Sunday, 29 April 2012

Karen writes: Finish of Rotorua marathon 2012

Just watched the video of my finish at the Rotorua marathon.   I still run like a drunken sailor but I always feel better than I look.  My mother, very politely, said that I "ran like I was tired". Note to self, just DON’T look at video coverage of me running.  I came 831 out of 1299 overall, 248 out of 477 female finishers, and 33 from 64 in my age/gender group...slower than the Perth marathon last year, but did take 5 minutes off last years Rotorua effort.

Speaking of finishing…  I really enjoyed getting to the marathon, staying in Rotorua, eating for the marathon, starting the marathon, running the marathon, but the ending was the most disappointing finish to an event I have ever experienced.  I smiled as I ran over that finish line under the archway.  I looked around then I stopped smiling, I didn’t know what to do and that isn’t a good thing when you have been on the road for 4 hours 40.  I’m not a novice, I come prepared for most things, but I wasn’t prepared to run over the line and find myself standing thinking where is a drink, where is some food, where is anyone who is going to notice if I need help?  Because we had disposable transponders built into our race numbers there wasn't even someone collecting those.

Let me explain a bit more, the running of an event like a marathon isn’t the whole story, what happens at the finish line is important and most serious events recognise this.   I’m not just talking about there being any sort of “yes, you have finished” acknowledgement which some events provide with a running commentary or a medal (neither of which was at Rotorua this year), but facilitating what is in effect the transition from your body having run for hours, to nearer its normal state.  It isn’t a good idea to stop suddenly.  I’ve learned from experience I need to walk for a bit to let my blood pressure and heart rate drop more gradually or I feel faint and breathless and sometimes sick, I wondered how those crossing the line for the first time coped without there being any sort of official finishing support there.  It is also a good idea to have easy access to fluids immediately, even if you don’t feel like drinking, and something to eat as soon as possible.   At many events there is a sort of pathway which forces you to walk a short way to where there are drinks poured waiting, and a table of something like bananas or yogurt you can snatch up as you walk past.  At Rotorua marathon this year you crossed the line, there were some water tanks, you had to find a cup, stop in the queue to fill it, and then the only food was at a cafĂ©, another queue.   I wandered a bit trying to figure this out, then decided the quickest option was to walk back to the hotel and by this time I was feeling miserable.  I stopped at a coffee cart and asked for a glass of milk which the wonderful lady gave me instantly and then refused my money. I told her she saved my life and at that point I felt like she had.   

I kept walking, feeling better after a couple of blocks, then stopped in at the dairy and got a flavoured milk and a banana which brought me close to being back to normal.  Back to the room, feet up, I thought about how that finish could have spoiled the whole thing for me.  

Kate got back, she had a good run too, and we dissected the finish and discussed the neat stories we had heard on our way round.   You follow someone, form an impression from the back (often wrong) and make an innocuous comment as you draw level.  Some respond, and a conversation ensues, it might be a few words which gives you a snapshot of a person in that particular moment, it might be a longer chat where you share parts of yourself, or it might be no response and you smile and form a picture of a person in a place where they don’t have words to share. Of course they could be deaf or plain rude but in something like a marathon choosing not to indulge in chit-chat cant be judged, it could be pure survival!  Then you pass and move onto another story.  That is a part I enjoy immensely.

There were good finishing touches to the experience.  In our hotel room we ate recovery food…cheese, nuts, juice, bananas, salt and vinegar chips and jaffas (yes, technically the latter items aren’t recommended for recovery but we felt we had earned them). Then we finished the day with a big hamburger.  Back home, the washing is on, I’m ready for university tomorrow so Rotorua marathon is really finished for another year. 

Kate write: day after marathon

Its the day after Rotorua Marathon. I can walk, Just! I had a great day on Saturday, weather was good! wow that's a first for a long time. Sun shone, few little rain drops and a little wind. I finished in 5 hours 7 Min's. I was hoping to go under 5 hours but its better than last year, and I've been in bed all week with a cold so I cannot expect miracles. Oh and not enough training! It was a great run, felt good, ran most of the way with some walks when needed. Meet up with some great people. The talks you have on the way are always interesting and are part of the tale you talk about. I looked out for the ironman tattoos and spoke to most people. Its a good talking point. I saw the one I want, it's a silver fern with IM under it. The man is doing the Rotorua Half IM so I will see him again and have a closer look. 

