Tag Archives: TempoFit

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.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , ,

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!

Tagged , , , , , ,

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!
Tagged , , , ,

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!

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

like a farm in the city: cornwall park

I knew about Cornwall Park and about One Tree Hill, but what I didn’t know was just how awesome it is. Such big fields, great paved paths and dirt tracks, sheep, cows, playgrounds and bathrooms!

Cornwall Park

I visited Cornwall Park on a sunny Saturday morning for a run with TempoFit people. We had an 8km route planned out, and I was pleased some of the girls around my pace were there – making it to 12km was feeling like it would be a big challenge. This is an approximation of what was going through my mind over this run:

KM 1: Oh, pretty trees! Eeek, watch out for the little kids playing cricket! A hill? Really?!

KM 2-3: Ouch ouch ouch. Who puts steps over a fence at the top of the hill? Ooo, some nice downhill. Where are the leaders? Do we know where to go? And sheep! Sheep! And a cow with a little calf!

KM 4-5: Big hill. Still going up the big hill. And, now I’m walking up the hill. Ugh.

End of KM 5. Nice clean bathrooms? Win! Right, onto the next part of the loop.

KM 5-8: Distracted by chatting with a new running friend. Jealous of the sprinting teenagers. Realise I am likely 10+ years older than them…

End of KM 8: Bye running girls! Need water. Need to stretch.

KM 8-12: Pick shady route. Run up, and down, and up and down. Decide I need to pop iPod in. Tackle the “big hill” again. Make it half way down, then turn around to slog back up. Melting… This is nice and cool. And shady. 11km done? Just one more. Just one more….

 

20140215_102355

I completed this in just over 6min/km pace which is ideally what I wanted to (for a long, slow run). I may have needed some couch recovery time afterwards but I got through it! And today? Today I can still move without any pain! Success!

Tagged , , , ,

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).

image

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!

Tagged , , , , , ,

race pace, race face

Saturday was my last TempoFit session. I’m sad the season has come to an end, the 6 week program has meant I am ready ready ready for the Auckland Half Marathon, so I’ve signed up for 2014! I felt I needed a bit of a break after this training period, plus heading into the silly season some less structured training might be better for me.

To finish up, we did a 2km warm-up, followed by 5x1km at race pace (continuous). I was aiming for 5.40/km here, the absolute minimum I need to crack 2 hours. Turns out my little bunch of three (including me) ran this at 5.30/km. We followed this up with a light 15 minute run.

Considering a few months ago I couldn’t run more than 20 minutes straight, I’m pretty excited to be able to say I did a 2km warm-up, then a 5km workout! I may have said this to the triathlete multiple times over the weekend. To his credit he continued to reply that he was proud of me 🙂

I felt pretty good after the 5km, and even after our additional jog. This gives me confidence for the half-marathon, but now I’m struggling to decide on my actual goals. I think the idea of having an A, B and C goal might be good for me, especially if it is hot, or things just don’t quite go to plan. A niggly hip following some furniture moving over the weekend is also causing me some concern.

With a week to go, I’m rolling, icing, resting, using voltaren. Now to just get myself mentally ready, set my goals, and sort out my iPod!

Tagged , , , , , ,

in the long run

In the long run… Training will be worth it.

In the long run… I’ll be a much stronger runner.

In the long run… My stomach will get over it.

And while I’m actually in the ‘long run’ my mind wanders all over the show – food, work, clothes, travel… I also seem to lose the ability to do simple maths (like how many km’s to go!).

I’ve been working hard over the past couple of weeks. I’ve made it to all my TempoFit sessions. I ran an additional 5.5km after our long run last Saturday to get my distance up to 18km. I also figured out that eating banana before running is not a good breakfast choice, but that 2-3 slices of my favourite GF toast (with Vegemite) and a glass of water works.

The jelly beans have been going well and I’ve been making sure I drink water at our water station in the long runs. Sloshing water is still a weird feeling in my stomach but I should be prepared for race day. It has suddenly got quite hot and sunny here and I’m realising how important fluid is. Thankfully the half marathon starts at 7am, whereas I’ve been starting my long run about 8.30am.

After completing most of my long runs at 6.30min/km pace, I knew I needed to pick it up this weekend to try figure out my half marathon target time. I set myself the goal of running at 6min/km pace for at least the first 5km, then I could reassess. I felt good at 5km and kept my pace steady as I went solo for the next 15 minutes (I’d been running with another girl but we knew we were tackling this run differently).

I reached 45 minutes and turned to head back to town. Of course this meant running into the wind again (I swear it switched on me!) and towards some dark clouds. The dark clouds became some light drops which were welcomed, and then driving rain, which was not. I had the difficult choice of taking the shortcut back to our meeting place, or retracing our original route which would take a bit longer. Some others from our group were ahead and going the long way, I decided to suck it up and do it too – even in the rain!

I’d kept my pace well and realised I could make it back in less than 45 minutes – negative splits!! I stopped my watch on exactly 15km, I’d been running for 1hr 27mins. I felt pretty ecstatic, especially as I pushed the last couple of km’s to make sure I got there under an hour and half. Good progress and I was excited to show our coach I’d managed UNDER 6min/km pace considering my other runs had all been much slower.

Now to try and decide my race pace…!

Tagged , , , , , ,

fast fifteen

Actually, just less than fifteen minutes.

We decided it would be a good idea for me to have a slow, easy run today after some hard work earlier in the week. I got a little bit caught up and ran my first kilometre much faster than expected (about four and a half minutes) so I changed my plan and decided I’d just go flat out. And I did. And it hurt.

But, I finished 3km in 14.47. I’m pretty sure this is the fastest I’ve run 3km since high school (quite some time ago) and it is about 1 and a half minutes faster than my 3km timetrial during the first week of TempoFit (although this was paved, not on grass). We are having another timetrial in two weeks, I’m pretty excited to see how I can do!

Tagged ,

reaching the halfway point

I changed things up a bit last week, that being week six in my countdown to the Auckland Half Marathon, therefore now just six weeks to go.

I had been looking into running groups and clubs in Auckland, and came across TempoFit. I wasn’t quite sure I would be good enough to fit in, and was trying to make up my mind. Then, they had a deal on GrabOne. Decision made, especially after a friendly email response when I queried about my current level.

TempoFit is based on three training sessions per week – strength/conditioning, speed/hills and then the choice of a long run or more speedwork. I attended all three sessions this week and loved it. I really need to be pushed to do core exercises so that part of Monday really worked for me. On Wednesday we did a 3km time trial (I did it in 16min 15sec), after doing a 2km warmup. For someone who only a few weeks ago found my total run of 4km a challenge I was thrilled to get through this and not be curled in a ball on the ground!

Saturday I opted for the long run. We were put into pace groups and so I headed out with a couple of women. We did a 13km run through Wynyard Quarter and out towards Mission Bay – it was so windy we actually got splashed by waves! I felt pretty strong up until 10km, the last bit was tough but I got through it. It was good to get some time on my feet (we were running for about an hour and twenty minutes) and it was really nice to chat with some other runners and talk about our goals and reasons for running.

i followed this up with watching the Americas Cup racing on the couch while icing (had to record it due to my dedication and turning up on time to run!).

I really enjoyed my first week of TempoFit and am looking forward to the next five weeks. It does take a bit of planning to get to the different sessions but I think it will be really beneficial for my running.

You can find out more about TempoFit here: http://arunnersguide.com/tempofit

Tagged , , ,