Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 Goals

Better sneak this in before the clock strikes midnight.

- Run a minimum of 40km a week on average
- Have fun doing it. Be smart and listen to my body (no injuries)
- Auckland Marathon 2010 in sub 3:30
- Shoot for a PB in a shorter distance, either a 10km or the half.

- Swim at least once a week at the pools or ocean.
- Build up to Auckland Habour Crossing Ocean Swim in 2010.

- Continue bike commuting
- Cycle a minimum of say 120km a week (much of this will be in the commute)
- I have just found out that work do a corporate triathlon so that could be something to think about.

Resistance Training
- 3 home workouts a week (Mon/Wed/Fri)
- Complete 100 pushups and 200 situps challenges

- Get my weight down to 80kg by eating healthy and through excercise

- Sit my 3rd dan grading this year. Quite a lot to this from both a physical and technical point of view. I'm going to blog more about hapkido training next year.

- Improve flexibility through stretching. This will benefit both running and hapkido.

I have some thoughts on how better to track these goals throughout the year but that can wait for another post.

Action Packed

Fairly action packed day today.

- Got my bike gear cable fixed for $14 NZ. They even fixed it while I waited - about 20 minutes. Adventure Cycles is really a top rate local bike shop. Another good thing about cycling - costs are cheap and repair times are quick.

- Dusted off the weights this morning and did a proper home workout. My "gym" (aka corner of the garage) is a mess though.

- Later in the day we went for a walk to Big King (yet another Auckland volcano). I was impressed with my five year old son tearing up the hill and then blowing out near the top. Takes after his dad!

The excercise thing is not all pre midlife crisis. Also trying to be a good dad and setting the right example in being active. Hopefully it will rub off on Alex. It is all too easy for kids these days to get stuck in front on the TV. Here he is in full flight - mum can't catch up ;)

Fast for a five year old :)

- After we got back we made this great outmeal and carrot bread. Tasted great and was pretty healthy too. Healthy Food Guide magazine put have an excellent website, we regularly try things at random.

- One of my holiday jobs is to stain some our outdoor table and chairs. Spent a good hour scrubbing down the table. Actually was hard work in the arms but it has cleaned up quite well. Tomorrow will be putting on the first coat.

2009 Summary

Time for a little round up of 2009. This was the year of the marathon and much of my training was geared towards that. So from a very high level I guess it was mission accomplished.

I had some goals at the start I was slack in tracking progress. New years resolution is to track this better. Some goals are quite easy to define (like running a marathon) but others need better metrics. Like km/week to run or cycle or home workouts to complete.

Here are some random ups and downs from the year.

- Highlight was training for and running the Auckland Marathon. Finished in 3:43:00. I'll be back next year!
- Did the Run Auckland series again this year. Best time for 10k of 42:57.
- Only one half marathon this year - North Shore City Half - 1:40:56 with tight calves.
- Started to run at odd times like 5am in the morning and during lunchtimes at work.
- Ran all over Auckland and some other places like Hamilton, Hong Kong, Taupo, Matarangi. The Taupo before work runs in winter were good if on the cold side.
- Picked up a couple of injuries. PF in the beginning of the year, and then a pulled calf in a 10km run. The lesson here was to slow down in training!!!
- Went through 3 pairs of shoes. The latest (New Balance 1223's) are the best.

Cross Training
Cross training in general was lets say sporadic.
- I did get back to cycle commuting in November coinciding with changing jobs. Clocked up about 450km so far including a couple of "big" weekend rides.
- I did get to the pool sporadically but no where near enough.
- Failed completing the hundredpushups program. Still trying though.
- My home workout program was effectively missing in action.

- Didn't do 3rd dan this year. This wasn't entirely all my fault but a lack of planning surely contributed.

- My weight is basically the same as it was last year. As of today my average weight is 85.6kg. This time last year it was 86.2kg. I want to get down around 80...

The spirit of the marathon movie is available on DVD. It would have been good to see it at the movies though.

I'm going to post a set of better goals for 2010 later today. Off to get my bike fixed now...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Spirit of the Marathon

Mostly a rest day yesterday - although I did find my hand weights in the garage and did a couple of drills. Doesn't count as a home work out though more as planning for one.

Started on the house jobs, cleaned down the outside of the house and started the deck but are plenty more things to do. A set of outdoor furniture needs painting apparently.

Last night I watched "Spirit of the Marathon" and it was really quite good. Set as a documentary it follows a number of fun and elite runners in the lead up to the Chicago Marathon. Well worth seeing and quite motivating. Motivating enough for me to go for a run shortly.

