Sunday, June 29, 2008


This morning did the Hundred Pushups Week 2 Exhaustion Test. This time I managed to do 40 - at the start of the program I could do 34 - so some improvement here. I think the challenge gets tougher this week so it should really push me along.

Today (Sunday) had a spot of sunshine in the afternoon so I thought I would go out running again. It was tough - really tough. I think its because I went for a hard run yesterday and at times it really felt like I was just plodding along.

Did this route:

In 01:06:30 (4:51 min/km). The pace was certainly better at the start but was shuffling a bit near the end with a couple of waiting-for-the-lights stops at traffic intersections. To be honest I had to really was exhausted by the end - well my legs were - that and I didn't want to get run over.

The rain came for the last couple of km's which was nice and refreshing.

That makes 103.3km for the month of June.

Needless to say I will be taking a rest day tomorrow and am sure will be sleeping quite well tonight.

Goodnight to all and to all a good night :)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Window of Sun

The weather in Auckland changes quite quickly and all of a sudden it stopped raining and the sun came out around 11 this morning. A window of sun so time to head out...

New route : 14.45km in 1:05:41 (4:32min/km). I think this is roughly my projected race pace in that I could probably maintain it for the total half distance if I had to but it would be quite hard work. I'm not blowing hard exactly but it's an effort. Largely a mental game here - pretty sure I could hold on.

Very interesting I could feel myself fade a bit round about the 45min mark - I think this relates to my "typical" 10km time and my body thinks we are done. Round about the 55min mark I was getting a bit of a second wind and feeling OK. Mind you it started raining again at that point. The window of sun had gone - although weird it's back again as I type this. That's Auckland for you.

Incidentally, for my international viewers, a tiki-tour means a "roundabout way to get somewhere; scenic tour". I thought this was a unique New Zealand phrase but Andrew tells me it also applies in South Africa. For more help deciphering what I'm saying check this NZ to US English dictionary.

Jon Ackland in his book, Complete or Compete Half Marathon, says:
The best description of a half marathon is that it's a 15km (9 mile) warm-up and a 6km (4 mile) running race (if you are running the event). In other words, halfway is not 10.5km (6.5 miles). In terms of effort it's the final 6km (4 miles) that counts. At the 15 km (9 mile) point the event will try and ambush you. It will say, "Suprise, I'm taking over".
It's about this point its time to smile, turn it up a notch, and say "Bring it on!"

I Do All My Own Stunts

Cold, wet, dark and miserable here in Auckland this week. At least before or after work which is the only time available at present.

Running in these conditions is not at all appealing.

Still during the weekend running in daylight is an option so its just cold, wet and miserable ;)

Plan to get out today and for a longish run tomorrow. Just a couple of weeks now to the half.

Wet weather normally means staying inside watching movies. Here is a cheesy diversion (art-house cult classic?) an entry to the 48 Hour Furious Filmmaking Festival - NZ Competition, Auckland Region. Bit of an excalibur/bloodsport basterdised hybrid.

I got roped in to play an evil samurai janitor (did I mention it was cheesy) at the last minute. At the time of filming (early May) had short hair which perhaps fit the casting requirements? Who knows it was all a bit random but heaps of fun to be involved.

Didn't make the top 12 this year, but with 600 teams, we don't feel too bad. As such our director has just uploaded it for the world to see.

Required Elements:

PROP: A Brush
LINE: "Wait A Minute"
CHARACTER: Kerry Post - Perfectionist


conceived/written/resourced/filmed/edited/delivered all within 48 hours.

Lavatory Warrior from Jeremy Masters on Vimeo.

Yesterday did Week 2/Day 3 of the It called for sets of 15,15,12,12,max(min of 15) with 120 seconds rest in between. Managed 39 on the last which was an all out effort. Pretty pleased with how its going. The challenge calls for an exhaustion test before starting week 3. Going to try that tomorrow and will be interesting to see any improvements from two weeks ago...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Burro grande, ande o no ande

After Sunday's 10km run my left calf is pretty tight but the right is OK. That'll teach me for not stretching enough post race. Always have good intentions to stretch properly after a race but I never do. Very slack. That's going to have to change.

My walk was a bit funny yesterday - think shipwrecked sailor - a good opportunity to share my favourite Spanish phrase:

"Burro grande, ande o no ande"

English literal translation
(Get a) big donkey, whether it walks or not

English equivalent
Never mind the quality, feel the width

Total class.

