Friday, August 1, 2014

Cruise Ship Running

My husband and I set sail today for an Alaskan cruise to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary.  Thanks to the generosity of my sisters and parents, we are traveling sans kids for the first time ever, a thought both terrifying and exciting at the same time.  I could spend an entire blog post sorting through the various emotions accompanying this trip, but I'll spare you the drama.  Instead, let's focus on the challenges and excitement of running while cruising.

As any good Type A person would do, I've spent embarrassingly large swaths of time contemplating running options for our trip.  [Lest you think I'm single-minded, I've also spent countless hours poring over the details of my kids' schedules while we're away and planning our onshore excursions (snorkeling in Alaska, anyone?).  So I'm obsessing equally over the kids, our activities, and running ;) ]  The ship is equipped with a "jogging" track (goodness, I hate that word), which according to my research is about .2 mile around.  A mere 15 laps should get me a good 3 miles.  Sounds tolerable.  However, I have a 5-mile run scheduled this weekend, and 25 laps sounds torturous.  Perhaps I'll be soothed by the beauty of my surroundings and therefore distracted from the round and round monotony of passing the same deck chair 25 times.

A view like this could make the endless laps feel less miserable.

Since 15 laps sounds manageable and 25 sounds like the seventh circle of hell, I hope to squeeze in my long run today before we leave town.  Then I can do my next long run when we return next weekend, and I'll just enjoy some simple 3-milers while aboard the ship.  The boat also has an exercise room equipped with treadmills, so I can seek out the hamster wheel should the laps prove unpleasant.  From the pictures I've seen, I believe the treadmills face a wall of windows, providing runners with panoramic views of the ocean.  Sure beats the view from my basement treadmill...

I am most excited about the long days we'll be experiencing while traveling so far north.  Sunrise should begin around 4:45am with sunset around 9:30pm.  Given that I'm coming from the central time zone, that 4:45 sunrise will feel like 6:45 to me, which counts as major sleeping in for this mother runner.  Score!  I hope to enjoy sunrise or early dawn runs at least three times while aboard the ship.

Have you ever run on a cruise ship before?  I'm guessing that the large ship will negate most wobbling, but I'm curious to see if it will feel unsteady while running.  I'll check it out and report back next week!