Monday, March 30, 2009

Run Auckland 1 (with manflu)

Yesterday I did Run Auckland 1 (10.15 km) with what I would describe as "manflu". Bit of a temperature, cough, general achy, and headache. In general not flash and if it was a training run would have canned out before I started.

Still I wasn't going to register a "Did Not Finish" on race day. :)

Run Auckland 1 is two 5.08km loops around Grand Drive and Waiatarua Reserve in Remuera. Some gravel, some footpath, a couple of bridges. Its a nice course on rolling terrain. The hills aren't too bad but certainly would be interesting for someone who has done no training (like my sister found out!)

The morning started out eventfully. I had organised to pick my little sister up on the way with plenty of time to get there. The race was due to start at 9am, but on getting in the car at 8am discovered a completly flat tyre :(. After some dramas trying to get alternative transport arrived at the start, or rather at the back of start, at 8:58. On the plus side this meant no time to get nervous.

In a complete random moment bumped into someone I know through work. Weird!

The event is turning out to be very popular with 621 people in the 10km event. So the first km was quite congested. Probably spent maybe the first km moving up through the field. According to the run pix race stats on the second half I passed 13 and was passed once - presume the calculation is done using split times and finish times.

In the run I took it conservatively and walked through the drink stops at 2.5km and 7.5km. The second loop was pretty awful - just wanted to go home and lie down - so was pretty pleased to get through it.

For events going forward I'm going to do a list of positives and negatives to try and learn from each experience.

- starting and finishing!
- hill training is paying off, rather than shuffling up a hill have some legs now
- the weather was nice

- feeling like crap and not pushing the pace
- pretty slow time for a 10km race (given I do 4:30 pace in regular training) but I'll take it.
- get there early and seed nearer the front. Maybe in first 20% based on results.

Finally Run Auckland this year are providing some nice run-stats courtesy of RunPix.

49:40 (net), 51:41 (gun)
4:53 min/km average.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Run Auckland

In my inbox just now. I have to say the Run Auckland guys are very well organised with their website, facebook page, and email reminders.

Looking forward to it - my training has been lacking a bit though. I think what I'm looking forward to most is the atmosphere of a running event.

My time on this course last year was pretty slow - 53:52 - so room to improve on that.

Subject: RUN Auckland Race 1 THIS SUNDAY!

Hi Everyone,

Hope the training has been going well and you are enjoying this great weather!

Just a quick message to remind you that the Race 1 of the 2009 RUN Auckland Series is on this sunday the 29th March at Waiatarua Reserve, Grand Drive, Remuera.

You can enter online at up until 5pm on Friday or on Race Day at the venue.

We have record entries already so it is set to be the biggest and best RUN Auckland ever!

Registration times, locations and dates are on the homepage of our website. Thanks to Shoe Clinic we are offering you even more options to register.

See you at the races!

The RUN Auckland Team.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It would just show up on race day...

This ad makes me laugh - what a jarring juxtaposition!

Doesn't make me want to eat at that awful place though. As a work colleague of mine says "Eat the muffin - become the muffin" :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Back in Auckland

Including my adventures on the treadmill and in Hong Kong February turned out to be a good month for running - logged 148.6km which is a lot for me. Good stuff.

My running so for in March has been sporadic. Work has been quite busy and getting in the way a bit. Go figure.

Summary to date:

Monday 2 March - 5.15km / 22:40 / 4:24 min/km
Thursday 5 March - 6.66km / 31:48 / 4:46 min/km
Friday 6 March - 6.66km / 31:09 / 4:40 min/km
Sunday 8 March - 21.88km / 1:46:30 / 4:52 min/km
Saturday 14 March - 13:68km / 1:01:41 / 4:30 min/km

The run yesterday was quite good - started off slowish and tried to pick up the pace later on. Felt good.

Hopefully the second half of the month will see some regularity. Have a 10km race with Run Auckland 1 at the end of the month so that should be good. The last couple of events I've tried have been half marathons so it'll be fun to do the shorter distances again.

The long run on the 8th was a new route. I call it Southdown Expedition. Left at 3pm - warm so carried a water bottle. Just decided to chill on this run and take it at a relaxed pace. Took in the Onehunga-Southdown cycleway which I hadn't been on before. 4km along the Manukau harbour.

I've always meant to try this ever since spending a few months working at the power station at Southdown during the expansion in 2007. The cycleway ends right outside the station fence and was in construction at the time. Here is the view round before the end of the cycleway.

Photo credit : MRP.

Birds eye view:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My Run in Hong Kong

Friday the 30th Feb got into Hong Kong. In the evening I took the cable tram up the peak to do a bit of on the ground recon for the hill run. Some of the photos following are from the afternoon. The run itself on Saturday morning was quite foggy - magic on the flat Lugard-Harlech Road circuit round the top.

