Trying for a sense of Normality

We finally got running water today, thats 6 days without running water. Never, ever am I going to take water from the tap for granted again, and maybe not grumble over those rates we have to pay.

Though there are others out there, still without water or power 😦

Today, was supposed to be the first day of my holiday. It was a holiday I had been looking forward to for ages, instead I found my self in my bosses house getting our office ready to get back up and working. At midday we had a meeting, though I was fairly confident that our company will get through this without anyone loosing a job or anything, I was still a little bit nervous about what they had to say.

It was great to be back with our team, one thing about the NV team, we have built up a great team of people. They are a enjoyable bunch of people to be around. While some have left the city, 2 of us have had their houses possibly destroyed, everyone and their families are OK.  Gus, Tim and Matt have been extremely busy in the last couple of days, and have managed to secure us some office locations. It certainly  could not have been a easy thing to get options in this city.

So the plan for the next couple of days is for the team to work out off a couple of houses, and then we will be moving into some office space. I helped the guys setup some of the equipment and get them ready for the next couple of days. I feel slightly guilty that tomorrow morning I will be leaving them for  my holiday, but I feel confident that I will come back to a better, stronger company.

I also feel better that I am not leaving Eamon with no water, I would have felt really bad leaving him in that situation.

So first thing tomorrow morning, I am flying to Taupo away from the craziness.

If  I don’t blog again before Ironman, I will see you on the otherside 🙂

A few thoughts on Earthquakes

This is a ramble.. They say talking helps, well I just writing it out

Last September, I thought the media was over hyping the Earthquake. Its was no way near as bad as they showed in pictures and TV. They only showed the destroyed stuff not the building right next door, which was fine.

This time around, it is worse than they are showing. This morning I had to rubber neck, and go and see my childhood region. I did it early when there wasn’t much traffic around(I’m not sure if thats a justification or not). Its bad from Heathcote to Sumner. Roads I had ridden on just last week are cracked and broken. I didn’t visit my childhood home but from the flat it looks OK, but the 2 main roads you take to get to it are not. Maffeys road, has major cracks, and Soleares Ave is blocked off half way up.

The road past Redcliffs school is block off, but you can see the cliff is devastated. Driving to Sumner is a little scary the cliffs are covering half the road. Shag rock is a really sad site. Just a pile of rocks in the middle of the sea.

Oh and Dad, that wall before Moa Cave has finally come down.

When there is an earthquake, we always look at the magnitude to worry about it destruction. But this week we have proved there is so many other factors to determine its destruction. The say this was the strongest earth movement felt in New Zealand. Maybe that is what we need to measure earthquakes by.

Napier Earthquake, changed laws and legislation for building, what will this do. They reckon Bexley will probably never be built on again. There is 15meters of sand before they hit solid ground in that region. What about the strengthening of existing buildings? I think all awnings / brick chimneys in the entire country need to be destroyed and those old facades??

Look at the images from, Colombo, Cashel, Manchester and High Street I am actually amazed that the likely death toll is only going to be 200+. There would have been so many people in that area, shopping, eating lunch, working. How did so many survive?

I’m lucky, my job can be done remotely. We don’t really need a physical space to work just a computer and internet connection, and while I think the business is going to struggle for a while I don’t fear for my job.  But so many others, jobs are related to the physical location, all those people who worked in the Hotel Grand Chancellor, and surrounding Hotels will probably be jobless. What will that do for the city?

This morning, I drove to Lincoln (I didn’t want to be riding the bike anywhere near the city) to get my last biggish bike/run done. I can’t say I am that enthusiastic on training, I just got it done.

 

The images that effect me the most

I suppose I am like the rest of the country, I have only seen photos of the damage to my city. I don’t want to clog the roads going and looking. I’m sure I’ll see it all soon enough.

