Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Choice or 2 or 3

Yesterday was a busy day around the house and Luke suggested we go for a run. I put him off until today and asked him to choose between our normal 6k run (Golf Rd), A loop around the block which is just under 8ks but less hilly or run up and down the stairs at Crum Park. We decided to wait and see how we felt on the day.

This morning I was up and ready but Luke had a particularly late night and so I waited for him by keeping myself busy on jobs around the house...

When he finally woke, Shayne made us breakfast and Luke and I got ready to go. With another busy day ahead we both chose the quickest option, our 6k Golf Rd run. I asked Luke to stay with me until we reached the top of the hill and my expectation was that he would then want to take off, much similar to our Christmas day run. However, I made it up the hill feeling fine but I could see and hear that Luke was struggling. It was a test for him today.

Once we reached the down hill part on Golf Rd, Luke found it hard to keep going, a far cry from our last run together! A full tummy perhaps from breakfast, or his late night...That's the thing about running, there are some days when it is just too hard and the mind plays tricks on us, tempting us to stop. I was given a tip years ago, to listen to your body and although I didn't want Luke to stop or walk, I knew it had to be his choice. I couldn't possibly know how bad he felt and his face didn't look good either. Patchy pale bits amongst the normal redness that comes with exercise. However, it is about strength of mind and body. I was left with a choice. Do I carry on or do I stay with him to encourage him to keep going...I carried on.

It was only 6ks and my experience gives me the confidence to keep going over this distance and on this particular route. Luke, I guess, is still learning about what he can endure but I know that he has endurance. I remember during his rugby training at Kelston Boys High School, one of his early morning training sessions involved 2 teams, 2 cars and a race to push the car 800m. Each team of 6 had to rotate team mates 2 at a time, push the car for 10 seconds and then swap with the next 2. He said that it was SO HARD that he collapsed on the floor sometime during the first 400m just after his turn and wanted to throw up but he didn't want to look weak and so he got up and joined his team mates for his next turn. They managed to push the car and finish the race. They lost the first 400m but won the last 400m. He had to dig deep and so I know that it is in him to be able to do it. I trust him to make the right choice for him and today it appears that walking was his preferred choice.

I won today but I have told Lukey boy that we're going out again tomorrow and I will expect him to dig deep and go the distance without stopping or walking. He is keen. I hope we can do it!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Build up to Christmas

Merry Christmas one and all! I hope that you had a fun-filled, family time full of festivities and laughter. I know that I did and it was great to wake up this morning (Boxing Day) refreshed and relaxed with my family around me and not having to rush off somewhere. We are heading to the 20/20 cricket this afternoon but at least we get to warm into our day first - HEAVEN!

Last Saturday I went for a 2 hour walk with Sharon up to the Pipe Line in Titirangi and back along the other side towards Titirangi Village again and all the way home. It is an upward climb to the village and I always forget how hard it is, especially when there is a strong head wind. I can't remember the distance but we have covered this walk many times in the past. We also ran segments of it. It is good to be out with my buddies again and on reflection, after OXFAM it took a while to get back into regular exercise but I missed our team walks. After Christmas we will be back into it again with our mountain hikes.

On Tuesday, my son, Luke, asked me if I'd go for a run with him as he has to keep his fitness up for rugby when he's back at school. Not one to deter him from his efforts I had to agree and support him in his goals. Like me, her prefers to train with others and he wanted to do our regular 6kms run (Golf Rd). We took off together but it didn't take long for him to leave me. "Not too fast!" I yelled "Save your energy!" but he ran hard and fast. I admired him for this but knew what was ahead for him. After all it was his first bit of exercise since school, some 3 weeks ago! Needless to say I caught up with him. He wanted to stop for water and walk some. My advice was for him to soldier on, not walk, just slow down but he confessed to not having the right attitude...something to work on for the next time. I ran home and made it a good 7.5 minutes ahead of him.

On Christmas Day the four of us did our traditional 6k run (Golf Rd). Not a normal tradition for most people, perhaps, but it is something that bonds us as a family. We had a bet on who would come first and we all agreed on Josh. I based my bet on Luke's effort on Tuesday's run and Shayne always comes last while I struggle to keep up with Josh and his long legs these days. As it turns out, Luke had the right attitude this time round. He and Josh took off ahead of us together. Shayne...well, I didn't see Shayne again until I was on my way back and he was WALKING! Josh has a dodgy knee and was finding it really uncomfortable to run. He has been booked in for surgery in January (more on that later). I passed him on the run as he struggled on but unlike his dad, he didn't walk. He told me that his knee wasn't painful but that it felt very uncomfortable and so he slowed down to a more comfortable pace. Poor chap!

That's the extent of my exercise for the week up to Christmas. I believe my half marathon training starts on 4 January but I hope to do a few little runs and walks before then.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Gift of a Poem

When it was time for one of the children at my kindy to move on to school, he gave each of his teachers a gift of a poem written by his mum. A thoughtful, caring gesture that meant such a lot:

Two little eyes
Discovering what's new
Two little hands
Touching everything in view
A sweet little voice
Asking you why
A mischievous smile
And a whimpering cry
Two little feet
Jumping on the floor
A toddler's mission
Is to explore

And now the toddler is a little boy
Going off to school full of joy
Still with two eyes and hands
To discover and view
All things new
For what you have taught him will bode him well
When it's his turn to stand up in class and tell
Of all he has learnt
From all of you -
To stay independent, honest and true
For what more can I want for a stepping stone for my son
Than what you have guided him to become.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Getting There!

This week saw me out twice to do the same as last Saturday. On Wednesday I met Philomen at New Market and we were joined by Mark and Tuan to do Mt Hobson (Remuwera in Māori), 3 Kings (Te Tatua a Riukiuta)  and Mt Eden (Maungawhau, the Mountain of the Whau tree in Māori). These, I sometimes refer to as hills, sometimes mountains but very rarely do I refer to them as what they are, volcanoes. If you are interested, please hit the links. You will also see pictures of them via the links.

Our education system in the UK, back when I was a lass, was such that my understanding of volcanoes was that they are massive, erupting, lava fueled, red hot, deadly things that cause destruction and disaster. There is no way that I would ever have imagined I'd be running up them! Well, at least attempting to run...

It is good to be out there with people again and I'm already feeling the benefits of it after just 3 sessions. If anyone wants to join us, drop me a line and we'll plan it. You won't regret it!

I walked up the mountains on Wednesday but today's effort was slightly more challenging because I wanted to run up to go beyond the point that I ran up to last week. I did it and so next week I hope to run a bit further again with a view to running up the  mountains without walking...Let's see if I can do it...My buddies are happy to walk up and believe me, that's a challenge in itself! Good though. It amazes me when we see these super fit people that run up time and time again with no walking. I'd LOVE to be that fit.

And so folks, I'm back into it, slowly, and feeling really good about it. I just have to keep it up and start the New Year feeling great!  

