Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Commute

Two weeks into my new job and it has been hectic. Certainly more pressure in the private sector but so far enjoying the challenge. Feel like I'm settled in now.

The new office, in Carlaw Commercial Park, has some good facilities for commuting-by-excercise. Showers, towels provided, and some secure bike facilities. So once I got a locker sorted out I tried a run commute - and it was good too. The scenic route is a mere 6.69km and is a good mix of suburban and park. Best part is the last 1.5 km through the domain and along Lover's Lane. Neat forest setting with a waterfall and stream. Around 32 minutes door to door at the moment but should get a little quicker once my fitness picks up again.

Good to get back running haven't done all that much since the marathon.

Plenty of scope to vary the route as well through Mt Eden Village, or over the hill itself.

Seeing the bike sheds at work has motivated me to get my bike repaired and serviced (at Adventure Cycles) and it's in the shop now. Long story but I trashed the rear dérailleur a few months ago with a stray pannier strap. Not a flash or fast bike by any stretch - it's a heavy hybrid - but should serve as a good cross training exercise. The bike commute will probably be slightly different route. Probably via Parnell as it is easier to get to work that way by road.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Made it to the pool yesterday morning and managed 34 non consecutive before a bus of school kids invaded. Even though there was a couple of lanes left open I didn't quite trust the pools chlorine system against any "accidents".

My swimming has dropped off as I haven't been doing it much and it was pretty slow going. Very hard to believe I was actually competitive in my school days.

One goal for 2010 for me is going to be the Auckland Harbour Crossing. This is a 2.8km open water swim across the harbour. It is over a year away so plenty of time to build up. That is going to take me out of my comfort zone...

I have a few more goals to come...

Ann: in answer to your question on my last post re: Marathon. I did a 3:43:00 and was pleased for a first half effort but plenty of room to improve.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Sure I'm taking in to many kJ*. Still eating this week like I'm still in training for a marathon.

Maybe I'll start logging what I'm eating until I get back into normality.

I have a pool swim lined up for tomorrow morning. Haven't done that for a while and I'm looking forward to that.

* A Joule is the energy exerted by a force of one newton acting to move an object through a distance of one metre. More interesting facts on wikipedia.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

These Toes Were Made For Running

Now this article is interesting :

If you’ve ever wondered why humans don’t have long, prehensile toes that would turn our feet into extra hands, here’s an answer: stubby toes may be custom-made for running.

Biomechanical analysis shows that long toes require more energy and generate more shock than short toes, making them one of many adaptations that may have helped our savannah-dwelling ancestors chase their prey.

"Longer toes require muscles to do more work, and exert stronger forces to maintain stability, compared to shorter toes," said University of Calgary anthropologist Campbell Rolian. "So long as we were engaged in substantial amounts of running, natural selection would favor individuals with shorter toes."

With my "flintstone feet" the short stumpy toes are probably the only thing going for them in terms of running.

In terms of post marathon recovery, my legs have been quite stiff and sore. However have been doing quite a bit of walking and that has helped. Thursday morning went for a very gentle untimed 2km jog, and this morning blew the cobwebs out with an 8km run (7.95km / 38:44 / 4:52min/km). It was good too and I wore my Auckland 2009 Marathon shirt (feeling good after "earning it" last Sunday!).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Some Photos

I forgot to mention in my race report a couple of things that I have just remembered:

1. Around 4km or so in to the race there was a spectator with a bugle. Got quite a few laughs when he played "the last post" when we went past.
2. The courier company Pace had a few signs out along the course. Slogans like "Pain is temporary, pride is forever" etc. I'm sure just before the bridge there was an "You are almost at the finish" which was almost as good as the bugle.
3. A few nutters were running in costumes. I saw Darth Vadar and Bobba Fett from Star Wars. Doing it hard under those helmets. There was also someone in what looked like a red diving suit.

Anyway here are some photo previews from marathon Suprised I don't look nearly as bad as I felt towards the end.

