It’s Almost Road Trip Time!

This half marathon I’ve been dreaming about for years is one sleep away… ONE SLEEP Eeeek!

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My legs are feeling MUCH better after a massage – I swear Rachel (massage therapist) must have magical powers or something! Between Kate & Rachel my worries about St Clair melted away and I’m looking forward to seeing what I achieve tomorrow! Holy hell it’s tomorrow??

I have spent a lot of time getting everything ready yesterday & today. I made some of these suckers this morning to take away

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We also are having a Pot-luck dinner and will be using the leftovers for the following night – everyone has to make a dish to contribute. Liam + me = 2 dishes I had to make last night.

I feel like I have so much stuff I need to take away with me… It’s only two nights how much stuff do I actually need? 

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All in all I’m not exactly sure what to expect on the drive up but it’s going to be fun! Liam is driving up after work so he’ll be meeting us there later in the evening.

RACE EXPECTATIONS:
My main goal is to simply finish it, however if I can do so in under 2:30 I’ll be pretty happy!

Bring on the finishers medal I say (it’s a bottle of wine!!)

 

Are you racing this weekend?

Aoraki/Mount Cook Inaugural Marathon (calm down, I only did the 10km)

My weekend started one of the best possible ways it could… ROAD TRIP!!!

I went away for the weekend to Aoraki/Mount Cook for a race. A couple of Pumped ladies had won entries for the Inaugural marathon (they did the half, I did the 10km) and had asked if anyone else wanted to join them. It’s a bit of a journey I still hadn’t been to Mt Cook before so I jumped at the chance and the bonus was that I was offered a free entry to the race.

I drove to Emily’s place and the two of us car pooled from there. A quick coffee stop in Geraldine (about 1.5 hours in) and then we kept driving to Tekapo for lunch.

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Another hour or so later and we got to Aoraki/Mount Cook. Driving in we worked out where each race started (It seems like a very long distance when you’re in a car!) and the hills didn’t seem quite that bad in the car (I’ve been told since that some of those hills were pretty tough!). We checked in to the hotel and went to find our Kennel Chalet before meeting up with Simone & Mark.

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This race worked slightly different than others I’ve been to, we had the pre-race briefing at dinner the evening before as opposed to in the morning just before the race started. There was a HUGE line for the buffet; I hope that next year they might spread it out a bit/put more food out at a time. I don’t think the hotel realised how much runners eat before a race (some people’s plates were piled insanely high!). This lead to the veges being brought out a little bit before they were ready, crunchy kumara (sweet potato) is not one of my favourite foods I’ll admit.

RACE DAY!!

Sunday morning was a little strange. Normally I have to travel somewhere for a race but as I was doing an out and back course and there was no race briefing on the morning I didn’t have to leave the kennel until 15mins before the race started. So as Emily was getting up and ready I was sitting on my bed not really knowing what to do with myself haha! Emily & Simone had to catch a bus out to the start line at 7:30am ready for 9am start. I got ready earlier than I needed to and used a bit of time to keep moving once I got outside in the cold.

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About 8:50am we were walked out past the finish line and onto the road where we were starting from. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 GO! Everyone seemed to be going at quite a pace, the start was downhill but I noticed I was definitely going faster than normal. My first two km were well under 6mins so I made myself slow just a little. I knew the first half of the race would be faster as it was sloping down and I wanted to make sure I had enough to get back up – especially the last 400m as this was the steepest part of the course… These stairs were just before the finish chute… I know they don’t look like much but trust me they are horrible after a run!

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My hands were super cold and my body instantly noticed the slight incline at the 5km turnaround, in fact it seemed like quite a few runners had only trained on the flat because a lot of them stopped and walked a wee bit at the turnaround point. I managed to keep a pretty steady pace with those around me, once we got into our rhythms no one passed me (for me this is an awesome feeling) and as my running app clicked over 10km I realised it was a PB for me (YES!!). The course ended up being 10.4km but the best feeling for me was managing to keep running up the last hill and in doing so passing 4 runners who either slowed considerably or who stopped to walk it – I think that feeling was even better than crossing the finish line haha. I also got my first ever finishers medal at this race too, a lot of our races are quite small in comparison with other countries so it’s not often we get medals.

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Being so close to the accommodation I knew I had an hour to kill before Emily & Simone were due to finish so I walked back down to the kennel chalet to for a hot shower, some warm clothes and a snack. After lunch Emily & I decided to go for a wander, there were some 30-60min walks quite close to the village and we thought we had around 3 hours before prize giving (turns out it got moved forward two hours so we missed it – I better not have missed out on a spot prize!!). We decided to try one of the longer tracks first which ended up taking us close to a little bridge – so detour we must!

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On the way back we spotted another very short walk so we headed in there before getting back to the chalet. Not knowing that prize giving had already happened we got ready and met Simone up at the café. This is when I found the post on Facebook, so feeling a bit sad we headed to the bar downstairs with the cosy fire which became our home for the next few hours…

Monday morning was supposed to be a sleep in but both Emily & I were wide awake before 7am (sigh). We wanted to go see one other small walk behind the hotel so we checked out and headed up there quickly.

