Thursday, 26 March 2015

Caught up

Gosh, time is running away from me.  It's been nearly three weeks since my last post!  We've had a house full of visitors more often than not this month, and things have been a little cray-cray in the house of kreachr.  So let's catch up, shall we?

The Hillary 34km
I survived!  Obvs... It was a long day, let me tell ya.  I woke up at 6am, and didn't get back to bed until well after 11pm.  I was tired.  We started off at Piha Beach at a little after 10am, and it was already a hot day.  The first half of the race I was feeling really good, and made good time to Bethells, about 2 hours 34 minutes.  I found 'the W' much more challenging than I remembered it being though.  I put it down to my lack of training and reduced fitness level.  On the flats and downhills I still felt pretty good, although my quads were feeling a little rubbery from the steep descents.  I didn't stop long at the aid station as I had plenty of water and food on board - I just grabbed some water and kept going.  Then it was off up the hill again and about 2km later I was flagging.  It was a really hot day, but I was starting to feel cold.  I had something to eat and kept pressing on, putting the weird feeling down to maybe needing to pee.

At the 20km mark, I hit a wall.  I stopped on the side of the trail, dropped my pack, and stood around trying to decide what to do.  I was spent.  After standing around like a complete twit for several minutes, watching a bunch of much healthier-looking people wizz past me, I snuck into a well-sheltered area and went for my second-ever trail-side toilet stop.  Then I ate some more, drank a bunch, re-donned my pack and carried on.  The next five or six kilometres was slow going, as I walked 99% of it.  I knew the dreaded 'stairs of doom' at the end of the Te Henga were coming up, and I wanted to conserve as much energy as possible.  I stopped to talk to a marshall who told me there was about seven kilometres left to go.  He assured me that once I'd reached the top of the stairs and replenished my stores at the aid station, I'd feel refreshed and ready to tackle the last section.  Damned if he wasn't right.  I managed to run a large chunk of what was left of the course, along Constable Road, Oaia Road and on to Muriwai Beach.  I did walk most of the beach section, because I really suck at running on sand and its a total energy drainer.  So I have to admit that most of the photos taken of me are walking shots.  Oops.  I did run to the finish though, because, y'know, people watching...  I finished in 5:53:50, so I achieved my goal of under six hours.  I would've been happier with something a little closer to five, but I did the best I could on the day with the high temperatures and complete lack of training, so I'm cool with it.

I only took one photo of the day, and it was of the sun going down over Muriwai just before we left.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we weren't able to leave until nearly 8pm.  Then we had to stop somewhere for dinner (because we were all starving, even after scoffing the post-event fare on offer - I only had an apple though), and go pick up Martin's car at Piha.  Town was chaotic with several events on (concert, sports game, various art events) so it took us forever to chug through it.  I was so glad to get home and have a shower!  This medal was well and truly earned, y'all:

74/111 overall, 20/41 female, 12/19 in age group

Lookit!  So cute!!  I love him!

His name is Alonzo, and he is super fun to drive.  So zippy!  Sadly, Deane spends more time driving him than I do.  Sad face :(  Still, I'm putting all my little touches on him - the cyberman air freshener hanging from the rear-view mirror, I've put a squishy TARDIS on the dashboard, my music CDs, and I have my eye on the ALONZO licence plate (still available at the moment) and a TARDIS gear shift knob.  All in good time...

Despite the train-station/boarding-house situation at the house of kreachr, I have managed to get my assignments written and submitted, and have stayed ahead of the ball.  I'd like to be able to enjoy Easter weekend in the Bay without having to worry about stuff like assignments, course work, kids, housework, etc etc.  I figured it made sense to stress about it unnecessarily beforehand :)

I haven't got quite as much knitting done recently as I have in previous months, due to study and aforementioned house guests.  Still chugging along though, and all on track to get all my Twilight Movie Marathon Weekend projects finished with time to spare.  I'm currently working on some Forks socks, and have one foot left to go.  Then there's just one more pair of fingerless mitts on the list, and I'll be done.  Sooooooo looking forward to Easter weekend!!

