28 January 2009

Man nears unusual mountain feat

This is an interesting story about a 60 year old Queenstown primary school teacher who has personal goal to run the Ben Lomond track in Queenstown once for every 365 days of the year. So far he has run the track, which usually takes hikers 7 hours, 317 times.

read more | digg story


27 January 2009

100 Push up challenge - Week two

Just finished week two of the one hundred push ups challenge.

This week consisted of;

Day one - 2 sets 14 reps, 2 sets 10 reps , final set minimum 15 did 15.

Day two - 1/14, 1/16, 2/12, min 17 got to 21.

Day three - 1/16, 1/17, 2/14, min 20, did 20.

Day four - two exhaustion test, got to 30.

30 in the end of week test keeps me on column 3 and on target for the 100 apparently.

Last week I was experiencing some slight numbness or tingling in the finger tips of my right hand, mainly first thing in the morning. After not really thinking about it too much at first after about two or three days of this going on I started to think about what may be causing it.

So easiest thing to do these days is Google "tingling numbness in finger tips" and see what comes up. Well it looks like the most likely cause of it is a nerve entrapment. The medical term is called Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.

I'm wondering whether the pressure placed on the wrist during the push ups may be a contributing factor here.

I hadn't actually realised how serious this condition is until I read the above link while preparing this post this post. After reading that I think I put the challenge on hold for a couple of weeks and give the wrist a rest.

That's a bit dissappointing actually. It's never nice failing a challenge one sets for one self is it!

Hve a good week.


25 January 2009

My Running Shoes

This is just another post I've brought over from the old blog. I'm still running in the Supernova's. Maybe it's time for a change as they are getting on in years, still nowhere near optimum mileage though unfortunately.

I will be updating this page when I next update the footwear.

On this page I'm just going to keep a record of the running shoes I've used, the mileage I ran in them, how I found them etc.

June 2007 - present

Adidas Supernova Control

A control shoe not as structured as the Adistar. My Podiatrist thinks its a good shoe and one that I should be happy with. Been running in them for a week and it feels good. I've done away with the cushioned soles and the orthotics and am just running in the off the shelf shoe. Without the orthotic the shoes seem more roomy that I've been used to so perhaps that will help with the numbness I had been getting?

August 2006- May 2007

Adidas Adistar


Total Milage

550 km (342 miles)

General comment

Generally a good comfortable shoe. Did a lot of experimenting however with different insoles/ orthotics so never really 100% happy from one week to the next. Probably wasn't the shoes fault however just what I was putting in it. As it turns out my Podiatrist doesn't think that bio-mechanically my gait is that bad that it warrants an orthotic.


20 January 2009

Taking up the Hundred Push up Challenge

If you can't beat em join em right!. Well it seems like almost every Blogger excepting myself has taking up this challenge so I figured it's about time I gave this thing a go.

I quietly took up the challenge a week ago without too much fan fare , not wanting to embarrass myself in case I failed dismally in the first week. Happy to say I'm now into week two with no problems so far.

Week one

After the initial test where I managed 18 push ups that put me in level three of the challenge. After completing the prescribed number of push ups as per the plan, I managed final sets of 18, 13 and 17 each day.

Week two

Just did the first workout of week two tonight and managed to eek out the required minimum of 15 with a struggle.

Will keep you posted over the next five weeks.

Pleased therefore to say that I've completed week one of the


18 January 2009

New Template

Apologies but I'm going to confuse you all again with a new template. Still tinkering with the blog and the Blue template was just not doing it for me.

I found this cool template from a great blogging site called Ourblogtemplates.com which offers dozens of free blogger templates plus tips on blogging.

I promise no more template changes until at least 2010.



Race Reports

This page is a summary of races entered;

October 2012 Waitakere 11  Fun Run
August 2012 North Shore 10K
June 2012 Run Auckland - Western Springs 5k
May 2012 Run Auckland - Onepoto Domain 5 K
April 2012 Run Auckland Remuera 5K
April 2009 Xterra 26KM Mountain Bike Race
April 2007 Run Auckland Remuera 5km
March 2007 Xterra 11km Trail race.
October 2006 Auckland Half Marathon


Run Auckland, Waiatarua Reserve 5 KM

It's re run time again as I look back at the one and only 5K race I've entered. The Remuera leg of the 2007 Run Auckland series.

Today was Race One of a new series of running races being held in Auckland over the next three months called Run Auckland. The series has been put together to offer recreational and semi competitive runners the opportunity to take part in some regular challenging racing and also gives recreational runners a goal to aim for to assist with meeting their fitness goals. That's what appealed to me about the series. Being mainly a recreational runner who started this about two years ago when I decided that I unhappy with my weight, I find that I need a goal or purpose to keep me interested. This series offers just that.