In terms of being a big donkey my weight has been creeping up a little of late - through winter and bad habits. I'm going to post on that later this week.

Have a run planned for tommorow morning so see how it goes. It'll be an early morning silly o'clock special.

Pushups good today. Week 2, Day 2 of the 100 challenge.. Went into this listening to angry music (Linkin Park - In the End) as that seems to help.

16/13/11/11/max(at least 15). 90s of rest in between. Tried hard on the last and managed 36. Pretty happy with how its going and giving it heaps. Its during the 4th set I start to feel fatigue setting in. Enjoying the challenge!

(Photo Credit: KENT BLECHYNDEN/Dominion Post)

If you think trying for 100 pushups is masochistic spare a thought for this guy wearing a suit during the harbour capital half marathon held in Wellington on Sunday. Full story:

"Mr Wyatt, 55, from Roseneath, said of his suit: "I needed something warmer and because I work for the government I'm completely lacking in imagination or enterprise so that's what I wore.
"It did chafe. It was comfortable until it rained." The running gag, he said, was `Are you running late for a meeting?'

How the hell can you run the half in 1:39:29 in a wet suit enduring chaffage in the swimsuit area!?!? I'm quite impressed.

When I start to hurt on the 13th July I'll be thinking "hey its not so bad at least I'm not wearing a suit...". Mind you I won't be running late for a meeting.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Even Rocky Had a Montage

Now for something completely different. Here is a montage from hapkido senior class. Its a self defence class I train in - aka angry white pyjamas. I'm in there somewhere :)

It looks violent but we know what we are doing. Well most of the time.
Lots of this is anaerobic fitness and quite different to running. Good to have the balance.

Week 2/Day 1 of the madness that is the 100 pushup challenge. Today called for sets of 12, 12, 9, 7, max(at least 10) with 60 seconds rest in between. Not too bad - managed 26 on the max set today before I tapped out. Keeping ahead of the program at this stage. Week 2 should be OK but looking ahead it starts to get tough.

Run Auckland Race 5

Run Auckland 5 was interesting to say the least. Not my best race by a long shot. Still I feel pleased I started today and get through what was fairly miserable conditions.

Time hasn't come in yet but not expecting anything flash at all - in fact I'll be pleased with anything under 50:00 but not holding my breath. Will update here once the provisionals come in. UPDATE: Better than expected 44:47 17th out of 51 in 30-39 men category. Pretty much 4:30 min/km pace and considering the stomach cramps I got in lap 2 (see below) makes me feel pretty good in hindsight.

The forecast was for crap weather last night and it was hosing down intermittently before the start.

My little sister T was going to do the race as well and we had planned to go in her car (taking turns I drove last time). Somewhat predictably my phone goes at 7am and got some feeble excuses about running in a storm. When did a little rain ever hurt anyone eh? So it was a bit of a lone effort from our family today.

For half an hour before the start I was trying to shelter underneath a tree. Not so many people lining up today (funny that!) and the rain was dumping down pre-start. It did mean there wasn't so much congestion at the start but running with squelchy (not sure if thats a word) shoes/socks and a soaked top is certainly different. It is all mental but it does make you feel like you are being weighed down. I guess the trick is to ignore this feeling.

There is a map on the race details page

Lap 1 felt pretty steady if very wet. The initial hill wasn't too bad found the very steep downhill around the 3km mark more tricky and had to be very careful not to take a tumble.

Lap 2 started ok and keeping pace with a group up the hill. The rain had eased off quite a bit by then. Round about 7km I got hit with stomach cramps, don't know if it was something I ate, and that was quite bad. For about 300m I had to slow right down but managed to keep going. Good to keep in theme with this blog title :) Got passed by half a dozen people which was a bit tough. Luckily the cramps went after maybe 300m soon after and got back to a reasonable pace.

Finishing Racecraft
The finish was probably the highlight for me. Caught up with a bloke that had passed me at cramp time. Towards the home straight we ended up neck and neck. Exciting stuff. In the diagram I would be the red egg* shaped runner. Couldn't pull away because my pace was being matched but luckily had the left which was handy because the finish chute was also a turn to the left. Essentially blocks you from being passed. Shades of Schumaker taking the inside...vrroooom!

