What Was I Thinking!

You know you get those WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING! moments, the day/week/month before a big race/event. It came on me slowly this afternoon.

I’m going to be biking miles in the cold, be lucky to get in before dark and all the rest of the campers would have already been off for their run and be sitting in the Motel nice and warm.

*Feeling sorry for myself*

*Feeling sorry for myself*

*Feeling sorry for myself*

*Still Feeling sorry for myself*

*Yup, Still Feeling sorry for myself*

*Nup, can’t get over it*

*Feeling sorry for myself*

*Feeling sorry for myself*

*Feeling sorry for myself*

OK I’m good now, its going to be great!

*psst, you think they believe me?*


My Challenge to My Body

OK body, you have somehow managed to allow a damn virus to infect you, the second time this winter. Quite frankly that is unacceptable. I accept that you have been stressed and tired, and maybe a little badly feed, due to circumstances out of either of our control.

Your timing is not good, and as such you have 5 days to recover completely. On the 6th day you are cycling to Kaikoura followed by 3 more days of hard cycling, running and swimming, so it’s in your best interest to comply.

I will allow you the rest required, and I will feed you the highest quality food. I’ll even throw in a few supplements to help you through. I suggest you get started and get your immune cells fighting hard… get all those virus cells out of you quickly.

Optimism, reality and winter

September was damaging, February was devastating but there was always optimism. We could make this better.  I never thought about it before February, after February you realised how drab your city had become the positive to come out of this earthquake is that we could bring so much life and energy back to the city.

We can make this city the best in the world, change things that didn’t quite work and make it better. There will be arguments and not all people will agree, there will be losers, but we can make this great.

I still believe this  but since that 6.3 the Monday before last reality has been hitting home a little bit more. In September, it was expect a year or so of quakes, but they will diminish slowly over time. February, pretty much reset that “year” clock and now another one in June, it resets that clock again. Another large quake and the “year” resets.

It WILL eventually get better, there’s proof of that everywhere, but how long will it be before you stop your conversation as a 4 rumbles through.

Up to now I have thought everything can be rebuilt… but watching the video of Whitewash heads (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cixx_Td4YtM) I realised 2 things.

1. This is a 1 in 10 000 year event, it has change the structure of the land

2. Some things can never go back to normal, never will I ever run over that track how I used to. and it will take years before a new track will be built. and this isn’t the only one on the hills that I may never use again

Winter makes it worse as well, in September we were coming out of the cold and a summer to look forward to, February it was warm, June its just miserable. People are tired and end the end of their teather. I get sick of Cambell and Sainsbury interviewing the poor people who are at the end of there teather, so of course they are going to be angry. I suppose it makes great TV, but surely they need to take a perspective on the matter.

And for those people who comment “move chch to timaru” or some such. Get a grip on reality, you are not helping!

Next weekend, I escape the rumbling to cycle around the centre of the SI in the dead of winter. Who wouldn’t do such a thing. I fully expect to be left on my own. There are some people I don’t know but of the ones I do, they are sub 10hr Ironman guys, or Kylie (who’s just too enthusiastic ).  But I think it will be great, plus holiday, if only a few days, will be good.

Oh and my nutrition plan from last blog fell on tough times after the 6.3 the other Monday. Well I am just going on the premise that the extra fat will keep me warm at the training camp 🙂

And one other bright point for my day, my drive into work in the centre of the city at peak hour takes about 10min. Pre Feb, I would have been stuck in traffic on the same route, these days I drive down roads designed to take heavy traffic, whereas there is only a few. I pity those poor souls having to drive Riccarton, Sockburn, Hornby way.


Food, food, food

Lets just say, Earthquakes and completing your Ironman goal, do not go together well if you want to maintain a decent diet.

Its been a real struggle, but I think I am finally getting back to pre Feb 22nd standards, but I still got a few hurdles to conquer.

But to get be back in the correct mind frame, I have been reading a few books on Nutrition. And if anyone has been listening to IM Talk, they have been exploring the Paelo diet recently.

I have to say I can understand the principles of Paelo, but some of the time I just scratch my head. I haven’t done a super amount of research, but from what I can understand you should eat nuts, vegetable and fruit that you can eat raw, but then meat and fish as well. But surely if our ancestors had fire to cook meat etc, they had fire to cook vegetables… right anyway, I will not continue down this path its bound to lead to argument (a bit like the barefoot running and vaccination arguments).

So anyway, I have decided to try to stick to the following principles, to try and get me on a much healthy, performance enhancing eating regime

– Ask with every bite, does this have the most nutritional value possible?

– Try and buy fresh fruit/veg every couple of days

– Reduce the amount of packaged food consumed

– Portion Control!

– Try to go Organic and local (Ok, this could be going down the barefoot running type argument, but from what I have read Organic and local produce have much higher nutrients than there counter parts)

– Experiment with Vegetables. I was at the Lytellton Market on Saturday and there was some weird and wonderful vegetables available, the trouble being I had no idea how to cook them. So from now on, I will buy 1 vegetable a week, I don’t know what to do with and learn what to do with it.

