Monthly Archives: November 2013

swimming before summer

I never would have guessed I’d be this brave, but I went for a swim at our local beach before summer has even started.

Kohimarama Beach

Kohimarama Beach

By “swim” I mean that I stood in knee-high water shivering while the triathlete swam, feeling like a wimp. When he decided it was time to get out, I was finally ready to be BRAVE… So gingerly attempted a bit of breaststroke and did a few duck-dives. I love swimming and being in the water, but hate being cold. Roll on 1st December and the start of Summer!


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kite surfing at kohi

Summer weather and that awesome holiday feeling seems to have hit Auckland hard in the past couple of weeks. The North Wharf and Viaduct bars are really busy in the evenings, people are having Christmas parties, work seems to be slowing down… And the beaches and waterfront have been really busy with people!

On the drive home each day we pass multiple people cycling, running or walking. Even on a busy day Tamaki Drive beats the motorway hands down, watching the boats out on the water and people out being active instead of queues of cars.

On Wednesday night I ran through Mission Bay and Kohimarama and spotted lots of different summer activities – volleyball, stand up paddleboarding, kite surfers and rollerbladers – in addition to the usual evening runners, walkers and cyclists. I even had a few smiles returned from other runners which is rare!

Its been challenging to keep myself motivated to get out and run alone since finishing up with TempoFit and after the half, so I’ve dragged the triathlete out for a few runs recently (generally run-walk as my legs are a bit niggly). He commented on ‘how hard’ it was to start running again after not training for a while – I laughed and told him now he knew how I felt trailing along behind him only six months ago! Hopefully he’ll start training again soon – injuries suck!

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sunday sculpt 6k

For the third year in a row, the Sculpt 6k was held at Britomart.

My Mum has done this each year – the first year she did it alone (I went to the gym and saw her run past the windows), last year we did it together, alternating between running and walking. We did it again this year, walking at a fast pace. We finished in 54 minutes – only four minutes slower than last year.

Lots of smiling and excited women running here.

In the week since, she has started a Couch 2 5k program. I’m pretty excited for her! We thought we could do the Botany Town Centre Fun Run & Walk as a family in February – but that coincides with my 10km in Albany. She will be aiming to run the 5km event which would be awesome, and such a great achievement.

This was a fun women-only event, with people encouraged to dress up in a trio. There was some awesome costumes – the Vikings who won even acted out a show while they ran around the course. I had to smile at the Despicable Me Minions, although I don’t think their outfits would have been very comfy!

Next year we’ll hopefully run the whole way together – and I can recommend it as a fun, feel-good run.

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november project

I came across November Project this weekend. I read this article at Runner’s World. I watched this video. I checked out their website.

And now I really wish we had it here in Auckland!

Not 100% sure how I feel about hugging sweaty strangers, and it would have to be even earlier for me to fit it in around work… But really, this might actually be enough to get me to run before work (that, and the birds outside my window chirping at 5AM EVERY SINGLE DAY).

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next steps

Although I’m still recovering from the Auckland Half Marathon, I’ve got a whole lot more running planned out. I made the decision on Thursday, pre-half-marathon, that I was going to stick to this ‘running thing’. Even in the moments I walked on Sunday, I was thinking of what I’ll be doing next, how I can improve, and when I’ll beat that 2 hour mark!

2014 looks like this:

19 January – Albany Lakes 10km (Race One)

09 February – Albany Lakes 10km (Race Two)

16 March – Skechers Coatesville Classic Half Marathon

13 July – Unitec Run & Walk Series 5km

03 August -Unitec Run & Walk Series 10km

24 August – Unitec Run & Walk Series 12km

14 September – Unitec Run & Walk Series 14km

05 October – Unitec Run & Walk Series 16km

02 November – adidas Auckland Half Marathon 2014

This is nearly 120km of events… But there is a bit of a gap around winter time. Might have to find something to fill that gap (no big month-long USA trip in 2014!).

My plan is to enjoy my last few weeks of indoor netball, perhaps fill in for a few games over summer (our team is disbanding) and enjoy casual running. From January it will be time to get stuck back in!

Any recommendations for a medium-mileage training plan?

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hills, heat & the harbour bridge – auckland half marathon 2013

That title pretty much sums up my Sunday.