The lesson's learned for me out of this race is twofold. Don't cramp up your internals (it is pretty painful to be honest) and ignore the conditions as best you can.

Hope others racing today had a good day out...

* I'm not shaped like an egg but did have a red top.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Week One Pushups - Done

Week One - Day 3 of the One Hundred Pushup Challenge. This involved the following sets
15/13/10/10/max(of at least 15) with 2 minutes rest period between each set.

Starting to get hard now around by the time the max set comes around. You have to remember to breathe and I'm finding that if you count the repetitions out load it forces you to breathe out (and then in).

Listened to some "angry" music (Rammstein - Sonne) in my last 2 minute rest period and got out 30 for the max set. That was really hard and I could feel my face getting red and hot until my arms gave out. Hard work!

In other news Run Auckland is coming up on Sunday. Looking forward to it and a fast race.

Then its 3 weeks to the last race which is the North Shore City Half - getting a bit nervous about this now!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Taper Caper

The last time I heard the word "caper" used tastefully it was probably during the Italian Job remake. A great word which just happens to go quite well with taper.

Anyway tapering in running is when you run less before a race to allow your body to recover and have fresh legs. John Ackland in his book says its to:

- physically recover
- mentally recover
- wake up the body

Since you also get capers on pizza - must be an aquired taste - I will illustrate the concept of tapering as follows:

Simple eh? Note the pizza is not to scale - there is more building than tapering going on - but I'm sure it was delicious. :) You can take the distance/run axis more accurately as "training volume".

Basically since Run Auckland 5 (10km) is coming up on Sunday I'm going to take it a bit easy this week.

Monday it bucketed down so I gave it a miss. Also getting quite dark before and after work. Mid winter in New Zealand with the shortest day on the 22 June.

Sounds like excuses?

I'll go for a shortish run tomorrow and then a very gentle jog on Friday with some decent stretching afterwards. My weekday runs I don't really stretch enough. Mainly all I do is calf stretching which is pretty lazy to be honest. Need to try and improve here as my flexibility isn't great.

Today also Week 1/Day 2 of the 100 Pushup Challenge. There were more pushups now but 90 seconds rest in between each set. The program was 12/12/10/10/max* (with max at least 10). More pushups but the longer rest between sets means the effort is probably similar to day 1. My max today was 23.

Note: The original pizza image is by "iirraa" and available from flickr. Enough with the silly posts - hungry now...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pushups Week 1/Day 1

Week 1 of the One Hundred Pushups challenge involves 5 sets of pushups with 60 seconds of rest in between each set.

The sets were 10/10/8/6/max*. The max set had to be at least 7.

Pretty easy with the rest period in between. Did 26 in my max set before the jelly arms arrived and everything went to custard. That's enough dessert metaphors.

I have to confess to a small amount of conditioning on this excercise. At hapkido class, which I do twice a week, we have a set of 20 pushups as part of the warmup. Hapkido is a martial art originating in South Korea.

The challenge will get harder I'm sure - the next one is on Wednesday - but so far so good. Quite fun he says while the going is easy.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Push The Limits

Half the fun of blogging is giving titles to the posts - this one is from a song by the group Enigma.

Relaxed run today on a new route along Mt. Eden Road and back Dominion. I call it "Mt. Eden City Fringe Loop". The terrain was rolling and took in the top section of the North Western Cycleway.

Run was good - 9.5km in 43:42. This is 4:35 min/km pace which was a bit suprising as I "felt" the pace was quite relaxed. Maybe I went quick on the downhills.

Noticed the traffic was starting to build up near Eden Park with the All Blacks game against England tonight. Dominion Road is always congested when there is a game there.

Over on the excellent "Andrew is Getting Fit" blog I noticed that Andrew had posted about the Hundred Pushup challenge. Apparently
If you're serious about increasing your strength, follow this six week training program and you'll soon be on your way to completing 100 consecutive push ups!

Cross training is a good thing so I'm going to give it a go starting Monday. Did the initial test and managed 34 good form push ups which was pretty good but a ways to go to eek out 100. Lets see if I can get there in 6 weeks.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


This means "Moderately Fast" in music tempo and describes my two training runs in Whakatane this week.

Wednesday - 13.79km Town Loop with the glorious river side track.
Did this in 1:03:32 which is a 4:35 min/km pace.

Thursday (this morning which was cold and foggy) - 5.95km Small town loop.
Did this in 26:20 which is a 4:24 min/km pace.