Karen and myself went to Rotorua on our own. It was a girls week end away. So when you finish there is no one there. I can cope with that but Really there was no one there to give you a medal, or a glass of water or a banana or to catch you as you fall over. Not a good ending to the Marathon, the organisers need to be looking after the runners.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Karen writes: Been here before...waiting...

Busy day at work today, I'm not back there for 4 days, what with the trip to Rotorua tomorrow, the weekend, and Monday is a day at uni.   I looked at the weather forecast this morning, sunshine for Saturday.  I looked at the forecast just now...RAIN.   Sigh.

Because there is just 1 more full day before the Rotorua marathon, today found me taking the opportunity to make silly mistakes.  Like going for a walk over to the Otara town centre wearing shoes designed more for looks than comfort, and tripping over an uneven bit on the garage forecourt.  I did forgo the curry at lunchtime though.  Technically am meant to be running tonight, but my legs are still a bit dodgy, it wont hurt to take some more good rest time.

So how will Saturday go?  I haven't got a clue right now. I have followed the training programme, however in a manner which could be described as 'lacklustre'.   I bet though, that when I get in the car and get on the motorway heading south to pick Kate up, that pre-event bubble of anticipation and excited nervousness will return.  I have packed my bag complete with clothing for every weather including an old warm top to throw away at the startline, and pondered the fact that while I miss my whanau a whole heap when I am away by myself, travelling without them is strangely uncomplicated. The pantry is full of groceries, the washing is up-to-date, and the car has got petrol in it.  I'm ready as can be, roll on tomorrow.

BUT, most importantly, Richard has just finished his epic 8 day and 217km Mountains to Sea trek in the South Island, he phoned from the Waitaki Rivermouth where it met the Pacific Ocean to tell us about his amazing achievement.  Read about it here.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

kate Writes: a cold

I have a cold. I always seem to get one just before the event. I took Tuesday off sick from work and managed to finish my presentation for conference next week. Today I feel a little unwell, but it was a friends birthday yesterday so that might have something to do with it. Today I,m getting things ready for next week. So I'm not stressed out. But I'm feeling a little better and I still have 2 more days to recover so I,m not worried. Roll on the Marathon.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Karen writes: Relaxing yoga...not

I ran 24 relatively pleasant kilometers on Sunday, and yesterday I ran for a gorgeous half hour along the coast road with the sun going down.  There is a small grassy spot at the Eastern end of Maraetai Beach where there is usually a small wild rabbit grazing at dusk, I see it often and wonder...firstly that it hasn't been 'pest controlled' out of existence, and secondly that it is unworried by vehicles on the busy road and me trespassing on it's turf.  But I was aware as I ran that my right calf still hurt, and today it is tender in multiple places and feels hard, and it has passed its misery onto the left one (so it doesn't feel left out).   So what to do tonight when a run would have made me feel good physically and mentally...but logic told me I was on the edge of an injury 3 days out from a marathon?

Yoga.   Put the DVD into the player, and ahhhh...stretch and breeeeaaaathe and feel the body relaaaaaax.  Yeah right.  Try that with two kids who think it looks like a really cool thing to do and who assume the main reason mum is lying on the floor is so they can jump over her.

So I enjoyed it once I gave up trying to concentrate.  The two girls joined me, contorting and squealing and asking "mum is this right?" and "mum am I doing it?".  The little one turns out to be so flexible she could sit in one of those cross legged poses with her knees actually touching the floor, that's depressing.  The pre-pre-teen is less flexible and had a limited attention span when things took more than a few seconds... and subsequently occupied herself with coming up with more and more inventive distractions.  I was definitely entertained, I think I had a good stretch, but am probably not relaxed!

Anyway, looking ahead, I am sure my legs will be fine, Kate will get over her cold, and the following apparent weather 'trend' which starts with 'few showers' for the Anzac day parades tomorrow and seems to go progressively downhill towards Friday...wont culminate on Saturday in the sorts of extreme conditions we have had (and almost come to expect) for our last few events.  I hope.

Karen writes: Richard reports in from a Mountain

Just had a quick report in from Richard who is currently on his trek from 'Mountains to the sea' in the South Island.   He started walking on Thursday of last week from Mt Cook, heading through some spectacular and rugged country for the Pacific Ocean.   Richard has now been on the road for 6 days, covering 135km by walking between 19 and 38km per day.  He reports that all the equipment he has taken is working out well, he is eating and drinking plenty and he has stayed in some interesting places, including a high country station, hostel and camping grounds.

