Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cycling and Xmas Running Do

I had quite a few things to do on Saturday and wanted to get out for a bike ride for an hour too so worked out I had to be up and out by 8.30 in order to get everything else done and then get to the dog groomer by 1 with Mabel and Teddy. BIP was out for golf by 8.15 so I was awake and ready to go but rushed out without checking the weather which meant a gloomy cycle in windy weather that I probably would have avoided otherwise - the wind does play havoc with my ears! Apart from that a nice bit of biking not too strenuous but enough of a challenge to be worth getting up for. Sunday was the marathon clinic xmas do which firstly entailed getting out of bed at 6.15am - on a Sunday!! Seriously this is why I don't normally do the Sunday morning mc runs, both BIP and I very unimpressed at losing our 1 lie in of the week! Weather was grey and drizzly which didn't bode well, but by the time JB2 arrived at ours at 7.15 and we'd driven into town it was looking a little better. All aboard the coach for our mystery trip. First stop was at the Arapuni dam where we got out to have a walk across the swing bridge (picture left), which was actually pretty cool as the gully is very pretty and the power station perched on the edge below the cliffs in a fairly impressive manner. Then back onto the coach to the next stop down the road which was near part of the Waikato river trails. Morning tea consisted of orange juice and mince pies and then we set off for the run/walk along the Arapuni Dam to Jones Landing part of the trail. In the end I opted to walk as the trail was very uneven with lots of tree roots etc and I didn't fancy tripping and breaking an ankle or ending up in the river!! Still BIP and I kept up a healthy pace and there were some challenging climbs along the way, not least the 5 mins up to the lookout point and so it was a good workout anyway. The trail took about 50 mins before rejoining the road and finding where the coach was parked next to the river at Jones landing (picture on right). Some of the braver (madder?) members of the group took the opportunity for a swim in the river, but a brief paddle was enough to reassure me that it was far to cold to swim in! Billy had brought a bottle of wine with him (good thinking!) so 6 of us indulged in that while the more sedate members of the group had tea and coffee and played a bit of boule. Then secret santa dispensed a variety of 'interesting' gifts before we settled down to lunch. On the way back to Hamilton we had a brief stop at the Maungatautari reserve, not enough time to go in but had a brief look at the pest-proof fence and were lucky enough to see one of the pairs of Takahe wandering around (see top picture). I will definitely be coming back out this way again for a proper visit as it's worth a day trip in its own right. Back home by 3pm and lots of snoozing on the sofa to recover from the early start.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

If In Doubt, Blame the Shoes

Really couldn't drag myself out on Tuesday night for marathon clinic, but as it turned out both JB2 and L bailed as well so glad I didn't bother! We're obviously all saving ourselves for the running club Xmas do on Sunday. For those of you wondering what a running club Xmas do consists of (oooh I bet you are) we all head off to a mystery location in a coach and when we get there, we run!! We also have a list of things to take with us, including togs, towels etc so I'm guessing we're either heading to the beach or a swimmable lake, and then we eat drink and be merry :-)
Feeling a teensy bit guilty about missing Tuesday I got myself out yesterday evening instead for a 40 min circuit, but boy oh boy did my feet feel heavy. I'm wondering if all this extra bounce and support in the heels of my new shoes comes at a cost? Are they really heavier than my last ones? Hmmm, we'll never know as I've already biffed the old ones, buy I may compare them with a previous incarnation which currently act as gardening shoes.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Breaking in New Shoes

A busy week last week followed by a full on weekend and a pair of runners that were kaput all conspired to derail any attempts at running since last Tuesday. This highlights the power of goals, if I was training for something you can be sure that none of these factors would have stopped me getting out and doing it, but ho hum I shall refocus this week and start thinking seriously about the summer series runs which should strike enough fear into me to get me back into regular running. I went into Smiths sports shoes on Saturday and the good news was they had $100 off Mizuno runners (my runner of choice) so I could have got a pair the same as my current defunct ones for just $99 - what a bargain! Of course it also meant that I could spend $199 and get a really flash top of the range pair (still saving $100, so also a bargain) - which is what I did! They have an open style heel (see pic) which will apparently give me more support and spring in the heel which is where I need it most as I have a heavy heel strike. I'm certainly expecting them to last me more than 6 months though so will have to wait and see how well they wear. I took them out for a spin this evening, just a 30 min trot to make sure they weren't going to cause me any problems when I head out with MC tomorrow night. I suspect that once again the shoes will be the least of my worries.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Surviving My First Week Back at MC

Thank heaven's for Toi's challenge at Whakatane last weekend. An off road 18.5 km run which has been known to bring experts to their knees (see picture for just one of the sets of steps/stairs that form part of the course). No of course I didn't do it! But luckily for me JB2 did which meant she was still stuffed on Tuesday evening and I was therefore able to keep up with her for our 60 min run with the marathon clinic :-) Other than that it was pretty much as I expected, damn hard - but as usual getting it done meant that in theory the next run will be easier and I can start thinking about what my next goal is and what sort of running I need to do to meet it. There's a half marathon in January which I am pretty definitely Not going to do - so maybe I'll just hold off until Rotorua in May and in the mean time concentrate on the Summer series which incorporates a 16km, 17km and 18km in various places. Perhaps I should just concentrate on getting back to a reasonable speed for 10km first .... Oh, and I need some new running shoes, I'd just about killed mine by the end of the great flood (aka Hamilton half) and have worn them to death on my travels over the past month, so I guess a Saturday visit to Smith's sport shoes is in order.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Struggling On

Having decided that I needed to get out running at least twice before running group tomorrow, and having not managed to get out at all over the weekend (in my defence I was very busy with a loooooong list of jobs, that'll teach me to go away for 3 and a half weeks!!) I had to bite the bullet and head out for a lunchtime run today. It really is starting to get too hot for lunchtime running, but as the alternative was getting out of bed early this morning (I may still be waking up at 5.30 am but that doesn't mean I want to get out of bed before 7) I had only myself to blame. With no jetlag to distract me this time I got to experience the full horror of my depleted fitness, and look forward to sharing this with the mc crew tomorrow evening! On a positive note, however, I did the same circuit I ran last Thursday and got back 2 minutes quicker so I guess it's not all doom and gloom. I also didn't frighten anyone in the ladies toilet after my shower this time (honestly you'd think some people had never seen a woman with a face like a tomato drying her hair in a hand dryer before....).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fly, Sleep, Run

Hellooooo! Did you miss me? Did you worry that I had sunk into a holiday orgy of food, wine, beer and not given exercise a thought for weeks? Well, almost true, but here I am safely back home in NZ and ready to return to normality again. I got back at midday on Wednesday and was back to work yesterday (Thursday). Was feeling a bit shabby from tiredness and jet lag so went for a run at lunch time, partly to keep myself awake (even I have never managed to fall asleep running) and partly due to the impending fear that I have to go back to marathon clinic next Tuesday and wanted to have got at least a couple of runs done by then so that if I'm going to do anything embarassing like faint or throw up I can do it all by myself!! I also reasoned that as I was feeling grotty already a run wasn't going to make me any worse. 35 minutes later this proved to be true, as while I was hot and feeling the effects of doing very little for a few weeks, I didn't feel worse than when I'd started. Coming back to long days and Spring weather is helping me stay awake until a reasonable hour (I managed to keep my eyes open until 10pm last night) but unfortunately I was wide awake at 5 this morning. Ah well, the price we pay for the jetset lifestyle :-)