I should be out again after work on Wednesday, all going well. It is hard trying to cram it in but I feel it is important and hope to keep it up. Until next time, be safe and remember (Auckland friends only), if you need a designated driver, my Christmas gift to you this year is my commitment to come and pick you up from your Christmas parties to get you home safe and sound. I am alcohol free for you. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 6, 2010

3 Mountains to Climb

On Saturday I went out with Sharon and Philomen from my last team event and Michelle from the previous team events witha  view to doing 3 mountains. I had an idea that I'd walk with the ladies until the climb up and then I'd try to run up. Michelle, who is incredibly fit and recently did her fastest marathon, decided she would run up with me.

We ran the first 1 and a half but on the last one, Mt Eden, my legs were so heavy that I didn't quite have the stamina. Mt Eden is a tricky one with so many different ways to climb up and we chose the hardest! (Not my choice but hey ho, go with the flow). Once we reached the top the hard work was done and this was my first bit of exercise for 2 weeks. I felt ok but have some serious work to do to get back on track and so I will be doing this again on next Saturday.

Once we had finished it was time for coffee and a scone for a well earned break.

This training will help us to get into shape but I'll also be starting my half marathon training very soon. What with Christmas, end of term, ERO visit to my kindie and everything else that needs to be done. It is a VERY busy time. I'm exhausted and I haven't even started yet!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Recovering from Injury

I went out for a 2 hour stint but wore a pair of old ankle socks that were lower than the heal of my shoe which, as I moved, rubbed on the backs of my heals. I tried to pull my socks up but since there was no real pain, I carried on. It was only when I reached home that I realised how severe the damage caused by constant rubbing was on the backs of my heals. By Sunday I could hardly walk. There was no leverage in my foot.

I planned on going to see the nurse to get the wounds dressed. They were blisters that had rubbed which broke the skin, similar to friction burns. The nurse was horrified and called the doctors who promptly prescribed antibiotics as both wounds had become infected. By Monday both my feet and lower legs were swollen and by Tuesday, the infection had reached my right knee. I guess that by Wednesday, the antibiotics kicked in and I could walk with a limp. I returned to work.

Yesterday was the first day of not covering the wounds as they had scabbed over and were dry. Today they are well and truly better and the skin is looking normal. I should be back to training by the weekend and I can't wait.

Another update to follow shortly.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thinking it Over - What's Next on the Agenda?

Back to it! On Saturday morning, I was on my way home after dropping Luke off for his cricket game, when I spotted Mrs G out for her mornings exercise and so I pulled over for a chat.

"Why don't you join me?" she asked.

We drove back to my house for me to get changed, abandoned my idea of a nice cooked breakfast with Shayne and Josh and we took off for a nice 2 hour walk and a good catch up. I'm telling you, people, it is SO good to get out with a friend for some regular exercise. We only walked but it was great! I'm not sure on how far, Mrs G is going to map it and get back to me.

I have had some ideas about my next physical challenges and I debriefed with my good friend who will support me when ever she can because that's what she does. Here are my thoughts and let me know what you think:
  • There is the Lactic Turkey event coming up in January which I did last year and it was SO HARD. (Refer to January blog for more info). While last year I did the half marathon and it shattered me, this year I thought I'd do the 16km run instead which I did 2 years ago and came in joint 2nd in our section. It is a tough course up through the Waitakeres (off road bush for those not from NZ).
  • Next, the Cathay Pacific half marathon which is in February (I think) and this time I will train with running buddies that will help me build on my speed to get the time that I'm looking for.
  • Then the Rotorua marathon which I have often thought about, on 1 May but this coincides with a team event that my Oxfam team mates are keen to do which brings me to my 4th possibility.
  • The Anaconda Adventure Race which is 24 April in Waihi. This event, if we do it, involves the 4 of us each taking up part of the course. To start will be Philomen, on a 1.6k swim followed by Suzie on a 14k ocean paddle, then I do my bit which is a 14k coastal trail run and then Sharon will do a 27k mountain bike back to all of us and we finish off with a 2k team run to the finish line.

I am pondering but would appreciate your thoughts. For those more local I'll need training buddies and so if you're up for a run, please join me. I always enjoy company.

You should start to see more training runs added to my blog as I get myself into the right frame of mind. I hope to include the tips I pick up from those that I run with and so stay tuned. Don't forget to hit on the link Traxee, a most inspirational website for us girlies that want to run.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mandy's Marathon Video

Here is a snippet of my marathon finish. I can't believe I was smiling and I certainly do not remember shaking the chaps hand...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Auckland Marathon - Done and Dusted

Against a lot of people's better judgement I ran the Auckland Marathon yesterday. Not in my normal well prepared condition, I might add but I did it. My objective for the event was to run for as many ks as I could without stopping and to finish. No matter what, I had to get to the end.

I knew, due to my lack of training, that I was not going to do a good time and so it was head down and concentrate on conserving energy as I ran. Too much to drink before the run meant I desperately needed a toilet stop and hung on until just before the bridge. I queued up for 8 minutes! Not happy I continued on but at least my body felt better. I reached half way in 2hrs 16mins. The second half certainly took its toll but I felt that if I got to Tamaki Drive then I was going to make it.

There was a great deal of support from the by-standers and I found that the run wasn't as lonely as previous events. Shayne's cousin, Donna, met me just up from the Via Duct with refreshments and ran a little with me offering lots of support and a promise to see me at the end. I was feeling great at this point, perhaps better than my previous marathons. Not quite sure how that could be...

At about 25kms into the run my lower back began to ache. My back has been giving me a few problems lately but not enough to deter me from the run. I also had a spasm in my left leg that went from my calf muscle to my foot and my foot went numb. It was an odd sensation and not sure what was going on. I could feel blisters and at least one had popped. I needed distractions to keep my mind off the distance left to go and the pains that were starting to kick in. I sang songs (in my head so as not to scare off the supporters), planned my day off, decorated my house with ideas and that saw me through to the turn around point.

No matter what I had to finish. I was struggling but only had about 9kms to go, a short training run. My strategy here was to think of my best 10km training route and pretend I was running it. This worked until just before Mission Bay. The pain really set in and so I walked and stretched my muscles. I'm not very good at stretching at the best of times and so didn't spend too long at it. I started to run again which was excruciating until I got back into rhythm again and that's when I realised that it was much better to keep running.

Just after Tamaki Drive I was met by my son, Josh, my mother in-law, Karen, and Donna. A welcomed sight and I wanted to cry but deep breathes helped. Donna offered to run with me for the last 2kms. I was desperate to stop. My body! But, my boy was there and I'm all about setting good examples for my boys. He had to see me soldier on and so onwards and upwards, 2 more kms and Donna by my side, encouraging me every step of the way. Two more corners left and supporters cheering. An amazing, emotional feeling came over me. I could see the finish and heard Donna yelling at me, "Go Mandy, go! Give it everything you've got!" We ran across the line together and what an amazing feeling! My whole body was screaming with pain but I was SO happy and grateful to Donna and my family. The second half was done in 2hrs 36mins and so a good 20mins slower than the first half. Total time: 4hrs 52mins which is 47minutes slower than my fastest marathon.

I am a very lucky lady!

Today, the day after, I am having a day off work and as long as I'm moving around I'm good but if I sit for too long and then get up, not good. I have got so much done in my house and have had a very productive day.