– Try to hold back the chocolate (its become a diet staple since the earthquake)

I still have supermarket issues, we a trying a new one weekly it seems. But only the New Worlds full in to the acceptable range, but just not as good as what we had. But going to try to get to Farmers Markets for produce so limit the supermarket purchasing, the only trouble with this is they are only mornings in the weekend in this city and I am normally out training at that time. I might have to do an early morning dash to the market, before training begins.


Still the same – but so different

Today marked my 5th consecutive participation in the Christchurch Marathon Event(4 halves and 1 10K). It was different to the previous years, a completely new location in Lincoln. I admit to not really looking forward to the course, flat and long straight roads, it doesn’t really suit me at all. Actually the traditional Christchurch marathon course doesn’t suit me, and every single year I swear I will not do it again. Obviously something keeps me coming back.

So while I wasn’t looking forward to the course, I was looking forward to the event. To me it represents “stuff you mother nature we can just move some where else, you might have made a mess of almost the entire traditional course but it isn’t the course that’s important, it’s the event”.

Obviously, having to move a event in 3months was a big ask for the organisers. And problems of a new venue and lack of time in planning became obvious on my arrival in Lincoln. It was a traffic jam, of course if you have 3000 odd cars heading into one location and almost all want to head through 1 round a bout, theres going to be problems. Once I finally arrived at the start/finish area, they announced they were delaying the start by 15minutes, because of the traffic delays. So I decided to go to the toilet, I have never seen a line so long to the toilet, I spent 30min standing in the line. and just made it to my start position 5min before the start.

The atmosphere at the start seemed more relaxed that previous events, of course it wasn’t snowing or hailing on me, which has to make a difference. There was prehaps less buzz, is there something about standing next to the town hall that gives you more of a Buzz? Who knows… You didn’t have the occupants of the surrounding hotels standing at their windows wondering what the heck was going on. But of course, my own attitude to the race might be affecting my response to the atmosphere. My main goal this year was to pace myself well, a PB would be nice, but I wanted to get my pacing right this year.

Almost every half marathon I have done, I have gone way to hard at the start and suffered and shuffled the last half. So the first 5K’s were going to be slow. So maybe having this in my head I was more relaxed than normal.

The gun went off and we slowly made our way down to the start, it was a slower start to normal as we had to negotiate the first few corners, but this played into my plan and I just relaxed and took the pace in my stride.  At the 1K point I checked my watch and was surprised at my pace, I hadn’t thought I was going that fast, but was comfortable, so the plan was to basically keep an even pace for 5K. I was feeling quite comfortable and happy for the first 10K. The long straight rural roads weren’t really bothering me, like I thought they would, but then we turned into Shands road. I always thought this would be the hardest part mentally for me, and to make it worse there was a damn southerly head wind all the way up.

This eventually got to me and from the 14Km mark my pace started to drop off. The course then did a nasty little loop around the back of the university for the last 5K.  strangely, the last 10K to go I just ticked off the K’s against the spots on the old course “I’m at the top of peterbourgh st”, “Just starting the park”, “turning to home”, “about to exit the park”.

There wasn’t as many spectators as the old one, but I still found there was quite a few, and it was almost noisier at the intersections, where spectators had driven to, but there was long stretches of just you and fellow competitors.

Those last 5 K’s were hard, and walking kept on coming to mind, but I just told myself I hadn’t done all that work up to this point to give it all up now, so dug deeper and kept trucking on. There was a even nastier 300m of out and back, just before the finish, and then I was done.

1hr 59min 19sec. I originally thought was faster than last year, but having looked up the results from last year, it was actually 5sec slower.  Not quite sure how I feel about that. But the positives of the day, I paced myself a lot better than ever before, I didn’t get the negative split or even pace that I wanted, but I am going to blame Shands road and the southerly on that one 😉

Heres the Garmins view of my pacing

Avg Pace
Summary 01:59:21 21.23 05:37
1 00:05:34 1.00 05:34
2 00:05:25 1.00 05:25
3 00:05:29 1.00 05:29
4 00:05:24 1.00 05:24
5 00:05:27 1.00 05:27
6 00:05:33 1.00 05:33
7 00:05:32 1.00 05:32
8 00:05:29 1.00 05:29
9 00:05:35 1.00 05:35
10 00:05:37 1.00 05:37
11 00:05:43 1.00 05:43
12 00:05:28 1.00 05:28
13 00:05:28 1.00 05:28
14 00:05:40 1.00 05:40
15 00:05:55 1.00 05:55
16 00:05:39 1.00 05:39
17 00:05:47 1.00 05:47
18 00:05:52 1.00 05:52
19 00:05:57 1.00 05:57
20 00:05:46 1.00 05:46
21 00:05:39 1.00 05:39
22 00:01:13 0.23 05:14