WanderingDan’s Weblog

Marathon Training on a Boat
February 23, 2013, 3:46 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The alarm goes off at 4:30. Normally, if such an hour of awakening signified time to prepare for work, I would grunt and moan and half fall out of bed cursing the day…but today, I get to go run. Everything is prepared for and laid out from the night before: clothes, shoes with orthopedic inserts, pre-workout supplement, iphone arm carrier, and the ever-important bandana. It’s one of those peaceful times on the ship, when very few people are wandering the corridors, mostly prep-cooks and an occasional deck officer. Another bonus, you can always find an empty washing machine, which I take advantage of. This morning, both are open in the laundrette, the third one still being out of service. The ship isn’t rocking as bad as it was the other day, but still a little. The wind is a bit calmer too. Sometimes the wind is so strong it feels like I’m running in place…then when going the other direction like someone is picking me up and throwing me down deck. The breeze this morning is refreshing, cooler than it was back in Samoa, evidence we are indeed climbing/descending in latitude…not sure which description is more appropriate in the southern hemisphere. A few weeks ago I set up a running schedule to prepare for an unknown marathon…today is my distance run. Since I’m mostly training by running the .3 mile loop on deck 3’s promenade, I track running by time rather than distance…the inevitability of losing track of laps encouraged this decision. So every week I increase my distance time by 10 minutes, which, given my distance pace is about a mile. Today I run 7 miles. My iPhone nowadays acts primarily as either a wifi device or an ipod…or a timer. This morning it’s the latter two. On my first lap around I am a bit startled to glance right and see a New Zealand coast guard boat pacing me, or at least it looks like he is…apparently we’re getting close to Tauranga. Laps come and go. Occasionally as I pass the security camera I flash a peace sign…or a gang sign…I guess it depends what song is currently playing. I refrain from flipping it off though, mostly because I’m not really supposed to be jogging before 8am anyway, and since no one has yet said anything, I don’t want to give the bridge any reason to boot me out of here. It’s a stupid rule, perhaps that’s why they don’t enforce it. Or maybe after the huge tissy-fit I caused with security during the immigration fiasco in L.A. earlier this month, they figured it best to let me run off my steam, regardless of the hour. But that’s all speculation, really, who knows. More laps come and go. The deck hands are out now, wiping down railings and mopping up pooled water which accumulated during the night. I’m thankful, since now I don’t have to run through them. They try to avoid getting in my way, and I try to avoid getting in theirs. It works out pretty well. The older couple who usually comes out to walk laps doesn’t this morning…maybe they are saving their walking for port today. More laps come and go. Tauranga lights are visible now…as is the looming shadow of a small mountain. Passengers I’ve never seen emerge to walk laps now, presumably for the sail-in. Same thing happened when we pulled in to Honolulu the other week, only then it was also sunrise, and absolutely magnificent. I’m starting to feel the usual fatigue in my right hip coming on, and switch modes on the phone to check the timer. Thirteen minutes to go. Making a concerted effort to keep my form from getting too sloppy, eventually my mind wanders off…again…until eventually Deadmau5 is interrupted by the quack-quack-quack of the duck timer going off. It’s time to stop, but I could keep going…this is a good sign. By now day is breaking and I see at least three Kiwi boats and tugs guiding us in to the harbor…it makes a nice scenic backdrop to my cool down stretches. I can see why they chose New Zealand to film Lord of the Rings…this place is absolutely beautiful. Peeling myself away from the scenery, I make my way back down below via the crew stairwell, greeted by the never-changing glow of fluorescent lights on Burma Road (the main corridor). Still few people about, though I have to push through a small crowd of house-keeping staff headed to breakfast. Another run down, another day on the Queen Elizabeth about to begin…yippie-kye-yea…


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