Sunday, 19 October 2014


How are you supposed to feel after you achieve something you've been working towards for weeks?  Months?  Years, even?

What do you do once you've accomplished a life goal?

I really don't know...

So far, this week has very much been a case of putting my feet up.

Today's view, from one end of the couch to the other.  So lazy.

I pretty much read that whole novel this week.  It's a big 'un.  And, as always, it was amazeballs - Diana Gabaldon sure knows how to write.  I blubbered like a complete spaz numerous times, especially at the end.  God, when did I turn into such a girl?  ::horrified::

I have still worked on my assignments because they're due in two weeks and nobody else is going to do them for me.  Believe me, I considered just not doing them and still getting a passing grade, but that thought was very fleeting.  I couldn't live with that level of laziness.  Plus I've become accustomed to achieving B+ or higher - a C-grade paper just wouldn't fly.  And I know that I'm taking a study break at the end of this trimester so there's really no excuse to be slack about it now.  But I haven't really done anything else.  Cooking was minimal with Deane and X away at school camp for most of the week.  T eats a limited range of foods so he was easy to feed, and I mostly ate salad or cereal or whatever.  My fitbit stats are looking pretty sloppy - I've only done about 42,000 steps over the week.  Pathetic effort.  I haven't done my housework.  Not complaining about that, just quietly...  I've got to the point where I'm scared to even look at my garden for fear it will try to attack me.  Side note: anybody know a gardener-type person that would be willing to put in a couple hours a month in exchange for food or knitted items?  Worth a try.  I really, really hate gardening...

True to my word, and sticking to all those post-marathon recommendations, I haven't run a step.  Well, that's a lie.  I jogged across a road.  For like, three seconds.  But other than that, no running at all.  I've been thinking about it a lot though.  Several times a day.  I haven't been this inactive in years.  It's... unsettling...  I'm trying to hold off until I've finished the assignments, although I'm starting to wonder why.  Or indeed, if I can.  Surely, I could sneak out for an early morning run before everyone got up, without it affecting study time?  I'm pretty sure I'm fully recovered from last weekend unless you count a couple of black toenails.  And really, who would be silly enough to wait for those to heal?  You'd be waiting for months...  I'm seriously considering a long run next weekend, but have to choose between Waitakeres with Richard (hard work, lots of hills) or Beachlands with Rob (easier terrain, but probably longer distance).  I can't decide :(

It's weird.  I don't feel any different for having run a marathon.  Not just a marathon, a bloody hard trail marathon with over 1,800m elevation gain.  I kind of thought I would.  I guess it's the same as not feeling any older the day of your birthday.  I don't feel any different now that I'm 35 either.  I have my race number stuck on the fridge, and my medals hanging on the bookshelf in the lounge.  I like seeing them there, reminding me that I have actually done something I set out to do a year or two ago and have been working towards for some time.  I quite distinctly remember thinking numerous times during the run that I wouldn't be able to do it, and I was never going to do anything this crazy and ridiculous ever again.  But I got there by just putting one foot in front of the other and trying to quiet the negative thoughts, and when it was over I actually felt pretty good.  Now, I know I can do it again if I want.  It's nice to know all those motivational quotes you see everywhere aren't just a complete load of bollocks ;)  I probably need to spend less time on Pinterest though...

One thing that is different is that I am perfectly content to drink alcohol again, knowing it won't affect my training.  I've consumed more wine in the past week than in the last six months combined.  Although just between you and me, I don't really drink a lot, so that's still not very much ;)

Longer term, I have plans for running the Coastesville Classic half marathon again next year, perhaps the Tussock Traverse 26km, and The Hillary 34km.  I'd like Deane and the boys to run the 5km Colour Run with me - I think they'd enjoy it, and the point of that event isn't to run fast, it's to take your time and get as colourful as you can.  Other than that, I'd like to run a road marathon at some point.  Road running and trail running are vastly different, so it'd be good to do one of each.  Trail marathons take longer, have waaaaay more hills, and are pretty rugged, but road marathons are tough too because you're running faster and don't have as many walking breaks.  Also, there are people around watching you walk run.  It's a whole different ball game.

I can't call myself a marathon runner yet, but I'd like to be able to.  Of course, I have to actually run a marathon first.  A road marathon, I mean.  Call me bonkers, but I almost feel as though a trail marathon doesn't really count as 'a Marathon'.  It's hard to explain...