I only worked out a route up to the peak - I got lost on the way back and that was quite eventful. Headed the wrong way and somehow ended up an unintentional bandit runner in a section of a trail race! I have since found out this is part of the Hong Kong Trail.

Just got back in time to checkout of the hotel with 30 mins to spare. Unexpected to say the least :)

Overall the 'run' was 16.62km in 1:48:49 (6:31min/km). My legs couldn't handle the sustained up and down inclines and had to have a number of walking breaks. The mountain broke me but I made it to the top.

Here is the elevation chart:

The section from 2.5km through to about 5.5km is mainly a +10% gradient.

Google Earth:

What amazed me about Hong Kong was it was relatively quick to get out of the city into a forest.

Running back I was fairly confident of the direction until I hit 13km then I took a wrong turn headed down a trail and essentially towards the other end of the island ;) Around 500m down the trail it forked and I ended up running in what appeared to be an organised trail run/race. Tagged along and a couple of kms down the trail noticed a fork that headed to "Wan Chai Gap Road". As my hotel was in the suburb of Wan Chai that turned out to be quite lucky indeed. Wan Chai Gap Road turns out to be a very sharp decline down to near my start point which was quite hard to run down without falling over! Had to go quite slowly.

Partway up a nasty staircase right at the beginning. Shades of Jacob's Ladder?

About 2km in on Kennedy Road looking back to city

About 3.5km in - the infamous Old Peak Road.

Cue a km or so of steep switchbacks like this. A few walkers tramping up but apart from that it was quiet section through forest. A few walking breaks along here!

The view at the peak was amazing with the city spread out below and Kowloon across the harbour.

Trying to find out where the hell I had ended up on the Hong Kong Trail :)

I really enjoyed the experience of running in a different country - quite an adventure.

I'm not sure I'd recommend the hill climb - it really was quite steep in places - but if you are ever in Hong Kong and want a challenge it's certainly that with a great view at the top.

The peak Lugard-Harlech Road circuit is good as is running on the roads around the "Mid Levels".

If I had more time or visited again I would probably check out more of the trail paths around Aberdeen Park it was quite nice running through the forest.

Technically Running in Shanghai

Back from China this weekend from my work trip. The trip itself was good from a work perspective.While I do have an exciting post lined up about a run in Hong Kong (with pics) the first part of my trip involved 5 days in Shanghai. A massive city of 20 million people which makes Auckland look like a small country town. Really impressive.

The challenge of getting any outside running in Shanghai was:
- working during the day so it would have to be after hours (dark out)
- it was about 4 degrees
- rained constantly

Here is a photo looking across the river at the iconic pearl TV tower. The haze is drizzle not smog, the air was suprisingly clean.

On the other side travelling 3 hours a day in a car and eating/drinking more than usual gave me plenty of motivation to excercise!

The hotel I was in had quite a good gym which was open pretty much all the time. So technically I did go running while in Shanghai ;)

My excercise programme I did was as follows. The meal sizes were on the silly size - breakfasts and lunches with a ridiculous number of dishes. Just as well I did hit the gym to limit the damage - even so have put on weight :(. The food was really quite good though especially the spicy Sichuan style offerings.

Sunday (a bit jet lagged):
30 min run on treadmill, and first time I've ever been on one! : 5:48km (5:28 min/km)
2km on rowing machine (7:51 min)
30 min cycle

Went for a swim in the morning.
30 min run on treadmill in evening : 6:83km (4:23 min/km)

2km on rowing machine (7:50min)
20 min run on treadmill : 4.7km (4:15 min/km).
10 min cross trainer just to try it out.
Some leg excercises in the weights room (press, extensions, curls)

30 mins on cross trainer - fairly easy effort level
30 min run on treadmill : 6.47km (4:38 min/km)
Some arm excercise in weights room (bench, shoulder, bicep curls, tricep extensions)

25 min run on treadmill : 5.54km (4:31 min/km)
*call of nature*
35 min run on treadmill (tempo) : 8.21km (4:16 min/km)

Friday: Rest and fly out to Hong Kong.

All the treadmill stuff was on a flat gradient.

I can see why people have a love/hate relationship with the treadmill. One one hand you can get a consistent excercise with no traffic lights or walkers, it's less impact on the joints, and it's easier than running outside. On the other hand it is absolutely mind numbing. Bring on the outside stuff.

Speaking of outside the bamboo scaffolding was interesting. Here is a photo from near the hotel. I'm not sure I would want to be walking around on a large number of floors up but thats how it is done overe there.