Tag Archives: tussock traverse

…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...



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!


Excersise and health goals….veganning again..

25 Nov
Sign at Lake Taupo, New Zealand

Image by jcolman via Flickr

I have been slightly haphazard with my goals…(is ‘slightly haphazard’ like being ‘slightly pregnant‘?-you either ARE, or you are NOT.) Anyhow, I was definitely going to do the Taupo challenge, but then decided not to, (because I just didn’t get on my bike to train..at all.) I was also very enthusiastic regarding the ‘Goat’ mountain run. I Was absolutely going to do that one! I even emailed the organisers of the goat and told them how unhappy I was that this year it was running the exact same day as the Taupo challenge!…How could people like me, I exclaimed, make a choice between the two!? Both were great races and I thought the goat should change their day..er…for ME. Consequently, they did and of course, ashamedly, I did not enter either one. The Taupo bike race is this Saturday and the Goat is next Saturday. Now all I can do is re-live my ‘glory’ from the year before and plan to train for them next year. deanes-hol-07-and-goat-weekend-07-243 

What I have to do therefore, is sit down and really think about my training goals-properly. I started this by buying a spiral notebook and a training diary for next year. Into the notebook I will write out my weeks exercisegoals, weights plan (reps etc) and then how I felt physically and emotionally. Into the training diary I will write what I’ve done. I have had a training diary for two years now, this years reads like an old Lady’s…its  full of…”ran 30mins”, or just “balance class”. I have completed in good time a few half marathons and a mountain run, but the training was indiscriminate. Yes folks, I have lost FOCUS. And I am determined to get it back.

me, in black, finishing the mt lowry mountain run

me, in black, finishing the mt lowry mountain run

So, my next race goal is the ‘tussock traverse’, running on the 27th of January. I will keep you, dear avid readers of my life-updated. I have begun training by, after doing weights at the gym, instead of having a coffee, I have gone for a 45 minute run. I could go for an hour before I need to pick Paloma from creche, but so far, 45 is my limit. It is all in my head.

As for nutrition, I am trying to sort it. Lately I have been a bit lightheaded when doing weights, or during and after a run..so much so that I slow down, or sit down because, it would be very embarrassing to actually faint.  To counteract this, I have begun slow release irontabs. I think I am feeling a bit more energetic..maybe a little less tired. I have juice at least twice per day, raw salads and have been having more protein in the form of couscous, quinoa and lentils and rice. It seems to be a fine line, and a much thought out one- to be able to get my vegan/raw nutritional level at the right level with my exercise lifestyle. I don’t want to feel weak, or faint..obviously. Maybe I will buy another note book to write it all down..umm…I have so many notebooks, i write about stuff I read, think, scribble little drawings of painting’s I will do, lists of things I want for the kids..etc..yeah..so whats one more note book huh?


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