It may be the inactivity driving me a little loopy, but I'm starting to think that running a road marathon and a trail marathon once a year isn't such a bad idea...

Just thought I'd leave you with this wee gem - it's eerily accurate to my usual state of being:

Yes, I stole the picture off a greeting card website, hence the logo.  Sorry.

Have a good week :)

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Birthday marathon - nailed it

As those in the running community like to say, in the words of Sir Edmund Hillary - 'we knocked the bastard off'.

I woke up two minutes before the 4.15am alarm, tip-toed downstairs and jumped through the shower, trying my best not to wake up mum and dad who were sleeping in the lounge.  I guess the hair dryer woke them up though, because on my way from the bathroom to the kitchen I got a 'good morning' from dad.  So I had no qualms about turning on the light and making a cup of tea for the road and a peanut butter sandwich for the run ;)  I had packed everything the night before, so just grabbed my refuel snacks to shove in my pack, filled up my water bottle, said 'see you later' and headed out the door.  Martin picked me up at 5am and we were on the road, stopping at Macca's in Paeroa for a pit stop and quick breakfast.  I was cheeky and ate my from-home weetbix and banana with soy milk, but did at least purchase a cup of tea...  McDonald's is very far away from being my food of choice, particularly at that time of the morning!

We arrived at event base quite early - they hadn't even finished setting up the registration tent!  My nerves had set in a little by then so I got quite friendly with the row of portaloos over the next hour.  After about visit number three we were best buds.  Martin and I made several last-minute checks, had our gear check, received our race numbers and timing chips, then Martin went on a warm up jog while I hung out with my new friends for a while longer.  I was a little annoyed to discover that head torches had, at some point, become part of the compulsory gear.  I am absolutely sure that it was not previously listed as essential, just recommended.  If it was, I'd have been sure to get one.  Y'all know how particular I can be about these things...  Luckily, as we had assured them we would be running the marathon together and could share Martin's torch, they let me off with a 'make sure you have one next time' warning.  (Next time? Ha!  Surely you jest.)

At 8.20ish we headed over for race briefing.  No mucking around this time - as soon as the brief was over, we were off.  With a field of 35 runners in the marathon distance, we settled into a few bunches and kept a pretty easy pace through the first few kilometres of single track.

After the first of several (very very cold) river crossings we all spread out a bit.  I got a bit ahead of Martin for a while, who was not feeling so flash early on.  I started to get worried - whenever I looked back, I couldn't see him.  He was the one with the head torch!!  How was I going to get through the tunnel in the second half of the run without a head torch?!?  We'd been told that they were going to put lights in the tunnel, but I started racking my brain to think of a way of acquiring a torch before reaching it, just in case.  I had thoughts of running through event base at the half-way point yelling 'has anybody got a spare head torch?!?' in the hopes that somebody would be able to help me out.  Thankfully, Marty caught up again a little while later.  He had his own doubts at that point - he checked my race number, and asked if I'd like to swap the head torch to my pack at the first aid station in case he had to bail.  I told him quite firmly 'no, you're finishing this', so he shut up and carried on.  Bless him.

I'd decided somewhere along the way that I wasn't going to stop if I didn't need to.  This meant running through the aid stations - they're supposed to be a back-up anyway, you should have enough water and food to be self-sufficient - but it also meant not stopping to take any photos of the amazing scenery.  And believe me, it was amazing!  I think Martin stopped at each aid station to grab something to eat or drink or have a bit of natter, but I just kept moving, knowing he'd catch up again soon.  I decided to eat something every hour give or take a few minutes, which worked out pretty well.  I had plenty of supplies - date and cashew balls, a power cookie, a peanut butter sandwich, and four gels.  The date and cashew balls weren't quite right for the day though.  I had one after the first hour of running, and it was way too sweet.  After the second hour I had my PB sandwich.  Let me tell you, that was hard work!  I felt a little nauseated but made myself eat it.  My mouth was dry, and y'all know how good peanut butter is at sticking to the roof of your mouth.  I got through it though, and was acutely aware of it sitting in my stomach for the next hour.  From there I alternated gels and power cookie halves.  By the end, all I had left was a gel and the three remaining date and cashew balls.  I'd gone through almost the entire two litres of water in my pack too, there was about 100ml left I think.

