Sunday, September 03, 2006

Runner Pip!

I had what will go down in history as a defining run yesterday. My 10km demons are well and truly vanquished!

Allie and I met up at Les Mills at 8.30 and headed out around the Bays. It's spring, so that of course meant a blustery North Westerly. At times we were being blown to one side, then we would round a bend and suddenly we would be pushed along faster than our legs could move. There were a few genuinely frightening moments.

Running round Oriental Bay we could see wet pavement and sea spray ahead of us. There was nothing for it than to run through the waves. Thankfully we didn't get too wet. One woman who came running towards us was quite drenched.

A quick stop at Baleana Bay for a toilet stop and drink of water, and another to strip off in Hataitai Park. No more wearing polyprops on morning runs - I was roasting! Somehow I've also managed to lose all but one of my hairclips, and my hair was going everywhere.

Before I knew it we were at the turnaround for the bike leg of the Special K duathlon, so I knew we'd done over 5km in just on half an hour. From there it was no time at all to the Wind Wand and the turn right to the climb up over the saddle to Newtown. After the Mt Vic climb this little hill felt like nothing at all. We hit the top of the rise and then had the joy of knowing it was downhill all the way to the gym. Running past our reflections in a shop front I even noted that we LOOKED like runners. No shuffling and dragging of feet - body held erect, long stride, good knee lift. Now that's a bit different to a few months ago!

As we hit the one hour mark I started thinking ruefully of Duck's instructions to bring along water and gel shots. That's the last time I'll go out for over an hour without fuel. Still, even running against the Northerly with tired legs didn't dampen the enthusiasm, and the last little stretch down Courtney Place was postively joyful! We made it back to the gym in under 70 minutes. 10.6km with a hill and a few stops for traffic lights etc. If we'd set out again and repeated the route we would have had our half-marathon polished off. I estimate I'm running roughly 6 minute kms, which is still slow compared to some but about where I wanted to be, so I'm pretty contented.

Allie took me back to her lovely little rented villa in Mt Vic for a shower. Thanks to the central city gas issues the Les Mills showers were cold. With my complexion I looked like a sweaty tomato, while Allie's olive skin just had a bit of a rosy glow on. After she dropped me back in town I had half an hour till I was due to meet up with Hamish for brunch, so I dashed back up to the gym to dry my hair off. The gas had just come back on, but the showers were still lukewarm and I had to keep explaining to other questioning women that I hadn't actually used them.

Brunch at the Matterhorn had never tasted so good. A gorgeous garlicy, buttery potato soup with crostini, and I didn't want to think about exactly HOW MUCH butter! A quick wander around town and I headed back home to a cider and a paper. We had grand ideas about theatre or a Soundline thing, but after dinner I crashed on the sofa and slept soundly till 10pm. I woke only for long enough to stagger groggily into bed.

All that sleep did me good though, and I was up and awake early this morning to head into the Sanctuary. In case you haven't already figured as much out from my previous posts, it's SPRING. The Tuis are in full-on mad, crazy, chasing each other through the sky breeding mode. The Hihi are getting the idea as well. The males are claiming their territories and defending them voraciously, even the ones that don't yet have females. I visited ten nestboxes and managed not to kill myself climbing up the stream bank or sliding down into the gully. I even managed to do a spot of writing (see previous post). Not a bad day.

Sometimes I wonder whether I should be more sociable, and whether it is bad for us to be spending so much time on our own together at home rather than out on the town, but then I think I am still busy, just a different kind of busy. I am still socialising, just in different ways. I'm not exactly a recluse. Vestigates of still being too hard on myself.

So, tomorrow rolling hills, Wednesday sprints. Oh, and at some stage I need to call a swimming instructor. Err, yup, ok then!

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