Saturday, September 01, 2007


Yay! Every cell in my body has been screaming joy at the change in the seasons this week. I've been forced to sit at my desk, fidgeting and fussing, while out the window the sun has shone and the trees erupted with new growth. There hasn't been much productivity going on, so I've listened to my body and spent as much time as possible outside.

I had a remarkably ordinary run on Thursday, but then I was running during my lunchbreak, so had limited options route-wise. Duck worked my glutes and legs on Thursday morning, and I wasn't in the mood to climb to Kelburn. Instead I decided to see how fast I could run the Molesworth Street, Tinakori, Thorndon Quay loop. It's not the most exciting run in the world, but I know it well enough to know how fast I should be getting through it.

My legs quietly let me know that this was the fourth day in a row of running, and that I'd already worked them that morning. I still managed to get to Thorndon Quay in fairly handy time, but I can't truly say that the rest of the run was completed at a fast pace, even if I did overtake another guy along the waterfront. Let's just say that my shoes need replacing. By the end of the thirty minutes my left shin was
aching to the point where I could imagine it eventually becoming too sore to continue.

So my run on Thursday was ok, but not fantastic. I can't expect every run to be amazing after all. I still had that great 'I just ran' feeling half an hour or so later at my desk. It's the best form of stress-reduction I know. Running has shut the lid on my anxiety episodes, for which I am eternally grateful.

I was hopeful that a day off would allow the various aches to subside, and by Friday morning things were already on the improve. I had a good Balance class with Clare at lunchtime. We did release number 35, which I'm not familiar enough with to be able to avoid watching Clare for cues. I love the Tai Chi warm-up and did get into a kind of groove, but again, it was just an ordinary class, nothing revelatory.

I had a quiet night last night. Hamish was out drinking with his colleagues, so I sat at home avoiding alcohol and watching Project Runway. How sad is the life of a runner? My alarm went off at 6.45 this morning and, not for the first time, I wondered what on earth I was doing getting out of bed at this time on a Saturday morning. If you'd told me that I'd be up so early on a Saturday morning to go for a run three years ago I would have laughed in your face.

Thankfully I knew that the Northerlies were supposed to be increasing as the day went on, (rising to galeforce) and that there was rain forecast for Saturday evening and Sunday. I was also supposed to be meeting Sarah at the Terrace gym, and we wanted to be back in time for Clare's 10am Balance. That was enough to get me out of bed.

Sarah met me outside the gym at 8, and we were inside dropping off our gear the second it opened. Then it was off around the Bays. We turned left out of the gym, right into Bowen and down onto the waterfront. We kept pace with each other for the first 20 minutes, then Sarah pulled away. I wasn't sure whether my shin was going to start aching again, so I held back on the pace a little which showed in my eventual stats.

Despite the Northerly, which was already rather fresher than I'd hoped, it was a gorgeous morning. I haven't run around the Bays for quite some time, and it was nice to be back on familiar territory. I got into my long-distance groove quite quickly. My feet felt much lighter than Thursday and everything just seemed to flow. Again I concentrated on keeping upright and pushing through my glutes. Thanks to Duck's Thursday bashing I could definitely tell when I was using them. they were little knots of steel and they weren't terribly happy with me!

Greta Point arrived before I knew it. An unmarked police car was cruising the streets and passed me several times, pulling over unsuspecting speeding drivers. I kept going, remembering running this way for the Round The Bays at the start of the year, and feeling much fitter this time around. Checking my watch I realised I would be at the needle well before it would be time to turn around. That got me moving a little faster. My goal then became to make it to the first round-a-bout. I got there right on 50 minutes and started heading back to the gym.

Running back along Cobham was a bit nasty as I was getting blown around by the Northerlies. They continued to be a feature around each point, slowing me down a bit. However I was heading for a fairly good split, not negative, but not that far into the positive. It was quite a warm morning, so I stopped for water at Hataitai and Balaena Bays, and again at Freyberg. Sarah caught me when I stopped at Balaena and we ran together for a while. Both of us were feeling quite upbeat and happy with how we were going.

I went to cross Jervois Quay at Queens Wharf and was going to run up Woodward Street back to the gym, but my watch only read 1 hour 42 and I wasn't ready to stop. So I turned right down Lambton Quay, then forced myself to run up Bowen. My body did what it was told, although I walked a little bit of the Terrace before running the last couple of hundred metres. Sarah was inside waiting for me.

It was straight into Balance. The sun was shining in and it was fabulously warm. We did release 36, which is one of my favourites and has some great hip openers. We showered and it was great to get the salt off our faces, then I sat in the sun to wait for Hamish to drop off the spare car key to me. My own set of keys were sitting in the ignition of the Mazda, trapped behind a locked driver's door. Yes, I am an idiot.

Since then I've eaten a pie, some toasted pumpkin seeds and a mandarin. I've drunk a bottle of sports replacement drink and a bottle of cider. Not the best day diet-wise then. I've done three loads of washing and read the paper. What I haven't done is wash my Mazda or prepare her for sale. I haven't been to look at any scooters either. It's not that I'm feeling particularly tired. I'm feeling very good actually, not at all like I spent most of the morning exercising, but I sort of lost momentum once I got home.

Tomorrow the Mazda will get cleaned and photographed and placed on Trademe. Hamish is following up on a scooter-lead via a client whose partner imports Vespas. The garden will get weeded, if I don't blow away in the process.

So two things to be happy about: it's spring, most emphatically spring, and my training is back on track. I'm peaking right on time instead of two weeks too early. I'm fitter than I think I am, and I'm sustaining my workouts at a higher level with less effort. My pace today was right on target for a good time at Pelorus. It may well happen!

Finally, I have a confession. I ead a number of triathlon blogs, and every time I read a first Iron-Man race reports I have to fight back the tears. Today I read a second Ironman report and was so inspired that I went back to the first blog entry and read from the beginning. Then I decided that I should set myself some impossible goals and set out to achieve them. If you only read one blog today, let it be this one.

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