16 October 2012

Waitakere 11K fun run

On Sunday I ran in the Waitakere 11Kfun run  run out in West Auckland. The race was a quite a scenic tour of the West Auckland suburb, started and finished in the Waitakere stadium as well as running along a section of the Henderson Creek foreshore.

My buildup to this run had been a little disrupted in recent weeks.  I had two weeks off after the North Shore 10 K in late August due to a twinge in my calf which left me four weeks build up for Sundays run.

Then six days out from Sundays run I began feeling a twinge in my groin muscle and so rested again for the rest of the week.

I made sure I warmed up well  pre race but I still set out pretty gingerly unaware how the groin would hold up. I was aiming to try and maintain an 8 minute mile pace for starters and see how things progressed from there.

I covered the first mile in slightly under 8 minutes and was feeling fine so was comfortable trying to push a little harder and I covered the next four miles in 7:51, 7:48, 7:38 and 7:47. The 6th mile featured a long gradual climb which contributed to a slower 8:06.

I finally entered the stadium ran a lap of the track and crossed the line 53:39 (net time).

I placed a respectable 24 of 137 males and 6th of 17 males aged 40-49.


26 August 2012

North Shore 10K

Beautiful Takapuna Beach was the venue for the North Shore 10k today.

Today I ran my first 10K race at Takapuna. Based on my recent training I was shooting for a time of 47-48 minutes so I was please to cross the line this morning in a time 48:33. The course started out running the length of the beach in the above photo before doubling back along the road and to the far end of the neighboring Milford beach and then back to the start /finish line.

I was able to keep a fairly consistent pace for the duration of the race. My mile splits were 7:48,7:36,7:35,7:45,7:45 and 7:50.

Placed 8 of 49 men.  5th of 15 men 40-49.

Map of the course.


21 June 2012

Run Auckland - Western Springs 5K

Sunday was Race 4 in the Run Auckland series, this week at Western Springs in central Auckland.  It was my third 5k race of the winter.

My training has been going well in recent weeks and with the course being a pretty flat two lap circuit of the Western Springs lake I was reasonably confident of  a good time, though I hadn't set myself a goal time for some reason.

Being the middle of winter and with a early race start time of 8:00am the temperature was in the low single figures and though I went for a warm up run of  a half mile or so it was very hard to actually get warm.

Come the race start and I placed myself reasonably near the front of the field, having placed 15th and 14th male in the two previous events.

After a reasonably quick start all the runners soon settled into their rightful places and I settled into a comfortable pace that I was able to maintain for the first few k's  completing the first lap in a time of 11:45.  During the second lap I was still feeling good and was able to maintain that pace and even slightly pick it up overtaking a couple of other runners in the process.

I was very pleased to cross the line in a time of 23:16, 11th male overall (of 37) and 3rd male 40-49 (of 10). I ran the second lap in 11:31.

It was a pleasing result and I think shows I'm on the right track with my programme of three training runs a week combined with some cross training including weights , swimming or biking.

Looking ahead I will run two more 5 k over the next six weeks but continuing to build base mileage in training. I also have just entered a 10K race in late August.


29 May 2012

Run Auckland - Race 3 - Onepoto Domain 5K


Last weekend I entered my second Run Auckland 5k race of the year.  This race was at the Onepoto Domain in Northcote, taking in a 2.5 k circuit of the domain and local streets.

The Domain is the remains of an ancient volcanic crater which has been reclaimed and leveled off making for a flat start to the race before heading out to the surrounding streets where the there is a 50 meter vertical climb over the next two K before dropping back down to the start / finish area in the Domain.

My race time was 26:40 almost two minutes slower than my last outing, thanks mainly to the hilly course.

Age group wise I was again 4th male in the 40-49 age group.


18 April 2012

Run Auckland - Race 1 - 5K

Sunday marked my long awaited return to racing with race one of the Run Auckland series at Waiatarua Reserve, Remuera.  It is hard to believe that it is five years since my first five k race ,  which was coincidentally the same race back in 2007.  Back then I would not have believed it would be five years between races.

The lead up was not ideal having slightly pulled my left calf two weeks previously.  I took a six day break from running and then had three very short and light jogs of no more that 2 miles each in the last week.

A big thanks to Michelle also for the daily leg massages she so graciously agreed to all to help me get to the start line on Sunday.

Come race day I felt I was in good shape and ready to go. Based on my recent training I was aiming for a race time of 26:?? minutes.

The course was a two lap circuit of the reserve. I completed the first lap right on target pace at 12:40.   Midway through lap two and my calf was holding up well and I was feeling like I could push on through to the finish. I lifted the pace a notch holding a good pace right though tho the finish.

On crossing the finish line I was pleasantly surprised when checking my watch to see the stop watch had stopped at 25:01 .  That time placed me 4th in the 40 -49 year  old men and 15th of 37 men overall.

Looking back at my 2007 race , I was almost two minutes faster back then , finishing in 23:06

All I can say is its great to be back.  The goal now is to do a few more Run Auckland 5k races as well as a couple of the Xterra trail runs over the winter.  More later.

Course map.


18 March 2012

Back Running at Last

I haven't wanted to speak too soon, however I think now with seven weeks of light jogging behind me I can say ... "I'm back running!"

Here's what I did to get to the place I am today;

Last October I'm unfit and a little overweight tipping the scales at 100 kg.  I decide that I'm in no condition to start my running comeback in this state.  I join the local millenium gym with the aim of losing some kgs, gaining some base strength and fitness.

I get assigned a weights programme to work on building some muscle strength.  I commit to one/two strength workouts a week , and three cardio workouts, including one swim a week and a weekly yoga class. I also sign up for a six week boot-camp course. This was two early morning group fitness classes a week plus added individual workouts as planned by the instructor. The classes were a great motivator and the boot-camp really kick started my weight loss and fitness.  By early December I've lost 3 kgs.

A return to running was always top of my mind and I begin to think about when is the right time. With my injury plagued past I still feel that I need to lose more weight and gain more leg strength and flexibility before I lace up my running shoes.

I do however sign up for the Run Auckland series of races starting in late March, just over three months away.  Now I do have something to train for.

I keep the individual workouts going all through December and January and by the end of the month I'm down to 92.5 kgs, thats a 7.5 kg lose in just over three months.

Early February and with eight weeks to the first run Auckland race I take my first tentative steps on the road. I know I need to tread carefully and look for a run / walk programme which will gradually increase my running time and distance each week. I settle on the novice five K programme in a book I bought a few years ago, "Run Less, Run Faster". It starts with a lots of walking interspersed with short stints of running.

The programme consists of three run workouts a week which I'm doing in addition to my one strength work out, one swim and one yoga class a week.  On the odd week if I don't fell like I need a rest I'll also do a workout on the exercycle.

Seven weeks, and a week out from the first Run Auckland 5 k race of the year, I've just run for 3 miles (with 10 minutes of walking before and after) around the base of Mt Maunganui.

I do remain sceptical of how far I can push it though.  My left arch /heel has never felt 100% right since I last stopped running and since i've started the running again I'm icing it morning and night. This seems to be controlling it and it is not getting worse at this stage.

I'm also strapping my right shin with sports tape to try and give that some added support.  This is helping to keep the shin splints at bay so far also.

We are now into mid March , my weight is still hovering around the 92kg and I am a week away from my comeback Run Auckland 5K race.

Hopefully there will be lots of good reports to come.

Happy running.


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