And so people, I didn't train for this event and know that I would have done a much better time had I trained, however, I managed to go the distance using experience, strategies and a belief in myself.

It was a stupid thing to do, a marathon with next to no training. I had 4 weeks of good training followed by 2 weeks off due to a bad flu, followed by my friend offering to take my ticket off my hands which meant I no longer had to train, followed by 6 weeks later declining the offer thinking it was for a half marathon, not a full. I couldn't waste the ticket and so prepared myself by going for a few runs BUT NOT NEARLY enough. I watched my diet for the week before the marathon, drank plenty of water and prepared myself mentally for the challenge.

Next time I will stay on track with my training, no matter what. I realise now that staying on track with the training is, in fact, harder than the marathon itself and one shouldn't really go without the other.

That's my story. I hope you enjoyed it and thanks for following me through this time. I have a lot to work on and will continue to add to my blog and so stay tuned.
Until next time,

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Juliet Came To Visit

Popped in to say hi and now we're doing her a Blog.

Monday, October 18, 2010

More Than I Thought

I ran down to meet Mrs G at about 6:50pm and then we walked through New Lynn to Titirangi Road. We added on a couple of extra streets to throw in the hills and reached the corner of Margan and Hutchinson before going our seperate ways. I ran home. We estimated about 8 - 9ks and I measured it when home to find we had covered just under 10kms.

I'm pleased with that. My muscles are a little stiff from yesterdays run but all in all I felt fine. I get butterflies thinking about the distance and know that I'll enter unknown territory as I have never entered a marathon without putting in the right amount of training. Time will tell...

Feeling nervous!

Having just read the Auckland Marathon latest news letter I am now feeling nervous about the event. I want to run it! How can I with NOT NEARLY ENOUGH training? A gentle jog, maybe...

I have a friend who can't do the Auckland half marathon and wants to sell her ticket. Let me know if you know of anyone that wants one.

Less than 2 weeks to go. Note for self: Book the following Monday off work.

Heading out in a moment for a walk with Mrs G.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Bit of Both

Last Monday I went for a walk with Mrs G and we walked for about 1.5hrs. I appreciate our walks together more for the catch up but with the added bonus of a wee bit of exercise. With a couple of hills I broke out into a little sweat but nothing too hard. I hope that we can go again next week.

Mrs G is such a supportive friend as she has offered to walk some of the marathon with me and along the stretch towards Mission Bay. From memory of my last 3 marathons it is this stretch that I found the hardest as it is over the half way point but the body is aching and runners have already reached the turn around point and are on the home stretch of about 10ks while I am still struggling to reach the turn around. I get to see how good/bad they are and yet I know I haven't even reached their distance yet. Not good! Mrs G will be with me this time and so it will help me stay focused and keep going (that's my hope).

Today's run was about 18ks and included 4ks of walking. It was up hill for 50% of the run and down hill heading home. I ran with Michelle and co again and I noticed that they recovered much quicker than me on the hills and maintained stamina. Over this distance I was able to keep up although struggled at about 10ks. I was determined not to stop this time and tried hard to keep up with them.

I am delighted for the girls as they have kept up with their training and are looking good. I know that they are a little apprehensive, even now, about going the distance but I can't help but believe that they are well prepared. I find this quite inspirational and I am grateful for having them to run with. They are motivated runners and are already planning events beyond the marathon which will help me to stay on track.

2 weeks to go my friends and it will all be over.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

An Attempt to Run

As mentioned, I went out for a long run with Michelle etc last Sunday. We were to do the 32km run to cover some of the route of the marathon, along from Pt Erin to St Helliers and back.

I reached 16kms of the run in good form and felt fine but at the turn around point I realised that this was too big a run for me and that my stamina was not there for such a distance. At 20kms I was hopeful that I could keep up with the girls but was beginning to slow down and at 22kms I encouraged Michelle to keep up with her buddies and not to wait for me. Off they went and as the distance between us grew I wished that I had managed to keep up with my training. I could see through them how the training really pays off. They could go the distance while I was fading fast. At 24kms, enough was enough. I talked myself into walking and used the excuse that my plan was to run/walk the event anyway and not run the whole thing. I fought with this for another km before finally giving in to walk. I met the girls as they looped around town to ensure they made 32kms and they showed me the short cut back to the car. With my throbbing head down and muscles screaming in pain I walked back to the car.

I reflected on my performance today and while Michelle and co used very encouraging words I felt like I had let myself down. I couldn't go the distance and the reason for this is that I didn't keep up with my training.

I had such a busy day planned for Sunday but instead, after the run, I headed home with my head pounding and my body a tad worse for wear and curled up on the sofa for a LONG sleep. There I stayed for 6 hours!

With a trip to Christchurch the next day (for a 4 day conference) I needed to pack my bags and I had a function to attend on Sunday evening, plus a house to organise for the boys in my absence. I couldn't really afford to sleep for 6 hours and I didn't feel the benefit of it when I woke up. That, my friends, is testimony to the importance of training and building up to the longer distances.

A week on and NO TRAINING runs all week, this marathon is not looking good for me. I may yet explore the possibility of selling my ticket on the internet. What's a girl to do? Where to from here? Stay with me to find out...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

On Again, Off Again, On Again - Marathon

Hi all,

It has been a while since my last post, mainly because I haven't done a great deal except work on my house which is still weeks away from the finish but hey ho, life goes on in the fast lane. At least now I have internal access to downstairs which is where the laundry is. Prior to the stairs going in I had to walk all the way around the outside of the house, through the mud and in through the back door. We are slowly but surely getting there.

It looks like I am doing the marathon again. My friend didn't realise that I was trying to give her my full marathon ticket, her preference was for the half marathon and so short of selling it on the Internet I can't waste it. That means I have to do it myself. The moment that I made the decision to do it, I felt great and planned my next run but with only 4 weeks to go I will not be ready. I am going for a big run tomorrow with Michelle and co, 32kms (20 miles). Will let you know how we go...

Some more news, my son, Luke, was selected for the U14 Auckland West rugby team and they lost the first 2 games. However, they beat the team that will be in the final tomorrow and so not a total loss. He was made captain too and so we are very proud of him.

He's the green number 5.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

2 Lots of Exercise

I have finally come to terms with not doing the Auckland marathon but have not done much in the way of fitness for a few weeks. My friend, Anne-Marie, asked me if I wanted to join her for a run as she is training for the Arthur's half marathon (Saturday 18 Sept). The aim was to run part of the course and throw in some extra hills for good measure.

We left it until much later in the day and the running conditions were ideal. We ran from West Coast Rd to Carter Rd in Oratia to Shaw Rd and back to where we parked the car on West Coast Rd. It was only 7.7kms but I was pleased with our effort.

I enjoyed the run as I had a running buddy. We hardly ran together but Anne-Marie gave me the motivation to run, exactly what I need. I think I will join a running club for my next event...

The second day of exercise came on Monday with Moana. She asked me if I wanted to join her for a walk as she too has become a tad unmotivated where running is concerned and walking is also a chance for us to catch up and chat. I was keen to go. We walked for about 8kms.

