Hilder, honey and a half marathon

Date: 9 July 2017
Distance: 21.1km
Time: 2:17.26
Previous: 2014, 2015

 

The first time we did the Norsewood to Takapau half marathon, it was with family, who at the time lived in New Zealand. I will never forget the box filled with pots of honey that was handed out as spot prizes. Two out of the four of us received a pot of honey. When prize-giving rolled around the following year, I was audibly disappointed for not getting honey again, at which point the Hilders gifted us theirs. Last year the event was first postponed and later cancelled altogether, because of inclement weather, so definitely no pots of honey to be had.

In 2014 I was physically in better shape than any of the subsequent years, but this is one of those lovely, affordable events that you shouldn’t miss. And walking is always an option. Which brings me to this year. This was my first half marathon-length long run in a while and I was keen to see how my hip would behave. At the Great Forest Events, I walked most of the time, and when you take your time, you can do almost anything. So that one doesn’t count. These days, anything faster than a 7min/km pace I consider to be quite all right.

It was again very cold and wet underfoot with lots of rain leading up to the event and snow-capped mountains, but the weather was otherwise not too bad. One tends to forget the hills on this course! Just as well, or you might not come back for more.

I couldn’t help but thinking about Marian. It is a year since Stuart’s passing, and Marian will no doubt be reliving this very sad time. This event will, in one way or another, always make me think of Marian and Stuart. If not for Marian running, then the gifted honey, or Stuart’s passing. I do hope we will see Marian again on the course at a future event.

[Hip update: I had little to no complaints from my hip. Regaining strength if you neglected it for so many years, is really hard. It has taken a very long time for me just to be able to spend some quality time on a foam roller. That is how non-existent my core was. It is still no good, but at least I can stay on the roller for a bit longer than what I could a few months ago. I still do strength exercises very haphazardly, focussing mainly on rolling the knots out, which has helped my mobility and range of movement with leaps and bounds. Maybe it will be easier to join a gym for the strength exercises, but I’m hoping to find a solution that I can do anywhere and anytime on my own. Having entered for the Ring of Fire event scheduled for April next year might get me off my rear to start doing more, as I’m scared senseless just thinking of what we’ve signed up for.]

Taihape Half

Date: 18 March 2017
Distance: 21.1km
Time: 2:29
Previous: 2015, 2016

After a long hiatus and battling to fully commit and get back into things, I thought participating in an event might help me find my running mojo, so we entered the Taihape Half. (Boy was I wrong – it’s been a week since, and I’ve managed one run …) Not having done the hard yards, I knew this kind of distance wasn’t the “right thing to do”, but throwing caution to the wind, I figured if I take it really easy I should be able to cover the distance. Even if it means having to walk most of the way. Continue reading

A Buffanatic

It has to be said that I’m probably the biggest Buff fan ever since I first discovered these neck scarves. Was it 2003? Or maybe 2004? Just for those wondering where the name comes from, Buff is short for “bufunda” which means scarf in Spanish. It was developed around 1992 by Joan Rojas, a motorcyclist, who was looking for something to protect his neck from the wind and cold.

Will I ever forget the first five Buffs we bought. Five! Not one or two to try them out first. No, it had to be at least five. That probably consumed all our savings, but it just sounded (hadn’t even seen one in real life yet before ordering them) like the best invention since sliced bread. Continue reading

New Plymouth half marathon

Date: 2 October 2016
Distance: 21.1km
Time: 2:31.27
Previous: 2011

We have now officially exhausted the last bit of our running memory. No more long-runs without a bit of training first.

When friends invited us to join them for the half marathon, I thought to myself, yeah, why not. So we entered, knowing very well that I’m tempting fate (more accurately, tickling the lion’s testicles) and it’s only a matter of time before the wheels come off. As it rightfully did. Continue reading

Running on memory

Date: 18 September 2016
Distance: 21.1km
Time: 2:21
Previous: 2011, 2014, 2015

All photos by us, except where otherwise indicated.

The Hatuma Lime Half Marathon reminds me of a mini-Rotorua marathon: once you’ve done the first busy section through town (in this case, the short out-and-back stretch outside the race course), you head into the country where on a good weather day, you cannot ask for a better setting while you make your way around a lake (Lake Hatuma here). Great community support on country roads where you can just cruise along admiring the scenery, until you reach the final quarter of the event – the stretch from the airport (a small rural air strip in this instance) which takes you back through town, not as scenic and also the toughest part to the finish. Continue reading

A “user-friendly” test in endurance

When Gerry first told me about the Ultra Interval Challenge, I was very excited as this sort of thing is right up my alley. It is a worldwide initiative where everybody started at the exact same time, irrespective of where you are in the world. In NZ our starting time was 10am on 23 July. The idea was to run 10km every three hours over a 24-hour period. Therefore 8x10km, totalling 80km. Our initial intention was to turn it into a wee event, by having a base camp with supplies, access to toilets, etc, and hopefully, manage to lure some friends into joining, but then we got busy with other stuff and all but forget about the challenge. Continue reading

Wellington Shoe Clinic Half Marathon

Date: 26 June 2016
Distance: 21.1km
Time: 2:12.48
Previous: 2014, 2015

Wellington is just one of those events – the ones you do because everybody does. And, well, FOMO (fear of missing out). And since the major spot prize usually entails free entry and a trip to a big international marathon (this year it was the Paris marathon), we decided to do the event and be in for the lucky draw. Why not? At the very least, it forces one to do your weekend long run, which might otherwise have fallen by the wayside. Continue reading