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Wine n Dine Half Marathon!

Well those of you who have been following along with Facebook or Twitter will know that the Wine n Dine Half Marathon took place last weekend and it was glorious! This race was super exciting for me. Not only did I get to run with a bunch of my old friends, but it was a DISNEY RACE!! Which of course is my favorite type of race. We all know Disney knows how to put on a show, well they certainly also know how to put on a race!! This particular race is the finale to a magnificent event that Walt Disney World puts on in Epcot, called the Food and Wine Festival. Food and Wine is pretty much the greatest festival ever. They have booths set up all over the World Showcase from different countries and you can taste different food and beverages from each booth as you wander around the park. They also have live entertainment almost every night, this year some of the highlights included Wilson Phillips, whom I did not get to see, and Hanson, whom I did indeed see!! This magnificent event goes on for just over a month and culminates in the Wine n Dine half marathon!!! The race begins at the Wide World of Sports and goes through both Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios before ending in Epcot with a giant party and much exultation! I have been looking forward to this race for months and I’ve been training hard. I did, however, have a few trepidations.

1. Running outside!! I’ve been training strictly on a treadmill for the last 7 months. How am I going to react to running on real life land, have I been training g hard enough? I try to vary my treadmill incline and speed enough to mimic land, but maybe I didn’t train correctly or enough.

2. Temperature!! I spent the last 3 months in the Baltic, training in the cold, how will my body react to the high temperature and humidity of Florida?! Especially with all the signs proclaiming ‘EXTREME HEAT WARNING!! STAY HYDRATED, THIS MAY NOT BE THE WEEKEND TO RUN YOUR BEST TIME’

3. Time!! This was a night run. Start was 10pm. Sure I do training runs that late, but my entire race history, be it marathons or triathlons, is all morning. I know how to prepare for morning races, I know how my body reacts, nights races are a whole other ball game, I’m not sure how best to prep.

So I went into the race, not expecting much, but expecting to do the best I could do. As expected, the first 3 miles were the worst. I always fight through those. Between mile 2-3, a ruthless cramp almost crippled me, but I ran through it. I love running outdoors. After the amount of discipline I’ve developed to run on a treadmill for endless miles, it was like a vacation to run outside, so many things to look at, so many people to race!! Turns out I didn’t do so badly in the training department. Once that pesky cramp worked itself out, I ran like there was no tomorrow. I felt amazing and turns out, I ran my best time ever! 2:05!! And I had a blast!!! Great success!!! And at the finish line, not only did I get a massive giant medal, but also a glass of wine!! Best. Race. Ever!!!!

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30 Day Challenge

I will be the first to admit it, I really let myself go during vacation. I wasn’t racing so I ate, drank, lay around, cruised for a few weeks and drank some more. It wasn’t a catastrophe, but I ended my vacation with that uncomfortable feeling when your clothes have gotten a little tight and you avoid being in photos. When I got back on board for this contract, I got back into the gym, but wasn’t really feeling committed, more lackluster and missing my outdoor triathlon training. Then along came the most wonderful trainer and a group of colleagues from different departments. Together we have all begun a 30 day fitness challenge. We have all made different goals that we would like to achieve, but it all centers around the basic principles: Eat Clean, Train Dirty and work hard together. We train together, bootcamps, cycle classes, whenever possible, and are always there for each other when we have tough days. It’s a truly amazing group of people. We have representatives from many different departments and each person brings something fabulous and individual to the group. Everyone is at a different fitness level and has very different goals but we are all there for eachother and always so supportive!  I’m really excited about it. I feel amazing and strong and my passion has been renewed. I’m back into tri training full force as best I can with diverse treadmill workouts and challenging spin classes. Of course, I’m not getting any swimming in, but when we get back to the Caribbean I sure will! If anyone out there has any off-season treadmill workouts to share, I’d be thrilled to add them to my list!!

EAT CLEAN TRAIN DIRTY!!!

To Swim or Not to Swim

Well, being a gym rat is going quite well actually, I’m getting into a comfortable groove of running/biking/weight training in the guest gym. My schedule is actually ideal for training. I work split shifts so I always have time every day to go to the gym. We don’t ever work all day straight, there’s always a break! I really feel like I’m getting so much gym and self improvement time, it’s amazing. The only thing missing is swimming. Of course, swimming is the component that I have to work hardest on to keep up. My current solution has been to swim back and forth along the beach when we are in ports with a close beach. Which is at least 2 days a week. Sometimes I can’t get off the ship, but I’ve been making do! One thing that I can’t get enough of right now is the eucalyptus steam room and dry sauna on the ship. The wall opposite to the door is actually a massive floor to ceiling window that looks out onto the ocean. There is nothing better after a workout than sitting in the steam room and staring out at the ocean. It’s heavenly!! I’ve also discovered napping!! It’s amazing!! How did I live without naps before???? Does anyone out there have any advice for me in the triathlon department?? How can I maximize my gym workouts to keep me in shape while living on a cruise ship all winter (pool swimming is out of the question, crew aren’t allowed in the guest pools, originally I thought maybe I could do some pool running)??