I MUCH prefer to exercise with my buddies, there is no doubt about it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Some Good News and Some Bad News

I always like to get the bad news out of the way first and so will start by letting you know that I'm not doing the marathon after all. The timing just isn't right for me this time round and I have struggled with the training. I have given my ticket to my friend who had maintained her running ever since we did her first marathon together a few years back. At least I know that I did some good with it.

The good news is that I found out yesterday that I am now a fully registered teacher. That means, after I studied for 4 years to get my Bachelor in Education and graduated, I had to work for 2 year and provide evidence of my teaching practice under the scrutiny of an already registered teacher. She signed me off in August as being ready and then I had to wait approval from the NZ Teachers Council. 6 years and 4 months later I am done! Now I can concentrate on living life and teaching.

The second piece of good news is that my son, Luke, has been selected for the Auckland West Under 14 Representative rugby team. This is great news as he has been working so hard to get there. His training began yesterday and so far so good. Now he has to work for game time. Although he was selected as Flanker, he may well be moved to Lock and is now confident in both positions. Let us see how they go.

Thanks for listening and I'll let you know when I'll be up and running again...hopefully soon. I just need to take the pressure off for a while.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Powerful Teacher Presence

10 August 2010 - Education Leadership Project (ELP)

Julie Killick - Powerful Teacher Presence

What is it and how can we cultivate it?

Being present is not as easy as you might think! How often have you arrived somewhere and suddenly realised that you have very little recollection of the journey? Or maybe you reach for that cup of tea only to discover you have already drunk it? Where were you? Where are you moment to moment when you are teaching? This workshop explores cultivating powerful teacher presence, and quality engagement with children.

Being-ness is at the core of teaching and learning and the most important resource is me and my colleagues. Teachers should be self reflective as it increases understanding of themselves, how they teach and nurture their inner lives.

Being present is such a gift.

Julie Killick recommends that we should practice being present during habitual tasks and be 'in the moment' (In the moment...there is no future, no past and no fear.)

Some questions to reflect on:

How would I describe teacher presence?
Is my teacher presence abundant or not and how do I know?
Does teacher presence change and has my teacher presence changed over the years?
Do I deliberately nurture my teacher presence?

Just being aware of the above naturally increases my teacher presence.

Thank you for this work shop Julie and ELP.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

No Sense of Direction

Ever since I can remember I know that I suffer severely from having no sense of direction and out on today's run, which was supposed to be the Cathay Pacific half marathon route, I went the wrong way and ended up cutting 3.5kms off my overall run.

We left at 8:07am from Okahu Bay and headed to Quay St to do the loop of the Strand back to Tamaki Drive. I had a map and found my way quite nicely until I reached Paratai Dr and instead of turning off I continued all the way to the end of the street, quite some distance. My running buddies were somewhere behind me. Not sure on which direction to and feeling slightly flustered due to the time constraints of the day, I decided to head right. It turned out to be a good choice as just as I reached the corner I could see my running buddies coming towards me from a different street. I ran with the for a bit and then took off along Kohimara Rd but instead of turning right I went left and ended on Tamaki Dr again! Grr! I contemplated going back to find the correct road but decided enough was enough and so continued on back towards Okahu Bay.

I got back to my car at 10:00am and so not happy that I cut short my run and even more unhappy that the time was not nearly as good as I hoped. I covered 17.5kms today instead of 21ks that I had planned and although I felt comfortable enough I slowed right down at the end.

I met a chap and chatted to him for while. He suggested teaming up with the YMCA Running club and I may consider this in the future. Hit the link for more info.
Next training run Tuesday or Wednesday.

Friday, August 13, 2010

8kms done

Just an 8km run today and all went well. Again, no issues just an easy run. I'm not challenging myself too much at the moment.

Next run should be on Sunday with Michelle and co and we're doing the Cathay Pacific half marathon route. It will have to be a challenge as Sunday is a very busy day and I will be very short on time. Feeling good about it so let's hope I can stay in that frame of mind...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

10k Lap - Done

My first run in just over a week and it went well. No issues today, just a nice easy run. 10kms with a couple of hills for good measure.

All going well I should do the same again on Friday.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I found this useful website Traxee and will look into in more detail tomorrow. I'm hoping it will help me...
18km run tomorrow. Let's see how that goes.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

No Go Wednesday

I did a 6.5k run on Tuesday and started well. Good breathing and felt fine until about half way my right shin started to ache again and I could feel a pull behind my left knee. What's going on? Today was supposed to mark the end of the short runs and I was hoping to be well and truly ready to pick up the higher mileage...
I decided not to go today which means I am no longer on track for 4 runs per week but I will keep at it and see how I can make it up. Tomorrow or Friday will have to be at least a 10k run, Sunday's run is already planned and then I will make a plan of action for the following week.
Signing off now feeling a tad despondant...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My Running Buddies

Today's run was with Michelle, Shayne's sister, and Cheryl, our good friend. Unlike myself they are following a training program and they are a few weeks into their training. We agreed to do this week's run together, or at least start together. I am grateful for this as once I have made a commitment to run with someone I will ensure that I go. That way I can't talk myself out of going and I don't have time to procrastinate.

We left at 9:00am and headed up to Titirangi. Last week this run was quite hard and I was tired. This week I felt ok but I was perhaps a bit heavy footed. I got up the hill ok although the pain in my shin was back but nothing too major and so I carried on. I'm not sure where I lost Michelle and Cheryl, somewhere on the hill but I didn't look behind to see if they were ok, just kept going. I reached 8kms which is the turn around point and headed back down the Pipe Line. I met Michelle and Cheryl running towards me and they looked good and strong.

I tried to run faster all the way home but my running seemed awkward and I didn't feel like I was running fast enough no matter how hard I tried. Apart from the pain in my shin, which at this stage of the run had practically gone, I was breathing ok and I wasn't too tired. I was mindful about making my legs go faster and I longed to be able to relax into run mode and let gravity take me all the way home but today it wasn't to be. I worked all the way. I guess another test...

I reached home about 10 minutes before Michelle and Cheryl and they did the run in 1hr 36mins and so I had to be happy with today's efforts as it has been years since I have run that route in under 1hr 30mins. I don't know, running is very confusing. I don't understand how my awkward, heavy footed run could be one of my fastest runs in a long time...

Thursday marks the 1st day of my 4th week of marathon training and that's when I want to build on the ks. I have planned the next 2 Sunday runs, next week will be with Sharon, my OXFAM buddy and we're doing the waterfront (18kms) and the following Sunday will be with Michelle and Cheryl and we're doing the Cathay Pacific half marathon route (21kms).

I have to do 2 more small runs before Thursday to stay on track so will probably be Tuesday and Wednesday, 6 or 7kms.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

3rd Week In

Sadly, I missed Fridays run. Lack of motivation and a strong desire to sleep got the better of me and so after work I went home had a coffee and a chat with my mother in-law and then had a sleep on the couch. It was SO cold outside and I wrapped myself up in a blanket. I was out like a light in moments - It was heaven!

