Calm zen like mind space… but still paranoid

Ok so the body is calm and ready for the envitable. I don’t know why I regard it as the envitable, as if I have no choice for it to happen. I do in fact have a choice, but it is going to happen.

However even though I am in the calm inevitable fate mind space, I am still slightly paranoid. I had a cold last weekend, it wasn’t bad and thought I had shaken it of, but I still think it’s sitting on my chest. Last night my chest was not feeling good, I basically diagnosed myself with pneumonia (Have I mentioned I am slightly a hypochondriac). I had pneumonia once before and it felt kinda similar, but no way near as bad. Anyway I told myself I would get a good night sleep and if I still felt the same I’d go to after hours and demand antibiotics and all would be fine…

Anyway clear light of day, chest still feels a little tight so not going for the run, don’t want it to develop into pneumonia 🙂 I’m sure it will clear up just fine (x fingers), just this is interrupting my tapering big time now. Oh well the inevitable is coming, and I would prefer to do the race with a clear chest and a bad taper than a dodgy chest and what still would have been a bad taper. But I will still go to the doc on Monday if I still have this feeling.

Last week

So what else have I been doing? I have had 2 runs since my last post. 1 was a hill effort, up major Aiken drive, and 1 a 30 min jog with 30sec efforts around the park. Was starting to feel my normal self by that last run.

The shoe saga

So I ordered the running shoes from states. Fed ex is normally really quick once they are packed, when you look at the package tracking it goes California, Hawaii, Auckland in almost a day. Not this time though, the package seems to have spent 3 days traveling around california and is still to leave the states! I was cursing Fed ex, why the one time I want a package delivered fast is it moving really slowly… then I realised that it was Thanks giving over there, I will forgive fed ex for that than, hopefully they are here my monday.

Chop Chop

So the hair is about to get chopped chopped in about a hour, have been growing it lately, and it is almost through that awkward stage of growing out, but I just can’t handle my hair being long, and don’t want to have to carry that extra weight so it is gone burger today. My hair is really thick, when long takes forever to dry and used to give me headaches, I just thought I could cope with it long again, but I can’t.

The trouble with it short is the constant trips to the haridresser, oh I just hate going to the hair dresser. I apologise to all hair dressers.

Time to shop

So work is holding the xmas party the same day I will be running up around a lake, up and down a mountain along a valley floor to another lake. So because I will not be there they gave me my xmas present early so I could use it before I went away. So now have a voucher to Rebel to go spend… haven’t decided what I want yet, though leaning toward clothes, or some skins maybe… no I don’t think I need more than one pair of them, I’m heading to rebel today to do some scoping.

The plan

So heres the plan for the trip down to Te Anau. Leaving chch on Wednesday, going down to Tekapo. Staying there the night, then me and Dad will head down to Te Anau on Thursday. That gives me Friday to chill out in Te anau. Race on Saturday, hang out in Te Anua on Sunday (I don’t think I will be moving much, but if weather crap might head back earlier), and then head back to Tekapo on Monday, and home Tuesday. Just a bit worried that full day before hand might get to my head, but I don’t want to be tired from travelling for the race, plus its a Holiday, I haven’t been all the way to Te anua in while be nice to hang out.

Feel like a Slug

I don’t know what it is with me and tapering, but I never end up feeling like I am going to pop out of my skin… I always feel like a slug.

I remember the night before c2c, we had to walk 2K to dinner, and my legs felt tired and I just couldn’t work out how I could possibly run 3K let alone the task ahead of me the next day.

I tried the easy taper for that race, and I never felt like it worked, so this time this week is the really easy week, and next week gets a bit harder. So hopefully the the legs will wake up a bit next week.

This morning I went did my normal “Gym” routine. Run to the Gym (only about 2K down the road) do the weight programe and run home. I felt flat on the run there. The powere exercises felt really hard and then I  just couldn’t seem to face run home so walked… Felt just flat. Well I just hope my tapering plan works and I start to perk up next week.

