Spring de Spring de Spring de Spring!

Tomorrow is 1st September and offically the start of spring (I know it’s not equinox, but the start of the month does it for me). Its been the best weekend, weather wise in ages. There is warmth in the sun now. I accept there will be a few more cold snaps, but yah spring! Plants start to grow (uggh, so do the weeds, and I don’t do weeding in the garden, I just plant, maybe I’ll get a gardener this year). Thinking about starting a vegetable garden this year. No idea how to though, all I can grow is herbs and tomatoes.

Little babies get born (have to duck the little ducklings in the kayak), and those magpies get vicious. But most importantly.. it gets warmer… warmth, ahh how I have dreamed for the last few months.

So I have been blogging much lately, work has been mad, next month is going to be worse, but at least I am on Holiday for a week and a half. But to make things worse, I had to take a few days of work this week because I was rather sick, couldn’t keep much down for a couple of days.

Training the last couple of weeks has been a bit difficult, last week I was just feeling tired so decided that I’d take a recovery week a week early, and this week I have been sick. And taken me a while to get my enery back. I went for a short run Thursday lunch time, jsut thought I’d take it easy and see how I felt. I felt fine and kept going, but then I stopped for a moment, and the world went a little dizzy, I think the illness had stripped me of all my muscle gylcogen and I had nothing to fuel myself.

This weekend was supposed to be a big running weekend, 3hrs hills sat, 2hrs flat + 1.5hrs spin sun. But I just didn’t think I’d be hold up to that this weekend.

Yesterday, I decided to go for the run, but I’d take it easy and aim the time at about 2hrs, see how I go and feel. I went up Bowenvale track (I think it is the last track on the chch side of the hills that I have never been on). Its the best track I have been on, its a really pretty valley. The track starts of as a 4wd track, then turns into a single lane walking track. The start is a very gradual uphill (doesn’t look like you are climbing much, but turn around and you have climbed a long way), then it turns into a steep uphill climb.

Start Bowenvale Track

Start Bowenvale Track

Top of Bowenvale Track

Top of Bowenvale Track

Once at the summit road I ran along the crater rim to Rapaki track, then down Rapaki and back along the base of the hill to where I parked the car. It took me about 2 hrs. I just didn’t feel great the entire run and yesterday afternoon I just felt tired and had a heaadache, I just think I over did it.

This morning, I thought I would just go for a run around the Mcleans Forest. I thought I’ll aim for 2 loops of the track (22K), but I would see how I felt after the first loop. To start with the legs felt heavy and tired, I was going rather slow, but after about 30min I start to feel good so kept going at the end of first loop. I was doing the run walk method (run10 walk 1). The advatage of this method is that you take on food and water as soon as you walk. When I am running the hills, I can’t be precise on the walk, as I walk when it gets steep and HR goes up, but on the flat I can stick to it and I am much more likely to eat enough. I got to the 16K mark, and my feet were sore and I was a bit over this, so I took the short cut to the carpark. So run was 2hrs.

I am not sure if I will do the spin this arvo, I’ll see how I feel in a couple of hours. Maybe I start pulling the weeds instead… hehe probabaly not 🙂

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My sucky feet!

I went to the front runner, to try and see if I could try on a few trail shoes that might work. I was hoping I could get a pair of mens shoes as they would be slightly wider. but they don’t make shoes for men in my size.

SO lets look at my feet:

They are small, the pronate, they are wide and have a neuroma which is painful when shoe isn’t wide enough.

I got a pair of Salamons a couple of months ago, I love them, however, they aren’t wide enough if I wm wearing the orthodics. (fine if I don’t). They give me a much greater feel of the trail than my montrail hardrocks. These shoes feel like a bit of a brick.

I am coming to the conclusion that I will just have to stick with my road shoes, and hope that the Kepler is relatively dry come race day.

I often wonder if my feet are just telling me that I shouldn’t run. Oh well, I will take what I was given at birth and worse comes to worse, get a cortisone injection a couple of weeks before race day, so that the neuroma doesn’t cripple me.

The final brass monkey – a eternal prize giving

Sunday was the last race in the brass monkey series. I went down the course on Saturday, it was interesting, there was quite  a few trees in the way. Overnight the river rose a little bit, so they warned us at safety briefing that the trees were now submerged and if you aren’t confident paddler in grade 2 + to go right.

Well no one went right, I know I should have, but everyone was going left, and I didn’t want to get left in the middle of nowhere with no one around (Doesn’t make much sense to me now… but go figure in the heat of a race the decisions you make). I did think that there were so many people in front that I could watch them and there line before make a decision about what to do.

