Monthly Archives: August 2013

week two and still no walking!

After finishing up my first week and feeling good, it was on and into week two.

It was a week of awful weather but I managed most of my plan. I slogged through a 5km run on the Tuesday and should have followed this up on the Wednesday but some really rough wind and rain meant I did 3 Nike Training Club workouts. This a great app and I highly recommend it (and it is free!). You can pick either 15 or 30 minute workouts and what you would like to focus on. Being the weakling I am I found it pretty hard but certainly worked up a sweat in lieu of my run.

I headed to the waterfront on the Saturday morning for my usual 4km run, which was once again interrupted by a call from my Mum! I plodded slowly knowing I had the Unitec Run & Walk event the next day at Cheltenham Beach.

A pasta dinner and an early night, my gear all ready to go… And then the thunderstorms started. Heavy rain and rumbling thunder in our little valley in the eastern bays meant I had very little sleep. I’d convinced the triathlete to run the 6km with me (I had moved down from the 12km) but we made the ‘smart’ call not drive to the North Shore in the bad weather to spend time standing and running in the rain. Instead we went for brunch at the very early time of 8am!

I did fit in the 6km by turning in the afternoon, so at least I stuck to the plan and avoided getting sick from the rain.

Thankfully no issues with my IT band at this point in time, keeping my fingers crossed and rolling a lot. I do need to pick up my core exercises but am struggling to get the motivation.

Just 10 weeks to go until the Auckland Half!

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survival of week one

I wasn’t quite sure how the first week new plan would go. Would I actually be able to breathe? Would my IT band flare up again? Would I be brave enough to go out in the cold and dark to fit a run in around work?

Yes, I could breathe (finally kicked the Contiki cough after antibiotics and an inhaler).

No, my IT band fared okay. I stretched and used the heat pack.

And yes, I headed out despite the chilly and dark weather we have been having. Really, this is always going to be easier after running in the snowy Copenhagen winter!

Goal for the week: simply getting out there and spending some time on the pavement.

Monday – 4km, 24min 30 sec. Happy to make it through without stopping! Ran with the triathlete so took a slightly different path to my usual, but still ended up along the waterfront.

Wednesday – 4km,  22min 30 sec. I’ll take that as a 2-minute improvement on the previous 4km run! I did this one alone too so was pleased I could maintain a reasonable pace by myself. We had planned to run by my work building but a last minute work event changed those plans. I was pretty impressed I ran after getting home, but was determined to stick to my plan.

Thursday – indoor netball as always!

Saturday – managed a 4km run/walk early in the morning while my car got serviced. Also managed to chat to my Mum on the phone for part of it… Perhaps that was why it was harder…

Sunday – headed out to a park in a nearby suburb which had a track through some fields. Totally overestimated the size of the park, we were finished our loop less about 2km. Stomach was playing up so we headed to St Heliers for some ice cream ( to resolve said tummy issues… I’ll pretend anyway) and then I headed out again once home for a run around the block to take me to 4km. Ended up just walking but I enjoyed the sunshine!

I’d definitely recommend The Village Co-op for delicious ice cream if you are in the neighbourhood, there might just be a little bit of a wait (chocolate sticks or mini gingerbread men in the ice cream totally make up for it though!).

All in all a first week I with happy with. I struggled a bit near the end of the week, but still got out there each day as planned.

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the secret to great legs? travel!

And I’m back. Back to reality, back to work and to WINTER. And I have something to share… I may be the first person ever to do so, but I actually lost weight while travelling and on Contiki. I’m pretty sure there are two reasons for this.

Reason One: Walking kilometre after kilometre each day and being active!

I love to wander while on holiday, and I certainly did that on this trip. I also did a lot of shopping, but that counts as exercise when it is hot and the malls are so huge! I also wasn’t completely lazy while on holiday. My Santa Monica early morning run was my only actual run, but I did participate in a (tough, hot, exhausting) hike in the Grand Canyon and a (knee-wrecking) climb up to a waterfall in Yosemite National Park. I hadn’t expected to do that as part of Contiki so I was pretty excited to do it with my new friends.


I also took every opportunity to swim – at Mission Beach in San Diego (cold), in Scottsdale in Arizona (like a bath), at Harrahs in Las Vegas (sunny), at Bass Lake (in a beautiful lake) and in sunny LA while staying right beside LAX. I decided not to swim at the top of the waterfall unlike some crazy people I was with!


While in San Francisco we also cycled across the Golden Gate Bridge, covering about 16km all up. It was pretty tough in the wind and my lips were numb but it was so awesome, I’d definitely recommend doing so. We went through Blazing Saddles who were pretty good. My Nike running jacket did a great job of keeping the wind out too!  I also climbed a number of stairs up to the Coit Tower for some foggy views across the city.

Reason Two: I struggled with GF food

Although I’m not coeliac, I do have issues with wheat and follow a wheat/gluten free diet at home. I also don’t eat a huge amount of junk food (apart from my chocolate addiction). I figured the USA would be well ahead of NZ but I found it tough… I had bread twice in three and a half weeks, both times it was pretty disappointing. GF pizza bases were unheard of, and I ate a lot of oatmeal and cornflakes for breakfast. It could well be that the areas I was in just weren’t that into it, but I feel pretty lucky in NZ where most restaurants can provide a few options.

I ate plenty of salad, fries and bananas (and M&Ms!) and was really surprised by the size of meals, although probably shouldn’t have been – see the iPhone used as scale beside my sundae! I definitely think we need to bring In-N-Out Burger to Auckland, it was delicious and I loved my ‘protein-style-hold-the-spread-ketchup-please’ standard order.


The point I’m trying to make is that a holiday doesn’t have to mean giving up being active and eating rubbish food. I certainly lost count of the number of burgers I ate, but I also know we were racking up close to 20,000 steps most days (thanks to my friends handy pedometer!). I did realise how much more I need to work on hills… I found it really hard to walk the San Francisco hills!


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back at it – 12 week countdown

Thnakfully my legs had some strength thanks to my various activities on my three week trip! After taking the first week home very easy, getting back to indoor netball and taking a 20 minute run that weekend, I put together for plan for the next twelve weeks in preparation for the Auckland Half Marathon. I was struggling from plan overload – some just required waaay too much time, others were a bit too advanced, and some I just couldn’t cope with all of the conversions from miles to kilometres to identify whether it would be appropriate!

Perhaps I should take Nike's advice?

Perhaps I should take Nike’s advice?

In the end I thought realistically about the time I am willing to dedicate to training amongst my work commitments, family time and making sure I have time to relax. I ended up putting together a plan based on a number of others – with a longer run on the weekend, 2-3 shorter runs during the week and some core/strength training once per week. I also play netball each week, so that will be my a cross-training day.

The main thing for me is that if I don’t plan it out and have something to work towards, it will be like my previous years where I haven’t trained. We’ll see how it goes this time – at least by putting together my own plan I can manage it without feeling like I am falling behind what I have to do.

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