The taper has hit the brakes and come to a full stop

So somehow I have managed to pick a cold virius, nothing very dramatic, hardly a sore throat. Just made my taper come to a grinding halt for the last 3 days. Nothing that really worries me. In fact if their is a perfect time to get sick than this is it, still 2 weeks to go so plenty of time for full recovery, the big training is over.

Though it has put my tapering plan off… I have to reconsider. I went for a run this morning, because yesterday I sent sitting on the couch catcching up on some movies that I haven’t seen in recent months, and was feeling incrediably lazy, thought it best to get the legs moving at least a little. Was actually feeling good, except maybe it was a little tougher breathing then normal, until I stopped at some traffic lights and felt like throwing up… so I thought not actually so fine, so took a short cut home at a easy jog.

I’m thinking my tomorrow I’ll almost be 100% again, but I’ll go do my weight session, maybe a easy run in the arvo. A couple of easy jogs and a spin and 1 hard hill session sounds like the plan for the week and 1 longish run in the weekend

My shoe is squeaking

Ok I am at the point where every little niggle is a major dramatic event. This morning my knees were sore… have no idea why, probably because of inactivity rather than a training related injury, and the pain went away afterr about 30sec of running… but for those 30secs I was in doomsday mode, life as I knew it was on a forward spiral into oblivion.

But my more serious concern right now is my squeaking shoe. I know enough to  know that this means that one of the pocket of air thingies has a hole in it… thus the squeak. I think I know that this normally means you should probably replace the shoes… I don’t know exactly how serious this issue could be. I do however know that running 60K with squeaking shoes could drive me slightly bonkers after a few hours… squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak……

Heres my delima, do I buy a new pair? If I do I have to get them from the states because as far as I can determine that style isn’t sold here. However, they are not on sale, I normally wait till the old season model goes on sale, the NZ dollar is low, my car had a hizzy fit and cost me money, and needs a cambelt that I getting installed next week (Thought it best to get done before I take it on a 9hr drive to te anua)… the planned savings for accomadation in te anua kinda took a wrong turn somewhere… so that will have to go on the credit card. But money aside (can’t say I ever let it stop me from doing what I really want to do, the credit card is a most useful device), I just don’t know if it would be wise to have a new pair of shoes for the race or not. If I order them today then, I’ll have them by Thursday, Friday… that will give me at least 3 runs to wear them in… plenty of time really.

OK, don’t know what all the panic is about… I’m off to shop.

p.s. How the hell did the kiwi’s win the rugby league world cup?

p.p.s Will the black caps be able to do the same today and beat the ozzies against the odds?… unfortanatly I hold little hope

p.p.p.s My ticker says 13 days! 13 days to the Kepler… OK deep breath… all is well… its only 8 -10hrs of pain and the last 4 odd hours the serious kind of pain. Good for the mind… I think that why I am doing this… what was that quote I read recently?

Its not the mountain we conquer but ourselfs – ed hillary… or something like that

Finally! The taper

Yesterday arvo, I took off work 3hrs early to do my final big run. I decided to follow the crater rim trail run course, starting at the valley trail and going to the bellbird, 30K run in all. After the weekend, my legs were a little bit trashed, after then going up the valley track and then up Mt vernon they were smoked.

My legs felt fine when I started out, but just running up the valley track was hard and I often was seen to be walking, obviously running Mt vernon was a no go. After that the trail just seemed hard, constantly having to worry about footing… its a hard trail to run on in that condiditon. But any way, I thrashed my legs and found a secound wind on the way back from the bellbird. I was a little concerned about my co-ordination going back down the valley track, so to save my self doing a horrible injury I went down the farm track, I had kind of forgotten that the last decent from farm track is steep and knarly. So I might have dawlded my way down there.

Timed myself in at 3.45, which was 15 min short of the planned 4hrs, but couldn’t face doing a “round the block” run to make up for it. Probably would have got home in 3.30 if I han’t dawlded down the hill.

Now my legs are well and truly smashed. Today is rest day, then still got a couple of hardish sessions this week. Thinking I could do the sprint tri in Ashburton, haven’t put the wetsuit on since the sprint tri last year. I don’t have to do it hard, and it could be a good blow out 2 weeks before Kepler. I just don’t know if I can be bothered driving all the way to Ash vegas (yes feeling rather lazy).