Before we'd finished the first half of the run, I was questioning my ability to make it to the end.  I tripped at one point, landing on all fours, and had to talk myself out of a mini pity-party before my eyes started to well up.  Knowing we had to pass through event base, I had the feeling that I wouldn't want to keep going.  The first half was quite a challenge.  Everything already hurt - knees, lower back, hip flexors...  But on our steep descent on the way back towards Dickey Flat campsite, we passed some trampers who had done the marathon in previous years.  One of them made the comment that the second half was a lot more cruisy.  That sounded very welcoming!  By the time we reached the camp ground I was feeling a lot better, and powered through to the second half.

I'll admit it was a little weird running through the base, along the car park area and past tents and campers.  There were cones and arrows, but I still got a bit confused about exactly where I was supposed to be going.  Once we were past that section and back onto the track, it was much easier.  We made it to the tunnel which, incidentally, did NOT have any lighting in it.  If it wasn't for Martin's head torch, I wouldn't have made it through.  He went ahead and I kept a very tight grip on his trail pack!  You could see the end of tunnel, but it was incredibly dark inside and the footing was really uneven and rocky.  I wobbled a bit and had to put my hand out to the side, hoping like hell there wasn't a cave weta or giant spider sitting on the wall!!

We found that the ascent over the second half of the course was indeed cruisy - the elevation map had lead me to believe it would be far more challenging.  Turns out I suck at reading and understanding elevation maps...  Unfortunately though, we settled in to our familiar Waitakeres-training-run-style brisk walk and were so busy yakking that we didn't really notice how long we'd been walking for.  Maybe it was my complaining about how much everything hurt - I was actually worried that my hip flexors were going to fail and soon I wouldn't be able to lift my legs to take any more uphill forward steps.  It wasn't until a group of three passed us, and another guy caught up soon after that we decided it was time to hustle.  We spent the next while alternating between running and walking, and I found that things didn't hurt quite so much when I was running, but a slightly steeper uphill would tire me so I'd slow to a walk again.  We went through the Dubbo 96 intersection the first time without any issue and just kept trucking, enjoying the scenery and chatting away happily.  The downhill, when we finally reached it, was quite hard by that stage.  I had been looking forward to it for a while, but found that my knees weren't enjoying it at all.  Nor were my poor battered toes!  Martin got ahead of me quite a bit in this section, as he found the downhills much easier to handle.  After the second pass through the Dubbo 96 intersection, we knew we didn't have too much further to go.  Having said that, we were quite unsure exactly how far, because our watches had a difference of over 4km in distance covered.  We tried asking somebody else we saw along the way, but he wasn't much help - his watch said he'd already covered 42km!  We questioned aid station helpers to try to narrow it down a bit.  They were pretty vague, but we guessed it was about 8km.  I kept counting down each kilometre and was glad to know that even if I was unsure of the actual distance left, I would be able to run it and finish the race.

Some time later I was surprised and very happy to spot Deane sitting on the side of the track, waiting for us so he could get some pictures.  I was even happier to find out that we only had one kilometre to go then - I was expecting another four!!  From there we ran the rest of the way without stopping (except to climb over the last fence stile), and I could hear the announcer calling out my name, congratulating me on running my first marathon on my 35th birthday.  Apparently he'd been announcing this information for the last several hours, and everyone (well, everyone who was still at event base that hadn't already left) was waiting for me to cross the finish line.  Ha!  X was at the fence stile waiting to congratulate me, and ran most of the last few hundred metres alongside us, which was very sweet.  T was on the other side, jumping up and down.  I could hear mum yelling 'go Jody!'.  It was pretty awesome.  I was waving like a loon, and grinning from ear to ear.  Another surprise was seeing Robbie (my mother-in-law's partner) waiting at the finish line to give me a big hug.  He'd come up for the day, run in the short distance race, and was waiting with a bottle of bubbly.  My boys gave me a medal each - the official one for the race (which was a surprise, I thought there wasn't going to be one!) and one they'd had made for me (because I was disappointed at the thought of not getting one for my first marathon).  Happy happy happy!!!!  By my watch, I had run 46.66km in 7:33:37 (official time 7:33:54, official distance 43.5km).  I was 7th out of 9 women, and 30th out of 35 overall.  Certainly not outstanding, but hey, I did it!!  Life goal achieved!

