Wednesday-25 mile long run, 4,900ft climbing, up to Mount Dun and back. This long run was enjoyable as it felt good to get back to climbing up mountains. While it wasn’t that steep, gnarly, or up a very impressive mountain, it was still not a coastal run, like I have been doing lately.
The run followed NZ’s first railway, now trail gradually up the hills outside of Nelson. Originally built for mining copper and then Dunite, the rail was abandoned sometime, if I can remember correctly, in the 50s or 60s after the copper depostits weren’t sufficient. The trail started in on and off pine forestes grown for harvesting, then switched to the much nicer native forest and then reached the “minneral belt”. The minneral belt is a part of NZ mountains that have minerals in the soil not friendly to most all plants and trees. Once in the mineral belt there is a mile or so climb up to Dun mountain. On the way back I picked up the pace a bit with the last 9 miles going 7:42, 41, 14, 02, 6:43, 47, 27, 31, 15 for a faster finish.
Thursday-10 mile easy run down Mai Tai river, 890 feet climbing. 60k bike.
Friday- 8 mile easy run, 1,660ft climbing, around the Pelourous river. 50k bike.
Saturday-28.4 miles, 4,900ft climbing, just under 9 min/mile average pace long run on the trails of Queen Chrlotte Sound. I took a water taxi for the second Saturday in a row to accomplish a point to point long run on awesome trails. This week I took a water taxi from Picton north to my starting point on the Queen Charlotte Track. I ran along the amazing sound, up the hills, by bays, creeks and through nice forests. This weeks run was far less busy with pedestrians. I felt a bit tired still from Wednesday’s hard long run up Dunn mountain, but was happy to be doing some good training before Tarawera. I had a bit more Vitargo on this run, but unfortunatley I had a long very dry section of trail with zero water. I finally hit a hut very thirsty and weak to read the sign, “boil or filter this water”… I filled the water bottle and chugged it down. Once again I was under the gun to run fast and make my boat with a 28 mile run that needed to be quicker than 4:45 to catch the last ride back to Picton. This week I was at the pick-up for the boat 33 minutes early and was able to enjoy a strech and swim.
Sunday-10 very tired miles, 1,500ft climbing. Ran around the trails in Picton feeling very tired and running very, very slow
Monday- 12.5 mile tempo workout: 10 x 800 meter tempo repeats with a 400 meter jog recovery on grass fields. I felt surprisingly good on this workout. Splits were: 2:42, 2:36, 2:41, 2:43, 2:42, 2:43, 2:44, 2:42, 2:41, 2:20. The last one was fun and felt great. 28k bike.
Tuesday- Easy 10 on the roads and bike paths of Blenhiem. 55k bike.
Wednesday- Easy 10 miles up Sawtooth Gorge, 922 climbing. First 4 miles were tired and slow, last six felt pretty good. Biked 77 kilometers to Kaioura. 77k bike.
Week’s #s (not including this Wednesday)
14k Feet Climbing
217k Bike Touring
Whaireki Beach (Fair-eee-key)-
Whaireki beach area was hands down the prettiest beach area I have been to in New Zealand and possibly anywhere for that matter. Adding to the magic of Whaireki is the lack of crowds, paved roads (it’s 6k down a dead end gravel road at the north tip of the island) and hype. The holiday park was modern and accommodating with a nice kitchen, but not huge or a chain holiday park.
The three beach areas were all unique and special and all had to be hiked too. The “first beach” was the biggest and had sea caves, an arch and a small cave area with a load of fur seal pups swimming in small pools while mom watched. The “second beach” was a bit of a hike and thus didn’t have much of a crowd. When we arrived at the second beach, no one was there and we walked the quarter mile of white sand flat beach to where the waves met the sand. Just down the beach was a cool sea cave I swam in and we all played. It was really cool to have the beach to ourselves and Felix and I celebrated with some nudity.
The “third beach” was really found accidently while I did a run on the incredible cliff clad hills around the area. Third beach boasted a huge enclosed cave area along with some smaller sea caves adjacent the larger. The family enjoyed a lunch and hangout at the third beach. In the smaller caves I was scared out of my socks by huge male sea lions hiding in the dark… twice. Fair eee key was a great place with amazing beaches, cliffs, trails, no crowds and a friendly low key feel.