Today's race is a 5km run around the Auckland suburb of St Johns. There was also a 10k race starting at the same time, obviously doing two laps. I've never run a 5 k before so was keen to start the series with the 5. Click here for the map.

The weather this morning was poor, and rain was threatening. I arrived at the race start around 45 minutes prior to the scheduled 8:00 am start for the pre race registration, the main purpose of which was to just get the timing chip. Unfortunately being a new series there were some organisational problems with the registration procedures and the organisers found themselves caught short with too few registration desks available to cater for the approx 500 runners who had turned up (most like me I would gather had pre entered online so no excuses here really). Eventually they got through the ques of people and the race got underway about 15 minutes late.

My calf was not feeling as bad today, still a bit sore but it wasn't going to be a factor today. My left shin was bothering me more than normal however during my little warm up jogs around the park waiting for the start. I wasn't going to let this stop me today however either.

I started near the front of the bunch and got off to a quick start to clear away from the bunch as quickly as I could before settling down at a steady pace. I had planned to do the first k in about 4:40 but this was probably around 4:20 - 4:30. The calf was felling good and the shin was soon forgotten.

The second k was just about maintaining a comfortable pace. I was happy with my position and was feeling okay. The course climbs a little over the third k and I had planned to ease off a bit at this stage to save myself for the last two k's. The persistent drizzle which had been around since registration was becoming heavier and I'm pretty wet by this stage.

Down the other side of the hill and I was able to pick up the pace somewhat on the run to the finish. The last k was all pretty flat. I was digging deep and was keen for a strong finish. I was able to maintain the pace right to the end. I'd held nothing back and was spent.

I finished in a race time of 23:18 (net time 23:06), just over three minutes behind the winner, Sam Morreau who finished the race in a time of 20:05. I'm stoked with my time as it was at the right top end of my goal time of 23 - 24 minutes.

I was the 8th male to cross line and 6th in the males 30-39 category. I'm also stoked with that placing for a first time 5 k'er. On plotting the run into Map My Run, I also found the run actually measured 5.25k. Who knows what time I might have achieved for an actual 5k

The results are interesting though. Of 174 finishers in the 5k race there were only 42 men. In the 10k race there were 242 finishers including 103 men. Why are then men staying away? Also interesting to note were the 5k split times for the 10k runners. The first 25 men all had a faster split time at 5k than my race time, with the first four all registering a quicker split than the 5k winner. Clearly the longer distances attract a greater number and quality of athletes.

Update, this series has really grown in popularity over the last two years and looks set to be a regular series on the Auckland running calender now. Will definitely be running so more of these in the future.


14 January 2009

On Holiday

Well it's not really a holiday, just a three day break from work and home with the boys while Michelle returned to work this week.

It's been fun and pretty packed with some exciting stuff. Yesterday we took a trip to the Auckland Museum and got and up close view of the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found. The T Rex, named Sue, is naturally quite famous it seems and is on a bit of a world tour. Like most young boys , Jack and Sam are pretty keen on Dinosaurs and Sue made a great impression.

There's some great photos of Sue here.

photo credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/flissphil/1755339908/

After some lunch on the lawn in front of the Museum, we went off to the Parnell Salt Water Pools for a cool down. They have a great kids pool there with a slide and fountains which were a lot of fun. While I enjoyed cooling off as well I was able to enjoy some time lounging around pool side just watching them play in the water. It's great now they're at that age where you don't need to be with them every second when they're in the water.

Today we went to the Woodhill Bike Park for a bit of an off road Mountain bike adventure. It was Sam's first time here and he was a bit nervous to start out but he soon started enjoying himself, particularly on the downhills. It was hard work for him on the hills and there was a bit of walking and pushing from me but we got there in the end. Must have tired him out as he fell asleep in the car on the way home!

Just one other ride this week, on Monday, another six miles in about 30 minutes. If that seems slow it's due to it being a 'hill ride'. Found a bit of a loop which I did twice which gives me three hill climbs in all during the ride. Back to work on Friday so will do it all again then.

Have a good week.


11 January 2009

Biking vs Running

As I mentioned in an earliet post, I took my mountain bike into work this week with the intention of leaving it there so I could go for rides during my lunch breaks. It worked well and I went for three rides during the week each of around 30 minutes in duration but still long enough to work up a good sweat, particularly in the hot and humid weather we've been having this last week.

My ride on Friday was the harder of the three rides. I left my office in Newmarket, cut through Newmarket Park and down onto Shore Road, along to Orakei Road , into Ngapipi , past the boatsheds and on to Tamaki Drive. Then it was upto The Strand, past the Tennis Centre and into the Domain. There were a couple of short climbs to this point at Shore Road and again on Ngapipi but the climb from the Tennis Centre straight up into the Domain to the duck ponds was a killer. I eventually got to the top before coasting back around to the Grandstand for a cool down and stretch. Sorry no flash maps today!

