Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cathay Pacific Half Marathon

I've just entered the Cathay Pacific Half Marathon. Easy to do on line, just hit the link on the right hand side of the page if you are keen. Walk or run, and a shorter event is available too.

I have an excellent training program, thanks to one of the parents at the place I work. I haven't yet learned how to add it to my Blog but will work on that...It is too close to event day now for me to follow this particular training schedule but there are many more events to come and will use it, for sure. Let me know if you think you would like to use it. (Thanks Mr D!).

Weekend Goal - Done

In preparation for today's run I drank lots of water yesterday and I planned to leave home at 7am to avoid the heat of the day.

After a bad night's sleep I woke up late but left at 7:20am feeling a little apprehensive about the hills but filled with determination to get to Titirangi Village without walking. That was my goal for the weekend and to do 16kms.

I ran up South Lynn and onto Golf Rd, head down and kept reminding myself, "One foot in front of the other..." I made it to Titirangi Rd and continued up towards Titirangi Village. My battle was not yet over, remembering the relief I felt on my last run up to the village when I had to wait for Mrs G, I got to have a rest. No rest this time!

I had a couple of things working in my favour today. I have a playful mind which often helps when I have problems to work through. In my mind I imagined my son, Luke, encouraging me to run up Rangitoto, as he did when we went over there for the afternoon a few weeks back. This helped. I have also been watching a program called, 'Escape To The Legion' about the training that the soldiers are put through. It is hard going for them and I am completely inspired by how much endurance they have. There was NO excuse for me to have to walk and so I pushed on, pretending to be in the French Foreign Legion.

Once through the village I felt like cheering because my determination was in good form. All that was left now was to ensure I made 16kms but the hard work was done. I ran to the Pipe Line, which was quite busy today with several runners/walkers/bike riders. There was one man with his son of about 18 months old, whom he had sat on the cross bar of his bike and I wished I had a camera so that I could show him how awesome he looked with his little boy. Onwards I ran and on the way back I picked up the pace, feeling really good at this point.

About 1km from the end I met Mrs G running towards me and so she turned around and ran back to the village with me. This was at a tad slower pace but it is so much nicer having someone to run with. We walked through the village together but once through the other side I felt the need to run hard and fast, its down hill most of the way and gravity does its job well. We parted company and I ran all the way home.

All in all it was a very pleasing run. I did it in about 1hr 35mins, not quite as quick as normal but I can't complain given how worried I was at the beginning.

Next training session will be tomorrow but not sure yet what I'll be doing. Happy again!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

2 Teams v 5 Mountains

3 of my team mates turned up for our regular Wednesday training session and all 4 of Shayne's. Our 4th team mate is currently in training for a half iron man event and has her own training plan for a while. Sharon is back with us after a break to recoup and although not ready to run yet, she has no problems keeping up.

The 2 teams, Shayne's and mine, left New Market at 5:20pm and headed to Mt Hobson, the first of the 5 mountains that we planned on climbing. We could see the dark clouds in the distance and almost welcomed them in as the heat was unbearable but the rain never came.

Sharon was absolutely fine and kept up the whole way. Given that she's had a month or so off she gave a pretty impressive effort. The boys tried hard to cause friction in our team. Knowing how competitive I can be especially when competing against Shayne, my husband, they began to run, basically tempting me to keep up with them. Of course they also know that Sharon can't run just yet but we had already decided that we'd walk with her until she is ready to run. This meant that they were ahead after the second mountain, Three Kings.

We just walked at a steady pace and caught up with them.
Next we reached One Tree Hill where we waited for the boys to catch up. One of their team will certainly give us a run for our money and perhaps 2 but we are pretty confident that, all going well on the day, we should beat them.

We reached Mt St Johns and it was starting to feel cooler. Once again we waited for the boys and then we headed to Mt Eden. We reached the top well before the boys again and this time we signalled from the top that we'd head back to New Market.

All in all it was a good training session although there was no running. Thank heavens! I would like to do a 16km run on the weekend and run all the way to the village without walking and so let's see how that goes...

Monday's Run - A Hard One

The goal was to run from home and up to Titirangi Village to meet Mrs G and then we'd walk the Pipe Line together. Mrs G is carrying an injury from a previous run and so is not pushing it too much at the moment.

Well, I left home and headed up to Golf Road, always a good climb, and really felt the heat. I reached Golf Road feeling a tad worse for wear and puffed and panted up towards Titirangi Road. I wondered why I was killing myself, it was hot and I was struggling. I found it really hard and so I walked up the rest of the way. I'm not happy about that and know that this was a run that was testing me to the max. I have run up that stretch of road several times and it is not normally a problem. It is my main run but for some reason I couldn't quite get there this time.