When he phoned, Richard was heading for the Waitaki Dam, and expected to reach Kurau this afternoon.  The weather had been sunny since starting, however had clouded over a little while he was talking.  An injury to  one heel wasn't holding him back.

Go Richard!  Hard to imagine that there were all those months of planning and training and now you are two thirds of the way finished already. 

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Karen writes: Legs

I was saying to Kate the other day that magic massage months ago had fixed the problems with my lower legs, and they had been fine ever since.  Well, that was obviously ill-wishing myself, because on the last couple of runs I felt hot spots, particularly deep in my right calf.   Ohhh.  Off to the massage person again, and some deceptively gentle starting work led to some deeper digging and a string of sore spots identified down the inner aspect of not just the right leg, but the left leg too.  Cause to reflect that all those hours and hours doing triathlon training just don't seem to do the damage done by less than half the time running.  The magic massage person seems to think that running on uneven surfaces is probably contributing, but that isn't going to change, bush trails and country roads are my favorite places to run.

But I always feel worse the day after that sort of treatment, today the legs feel miserable, and am I keen on the idea of a 25km run tomorrow?  Not really.  Antiflam. Wheatbag. Stretch. Repeat. Tonight I will have to leave my running gear on the table downstairs all ready to go so there is no temptation to crawl back into bed because I cant find my socks.  

There might be a few unscheduled days off in the week before the Rotorua marathon methinks and that wont matter the slightest little bit.

Kate Writes: Sun

We've had such a poor summer this year it seems strange to be running in the sun.  With my scare of melanoma in the last few weeks, I'm taking more care about sunblock. Usually this time of the year I will not burn so little sunblock is put on, but now I spend ages applying factor 100. Face, arms, legs are all getting a coating. I tried running in a long sleeved  top but just got very hot and bothered.
I saw the plastic surgeons this week and they are going to give me a larger scar on my arm by removing more of the area where the mole was. They are also taking one off my back. I did try to convince them that I had a large one on my stomach area and I needed at least 2 inches of fat removed! Still its all good, they said we could leave it 3 weeks so I can run the Rotoura Marathon and go to my diabetes conference and finish my Uni course. Lots to do in the next few weeks.
I had a lovely run yesterday, just 10k. Mt daughter Sophie says I boast but its really just to boost my confidence. Tomorrow I will do my final run, about 21k I think. I will see my physio on Monday and then get ready to run!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Karen writes: Sharing my run

Now that the training is tapering off, it was time to take the dog for a run.  Usually I leave her at home when I am training, she is a sweet little foxy crossed with something unidentifiable, and I have to say, a bit of a coward.  If another dog barks or comes near she has been known to wrap herself (with lead) round my legs, which isn’t a good thing when out running at any sort of speed. She also doesn’t like cars, or noisy people, and doesn’t have much sense of which side of a pole or tree she should run on. The other thing about running with the dog is that when I am doing really long distances on narrow country roads it just isn’t fair to take her along anyway, especially in warmer weather when there aren’t those convenient drinking puddles along the way.

So yesterday, she was all excited to have her halter and lead put on, and we headed off up the road with great enthusiasm…for a while.   I thought perhaps she was tired, poor little thing, hasn’t had much exercise recently… until we turned round and started heading home.  She was then so enthusiastic there were people laughing at me as we ran up one of the big hills in Maraetai, it looked like Pippa was pulling me up the slope. She wasn’t really (so I say), but I admit I was struggling to keep up.  So I tested my new theory out and turned to run away from home again, and yes, she slowed right down.

Anyway, once we came to a better understanding about the degree of sniffing and doggy investigating I was prepared to tolerate (none), it turned into a pleasant hour, me and the dog, pattering along the road at dusk, 1 week out from the next big event.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Karen writes: Solid running

Yesterday I had a 30km run, funny how much less anxious I am about these long runs now that I have done quite a few of them.  The biggest danger with increasing familiarity is being slack about preparation, like not paying attention to having the right clothes or chafe and blister prevention, and not always taking enough to eat/drink during the run.  I had great fun though, exploring a patch of bush in the Whitford forest, what sticks in my mind particularly was a long, long downhill run on a pine-needle carpeted track, all the while trying not to think about coming up the hill again (which wasn’t so bad anyway).  I wanted to go further except I had to think about the fact that home was a long way away. But I came through pretty unscathed, however when I did get home I broke all my own rules of recovery…we had visitors…when that happens the recovery food/shower/compression gear/feetup/rest doesn’t happen.   Still, I was able to function reasonably for the rest of the day, which was the big girl’s 9th birthday.  How cool is that, I have a 9 year old!