The submerged trees created a few waves bigger waves, which had me feeling a bit wobbly. At one corner I decided it looked a bit scary and too close to the trees, so took a “short cut” through the shingle. I go stuck for a few moments. At another corner, I had taken my entry a little wide and was about to move over when Bianca yells out behind me “hold your line”. Blimin’ heck! I just survived that corner.  My closest moment to falling out though was a the clamest, flattest bit of water I could find, I just wasn’t concentrating.

So in summary, I was rather slow in the first half, but I feel I had picked up my confidence, and was using a pretty good technique at the end, and came home fairly fast.

This was the scariest that this stretch of water has been, but I survived and fairly happy with my time, I was a similar time behind the winners once again.

Prize giving took forever, the race started late, prize giving started way late and went on and on. I won a pack of primo extremo… not that exciting, but I think Tanay was the only one in the room not to get a prize. I didn’t get home till about 3pm and was wiped. Thats a long day for a race that takes under 60min.

A capital adventure

I don’t travel well, I get homesick. Yeh I know its quite frankly mad, 2 days in a different city and I can’t wait to get home. I always asking myself wheres my sense of adventure! But I did come to the realisation over the last couple of days that if I am traveling of my own back, with out relying on others, I am more likely to enjoy myself.

So I spent 2 days in Wellington for work this week. Actually it wasn’t that bad (only felt homesick at the end of the first day, but was too tried to be that concerned and went to bed early), and I’ll put one of the reasons down to the run I had on Friday morning. I sat down the night before, got out mapmyrun and looked where I should go for a run. Initially I was going to go around the water front and then about the domain. But then I thought, I am in Wellington, I should make it a hill run. So after looking at the map, I decided if I ran upward I’ll come across some tracks, so that turned out to be the plan. Run up for 30min and then turn around and come back.

So I followed the plan initially, ran up the valley. The slope was quite good, not too steep that you had to walk but steep enough that it was a good hill effort, plus some flattening streches to have some recovery. I eventually got on to a track that said to wind turbine, decided to follow that track and see where it went. Now the trouble I was having, was that because there’s so much bush on the hills, you couldn’t get a good enough view of the city, and I just wanted to have a good look at the view. So I kept on going up hoping at some point there’d be a gap in the bush / srub and I’d get a good view. At 30min there was no view yet so kept on going onwards… At 40 min, I could see the wind turbine, and it was just over on the next rise, I could kinda see the city, but there was a big darn tree to interupt my view. Darn it I said, I’ll just keep going (I was a little worried that I wouldn’t make it to the Welly Office before 9 ). So I did, at 50min I hit the wind turbine. Sweet, awesome view, I was just a bit annoyed I didn’t take my cell phone with me, so I couldn’t take a picture.

Now just had to get back down. I didn’t think I had taken the most direct route up, but didn’t want to get completly lost, so headed back down the way I came, 10 min down there was a another track with a sign that said Aro Street . Sweet, that is where the office is, so thought that would be a quick way down. It was quite dense bush, but at one point I could see out and looked like I was ages away from the bottom. Crap I was thinking this could take me a while. But in the end it took me about 15min to get back down.

That was a really sweet run. Wellington is just a few degrees warmer than chch, so there wasn’t that same bite in the air that makes my lungs scream. I am so jealous that wellingtonians are only a few minutes away from a trail in the middle of the city. I was rather surprised that I didn’t come across a single person on my entire run. I would have thought that more runners would have been out taking advantage. I was a bit concerned that I might not be in the safest place, in the middle of the bush etc and strange city.

Half way though my run, I did think this would be sweet, if I wanted to do a month hill focus training, I could see if I could go to Welly office for a month. Well, that wouldn’t happen but it would be interesting.

Questioning the plan

This morning, I was supposed to go kayaking with Tanya down the ymak. But after a very late night of watching NZ success at the olympics, I just didn’t feel like it and a quick txt to Tanya it became rather easy to convince her that a spin on the bike would be a much better idea. I haven’t been on my bike for about 4 weeks, but it was a nice day finally, and I just wanted to get back on the bike.

It was hard for the first 40 min, the legs were rather fatiqued from yesterdays efforts and the legs are obviously not used to being on the bike. But after a while the legs came right, and the bike felt great. It feels so much better being on the bike, because you just feel like you are going fast. After a stop at cafe Tanya for quite awhile I got on my bike and went back home. The legs were sore but the power I can exert when tired and sore is so much more than when running.

Sometimes I wonder, and it came back to me on the bike today, what I would be able to do on the bike if I concentrated 100% on it. The bike is my strength, I think that I could be a good time trialist if I put my mind to it. I am strong, that is my main strength and I have developed a good endurance.