I've been a little less inspired of late in the kitchen, and have made good use of local eateries instead.  My favourites like Little Bird and Misters (current top fave, absolutely love their menu, and cashew milk coffee!!  I have a food-crush on their brown rice porridge - food heaven), some new places like Mondays and The Raw Kitchen - I love that you can go pretty much anywhere in Auckland and find a cafe that caters to vegans.  There are so many popping up, and many more that have at least one or two vegan options on their menu (or vegetarian that is easily made vegan, usually by omitting the cheese or cream component).  I have managed to make a few healthy meals recently though, my current favourite being this butternut squash burrito bowl - sooooooo yum!

They are well and truly settled in to the school year, and are doing really well.  I don't know if they're fully aware of the fact that they only have a week left of this term :)  In any case, I'm happy with how they're going so far this year.  Long may it continue!

X is learning to skateboard, and absolutely loves his board - he paid for half with his pocket money and chose the deck, wheels, trucks, bearings and grip tape, then helped Deane put it all together.  He always gives us an update on the tricks he's learning, and all the scrapes and bruises that go with it.  Fun times.

T loves the teacher he has this year, and she's really good with him.  It's a good combination.  He has camp next term - I wonder if Deane or I will go along...?

Okay y'all, I have errands to run, appointments to keep, and a house to clean.  This Saturday I'm the support person for my friend Martin, who will be running The Dual off-road marathon for his third day in a row as a support runner for Mal Law, doing the High Five-0 Challenge to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.  Today (day 48) they're running 46km in the Waitakeres, tomorrow (day 49) it's 48km from Piha to the Auckland Ferry Terminal, stopping past the highest point in the Waitakere Ranges.  Then (day 50) The Dual.  Mal and his team have raised over $415,000 so far, surpassing his original goal of $250,000.  They're now aiming for $505,050 - feel free to donate here - it's a good cause!  Or you can text GOMAL to 2446 to donate $3.  Go on, you know you want to ;)

Alright, I'm out.  Have a good weekend!

Monday, 9 March 2015


Still haven't run since Sunday 22nd February.  Feel it would be fraudulent to call myself a runner at this stage...  I'm also very aware of the fact that I will likely die while attempting to run the 34km option of The Hillary next weekend.  The sand of Piha and Lake Wainamu, the stairs of doom at the end of the Te Henga, then a few kilometres of undulating road on the way to Muriwai and the finish line will probably do me in.  I don't expect to be in any way fast, or coherent at the end when if I finally get there.  It's sure to be a larf.

My brain is not functioning at full capacity lately, as I have been suffering a little bit of insomnia.  Going to sleep is fine, but waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep is starting to have its effects.  I was also having trouble with waking up super early, but now I'm struggling to wake up in time.  Yesterday I slept in until 8.30am (unheard of in my world), and this morning I was woken by Deane's alarm at 7am - I'm usually awake well before then.  Hopefully this issue will resolve itself soon - I have a couple of assignments due in the next few weeks that need my attention.

Last week I managed to finish a couple of pairs of socks, which were for my sister's birthday on Friday.  I got them off the needles and on the courier truck in time for them to arrive on the right day (phew!):

Boot socks, knit in Southlander DK weight yarn.  I knit the large size, which ended up being essentially knee-high.  They'll be perfect for winter!  I don't expect them to be particularly hard-wearing though, as the yarn is 100% wool, and the fabric is leaning a little towards the loose-knit side.

These socks, I rather like.  The pattern is 27 Knots by Moira Engle, and the yarn is Vintage Purls Max in 'Maquis'.  Because of the 25% nylon content of this yarn, I expect these socks to last a while.  The two pairs of Max socks I have in my sock drawer, I've had for some time and they're showing no signs of wear yet.  They're also very warm and comfy :)

Other happenings in the world of kreachr include a family outing to see Skin of Fire, which was part of the Auckland Arts Festival.  We went on the last night, Saturday 7th March.  It was an amazing show, the kids loved it, and they didn't even complain (much) about walking home at 10pm.  I didn't take any pictures myself, but here are a few Deane took of the event:

The graphics projected onto the building were quite amazing.

That glow behind the Museum was the full moon starting to rise.  It was perfect.

