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.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Last Training on the Mountains

Well, we are down to our last few days of OXFAM training and as it nears to an end I can't help feel a little sad yet delighted to be getting my weekends and evenings back, at least for a little while.

This evening we covered the normal 5 mountains and on our last hike up Mt Eden, I felt a rush of excitement as if I had crossed the finish line...but not quite...we still have out BIG 50k walk to look forward to on the weekend.

We're almost done, folks...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Day After 42Kms and a Bit of News

I planned on going for a short training walk on Monday to test the leg muscles after Sundays 42km hike and I asked my good friend, Mrs G, to join me.

When I woke up on Monday morning, I expected to be in pain and to be hobbling around but, apart from the blisters, my legs were good. No pain at all. I still wanted to go for a walk though, just to make sure. Mrs G arrived at 6pm and we planned on going around the block which is 5 to 6ks but we have a fair bit to catch up on and so extended it slightly. I mapometered the distance when I got home. We covered 7.3ks.

Our fundraising is nearly done! THANK YOU to those that have supported us. I WILL NOT FORGET! We have reached an awesome $18000 and with just $2000 to go, I reckon we have it in the bag. We have some Bivouac Camping gear to raffle off. Hit the links below and let me know if you'd like a $5 raffle ticket:

Sorry, the raffle is for NZ people only!

Next training walk is Wednesday and we'll do the 5 mountains again. We should have a full team as Suzie has completed her half iron man event. YEAH! She did really well...If only I could swim...alas, this is in the 'too hard basket'.

Good news, I just heard that both my brothers entered the Reading half marathon and both broke the 2 hour mark. I'm SO proud of them as they have both been training hard out for this and have smashed their own records. Fabulous news! xx


The Cathay Pacific half marathon that I was supposed to do but was cancelled due to the tsunami, turned out to be worth my while entering as I won a spot prize: An Asics gear bag, a voucher for $220 for Asics running shoes, a voucher for $36 for Thorlo socks, a fitness analyses voucher and some kind of food supplement.

I spent the Thorlo voucher on the weekend and thought I'd try the socks for my training walk. Having used Thorlos before, I didn't think I'd have a problem. 15 minutes in to my 42km hike with my buddies, I felt that burning sensation under my left heel, and soon after, my right heel. I knew that I was to walk the rest of the way with discomfort.

We hiked from New Lynn into town, along the water front for about 6ks and then back into the city, down K Rd all the way to Avondale where we stopped for coffee and a bite to eat. We rested there for approx 20mins and then headed for home. My legs were SO stiff and sore after sitting for the break and it took a while to get back into it but we made it home.

We managed 42kms in 6 hours and so we're still walking at 7kms per hour. Very happy with this albeit the BIG blisters on my heels and blood blister on my little toe. It is not good to have blisters this close to the event and I have a good mind to write a strongly worded letter to Thorlo about how the blister-free comfort and protection socks did not help on this occasion! However, perhaps I should have washed them first and so will give them the 30 day trial period before I take it any further...

All in all, with just under 3 weeks left until event day, we are going well and I believe we are still quicker that Shayne's team and so here's hoping!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mountain after Mountain

Sorry for the delay in updating my blog, folks. It has been a busy time what with birthdays and weddings but hey ho, back on track now.

With just over 3 weeks to go until our OXFAM challenge we are just about ready. We have worked on stamina, time on feet, hill climbs, blisters, muscle problems, played around with different food and drink and we feel sorted for the day. Preparations have gone well.

Last week, Thursday we walked up and down Mt Eden 3 times but we were later than usual and the weather is cooling. When it started to rain we got cold and decided that 3 climbs up was enough for the day.

Brenda and Brian's wedding was on Saturday up at Waipu and I'll add some photos soon. Needless to say there was not a great deal of training this weekend.

On Monday the three of us usual team mates headed out to do the 5 mountains again. We started at Big King, on to One Tree Hill, Mt Hobson, Mt St Johns and Mt Eden with Landscape Road in between which is always a good hill to get the heart rate up.

We still have a long way to go with fundraising and we are especially looking for Corporate Sponsorship. If anyone knows of any company that will help us, we will be very appreciative. Just leave a comment and I'll advise you from there or hit the link:
and look up my team "Watercare Cougars".
Thanks again to those that have helped so far.

Next training for the week, I'm hoping to get out Wednesday and Thursday this week and again on the weekend. So far so good.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Short and Sweet

My next OXFAM team training is scheduled for Thursday but it is all about injury prevention now and so I had to get out to keep the muscles moving but not over-do it. I arranged with Mrs G to pick me up so that we could head out to Titirangi.

We only walked today as we haven't had a catch up in a while and had a lot to fit in. From the Village we walked up Scenic Drive, along the pipe line and back to the village which equated to about 8kms. Short and sweet - Until the next time...

A Funny Story

A shadow of three of our team
Sharon, Philomen and I left home in New Lynn at 6:30am to start our 'time on feet' training session. No hills as such, just distance to cover and a good way to assess out ks per hour at this stage of our training program.

We headed up through Avondale towards Mt Albert. Just after Pac n Save we met a group of youngsters fresh out from a party and off home, or so we assumed. There was a bit of banter between us which was amusing and onwards we went on with a whole lot of laughter behind us. This is where the funny story began...

