Saturday, November 03, 2007

Running on Rocket Fuel

Oh dear. I knew what I was doing and I did it anyway. Yesterday was Hamish's birthday. It's also Day of the Dead, a Mexican celebration. For the last three years that's meant dinner at the Flying Burrito Brothers on Cuba Street. Two things were certain. There would be tequila, and there would be chillis.

My office started drinking at 4.30, so I was already one large glass of bubbly and some French bread with cream cheese and hummus ahead by the time I met up with Hamish at 5.30. After that we spent a couple of hours at a friend's place, where I ate too many corn chips and managed to get through two bottles of cider. It was after 8.30 when we finally made it to FBB and there was an hour and a half wait on a table. So it was off to the bar for a Margarita and a tequila tasting plate.

Hamish enjoyed some crab cakes to start, and I ordered the crumbed, stuffed Jalapenos. Both were delicious. We followed that up with a rabbit and lentil stew (Hamish) and chicken mole enchiladas for me (with more Jalapenos). There may also have been another couple of Margaritas.

By this time it was after 10.30 and we were in the mood for dessert. So we adjourned to Midnight Expresso for strawberry cheesecake and the cafe's divine vegan chocolate cake. We got to bed around midnight, and when I woke at around 4a.m. our cat Gaffer had still not come home. With this being the first day of firework sales, and with it also being a Friday night, the thought was there that he may have been disturbed by some going off nearby. So I had a very disturbed sleep until he finally walked through the cat door at 7.15.

Which would have all been fine, had I not been down for 90 minutes of hills this morning. Let's just say that ordinarily eating a heap of chillis, drinking a heap of tequila, and getting very little sleep would not be part of my pre-long run game plan. I don't think I woke up until about ten minutes into my run. I limited the damage as much as I could. My stomach rebelled when I tried to drink water before leaving, and I couldn't face eating anything more than a small apple. I waited twenty minutes or so before leaving home.

I wasn't in the mood to run up into the town belt again today, so I just ran straight down Farnham and towards Island Bay. As I rounded the coast towards Owhiro Bay I was hit by a stiff Northerly that was going to make things interesting. In fact I ended up running into a strong headwind all the way up to Brooklyn. Lots of things should have been bad about this run, but in fact it was pretty good. I ran steadily the whole way down to the coast, felt fine, enjoyed the views to the Kaikouras, then gritted my teeth and faced the long climb.

Half-way up I slipped into a higher mindspace, where I wasn't really aware of anything much more than that I was continuing to put one foot in front of the other. I wasn't feeling any pain, I wasn't feeling any tiredness or any shortness of breath. I was just moving forwards. Each milestone passed me by, and each time I was surprised. Already I was at the entry to the landfill. There was the first house on the right. There was the 50km sign. There was the Masonic Centre, the first street off to the right, the new housing development on the left. Taft Street, the petrol station. There were the shops. I got there without having to fight myself to keep going.

I continued to the top of Brooklyn Hill, then dropped down into Central Park, choosing a gravel trail that dropped reasonably quickly towards the stream at the bottom. It was only halfway down that I finally got hit by a wave of nausea that thankfully passed reasonably quickly after a quick stop to drop my head a bit nearer my knees. After that I was able to pick up the pace and weave my way through Te Aro and down Taranaki Street to the gym. Ninety minutes, pretty much on the dot.

I even followed that up with Balance. I had enough time to buy a Replace drink and a banana. I sat in the changing rooms slowly alternating between the two. My stomach wasn't overly enthusiastic, but I knew I needed to get some energy in before the class.

Mike filled in for Margaret, taking us through release 31. The ab track consists primarily of plank pose and side-plank. The back track includes a fairly grueling animal pose sequence. My shoulders are still feeling quite knotty after the weights I've been pushing the last couple of weeks, but my hips really appreciated doing two classes in a row. My back's loosening up now in the twists too since I've been focusing on those.

Finally class was over and I was dashing into Subway for some real food (well, realish), then into the supermarket for a few groceries. It was such a relief to get off the bus and into the shower at home. I'm feeling remarkably good now, and still haven't been able to surrender to a Nana nap. I may regret that later as it's another big night tonight, with Singstar at Sarah's then Hamish is performing at San Francisco Bathhouse. There's also a very good German minimalist djing at Sandwiches.

My whole week of training has gone well actually, and my energy levels continue to remain high. After Monday's treadmill intervals I did Mike's Tuesday Balance class, following that up with some more leg weights after work, then Duck's RPM class. This time the leg press didn't leave me with rigid quads the next day. Perhaps I may also have been a bit lighter in the dial in class. Whatever, I felt fairly fresh on Wednesday. I modified my usual upper body/core workout slightly, not being in the mood for as much cable work.

At lunchtime I was scheduled to run for half an hour at a easy pace. Instead I ran up to Kelburn then floored it back down through the gardens in an attempt to better my last time. Then it was Thursday and Duck stuck mainly to my core and upper body again, with only a little leg work. I was down for twenty minutes at an easy pace at lunchtime and was a bit stuck for routes that wouldn't involve spending up most of that time at traffic lights. Outside the wind had dropped ahead of a Southerly change and it was pleasantly cool.

I headed off up to the top of Molesworth, then dropped down onto a trail that runs alongside the Terrace side of the motorway. It's a bit of an agility course, with lots of small inclines and flights of stairs, a bit of mixed terrain and a few quiet roads to cross. I got back to the gym with five minutes to spare, so looped back to Bowen Street and ran back up to the trail again, pushing the pace through the cemetery and back down Aurora Terrace.

Other than another Balance on Friday (Margaret standing in for Clare), that was my week. I'm spending part of my 'rest' day tomorrow in the Sanctuary. Next weekend I'm going to be in Taranaki, so goodness knows where I'll be running. After that it's Rimutaka Incline. I'm also eying up new places to run. I'm looking at heading up towards Melrose, and Kate's also put me onto a series of Scottish runs. I'm feeling good, really good.

There's a post coming soon on how much of a difference running and being fit in general has made to my life. In the meantime I'm off to find some food. I'm suddenly starving!


Kate said...

Wow!! You're a machine.

That definitely qualifies as an epic run. I love running round Melrose (Daddums lives in the Melrose side of I Bay). Fun hill after fun hill.

Ah, twill be good to run for fun for a few months.

Fi said...

Chili power!! Awesome post - we also celebrated Day of the Dead in London at our favourite mexican restaurant Red and Green. They do the corn chips exactly as they are in Mexico! Yum!