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Ups and Downs and Upside downs!

Yikes, so much has happened oimg_4051ver the last few weeks/month so this could be lengthy.  Firstly I got to do my first run with my sister which was a very cool event and was stoked to share this memory with her.  The run was the 10km crater rim, essentially up and back down Rapaki.  I had some goals… the biggest being to push my mind and to keep going. Well I smashed that out of the water and finished feeling great.

The following weekend was the first big hike and kayak adventure for me and Mike. First up, a kayak from Lyttelton to Quail Island straight across the harbour.  This was mine and Mikes first real experience with our kayaks in the waves and both handled well.  I felt completely stable, although very wet, as the waves came crashing over the front of the boat. It was very entertaining to watch Mike disappear between each swell.  It took us about 2 hours return as we were straight into an easterly and choppy 1metre swells on the way back.  The most entertaining thing about this trip was the lack of water around the back of Quail Island.  Happily paddling along, out of the wind to discover I was ‘beached as’ and had to drag my boat in the middle of Lyttelton Harbour, in ankle deep water. This best thing about this trip was the confidence I got going into our Grade two.

The second adventure of that weekend was Richard had us going up Mt Oxford. The plan, to take our time and enjoy the spectacular views.  Wow! How can I go 35 years and never know this place existed. The hike to the summit took us through spectacular scenery and then out into the snow line where we hiked another 20mins in the snow.  Snow angels was definitely a must! The loop with a few wrong turns, but some stunning waterfalls took us just over 6.5hrs.(walking).  But man was I sore the next day and a couple of days after that. Mike however took a good weekimg_4113 to recover.  img_4107

Grade 2 Kayak course. This was 3 weeks ago. This certificate is required for the Coast to Coast and without it, all this hard work would be for nothing. It was a 4 day (2 overnights in the Hurunui) course and I was absolutely exhausted by the end of it.  Everyday we were kayaking in little whitewater kayaks for 8 hours.  The first day was in a pool for rolling and basic survival then out to a lake to practise using the kayaks.  These are hard to manoeuvre and I became very frustrated, very quickly at how fast they turn into a spinning top.  The second and third day had us on the Hurunui, where I spent most of my time upside down! Myself and Hurunui become great enemies, but slowly I managed to workout how to work with the river instead of against it and slowly the relationship become more friendly.  The third day was a little more successful and would have stayed relatively dry if we weren’t actually thrown in the river to practise survival situations and 101 rolls. Another river run and although I still don’t feel like I know what Im doing, I did get the certificate in the end.  The week was meant to finish with the mission mt somers race.  But with an aching body and pure exhaustion we decided to pull the pin.  I wasn’t in a great mental space and this may have just broken me. I was having many thoughts of whether I was ready to compete the Coast to Coast.

Over the last couple of weeks we have continued with a lot of fitness based training.  Multiple kayaks up the avon and a bike ride from Lyttelton to Diamond Harbour (which if you remember I did in late August and found really hard). This time Mike and I managed this trip the whole way without stopping and knocked 40mins off our previous time! We were so stoked.  We also did the first Team CP Crossfit class – a lot of fun and a CP group ride, again a lot of fun especially with all the hill fitness.

And finally Im at the end… yesterday Mike and I tackled Mt Somers.  Mission, to run all the flats and downs, and eat/consume 50g of carb every hour.  This was the first time I had really tried gels and although yummy the kick I find makes me dizzy for about 5mins, I will get used to it though. Mike and I biked for an hour beforehand to the other end of the track and started. It’s fair to say it’s a rather steep climb to start off with, but we were definitely rewarded with the views at the top. Waterfall after waterfall!! The rest of the run wasn’t too bad with a few difficult climbs, rain, hail and sunshine and a few river crossings (a first in our training). We managed it in 4.5hr, an hour faster than I had predicted.

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We have only 4 weeks until we go away on our big Europe adventure.  In that time we have 2 kayak races – one this Sunday and then the big one which takes us down the Coast to Coast course on 11 Dec.  I am incredibly nervous about these. Finally I hope everyone has faired ok after the earthquakes, Tsunami evacuation. Im also coming up to a year since prognosis so have scans etc coming up as well, hopefully all this exercise has had a positive effect.