Tag Archives: auckland

150 days to go…

Well, a scary item popped up in my Facebook feed – it’s just 150 days to the Auckland Marathon! Thankfully I am only entered in the half marathon, but I’m not quite at the point I hoped to be.

150 days to go

I’ve managed to keep injuries at bay (good luck rather than good management) but motivation has been lacking a little. I was hearing the same from my runner friends, so decided to kick-start us by organising some evening and weekend runs. This has helped me by forcing me to commit to running up to three times a week with others, which makes it a lot harder to laze on the couch instead. Solid after work runs and longer runs on the weekend are much easier when chatting away with friends.

The weather “bombs” that have hit Auckland in late May and early June have had me reaching for long sleeves, tights and warm socks. I don’t remember being this cold this early last year, but it is keeping the tomato face slightly at bay! It has been a balancing act though, I start off freezing so put on a warm layer or jacket, then need to take it off after about 10 minutes. Not sure whether it would be better to just be frozen for the first bit?!

Any winter running tips for me? I’m sure I’m just being a soft Aucklander, but I feel like it should still be summer!

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catching up

A long time between posts, but not between runs.

For once, I’ve managed to keep consistently running. Through the holiday season, through summer and into the start of Autumn. I’ve kept the injuries at bay so far and improved a lot more since the Auckland Half Marathon.

A quick recap of active events:

– walked the Skechers 6km event with my Mum in mid-November. This has become a yearly tradition now and we enjoyed the new course out and back along with waterfront. I set her a goal for us to finish in under an hour and revised this to 55 minutes as we turned at the halfway mark. We finished right on 55 minutes!

– we enjoyed a New Years’ holiday at a bach with friends overlooking Lake Tarawera. A perfect kiwi summer trip away with walking, kayaking, sunbathing, reading and swimming (along with copious amounts of wine and cheese!). We also walked the relatively new Lake Tarawera Trail. The 15km hike took us about four hours through ever-changing scenery. Once we hit Hot Water Beach we relaxed in the geothermal waters then took a speedboat back to the start!

Our view of Lake Tarawera 11139527_10153752773398574_481446992_n

– solo runs dominated with no TempoFit over summer. I’ve now nailed the art of the “runch” and can now get out for a 40 minute run and be back at my desk in just over an hour. This does leave me with a tomato face for an hour, even cold showers can’t defeat the heat of an Auckland summer!

– walked the Sculpture on the Gulf exhibition on Waiheke. We enjoyed a lovely day on the island and the walk in the sunshine to view the artists work. My favourite piece was the field of mirrors. This was then moved to a temporary spot near my work which was good to see in a different environment!

Field of mirrorsWaiheke walking

– watched the ASB Classic quarter finals, including a game with Marina Erakovic. It was the noisiest game of tennis I have attended – so much crowd support for her! We also spectated at a couple of triathlons – the WTS Auckland event, and the Panasonic People’s Triathlon at Mission Bay. I purchased a road bike in late 2014 and have started riding, I tossed up a triathlon this summer but decided to focus on running events for now.

Auckland 70.3ASB Classic

– completed the Albany Lakes Series (2x10km, 1x5km) and achieved a new PB of 55.08. Once again, they had stunning weather for the series and the events ran smoothly. I love the team from Running Events, as always it was a brilliant day out. Their tagline is “We’re Runners Too” and it shows.

Albany Lakes

– walked the Botany Fun Run & Walk with my Mum. We got her an entry as part of her Christmas present, and at the last minute I decided to enter and surprise her on the day. When she went to collect her pack she spotted my name too and I got an excited text from her – not quite the surprise before the start that I had expected! We finished the walk and enjoyed a nice chat on a sunny Sunday morning.

All in all, an awesome active summer and I’m getting stuck into training ahead before winter hits.

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not the run that i wanted


Unfortunately the Auckland Half Marathon on Sunday didn’t quite end up as the day I had wanted!

