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.