The boys loved the 'light-men' walking through the audience and touching peoples heads.

This 'light-man' came to say hello to us

The evening was marred slightly by a brief downpour about 3/4 of the way through the show (not to mention plenty of rain in the few hours beforehand) but it was worth the ticket price - the fireworks were awesome.

This week I'll be (trying to) focus on assignment work, squeezing in a few shorter distance runs to (belatedly try to) prepare for The Hillary this weekend, and hopefully pick up my new car.  Fingers crossed all goes well :)  Enjoy your week!

Thursday, 5 March 2015


I watched this video this morning.  Then I cried for over an hour. #vegan

Friday, 27 February 2015


I love running.  I especially love running in the early morning - it's invigorating, there's less traffic, it's not too hot, and it leaves you full of energy for the rest of the day.  So why then, can I not make myself get out of bed to do it?  Especially when I know perfectly well that I will have exactly zero opportunity to run during the day for the rest of the week, or over the weekend, unless I use the treadmill?  I have no answer to this.  My week has been one of sheer laziness.  Sure, I got stuck into my study and completed a couple of weeks work in a couple of days, and I did most of my housework (not that you can even tell now), but I have not run since Sunday, and my diet this week has been crammed full of junk.  Blech.  Well, to be fair, it has been interspersed with healthy vegan noms:

Blueberry oatcakes (I substituted apple sauce and tofu for the zucchini)

Chia pancakes with banana and peanut maple syrup (these were seriously amazeballs)

Cauliflower tabbouli, almond, rocket, roasted tomato sauce and cashew tzatziki with zucchini fritters from Misters - my new fave cafe.  I love love love their cashew milk coffees!  Although this time I had a cashew hot chocolate.

Hmmm, maybe not so healthy, but super yum!  Bought this at The Cruelty Free Shop - Botanical Cuisine frozen cashew yoghurt.

Zucchini noodles with a creamy sauce, sun dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, capers, olives and herbs, and a coconut and raspberry o-ball for 'dessert', from The Raw Kitchen

I usually start the day eating healthy, then it starts to go downhill about mid-afternoon.  Kinda like this:

What can I say?  I like to eat :)

I did have a good run last Sunday that I rather enjoyed despite it being so wet we may as well have been swimming...  We ran from Constable Road to Bethells Beach and back again, about 22km in total with about 1,260m elevation gain, in just over four hours total.  It was a good day for a run.

Berries and gorse

Looking back towards Muriwai

Looking towards Bethells (hidden around the coastline), watching the rain come in

Clay formations

Bethells Beach

Starting to lose the ability to take pictures, because my phone screen and hands are too wet to be able to fully cooperate

Oh look, more rain...

I wanted to get a picture of the cool patterns in the water from the turbulence in the waves, but couldn't get the camera to focus.  It was at this point I decided to give up - the camera lense had fogged on the inside!

Deane is away all weekend on a fishing trip with a few of his mates.  They left this afternoon, and won't get back until Sunday.  I'm a little bummed about it, not because he's going to be away all weekend, but because it means I can't go car shopping until he gets back.  Sad face.

I've become a little OCD recently, since finding out that I can get my very own car all to myself.  Not brand spanking new, oh no, but new for me.  And all for me.  Which means no Deane mess, no food in the car (because I say so), no having to readjust the seat every time, no getting deafened by a ridiculously loud radio stuck on talk back stations whenever you turn the car on, no rubbish collecting in the foot wells, no ever-growing collection of random assorted items in the boot... Oh, I am so looking forward to it!  I have developed a spreadsheet of all the cars of interest on Trade Me, listing the year, make, model, odometer reading, colour, interior type, engine rating, WOF/registration, important features, and current asking price so I can compare them.  It's slightly less obsessive than what I was doing previously, which was keeping numerous tabs open on the desktop and refreshing them periodically so I could a) ogle the pictures of the pretty cars, and b) check to see if it had sold yet.  Yep, I'm a weirdo...  New car, squee!!!

I've also been pretty busy with knitting lately.  Since last post, I have completed a pair of long mittens, two hats, and half a pair of socks.

Boot socks (one of, currently working on the other), knit in Southlander, 'oatmeal' and 'java bracken'.  These are going to be super cozy in winter!!