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Then we finally found an entrance into the memorial garden we spotted earlier in the trip:

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Emily did some research and decided on our way out we could stop and do a walk/hike up to see the Tasmin Glacier. This was the best walk we did (in my opinion) just look at the scenery!!

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We headed back home, stopping again in Tekapo for lunch.

I was hoping the weather would clear a bit more than it did, I never seen all of Aoraki/Mount Cook, I’ve decided it’s not worth playing hide & seek with a mountain – you will not win, ever… However I did manage to see the tip of the mountain for about 5mins on my race, I really wanted to stop and take a picture but my time was going really well so I didn’t want to stop!! So this was the best picture I got… Still breathtaking!

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And this is what it looks like minus clouds (apparently)

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Did you race over the weekend?

I’m back and even more crazy than before…

Firstly I apologise for seemingly falling off the face of the blog planet… I have been writing a bit but nothing quite got to the ‘published’ state (sigh). IT’S BEEN A MONTH!!!

I managed to roll my ankle at The Color Run because it was pouring with rain and the course was on uneven ground; it got really sore the next day and put me out of action for a little while. Then we had some insane weather, a few days of heavy rain resulted in pretty bad flooding around the city.

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Then a week later we were bracing for another dose of the rain – THANKFULLY it wasn’t as bad as the first round in regards flooding.

BACK TO IT:
Yesterday I completed my third race for the year – City2Surf which was a 14.5km mainly on road race.

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It was cold and windy but I decided rather than having the hassle of dropping off/picking up my gear I’d just suck it up and leave all the gear I wasn’t going to run with in the car… I’ll be honest and say I did regret my decision! Also made me realise I need to get some more layering clothes ready for winter (any excuse for a running gear shopping trip!!). Liam and I arrived at the start after taking the bus from the finish and headed to where some of the Pumped team was meeting up for a quick photo before heading over to the start line.

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Being the longest distance I’ve run so far in my training I didn’t have a time goal as such. I was hoping to keep it closer to 1hr 35mins. We crossed the finish line at 1hr 38mins so I was pretty happy with that considering we had to stop for a couple of traffic management teams along the way and the first km took ages to actually get running. The start horn went off and it was a good couple of minutes before we got going – so our first km took 8:30!! The rest averaged 6:30-6:40 which is around what I have been doing with my longer runs.

I must admit there were a few infuriating moments during the run. I lined up towards the end of the ‘runners’ section just before the start of the ‘recreational runners’ section but there were SOO many walkers in front of us including some with prams, skateboards or dogs (dogs were strictly prohibited…) that we had to weave around for at least 4km. My goal was to reach the 8.5km mark before 10am (which is normally easy at my pace) as the people who were doing 6km were starting at 10am and I REALLY didn’t want to have to weave through them as well. We hit the 8km mark at 53:57 due to the slow start etc. but it seemed like the walkers set off earlier than expected. There were heaps of them and it made for an even more infuriating time than weaving at the start of our race. They took up the whole road and footpaths and there were lots of runners attempting to get past, in fact by the time we got onto the main road we had to keep going onto the side that was still open for cars just to pass all the walkers. Moral of the story – I need to pick up my pace slightly so I don’t run into them next time ARGH!!

Overall though I’m happy with how I went. There were a few moments I struggled with my head space and I am beginning to realise I will probably need to carry my camelbak with me more often, I’ve found out I like small sips of water fairly regularly as opposed to stopping at the drink stops every 4-5km and I need to start working on fuelling during long runs. This is what I have to test out on my runs so far…

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This week I’m focusing on getting back on track with my running schedule, over the last few weeks we’ve missed at least one run (sometimes being the long run eeek) so no excuses this week…

I am saving the homework set by Kate for Wednesday & Thursday mornings. It’s a ‘card game’ as set out below…

PICK UP 52:

Hearts = ABS of my choice
Diamonds = Press ups
Spades = Squat jumps
Clubs = Burpees

Ace = 15
King/Queen/Jack/10 = 10
9 = 9
8 = 8 (and so on)

Shuffle the pack of cards and do whatever gets turned up… All up it’s 99 reps of each exercise so I should be able to get through it with two small morning sessions 🙂

 

GOALS:

I’ve started to realise I’m feeling a little lost when it comes to where I want to head with my Health and fitness goals. For over four years now my goals and dreams were basically to lose weight and attempt to get to a 5km run. My ultimate dream which part of me thought would never happen was to complete a half marathon. This dream is now 7 weeks away and I’m so excited about it!! However because of focusing for so long on it I am now struggling to see what I want beyond that. I know I want to keep going along the fitness lifestyle but for me I seem to need specifics in my head to strive for.

This is where The Boss comes in; we’ve been chatting on and off for the last couple of weeks and what keeps popping up? A Marathon… 

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A Marathon?? Now that is a scary thought… Even a month ago if someone had mentioned a marathon (Kate did awhile back – I kind of stopped listening and laughed in my head at the outrageous thought) I would have passed it off not thinking about it. Not so much now. For some reason my mind is now seriously considering this, even though at this point I’ve only run a little over two thirds the distance of the half marathon.