I was due to go to a 21st that night and so gave myself a day off running but that meant I had to go today...I tried so hard to get out of it yet I knew that ultimately it would be better to go. I made a pact with Josh that we would go after the rugby game at the school today. Just 6kms...

As hard as it was we left together and got up the hill really quickly this time. My breathing was ok and I recovered at the top of the hill in no time to push on a stay ahead of Josh for as long as I could. About 2kms into the run Josh was ahead and the gap between us grew. As I mentioned previously I enjoy this kind of challenge and I tried to catch him. Over 6kms it doesn't hurt to speed up at intervals and so I tried it. Bursts of speed running and then slowed down again. Needless to say, as hard as I tried, I didn't catch him but finished only seconds behind him. A pleasing effort today as I really didn't want to go for a run but I felt SO good afterwards. I MUST remember this to help me when my motivation is lacking the next time. The good news, no pain in my leg today.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Still on Track

Josh borrowed my car and dropped me off at work yesterday so that he could drive to squash after school and I could run home after a round about kind of way. It is odd having a son that can drive but I guess I will get used to it. He was under strict orders to text me each time he arrived at his destination.

After kindie today I changed into my running gear and waved good-bye to my colleagues. I was a little worried about my right leg and still a tad apprehensive about running too long a distance for fear of making it worse. I must have been about 3kms in to my run and this time I realised that my breathing was actually really good. Such a relief! The pain in my shin wasn't too bad either. The only time it gave me any real grief was when I had to stop for traffic. The starting up was very sore until I got going again. Any tips on recovery for shin pain (I'm hoping that it isn't shin splints) would be gratefully appreciated.

I covered just over 7kms today which was a bit more than I had expected with a couple of hills but do-able. I feel that I am still on track and I feel good about that. It is SO hard to be motivated and so I have to remember not to get side tracked (as I can so easily do). NO DISTRACTIONS, MAND!
Next training run will hopefully be tomorrow. I will probably do the 7kms run again and then on Sunday. I'll be running with friends for my last short, long run of 16kms...thereafter I up the ante and increase my mileage. Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Hill Got Me but Didn't Stop Me

As planned I did the 16km run today. I was tired due to the previous night's party but at least I didn't over indulge this time and got my friends home safe and sound.

I left home this morning, feeling apprehensive, knowing that I had the long climb all the way up to the village and then along the Pipe Line which didn't help with my motivation. After yesterday's run I noticed that my right shin had a bit of an ache and my dilemma was, should I go the distance or just do another short run.

I started to run up the hill and very soon I was left panting for breath and struggling. This is how I remember the beginning of my training to be from previous experiences and so why was my breathing no problem last week yet yesterday and today I struggled? "Just a test" I thought, tempting me to stop but I kept going although I worried about my leg. At the top of the climb up, 8kms into my run, I wanted to stop. Why am I doing this to myself? I still had 8kms to go but at least it was mostly down hill. If this was the marathon I'd really be in trouble. Thankfully I kept my wits about me and carried on all the way home. The pain in my shin seemed to vanish until I reached home. It isn't too bad and now I have 2 days off running to get it right again. Next training will be Wednesday, if not before.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday's Run with a Tip

Luke had a rugby game today over at Mt Albert Grammar and so he and Shayne left early. My plan was that I would join them with Josh as the driver and to give him some practice of driving on his own with his restricted licence, I'd run home after the game while he drove.

We watched Luke's game of rugby, a very, very muddy game which the boys LOVED and the added bonus of winning the game putting them in to the semi finals.

I guessed the distance to run would be between 6 - 7 kms about all I need to do ready for my longer run tomorrow. I started well. the route was pretty much straight but was stop, start due to traffic lights. Not a route that I will do again in a hurry.

Tip: Try not to over indulge on alcoholic beverages the night before a run.

I found it hard today. I was thirsty and tired and only had myself to blame because of the night before. I have a party to go to tonight and will be the designated driver for my friends knowing that I have a bigger run tomorrow.

The good news, I measured the distance when I reached home. 7.8kms. Next run tomorrow...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Better Than Nothing

Despite the busy schedule over the last 2 days I managed to fit a quick 6k run in with my son, Josh. To the end of Golf Rd and back. I tried hard to keep up with his long legs striding way ahead of my shorties but I only managed to catch him on the hill heading home about 4ks into the run and then it was short lived as just over the other side heading downwards, he snuck up behind me, over took me and stayed ahead all the way home. This was good for me because I ran faster to try and catch him.

All along the route we met friendly familiar faces. They probably think we are CRAZY!

Although today's effort was a tad shorter than I had hoped, a run is better than none. My muscles are still being used and I am still on track one week into my training. I am pleased that I made the effort. Next training run will be either tomorrow or Saturday.

The prize that we won at the Oxfam rewards night was for being 2nd fastest female team. We were happy with that.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Still on Track

Today, straight after work, I came home, got changed and went out for my run of 7kms. The only way to deal with this type of training is to not allow myself to get distracted doing other things. They can wait. RUN FIRST and then get them done.

I struggled a bit on the hills today but my breathing is still good and no cramp or painful muscles. All I have is that I'm not feeling fit and I'm a tad heavy and awkward as I run. Still, I stuck to my plan, as hard as it was and I kept up my motivation. Next run will either be tomorrow or Thursday although both days are very busy. Let's see how I work that out...All part of the challenge.

Tonight I'm attending Awards Night for 2010 Oxfam Trailwalker. My team is in for a prize but not sure what for. I'll let you know on my next update.

Monday, July 19, 2010

16kms - Done

I managed to do 16kms on Sunday as planned and while I had no problem with my breathing I noticed that at about 7kms I started to feel tired. Once half way through I had to keep reminding myself to keep going as it will make things easier for the next run. One foot in front of the other...

I spotted a chap running ahead of me and I noticed that I was gaining ground and catching up with him and so I ran a bit faster. The funny thing was that any time I came close to him he'd run a bit faster and so I was never able to catch him until near the end of the track. He stopped to walk and I still had 5kms to go but I certainly enjoyed the challenge of trying to catch him. This is good training too as it helps to build up speed. However, it was perhaps a bit early in my training program to be playing such games. We shared a few words of banter as I passed him and I got the impression that he enjoyed the challenge of staying ahead of me as much as I did trying to catch him. The things we do...

The last 5kms of this particular run is down hill almost all the way and I let gravity do its job. This is my reward for getting the hills out of the way first. All in all it was a good run. It is early days yet but I have to say, so far so good. I just have to keep it going. 104 days to go and counting. Next training run will be Tuesday, all going well.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Run 2 - Done

Thank you Nina, for your comment. It gave me a boost and certainly helped with my motivation! Glad to have you with me on my next journey and look forward to any tips you may have for a fellow marathon runner.

I left home at 11am to do a short 7k run with my son, Josh. I chose this distance to warm into the longer run tomorrow. My plan is to give myself about 3 weeks to get used to running again and then load on the distance runs soon's hoping.

My run today felt good although I certainly didn't expect it to. Generally it has taken me a lot more than 2 runs to feel comfortable but hey ho, I'm delighted and hopefully all my runs will be as good.

