Wednesday, December 30, 2009

For The Love of Cricket!

Last night my boy, Josh, asked me if I'd like to go on another training run with him but this time to Mt Eden. I have to admire him because he is in between the cricket season with no games until he heads back to school. He is motivated to be as fit as he can which should ultimately improve his game. That's how much he loves cricket. All of his friends are enjoying the break, probably at the beach, surfing somewhere and he wants to go for a training run. I was a little reluctant after the last run he took me on for cricket training as it requires a different level of fitness to what I'm used to yet I found myself agreeing to go with him. MAD!

Off we set this morning to Mt Eden. We parked the car at Clive Road at the bottom of the mountain and started to warm up. Something I've never been very good at as I just take off for a run and build up in my speed slowly. I consider that my warm up. Josh's warm up was to sprint up a hill approx 50m and then walk back down. 7 times! By the 7th time I was left wondering if I had any puff left for the rest of the run.

We then ran up the mountain to the summit, familiar territory for me and so although my legs were a tad wobbly, I knew I could handle it. Josh led me back down and towards the steps that lead down to Glenfell Rd. If anyone knows Mt Eden then you'll know the steps I'm talking about. The goal was to run up them as fast as we could 6 times. Well, I managed 5 before my legs wanted to wobble off and leave my body and I was breathing SO hard that I felt sick. Josh managed 6 times and still had plenty of puff. I can tell he has done this before! Good on him.

Then we ran back to a path which had a steady incline about 30m long and we had to run up it as fast as we could before walking back down. My knees were shaking and by the 4th time, once my breathing regulated, I finally started to feel like it wasn't too bad, I was ready to run. We ran back to the car and headed home, however, my legs were like jelly and stopping at red traffic lights was a problem.

Ordinarily Josh would have done a run around Auckland Grammer first before the warm up and run etc followed by the gym for a bit of kick boxing. Once done he'd have to make his own way back to New Lynn from there and so hats off to him. That's what he wants to do for the love of cricket!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Race Is On

Christmas morning was heaven. Our boys are teenagers now and so no excited children to wake us up early Christmas morning for Santa presents and our Christmas gift to each other was to switch off the alarm clock and allow ourselves to wake up naturally. Heaven! 8 o'clock came and went and the boys slept on.

At some point Shayne and I got up and had nice cup of coffee. Slowly but shorly the boys joined us and we had breakfast, bacon and mushroom sandwiches - YUM!

Luke was Santa and gave out our gifts from under the tree. We were suitable spoilt.

We knew that the day was going to be one festive feast after another and so Shayne suggested a quick family run but to add some fun, it was to be a race (We are a competitive family after all). The first one home won a prize. The 4 of us left home together, much to the horror of the neighbours, and we ran up to the end of Golf Road and back (6kms). I was hard on the tail of Josh and Luke and Shayne took up the rear. He does not enjoy the hills.

I struggled to keep up with Josh who has the longest legs but I knew that I'd be able to out run our Luke as he is still working on building his stamina. It was on the way back that I dashed past Josh up the hill and managed to hold the lead all the way home. Josh came in a few minutes after me followed by Luke and finally, Shayne.

The competition has really begun now as both boys want to beat me in the Golf Rd run. It is our easy run and we have done it many times, as it is close to home and offers a fair amount of hills for minimum distance.

The rest of our splendid Christmas day was spent at Shayne's mum's house for a late Christmas lunch of smoked fish, herbed snapper and salads followed by the yummiest puddings. Christmas evening was shared with our wonderful neighbours over a few drinks and nibbles before heading home for a movie and an early night.

Boxing Day has been the laziest day of my whole life. Once again no alarm clock to wake us up, although after a good nights sleep, I was quite happy to be awake at 7am. I sat up on my own for a while doing crosswords and then the family joined me. We were all happy chilling at home and I think we watched 3 or 4 movies before we decided to get moving. Unheard of in our normally very busy household.

We decided to have another Golf Rd race so that we were not completely lazy and I wanted to run up the hill faster this time. I took the lead early on and as I approached the end of Golf Rd I could hear footsteps coming up behind me. To my surprise, Luke had a burst of energy and ran right past me! I was impressed because he has not been so active since the rugby season ended and he maintained a good steady pace to the end. I tried to encourage him to keep going, just slow the pace down but he pushed it too hard too soon and hasn't quite got the stamina to run that fast for that long just yet. It will come though if he keeps it up. Needless to say I took first place again but I am looking forward to the day that my boys out run me. I feel pretty confident that it will be soon.

Now we are home for the evening. It has been a quiet Christmas and perhaps one of my favourites. I love my family and I love being with them. I value this time with them and I'm grateful that they still enjoy being with me. I feel so LUCKY to have them and so thankful for having time to just be. Life is good.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Easier Than We Thought

Sadly, no Sunday run this week. Still not feeling fighting fit with an ear infection which has been giving me a bit of grief - ear ache, dizziness and nausea feeling, which at times has been horrendous.