This morning I reported in to Grant the trainer on the weeks efforts, admitting that I took Monday off to eat chocolate, and as ever he was very kind about that.  He feels I am ready for Rotorua, saying he expects a “solid time”, which I think is possibly a polite way of saying I did OK with the training but probably could have tried harder.

Kate Writes: sunday morning

I've had a lovely week with my Daughter Sophie home from Uni. Lots of great stories and her growing up to be a lovely young women. So Sunday morning I had to get up at 5am to get her to the airport for her 7am flight back to Dunedin. I planned to run part of the way home. I got dropped off at Te toro and had 25km run home. The sun was shining, even though it was only 8am. It is very hilly on the back roads home, but I ran where I could and walked the rest. But now I power walk, walk with a purpose and off I go.
3 hours later I get home with 25k on my watch. feeling very pleased with myself. No real aches or pains and ready for the rest of the day, well I got a good book out and had a good read. I do not feel prepared for the Marathon and would like a few more weeks, but that is always the case. I'm off for a swim tonight and the a run tomorrow . I hope to run another 25k on Friday and then a slow week. We will have to wait and see the results. But I am feeling good.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Karen writes: 2 weeks to Rotorua Marathon

So training is about over for the Rotorua marathon, the next 2 weeks are for tapering, and as usual I feel like I should have done more.  I have pretty much followed the training plan from Grant (he rather cleverly doubled the gym component, so I have done half of that rather than almost none like last time), and I tell myself there is NOTHING to be done now, nothing I can do over the next 14 days will make me any fitter before the 28th of April, it's time for rest and recovery.

Karen and Kate in Red at Rotorua 2010
This week will be the longest at about 7 1/2 hours of running, that doesn't equate to a whole lot of distance because some (a lot) of that was pretty much for promising myself I would achieve a faster time!   I think back to the first marathon and seem to recall that I never went much over 5 running hours in the week, I guess the main difference now is in how I feel afterwards rather than how I perform in the event. After the marathon I expect to drive back to Auckland on Sunday morning, possibly with the help of something caffeinated, but I don't expect to experience any physical ill effects, unlike the first marathon where things hurt for days and I wasn't up to running again for weeks.  I also expect it to close the chapter on Ironman 2012, there is still the sense that all that training wasn't put to good use, and perhaps this effort will finish things.

But finishing this bit really is just the start of the next.   As previously described, part of endurance sport is of course having a legitimate excuse to shop and even a cheapskate like me has to spend something sometimes.  So with an eye to long months ahead of Ironman training, I now have 3 boxes of my favorite solid energy gels in a comforting stockpile in my office.  I found them at about half the usual price at Torpedo-7  and they do have to be used by December, but I'm sure I can do that.  However, I couldn't help but look at all these pretty coloured, pristine packets with all their promises of endless energy and souped-up performance and think that they represent a whole lot of work to come.   Sigh.

Kate Writes: All go

Ok I'm back to my usual cheerful self! I have booked for Rotorua Marathon and accommodation. Its going to be a girls weekend away! The room has a shower, no bath but has a spa in the hotel. It also has a bar and food. We should have fun.
Karen and I went for a good run yesterday over in Howick, an old favorite run of ours but we have not been there for a bit. With our Nike running bracelet on we had a good run. 10k in 80 Min's. Wow it took ages. But then there are 100's of steps and it is up and down. We met one runner with a Rotorua marathon t- shirt on and I called out to him, nice shirt, but he was gone so fast. 
So on Sunday I am going to do a long run.The daughter is back off to uni and I will get dropped off half way home. It will be a good test for the Achilles. Then back to the physio on Monday to repair any damage.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Karen writes: Windy, rainy run - nice!

