Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Karen writes: The spectre of last year

Up north for Christmas with the whanau.  As usual it has been lovely to spend time with the my folks, brother, the niece and nephew.  Of course I have eaten far too much, not as bad as Christmas celebrations can be, but that little bit of trifle, a little bit of pav, a little bit of jelly, a little bit of cream...a little bit of each different type of chocolate revealed in everyone's presents...fresh plums, cherries, several khaki coloured cupcakes with splodges of green icing which were put together by the girls as this years version of a Christmas cake, all this can stack up on top of the healthiest of dinners.  And if you don't eat everything, there are leftovers to come so you just shift the problem.

When I am here I like to run up my mum and dad's garden ornament, a small mountain called Manaia.  Usually I do it most days and push a bit, but this time I am pacing myself, my dodgy knee keeps reminding me that I should be a bit careful on the hills, both up and down.  Especially since I have the high point of my training year coming up, a hike from Bream Head to Urquharts bay, which takes me well over 3 hours on a good day, then the run back home is another 50 minutes or so. I love this track, Christmas wouldn't seem the same if I couldn't do it.  Ironman has a bit to answer for, usually I would tackle these challenges without worrying too much, this time I'm feeling paranoid, is my knee hurting more than usual?  Is that a twinge somewhere else? What happens if I get the ITB problem back by doing too much hill work? I really dont want to do serious damage with only 9 weeks to go.  There is also the fact that if I cant do as much racing up and down the mountains as I did last year, how do I tell if I am as fit as I was then?

So where I am with training...I took last week off completely after the Rotorua half Ironman.  Sunday I had a pleasant 10km run with the Te Puru runners breaking in new running shoes but feeling a bit sluggish.  Monday a steamy 18km run along the waterfront on the Whangarei heads, Tuesday and today a trip up Mt Manaia (rain one day, hot the next).

Now running is good, its also all I can do without a bike on hand.  I could swim I guess, but there is my unreasonable reluctance to go in the big water which I see as being host to too many things with teeth.  The trouble is that I know that the cycle and swim are where I would better invest my limited time and energy, and sadly that isn't going to happen any time soon.