Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Karen writes: And so...it goes on

Had a swim on Friday evening, the first since Ironman, the wetsuit even had Taupo grass on it still as I had just dried it and put it away 3 weeks ago.   We did 1600 metres up and down the length of Maraetai beach, it was a nice swim and the body doesn't seem to have forgotten how to do it, that's reassuring with that 2.8km harbour swim booked for a couple of weeks time.

Now the running is going pretty well, I'm on a 3 run per week programme based on the 'senior runner' recommendations by running guru Hal Higdon, link here.  I have finally recognised that I can legitimately claim the title of experienced runner, so when he points out "you know what you are doing", I can almost believe him now.   Mr Higdon was actually the catalyst for the first marathon we did.  I found an old edition of one of his books in a second hand shop and for some reason carried it up north for the Christmas holiday, I read that book from cover to cover and the tiny little, long held and deeply secret idea..."I would like to run a marathon one day (but I'm sure I never will)" turned into "hey I AM going to do a marathon".  When I got back to work I printed off the information for the Rotorua Marathon and put it on Kate's desk, and here we are.

One thing that's different getting ready for Rotorua this time round is the early morning running.  I have always been a bit of a wimp about getting out of bed early, but something seems to have changed...perhaps finding up to 16 hours in a week before Ironman makes it easier to now find just 5 hours, and by tucking most of them into the time before the world wakes up, I have a life uninterrupted by training!  Well, almost.

Actually, it seemed like a lot of the world was already awake when I headed out the door by 5.30 this morning.  Initially there were a few houses with lights on, a little later there were cars, then pairs of walkers with swinging torches, the occasional runner with bobbing headlamp attached, and even a dog with a light on it's collar...which did confuse me initially.  By 6am there were groups of people at the beach exercising, as I ran along by the perfectly flat water the air was sharp with the smells of soap and shampoo (some people shower before exercise?), and the paddle of my footsteps was supplemented by giggling and shouted instructions in the dark.  I had to run past these groups a couple of times to make up my 10km run, and  I wondered about this boisterous zigging and zagging and leaping and lunging, they seemed to be enjoying themselves, but I wanted my solitude as the sun came up, wanted to feel some sort of peace as I ran and the beautiful day woke up.

You learn something on every run.  I learned this morning that while there are several toilet blocks along the various beaches, the only ones open at that early hour are in the middle of Omana Park, (and you get to them through the bush and they don't have lights, scary), I was reminded that hills are hard work (not done a lot of this as the forestry has been closed for weeks), and surprisingly enough came to the realisation that I'm actually still pretty fit.