Auckland Harbour Bridge - what an experience going over this.

Feeling quite good after the bridge.

The hat is off and that is normally not a good sign. I read that everyone feels pain over the last 6 miles and you have to suck it up. I guess this is my entry.

Through the finish. I saved the smiling until afterwards...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Finished! Auckland Marathon 2009

Gun Time = 3:43:35
Net Time = 3:43:00

The longest and hardest 8km ever from 34km. However I'll start at the beginning...

The Night Before

Spaghetti on Saturday night and went to bed early at 8pm. Unfortunately the nerves had really started to catch up with me and I didn't really sleep much at all. I'm guessing this is fairly normal. At around 3.30am I thought stuff this and got up...


Breakfast consisted of the pack of muesli that came with the race bag, a peanut butter on toast, and a black coffee. I had organised to park in the work car park (ANZ tower it the city) and walk to the ferry. However on the way stopped off at the 24hour Foodtown to buy a packet of jelly dinosaurs (I couldn't find the jet planes!) and some vaseline (to prevent chaffing).

The dinosaurs were quite good, had some in each pocket of my shorts. Different to be eating lollies during a run. Good idea this (thanks N!), I never really hit the wall on the run, although I was getting close. Cramp was more an issue but more on that later.

Along the second half of the course people were handing out jet planes but it was good to have my own.

Caught the 4:30am ferry from downtown and got chatting to a few other marathoners. Everyone looked in pretty good shape - no suprises there I guess. Training will do that for you.

Got to the start at Devonport at just after 5am. Spoke to a few people - saw Andrew and also S from work (who I didn't know was running). Work colleague N caught up with me at the start line and wished me luck. This was her 7th marathon for the year and she was aiming for sub 4 this one.

I had taken a bottle of water with me and had sipped myway through this in the hour leading up to the start. This was a good tip.

First Half

The first half was quite good. I was being good, holding some back, and keeping close to 5min/km. There were a few hills but not nearly as bad as I had thought.

Chatted with a fellow first time marathoner from 6 through to 9km. Interesting getting perspective on what motivates people to do this.

The Auckland bridge was quite a novelty to run over. Great views - shame you can't do this all the time.

Split time at the half stage was 1:46:40 (5:03min/km). Pretty close to my planned pace.

Was feeling pretty comfortable at this point although it was starting to warm up. One person I passed remarked I was looking "quite fresh".

Second Half

The second half started well tracking pace roughly the same through to about 28km. However after that I could feel myself slowing up.

I was starting to feel the onset of calf cramp and tried to combat it by taking on more fluids at the stops. In hindsight really should have hydrated more on the first half.

The return leg from St Hellier's Bay wasn't pretty. However some of the other runners looked in much worse shape than myself. Carnage but misery loves company. Passed a few people walking. Saw N and Andrew heading out to St Hellier's and waved. :)

Longest 8km ever after the 34km mark. I was trying to keep myself districted by coming up words to describe how it felt, by about the 38km mark I settled on "brutal". I guess the hardest part is the part you don't train for. It is true what what you read - this part is all mental toughness to keep going.

Second half split was 01:56:19 / 5:30min/km. Which is almost 10 mins slower than the first half. Ouch!


The 500m I managed to "sprint" or at least run semi normally. Crowd support was especially good at the finish - lots of people cheering. Fantastic!

Pulled up just over the line with a wicked cramp in my left calf. Got to the end just in time! The St John ambulance person asked if I needed help and then suggested I take in some fluids. Hobbled over to the drinks table. Helped a bit. Looked in the mirror afterwards - covered in salt crystals!

Absolutely stoked to have finished! This was a big challenge for me :)

Would I do another? Actually I probably would - perhaps another crack at this next year. A number of lessons learned here - the importance of early hydration being one big one. That and more endurance training. Now that I know what is involved my next goal is that 3:30 time :)

Congrats to everyone that participated!