The change from daylight saving and looming winter season means that evening runs now take more thought.  Especially, like tonight, when the weather is bad.   I headed out for an 80 minute run, decided to head up the main road towards Beachlands to make the distance a little more interesting.  Car lights were starting to come on, the rain got progressively harder, the wind was blowing my pendant over onto one shoulder where it annoyingly flicked up occasionally to hit my ear, and the jacket tied round my waist was billowing out like a little sail.  As I ran back along the waterfront at Te Puru park there were flocks of small birds being buffeted about by the wind, I wondered if they were trying to land in a tree to settle for the night but wasn't going to hang around to find out, it was time to go home!

It was dark by the time I climbed up the driveway, I was getting cold and soaked to the skin, but I feel like I am on the verge of something happening with my running.   Tonight's 12km, and last nights 5km...were enjoyable!  My running is feeling faster, the gait feels more fluid and its easier which is something new as I usually feel like I do more of a lumber than a lope.  Perhaps there is hope...will I possibly get to that 4 hours 30 for the Rotorua Marathon...or more likely take the usual 'keep lots in reserve' approach and dawdle and talk my way around the lake?

Going for a run with Kate tomorrow, there is a hill route out by Howick we used to run regularly, up hundreds of steps, across board-walks, through bush.  Might be a mudbath looking at the weather forecast though!

Kate writes: Rotorua Marathon

I've been putting off the thought of doing the marathon at the end of the month as I am awaiting surgery on my arm. Well, I rang about my appointment this morning to be told that I have to prove i am eligible for the op. I have to send them proof that I am here legally in NZ.  I was very tearful on the telephone to the hospital. Why could they have not got this from the GP, why does it come back to me, why does it have to wait another week! On the other hand, this means it will not be done before the end of the month and I can run at Rotorua. So it is important to turn the tables round to look at things positively and go yea I can run !
Oh dear I better run tonight :)

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Karen writes: The financial cost of Ironman

I made contact with someone recently, mentioned Ironman and the answer came back something along the lines that they were planning on doing IM 2013, but because of finances were going to put it off till the following year.  That got me to thinking about how much the journey to the IM 2012 that-wasn’t has cost and after totaling things up I came to the conclusion it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.  Bit late to be thinking about that really, given I have just signed up for another one.

Some things are a bit unclear (how do you put a price on crawling out of bed at 5am to breakfast by yourself before an early run for months on end?), some things I probably would have spent the money on anyway (repairs, running gear etc), some things I was lucky enough to already have, some are essential, some not.