Next week will be extremly easy week, and the final week will have a coupl of harder sessions in it (just because I get stronger after a couple of hard days, I think my body is slightly perverse(sp?) ).

The Options

The Big Goal Options

Have to really pick one of these.

1. Coast 2 Coast 2 day Feb 2010- The orginal Plan. But I kind of enjoy not having to Kayak lately… maybe I am just out of the mindset.

2. Wanaka Challenge Jan 2010 – Hanging around in the back of my head for a while, was looking towards my 40th though for a iron distance, not my 32nd… but that’s a long way to wait. Can I contemplate the amount of swimming up and down a pool I will have to do? let alone running so much on tarmac

4.Bike – Concentrate on the bike an see how good I could really become… Its my strength, and the most enjoyed (normally)

3. No big goal – Do a scattering of smaller races… in some ways seems nice, but not sure if I will be able to stay motivated without the “big” one

Runs

(This could depend on if I want to look at another pair of running shoes ever again after Kepler)

Routeburn Classic May 9th (Entries for the event will open January Monday 12th at 7am in 2009 ) – Always wanted to do this, in fact more than Kepler, but missed entry last year

Avalanche Peak March 7

Motutapu – Off Road marathon March 14

Melbourne marathon Oct – Girls weekend in Melbourne this time?

Triathlons

Timaru Tri 25 January

Coasair Bay Tri 22 Feb

Auckland Half Ironman 28 march – Depending on how this goes (If I do it) may determine the main goal. The training for it may just decide me, if I can cope with the swimming and running on tarmac

Bike

Alps Tour Feb 1 -5 – Just don’t know if I can get ready in time. Would compliment any goal I pick

Brunner 18 April – Be good to put last year behind me

Le race 28 March – Never done, used to be the big want to, then I just didn’t want to… do I still want to?

5 Passes Nov – Just want to do it again, Plus timing would compliment any goal I pick… could I afford 2 bike tours in 1 year? If I was to pick Bike as the main goal, this would become the ultimate race.

Swim

Cousair bay Ocean Swim – 21 Feb. Never done it, would be nice to give it a go.

Think that is it. Those are my options and need to make a decision on where I want to head in the next year. I shall leave the final decision to a long time after Kepler. Though I do feel I need to highlight the options, in case my mind is swayed by what happens at Kepler.

This year has been a kind of year “Off”. Training has been a bit lazy at times, will need much more commitment than I have given this year, especially if I go with Goal 1 or 2.

Long bays … Not so long… Mt Herbert… Not so high

So yesterday I set out on my bike and did long bays, for the first time since before Brunner, back in April. My bike and me have been semi freindly in the last few months, having done short bays a couple of times in the last month or so. I wasn’t sure what to expect out of my body. Climbing is rather hard for me but the time on the bike isn’t very daunting so plan was to keep it easy and see how it went. Easy spin out to Gebbies, the wind was semi behaving it self, but still had a decent head wind up the valley, then up Gebbies. I was in my lowest gear fairly fast and searching for a lower gear, swearing slightly when I realised their wasn’t a lower one.

So just sat back and pushed. This is the odd bit, I have always been as fit as my bike fitness previously (if that make any sense), but now I am fitter than my biking muscles. They were screaming at me, but I wasn’t puffing. Stood up for a bit, all this running has improved my standing abilty on the bike and powered on over the top.

After the effort on Gebbies was slightly concerned about my ability to get over the bitches. So I was dawdling up the hill before you get to number 1, I got overtaken by a couple, but just shrugged and kept dawdling. I caught them climbing the first of the bitches, they weren’t happy about that, and had to prove that they were faster or something. From then on we were playing leap frog, I just kept on shaking my head and going at my steady pace… men, don’t like been overtaken by the “fat” chick on the bike.