We set a good pace for ourselves. Sharon was trying her new shoes out, complete with new socks and it didn't slow her down. I could feel a strain in my foot and so walked as fast as I could although painful at times. Because of the distance we were hoping to cover I perhaps over compensated to alleviate the pain and strained my other leg but it is a matter of working through it and keep focused on our end result.

A month out from out event there is no room for injury at this critical stage but I am also aware that our training is not yet complete and the more we do now the better it will be for us on the day.

Three hours in to our hike we were in town and walking up Queens Street from the Via Duct towards K Rd. As we passed Britomart...the funny story continues...who should we meet but the group of youngsters that had just finished partying! They travelled into town by train and we walked. The girls looked at us and if ever there was a look of absolute shock and surprise, well, we saw it. They pointed to us and stood dumbfounded as they tried to work out what to say while the chaps continued joking with us as they had done earlier.

What were the chances of bumping in to people we had seen hours before in a completely different part of town? We laughed all the way along Queens Street!

We stopped for some refreshments back in Avondale and arrived back home with 4hrs and 45mins of walking time after covering 33kms. Over this distance we are on approx 7kms per hour. Still too soon to predict how fast we will go on the day but at this pace we should be able to reach our goal of 100kms in 17hours. Here's hoping!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Waiheke Coastal Classic Event

Tip: The Waiheke Coastal Classic event is coming up this month if anyone is keen. I have a wedding to attend that day and so will not be doing this event although it has been on my 'to do' list for quite some time. Hit the link for further information and thank you WG for this tip.

Non Stop from Peak to Peak

The 3 of us Cougars, Philomen, Sharon and I, left Epsom at 4:30 and walked to Mt Albert which was where the first of our climbs began. Rather than climb the side of the mountain we walked up the road to the summit, the easier option and the night was young - Our way of conserving energy. It is the most peaceful of places and one day I will walk to the summit just to sit and look out across Auckland. There was no time for sitting today though as we no longer had to wait for Shayne and the boys. The first of the peaks done and onto the next which was Mt Roskill, the easiest of the mountains to climb. Up the road side again, conserving energy once again but steep enough to get the heart rate up.

Two peaks done and onto the third which was One Tree Hill. I plan to use this one for future training programs as it has a good steep climb up, around, down and up again. I'm also inspired by how many groups of people are out there supporting each other in their quest to be more active. It is great to see!

We powered up One Tree Hill and it felt GOOD! All the way to the top and again, no waiting, just enough time to gulp down some water and away we went on to the next three peaks. We climbed The Big King, Mt St Johns and Mt Hobson which has my favourite down path. It is a bit hard to find your footing at pace but I let gravity do it's job and pull me down all the way to the bottom. It is awesome! We added Landscape Road in between too as it is long and hilly, again to get that heart rate up.

We covered 23.5ks in 3hrs 45mins and so we covered on average 6.3kms per hour.

Monday, March 1, 2010

One Scary Tunnel!

Ann-Marie and I drove all the way out to Mission Bay for the Cathay Pacific half marathon only to find that it had been cancelled due to an expected tsunami on the East Coast. There was an earthquake in Chili that caused the tsunami and the Civil Defence made the call to cancel. A fair call as it is better to be safe than sorry and so we headed back home.

Both of us were still keen for the run and so we drove over to Lower Huia Dam which is along the West Coast and run a track out there. It is a hilly run, 6ks to the end and 6ks back to the car. 12ks, not quite the 21 that we were hoping for but exercise all the same. We ran up the first hill and onwards up a few more climbs until the track evened out. Ann-Marie runs at a slower pace and seeing as we were only doing 12ks I wanted to try and run it as fast as I could. I had prepared myself for a half marathon and so I needed to make this run worth while. Soon the gap between us grew. Ann-Marie warned me of the tunnel and suggested we just run to it unless feeling brave enough to go through. I had forgotten about the tunnel and have NEVER run through it on my own. When I reached it, well, I didn't want to go in on my own and so for a moment or two I hovered and hoped my friend would catch up so we could go through together. I'm not very brave at times!

Deep breath and hoped and prayed I'd get through it unscathed and off I went. It was pitch black inside and so I was sure to run in the middle as it was difficult to determine how far away the sides were. There is a bend in the tunnel and so you can't see the end until you get most of the way through when finally there is some natural light for guidance. SILLY REALLY! At the end I turned around and headed back knowing that there was a fair few climbs ahead and I decided that I wanted to keep running hard once at the top of each hill instead of slowing down to recover.

I found this was good training from when I used to run with the chaps from Watercare during the training for my first marathon. They were good, natural runners and I'd call in once or twice a week to join them in a few shorter training runs. The aim was for me to try and keep up with them. I always struggled on the hills and once at the top they'd keep me moving and within a matter of seconds of gentle recovery running they'd pick up the pace and I had to keep up! I HATED it at first but eventually I began to recover a lot quicker. I miss those guys!

I ran the 12ks in 1hr 8mins and so not overly fast but I felt good and strong. It was a shame about the half marathon as I was really looking forward but such is life. Just the OXFAM event to look forward to now which is in April...Next training session will be Monday night with 2 of my team mates.