When things get real

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When I first said that I was going to enter the 2017 Coast to Coast race it was nearly a year and a half away, a.k.a. quite far in the future.  Well that far in the future is now a lot closer and this week became extremely real.  Tickets for the 2017 race went on sale on Wednesday this week and after a quick call to Jane to see if she was still on board I am now officially entered into the 2017 two day individual event – bib number  2005.

This means that money has been spent – there is no backing out now (which is kind of why I entered as early as possible).  After my rest week last week I needed the renewed motivation to keep going and refocus myself.  I also signed up for a race at the weekend – Janes mum found it in the local paper and it sounded interesting so I entered.  So this Saturday (30th April 2016) I’m participating in the 22k Waitomo Trail Run.  The 11k division was sold out and the 33k was well outside my current comfort zone, so it really had to be the 22k distance.  At least I know that I can run that far.

This weekends run is through some stunning Karst scenery – which is landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. It is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves. (according to wikipedia) What this does mean is that we get to run through caves and fantastic limestone formations, so it should be pretty.  Its also my first truly off road run, not quite the terrain of the C2C run, but more challenging than my usual routes.

Based on my previous 22k time of 3 hours I expect this to take somewhere between 3-4 hours, the route has a lot more vertical ascent than my previous run which will slow me somewhat I suspect.

I also realised this week that the Maungatautari Mission that I entered some time ago is only 6 weeks away, which means that I really need to get out in the kayak as that race has a 10k kayak leg, and I’ve been concentrating on my running and cycling up until now as these are the disciplines that my skill level is much lower.  Its going to be a busy few weeks as I continue to work on my running and cycling fitness as well as build up my paddle fitness, I feel an erg in my life in the near future 😦

Last week was a mental health week, as I alluded to last post, and so there is not much to report on the training front.  The sleep-ins helped reset my internal batteries and it was nice to not have aching muscles for a day or two.

  • Tuesday – Run 6k
  • Saturday – Ride 50k

Sometimes you just have to hit snooze

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The astute among you will have noticed that I haven’t been writing as regularly as I normally do, I would love to say there has been a great reason for this but I’d be making stuff up…

It has been a fortnight of ups and downs,  with some pretty awesome training followed by some repeated hitting of the snooze button.  I even got to run in a different city as I was away for most of last week for work in New Plymouth and managed to get a ride and a run in a new city.

Working away from home is a double edged sword really, I always enjoy the solitude but miss Jane and the kids, and having a new city to explore is always fun, but not having anyone to share the discoveries with makes it a somewhat Pyrrhic exercise.   All that aside the New Plymouth coastal path walkway would have to be one of the best in the country and made my morning run and cycle a really magical experience.  It has to be said running along the coast is one of my favourite ways to start the day. Well favourite active ways to start the day, lying in bed with a good book and a decent coffee is still my all time favourite way to start the day.

I have also been logging the k’s on my long runs with an 18k to follow up my easter run of 15k and then an almighty 23k last weekend.  The 23 was probably a bit soon, not so much in distance, but the route I chose was uphill for almost half of the distance, I would have actually been better to have run it in reverse, at least that way the climb would have been short and sharp followed by a long descent.

So all the training has been going quite well – hitting the 23k milestone was pretty awesome, its just over the half marathon distance and only 10k short of the C2C mountain run.  Extrapolating from my run I figure the mountain run should take me somewhere between 4 and 5 hours, so I’m happy with that and I still have 290 odd days to get faster and get some more runs in on similar terrain to the actual run.

What about the downs I hear you ask??  Well the extra distances have definitely been having an effect on my body and I’ve been finding it difficult to motivate myself to get out of bed in the dark to go for my normal training runs.  Now I’m not a morning person, but I actually do enjoy the early morning sessions in the dark.  I don’t even mind the cold and rain as long as I am dressed for it, but I just haven’t been able to get up.  Now I know that this is largely mental and getting up is probably the best thing for it, but sometimes you just have to hit snooze.  Training is a combination of putting the body under stress and rest, and I’ve been pretty good over the past 8 months at putting my body under stress but not always so good at the rest part of the equation.