Queenstown International Marathon: This is the one I’m considering, a couple of the Pumped ladies are already working towards this, in fact Emily is blogging about her journey here. It is 35 weeks away which will give me 28 weeks to increase my distances after completing my first Half Marathon. That’s doable… I guess… (eeek)

I’m working on setting goals for other areas of my fitness so there will be more to write about in the coming days/weeks regarding this!

A Weekend of Races and Weather Extremes…

The races I entered this weekend were a mixture of charity and fun runs. I wasn’t planning on having really good time/pace for either, I was focused more on getting out and enjoying myself.

A Run to Remember
Saturday’s run was a 12km trail/road course that began uphill through the Harry Ell track. This track is very narrow and people hadn’t lined up very well at all so there were a huge amount of walkers in front of some of the runners to start with. This meant for the first 2km uphill we ended up walking at quite a casual pace. Once we got to Summit Rd we were able to run the rest of the way at a fairly slow pace. I have only done one hill run before so for me it was about a slow and steady pace, my goal was simply to not stop running on the hilly parts. I remember looking at the weather an hour before we started and it was almost 26⁰C already, by the time we finished it was around 30⁰C – it was HOT! I ran with two lovely ladies Lisa & Lisa. These two ladies are inspirational; Lisa H is the one that is helping her friend’s daughter with the charity for Ava that I have mentioned previously. Lisa P is one of these people who will go out of her way to help you, she will enter a race last minute just to run with you if you are feeling a little apprehensive and stick with you the whole way around – even if it means she’s not going at her normal pace. Considering she has enough to worry about in her own personal life she gives of her time considerably to anyone else in need, even if it’s just a smile and a quick hello.

Saturday was a big day for me, I was a little worried when the race start was delayed as I had a small amount of breathing room to get home and get ready for a wedding out in the country. I made it in good time and was very lucky enough to have some shade during the outside ceremony considering I had spent a few hours in the full sun over the morning. My lesson learned: I WILL be sore the next day if I’ve run for over an hour and then decided to wear decent sized heels for the rest of the day/night when I don’t tend to wear heels very often!

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I really enjoy standing up here – you can’t see it overly well but it shows after the devastation of the earthquakes we do indeed still have a city – even though a good portion of it got demolished.Image

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The Color Run
I woke up late on Sunday as my alarm didn’t go off. It was set for 6:30 and I woke up around 6:55 so not too bad but it meant I had to rush around and leave pretty quickly. The warm up before the race was at 8:10am and I had to drive to Kathryn’s place and then head with her out to the race to pick up my pack so that I was ready to go before the warm up started. We got there in good time but as we headed in to pick up my pack the wind was feeling quite icy. I hadn’t checked the weather since the morning before and had no idea it was going to be considerably colder than the insanely hot day we had on Saturday. When I got back to the car to change into the T-Shirt I’d been given all of a sudden it started pouring down…

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We had 15mins before the warm up was due to start so we sat in the car like a lot of others – no point in being out in that longer than we had too! It was time to head back it – it was COLD. I jogged past everyone to get to the warm up area and spent the next 50mins trying to keep moving before we could start the race. It got a bit warmer once we are all huddled in the start chute but by this time it was steadily pouring down and had basically turned into a wet T-shirt competition! Finally the countdown began and we started on our way, slowly the rain and the cold became bearable. The run in general was fun, we embraced the weather and set out on a steady run, Kathryn has just in the last week or two got up to running 5km without stopping so I was quite glad to have an easy paced run, stopping to walk through each color station. It got freezing again a few minutes after we crossed the finish line so we didn’t stay very long and I must say changing into dry clothes and sipping on a coffee was the best feeling ever! I was too scared to get my phone out in that weather so I’m waiting for the pictures from the event to be posted online!!

In some ways this race was worse than Mud, Sweat & Tears which is held over here in winter. Sure you get wet and muddy and cold, but the times I’ve done it was ‘fine weather’ and you expected what was coming up during the course. Yesterday morning we weren’t expecting rain and for it to be that cold, and we had already been soaked through well before we even began the race. Looking back though I’m still glad I did it and didn’t chicken out like a few other competitors were doing.

In the evening a group of Pumped ladies met with another PT who Kate met recently called Anita. She focuses more on running than Kate has been and agreed to have a chat about ways we can improve our running techniques. I had read a lot of the information she was sharing on some running websites before but it was good to get reminders and some new information. I’m quite interested in seeing what her half marathon training plans are like in comparison with the one I’ve been following and she will be putting on some sessions for us during the weeks to come.

 

Start of a new week:
My legs are still quite sore today so I have been focusing more on stretching than exercise tonight as well as setting some goals for the week:

GOALS
# – Run a total of 25km
# – Complete the homework circuit twice
# – Do one stairs/hill session
# – Plan out my meals/snacks for the week