Star Wars Half Marathon Training (Week 9)

The last few weeks have been hectic. A personal trip was immediately followed by a business trip, which means that I had footing on home ground for less than 24 hours last weekend. Not much time to post much of everything. I was going to combine the two weeks, but I think I’ll split them up.

on a canoe outside of Ketchikan
on a canoe outside of Ketchikan

During Week 9, I joined my family for an Alaskan cruise to celebrate my grandfather’s 80th birthday. It was an incredibly active week that culminated in me jogging and walking all over Victoria, British Columbia. It’s actually surprising how much you end up walking around when you’re on a cruise. During my laziest day, I hit about 7000 steps, but was otherwise over 10,000 steps every day. I even almost hit 30,000 steps a few days. I’m sure it doesn’t do much to offset the insane amount of food available for the eating on cruise ships, but it’s something.

Running

I was surprised by my ability to want to keep up with the running on the trip, but it wasn’t quite as easy as I expected. The ship did not have a dedicated jogging track, something I’ve experienced on other ships. They had something, but it almost felt like more of an obstacle course in the way that you had to dodge other passengers and climb up and down several flights of stairs during each lap. I braved the ship’s fitness center the second day. I made the mistake of trying to go there late morning and it was insanely crowded. I stood in line for about 15 minutes for a treadmill. That part was fine, but I gave up about 2.5 miles into the run when I was annoyed with the group of people who, for whatever reason, were standing directly behind my treadmill instead of the line waiting for me to get off.

jogging along the coast
jogging along the coast

As I said, however, the long run of the week was in Victoria, British Columbia. I mapped out a route for that day that allowed me to both do my long running and visit some points of interest in Victoria. This met with some contention in my travel group, as it involved running alone in a city I was unfamiliar with and without any phone access. The compromise ended up involving me running with my friend Andrew for the first 6 or so miles and then walking around the downtown area for around 3 miles with the rest of the group. Still got my nine miles in, but it was broken up a little more. I’ll write about this more and post more pictures in a separate entry.

Other Exercise

As I mentioned previously, this was a week full of a some new physical activity. We went canoeing in Ketchikan, took a short (2(ish) mile) hike to look at Nugget Falls around Mendenhal Glacier in Juneau, and went on a hike to see Lower Dewey Lake in Skagway.

hiking in alaska

The hike in Skagway was probably the hardest. It was a bit of an impromptu adventure. We had considered exploring some of the local hiking trails before we got off the ship, but were not sure which trail to take. We saw a sign outside of downtown that said there were some trails and just went with them. The trail that took us up to Lower Dewey Lake was a lot steeper than any of us had expected. My little brother was the only one who was completely okay with it. The rest of us trudged along out of competition. The payoff was pretty. The lake just kind of appears as you’re climbing and served as a nice oasis after all the climbing. The trail went up further, too, but we called it a day at that point and turned around. We didn’t have ~too~ much time left and wanted to also make time to check out the local beer at Skagway Brewing Company. The climb down was pretty steep and was a lot more nerve wrecking than the ascent.

nugget falls
nugget falls

Seeing Nugget Falls was significantly less intensive. There was a trail about a mile out from the Mendenhal Glacier Visitor Center that takes you out there and closer to the glacier. It was all flat land. Our only big challenge for this one was the rain.

Lessons Learned

So, maybe I was using it wrong, but I learned this trip that apparently the Nike watch doesn’t work abroad. Was having problems getting it to link with GPS when I went for my run in Victoria. I may have to look into this further to see whether there is some way to get it to work abroad or if I was just being impatient with my watch.

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