But these are images that have effected me the most, mainly from my childhood. Not necessarily the more destructive pictures, but they have a personal impact to me

Shag rock

It used to stand proud as a volcanic rock that has survived pounding of the sea for centeries, now it just a pile of rocks

Redcliffs School

My old primary school. We were not allowed to play near the back fence, because of fears of rocks falling down the cliff. I think this is a good demonstration of why the rule made sense.

The Catheredal

Will probably be the most significant image for all Cantabs. Its at the heart of all of us. After the Sept 4 earthquake, as soon as I could I had to go into the square and see for myself that it was OK. Seems a strange thing for me to do, but was important for me. This time it has not been as lucky, we thought the strengthening had made it industructible, but no building is indsutructible any more.

Sumner Road

This is the climb from Lytellton to Evans pass, hundreds of cyclists go up here every week. After the first earthquake, it was closed for weeks, and once open it was a bit nerve racking going up the first few times. The cliffs looked scary, this is a worse nightmare come to life. Some how the cyclist on the road at the time survived, though a Jogger might not have been so lucky 😦

There are hundreds of other, the PGC building where my mother used to work, and still does occasionally, and several of our clients had workers (PGC included), the CTV building, Chancery lane where I often walked at lunch time. Who knows when I will see the CBD, I don’t think we, let alone many people, will be working in the CBD in a long time.

 

No chocolate shortage, thank god!

Ok, so I am a emotional eater. I totally accept it, my diet last few days has been crap. I’ll live with that. Yes I know my Ironman might be jepodised, but as my last post said, my priorities have changed.

Everyone seems concerned with water, petrol supplies. But no one has mentioned a possible shortage of chocolate! Hopefully that means the supplies are fine.

I think I might need another supermarket excursion and get some more chocolate.

Topsy Turvey Life

Last Tuesday morning all my life was focused on one event, Ironman in 12 days. I was focused on tapering well and getting everything organised and planned for the race.

Then life got shaken, rattled and rolled. Never did I doubt that I was going to Taupo, I’m still doing the race. But the priorities have changed, I no longer particularly care what time I do in the race (though that might change next week). Its something I am going to do but it’s priority in my life has dropped significantly.

Yesterday, I tried to get out of the city to get to Tekapo. So I could get some training done. But all the petrol stations on my side of town were dry and the car had none. So I was stuck in chch, I had a bit of a melt down at that point. I just wanted to get out. But I eventually took stock. Tim had been crazy man and gone back into the work building and retrieved all the laptops (still got to get the desktops out for the rest of the dev and design team). So I got my laptop back so I could do some work.

Then I decided to get more water and dug a whole in our minscule garden. So I got back into my normal calm mode.

This morning I went for my first run (first training actually) since the big quake. Felt like crap, there was no “sharpening” done. Uh well this is not a great taper.

 

 

My city will not be the same again

We all survived a 7.1 quake, you thought that the buildings that were bad, had been bulldozed, or unoccupied. Imagine how bad yesterday would have been if they had still been there… as it is *shudder* it is bad. My city is leveled, and all I can say at the moment, bulldoze all them all, only the cathedral needs to be rebuilt. I’m all for heritage but not at this cost. Imagine if Manchester Courts had still been standing, like some people protested.

Only a 6.3, but its taken down buildings. The cathedral has lost its spire, the high risers that with stood the 7.1 collapsed. Were they weakened previously? They were structurally sound, but no longer earthquake proof??? I suppose in the months to come we will find out, now its about getting out the people trapped.

Thankfully, I work in a building that has been strengthened in the last 5 years. I was at my desk, trying to get work down and eat my lunch (can’t remember if I had finished it or not), and there was a tremor, you are a bit blasah about it for a moment (we’ve had a few over the last few months) . Then it gets stronger, you don’t think and you are under the desk. But than it get even stronger, you are being moved about and desperately trying to grab the leg of the desk. It finally stops.