I took it easy instead in the hope that it would fix my ear and let the antibiotic do its job.

There was no way that I could miss Monday's walk with Mrs G and so I prepared myself for a good hike with plenty of water. Since it was my turn to choose a location I wanted to include hills to get that heart rate up. We drove up to Oratia and parked the car in between Shaw Road and Carter Road and do the loop: Up Carter and back down along Shaw until the end at Westcoast Road, back to the car. From memory, Carter Road is quite hilly but I have never run along Shaw Road and so had no idea what we were in for. It was just over 7kms all up and was no where near as tough as I thought. We decided to run along Shaw Rd as the walk hardly lifted the heart rate and to be honest, it seemed quite a non event. NEED to go out again for something a tad tougher. Better that we went but would prefer to run it than walk it next time.

Today, Wednesday and the eve of Christmas eve, my ear is finally starting to feel better. Still a tad painful at times but at least I don't have to take pain killers anymore. The antibiotic is finally working!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Since my last post I have done 3 more walk/runs. I haven't had a great deal of time to update my Blog as it has been way too busy, as it generally is at this time of year.

Walked with Sharon on Saturday morning and did the Pipe Line but we were about 15 mins slower than our last week's effort. I have not slept too well lately and have had a cold or something, sore ears, throat etc. Still have energy to get out and about but feeling it...Anyway, despite the fact that we were a bit slower, I am pleased that we made the effort because it is at busy times like these that the true test to my focus sets in. I had to resist having one more glass of wine and be prepared for the early start, even though Christmas parties are in full swing. Believe me, it isn't easy!

On Monday, it was Mrs G's turn to find a location for our walk and we went on an adventure. Parked at the halfway point of the Pipe Line and walked to the track that we had done last week only this time we followed a different track that got us lost. Anyone that knows the area is probably thinking "How on earth can anyone get lost up there?" Well, anyone that knows me will know that I have NO sense of direction and so it is far too easy for me to get lost. We ended up on the wrong side of the lake and so had a choice of either heading back the slippery, wet way that we came from or cross the lake...We crossed the lake...which was DEEPER than we thought! Soaked up to my waist! Shoe fell in water! Eels! But a whole lot of fun. We laughed a lot! With all that walking and running we only covered 7.4kms.

Today I did a 10kms walk with Sharon. It was hot and I was very thirsty. Could have stayed home instead because I still have an ear ache. Off to the doctor tomorrow to get it sorted once and for all. Glad I did some exercise though as I prefer not to go too long without some form of a work out.

The plan of action for my next walk, we have a 2 hour walk ahead on Sunday with a whole bunch of friends, which I'm looking forward to, and then out for breakfast after that. This should mark the end of my training for 2009 but knowing me, I'll probably throw in a few 6km runs.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cathay Pacific Half Marathon + 11Kms Run/Walk

The Cathay Pacific half marathon event is coming up on 28 February 2010. It is one that I have done a few times before and back in the day when it was known as the Hyatt, it was my introduction into running events in New Zealand. I entered the 11k and have worked up from there since. I may even have a photo somewhere...

I haven't entered yet but plan to after Christmas. If you are keen, it is a run or walk and if you're not yet ready for the half marathon, then the 11k is also available.

Let me know if you hear of any other Auckland events.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Motivated Enthusiastic Chap With a Goal

Today was extra special.

I mentioned before how time is precious and so I have learned to grab moments with my friends and family when ever I can, even if it means dragging them out on a run with me. Both Sharon and my other team mate have busy weeks and so today, when I'd normally be with them run/walking, I was left to organise my training.

I'm not as motivated when it is just me but I know that I MUST do something as my next event is just over a month away. There I was pondering, or should I say procrastinating about getting out there, when I received a really cool text from my son, Josh, asking if I wanted to run to Crum Park and do some hill training with him. My prayers were answered!

It is a VERY BUSY time of year and so I had a lot to cram in but I know how important Josh's training is to him and I needed to get out and do my thing, so we went for a run together. Grabbed that precious moment. I was happy that he had the motivation to carry me on this occasion.

I have to say, I am VERY proud of my boy. He is passionate about playing cricket and this is what drives him in his fitness. Crum Park has a couple of notorious hills that many an athlete has used to build fitness and stamina. I have trained there for previous marathons and my boys have timed me running up the hills and so not unfamiliar territory for us. The hills are a good work out and excellent for any training program.

We ran to the park and around the field that is currently being reconditioned ready for Small Fries Soccer next season (hopefully). We found the hill with the steps which I ran up. Josh's training requires grass training and so he ran up the hill which looked easier than the steps. My next option was to run up the hill with Josh. Equally as tough! We did it though. Josh set his goal with,
"I want to run up as much as I can and when I can't do any more, I want to run 1 more."

