Getting back into it!

So, it has been forever since I posted anything on here. My running has been very similar over 2014. I was travelling almost an hour to and from work, became a dad and didn’t make time to run. This was incredibly detrimental to my mental state!!!

Having a daughter has been awesome and has really put things into perspective. My Father’s Day was celebrated by a run with my girl in her stroller as she had just turned six months old and could therefore hold her head up enough to enjoy the ride without being injured. Running with a stroller has changed the way I run, now a road run seems less mundane! You still can’t beat the trails though!

So 2015 sees some changes. I have changed jobs (again) I’m 30 and have no idea what I want to be when I grow up! I am trying to be more proactive, run a lot more and have the ultimate goal of becoming a marathoner.

Wether it’s read or not I plan to get back to posting on here as I take the next steps to reaching 42.2!

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Parkrun has just started in Hamilton!

I hadn’t heard about Parkrun until an email from my wife late last week that had been sent to her from a keen runner in her office who thought I might be interested. I absolutely love the concept, maybe it’s because I’m cheap and there’s no cost, or maybe it’s that I like the idea of runners looking out for other runners, or maybe it’s the fact that it’s a flat 5k followed by a coffee and a yarn. Either way if your in or near Hamilton at 8am on a Saturday come along. There’s only be one so far, but I think it’s the beginning of a beautiful thing! 

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8 Stages of Marathon Running

I have never actually run a full marathon and fully admired those that have!
Thought this was awesome and can totally relate with some of the events that I have done!!!!

Isolation in a trail run can be a good and bad thing. Sometimes I think the isolation can add to the elation.

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Stressed Out? Run!

STRESSED!

What is the very best thing for me to do when I’m stressed out?

Exercise!! 

What is the last thing that I feel like doing when I’m stressed out?

Exercise!!

I know when I have heaps going on that the best thing I can do for myself and for anyone around me is to exercise. Even a short blast around the block or chasing my dog around the backyard seems to help me to “find my happy place!” 

This being said nothing beats the direct act of seeking out some sweet single track through the bush and running until my legs can hardly move. Sometimes this isn’t very far at all!

Clearly I am not alone on this:

http://www.runnersworld.com/trail-running-training/less-stress-more-bliss

A great trail run on a Sunday can almost see me through to the following Sunday as long as that annoying thing in between (the working week) doesn’t deliver to many curve balls.

TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday) should read TGIS (Thank God It’s Sunday) because that’s the day I hit the trails for a long run and all is good in the world.

Today is Wednesday, hump day.

Single track

See you soon Sunday, but not soon enough!!

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Hakarimata walkway – the ultimate stair master!

The Hakarimata walkway behind Ngaruawahia has become my go to spot to put some serious hurt into my calves. The other week a mate and I decided to push it up there to give ourselves a decent benchmark of our current fitness. The grand plan is to hit it up on a weekly basis come the longer evenings of daylight savings (that’s right I’m over winter already!) as a good way to get the legs going before this years Goat in early December.

This track is extremely accessible from Ngaruawahia and travels from Brownlee ave to a lookout tower at the highest point in the Hakarimata scenic reserve. It is only a short drive from Hamilton which makes it a fantastic after work burst to get the heart pumping out of the chest!

Hakarimata Senic Reserve Ngaruawahia

We headed out relatively early on a Sunday morning and there were already four our five cars waiting silently in the carpark for their sweaty and exhausted owners to return.

We’d both decided to track our efforts using map my run on our phones, if anyone out there is feeling extremely generous I would love a sunnto ambit! We started them at the same point and I beat him to the summit, but somehow it tracked my time as  slower than his. Good thing I don’t measure my success on who the current king of the mountain is on map my run!

This is a short but tough climb and has me hurting early and breathing hard all the way to the summit. The elevation profile shows you why:

Hakarimata elevation profile.

At times it can feel like a punishment rather than a training run so when I met a guy on my way up who was singing at the top of his lungs as he rocked his way back down from the summit all I could do was smile. He was loving life and really enjoying his workout. This made me think about my own efforts. Is it time to throw out the tracking software and forget about how far I run and how long it takes me. Maybe it’s time to focus on just getting out there and doing it, having fun and feeling good. Kinda hard to do as I gasp for breath, but once back at the car I felt pretty dam good and it was a great way to start a Sunday morning!

Time to grab a coffee on the way home and feel good for the rest of the day about 1. Getting up early and 2. Having reached a summit before breakfast (well a second breakfast!)

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Have you Goat what it takes?

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So once again I have signed up for the Goat alpine adventure run. This was my first real off-road run and I’m super excited about returning to the original course after last years last minute change of course due to volcanic activity at the crater lake.

Not only is this the tenth year of the Goat but they have also added a new event to increase overall numbers to 1000 competitors.

I can’t wait to once again run from Whakapapa to Turoa around Mt Ruapehu in the middle of Tongariro National Park.

I know that I’m going to get some strange looks from my non runner friends as i explain to them once again why I am turning down that extra beer to get up at sparrows fart on the weekend to run up a mountain for “training.” But truth be told this is one event that most of them can actually relate to as it is a pretty simple, if not daunting thing to picture running around the base of the North Islands largest mountain (Ruapehu). In fact the goat goes bush is also very much like that as it travels over the Kaimais.

The Goat course Whakapapa to Turoa.

The Goat course Whakapapa to Turoa.

These point to point races are great to explain to my friends just what an undertaking my events are. It is often extremely difficult for them to fathom running more than 2-3 km on the road. Why would you what to run 21km around a mountain?

On the other hand I feel that I can begin to appreciate just how far a 42 or 60km race really is. This takes an extreme amount of commitment in training and lifestyle choices that marathoners and ultra runners take in their stride (pun not intended).

Give yourselves a great big pat on the back!!!

This does not mean that I’ll be entering Tarawera anytime soon!

I can appreciate others commitment, not commit!

The Goat Tongariro is a special event for me and an event that I don’t want to miss. These guys do a great job in a truly amazing and ever changing landscape.

Is there one event that you return to every year? What draws you back?

If you really sell it I might see you on the startline!

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Dirty wet head!

Even more fun than it sounds!

The second event of the Xterra Auckland trail run series was almost three weeks ago! Yeah I’m not great at updating the blog (or training) or generally getting motivated at the moment (dam wet cold winter nights!). This one was at Riverhead forest and was completely different to the first event in Shakespear.

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The super long course was 24km, this was my longest event so far. I have run a few half marathons and didn’t really think the extra few k’s would be an issue (boy was I wrong!).

It was dirty and wet which I thoroughly enjoyed. What was not great was how weak I felt at the end. I was absolutely shattered! I put it down to being poorly organised and not really thinking about my nutrition the night/morning before the event. My time of 2:38:14 put me well in the second half of the pack. I was never hoping to win or nothing and I’m not overly disappointed with my time but I was feeling pretty annoyed with myself for not being able to truly enjoy the adventure as I  hadn’t prepared properly!

In saying that at least I wasn’t as bad as my mate who ran the mid course in his casual knee length cotton shorts because he left his running shorts in Hamilton!!!

He reckons that it wasn’t to bad. I think he’s lucky it was only 12k, because i think there would be some serious chafing going on after too many more!!!!

Lets hope that we have both learnt our lesson and the next event in Waiuku this weekend goes a bit better for both of us.

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