In bad news I found my bike's gear cable for the rear derailler has snapped at the shifting end. A bit unweildy being stuck in top gear and will be looking to get that fixed tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

More of the Same

Keeping up with holiday excercise. Feeling better for it (so far).

Morning run on Monday - quicker than Sunday's long run and worked up a good sweat. Pretty flat route.

5.51km / 26:39 / 4:51min/km

In the afternoon biked out to Titirangi to help my dad with some house stuff. It was a tough climb up Titirangi Road and a good portion of Scenic Drive.

Came back a different way to check out the stretch of cycleway along the SH20 extension. It's not finished yet as there is a section along Mt Roskill to complete. Here are a couple of photos.

Cycle bridge to Stoddard Road

"Southern Isthmus" cycle lane looking out to Mt Roskill

Great surface and looks well appointed with lighting.

All up 40.4km in an average speed of around 22.9km/hr. The hill almost broke me...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Run in the Sun

Been keeping up with exercise this holiday break, so far so good. At least it is good at offsetting the Christmas excess.

Yesterday morning I went out for an "easy" run. Again a bit of a tiki tour along a few roads I don't normally visit. Hard work up the hills though...

18.8km / 1:40:41 / 5:32min/km.

In the afternoon we went up to Long Bay for a swim and sand castles. The water was great and just the thing to cool off with. Lots of fun jumping waves with a 5 year old.

Around 7.30pm went out for a bike ride. 17km or so at around 23km/hr - not much traffic around, it was great.

Weighed in this morning 85.1kg. Weight is averaging in the 85's at the moment. One of my goals for 2010 is to pull that back to around 80 (pre marriage weight)...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day

Merry Christmas! Christmas lunch yesterday was a typical family get together with all to much eating really. Most memorable dish was a fruit salad with plenty of blueberries and raspberries. Yum!

This morning went on a bike ride for my sins. Lots of people out running and cycling this morning. Almost as many as during peak marathon training season.

My ride was a massive Tiki Tour round Cornwall park, Auckland Domain, Tamaki Drive, Achilles Point, Parnell (via Gladstone Road past the Rose Gardens), back through Domain, Mt Eden and then home. Hardly any cars about so it was nice.

48.1km @ average speed of 24.9km/hr. Interesting I could hold about 32km/hr along the flats easily enough but the hills kill the pace with my heavy bike.

Feel much better for it. Might even try and get out for a small run this evening.

Going to be really hot's mission is to find a kick board and teaching my 5 year old how to swim.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Peace Mile

Did a 3 laps of the Auckland Sri Chimnoy Peace Mile yesterday morning. Its a measured mile circuit. Had my run straight after riding to work and legs were a bit wooden on the climb up the hill from Carlaw Park. Probably about 7km all up.

Quite a nice place to run and popular too. Probably a good place to do interval training...

Auckland City and the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team established a measured mile running course in the Auckland Domain in 1987 to promote both physical fitness and the cause of world peace. The running course starts at the sign located adjacent to the Grandstand and follows Grandstand Road South, Football Rd, The Crescent, Kiosk Road and Grandstand Road North to finish approximately 100 metres beyond the starting point at the marked finishing point. The Sri Chinmoy Peace Mile links our city with a global family of parks, cities, mountains and natural wonders also dedicated to peace - the Sri Chinmoy Peace Blossoms programme - whose purpose is to kindle the spirit of harmony and oneness and to foster a new millennium of peace.

"The determination in your heroic effort will permeate your mind and heart even after your success or failure is long forgotten"
Sri Chinmoy

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Local - Week 3

7am Saturday and time for the weekly run up Mt Eden. Pushed myself a bit harder today: 11.64km / 57:26 / 4:56min/km.

Tough but I felt reasonably strong on the ascent and breathing was more controlled than a couple of weeks ago. Running fitness coming back - gradually. The progression over the last few weeks on this route:

Week 1, 05 Dec = 59:57
Week 2, 12 Dec = 58:57
Week 3, 19 Dec = 57:26

For further improvement some new running music might help. "Chariots of fire" anyone ;)

Only managed 2 runs this week. Work has got really busy all of a sudden with some long hours but that is a pretty weak excuse. Just a matter of logistics - maybe bike to work earlier and then go for a run immediately after...

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Above is the lockable bike area at work. Just quietly I'm pleased I don't have the slowest looking bike in the lot but there are some that look very flash.

There is also an overflow area outside with another 15 or so hangers. Been at a new job for about a month now. What I have noticed is they have got into encouraging people to bike. Not only the bike storage area with card access but also plenty of showers (with towels provided). I'm impressed really and its certainly better much better than I've seen at past jobs.

Up to week 3/day 1 of the hundred pushups challenge. It's getting tough...

