I look and cringe as to when I last blogged and it was 20th August!! Time really does fly.
It has been a really, really REALLY busy time which has made for interesting training times and locations over the last month.
We had Spring Challenge on 30th August at the Raspberry Cafe in Tai Tapu which was a really fun way to get together and meet fellow CPers and the other bloggers. It was interesting and inspirational to catch up with fellow bloggers Pauline, Jennifer and Isobel and learn more about their training and goals in the coming months. We all agreed it is useful not only being accountable to a CP coach but also to the wider community. I think the main highlight of the day was having cake for breakfast and trying out my very fancy new Sunnto Ambit 3R GPS watch. It has been a really good investment and has helped me quantify what I’m capable of doing.
Spring time arrived along with a sneaky half marathon and visiting family and friends for three weeks. Simon plotted for me to partake in the Kaikoura half marathon on 12th September. I wasn’t the only CP face in the crowd – Pauline, Tom, Lauren and Cathy all ran too. I ran the Christchurch half marathon in June and clocked up a personal best of 1.59.09. The pressure was on to beat this time but there was the added challenge of the “slope” (Simon’s words not mine!) at the 15km mark. At that stage of the race a ramp would have felt like Everest! I crossed the finish line in 1.54.24. The new watch was helpful in letting me track distance and speed during the race. For the first time after finishing a half marathon I didn’t get the dreaded cramps and general sick feeling but actually felt well. This race taught me the importance of race preparation and making good decisions. For the first time I ran the race with both water and electrolytes. I sipped both throughout and it really made a huge difference to how I felt during the race and at the end. Preparation nutritionally for the race included eating nothing spicy or herby and to start hydrating two days beforehand. My new PB has definitely put a spring in my step.
Two days later family arrived for a three week visit. Our first weekend away was in Te Anau and Doubtful Sounds. Running in a new place is always fun and a great way to get to know somewhere in a different way. I took the opportunity to run part of the Kepler track and of course it was totally amazing. I look forward to running the whole thing one day. The following weekend we were based in Christchurch and I ran in Halswell Quarry along C2, Crocodile Track and Kennedy’s Bush. It was my first “proper” uphill trail run in quite some time and it was fantastic…especially the downhill part. Last weekend we travelled to Tekapo and ran along Lilybank Road taking in the breathtaking views of the lake and mountains. During this run I also took on nutrition for the first time. I have a delicate disposition and usually have to eat 1.5 to 2 hours before a run and sometimes that even isn’t enough. I gingerly bit off a morsel of a Rhuburb and Crumble Nakd bar and it sat well. I’m keen to try some other flavours too. It was my longest run to date 25km. Another milestone on the get Emma to 50km journey. On Sunday I ran up Mount John when the winds were in full swing. I reached the steps before the top and thought it was OK, not too windy then got to the top and the wind almost stripped me of my clothing…prime example of a bad decision!
The month ahead brings all sorts of fun and adventures. Now that daylight savings has arrived it means longer runs during the week are on the cards. Simon has scheduled some sandwich sessions. I initially thought this might involve taking a sandwich on the runs however that would be a no. Sandwich sessions involve doing the race distance over three days For example, Saturday can be 15km, Sunday 25km and Monday 10km. Just to make things interesting I am travelling to Brisbane and Wellington with work for two weeks, so again lots of discipline will be required to ensure I fit in all sessions, get lots of sleep, eat the right food and drink the right drinks!! Race day is 14th November and I am feeling that with the end goal in sight, I will be prepared on the day and will be able to enjoy the race 100% in the knowledge that I have adequately and sensibly prepared for it. And of course, I have already set sights on my next race!! I have signed up to be one half of a whole for the Coast to Coast. My team mate Anna will complete the 55km bike on day one and the 67km kayak on day two. I will complete the 33km run on day one and the 70km bike on day two. So after the 14th November it will be time to pull the bike out of the shed and get ready for the next adventure.