The boys are running alongside us in the background, you can see T just in front of me, and X behind me.  As always, cheers to Photos4Sale for the awesome snaps

Celebratory bubbly in hand, wearing my two medals (thanks to Sue Davidson from the Hillary Trail Runners group for this pic, via Facebook):

Hmm, wonder what I should do next...? ;)

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Only two more sleeps...

Counting down the hours until Waihi!

I've tried to keep things pretty low-key this week.  Turns out I'm not very good at 'relaxing'.  I end up doing the whole boredom-eating thing and get all morose.  Blah.  It would probably be a little easier to manage if it wasn't school holidays - I could go for a walk into town or study to keep my mind off things... Ah, who am I kidding?  I'd still be eating all the things ;)  Tapering isn't so bad, but I'm really looking forward to Saturday.  I also plan on drinking a few wines afterwards.  Birthday celebration, y'know.

On Monday Deane took the day off work and we headed out to Okura Bay to take the kids for a walk.  It wasn't the best weather, but we were lucky to avoid the rain and the wind wasn't too ferocious.  We managed about 6km all up, and it took us about two hours.  Not bad for lazy kids who didn't want to be there ;)  Tuesday was a blob day, and yesterday I took the boys to Jump.  That was a lot of fun!  I was doing back flips and baranis like I was still 12 years old. It was like riding a bike, my body hadn't forgotten how to do it.  Sadly though, that afternoon and today it is kindly reminding me that I am most definitely NOT still 12 years old.  My lower back is a little unhappy.  Hmm, maybe trampolining wasn't the best idea a few days out from my first marathon...  I don't regret it though, we had such a good time!  You can just tell from this 'after' selfie, lol:

Also, point to note: ladies, don't forget those pelvic floor exercises.  Seriously important!  TMI?  Perhaps...

Today was housework day.  I'd have skipped it, but the parents are coming to stay.  Can't have them arriving to a cesspit now, can we?  Tomorrow, aside from cooking, I'm going to be enjoying a day-long date with the couch and the latest Diana Gabaldon novel.  And lots of pillows.  Maybe some chocolate.  Yes.

I'm completely packed for Saturday aside from the food and water, and have been keeping an eye on the weather forecast.  It's been looking like it'll rain on the weekend, but at last check things had improved somewhat.  Fingers crossed it's not pouring!!  We received the final info email the other day.  Turns out the course has been extended slightly and is now 43.5km instead of 42.2.  Wonder if you could class that as an ultra? ;P  Sadly, there is no medal for finishing this race.  I'm a little disappointed that I'll have nothing to commemorate the occasion, but whatevs.  Maybe I'll make my own...

Alright, time to sit back and relax, get a couple of early nights and prepare for the big day.  Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Holy bleep it's October already

This month is a biggie - my first marathon on my 35th birthday, two more papers filed in the 'done' pile for my degree, the kids' school holidays, not to mention we get to welcome back daylight savings and jandal weather, awwww yeah...

It was actually warm enough at 8 o'clock this morning for me to trek on down to the supermarket in my flip flops.  How's that for a start to October?  That is definitely something I love about Spring/Summer - the casual footwear.  I was in search of the new Lewis Road Creamery/Whittaker's chocolate milk that was due for release today.  The supermarket didn't have it, but the trip wasn't a waste because we needed other stuff anyway ;)  I stuffed the kids full of pancakes for breakfast, then they helped me make vanilla cupcakes with chocolate buttercream icing and sprinkles for lunch, to accompany the chocolate milk (we made a special trip to Farro to get some).  The cupcakes were deemed 'good' (really?  Is that all?), and the chocolate milk 'amazing'.

I know what you're thinking, and I give you free licence to harass me for feeding-my-kids-far-too-much-junk-food-and-rotting-their-teeth-with-all-that-sugar-and-how-on-earth-do-they-still-look-like-stick-figures-when-they-should-be-the-size-of-houses-I-have-no-idea...  Let's just say they don't take after me in that they know when to stop eating.  Sadly, I do not.  Which is why I've already eaten 2 1/2 cupcakes and a jumbo oatmeal raisin cookie, as well as a large breakfast and lunch and it's not even 3pm.  I need to stop baking.  I am a danger in the kitchen.  We've been over this before.  That, or I need volunteers to come and eat all the food I keep making.  Seriously.  Please help.