I was listening to Trance 2008 Vocal Sessions on both runs. Not sure if its fitness on the improve or the music but quite pleased with the training. It was run at a "steady" pace but I guess that is countered by the fact these runs are pretty flat.

Fellow blogger Bruce asks which way up Mt. Eden I go on my hill training run. I've been going up the road from the Mt. Eden road side which is a long steady climb. The straight up approach would probably sort the men from the boys I reckon ...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Run like you stole it

One of my work colleagues is a South African - lets call him Mr. W - and he has done a swag of marathons and ultras over in darkest Africa. Crazy.

Last week he gave me some advice to mix up my running. Flats and hills, long runs, fast runs, fun runs. Well you get the picture. I guess it keeps the body guessing a bit and not adapting to one steady pace.

So keeping Mr. W's sage advice in mind I did a hill run on Saturday and a very short sharp tempo run today. I have to say the contrast was quite interesting.

Saturday - 13.65km including Mt. Eden summit climb - 1:07:59 @ 4:58 min/km. There are some killer hills here. St. Albans, Grange, Mt. Eden.

Sunday - 2.65km - 10:47 @ 4:03 min/km. Felt faster but legs a little heavy after yesterday. Still it's great to put the foot down knowing it was only for a short distance.

Quite fun to run like you stole it.

The July Race - North Shore City Half

Kathy posted a comment wondering which half Marathon I was training for in July.

Well it is the North Shore City Half (also known as Run Auckland Race 6). There is also a course map here.

I don't live on the shore so the area is not that familiar to me it looks relatively flat. As Jon Ackland says in his Half Marathon book I'm not going to get sucked into predicting a time for my first go at this distance. Just putting some training in and the race will take care of itself. I don't know about crushing the event but hey let's just see what happens :)

In two weeks time I have my last 10km in Race 5 of the Run Auckland Series. This is a circuit around the zoo and western springs. My little sister T is doing her second 10km then as well. Should be fun!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

"That's good running, mate!"

On location this week at Whakatane.

Managed to fit in two runs (a 13.8km run around town on Tuesday at dusk and a 6km shorter version the night after). The first of which got me the above verbal pat on the back from a local runner. More on that later in this post.

Firstly here is a picture of Whakatane river taken at dawn on my cell phone camera. It is looking East out towards the heads and the wharf. My Whakatane runs start on the other end of the wharf and follows the track along the river. It is a nice stretch with the boats and water to run past.

My Tuesday night run was a newer route I had mapped out the night before.

Near the start I was saw another running start the track and I was keeping pace with them but at the start of the grass track (perhaps around 500m into the route) he took off on what must have been about 4 min/km pace. The grass track is really two terraced sections. I took the low road as such and had a little mini-race with the local :). At around the 3km point in my route the terraces converge before the road and bridge. At this point the runner says to me "that's good running mate!" and turns around and hares off back along the river.

Feeling pretty chuffed by the compliment I then realised that the fast pace is hard work and essentially plodded around the rest of the course. I guess that is a lesson in racing about not starting to quickly as it is hard to recover from it (it says that in the half marathon book alluded to in the last post).

The rest of the run was fairly sedate but I passed my new running friend at the 11km and got a friendly wave. Whakatane is a friendly town but in general when you pass a fellow runner a nod, smile, or "gidday" is normal. It's an exercise fraternity of sorts.

The run the following day was a route I had done previously. I tried a bit of ad-hoc intervals which basically meant 3 or 4 all out sprints for 100m intervals interspersed along the run. Wasn't very scientific but it was quite hard work and the subsequent recovery periods were slower than usual. After some research I will be incorporating some better thought out interval training into my running program.

All in all a good trip down to Whakatane this week.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Reading and Races


Instead of going running today I took a rest day and went to the local library. Lucked out and found a book called "Complete or Compete" by Jon Ackland. Needless to say have borrowed it. As well as some training programs there seems to be a wealth of useful info in here. Will post a review once I've finished reading it.


In terms of races post Run Auckland 2008 am thinking of one of these two - in order to keep the training up especially into the warmer weather. Need to hurry up and start saving so I can enter :)

Auckland Half Marathon - (2 November 2008)
ADRA Charity Half Marathon - (30 November 2008)

On location in Whakatane for a couple of days this week and have a couple of good training runs lined up.