Up close with the chunky knits! Bella's Eclipse Hat, also knit in Southlander 'oatmeal' and 'java bracken'.  I knit two of these - one for me, and one for my BFF.

So this weekend, since Deane is away and I have no driveable car, there will be knitting, classic Doctor Who (nearly finished the William Hartnell years!), Harry Potter, and maybe a little bit of assignment work.  Pyjama weekend!!!  Bring me all the wine and chocolate!  Have a good one, peeps :)

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Something other than running

I didn't get out onto the trails this weekend.  I got up early on Sunday morning, packed my gear, taped my knee, ate a healthy and filling breakfast, texted Martin to say I was in, and waited.  And waited.  He slept in, and we ended up not going.  I would've gone myself, but I had no other way of getting there.  You see, Deane managed to write off our car recently.  In a car park.  With no other traffic around.  I guess it's not really surprising, considering he manages to fall up the stairs on a regular basis.  The man is special.  But he's my special.  Sorry ladies, hands off, I'm keeping him.  Mostly for the entertainment value ;)

In any case, I'm transport-less for the time being, which has meant more time to do other things such as knit.

I finished these a while ago, but never posted it.  These are my 'vegan' socks, knit with bamboo yarn.  The pattern is Hermione's Everyday Socks, and the yarn was a gift from my friend KJ.

These socks I started just before Christmas, so I had an easy project to work on while on holiday back home.  I just finished them on Sunday, and have already decided who to give them to.  There was no pattern, I just cast on 60 stitches, worked a k5, p1 rib, and did a standard heel and toe.  The yarn was a prize from a Sock Madness competition some time ago - an indie dyer from the US, I've lost the yarn tag so I can't tell you the name :(

Excuse the random knee...

Dustland Mitts, knit with Knitsch alpaca merino yarn in Dorian, from a sock yarn club aaaaaaages ago.

My BFF and I are having a trashy Twilight movie marathon weekend over Easter, so in preparation for it, I'm knitting a little something Twilight-related for each movie.  Yes yes, I'm a total geek...

The first project was two pairs of Alice's Mitts - the top pair was knit in some handspun (maude & me. 'miss misery' spun into about a worsted weight two ply), and the bottom pair was knit in some worsted John Q yarn I had lying around, left over from other projects.  These will be for when we're watching New Moon.  I have a project planned for the first Twilight movie, one for Eclipse, and I'm still deciding on a project or projects for the two Breaking Dawn movies.

 The yarn for the next two projects (Twilight and Eclipse) is wound and ready to go!  I know what I'm doing for the next week or so...

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Some things I have learned through running

  • If you're planning on going for a long run, take a hydration pack, even if you know there will be drinking fountains along the way.  Because chances are, you'll forget to stop for a drink at said drinking fountains, particularly if they are not directly in your path.
  • If you run 22km and only drink two mouthfuls of water, even if it is an overcast day, you will get dehydrated.
  • No amount of water you drink throughout the remainder of the day will get rid of the pounding headache you have developed as a result of the dehydration.
  • You'd be much better off taking some painkillers straight away instead of trying to ignore a headache for the better part of 11 hours, only to concede at 10:30pm that it will not go away just by rehydrating and you really should stop being stubborn and just take some painkillers already.
  • Running 20km on-road, after over a week of no running at all, and nearly two weeks of no on-road running, you are likely to injure yourself.

Essentially what I'm trying to say is, yes, I am an idiot.  You can probably figure out what I did wrong...  Now I am nursing a bung knee (again) and hoping it gets better soon so I can get out and run again this weekend.  Trails, natch.  I will be employing the kinesio tape in any case.  I should probably go clean my trail shoes first though - they're still a little dirty from this adventure nearly two weeks ago.  Wow, I really need to get better at looking after my gear!  It was a foggy, wet day, but a pretty awesome run all the same:

There's some more Waitakeres out there somewhere...

Some of the local native fauna

Ahh, pretty weeds...

Swamplands.  Hooray for boardwalks!


I hope your week is going well.  Mine's been slow and quiet, and it's been pretty great :)  More on that later.  See you again soon!