This is my kind of goal. He left me for dust and kept going. I wanted to give him a run for his money but her gave me a run for mine. Finally, when he told me he'd had enough and had done his last, I encouraged him to do just one more and he did. See now why I feel so proud of my boy. He staggered up the hill, at pace, and came back down to run home together. No complaints from my 15 year old, motivated, enthusiastic chap with a goal. Just how I raised him!

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Turn

It was my turn to pick our Monday training walk with Mrs G. We drove up to the far end of the pipe line and parked the car. I decided we needed a few more hills to get that heart rate up and so we followed the path down the hill to the track that goes out to a lake near the the Lower Nihotupu dam.

We followed the track to the end and back and then ran up the hill back to the pipe line. We felt that although the hills were good we still needed a tad more and so we walked the pipe line to the start and back to the car. Next time I'll suggest we run it.

Today we covered 9.2kms and we both felt good. Mrs G's turn next week to find a location...I wonder where she'll take us...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

No Mountains, No Shayne and No Rain

There was so much rain yesterday that serious rethinking about this weekend's training was in order. The expectation was that the rain would hang around until at least Saturday and so Sharon worked on plan B. In the mean time the mountain walk was put off once again as not only would it have been unpleasant in the rain but one of my team mates couldn't make it and she is our navigator. I'd be lost without her!

Although Shayne's excuse for not joining us was the weather I happen to know that he preferred to catch up on sleep as on Thursday, he went out for lunch and didn't come home until 4:00am the next morning. I guess that is one effect of the festive season.

I was up and ready by 7:30 and Sharon was well prepared a good hour or so before me with plan B. Here we are just before we left:

We walked for approx 25kms from home to Mt Albert, Dominion Rd, Mt Roskill and then back home through Blockhouse Bay which looked as though it was getting ready for the Santa Parade. Lots of people and balloons everywhere and excellent that the sun came out. Unbelievable that there was not a rain drop in sight. I looked for some of my kindergarten children and their families but no luck.

We had walked for a good 3hrs and so I plan on an easier day today. May put up the Christmas tree and get things ready for our next lot of visitors. Happy, happy, happy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

And Then There Were Four

Mid week training in the rain, it didn't stop us and I'm delighted I went. Sharon and I left home at 5:00pm and we were home by 7:00pm. We did the walk that we did last Wednesday and knocked 10 minutes off our time which was a big surprise given the weather conditions.

We walked at pace up through Titirangi Village, Scenic Drive, Pipe Line, down the hill at the end onto Woodlands Park Road and back to the Village, Titirangi Road and all the way home with a wee bit of running along the way.

The good news is that Sharon is happy to be our 4th team mate which is reassuring news. I can now look forward to next years challenge knowing that I have a great team behind me. With this weight off my mind I am now committed and focused on the tasks in hand which has boosted my motivation and I'd quite like to go for a nice, fast run to celebrate!

2010 has the makings of being a GREAT year with so much to look forward to already. I believe it could be as epic as this year. I hope you are all still following my Blog by then.

Next plan of action, well, we are heading out to run/walk the mountains on Saturday morning, quite possibly joined by Shayne, but I'm hoping to throw in a 6k run, Golf Road, before then, either tomorrow or Friday.

Happy days - I am really enjoying this time.

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Change of Scene

Today, Mrs G and I covered 8kms and rather than our usual run around the streets between our houses, we decided to head up to Titirangi Village, park the car and walk to warm up towards the Pipe Line (Expedition Drive).

It is 6kms to the end of the Pipe Line and back and has some beautiful scenery. We met a lot of fellow runners and walkers which is great to see and there was a dad running along with his daughter beside him riding her bike. This brought me back to when my boys were younger and Shayne and I would run while they'd take off on their bikes. Happy memories...

Today's run was gentle and, once again, was a good catch up with my very good friend, Mrs G. It was her idea to have a change of scene this week and so it is my turn to pick the location next week. I know just the place and it will be tough but hey ho, no pain, no gain.

Let me know if there are any questions but in the mean time, until next time, happy running!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Run and a Walk with a Wee Bit of History

This weekend's training started on Saturday, a 6k run with Shayne. We ran from home to the end of Golf Rd and back.

Generally we leave the house together but that's the extent of our time together until he gets home some time after me. The reason I mention this is to give you an idea of how far I have come. Back in the day when we lived in the UK, if we went for a run together, Shayne would run beside me...but backwards! I didn't have the stamina to keep up and it was his affectionate way of making fun of me. As funny as it was at the time, my competitive and sometimes adventurous spirit, couldn't leave it at that and over time I have tried to keep up with him in so many different ways. Needless to say, there have been incredibly challenging times but I have learned a great deal about me along the way.