So, the journey cost...
·    Registration – around $800.  That is so expensive, but it is also THE commitment.  When you scrape up that sort of money, you have no choice but to take it seriously!
·    Bike – my dear old Scott (bought second hand some years ago), without aerobars, was absolutely fine.  I did spend a bit on repairs and maintenance over the year, but probably would have had to anyway.  Most likely wouldn't consider an event of such magnitude on the rusty old Rockhopper mountain bike with the knobblies and the middle chain ring not working though.
·    Clothing – bike shorts, tri shorts, tops, all wear out, but the trick is to beg, borrow and buy on special.   To train twice a day 6 days/week for months on end does mean you need more clothes unless you are dynamite with the washing. Sometimes you luck-out, one cycle shop had a box of tri shorts for $20 under their sales table, I brought several pairs for training, they do the cycle, run and you can swim in them.   The Bendon shop factory sales were eagerly awaited too.  We were lucky enough to get some sponsorship to buy branded gear which we used for the day and lead-up events (thanks Novo Nordisk).
·    Running shoes – yes, these are expensive, but if you are a runner you need shoes anyway.  I buy mine on sale, you can find last years model much reduced.  I can get 800-900km out of mine, that is a lot of km when you think about it so I didn’t need too many pairs.  I would have spent about $500 on running shoes over the year for 2 marathons, two half ironman events and all that training in between, one pair is still going and will easily take me through the Rotorua Marathon.  Good socks are expensive but essential though, $35.
·    Cycle shoes/pedals – if you already cycle, hopefully you have these.  Mine were worn out and I got a second-hand pair of carbon soled Pearl Izumi for $50 with cleats included from Trademe, they appeared not to have ever been worn.
·    Bike service – normally I get the bike serviced before big events for peace of mind, probably had one extra service - $100.
·    Supplements – now that I have figured out that honey sandwiches are my bike-fuel of choice that helps.  If you buy gels at $5 each from the bike shop, that adds up real quick.  I keep an eye out for sales, like at torpedo-7, you can get them half price or less, and I only use the gels on the long rides and runs once a week, so would perhaps use up to 6 close to peak training. The rest of the time would be 1-3 gels/week, I would say I spent about $350 over the year on supplements (including 2 big tins of electrolyte drink powder from the supermarket and protein meal-replacement powder).
·    Registrations for other events - it makes the training easier and does your head good to have smaller (but significant) targets to aim for, Rotorua marathon ($99), Perth marathon ($100), Taupo cycle challenge ($99), Rotorua Half Ironman ($99), plus accommodation/transport etc.  Now the last bit is where you have to be tricky, for example combine the trip with a family holiday, share accommodation.  Technically these dont count towards Ironman, we would have done them anyway.
·    Wetsuit – Top of the line from Trademe - $80.  $20 for repair kit.
·    Swim gear – togs, doesn’t everyone have these anyway?  Flippers and hand paddles - $15 off trade-me.  They almost come under the luxury category, but made a big difference to my training, partly by mitigating the boredom.
·    Goggles – 2 pairs from the Otara pool shop, $15 each.
·    Body maintenance – I needed some support for my grumpy muscles, I would say I had 8 trips to the massage people at around $80 each time over the year to fix various aches and pains or help recovery.  Now that I know more about how beneficial these are I probably would be aiming to do this even without Ironman. $640.
·    Trainer – I spent about $500 on this over 6 months.   Well worth the investment.  Nutrition advice - $160, again, an investment.
·    Unnecessary but useful toys – Nike sportsband ($40 off trademe), it’s a cool toy which is more of a motivator than anything else, mini pannier to carry all that food on bike ($10).  The fancy yellow neoprene ankle thingy for the transponder I got at the Ironman expo ($5). Tri-belt ($7 off Trademe).  Elastic laces...didn't need these at all but they are PINK and you have to buy something at an expo ($10, Perth marathon), I really like them now though. I could put in the Polar heart-rate monitor here, I have had one for years, haven't figured out how to make sense of it but hope to next time, some people swear by them!
·    The trip away for the big event, fuel, food, accommodation (shared rented house), kenneling for the dog.  $300.  Taking the whanau meant it could technically be counted as a family holiday.
·    Extra food – funnily enough, extra rice and bread and fruit costs less than the normal indulgence in chocolate and cake.  Cutting the V energy drinks out saved up to $30/week so came in in credit on this one!

How much is that finish-line WORTH to you?
Total spent somewhere around $4000, (probably offset by savings on V and chocolate).   Ok, divide that up over a year = approx $330/month.   Anyway, my conclusion.  There are so many things which can put your IM dream off, and who knows what will happen in the future that could eventually make it impossible to achieve at all.   That $4000 I spent might seem like a lot of money if you haven’t got it there in your pocket, but compared to the estimates of tens of thousands of dollars some people say are needed to achieve's not massive.   The bonus for me of having another go in 2013 is that this time round I have so much left-over gear I expect to spend half as much!

Actually, the biggest cost was TIME.  But that is another story.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Kate Writes: Running

Its interesting reading Karen's blog. I thought I had done really well running 17 k this weekend, then I read her blog and she had done double. I think my heart not really in it. I'm waiting to hear about plastic surgery on my arm and not sure if I can run on the 28th April at Rotorua. I know I can if I want to, it just depends on dates. My arm is OK but I'm very aware of the scar and that its pulling at times. The other night at spin it throbbed. So its just watch this space.
Like Karen I watched the ironman on TV. Pointed out to the family where I was in the swim and my sister now knows I'm mad. It was a good reminder of the day and yes I need to be there next year.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Karen writes: Big run and memories

I had a 34km run this morning, beautiful day for it, cool and fresh, but goodness that is a long way.   I headed off early along the coast towards Duders Beach, and running back to Maraetai was treated to the sight of the huge moon over the trees in the perfectly blue morning sky.  I kept running to Te Puru where 3 other stalwarts from the running group had dragged themselves away from Easter holiday induced lethargy to run as well, so I ran with them and when they turned off, I kept on going, the thought of guilt-free Easter eggs keeping the legs going.  Just 8km short of the marathon distance, but I am sure those 8km will be very long on the day.   Am I ready, who knows, I think I have felt worse doing that sort of distance in training, perhaps that is cause for optimism.