When I say good, I mean I was able to get into rhythm and didn't struggle with my breathing. I relaxed into run mode and although a slow pace I picked it up towards the end and came home feeling like I could go again. Let's hope that feeling lasts until at least tomorrow as I'm planning a 16k (10mile) run, rain or shine.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Marathon Training Has Begun

Better late than never. I have procrastinated for way too long and in a passing statement to Josh the other day I happened to mention that if he passed his driving test I would start my marathon training. He passed and so today I headed out on the first of my many training runs.

It was only a short one as I feel the need to ease into it but with a view to cramming in some serious, longer runs in the middle before winding down towards event day. I have been told that both the Auckland marathon and half marathon have sold out already and so I was lucky I got in when I did.

Today I did Golf Rd, 6kms and without the company of others for a change. It had to be done and now I've done it my next run won't be as hard, mentally. I always find that once the first one is out of the way then I'm good to go for the rest. Here's hoping.

I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself and now I just have to keep it up. Stay with me and support me through this. I need all the motivation I can get.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Boy Passed

Just a quick update to let you all know that my Josh passed his Restricted Drivers licence today. That means that he can now drive on his own...While I am happy for him I still feel the need to escort him on his travels, just for a wee bit longer. WELL DONE MY BOY!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Trip Home - Family and Friends

This is a photostory of my trip home to London. I had the BEST time with family and friends. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

St Alban's Half Marathon

My brothers, Steven and Paul standing with me after the event.

Thank heavens we made it!

Paul, my eldest brother took an early lead as we expected and Steven, my younger brother, managed to keep up with him for the first 8miles. I lost them both right at the start and quite sensibly ran my own race.

Years ago I ran a half marathon with no training and managed a time of 2hrs 15mins and so I set myself this goal for the St Albans event. My training has not been good and I have struggled the last 3 times that I have been out for a run. I wasn't sure how I'd go but felt determined although a tad apprehensive, especially since my trainers have not been the best and I get cramp since I have been wearing them.

Steven and me once we arrived at St Albans, before the event

It was a very scenic run through beautiful country lanes with pretty old English houses. The people were incredibly friendly and the crowds clapped and cheers all the way around the route. Some came out with sprinklers while others had their children out filling up cups of water as we ran by. Over 2000 people entered this event and so credit has to go to the people of St Albans for making the event even better than it was.

The route was tough as there was a number of hills with long, gradual inclines and it was a hot, sunny day which meant it was important to keep the water intake up. Throughout the race there were moments that I felt great which, thankfully, gave me a boost of confidence but soon my right foot started to cramp up again and I could feel my leg straining. "Keep going!" I told myself, "One foot in front of the other."

I wondered if I'd catch my brothers, little did I know that Steven was struggling too and was suffering from the heat. It was his competitive nature that kept him ahead of me and Paul's desire to beat Steven's previous time that drove him over the line ahead of both of us. All in all it was a tough event and I hope to improve on my fitness.

I'm down to the last week of my trip now. This time next week I'll be almost back in NZ. I have had the most amazing time with friends and family and I didn't realise how much I miss them. It is going to be hard saying good bye...alas I must.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


My new running shoes are giving me endless grief. Out on my 10mile/16k run today I was about 15k into it when my right foot got cramp and I slowed up. It started in my foot and went all the way up to my thigh. Unlike me I stopped and Steven, my brother, ran home to get the car to pick me up. NOT HAPPY! With only days until the half marathon things are not looking good. I hope I can complete the event.
I wish that I had brought my old trainers from NZ instead of the new. No more training runs now until the day. I think I need some luck!
I'll add my holiday photos when I get back to NZ. I'm having such a great time here with my friends and family. Still not missing NZ although I think about kindie heaps and of course Shayne and my boys. Love to all in NZ and see you in 2 weeks. xx

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

St Albans Half Marathon

Today my brother and I headed out early this morning for a short 5mile/8k run. Again all around the streets that I grew up in, past some of my friends old houses, along the street that we used to go carol singing in. Lots of memories were being triggered today - AWESOME!

My run was still a tad hard while Steven seemed effortless in his style and speed. My breathing is not too good as I can't get into any rhythm but it is early days of my minimal training for the St Albans half marathon. Both my brothers are doing this event with me and while I hold the record for the fastest time for a half marathon event I am not at all confident that I will beat them this time round.

On the 13 June I will front up to the start line and do the distance probably a good 15 to 20 mins behind them but here's hoping for a tad better than that.

Running With my Brother

My first training run in the UK for years was with my brother, Steven, and I left home at 6:40am to attempt a 21km run. This was an opportunity for me to check out some of the places I used to visit when I lived in here. While much of our run was through residential and industrial areas we also went through a place called Totteridge Lane. My friends and I used to go for picnics to this area as it is lush with trees and fields, cows and horses, quite scenic yet is still relatively close to my home.

We reached just over half way when my right foot started to cramp up. I have been running in my new shoes that I purchased with the spot prize voucher that I was lucky enough to win. I'm not sure yet that they are any good. I sat on a wall to take one shoe off and massage my foot, loosened the laces and got back to it. The whole time my brother was way ahead of me and I didn't enjoy the idea of him having to slow down for me. I haven't lived in London for 16 years and I have forgotten all the streets that were once my local haunts. I didn't want to get lost...

Sure enough, in Queensbury I took a wrong turn and became separated from my brother and so I was forced to ask for help. Back on track and heading towards Burnt Oak I felt a tad better and picked up my pace again. I wasn't sure on the distance I had covered and so ran the rest of the way home. I reached home before Steven but only because he ran the correct route and went back to look for me. Poor chap!

We looked up Mapometer and I covered just over 13.5miles while Steven ran 13.2miles, just over 21k so although I struggled a fair bit, Steven was absolutely fine. The time was not too good and so lots to improve on. Next run will be on Tuesday...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Keep Watching

Last Sunday I went for a 16k run. It was long over due and so I needed to go, rain or shine. The plan was that I'd run up to the Pipe Line and meet Mrs G where we would run the Pipe Line together and then home. It was a slow run although I ran most of the Pipe Line on my own. Mrs G wanted me to run at my own pace given that I have a half marathon in a few weeks.

We did ok but Mrs G hurt her knee and so will be out of running for a bit. I believe she will continue with Zumba if anyone wants to join her. I'm holding off on that too until I am back on track in a month or so.

All going well, very soon I will add some photos and news but until then, keep checking in on my Blog as I like to keep in touch with you all. Just over 3 weeks until the half marathon...It won't be a fast one but it will hold such sentimental value and that is awesome. As I type I am filled with a rush of excitement! I CAN'T WAIT!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Just a wee one

On Monday I went for a very gentle run with Mrs G from Kelston Boys High School down Archibald Rd, Up Gt Nth Rd to Hepburn Rd, along to Butterworth and back to St Leonard's to the end and left back to the school. It was only 4.6k but all we could manage in the time schedule. I'm going to have to do some serious running if I want to beat the competition...Can't disclose too much about that at the moment but very soon, you will know who I mean by the competition...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My Boy Luke

Kelston Boys u14 rugby team won today for the third time in a row with my Luke as captain. I'm SO proud. Shayne, Josh and Luke have gone to watch the next game, Kelston first 15 v Auckland Grammar.