I enjoy working towards a goal and the sense of accomplishment that comes with achieving that goal and I don't give up. If I am not satisfied with the result then I'll keep trying until I reach it. 4 back to back half marathons is testimony to that with the 4th being the one that I beat the time I wanted.

I am now working towards another goal and so my training has to continue. 6ks of running yesterday was an average time for me and my breathing was good. I had planned on my usual 16km run on Sunday and was prepared for a training session on my own until Sharon text me to ask if I wanted to do a 23km walk instead. As you know, I prefer to train with others and so took her up on the offer. We left at 7:30am and walked from home up to Avondale, along the motorway, down Rosebank Rd to the race course/Avondale market, to New Lynn, up Titirangi Rd and home. 2hrs 15mins.

I found this useful link:
"Map my run" which enables you to measure the distance of run/walks and it includes other useful info. It takes a little practice but is quite easy when used to it.

It is great that people are starting to read my blog now, I'm thrilled to bits. Keep following and I will add useful links and tips as I go. All events that I enter will have links to on-line application forms and I will also keep you in the loop if I hear of other events.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Onwards and Upwards

No mountain climbs today as my fellow team mate took part in the Corporate Challenge and so I was left to my own mid week training session and decided to keep it local. Mrs G was also busy but thankfully, Sharon, our possible replacement for our injured team mate, joined me for a good, steady 2hr 10min walk and the hills went on forever. That's out West for you! Hills, hills and more hills.

I'm enjoying combining the running and walking as I'm working more muscles than if I was doing just running or just walking.

We have a visitor arriving to stay with us for a couple of days and so may not have time for a run but I will make every effort to throw 2 in for the weekend, short one on Saturday and a longer one on Sunday.

So far so good. Until next time folks...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Just a Gentle One

Mrs G and I hit the pavement for a small 4.6km jog this evening which at least got the heart rate going. Not a major, just enough to keep up with the regular exercise. Day off tomorrow in anticipation for Wednesdays mountain climbs again and hoping that Sharon will join us...We're currently searching for our fourth team mate and I'm hoping that gentle persuasion will ease her into that position.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday check list - Done

Ironing - Done
Uniforms - Done
Phone call home to England - Done
Nice breakfast with husband - Done
16kms run - Done
Procrastinating - Not done
Had a very productive morning and now time for relaxing. Heaven!
My run was good but took me a while to regulate my breathing. You know what that means, folks? I should get it right for the next one. That's the plan. Time was good at 1hr 29mins. Haven't done that particular run in under 1:30 for a while now and so pleased with the effort.
I should be run/walking with Mrs G tomorrow and will fill you in on how it went...Until next time,
Sunday's blog - Done.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Shayne's 40th Birthday

We had the BEST night EVER celebrating Shayne's 40th birthday at Finale Restaurant & Cabaret
Everyone had an awesome time. I have added some photos of the night and will probably add more as I get them from all those with cameras.
I know that Shayne was blown away with his surprise and I delighted we were able to keep it a secret from him for the longest time.
The friends that came gave Shayne the best birthday he has ever had and a night he will never forget.
To top his night off, the 2 of us headed off to Sky city hotel to have some couple time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mountains of Exercise

Yesterday we climbed the mountains as scheduled. I've decided that it is SO much more pleasant training with people than on my own.
We covered 16.4Kms in approx 3hrs and we ran/walked. Here's what we did:
  • Three Kings
  • One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie)
  • Mt St Johns (Titikopuke)
  • Mt Hobson (Maunga Remuwera)
  • Mt Eden (Maungawhau - Mountain of the whau tree)

I feel good today although a bit tired. It's all good though and I'm looking forward to the next one. Day off tonight for Shayne's 40th and may stretch that until Sunday but back to it then for a nice 16k run.

Watch this space for the BIG 40 birthday photos...

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Blog begins

My next event is the Scott Wild Turkey Off-Road half marathon on the 16 January 2010 and my training has well and truly begun. Hit the link for more info.

Yesterday, Sunday, I went for a 6kms run and although the hills were a bit tough I returned home feeling pretty good with a boost of confidence as the time was better than I thought it would be.

Today was a run/walk for about an hour 20 with my very good friend, Mrs G. I'm not sure how far we ran/walked but it was a fair distance and a great opportunity to catch up - Life gets busy, you know, and so I like to grab the moment with my buddies, even if it means during a training run. It was a good run and I am starting to get that feeling of fitness. It seems to have taken ages to get this feeling back and I want to hold onto it for as long as I can.

I'll probably have a day off tomorrow as I have LOADS of kindy work to catch up on but I hope to get out again on Wednesday with some friends. We're planning on running up and down the mountains.