Sunday, August 30, 2015

How Long did you say?

I was a bit freaked out this week when I saw that I had a 4 hour run scheduled in my training programme this weekend - I don't remember running for that long previously other than whilst taking part in a half ironman or marathon event.

So it was with some trepidation that I headed out at 7am yesterday morning with my camelbak securely fastened to my back with enough fluids to last 4 hours.  Simone wasn't able to join me on this run as she had a crazy busy Saturday planned with family activities.

I decided to pick a fairly challenging course which is a different approach to previous years when I tended to find an enjoyable easy training course.  I think picking a more challenging course will only be of benefit on the day of the 50km.

The first 18 km flew by in 2 hours and then the coastal walkway slowed me down significantly.  I headed up hills, steps, ran along beaches and roads stopping at a dairy to buy some additional water as the fluids I thought might last me, didn't.  The third hour signalled 25.5 kms and as I headed in to the fourth hour I slowed even more.  My legs were tired - I was hungry but didn't feel like eating.  I really need to nail the nutrition in readiness for the big day as food and water play a major part in the training plan.

I finally arrived home at 11am - 4 hours after I had left - although actual running time was 3.45 as I had stopped off for traffic lights and buying water along the way etc.   I had completed 30.5 kms which I was happy with given the challenging terrain.  Goodness knows how long the 50km will take as I had slowed more and more with each passing hour!

I have to admit that I did very little else over the weekend - I sat in the movies with Soph, got a rotisserie chicken take out for dinner - then lazed on the couch all day Sunday with the exception of walking Bella for about an hour on Sunday afternoon to loosen up the muscles.

Until next time…..

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Coastal Walkway

Well it was good to be back in training this week after a nasty head cold last week which resulted in a few days horizontal on the couch.

Yesterday (Saturday) my great friend and neighbour, Helen, organised a fun run for her husband Andy who was turning 40.  When I say a fun run - I soon found out that Helen, Andy and their friends run at a blistering pace despite pushing strollers with their pre-schoolers inside holding on for the ride of their lives.  Having started off very confidently at the front of the pack things only deteriorated from there and I arrived in second to last place at the finish spot 6km later (when I say second to last I am not sure that little Danny peddling as fast as he could on his scooter counts).  Anyway I was very grateful to another great friend, Clara, whose nephews were roaring along the pathway with Clara's triplets holding on in their stroller so Clara had borrowed her nephews bike and very kindly rode the last kilometre or so with me as I gasped for air trying to keep up.   We arrived just in time to see the pre-schoolers taking part in some races along the beach.  Everyone then headed back to Helen and Andy's for an amazing feast of bacon and eggs which were devoured after the mornings exercise (see the photo below of some of the shoes and strollers on Helen and Andy's doorstep).  I am sure its no surprise that I needed a lie down in the afternoon.

Then this morning after a quick walk with Bella the dog, Simone and I headed off at 7.30am along the Coastal Walkway from  Campbells Bay to Torbay and back - it is quite a steep, long and winding walkway but it was a gorgeous day for a 2 hour run particularly because for the first time in a long time the rain stopped and the sun was shining.   Simone and I have picked out a few challenging training runs which we hope will get us into good shape for the Tarawera 50km Trail run which is now only about 12 weeks away on November 14. 

These photos were taken at Browns Bay Beach on our way back to Campbells Bay - it was still fairly early in the morning so the beach wasn't as populated as it was later in the morning - everyone was out by midday enjoying the winter sunshine.

Until next time :)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Training Begins

I haven't blogged in over 14 months since my return from Singapore where I spent almost two years living and working.  So I thought now would be a good opportunity to pick up the laptop and capture my next new adventure.

I have always liked a challenge and this year isn't any different - I have signed up to run my first ultra marathon - an off-road trail run in Rotorua, New Zealand - The Tarawera 50km.  I have a training programme all sorted (thanks to coach Sue Brewster) and a great training buddy (Simone Guy).  Sue and Simone have also signed up to run the 50km so we hope to have a blast.

Taking a break on a Saturday morning training run
The ultra-marthon journey actually started almost 12 months ago when I signed up for a 60km event also at Tarawera, but during the build up I completely psyched myself out and eventually withdrew.  I did travel down to the event though as both Sue and Simone were taking part.  It was such an incredible event and I spent the day cheering on Sue and Simone who finished the course in approximately 9 hours (just 10 minutes apart).  I was so in awe of their achievements that I thought I needed to get over myself and sign up again.  I have to add that the 50km distance doesn't scare me as much as the 60km so I am hoping I don't psyche myself out this time.

I have run (jogged/walked) a number of marathons over the years but they have all been on the road - so trail running is really new to me - I entered a couple of trail events over the last few months and it is so much more fun than pounding the pavements (apart from the day I lost my running shoes in the mud at Riverhead).  NZ is such a beautiful country and I am continually surprised by the many trails around that I never knew existed.

Training is now underway with just 14 weeks to go until the Tarawera 50km and early this morning Simone and I headed up to Long Bay, just North of Auckland, for a 2 hour training run - the weather was a bit gloomy with patches of heavy rain and hail (what can one expect in the middle of winter) - but nothing was going to dampen our enthusiasm to hit a new trail - the views were amazing and well worth getting up so early for.  Until next time…..

Heading towards Okura
On the way back to Long Bay Beach