Is it just me, or is everything your read these days on running forums and in running magazines, a number crunching game? For instance: “6 things you need to do right now”, “I did squats for 14 days and here’s what happened”, “do these 3 exercises right now”, “4 stretches that will fix all your problems”, “these 7 health foods aren’t so healthy”, “31 runner friendly recipes”, etc. You can almost not find an article that doesn’t contain a headline similar to these. But, I’m getting off topic.
This post really is just a message I wish someone had banged into my head 20 years ago. And despite knowing what I know now, I still find it difficult to practice what I preach, but here goes nonetheless. Even if I fail miserably and have to say to myself 20 years from now, “I told you so!”. Continue reading
Instead of going under the knife, I’m trying this colourful collection first. 🙂
In the early evening of 12 December 2016, I got up from the couch to have a look at the jam I was cooking, when suddenly I had excruciating pain in my right hip area. Hunched over holding on to the couch, I knew that something was badly wrong. Even just breathing had me in agony, and with gasps and involuntary tears in my eyes, I found my way back to the couch. Several hours later and with the help of a handful of pain pills and Voltaren, I could manage to get myself into bed where I promptly faded into a deep sleep hoping that everything will be better in the morning. Continue reading
*Thanks for the title Graeme!
Date: 14 January 2014
Some members of the Manawatu Trail Runners FB group: Suzanne, Nikki, Amanda, Brett, Wouna, Gerry and Michael.
At the event base.
Des and Henriette.
Nervously happy to be out there.
With 540 participants all starting together, you better get yourself to the front if you hope to pose a good time. Luckily not something we had to worry about!
A gradual incline shortly after the start, helping to spread out the field before the first single-track section.
Any uphill was a good excuse for a walk-break.
Alternating sections of gravel road and single track meant that we didn’t have any problems with bottle-necks.
Jogging through a lush green section.
Had to do a few takes to get this pic with Mt Taranaki in the background.
Back into the forest.
Not sure why I thought that acting like a baboon would prove my steel.
So glad it wasn’t raining or wet going up and down these bare soil stretches.
Enjoying a beautiful morning out on the trails.
Heading back out into an open patch.
A downhill trot…
…followed by an uphill slog.
No getting lost with course markings in abundance.
Luckily we could side-step all the muddy patches.
A mix of sun and shade meant it was never too hot or too cold.
I guess the more competitive runners probably went straight through.
A very scenic stretch, with Lake Mangamahoe in the foreground and Mt Taranaki in the distance.
Running along the banks of Lake Mangamahoe.
Gerry on the first of the two swing bridges.
Still having fun.
The second swing bridge on the half marathon course.
Graeme having a blast on the swing bridge.
Some tree roots to negotiate.
A short stretch run in both directions. But this lot had done a few kilometres in-between and were well ahead of us.
A very curvy section where you really feel like you are going in circles.
A long incline after passing the event base the second time.
Gerry making his way through the young pine forest with Mt Taranaki up ahead.
Gerry photographing the photographer photograping me. 😛
Up and up we went. Just as well, as I had to walk lots anyway.
The Rocky Road stretch. Apart from roots, the only other semi-technical terrain.
Lots of steps, giving our heart and lungs a good workout.
These smiles must have been thanks to the fact that the end was just around the corner.
Very happy to have made it. And getting some medals to boot.
Running a doodle.
On all accounts, I should not have done this event. Apart from doing two half marathons, one in September and one in October, we haven’t been running for about five months, except for maybe the odd 3 or 4km slow trot-walk-run once every few weeks which is not even worth mentioning. And if there’s one thing I know, it’s that you don’t go running races unprepared. Mind you, I’ve never “run a race”. Rather, I participate in events – there’s a huge difference. Continue reading
Once, on day four of a five-day event, I was just knackered. Luckily I could pull myself together and still made the cut-off for the day. This pretty much resembles my current state of mind.
Any person doing any form of physical activity is bound to have some form of injury at some point. That’s just the laws of nature. Some people are lucky and hardly ever get injuries or niggles, while others are plagued by problems. It is what it is, and what will be, will be, to quote Allan Karlsson from the Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson.
So it came about that I developed a hip niggle. I didn’t give it much thought and it was presumably just another result of my misalignment (curvy spine, fused vertebrae with coccyx, rotating pelvis, leg length discrepancy, etc). It would not be the first time I battle with a niggle and will certainly not be the last. Continue reading
Setting up early morning.
The little cannon that was used for the start. Don’t be fooled by its size!
Have your picture framed, courtesy of Malaghan, for the Run for Research members.
At the start – warming up shenanigans.
I decided to go red, orange and white for Malaghan.
Gerry, fresh and ready to go.
More entertainment to make up for the few minutes late start.
The Start banner – far, far away!
On Oriental Parade – the crowd starting to thin out a bit.
Cobham Drive where we encountered the first 10km returnies.
Gerry, clearly having a good day on the road.
Past the halfway point – me at full speed.
The out and back section is very sociable.
Gerry really having a blast at the turnaround point.
Fly, fly away – only about 7km to the finish.
Our walk through Mt Victoria Tunnel on the way back to the start, some 4km from the finish.
Comfort/reward food in the form of beer and pizza.
Let me say upfront that I am no good at asking people for money. As much as I would run around any Bay, around New Zealand or around the World for that matter to support a good cause, I just can’t get myself to ask people for money. I assign this to the fact that for the first 40 years of my life I lived in a country where the vast majority of the population are in need, and begging is just part of the make-up of daily life. You end up being overcome with guilt, because you simply cannot help everybody everyday who are constantly begging you on every corner and every turn you take for money, or food, or clothes, or anything else that might help them survive to see another day. And you become a bit allergic to asking for money yourself. I am sure fundraising for sponsorships come with much less baggage in a first world country where most everyone lives above the poverty line, so maybe in years to come we will get more comfortable at it. Continue reading
A couple of years ago, in search of some interesting off-road running events, I read about the Queen Charlotte Track – a 26km run from Ship Cove to Punga Cove/Camp Bay. It sounded magnificent and I’ve since been keen to take part in this event. But as we know, traveling between NZ’s two islands is almost as expensive as going to Australia! This truly is a country of two halves (as Paul Bennett pointed out in his book). Continue reading
A few years ago (well, actually about 10!), Runner’s World SA featured this recipe by Graeme Shapiro (owner and chef at Wild Poppy Cafe Fremantle in Perth, Australia). We’ve since made it more times than I care to remember and it never fails to please all your taste buds. And if you don’t have all the ingredients, fear not, as I’ve tried various combinations of more or less the same ingredients, leave out some, add other – you’re bound to still have a winner.
The Runner’s Paste
- 1 box (500g) fusilli or fresh taglierini pasta
- 1 packet (250g) basil pesto or olive tapenade
- 1 jar (200g) artichoke hearts
- 150g calamata olives (stones removed)
- 150g roasted pepers
- 2 handfuls (30g) fresh basil – torn into pieces
- 100g pine nuts (or slithered almonds) – toasted (pop under the oven grill for a few minutes)
- 100g sun-dried tomatoes (preferably marinated) – finely sliced
- 250g cooked bacon – dice into pieces (smoked salmon/smoked chicken breast/tuna are other great options)
- 200g goats cheese or feta – crumbled into pieces
Place the cooked pasta into a large bowl, add the pesto and toss through to coat the pasta. Add the rest of the ingredients. If you are serving the pasta warm, add the cheese last just before serving. Garnish with fresh basil or parmesan/pecorino shavings.