Tag Archives: Gu

…the traverse won…

26 Jan

Oh-My-God! The sun was relentless.

And that is my excuse for my ultimately slow time…yes folks…it took me four hours and 16minutes to complete 27kilometers!  I am not ashamed, just a tad disappointed in my ability to withstand persecution-the sun being my persecutor.

We woke the morning of the traverse at 6. I swallowed a mug of sweet black coffee and chased it with oats. (I find it very hard to eat the morning of any event, I know this is quite common.)

When we were ready, we walked from our camp  at Whakapapa camp ground, to the Tussock bar, where we registered.

I could tell from very early exactly what ‘Mr Sun’  had in store for us. I had stripped right down to my running singlet before  8 a m. 

We waited and conversed with other runners on the deck of the tussock bar-(no one was drinking beer, surprisingly.)

 I ate a banana and went to the loo, oh, about 300 times.

Finally we were called onto the bus. There were two bus loads of runners. (The walkers had left an hour earlier). It took about one hour to get to the beginning of said torture. (I always love the atmosphere in the bus trips to the beginning of rugged mountain runs, there always is a lot of chatting, laughing and fear. )

The bus turned off the main highway and did a bit of four wheel driving. Barely had it stopped and I was out waiting in the queue for the loo. Men were pissing on the mountain, an immediate forty dollar fine the race organiser said. He would be collecting this after the first 2kilometer climb. Ha ha. 

Finally, it was time to begin. We were counted out…

I kissed Deane goodbye, (he wanted to warm up by walking the start), and I started  with small steps, running up the hill, jostling my way with some very fit looking mountain people. I felt okay, a bit intimidated by the landscape actually. At the top of the first rise I see a shimmering trail of people  distancing themselves from me speedily.  I run down treacherous rocks, and scoria. I had my first Gu at the 5 km point. (This was the race I was going to try not to use Gu, I don’t like it but it is effective). I was already breathing hard and hot. I swear I could smell the top of my cap burning….

From about the ten km point, I broke down and walked up the hills, and ‘ran’ down hills. At points I felt I was going to faint. I also caught up to the walkers, who had began an hour before the runners. No-body looked ecstatic, weird huh? I was able to dip my cap, and pour the water over my head from cool glacial streams, only three times. Heaven and Hell. The relative pleasure of glacial water!…. Its all relative of course, glacial water tipped over the head is not a pleasure when one is sitting down watching shortland street, drinking sweet tea.

I trudged on wondering what the hell I was doing. The moonscape of Ruapehu is simply breathtaking, pun intended.  After about 21 k, as I rounded a bend I could see, to my joy, the Chateau. It did not seem too far away, I could almost reach out and touch it. I was fantasising about bottles of ‘pump’ water being poured all over me at the finish when I was confronted by two marshals, directing me down into forest…away from my goal. From here it was mostly pleasant. I ran, walked through cool forest, much like Mt Victoria. A tantalising waterfall confronted me, I wanted to jump right on in, but I also wanted to finish. I ran, for what seemed an age-(well…err…I was going rather slow…) , and around the final corner, two marshals were applauding and said only 200 meters to go. I saw and heard my kids yelling at me, they ran up to the finish with me. Great race, but the worst I have ever felt. I DON’T LIKE RUNNING IN THE SUN.

Will I do it again?

you betcha!.

start point...

start point...



Champagne training…will it work?

12 Jan

Okay people!(say ‘People’ in an American drawl, it sets the tone..). I have had a wonderful weekend, where my training basically consisted of champagne drinking..(raw food?) and dancing madly for five hours. (It is good to be honest.)  But; the week or so beforehand I had worked hard and enjoyed my runs.  The previous Tuesday saw me running over Mt Victoria, where I ummm..got lost. I actually wanted to run the Southern walkway, but around the kilbirnie point, the track just..runs out. Bam! and it is gone. The small arrow point over the road to nowhere. I found out later, where I should have gone and yes! It is very badly, uselessy, pathetically signposted. Get it together Wellington City bloody-council. (Whats a poor tourist meant to do…I have only been living at the foot of Mt Vic for 17 years for gods sake.) Anyhoo, I ended up running through Kilbirnie shops, and to Cobham drive round-a-bout, around evans bay, up through Mt Vic to Palliser road and home. It took me 80 minutes. 

On Thursday I ran another 80 minutes around the mountain tracks. Then of  course, I partied for two or three days…but a girl has just got to occasionally!

I am thinking about nutrition for the traverse. I am attempting to not rely on gu or the like. I want real food. Bananas are good but tricky to carry. Muslie bars are good but ditto. Gu is just so damn handy. This week is my week for experimenting with food on the run. I am expecting to be out on the mountain for possibly four hours, so will need it. You know that feeling, during a really long session, when your mind starts to think about walking, or it leaps into pools of negativity forcing your body to follow…before you get to that point – you need the food. Gu works really well, as does a banana or two. A heavy banana, that gets squishy and black..or a tidy sachet of gu? What should I do?

This morning, I ran a very small 30 minute circut. My body is aching a sore from the weekend. My neck and shoulders are so painful and stiff I am thinking I may have to visit the oesteopath! (It is the way I dance…umm..with my head..think 1960’s hair swishing stuff…’clears throat sheepishly’.) http://cenglish-memento.blogspot.com

I have warned Deane that this week, probably Friday, we are going for a long run. I want to go out for two and a half hours in preparation for the 24th January. I am actually looking forward to it. Deane and I are laughing about it actually, how we, (okay..especially he..) are doing our long training run, then we have to taper!.. I dont feel too unprepared, but I know I could have done much more.