So after three rides this week I'm feeling better about potentially just concentrating on my biking for a few months just to give the body a total rest from the stresses of running. The ultimate goal is to get back to running, but if I can't run at the moment then I'm happy to take up biking in the meantime. It gives me just as good a workout and the feeling of challenging myself to improve with each ride is just the same as with running.

This week I'm on leave from Tuedasy to Thursday as Michelle is back at work after her holiday break. I'm planning a trip with the boys up to a local Mountain Bike park for some off road riding.


08 January 2009

Race Report - Xterra 11 Km

Here's another re run from the old blog. It's a race report on an Xterra trail run I entered in March 2007, around the beautiful and aptly named Blue Lake, near Rotorua.

Sorry for the delay in posting a report about the Xterra Trail run. It's been a bit of a hectic week. Monday week ago after my last post the family headed down to Hastings to visit family but particularly to visit my grandmother who had been unwell and in hospital for a week or so. She had been unwell for the last few years and was in and out of hospital on several occasions in recent months. She passed away peacefully last Friday. In the end her quality of life was not what she would have wanted and in some ways it is a blessing that she is no longer suffering.
I am glad that we were able to get down there and visit her and that she got to see the boys.
We got the news of her passing while we were on the road to Rotorua which is where I was to run in the Xterra and I decided that I would continue on and complete this race before heading back to Hastings for the Funeral which was held on Tuesday.
Race day dawned fine and clear but COLD. It was an 8.00 am start with the run set to take us twice around the picturesque Blue Lake near Rotorua but with the sun yet to reach above the surrounding bush covered hills it certainly made for a brisk morning (still nothing compared to what you North American readers have experienced over your winter though). I had my support crew with me being Michelle and the two boys.
I started out slowly with the pace largely being dictated by the large bunch for the first 500 meters or so. The first mile and a half took us halfway around the lake via the road and was slightly uphill. The bunch gradually spread out and I just settled into a steady but not too fast pace. At the south end of the lake we went off road and ventured into the bush trails which took us back to the start. Ground conditions were soft but not too slippery though with many small rocks and roots to watch out for. I'm glad I purchased some Trail shoes especially for the race though as my road shoes would have had me sliding all over the place.
I completed the first lap in about 33 minutes feeling in pretty good condition but for my left foot which I could sense was starting to go a bit numb as it often does at after 30 minutes or so. I was worried that I might have to stop and stretch. My calfs and shins were holding up well though.
Almost the entire second lap took us around the trail encircling the lake. The first part of the trail was narrow and offered little or no room to pass. After managing to make my way past several runners I found myself behind a female runner who was maintaining a steady pace that I was comfortable with so I just hung in behind her. This trail was also strewn with rocks and roots and near the southern end of the lake I landed awkwardly on a tree root spaining my ankle. For a few seconds I was unsure how serious this was and it slowed me, but fortunately I was able to work through that and before long I was back up to full pace. Man did I have a sore ankle by then end of the day though!!.
Once we had turned for home the trail widened significantly for the next mile before narrowing again however I was able to keep the pace up and neither the numbing foot, which had not worsened much, nor the ankle slowed me any. I'm sure that during the second lap I was not passed by a single runner though I managed to pass perhaps 15-20 runners.
I came out on to the beach at the finish and after briefly taking the wrong line (keen to do another lap) and also briefly stopping to say 'hi' to the family, I crossed the line in 1:02:57.
The official results confirmed that I was placed 23rd in the open men's in a field of 72 or 29th man overall (including masters) in a field of 115. Given this was my first Trail run I'm pretty pleased with that result. The time seems a little slow on the face of it but I guess that can be expected in this type of terrain plus I would have been a minute or so crossing the start line.
Click here to see some more photos from the event including of the Xterra Triathlon.
Update - Sorry the above links don't seem to be working anymore. Overall I loved this experience and it's part of the reason why I love to run. What better way to get out any explore some new ground while doing something that you love to do. I look forward to the day when I get another chance to run in this type of race. I understand there is a series of Xterra trail runs now so that's definitely a goal.


06 January 2009

Back into my Crosstraining.

Today I made the first tenantive steps back into some cross training. I took my mountain bike into work today and during my lunch break I went for a 30 minute ride.

The sun was out and it was a beautiful hot day and I am in Auckland so it goes without saying there's going to be some hills too.

The ride was just over 5 1/2 miles or 9 km. I enjoyed being back outside doing some exercise. Its been a few months since I've done any but I didn't feel like I was that unfit, though I did have to chop right down to the low gears on some of the hills (I think the hills are a bit steeper over your side of the bridge Andrew!).

