Sunday, March 20, 2011

Return from Aotearoa - Part 2

My last post was becoming too long so I decided to split it into two parts for easier reading.

Monday 14 March
Another very hilly run from my sister's house in Wellington
I started running from her house in one direction going up, up, up and then turned and ran back down and up the other side. I was proud of myself that I didn't stop to walk some of those hills. The views were stunnning but some of the steep cliffs I was looking out on made me feel quite dizzy!
Total distance: 11.18km
Time taken: 1:12:28
Average pace per km: 6:28
This was my last run in Wellington before flying home the next day. We had a lovely holiday, catching up with so many friends and enjoying magnificent scenery. It is a green and beautiful country and we were very lucky with the weather.

Wednesday 16 March
It is good to be home and back running with my friends. Tonight I met Ewen earlier than the others at Parliament House so that we could run 6km before joining Emma P, Chris and Andy to run another 13km. Emma then ran another km with me to make up my distance. It's great having company for the entire run. I hadn't quite recovered from my trip and was very slow.
Total distance: 20km
Time taken: 2:10:32
Average pace per km: 6:31

Thursday 17 March
I met Ewen at the AIS track at 6pm and we ran out to O'Connor Ridge where he led me on some very rough trails before relenting and heading for more even ground. After a couple of near misses I was a bit worried about going for a big fall just before the track event. We ran a warm-up of 10.5km before heading for the start of the spiral handicap.

It was a 6 lap spiral and I started in Group 27. Coincidentally there were 27 finishers and I came in 5th overall which really pleased me as I gained 47 points. I am currently 3rd place out of the women and as there is only one more spiral this season I have no hope of moving up a place now. However, it is a fun event and defnitely my favourite one on the track calendar.

Distance of 6 lap spiral (according to gandalf): 2:56km
Time taken: 12:20
Average pace per km: 4:50 (4:42 according to official results)
Handicap group: 27 (now re-handicapped to 28)
Finish place: 5th (out of 27)
Total distance for day: 13km

Friday 18 March
Friday is usually my rest day but as I didn't run on Tuesday because of travelling I ran a short run today instead. It was embarrassingly slow however! I think I was recovering from last night. My legs did not want to cooperate!
Total distance: 8km
Time taken: 51:24
Average pace per km: 6:24

Saturday - long run
This morning would have been my dad's 108th birthday. He was born in 1903 and died in 1988 aged 85. I remember him with love and pride.

Today was also my last long run over 30km before the marathon. How scary is that! I ate my toast and honey at 5am and left the house at 6.40am to run on the cycle track and footpaths through O'Connor and into the city. When I reached the ferry terminal I turned right and headed for the museum and then ran back to meet up with a couple of Metro runners, speedygeoff, Emma P, Andy and Ewen. There were a few very light sprinkles of rain but the weather was basically perfect for running, too cloudy to wear sunnies but not cold or humid.

We headed out to Molonglo Reach and spotted Thea on the way who turned and ran a short way with us. Chang and Anne turned back at Molonglo and the rest of us ran past Campbell Park and towards Mt Ainslie and up, up, up to the saddle. It was lovely to hit the trails but I had forgotten how steep they are. Some of the trails had been graded which made it so much easier to negotiate the footing. There was a large group of mountain bike riders heading up the hills, some struggling but not envying us and an old friend who called out to me on his way up. It was lovely.

We ran back down past Glebe Park, over the swimming pool bridge and back to the ferry terminal. Here speedygeoff and I ran a few more kms to make up the required distance before Ewen drove me back to the War Memorial cafe to meet up with Andy, Liz and her lovely mum, Bev, who had come for a flying visit from Ballarat. It was so good to catch up with her. Jen joined us too with her two young sons. Her baby is due in 3 days and she looks amazing.
It was a good morning made even better by the knowledge that the hardest part of the training is out of the way now.
Total distance: 34.5km
Time taken: 3:42:02
Average pace per km: 6:26
Calories burned: 2004
It will not be a fast marathon but I think I will make it to the finish line!

Sunday 20 March
I had to run Tuesday's run today to make my distance for the week. Ouch, did my legs object for the first few kms! However, after that I felt a bit better and ran along the cycle track through the tunnel towards Gungahlin for 6.5km before turning and running home. I incorporated 3 x 4mins steady with jogs between. I remembered the program incorrectly as it should have been 5 x 4mins but I don't think my tired legs would have liked that anyway!
Heading out there was a head wind and a slight uphill rise all the way which felt like a mountain running against the wind. The return run was much more comfortable.
Total distance: 13km
Time taken: 1:21
Average pace per km: 6:15
Calories burned: 766
Total distance for week: 100km
Tomorrow the taper begins!
Photos :
  • Out for lunch with Rex and Kerry. Kerry was Wellington's Mayor for 9 years and has just been voted out. She has no intention of slowing down however and is already on 9 Boards.
  • With my sister Cathy in Wellington. She is 71.
  • Sunset by the beach in Plimmerton, Wellington where we ate fish and chips with Barbara
  • Fence around Zealandia Nature Park, Wellington
  • With friends from Mr B's Uni days at Backbenchers Pub where the politicians hang out. It has become a tradition for us to meet there whenever we return to Wellington.
  • Zealandia Nature Park, Wellington
  • Tauranga Beach
  • Napier
  • Auckland - Mr B's sister's property. Mr B with grandson, Sam.


  1. Very happy you're up to date. Now we just have to get CJ to do the same!

    Glad you didn't say "led me into the bushes" ;)

  2. What an awesome looking holiday Ruth. I'm so envious! Fantastic that you maintained your marathon training while in NZ. It's all about the taper now .....