But then I hate biking in winter, so running is a much better idea for me. I am thinking, I’ll get to the Kepler, than I might spend 6 months concentrating on the bike, see where I can get. What will this mean for my c2c plans 2010?? I am not sure. Will I change my mind by then ? Probably.

Rubbish Day is Kitty Present Day

Rusbbish day or the day after, kitty is always bringing in little presents, and he is so proud that he has contributed to the house hold. We have had a piece of chocolate cake, stale bread, some indistinguishable yuck. But today I can’t complain it was just a piece of packing tape.

So I was rather relived when he presented me with that this morning. I am just hoping he keeps his presents to things and not live / dead animals, when he gets older like our previous cats have done. Well the present was given to me just before I went out the door for my run.

I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go this morning, so I pulled out my little booklet on the tracks on the port hills, and picked one I hadn’t been up. Thats my aim for the next couple of weeks; to do tracks I haven’t been on before. I think I have only got a couple left on the Christchurch side, but there is heaps on the lytellton side I haven’t even been near, but I think they will probably be a lot harder.

So today, it was up Worsley Track, and then along the crater rim track and down Kennedy Bush track, depending on my time, the plan was to keep going along the crater rim and turn around. The Worsley Road goes up for quite  a way, and rather steep in places. Today was about time on feet, so I just walked the steeper parts. The booklet said that at the end of the road there was security signs and private access only, but it was a public track, so just keep going. I have to say with out that booklet I probably would not have continued up wards, it did appear that is was just a private driveway.

I am glad I have discovered this track. Anyone training for the c2c should train on this track, it very rutted, and halfway up It turned into a rocky stream (though I don’t think there will be any stream when its drier). At first I was angry a 4wd enthusiasts , who have obviously distroyed this track, but by doing so they have created a almost prefect training ground. This will be a track I will revisit again, especially when I want to improve my downhill technical skills.

Looking Back at Chch, from top of Worsley Track

Looking Back at Chch, from top of Worsley Track

A rutty section of Worsley Track

A rutty section of Worsley Track

My asthma has been playing up the last few weeks, and I think it is the main reason I have been struggling on a few of my longer runs. I have upped the dosage of my Orange inhaler (as per doctors orders), but doesn’t seem to be helping much. Anyway, when I started I was rueing myself, because I hadn’t packed my blue inhaler. But I was hoping it wouldn’t be too much of a problem. I now understand my body more than I used to, and can feel when I am starting to struggle with the breathing. I don’t have serious asthma, but it will start a coughing and have to stop with a big coughing fit. It started to make it self felt when I started to run down Kennedys Bush track.

Once I got to the bottom, it was a simple run on the road back to the car. This is the downs and I route I have done on the bike heaps, and on the bike doesn’t seem that far, but on your feet and at the end of a 3hr run it felt like eternity. But the last 1 K or so I started to get a good rthymn going and just concentrating on the technique. So I finished on a high.

Well once I got home I started coughing heaps, and was searching the house trying to find my inhaler (I have 2, but keeping on putting them somewhere where they will be easily reached, but of course they aren’t). Anyway looked in the pack I had taking with me, and ta-da there was one. I had one on the run with me, I really should have checked.

Run Summary

Route here

Distance: 20K

Route description: Steep hill start

Time: 3:04:14

Max Hr: 164

Avg Hr: 144

The New Jelly Park

So today was my first pool session since Jelly Park opened. So off I went this morning to check it out.

Wow its huge (Well maybe not huge, compared to QEII, but huge comaperd to Centinnel ) The change rooms are larger than QEII’s and the showers are in separate cubicles. Though I forsee this as a bit of a problem, if busy and the Teenage Girls want to get fully changed in them. It wasn’t that busy this morning and all the cubilces were being used.

But I am over the changing rooms, that’s a bit boring. Lets get on to the more important features… the pools. Yes as in plural, there are 2 indoor 25 metre pools. One was just lanes, the other wsa being used for polo practice. But I had a lane to myself for the first time in ages. I thought, as I was doing my 10min swim that I could actually start enjoying swimming again with a lane to myself, and be able to do what you like at the peed you like.

It was also nice to not have to go into a overcrowded sauna and spa. Overall I quite enjoyed my experience, but hope others don’t enjoy it as much, because I don’t want lots of people joining me there 🙂

I peared through the gym door on my way out. Looks like a standard CCC gym, probably larger than some. I really have to start doing some weight training (as I have been saying for the last 2 months, but now I have to start doing something if I want it to be any beneficial to me and my training). Trying to decide weather or not just to join the CCC gym or join a private gym. I really think I will benefit from having a personal trainer writing me a really good weights program, and one that understands my sport and my requirements…. hmm I am undecided.