Kate and Phil yep you are right the Domain isn't much of a trail run (but it's very handy for a lunchtime escape). I'll have to give Cascades a go during the holidays. Looks good :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Forest Run

Right next door to work....

Trail running - could get addicted to this...lovely and cool under the canopy.

The path up Lover's Lane. Nice waterfall to the left.

One of the paths through the Auckland Domain. Actually an extinct volcano...was warm out

Didn't time the run itself - bit of a photo expedition this time but was around 30 minutes. Definitely going to be a regular thing :)

17 km on the bike today in commuting.


Crap weather yesterday in Auckland. Well it has been a bit hit and miss. Got wet riding to work but it was better on the way back. Then I decided to cycle to hapkido and just missed the downpour on the return leg.

23km all up on the bike, amazing how it adds up.

Have a lunchtime run planned for today.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Bike Ride and some Pushups

Great day on Sunday and had some time to myself so went for an easy bike ride.

Headed along the North Western Cycleway out to Te Atatu and then the extension to Massey and then back again. All up 30.7km (at a slow average speed on 21.7km/hr). Great day for it. Having a faster road bike would be fun though but I would probably break it commuting.

Then did Week 2 / Day 2 of the one hundred push up challenge. Maxed out at 25 on the last set (16/17/14/14/25). This is the third time I've attempted this (it gets tough in week 4)....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Local - Week 2

My local hill climb run again to Mt Eden. I'm going to do this once a week to work on running strength. Not doing enough running at the moment which is a problem. However I'm lucky enough to work next to the Auckland Domain. Some lunchtime 30 minute runs around the forest walk tracks might be on the cards.

11.64km / 58:57 / 5:03 min/km.

Beat my last week's time by exactly 1:00. Hot and muggy today but that helped in terms of being limber. The view from the top is great and well worth the climb.

Here is the elevation chart. Starts climbing from the corner of Dominion and Grange, nothing too bad it's just long.

I was good afterwards and stretched out properly too.

This bloke does a good summary of the view from the top. It's as magic as it looks. I don't think he read the sign properly at the beginning though. ;)

Missed Opportunity

This past week I spent a day in Brisbane giving a presentation for work (arrived Wednesday night, presented Thursday and got home at midnight). I was staying in South Brisbane and there was a a great path/boardwalk along the river edge. Went for a walk at around 8pm and there were plenty of runners and cyclists about.

Bloody hot and muggy in Brisbane, was 32 deg C outside. Actually it's pretty hot and muggy here in Auckland too.

In the past when I've travelled overseas for work I've taken my running gear. A great way to see the local area. My fault on missing out this time - it was poor planning on my part...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Local

Every runner probably has a favourite local route. I certainly do. Mine is a run up Mt Eden, and around some of the surrounding streets. Mt Eden isn't all that tough it is more long than anything as it winds around the volcano to the top. Overall the route itself is a reasonable challenge. There are a bunch of smaller "hills" throughout.

The view from the top is great, it reminds me a little of the view from the Peak in Hong Kong but on a very smaller scale.

Photo by James Clay.

Saturday morning was nice and sunny so time to tackle the local. I haven't much running since the marathon - consequently felt too on the ascent. It was an awesome day to go for a run, if anything a little too warm.

11.64km / 59:57 / 5:09min/km

Finished a weeks worth of cycle commuting and have to say have thoroughly enjoyed it. It did rain something awful on Friday night but aside from that conditions have been good. I've been taking a small detour in the morning to make a 8.2km route but starting to feel like that is a bit on the short side. Might try detouring a little further, maybe through Cornwall park.

Weighed in this morning 85.4kg. Not great but not too bad either. Hopefully the cycling will help get that down a little. Basically I have been eating a little too much for the level of exercise I'm doing.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Street Pony

Bike fixed in a day - derailer, tyre, chain, full service. Great service by Adventure Cycles.

As you can see this thing is built for commuting and not racing. Being an engineer I do like numbers so have a speedo on the thing. Average hovers around 22-24km/hr on the commute with full pannier bags. Pannier bags are great by the way - even for lugging a laptop around.

Still working out best routes to and and from work. Yesterday I did the climb up through the domain onto Park Road - hard work.

Cycling in Auckland is a bit hair raising but its a matter of picking the right routes. A suprising number of cycle lanes and paths, mix those with quiet streets and it's not so bad.

Commuting time to and from work is pretty quick now :)

Also it is pretty good working on the city fringe, I prefer it to Albert Street. Being right next to the domain is good too, I can see a few lunch time runs when time allows. Now cycle commuting need to mix in more stretching and fit in some running. Need to give this some thought...