Isla Roatan, Honduras. My floating home on the left!! Wanna race to the ship??

Goofing off with a co-worker in Roatan!

 

The Cruise Life

I feel like I need to take a moment to just address how much fun I’m having!! I love working on a cruise ship so far, and sometimes we even get off the ship and enjoy ourselves……like this:

Reunited with one of my best friends!! Best place for a reunion is the Bahamas, hands down!!

Least co-ordinated jumping of all time

My beverage came in a monkey head!

Where did you train today??

So now that I live on a cruise ship, I’ve been focusing my training on rehabilitating my ankles after how badly I destroyed them this summer. I started by walking on an incline (12) for 25 minutes then running for 5 minutes, like my physio told me, and have slowly been working up a minute a day. If the cankle complains, I run the same amount of time the next day. Then when it’s happy again, I increase by a minute. I just got clearance to train in the guest gym, which also means I can run on the Sun Deck track!! Check it out!!! Where did everyone else train this morning??

Oh, and yes, on the right that IS INDEED a mini golf course!!! Check it out also!!

 

AMAZING!!

 

E

Unexpected Adventures

As you know, I just went on a lovely vacation to Florida! Well to get there I didn’t take the most direct route. I took the Victoria Clipper to Seattle and then the light link train to the airport and flew to Orlando. It was a most superb adventure! Some people may have flown directly from Victoria, but not I. My reasons are twofold: one; it’s cheaper to fly from Seattle, two; getting places as quickly as possible doesn’t leave much time for adventuring, and I do love to adventure. I also really truly enjoy the feeling of being nowhere and everywhere at the same time. When I’m traveling, I feel suspended in time, neither here nor there, but in transit. I love that feeling. It’s very freeing! I had a few hours to kill before my flight so I wandered around downtown Seattle for a while and then off to the airport I went. I found a nice little restaurant near my gate and settled down to eat and listen to my music. And that’s when an adventure occurred. Two fellows eating a few feet away from me bought me a drink and because my parents raised me to be polite, I introduced myself and thanked them. We got to chatting and I found them to be very interesting individuals. One of them was a military man, headed back to Anchorage, Alaska, the other was a convicted felon (one of his convictions was for attempted murder, I’m still unsure if asking a felon about his felonies is really the best plan, but sometimes I don’t think before I talk) headed home to his family in Florida (we ended up being on the same plane), having just been visiting his mother. Now I don’t have much experience with criminals, but this one was very jovial. I’ve met people with far more traditional wealth who somehow have so many things to complain about. This man, who was incarcerated for a total of 12 years, had not a thing to complain about, and just wanted friends to share in his happiness. He had a lovely pearl of wisdom for me, “They say that you love where you live and live where you love, but when you’re a traveler, you love everything!” I very much enjoyed that. So, at the end of the day, the moral of this story is that life is what you make of it. My VERY random chats in an airport restaurant gave me some perspective that day, there is always something to be learned from everyone’s story. I’ve always had a fascination with the lives of others and this particular event was a very interesting insight into a life, which inspired plenty of reflection into my own.

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My new friends. Incidentally, the gentleman on the left didn’t fly very well and it was most fortunate for him that he made friends with me, he almost got removed from our flight, as he became agitated upon boarding, but somehow I managed to keep him calm with ipad games and rambling stories. Thank goodness for Angry Birds!

Norwegian Sky

So I set sail with 3 South African friends from work for fun and adventure aboard the lovely Norwegian Sky cruise ship!! I’ve never been on a cruise ship so I was pretty excited! I’ve also never been to the Bahamas so it’s a double win! The ship is amazing!! There’s so much to do!! Ping pong, a driving range, bingo games, a spa, a gym, comedy shows, shops, a nightclub, and a billion places to eat. My favorite thing has to be the fresh fruit!! It’s everywhere all the time! I haven’t eaten so much fruit since I left Canada!! I sure do miss fruit!! I’ve taken a pledge to myself to take the stairs everytime. No elevator, no matter what!! I feel like it helps counteract the amount of food I’ve consumed!! The on board gym is amazing. Cardio equipment with tv’s on them and full length windows that look onto the ocean! I keep getting distracted by the movies on the tv’s and staying on the cardio machines for hours! Yesterday we dropped anchor at Great Stirrup Cay, which is Norwegian Cruise Lines private island. It’s lovely. We got there nice and early and lounged by the beach, and did a bunch of swimming! Today we went to Nassau, which reminds me a lot of Martinique! I loved it. Tonight is our last night then back to Miami and the drive home!!Treadmill on the ocean!!BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

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