Recovery after a long training run.  Drink lots of water, get into the recovery food quickly (shape powder/yogurt/fruit salad), shower and stretch, compression leggings and feet up (1 minute for every km covered).   Multi-vitamin, anti-oxidants, fish-oil, and magnesium powder...theoretical basis for the polypharmacy...there isn't one...but something out of that lot works and I don't dare change anything in an apparently winning recipe!

The real treat though came this afternoon, it was the Ironman programme showing the 2012 event on TV1. I watched the swim and remembered what it felt like to be bobbing round waiting for the start in that cold water and I felt sad for the woman shown who couldn't finish because of hypothermia. I watched the cyclists and remembered the noise and the fast ride out and the slow ride back to Taupo.  I watched the woman running in her Special K t'shirt and remembered commenting to her that I had worn my own Special K t'shirt down to Taupo.  I thought about how my own footsteps had traveled every bit of the route they showed, it was a lovely reminder that we were actually there.  And at a time when the momentum is a bit erratic, a timely reminder that we want to be there again!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Kate Writes: inspiration

I have had a lot of people tell me that I inspire them by what I do, but last night I was inspired by someone else. I went to my daughters Duke of Edinburgh Silver award ceremony. I was asked if I was the lady who ran down Sandspit Soad. No I said, but she had seen me at the Sand to Mud run. I remembered seeing this lady at work a few months ago and what an amazing job she was doing with her diabetes and getting it under control. She had booked to do IronMaori in a team and was going to do the 21k run. It was so great to see other people doing a good job and the enthusiasum that went with it.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Karen writes: After Easter resolution

No point in resolutions regarding chocolate the week before Easter.  Therefore I have decided to stop beating myself up, shall ignore moderation, self control and all that stuff until next Tuesday, or perhaps a couple of days after that to let the after holiday chocolate sales subside.

Good run last night, 70 minutes, along the neat waterside trail through Omana park, to Beachlands and back again with a few small diversions to bring the distance up a bit.  Daylight saving has kicked in however, so it was dark by the time I got halfway home and I hadn't though to take a light with me, better do that from now on!

It is hill repeats tonight, ten of them.  Better do them to earn some advance credit for all those Easter eggs to be consumed over the weekend.

Rotorua Marathon is in 3 weeks.  30km training run on Sunday, I am planning on coming out of that feeling enthusiastic and ready to go.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Karen writes: Attitude

Was it only a month ago that I could go for a triple figure bikeride followed by a run on a Saturday, then run 30km on the Sunday?   Yesterday I straggled through a 27km run, after building up the run steadily for weeks, and having had Saturday off in preparation I really had no reason for making such a mess of it.   There was far too much walking, too much (internal) whinging, and not enough of the body being an efficient machine which can pace out mile after mile with ease...I blame my brain.

And how do I know it is brain not body?  Nothing hurts, nothing physical feels the slightest bit of stress.  27km without a muscle twinge or tendon whimper...the poor performance was all to do with the HEAD!

More head stuff...funny how hard it becomes to find 5 hours in a week to train in when not that long ago it could have been 14 hours.  Or the motivation to stay off the V energy drinks disappears and they quietly sneak back into the diet ("just one to finish this report...that assignment...its been a stressful day") and before you know it the rubbish bin clinks when you kick it.  

The problem is...11 months is such a VERY long time to stay completely motivated.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Kate Writes: Paid

I knew I had to book for ironman, but I kept forgetting. Is it not such a big thing anymore.I have until Tuesday to do it, so why worry! Well, I'm sure Karen will be pleased to know that I have done it. All filled in and paid for. Do I feel excited? no not really! But I did put in a faster time than I wanted to this year. So watch out I'm going to be faster and better.

Talking about faster, I ran in a race today. It was the Sand to Mud race in Waiuku. 8km. Hardly worth getting out of bed for, but my friend Rob had said that he could beat this fat old girl,and so a bet was made. $20 to the local fire force. He pulled out of the race weeks ago as he was in Australia, but I was not going to let the side down. There were 740 people running, and I came 301 in a time of 54mins. Not bad for me and my Achilles was ok, physio must be working. I'm usually in the bottom half of the results so its nice to be further up the list, mind you there were very small children beating me.

My arm is healing, today I needed to take the stitches out. I realised I have never had stitches and I have never taken my own out, left handed. Definitely felt a bit sqweemy, maybe next time I will go and see the nurse and pay for it to be done.

Any way roll on Ironman! I still want the tattoo!