Being a night owl I have found it difficult at times to convince myself to go to sleep early, even going to bed early hasn’t always helped and I find myself still awake at midnight with a 5am alarm set.  Normally I manage to get up and exercising first thing wakes me up and gives me energy for the day, but nothing can hide the fact that I’m tired and need to get more sleep.  So today I didn’t get up, today I hit snooze and slept in for another hour.  And it was liberating!  I woke up feeling guilty because I didn’t go for the ride I had planned, but I felt better than I have for days, muscles don’t ache, brain isn’t foggy from lack of sleep and I’ve been in a good mood all day.

So the moral of the story, sometimes you do have to snooze, and not beat yourself up about it.  I know that its not the start of a habit, because I do feel a little guilty for not going for my ride but I also know that today it was the right thing to do.  I’m pretty sure I’m not over training though its something that I’ve been on the watch for, especially as I have come from a pretty low base it would be easy to push too hard in my attempts to hone myself into an endurance athlete.

So a mixed week, some really high highs, and some middling lows, but nothing that a sleep-in can’t fix.

 

Monday – Bike 30k

Wednesday – Bike 16k

Thursday – Run 9k

Saturday – Run 18k

Sunday – Ride 23k

Tuesday – Run 4k

Wednesday – Run 9k

Thursday – Ride 20k

Saturday – Run 23k

 

Hunting the easter bunny

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A couple of weeks have gone by since my last post, then I felt like I had lost my running Mojo and was a little despondent about the couple of steps backwards that I felt that I had taken.  Well there is nothing like a couple of short weeks and a trip to the beach camping to turn your head around and reset yourself.

Jane and I had decided that we were going to go camping for the Easter holiday this year as we hadn’t had a chance to go camping during the Christmas holidays, so we packed the kids and the tent up and headed to Hahei in the Coromandel for 5 days of relaxation and running.  Well that was running for me, Chicken had some serious K’s to put in on the bike for her training and Jane and Buddy decided to get some walking in as well.

The weekend was looking pretty rubbish as far as the weather went, and on Thursday morning I woke up to the sound of torrential rain and power outages, thought to myself sod this and rolled over and went back to sleep.  I had already done a session on the bike and a couple of hill run/walks on the first three days of the week so having an unscheduled rest day wasn’t the worst thing in the world and my tired legs were certainly going to appreciate it.

We arrived to the beach early Friday morning and had a relaxing day settling into the camping lifestyle.  For us that generally means going for walks on the beach, a good book or 10 and a beer or wine in the afternoon.  There is of course no escape from the rigors of training and on Saturday I went for an exploratory run around Hahei, a town I know pretty well, but have never run in.  The run went really well and I clocked up 7k for the first time in a while without feeling like I was going to die.  A couple of days rest and a change of scenery had definitely pulled me out of my funk.

On the Monday I decided that I would try for a 10k and if I felt good then I could add a few kilometers without too much hassle.  Rather than running later in the morning, I got up as the sun was rising and headed out of town on the route that I had planned the day before.  For anyone who has never been to the Coromandel, it’s hilly…  Like REALLY hilly.  I had planned my route to be as flat as possible but there were still a couple of hills to be tackled, and the flat road I thought I found was actually just a long steady hill for about 3k… but the morning was beautiful and the scenery fantastic, so I stuck at it walking up some of the hills but running the rest and I felt good, really good so I kept going.  I ran through the first hour of my playlist, 8k’s down and feeling strong, so I kept going until I had run through the second hour as well.  There were a couple of stops to take photos and I really needed some more water with me, but I completed 15k in under two hours and felt really great for the rest of the day and the next.  Legs were tired but no injuries or pain.

So it appears that I found my mojo again, silly really it was at the beach, which is where I fell in love with paddling all those years ago, which is why I’m training for the Coast to Coast, because it has a paddling leg.

The rest of the week was pretty good for training as well, a run on the shores of Lake Tarawera while I was away for work was pretty cool and my fastest ever 5k on Sunday was the icing on the cake.  Legs feeling tired but not sore, cycling distance getting up and speed increasing slowly as well.  All in all its going OK at the moment and the end of daylight savings means that my training runs and rides finish in the light.

 

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  • Monday – Run 6.7k
  • Tuesday – Bike 17k
  • Wednesday – Run 6.8k
  • Thursday – Rained off (yaaay)
  • Saturday – Run 7.2k
  • Sunday – Run 4k
  • Monday – Run 15k
  • Wednesday – Ride 21k
  • Thursday – Run 5k
  • Friday – Ride 23k
  • Sunday -Run 6k