I've spent a few days trying to work out how I was going to fit in some exercise and ended up opting for the lunch time rides. I'll just leave my bike at work during the week and ride 3-4 lunch time a weeks. I have also thought about starting swimming again as I've found that to be extremely efficient for building fitness in the past. Once a week should do it.

I'm also starting up my stretching again in the evenings. Though I'm no longer do any Bikram Yoga classes, I basically know all the poses so will include a few of those in my nightly stretching routine. It will be like my private little Yoga session without the oppressive heat.


02 January 2009

Looking back - 2007 Round the Bays Run

As I mentioned in the opening post of this Blog, over the next few weeks I'm going to select a few posts from the old blog and 're-run' them here just to give this Blog some history to it and for any newer followers to learn a bit more about some of my races / training of the last few years. Here's a post I wrote in March 2007 following our annual fun run during which I suffered my first ever calf strain.

"Round the Bays Ends in Pain"

I ran in the Round the Bays Fun Run today. It's an 8.4Km run around the Auckland waterfront which attracts upwards of 70,000 runners and walkers of all shapes & sizes as well as a few outrageous costumes.

Distance - 8.4KM (5.2 miles)

Time - 39:50

Pace -4:45 min Kms (7:40 min miles)

Max HR 179Ave

HR 161

This is a flat course so I was hopeful of a time of 40 minutes or less so to achieve that goal was pleasing. The pace was faster than I have been running in my training and I was pretty pleased with the effort I put in to maintain that pace for as long as I did. I've done this run a few times over the years however always for the fun and social side of it. Whilst I did enjoy that side of it today also I was also keen to put in a good effort and achieve a good time. I started about 50 meters back from the start line and took about a minute to cross the line after the gun went off.

The start was pretty slow as the field spread out. By about the 1 Km stage the field had sufficiently spread out enough that I was able to run at a steady pace. I passed a marker at 5.5 km at about 25 minutes so I new that I had 15 minutes to cover the last 3Km to make my time. I tried searching for a little more pace to ensure I made my time and with about 1 Km go I was pretty much out of gas. My pace was slowing and breathing was very laboured.

Then it happened ... I felt a small twinge in my right calf muscle. I've never strained a calf before but this is what I imagined it was, definitely not just a case of tight or sore calfs. I managed to jog the remaining kilometer and crossed the line in just under 40 minutes. So, while pleased with the time a calf strain was not what I had in mind. I can only hope that it's a minor strain and that with some treatment and a bit of rest I will be back running again soon.

I had wanted to run another 10Km race next weekend and then an 11Km Trail race next month. ll be pretty gutted if I can't at least run the trail race as that's something I've never done and would love to give it a go.

Update - Fortunately that injury was over come relatively quickly and though I missed the follow up 10K race I made the trail race the next month.


01 January 2009

Happy New Year- Highlights of 2008

photo credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/mans_pic/

I thought I would list my three highlights of 2008;

Given my running over the last year has been nothing to celebrate, none of these highlights are running related unfortunately.

The number one highlight of 2008 has to be our family holiday to North America in April. We were on holiday for four weeks and roughly spent almost two weeks in Canada and slightly over two weeks in the United States. All the detail of the trip is on my holiday blog at http://northamerica2008.blogspot.com/. Highlights of the trip were definitely the five days Michelle and I had exploring Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon/ Monument Valley / Zion National Park area. We all enjoyed Disneyland and San Francisco also. The two days we spent on a train travelling from Vancouver to Jasper in the Rockies was also a special time when the four of us just got to enjoy each others company for two whole days in a relatively confined space. It was a great trip that we will always hold fond memories of. I also got to experience first hand some of the extreme winter weather conditions that many bloggers from those parts go through every year. Canada especially was very cold by our standards (-15 degrees C in the Rockies when we were there).

Number two. Our youngest son, Sam started school in July and we felt that it was one of those milestones in life when your children are no longer pre-schoolers and you look forward to the next stage in life when they are going through their schooling years. We felt that we were just starting to get a bit more independence also and after putting her career on hold for seven years Michelle was set to return to the workforce.

Number three. There's no hiding the fact that this was a major shock to all concerned however learning that Michelle was pregnant and that we would be having a new baby in the family come 2009 is our other major highlight for 2008. The idea of a baby in the house again has taken some serious getting use to (more so for Michelle than me I think), but as so many people have said, what is meant is be is meant to be. Others call it fate, but what ever you say we have rapidly come to the realisation the road we thought we were about to take, as Jack and Sam were entering their school years is about to go in another direction. I just think though of all the joy that Jack and Sam have and continue to bring us, which we are about to get another dose of.

I was going to mention three low lights but rather than spoil a nice positive post I'll leave that for another day.

I hope 2009 is all that you wish for.


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