The boys are enjoying their school holidays - lounge 'sleepovers' and movie nights seem to be the thing for holidays now.  Next week we're going to go check out Jump trampoline park.  T loves trampolines so I think he'll have an amazing time.  We're only booked in for an hour, but I think that'll be sufficient for them (and me) to get all worn out :)  I'm also planning a walk in Okura and a trip down to Wynyard Quarter to check out the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year exhibit.  Next week will be a quiet one, so I can rest up for the marathon.  Which is next weekend.  OMG.  That's, like, really close.

I managed to run that 35km run last week - the last long run, more of a psychological hurdle than a physical one.  It was quite boring, run around the streets of Auckland by myself, but I did get to enjoy a few installations of Paul Walsh's street art along the way - he paints phone boxes (I thought they were power transformers originally.  Duh.)

 There are quite a few dotted around the city, along with other pieces of his work (and other artists' work of course).  It makes your walk/run just a little bit more interesting :)  I also tried a few new gel flavours - banana berry (surprisingly not gross) and coffee (with 80mg caffeine - tastes like death with about a dozen sugars added to it.  I do not recommend this flavour, particularly towards the end of a long run).  The run started out pretty good and I knew my pace was a little quick, but I was feeling quite good so just kept plodding along, stopping only to refuel, wait for traffic, check the map and make sure I was going the right direction, or answer phone calls.  Ha, that makes me sound really popular and important.  One.  I got one phone call.  Which is more than I usually get on an average day.  Yep, I'm super important.

I only walked a little bit up one hill a couple of times about midway through the run, but I will admit that the last couple of stops were getting long.  At 29km I stopped for about five minutes to down the 'gel from hell', send a text to Martin (which I believe said '29km in to a 35km run.  Dying.') and enjoy the sunshine.  I made it to the 35km mark a few hundred metres from home, and was more than glad to walk/hobble the rest of the way.  Road running is definitely harder on your body than trail running!

It only took a couple of days to come right again, but I bailed out of the 26km trail run on Sunday, opting for a 10km road run instead.  I haven't run so far this week, but have a 20km planned tomorrow morning and possibly also on Sunday.  Next week will be one short run, if any.  I'm nervous and scared, but excited at the same time.  And I'm really looking forward to the rest time afterwards!!

In the meantime, I'm distracting myself by studying - two assignments left, one for each paper.  Then there's only six more papers to go!  I would also like to get out and enjoy the nice weather a little more, although I have to remember to put on sunscreen - last week saw the beginning of the 'summer run tan' ;)  Enjoy the rest of your week!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Marathon training fail

You know that 35km run I was planning to do on Sunday?  Didn't do it.  In fact, I haven't run at all since last Tuesday.  Oops...  I'm trying to decide whether I should head out for a 35km run tomorrow (now that my assignments are done) or just skip that longest of long training runs since we are now supposed to be officially in taper mode.  Thoughts?  Suggestions?  That marathon (which is now only two and a half weeks away!!!) is looming ever closer, and I'm sitting on my butt when I should be out logging miles to train for the inevitable pain-fest that is an eight-hour slog over hilly, rough terrain.  My excuse, aside from having a house full of people all weekend, is that I had two assignments that needed to be written.  Well, they're done now.  I had more than enough time to write them, I didn't stress out about it and freak about how much I had left to write, and didn't get all neurotic like I usually do.  Far less caffeine was consumed this time around and the kids didn't have to deal with 'crazy mum', so there's something positive I guess.

And I have to say, my weekend was awesome.  I got to hang with my BFF (and a few extra people), and Totem was amazeballs.  I expected nothing less from the wonder that is Cirque du Soleil.  I don't care how much a ticket costs to those shows, they are always, always worth it.  Human beings are amazing creatures, and the sheer talent and skill that oozes from every pore of the cast (and crew!) is absolutely astounding.  Every minute of Totem was jaw-dropping in its intensity and I absolutely loved it.  I am staggered by how incredibly well organised it is - the whole process runs like a well-oiled machine.  They are seriously good at what they do.  Photography isn't allowed, and I was a bit useless at getting pics of anything at all over the weekend, but Deane snapped a shot of me and my BFF at dinner:

A little bit blurry, a little bit dark... eh, what can you do?  The weather over the weekend was poop, and we were in a badly-lit restaurant (okay okay, ambient lighting, blah blah...).  But look at my bestie, isn't she gorgeous?  Love her to bits!