Oh off track, bitch 1 was suprislingly easy, was in the lowest gear but just spinning it out. Bitch 2 was a bit tougher the legs were screaming at me, but they got over it. Evans hurt, especially near the top, but no dramas really. Descending into Sumner was interesting. It was hot in Lytellton, but into sumner kept on going through pockets of cold air. Down in the flat Sumner was covered in this sea mist which was freezing.

Toddled on home and reflected that thosen 3.5hrs out on the bike was really not very hard.

This morning, I decided to tramp up Mt Herbert. On the way over I passed through Tai Tapu, and saw the half marathon being run. That reminded me that I was going to do that… mmm obviously wasn’t very important and I had completly forgotten about it.

I decided to climb Mt herbert from the easy face, the track that starts in Diamond Harbour. Mt Herbert is 919m high, just about the same amount of climbing as the first part of the Kepler. I was still a little concerned over my ankle, I strapped it up before I left, and just hoped that it held together. So up I climbed, to start with I was puffing a bit but once I get warmed up things get easier and then I was on form. I ran out the flattish bits (There wasn’t that many) there was a false summit, thought I was there and then realised that their was still a long way to go. Got to the summit in just over 1hr 40m. The view is pretty awesome. You look out over Lytellton harbour and look at the port hills and think..jeez they are tiny.

Lytellton Harbour - Gebbies end from Mt Herbert Summit

Lytellton Harbour - Gebbies end from Mt Herbert Summit

From Mt herbert looking down at Lytellton

From Mt herbert looking down at Lytellton

It was really windy up on the summit, I hang around long enough to sit down eat a muslei bar and take a couple of pictures. There was a sign for a sign to port levy saddle, I contemplated following that. But decided against it and stick to the plan. Headed back down the way I had come. I ran most of it, but on the steeper bit decided to be caustious and walked down them. Near the end my ankle was starting to feel a little sore so took it easy. I manged to trip over once… but I am used to that by now;)

My mind wondered and I started thinking about my options after Kepler, there is a lot of things to do.

I am going to write a list and what the options are… but that’s a seperate post. I got back to the car 3hrs in total. Was fairly happy with that. Tommorow I am going to try and finish work a couple of hours early and get a decent long run in, which will be good for me on tired legs.

Bugger

I know I said I wouldn’t whinge, and well I am not, just stating the facts , I accept where life has taken me, you never know this might have something good to come out of it.

This weekend was supposed to be a big weekend, today a 4 hr undulating hill run, tomorrow a 3 -4 hr bike with a 1 hr run. Sunday tramp up mt Herbert.

Well 30min into my run I managed to sprain my ankle. I was actually running rather strongly. I had started up the top of the hill to the right of the kiwi and headed towards Coopers. I had got past the tricky bit of the track after the bellbird without too much problems and then on a stretch of track where I just wasn’t paying any attention it went over. I tried walking it out for a few minutes and the pain receded, but running on it caused jarring pain up leg. I contemplated just keep on running on it and knowing the pain would recede. I really didn’t want to abandon this run. But I slapped my head into reality and told myself, I could just injure myself more and then the run would mean nothing as I wouldn’t be able to run for 3 weeks.

So I hobbled back to the car, that took me over a hour to get back on the road, let alone the track I had run on. I did stop along the way to check out the Sign of the Bellbird. I have previously always run past it never stopping long enough to check it out. So I had a bit of a look around. The ankle was feeling fine after about 30min of walking but didn’t like it when I started running again.

So now I have to rethink the weekend plan. I’ll stick with the ride tomorrow, that want hurt the ankle. Might stay with the Mt Herbert Tramp. Thinking I could try and get the afternoon of work on monday and maybe do that long run then. But will see how the ankle goes. I think I need to do this long run more for my head space than the contribution it will make to my fitness.

I to think about my shoe choice as well. I was planning to do the Kepler in my road shoes, they are the only shoe wide enough for neuroma. But I am more likely to twist my ankle in them. Normally or trails I wear my trail shoes, I think my feet are closer to the ground and more stable, less likely to roll, but they aren’t as wide and the neuroma is more likley to flare up. Today I thought I better wear the road shoes to make sure they are ok on the long run… but look what happened.