Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Three runs and a dilemma

My running schedule for the rest of 2007 was looking pretty straightforward: Pelorus Trust half marathon, a month of speed training, Wairarapa Country half marathon, Rimutaka Incline, then multi-sport over summer with the Wellington half marathon in February. Unfortunately my mother-in-law emailed me this morning with a rumour that this is the last year the Auckland event will be held over the harbour bridge.

I can't really afford the $85 entry fee and trip up to Auckland at the moment, but let's face it, the attraction of Auckland is the bridge, and Ruth has been talking about running the half as well this year (her big comeback). I had quietly been planning to run Auckland as my first full marathon next year, but removing the bridge takes the edge off the appeal. So now what do I do? Bruce, any indication of the truth of these rumours? At this point, I'm going to stick to my guns. Pelorus, Wairarapa and Rimutaka. Unless my mother-in-law comes up with an offer to pay my entry fee. I'm not holding out any hope!

In the meantime, my training continues. I haven't had any major breakthroughs in terms of suddenly discovering superhuman strengths, but I'm quietly getting on with things. We had a hard, fast run out along the waterfront on Monday night, taking Aotea Quay past the stadium and crossing over to Thorndon Quay via a fly-over bridge. I feel satisfied that I pushed it quite hard, although I was thrown on the return leg by being much further North than I'd anticipated. I let myself die a little death on Lambton Quay, but then recovered up Willis to catch Sarah for the last sprint back through Manners Mall and Dixon. I think we were out for a total of around 50 minutes.

I was in Auckland on Tuesday, which meant no Body Balance and no RPM. I made it out of my meetings at around 1.30 so hoofed it the ten minute walk to Les Mills Victoria Street. I had been planning to do some intervals around Victoria Park, perhaps followed with a run up College Hill then down through Herne Bay and back to the gym via Westhaven Marina. I'm not sure what happened, but the day was overcast and windy and I decided to run on the treadmill. Obviously the treadmill option was the inferior choice, especially in the rather industrial warehouse-style city gym facilities. There wasn't any decent audible music to keep my attention diverted from the timer. It made me appreciate the cardio theatre at Xtreme all the more.

I jumped on for half an hour, warming up at 10.5, then doing three short intervals, with the fastest at just over 15kmph, the fastest I've ever run on a treadmill. I finished off at around 12kmph, sweaty but not with any real sense of having exerted myself. I finished up with a long stretch before heading for the spa complex in the women's changing rooms.

After a quick shower I headed for the spa pool, which had a big 'no entry' sign up in front of it. Darn, foiled. I sat in the sauna for a while, then moved to the less-than-hot steam room but it wasn't the same. Thankfully the showers are at least strong and scalding hot, so I enjoyed one last long blast before heading out to the cafe. I wish the cafe were similarly enjoyable. I ordered a chicken chilli with rice. The chicken was bland, the rice gluggy, and the overwhelming impression was of school canteen food. Still, it filled a gap until I could get home and have a proper meal.

Before long I was in a plane back to Wellington looking out at a full moon hovering above clouds tinged pink from the sunset, admiring the stunning beauty of it all. If I'd delayed my flight by a couple of hours I would have had a ringside seat of the eclipse, but that would have meant having even more time to kill. I'm an ex-Aucklander (Westie, in case you're wondering), so I do have friends there, but really I was just hanging out to get home.

It was incredibly hard to drag myself out of bed this morning for a weights session, but I'm still struggling to regain my former dedication to multiple sessions a day so I felt I had a point to prove. I elected for upper body/core, upping the weight on the last set of star gazers and doing a few extra pull-ups. I think it's time for a new weights programme, as my body seems to have acquainted itself to my current one quite well and my mind is losing a certain amount of interest. I've already decided I'm going to focus on speed work once Pelorus is out the way, so it's probably a good time to refocus in general.

All up our run tonight went well and I'm pleased with how steady I've been this week. We ran a very undulating route, along Courtney, up Kent to Elizabeth Street, up Elizabeth to Austin, down Ellis, around the Basin, up Buckle, down onto Willis Street, up Willis to Aro Street, up Aro to the pedestrian crossing then back down Willis Street to the waterfront, Taranaki Street and back to the gym. The real route was was supposed to be a half kilometre longer, but Sarah and the other Jog Squadder I was running with both headed home mid-run. I continued on with Pru, but she was having knee issues and had to cut things short. In the end we covered around 7km in 40 minutes, which was pretty good considering all the traffic lights we had to stop at

I have a session with Duck in the morning and another homework run to get out of the way at lunchtime. I'll do Balance on Friday, then it's a 110 minute run on Saturday. If the weather's good I'll reattempt my last abortive attempt at running around the coast and off to the Terrace gym via Kilbirnie and Hataitai Bay etc, hopefully winding up there in time for a 10am Balance. I'll check it all out on Map My Run and see how it looks. All up though I'm feeling good with no real injuries other than my slightly nagging sacroiliac. I may well assemble at the start of the Pelorus Trust event feeling right on top of things.


Fi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce said...

Haven't heard that one before. It would be a shame I guess as it's certainly a highlight though seeing as i have run it once already it probably wouldn't bother me too much.

Sounds like LMI in the city wasn't quite up to the Capital standards.

Former westie eh! Me too.

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