I promised myself that I'd start running again once I reached Titirangi Road and so I did although not at my normal pace. Once I reached the Village I was relieved that Mrs G was still on her way - I got to have a rest!
I sat at the bus stop, reflecting on all the reasons why I wasn't having a good run, until Mrs G arrived.

We walked up to the Pipe Line and picked the pace up, thankfully it was a tad cooler thanks to the protection of the trees. Needless to say, once we reached the car, I hopped in and Mrs G drove me home.

Not a good run/walk but I know that this happens sometimes, it is just a test of my spirit. I am otherwise fit and able and I won't let it get the better of me. Next training session - Wednesday with the team and we're planning on doing the 5 mountains again.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Run at Waihi Beach

Off on a girl's weekend to Waihi to celebrate our Karen's birthday with her gave me an opportunity to go for a run in new territory. I'm just a tad nervous when I'm not familiar with the place but I had to get at least one run in on the weekend and so I threw on my running gear and began to explore.

I soon found a petrol station where I was able to pick up supplies and a kind man, who told me he was associated to the Waihi Tramping Club, gave me an idea of where to run, an off road track that leads over to Orokawa Bay which is located north of Waihi Beach. The track starts at the northern end of Waihi Beach.

I ran for about 50 minutes all up and it was a very pleasant, enjoyable run. Absolutely stunning scenary and I hope to go back again one day soon.

Next training session should be on Monday...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Team Training

Back to it with the Team Training which will be a regular Wednesday evening session involving the mountains of Auckland.

2 of my team and 3 of Shayne's left Epsom at approx 5:30pm and headed towards Mt Eden. The goal was to get to, up, around and back from the mountain 6 times in 2.5 hours. There was a fair bit of running involved which pleased me but not Shayne. Each time we took a different track or back tracked but no matter which way we went, there was always upward climbs. There were times that I felt tired but there were plenty of runners out training that made me realise that I'm not pushing myself as hard as I could.

We finished at 8:00pm. I'm not sure on the distance that we covered but I was fine the next morning with no aches and pains. Poor Shayne didn't do so well and was a tad crook the next morning but he just has to do a few more of those training sessions and a bit in between and he'll feel better.

I'm away this weekend and hope to get a run in at some point. Not sure yet how far or how long but time will tell...

Beaten But Not Out

Thank you Shaun, from Lactic Turkey - Event Director (If you see this entry). I am down on the Lactic Turkey event as I felt it got the better of me, I struggled and was totally unprepared. After the event I was sure that I would NEVER do that kind of event again but then I said exactly that after childbirth and I still went back a second time.

I am going to work towards improving on my time for next year and will make it the focus of my training after May but until then, I have other priorities and so as beaten as I felt, I am not out - Just suitably challenged and time heals. I'm healed, no injuries, blisters, cuts etc just disappointment but that I can over come if I do it right, I'm sure.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm Pumped and Ready

I had a hard weekend after the disappointment of the Lactic Turkey event but not wanting to dwell on it too much I felt the need to get out and go for a good run.

Mrs G and I drove up to the Pipeline and walked to the gate. We started to run from there to the end and back. When we reached the car I felt the need to continue, pumped and ready to go on, and so we parted and I took off back through Titirangi all the way back home. I covered approx 10kms and felt good.

Next training day is Wednesday and so trying to get back into routine ready for the next event.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lactic Turkey Half Marathon - Done and Dusted

Yesterday I completed the hardest event of my life. The Lactic Turkey Whatipu half marathon.

The good news is that I finished it. The bad news is that it took a whole lot more out of me than I could ever imagine and I'm left feeling as though I will never do an event like that again.

I left home feeling a tad nervous with Mrs G and Anne-Marie and we arrived at Whatipu in good time to register. We knew to carry plenty of fluids and a pack of emergency supplies with compulsory equipment as is required on an event such as this.

At about 9:30am the run began and up through the Waitakeres we went. Quickly the group spread out and the athletes amongst us were off way too quickly for me to even contemplate keeping up. The first of the tracks was narrow and had to be single file for quite some distance and as I ran upwards I noticed that I was not able to keep up with those in front and had to pull over to give those behind me an opportunity to pass. I wondered how I could feel so unfit at this early stage of the run and struggled on. Up, up, up I went to the point that my legs were screaming in pain and trembling but what was worse was the down hill slopes and my legs felt as though they'd give way from my knees, they were that tired.

At about 10kms in to it I met a man and I asked how much further. To my horror he replied,
"You're not even at the half way point yet, mate."
I was devastated! But had to keep going. At two different points I went off the track and was so close to being lost in the Waitak's but managed to keep my wits about me and find the track again. I was on my own for about 2.5 hours until I caught up with 2 chaps both doing the half marathon. One was struggling while the other was supporting him. How I wished for someone to support me. It was a very lonely time for me out there for so long on my own...
I chatted to the chaps and decided I would head off and leave them and for a bit they were on my tail chasing me up the hill. They never caught me. My only victory for the day.