My Saturday was awesome though – first Saturday sleep in for a long time (no training), followed by lunch in town with some other lovely runners! In order from left to right: Rachel who was doing the marathon (8 months post-baby = amazing), me, Vera who is currently injured but a hilarious writer and a race junkie, Sheryll who was running her first half (and has some exciting running events lined up!) and Jody who was planning to speed through the half (a superwoman who takes lots of lovely photos of my suburb during pre-dawn runs while I’m still sleepIng).


After my usual pasta dinner it was time for an early night, however this was when the triathelete decided we needed to figure out my pacing strategy. My plan was pretty much just ‘run somewhere around 5.40 – 5.50 min/km and finish under 2 hrs’!

Having all my gear laid out meant a quick start to Sunday morning, after the super-early wake-up call of 4.45am. I ate my toast in the car on the way to town, where the triathlete dropped me off. I met up with two work friends and caught the ferry to Devonport, which I don’t enjoy at the best of times – let alone when nervous and before 6am! We joined a toilet queue and spent the next 45 minutes there (but YAY for proper flushing bathrooms!) before dashing to the start. We had to climb over a barricade due to crowding – another runner told me I got first prize for elegance as I did. I would have thought arriving an hour early would be plenty of time, but apparently not.

At 7am we had the horn to start, and off the mass of people went, many in the orange (male) and jade (female) event shirts. I couldn’t believe the crowding, I’ve done the Auckland Half twice before and not found it that ‘squishy’ previously.

Hills: The first 5km is pretty hilly, which I knew. What I didn’t expect was to find it so crowded, with walkers mixed in amongst runners. By the time I reached the 4km water station I was pretty sweaty (gross) and I knew it would be a tough day. My Garmin was also 100m out for each kilometre we had done and I was struggling to figure out what that meant for my pace. Regardless, I was probably a bit too fast, but still feeling strong after maintaining a steady pace. My flatmate has recently told me I have ‘iron legs’, they certainly helped power me up the hills without too much pain!

Heat: I’d practiced taking fluids while running, and it certainly made it easier. I had water at each drink station, and had jelly beans in between. The course had changed from previous years, which meant lots more time spent on the motorway and therefore a lot less shade. I felt like the sun and the black asphalt was sucking my energy out of me, and the stretch from Smales Farm to the Harbour Bridge was very challenging. I still felt okay, but my HR was way higher than usual.

Harbour Bridge: After being beaten by this bridge in my previous half marathons, I was determined to run up the whole way – and I did! Pretty sure this can be put down to my TempoFit training. I remembered the hill running technique and felt like I passed a lot of people who were stopping to walk (they all passed me later on though!). I felt a big sense of achievement here and thought I still had a good chance of cracking two hours.

It was literally all down hill after cresting the harbour bridge though. My knees hurt even more, my hip was niggly and my HR was still really high. I even took Powerade about 17km because I felt so ill. I made the smart decision to walk a little around Westhaven (although I hated myself for it!) because I knew I needed to recollect myself – and avoid either passing out or vomiting, both of which seemed way too close for comfort at that point. The triathlete was about the 19km mark and jogged with me for a 100m, before running to the 20km mark to see me just before the finish.

Knowing I was almost done got me through, and I managed a sprint to the finish, for a chip time of 2:03:15. Not quite the two hours I wanted, but still a 10 minute PB! Despite achy joints and some stiff muscles, I can’t wait to run again and am looking forward to my next events!

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final countdown

Three bad nights of sleep, three running ‘nightmares’.

Not quite your usual scary dreams, instead I dreamt that:

– I missed the start of the race and had to sprint to catch up after being stuck in the portaloo lines

– I was wearing all my jewellery (including my ‘business watch’ which I never wear running) and had forgotten my Garmin

– I slept through my alarms and woke up at 6.30am. As the race starts at 7am in Devonport…

This meant not such a restful few nights, especially when the triathlete was accidentally locked out of the house by our flatmate last night – meaning I got woken up at 1am when he got home! And then at 3am… Silly work social events 🙂

Other than sleeping it has been a good week – lots of rest, a short run on Monday and Friday, delicious dinner with the girls on Thursday night (no cocktails for me, boo!) and a visit to the adidas Auckland Marathon expo.

I chatted to lots of friendly exhibitors, including the Unitec Run & Walk Events, Coatesville Classic/Albany Lakes, Sport Beans and Runner’s World. I may have also entered a few events this week… More to come on that!

Thankfully it is a nice warm day here today, I’m off to meet some other running ladies for a catch-up before the big day tomorrow!

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