bitter, not sweet. It’s the extra dry treat. Won’t you try extra dry Rheingold beer.”

Running with a friend.

Putting in the training miles one knows there will be long stretches of running by oneself. It can be a good time to collect thoughts, work through problems, or just focus on style, pace, and form. But this is about running with a friend. There’s a lot in favor of running with someone. Here’s a few reasons: no matter the weather, your friend will show up so you should, too; you can run at a “conversational” pace which keeps the pace a bit slower than you might have run, which is good for longer runs; the run seems to go by quicker, since you are chatting as you go; your friend can watch you and give you tips on your form; you can congratulate each other at the end of the run, giving fist bumps or whatever. I know there are plenty of other reasons, but these are just a few.

A weekend in the country.

My wife and I visited a friend this weekend in the upper part of Westchester County, NY. It turned out to be a picture-perfect weekend, with cool nights, sunny, warm days, and not a hint of rain. Yet, it was still necessary to get in the training. Saturday I got in a bike ride with my friend. It wasn’t a very long ride, 21 miles, but it was all up and down some pretty steep hills. Sunday, I went for a nice long run of 13.1 miles (yes, being a slave to the Garmin I wanted it to be a half marathon). The run was mostly along a rails-to-trails route which was once the “Old Put” rail line, which ran from the upper reaches of Westchester County to the Bronx. Along the way I saw the usual fauna, a few rabbits and squirrels, and a deer, but also a chipmunk, a fox, a large tortoise, and a beaver dam which was causing some minor flooding of the running path. During this weekend trip, we also visited Sunnyside, the home of Wasington Irving situated on the banks of the Hudson below Tarrytown. It was a great way to spend a relaxing weekend.

Should you run when sick?

It is a question that comes up often in our running club. Should you run when injured? Should you run when sick? I think there is no definite answer, and it depends on how injured, or how sick. After a really nice long run last Sunday, I got hit later in the afternoon with a scratchy throat. This developed by Monday to a full blown viral attack, of the real virus kind. My voice plummeted two octaves to the croak range, and I felt weak and easily fatigued. By today, though, it seemed the worst had passed, although I still felt a bit shaky. So, I headed out this evening for our usual Wednesday night group run, not sure how I would feel. As it turned out, not so bad. Keeping the pace easy made it possible to actually have a decent run. Running when injured also can be mysterious. Some injuries seem to do better with a controlled run, while some just get worse. Some injuries seem like they will never get better, and mean the end of running, but then magically improve. The ones runners fear most are the cartilage and tendon tears, which can be a game ender. Stay loose, don’t overtrain or push too hard, and have a good run.
Today’s run, 7 miles at an average pace of 8:45.

Training Starts Now

May 13, 2012
My calves do this odd thing when I get done with a long run.  The muscle bundles fire off  randomly,  making an entertaining display of twitches.  Several hours later, the twitches are nearly gone,  and my legs are almost back to normal.  This is how it starts.  Another marathon training season underway.
I’m fifty-eight years old, and a member of the South Jersey Athletic Club, a running club based in Haddonfield, but with members from all over South Jersey and Philadelphia.  I have run five marathons, four in Philadelphia, one Boston.  My Boston experience, in 2011, was pretty miserable.  I was doing okay until about mile fourteen, when I developed severe cramps of my quads and hamstrings, and wound up walking, stretching, and hobbling a good part of the second half of the race.  I managed to cross the finish line a little under five hours after starting, and thinking how crazy it is to want to submit myself willingly to the pain and torture.  But, as a ski guide once told me in Austria, at the top of a long, treacherous climb, “Tomorrow you’ll forget all about the pain and only remember the good stuff”.
Three of my friends in the club, Tony, Brian and Steve, and I are training together to run  the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, Pennsylvania, October 7, 2012.  Our goal is to qualify for Boston.  For me, this means running better than 3 hrs. 40 min., and then carrying it through to a successful run in Boston in 2014.   I am writing this journal in order to share our experience, but also to keep me on track with the training.  The other guys will be offering their observations and experiences, too, so there will be different points of view along the way.
Oh, today, we ran 13 miles at an average pace of 8:50. Twenty-one weeks until the race.

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