As I reached Whatipu camp ground some folk cheered me on, at which point I wanted to cry and found it hard to breath. Gasping for air I ran towards the line and a whole bunch of people clapping and shouting words of encouragement.

I had made it! Finally, 4hrs and 8mins later and I felt absolutely gutted. Gutted because I wasn't able to run the whole thing and because I did such an awful time. There was no sense of achievement. I have run marathons faster.

My 2 friends did ok although they found the event really tough too. My Facebook comments have lifted my spirits and on reflection, I finished it and didn't give up. I have always said that I like to set good examples for my boys and I challenge myself to demonstrate that no matter how hard things get, stick at it, chip away until you get to where you want to be.

There are some things I know about me and one of them is that I'm never going to be a swimmer, perhaps I'm never going to be an off road runner either...or will I?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Map my Run

Tip: For those that are interested in finding out the distance of a certain route, the 'Map my Run' link on the right hand side of this blog page covers all round the world, that means you too in the UK.

Don't forget to change miles to kms.

Tip: You can also try mapometer which includes a calorie counter. I will try this out on my next run. (Thanks for this tip, Wendy! I'll add it to 'my links').

Let me know how your training is going. I enjoy hearing about your endeavours and would like to share some training tips or suggestions that you might have.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Just a Short One

After an pleasant evening spent with friends, Mrs G and I decided we'd have an early start on Saturday and head out for a run. Just a short one...

I left home at 7:30am and headed down Hutchinson to meet Mrs G. She was walking up to meet me. We then ran towards New Lynn and I can't believe how different the round about is for the train track. It certainly looks a little less hectic these days. On to Totara and then Gt Nth Rd, left onto West Coast Rd, left onto Pleasant, left on to Titirangi Rd and right on to Margan Ave which is where we split up and I ran towards my home back up Hutchinson and Mrs G ran to hers, back through New Lynn.

What was going to be a short run turned into slightly longer at 9kms and I was happy with that.

One week out from my next event and so a gentle week ahead.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Our Rangitoto Race

Make a Smilebox slideshow

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Our Rangitoto Race

Josh, Luke and I planned to race up to the top of Rangitoto and then take a scenic route back down to the wharf.

We caught the 12:15 ferry from Downtown Auckland, compliments of Fullers and we were sure to carry plenty of water ready for our excursion. It was about a half hour trip which gave us time to have our lunch and work out the route we wanted to take using the Fullers map.

We started up the main track and Josh was away. Luke preferred to stay with me and encourage me to go faster. We were PUFFING but I enjoy this sort of challenge. I wonder how my boys got to be so fit...

Josh won! Luke was 2nd and I came LAST!

Next we took the Boardwalk to the summit. My legs were burning and so we had a rest and refueled with water, carrots and pineapple lumps and reassessed our position. We chose to head towards Boulder Bay but it was over very unsteady volcanic terrain and so after a good 30mins of walking we headed back to find the track that led back to the wharf.

We caught the last ferry home. On reflection I can say that it was an excellent days exercise but more importantly I got to spend quality time with my boys. We had a lot of laughs - a splendid day.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

7km Run to Up, Up and Up!

After my week off to recover from a strained calf muscle I started back running this evening. I was joined by Josh and Ann-Marie and we ran just over 7kms.

My event is just over a week away and I'm feeling slightly unprepared! However, I will not doubt myself but I know that it will be tough because my training should have been better.

7ks was a good distance. We started at La Rosa, left onto Golf Rd, Right onto South Lynn, all the way down Hutchinson to Rankin, right onto Clark St, Right onto Portage Rd at the round about and all the way to Godley Rd.

I started to feel really good at this point and so I believe the distance, 21ks shouldn't be the problem - IT'S JUST THE HILLS! We finished on La Rosa again but not enough hills. Having said that, the hill at the end proved pretty tough.

Home for a quick shower and then Shayne, Josh, Luke and I went off to Extreme Edge West for a bit of rock climbing. Located at 5 Waikuakua Rd, Glen Eden. Here's their link if you are interested:

Extreme Edge West

I was introduced to this fantastic place through kindy. They were good enough to let us come and give the children a go for free and so I will continue to use them for their generosity.

We had a family competition and challenged each other for different climbs. I didn't do too badly at all given that my upper body strength has NEVER been something that I am proud of but my youngest boy, Luke, was away. Even when his arms were shaking, and he was clearly tired, some how he managed to get to the top, EVERY TIME. I have always said that he runs on Ever Ready batteries or something as he never seems to stop. At bed time, however, he is out like a light, recoups and is ready for his next day. I love that about him.

Signing off now feeling mighty proud of my boys.