Others in the room are yelling get out. I’m a little more relaxed, the building is still standing, and its stopped, whats the panic? But I get caught up with the others panic and grab my bag and exit the building. I’m still rather relaxed down in the car park, one chick from Strategy was bleeding, so I went to the medical centre(on the other side of the car park) and grabbed a nurse.

After this point I took stock of the building, the level one window had completely blown out, covering the exit of the car park, and one of the horizontal beams had a big crack in it. No one wanted to go down the exit of the car park, so Sam kicked in the fence to the next door neighbours and we escaped out there.

I then probably spent half an hour making sure everyone was out safe, then I just wanted to get out. There were rumors going around, from people walking past and the odd person who had managed to call someone, the cathedral was completely destroyed, a cliff had collapsed in Sumner. The traffic was already chokka by then. My car was parked next to a building that was looking a bit dodgy, so it was a rush to get in and get out.

I didn’t want to drive back through the city with all those buildings, so I started to circle around the city. I was going to drop Jade in Riccarton, but it was so packed, it was easier for him to walk. Anyway found my self stuck in traffic down Memorial Ave, the radio was giving sketchy info. and my cell was still not working. I eventually heard from Eamon and Aunty Fran that they were OK. I eventually got home, after coming through Hornby, Halswell.

When got home, the house looked fine, the kitchen was a bit of a mess, a few glasses broken, but nothing serious. On the drive back, one of the things that was a main issue for me was Ironman, yes rather selfish… will this have any effect on my race? First thought was my bike, was it ok… when I walked in the door it was the first thing I checked… it was all ok, not touched, phew. Though I don’t think I will be using it in the next few days. It’s supposed to get a service on Thursday, maybe it will have to go to Taupo with out a service??

I finally managed to call Eamon, he was over at his sisters who had power. I went and joined him, and finally got on the internet and saw the images for the first time. The Pyne Gould Guiness building totally collapsed, Cashel and high street look like a war zone… my old primary school in Redcliffs had the cliffs collapsed behind it.

His parents were there, their place is in pretty bad shape. Neither of them had been home, thank god. Though Lyn was in Lytellton(the epicentre) at the time. Then it was a case of trying to contact friends and make sure they are all OK. I think all close friends are OK, but who knows who else I know who are trapped or even dead.

I’m not sure what will happen next, I think I will be very happy to get out of the city next Tuesday

Breath4CF Update – The Taper Begins

We are down to counting the days, instead of the weeks, 13 days to go!

The body has done most of its work, there is nothing it can do now to get fitter. But it is currently fitter and stronger than ever before. It’s not as light as I had hoped it would be by this point, but it’s still lighter than it has been in many years.

All the body has to do now is the slowly decreasing the sessions, but the intensity goes up (Jo likes to call it “sharpening”, I just like to call those sessions “ouch”) so it isn’t all easy from now on. We get my body to stay in good mode but remove the fatigue that has built up.

I’m fairly happy with how my body and training has come out. If anything I am feeling a little under done than over done. That’s always best, right? I have never had a huge leg crushing sessions, the legs have always been happy, if a little tired at times, to go for the next session. That is probably a good sign that we have planned this correct. I haven’t put as much k’s on the bike as I would have originally thought, but then me and the bike are already pretty good friends, so no real need to become over friendly 🙂

Over the last week, I have had the best run sessions, ever! The body is peaking at the correct time.

Now, only race day will prove if the training strategy was correct.

I have recently received an email, from a mother of two CF children, to quote her:

Hi Nadia, I have two kids with cystic fibrosis and I wanted to say thanks (on their behalf) for fundraising for Breath 4 CF- which is an awesome and very practical way to help keep our kids healthy…good luck with Ironman and thanks again….Jane

This means a lot to some people and any contribution, be it $5 or more would be most welcome. Plus knowing that I’ll be getting them x amount if I can get under a certain time will certainly help me, especially for the last half of the run.

So get your contributions and time predictions in to www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/NadiaMaclaren/.

For the full info on what I am trying to achieve, visit here.