We have returned to Christchurch and the comforts of Ginny and Ross’ spectacular house, farm and hospitality after finishing our bike tour. At the start of our bike tour journey I did a great long run along the Crater Rim Walkway and now after finishing I was able to due my longest run of the year, 32 miles, around the other direction on the rim. My last focused week of training went relatively well and the taper has begun for the Tarawera 100k.
We have rented a “Rocket” campervan for our journey from Christchurch to the North Island. The Spaceship Rocket was the best and cheapest option for us and costs less per day than the small rental car we rented to go Simon and Doug row in Twizel. The Rocket certainly provides comfort and conveniece we are not used to and we are enjoying the change, although we already start to miss certainl aspects of our pedaling days.
-Views from the Crater Rim Walkway-
Sunday Feb 24th- 10 Miles ,1,276ft climbing, easy run. Spectacular out and back long run along the side of a glacier by Mount Cook Village. The views and scenery were out of this world… not “pretty” but rather an awesome display of power and mountain force. Camer was lost at Lake Tekapo camping. I was also a bit tired and flat due to a long night after Doug and Simon’s rowing race.
Monday- 20ish mile long run, probably 6,000+ ft climbing on the trails around Mt Cook Village. This was my most challenging long run in NZ. It was exceptinally hot, I was a bit tired, the run was at altitude (yes, only 3-6K but I have beet at around 0 for a good while), my watch battery died, there was a serious climb and the footing was very technical.
The run started with a 3/4 mile jog over to the base of the steep mountain side where I then proceeded to run, rather power walk, up. I recorded (before the watch died) almost 3,000 ft of climbing in just over two miles. This was one of the steepest “trails” I have ever been on. I really wanted the view of Mt Cook and the surrounding mountains, glaciers and views from the Muller Hut. It was worth it, but my legs were pretty well destroyed from the 5 or 6 miles of extreme terrain. The rest of the run, up the Hooker Valley to the glacier, lakes and then on to the trails around the village was great, but I was just draggging but to finish.
Tuesday- 10 mile easy run, 1,000ft climbing.
Wednesday- 12.6 miles, 800 meter repeats. I was graciously dropped off and picked up by Ginny so I could do some flat running on this workout. Felt pretty good, ran faster than my last speed workout, but didn’t have the 4:40 mile pace on the last interval like last time.
800 Splits: 2:44, 2:40, 2:39, 2:41, 2:40, 2:42, 2:42, 2:40, 2:41, 2:32, Average: 2:40, 5:20 mile pace
Thursday- 9 mile easy run around crater rim, 1,483ft climbing, felt surprisingly good after yesterday’s workout.
Friday- 10 miles easy, 1,680ft climbing around crater rim.
Saturday- 32 mile long run, 4:49 moving time, 5,295ft climbing. I was excited to go long in the clock wise direction along the crater rim from Sign of the Bellbird. I took a lot of Vitargo with me this run and my running back pack to make sure I was well fueled and hydrated, as the last few long runs have not been. I drank nearly 2 liters of water and 800 calories of Vitargo (90% unflavored, 10% grape) on this pretty challenging long run.
Unlike my first long run of the week on Monday, I felt pretty good after 4 or 5 miles on this long run. I started super slow, taking almost an hour for the first 5 miles but really flet strong the rest of the run until fatiguing (probably mental) the last 2 miles of the run. Running 4:49, which doesn’t count my fueling and picture time, for 32 or just over 50k makes me feel good about my fitness right now.
103.6 miles and 16,000ft climbing
This was a good week of training that started with low energy levels, but finished strong. It is nice to train without all the bike touring, really makes a difference. I only managed a little less than 2 weeks of no biking, focused training before Tarawera, but it is the “off season” and I wouldn’t trade the bike tour for anything.
Sunday-7 mile, 2,600ft climbing up the trails of Okiwi bay. I didn’t have any option for running except straight up the moutains… the day after my 32 mile long run. Again, felt much better than I thought I would though.
Monday- 7 mile, 1,200ft climbing easy run. Snuck this quick run in Picton with views of Queen Chalotte’s Sound, before jumping on our 3 hour fairy to the North Island.
Tuesday-21.2 mile long run, 2,858 ft climbig. Got in a surprisingly awesome long run loop around Wellington today. After selling our bikes and panniers to Paul and Lisa, we were treated to some wonderful Kiwi hospitality and given a place to sleep, some dinner and best of all, great company. Paul and Lisa shared a great trail loop that took me up the best trails of Wellington climbing to great views of the bay, traversing a beautiful ridgeline (where I had an incredible Ostrich dance), then down to the stunning beach line along the Cook Straight and finally back into Wellington. Thanks Paul and Lisa!
Here is the video of the Ostrich I saw along my long run. I had no idea an ostrich did…this. I was backing up to get keep the Ostrich in the screen and fell, pretty funny. Enjoy:
Wednesday-8.4 mile easy run, 1,512 ft climbing. Had a nice run on a very smooth peice of trail in native forest. I was deep in Kiwi habitat and saw some great huts, but of course no Kiwi, as the little stinkers are nocternal.
Thursday- 8.25 mile easy run… ON ROADS. After a mile or so jaunt up a creek bed with no trail, I hit the pavement. Change is good on runs, and sometimes pavement can be a nice change. Felt great to run at 7:00 pace with little effort.
Friaday-8.25 mile easy run, 2,125 ft climbing. Planned on running some 800s, but there wasn’t any place to do so. The legs were more tired than usual and this 8 mile run felt like 15.
The taper has begun and this week started well. I did a bit more climbing than I planned and I think this had me a little flat. I skipped the intervals and won’t run long Saturday as I can tell the body needs a break.
Really, really looking forward to Tarawera. Paul is putting together a seriously awesome event to include pre-race gatherings, social events, media, and some time to meet atheletes and mingle. It has been quite a while, for me, since my last race and while I have been on a more “off season” pace with my bike touring, I’m excited to feel pretty fit after a good month of training leading up to the race.