Here is my Luke in action as Lock and Captain:

Monday, May 3, 2010

Zumba Out West

Caught off guard, Mrs G asked me to go to a Zumba class and because I didn't go for my run I felt the need to exercise. There was no excuse and so at 6:45pm she picked me up and we drove to Kelston Girls High school for some pre session moves just to get a head start on the class. The session began at 7:00pm and was FULL on but awesome. It didn't matter if I got lost because I enjoyed the music SO MUCH. I had 2 left feet and couldn't master the moves and just carried on moving as best as I could. We laughed a lot!

Next session is Wednesday and would be good to go again...will see how we go.

If anyone is interested: Ditch the work out and join the party! Come Zumba at the Kelston Girls High School Dance Hall in West Auckland - Monday and Wednesday at 7:00pm. Get there 15min early for pre session moves.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Lydiard Legend Marathon or Arthur's Half

Put it in you diary folks. Lydiard Legend Marathon or Arthur's Half Saturday 18 September.

This is another great challenge and I'm still deciding which one to do, the full or the half. Last year I did Arthur's Half but this year I'm seriously considering the Legend marathon. The date for this, however, is a tad close to the Auckland marathon which I have already entered.

I have to do some speed training as it appears I may have entered a half marathon in June, quite by chance and it is not in NZ...I am a tad vague about this particular event at the moment but I will add more information about it when I can...BEST get those legs moving!

I'd LOVE some company while training, if anyone wants to join me, as it helps my motivation to get out and go for a run. Short runs, long runs, speed runs, slow runs, I'm keen! I won't be following a training program this time, just my own judgement so lets see how I go.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

OXFAM Trailwalker NZ Photos and stats

Finishing Stats

Out of the 261 teams that started this year:

  • 181 crossed the finish line as a complete team of four
  • 61 teams crossed the finish line with three team members
  • 12 teams made it with only two members
  • 3 ladies from different teams braved it to the finish line without their team mates
  • Only 4 teams did not make it to the finish this year

The next OXFAM Trailwalker NZ is on the 9th and 10th April 2011. Find a team, get training and give it a go for next year. It is SO worth it and you have my support!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

1 Short, 1 Long

On Saturday we had a busy schedule and so time was precious. I was up early to go for a short run with Mrs G, only 6.5kms. The plan was to get short run over with so that I could go and watch Luke's first game of rugby for Kelston Boys High School, under 14's. They won against Avondale High - Yeeha!

I had planned on doing a longer run on Sunday, 16kms. This is my run up to and including the Pipe Line and back. Mrs G was keen to join me and we agreed to meet at the start of the Pipe Line to run together. It is up hill most of the way to the Pipe Line and a tough start to the run but really, once up to the village, the rest of the run is easy enough. We ran the Pipe Line together and back to the village. Then we walked some of the way down Titirangi Rd and all the way home.

Not a bad run but MUCH slower than I hoped. I am going for a walk tomorrow and again on Wednesday so far. Another busy week ahead and so it will be a matter of cramming them in when I can.

Up date soon...

Monday, April 19, 2010

These legs keep on moving

With no Shayne for the weekend I thought I'd head out for a wee hike. I started running down Hutchinson Ave towards New Lynn where I met Mrs G, and then we walked along Margan Ave, to Titirangi Rd and on to Scenic drive. When we reached the Pipe Line we decided to see how much of it we could run. We managed the whole 6ks and then walked back to Titirangi village where we stopped for breakfast.

Back on our feet and I was feeling a little stiff, we walked all the way back to my home for me to drive Mrs G back to hers. We were out for 3 hours.

I have a pain in the arch of my left foot that is probably from the Taupo walk and so I have to take it easy. I perhaps started back a tad prematurely...The problem I have is that I'm feeling SO fit now and I'm so aware of how quickly I can loose it. I want to keep the fitness up! I will try to rest up for a week and see how I go next weekend.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New Template

Hi All,

I am practising with new templates so just experimenting at the moment, hence the new look to my Blog. I have been going through some professional development recently with a view to setting up Blogs for the Early Childhood Centre I work at. The best way to understand the whole process is to have lots of practice - 'Hands on' is a good way for me to learn!

In the mean time, expect to see some changes to my Blog as I try out new gadgets, security settings and templates.

Keep watching!

Mandy xx

Just a short one

Mrs G gave me a call on Monday to see if I was keen to go for a walk. I wasn't quite ready for it but thought that Tuesday I would try a short walk. Surprisingly, I have no leg pains after Saturday although Sunday I was a bit uncomfortable until I warmed up. By Monday it was only my blisters that bothered me and I was reluctant to put my shoes on but by Tuesday, even they seemed ok. Still ugly though!

I met Mrs G and we walked for 7Kms, just a loop. The pace was slow and I was felt good. We had a lot to catch up on and so it was a nice opportunity to chat while we walked.

Not long now and I'll be back running...I'm SO looking forward! I plan to ease back into it with gentle, slow runs until I start my next training plan.

Monday, April 12, 2010

OXFAM Trailwalker 2010 - DONE!

Here is the Watercare Cougars!

Today I celebrate! I feel truly happy and totally satisfied with our accomplishment. The training paid off well. We each, Suzie, Sharon, Philomen and I, managed a personal best at 17hrs and 50mins for the 100km trailwalk. We are yet to have our position confirmed but we think it was 15th or 16th out of 265 teams.

Our goals were:

  • Beat The Cougar Hunters
  • Finish as a team
  • Achieve a time of around 17hrs or at least within the same day
  • Be the first all female team to cross the line
  • Beat our times from last year

We beat the Cougar Hunters fair and square by over an hour, we finished as a team, we didn't go under 17 hours but we did finish in the same day, we were not the first all female team to cross the line but we think we may have been 2nd and we all beat our times from last year.

Starting at 6:00am seemed our preferred option so that we wouldn't have to weave through hundreds of people.

We started well, ran for the first few kms to get away from the crowd. There's nothing worse than not being able to get into rhythm when stuck behind someone much slower on a narrow track, especially knowing that the Cougar Hunters could be close.

The first leg was 17.6kms and was nothing too hard. Everyone was fresh and happy and so we reached check point 1 feeling fine with loads of energy and ahead of the Cougar Hunters. Lots of texts were coming through offering words of support which really helped and we shared them all with each other. Those texts REALLY lifted our spirits when things started to get a bit hard. Sharon was in fine form as she set the steady pace for us.

The second leg was 12.8kms and perhaps a little tougher but again, fresh legs and lots of energy and so nothing we couldn't handle and again Sharon keeping us at a good pace. It was when we reached check point 2 that things started to change. Just as we refuelled and were ready to go, the Cougar Hunters arrived looking good, all except Shayne that is. He looked like death and appeared very angry but, competition is competition and so I had no time for pondering on his problems.