Although I wasn’t that keen to get up at 4.30am when my alarm went off, I quickly got ready and we were on the road to the city. I ate breakfast in the car, then we caught the ferry across to Devonport with lots of other runners. I was pleased to have the  triathlete along with me for company, and also to carry my gear for afterwards!

#flatrunner is ready

Being in Devonport nice and early meant we were able to spot a short portaloo queue and even take a few photos. Although it was still dark when we arrived at Devonport, the sun quickly rose although thankfully with a reasonable amount of cloud cover. Last year was really hot and I was expecting another hot day.

And the real runner ready!

I placed myself between the 1:50 and 2:00 pacers and was all set to go. With five minutes to go, my watch was connected to satellites. When the start hooter went off, it was no longer connected! I panicked a little then decided I had no choice but to start. I left it trying to connect for the first two kilometres, but with no success I turned the GPS off and started a normal timer (one flaw to this watch is that you can only start it with GPS – or then once you have changed settings!).

Training on the course really helped in the first 5km, I knew the hills and had no trouble running them. I was uncertain about pace but felt I was keeping calm and steady. Due to the heat I took water at each of the aid stations and slowed down to a walk to make sure I got enough water in! It felt like no time before we hit the motorway and started the hot slog to town. I still felt good at this point, taking a gel and plenty of water but was struggling to do the maths to guess at my pace.

Just like last year I was determined to make it up the bridge and I did! Another runner fell into step beside me, at the top I turned and smiled, thanking him for keeping me going. After the bridge my day literally went downhill. Every step was sending shooting pain through my feet, which hadn’t occurred at all during training, and the heat also started to get to me. It was about this point that the 2:00 hour pacer passed me and ran off into the distance. I took plenty of water at the 16km mark and knew I would be run-walking the rest. While I was far more prepared this time than in the past, I felt relatively at peace knowing I wasn’t going to get my goal. I decided to just suck it up get through the rest, knowing I have put in the work this year and will be able to keep it going until I get my goal.

There was plenty of supporters around the Westhaven area, including my wonderful TempoFit buddies! It was such a boost having them cheer, and I gave a big wave as I passed. I heard a few other runners say “which one is Michelle?” as the cheering started, so I threw my arms up for a big air pump. Between the cheering station and the finish I saw four different runners being helped, who were all looking in quite bad states. The triathlete ended up helping with two different runners which meant I was left at the finish for a bit!

My final time was 2:08 – five minutes slower than last year, and 6 minutes slower than Rotorua in May. I didn’t feel like this was a fair reflection of what I was trained and ready for, and was pretty gutted to go into work on Monday knowing I would have to tell everyone I hadn’t achieved my goal.

But, after enjoying my Snickers bar on the couch at home, I started googling for my next attempt. Whenuapai in late March or Huntly in late May is the next decision!

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three months on

Well, I did manage to mix things up a bit during Winter, then got stuck into Spring training and the Unitec Run & Walk Series.

A quick recap, over the last three months I:

  • replaced my Garmin FR70 with a FR220, which is amazing! Especially love the mapping feature. Did have a slight battle with NZ Customs who were trying to incorrectly charge me, but I got it eventually.
  • dropped my 5km time down to 24.20 from 25.26, then six weeks later down to 24.16. I missed a few speed sessions this TempoFit season so was thrilled to smash my previous time. Definitely started to feel the heat at the end of the season. Time for shorts I think.

Waiheke Weekend

  • made it to the start line of the four remaining Unitec Run & Walk Series (even if I dropped down to the one-lap event most times). They had a tough run with the weather this year but the events were well run as per usual. I’m not sure where the fast ladies were this series as I managed a few high placings.
  • trained on the Auckland Half Marathon course and enjoyed some of the North Shore beaches.

Narrowneck Beach

  • attended a Nike Training Club event. Wow, was such a good workout but very, very tough.

