Tag Archives: Mt. Victoria

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.


Am I ready to run the 27k tussock traverse?…ummmm….

5 Jan
Kaitoke Regional Park
Image by kalavinka via Flickr

Well! Christmas really stuffs my routine up..and the holidays that follow! So how did I do over the ‘break’?

Christmas day was a restrained(ish) day for me nutritionally. I had a slither of New Yorkcheesecake…just a slither. I made the cheesecake, courtesy of my friend Nigella, therefore I knew exactly what I was eating..(yes, wonderfully flavoured fat). I interspersed this with fruit in the form of french champagne. Needless to say, there was no exercise forthcoming.

Come boxing day and I was out running for a restrained 45 minutes through the hills of my favourite Mt. Victoria. The day after boxing day and I did a good mountain run for 70 minutes. Then for two more days I did  my ‘un sleep’ thing, which tends to make me hungry, grumpy and uninspired. I did not run but the kids and I walked to the beach everyday. 

The two days before New-Years day saw me completing short road runs, 30mins and 40 mins respectively. I was actually just happy to make it out of the house. I find it hard to focus while life is a bit ‘unfocused’, i.e, the kids are home, sparkly decorations are up, consumerism runs high, air of expectancy permeates, town is relatively empty…I don’t like it. I have analyzed why I don’t like this lack of routine and have concluded that it is because it tramples on my carefully constructed use of time. I need my time to create my own space, where I can look after myself. It all happens fore-mostly in my head…I need the routine to have a clear head, so I can get things done. Of course, we all know that time is time and I can get things done anyway. Time is the same whether my wee head feels clear or not. Right?

I had more fruit in the form of champagne, and wine on our quiet New Years eve and of course NO  tussock traverse training. Then to top the ummm…err..’training’ off, we went camping.  Kaitoke of course is a regional park in the Wellington area, which is chockablock full of wonderful mountain runs. But…I just couldn’t do them, reasons being, I did not want to run mountains by myself, (axe murderers etc..) and I did not want to leave the kids alone in the camp ground.  I was growing steadily more anxious regarding running. I do not think this is a good thing, the kids were enjoying themselves and I should have been able to chill out and relax a bit.

We came home after being rained out after three days. I did a good Mt Vic run for 80 minutes and felt ‘normal’ again.

So, at this stage, while I know I could complete the traverse, I don’t think I would enjoy it very much. I have got a few weeks left where I will pound the hills around Wellington, (that is the plan anyhoo..).  Watch this space!


I love Jon Ackland…I love Mt.Vic trails.

24 Dec
Mt Vic trail

Mt Vic trail

I am reading this fantastic book by JON ACKLAND. Its called Personal BEST, secrets to success in sport from beginners to winners. I have followed his half marathon training plan, a few years ago from another of his  books on specifically half marathon training. I like the fact that he is a New Zealander, so apart from writing everything in the context of KILOMETER’S, he writes pertaining to training for great NZ races. The blurb goes, in the  personal best book, (It is one of his older books, published in 2000)…’the book is divided into six parts that mark the steps towards limitless performance:thinking and goal setting, planning a training progression, training and recovery, racing and competing, improving performance, and applying the lessons of sport to life…’

The book does all that. I have so many pages bookmarked with bright blue sticky notes. He writes in an easy to understand style. I am currently working out a personal plan for my next ‘gig’, using his guidelines. Who needs a personal trainer huh? A thing that has been highlighted to me is that, it is going to take years of training to  become competent or rather, confident and relatively comfortable during training and events.  I am in to the ‘slow movement’ so it reverberates well with me. (All good things take time. Enjoy the journey. It’s the journey not the destination. Ecetera.)

Another thing regarding to training for any event, it is the details that are all important. That is, practice the nuances of the event…if mountain racing, train on mountain trails, then if possible, get to know the race trail. Become it’s friend. If triathlon-ing, of course transitions are all important, but also after conquering swim technique, practice sea swimming, then swim with other people. Ecetera. All this stuff is a no-brainer*, (…I hate that term, but here I am using it…no brainer..ugggh!), but it is so helpful to read it and apply it.  My disaster experience on the Waimakarere river underlines the fact of practice, practice, practice in the context of the race. (I learnt the hard way, conversing head to head with a river bed.)

So! How has my training been going, I hear you the avid reader ask?

errr…since I last spoke with you, I did the 1.5 hour run with Deane over the Mt. Victoria trails, then nothing but a 2.5 hour walk with the kids over the same trails. On Monday, I was up and out the door at 5.15 on a beautiful, still morning. I ran 45 minutes, easy, listening to a motivational talk on my ipod. It is now Wednesday, Christmas eve, and I am planning a run today. It is raining and the kids are watching the dumb box. Deane is working and will finish early so if he is home by four, I will go out then. That is the plan.