The third leg, 15.6kms, was my strongest because I knew that the Cougar Hunters were way too close for comfort and I knew that, like us, they were just refuelling at the check points and it wasn't in their plan to stop for a rest. Suzie and I prefer to run over walking and so, stuck on a windy track, we started to jog along. We were up high and the views were stunning! Why didn't I bring my camera? Sharon and Philomen were behind us but keeping up at a distance. The pace was a tad too fast for the team and so we were forced to slow it down on the next leg which we knew was a very hilly and difficult leg.

Getting tired and sore, we had no idea how far the Cougar Hunters were from us but we were ahead. The fourth leg was the longest at 19.1kms but at least by this stage we were over the half way mark. Philomen took the lead as we followed her up those gruelling hills. They went on and on and our footing was very uneven. This leg took its toll on us, we were tired, it was a lonely trail as we had been on our own for a fair chunk of the time. The closest team on either side was way too far out of sight to seek comfort and support and that's where those texts messages meant the world to us.

Once leg 4 was out of the way I felt a tad better because from memory, that was the worst of it done. I was, however, getting to the point that I just wanted the whole thing over. What I know about myself though, is that I was committed to the finish and the only way to get to the finish was to keep going with my team mates who, thankfully, were as committed as I was. We had to stay focused on staying ahead of the Cougar Hunters, motivation enough for me!

With 3 much shorter legs to look forward to my expectation was that we'll be ok and get through. It was dark by this time and so we put on warmer clothing and head lights. I still hadn't changed my socks or shoes. I had blisters and thought it better to leave them well alone until the end. We all have different strategies where blisters are concerned and in my experience, leaving them works. It doesn't make them any better and blister prevention is the best option but once they are there, deal with it but get the job done first.

Leg 5 was only 6.3kms which took us to a total of 79.1. 21Kms to go and only 2 more legs! This was a good leg for us as it wasn't too hilly and saw us through to the next check point still ahead of the Hunters by about 30mins although I didn't feel confident about that as it is just like Shayne to pop up out of no where! We hadn't seen them since check point two and so it was looking good for us.

It was during this leg that I thought about the real reason for all of us out there attempting this event. Oxfam is a great charity and an easy way for me to help people that suffer through and endure the hardest of times. It helped me keep everything in perspective and clear any 'feeling sorry for myself' moments. I have endurance, I know that, but would I if I lived in Haiti or Samoa and I lost my home, my family with no food or clean water to drink? I'm not sure that I could but I CAN walk/run 100kms in support of Oxfam New Zealand.

7.7kms for the next leg. Apart from feeling exhausted with an aching body, the Watercare Cougars were going really well and hanging in to the bitter end.

The second from last leg was only 7.4kms. Clearly I had forgotten how hard that short leg was. The terrain in the dark was brutal! I strained my groin muscle and found it difficult to get over the stiles, we were all fatigued with aching bodies. Suzie seemed to come alive and scouted for us by running ahead and warning us what to be ready for. I enjoyed hearing the count down markers as she called out, "We've reached 84ks!" More hills followed by more hideous terrain in complete darkness. This was my least preferred leg and I couldn't wait to be on that last Taupo stretch along the water front.

Finally, the last leg and only 13kms to go. That's a short training walk. We were still semi hopeful that we could make it before midnight to have completed the whole 100kms within the same day and so we dug deep and set a good pace. The good thing about my team mates is that I trusted them to tough it out to the end and they did. We came in with 10 minutes to spare. We made it! An AWESOME feeling that I wish I could share with everyone.

PLEASE, PLEASE give it a go next year or encourage others to give it a go. It is the most character building, team bonding, group hugging, good deed ever!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Auckland Marathon

Sunday 31 October 2010 - put it in your diary!

ONLINE ENTRIES OPEN Wednesday 7 April 2010

You can enter online using your Visa, Mastercard or AMEX for any one of the five adidas Auckland Marathon events. Whether it’s the Marathon, Half Marathon, Quarter Marathon, 5km Run & Walk or the KIDS MARATHON, set yourself the goal and take up the challenge in 2010!

Hit the link:

I've just entered!

The 2010 Waitakere Eco City Challenge

Is anyone keen to give this challenge a go? Hit the link and have a read:

A person with good navigational skills would be an advantage...It sounds FUN!

I'm busy on this particular weekend and so won't be able to take on the challenge but if anyone does, please let me know how it went as I'd be keen for next year.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Itching to Run

My two boys wanted to go for a run today and Shayne suggested we go for a walk. Just 6kms which is from home to the end of Golf Rd and back and so we all left together. The boys took off and Shayne and I walked at quite some distance behind them. As soon as we reached South Lynn Rd I had a strong desire to run. This, I believe, is because I only ever run this particular route unless I am walking with someone. Shayne's pace is a tad slower than mine and so he was behind me. I was on my own...

Once I reached Golf Rd the boys were way out of sight and I wondered if I started to run, would I catch them. However, this was to be just a walk today as I have to stay injury free and I don't need to be taking any chances at this stage.

Just as I reached the Golf course I met the boys running back. They were going well and again, I wished I was running with them. Not long to go now and I can get back into my running. I reached home in about 45 minutes about 10 minutes after the boys and about 10 minutes ahead of Shayne. Luke, our youngest chap, reached home first. That's rugby training for you.

I had a discussion today about doing the Auckland marathon again. I am told that entry forms go on-line next week. I don't want to miss out so will get the link up as soon as possible.

5 days to go, folks. I packed some of my gear today, my Gortex coat for if it rains, a warm hat for the night time leg, gloves, first aide kit and head light. From the last 2 years of doing this event I know that I will lose my appetite quite early on but I know that I have to eat which is why I have rice pudding, a good source of energy yet easy to swallow and tastes great. Thankfully, I love it cold straight from the tin - I MUST remember a tin opener...

The good news, it looks as though we have reached our $20000 fund raising target although it isn't showing up yet. Raffle is still going for the Bivouac gear, $5 for a number. We have about a third of the numbers to go. Let me know if you want one.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Week and a Day To Go

With just one week and one day to go until event day this week is going to be well planned and organised. I'm grateful for Easter weekend for some extra time to get things sorted. I have signed up to Twitter to give people an idea of where we will be on the day and you can follow us, assuming it works, by looking at our OXFAM website:

If the link fails just google Oxfam Trailwalker NZ and then look up my team: Watercare Cougars. I hope to add the odd message which should show on the map on our web page.

Today's little training session with Sharon was good. We left at 7am and walked from home up to Titirangi via Titirangi Road, onto Scenic Drive and the the pipe line, down the hill at the back and on to Woodlands Park Road, to Huia Road and all the way UP HILL, back to the village, down Titirangi Road to home again. We ran segments of it and managed it in 2 hours.

I'm hoping to get out at least once more this weekend but no more than 2 or 3 hours worth just to keep the muscles in order.

It looks as though I may be able to get Monday off work to heal my tired body after all.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Waiheke Island Training Walk

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This was our last LONG training walk before the event. It was pretty tough but all of our previous training has paid off as we got through it with no major problems. I made this album above as a tribute to my team mates. We have shared a great deal through this time and I am grateful for them and their company.

Next team training walk will be next Sunday but I will do a few local short ones until it is time for us to head down to Taupo for event day.