Nike Training Club @ Britomart

  • improved my Sir Barry Curtis Park 16km time by fifteen minutes from last year. Such a confidence boost, I was able to run the 16km strong despite awful weather (half the course in biting wind and rain, the other half in sun and too hot!) and still feel good at the finish.
  • trained hard and am all set for the Auckland Half Marathon next weekend!
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twelve and up

Well. #50daysofwinterrunning has felt like it has become 50 days of trying to avoid the awful weather (since when is Auckland crazy windy?!) and keep all the cold germs at bay. I did take the opportunity to pop outside from work and get some sun and fresh air the other day but nearly froze in the wind!

freezing in the wind

So, there may not have been too much planned running actually being completed but recently I have…

… finished the Run Auckland 10km at Western Springs. Turned out it was actually only 9.5km, but I still ran it much faster than my usual pace which gave me some confidence. Each of my four laps was quicker than the previous so for once my pacing was spot on! I started alongside the 5:30min/km pacer but quickly decided I could push it a bit more and I am glad I did. Also learnt a good lesson that no matter how chilly I think it is, Auckland only requires a singlet or t-shirt in a race.

… completed an awesome long run through the suburbs to the west of the city. It was nice to mix things up a bit, although we ended up running 1.5km more than expected. Not quite sure what happens but on my long slow runs my garmin often understates the distance (it measured 18km).

the long run that was longer than expected…

… started the Run Auckland Half Marathon in Orewa, and pulled out halfway through. I went along with my running buddy and she beat our 2 hour goal by a couple of minutes which was awesome. We turned up to find that there were no portaloos (really?!) and the only bathrooms were at the 5km mark. With race morning for once ‘going to plan’ I was very disappointed by this. I started a bit too fast to try get ahead to the bathrooms and remain on track, but this wash’t very successful. With the two weeks off previous due to a cold and my hip/IT band aching I decided it was smart to stop after one lap of the two lap course. It was the right decision and I enjoyed cheering on my various TempoFit buddies as they came through!

… ran the first event in the Unitec Run & Walk series at Mt Albert. I have signed up for the two lap series, and this weekend it was the 5km event. With only my parkrun times to go off, I had a goal in mind of 25 minutes. I didn’t quite get this, but finished in just under 25 1/2 minutes – which is still about 2 minutes faster than my parkrun times! I’m looking forward to getting back to TempoFit and doing some speed work to keep improving. I actually ended up as 3rd female out of 135 runners and walkers, which was a nice surprise when I checked the results yesterday afternoon.

#nicedayfora5k

a not so fast placing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m now looking forward to the next four events in the Unitec Series and starting back at TempoFit next week. Motivation to run alone in the cold has been almost completely lacking!

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#50DaysofWinterRunning

Well. It’s been a while, but I certainly have been working hard – both at work and in my running! I ran the Coatesville Classic 8km and the Rotorua Half Marathon, finished another season of TempoFit and managed to improve by 3km time again. We also moved house and that was a full-on body workout, ouch.

Now that it is getting a bit wintery in Auckland (so chilly last week!) I’m joining in with TempoFit’s #50 Days of Winter Running challenge. The aim is to keep strong, enthusiastic and healthy over the winter period, ready for a great start to Spring training and the lead up to the big Summer races. For me, this is the Auckland Half Marathon and I have a big time goal I’m working towards.

#50daysofwinterrunning

 

I love the idea of a full-on ‘Run Streak’ like Runner’s World do each Summer, but I’ve learnt that more than two days of running in a row is just too much for me. Hayden and Charlotte from TempoFit have provided a number of ideas to keep active yet injury-free.

I’ll be putting together a list to challenge myself and mix things up a bit as I train towards a half marathon in early July!

 

 

 

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sailboats in the sunshine

sailboats in the sunshine

When this is what you get to see when running after work (or taking a lunch time run), it certainly makes me want to get out there a bit more! It also makes me feel pretty lucky to work right on the waterfront – and then I get to also run along the eastern beaches too!

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