I ate waaaaaaaaaaay too much junk over the weekend and suffered the consequences.  Sugar hangover is totally a thing, right?  It serves, once again, as a reminder of why I changed to a much healthier diet.  I have no idea how I survived my 20s...

This week has been much better food-wise (still eating too much, but at least it's all healthy ;P), and I have at least one good long run planned for the weekend.  I'll see how the rest of the week pans out, as to whether or not I manage to kick my own butt into running that 35km, or if I end up just doing all the much-neglected housework.  Whhhyyyyyyyy does there always have to be housework to do? *whinge, moan*  School holidays start at the end of this week, so I guess if I'm looking to head out for that 35km run I'd better do it quick, before its too late.  Yes?  Ugh, I don't know...

In any case, I hope you're having a good week.  The weather over the last couple of days has been much more enjoyable here (there's actually sun, and not much rain, hurrah!).  I should probably get out and enjoy it.  So should you ;)

Friday, 19 September 2014

Random thoughts on a Friday

  • Every time I walk past Victoria Park these days, I feel sorry for the kids.  Their playground has been taken over by adults doing boot camp training!
  • If a store that you only visit occasionally is late opening on the few times you've been there, do you have the right to complain?
  • Spring in Auckland is a little too wet for my liking.
  • I am very glad I have a treadmill (related to previous random thought).
  • There are only 14 weekends left until Christmas.  There will be no knitted gifts for family this year.  I'm a little sad about this.
  • Air New Zealand put up $79 grab-a-seat flights from Auckland to Queenstown for November earlier this week.  Bastards.
  • I made eggplant potato moussaka with pine nut cream for my dinner last night.  I'm pretty sure I could eat it every night for a week and not get sick of it.  It was insanely good.
  • Everything chocolate that I've eaten this week has made me feel a little bit ill.  (Lindt 70% dark chocolate, my favourite chunky chocolate buckwheat granola, gluten free brownies I made for the kids...)  I think I'm going to take a break from all things chocolate for a while.
  • I'm making sauerkraut.  It was way easier than I expected it would be.  Hope it works.
  • I've started a 'kreachr covets' page of all the things I see and want to get, kind of like a shopping checklist that will take a really long time to purchase.  Particularly when it includes a $1,300 kitchen appliance...
  • I am nearly two thirds through my degree.  Wow.
  • I did not get sick once this Winter, despite every one of my family members coming down with colds and spreading their germs all over the place.  I feel just a little bit smug about that.
  • My BFF will be arriving in about four hours.  I can't wait to ambush her with a giant hug as soon as she walks in the door!  I haven't seen her for aaaaaaaaaaaages!!!
  • Only three weeks until my birthday marathon.  Time to route the 35km run for this Sunday.  Next week it's tapering time!
  • Oddly, I'm actually looking forward to voting tomorrow.  Make sure you get out there and have your say!
Now my brain is empty, it's time to work on the assignment I have due next week.  Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Just stuff

Y'all, treadmill runs are boring.  But y'know what?  I'd rather have them than not.  Three of last week's five runs were on the treadmill - 6km, 15km and 11km.  I watched a movie, listened to pod casts, and mucked around with the elevation for a bit of a hill running workout.  The scenery wasn't much chop though...  Not to worry, Martin and I did our back-to-back long runs on Saturday and Sunday, which more than made up for it.  Saturday was Okura to Stillwater and back times two, and let me tell ya, it was nice to have a much lower mud level to deal with!  It was a bit drizzly, but we were pretty lucky in terms of weather - it poured after we got back.  I got lots of pretty pictures of the trail and surrounds to share:

23km all up (although Martin clocked 21km, we're not sure why our distances are always so different).  We were dying for a hot coffee by the time we got back to my place.  We'd left at 7am and I hadn't had a cup of tea so my caffeine reserves were running low ;)

On Sunday it was another 7am pick up, this time heading over to Devonport for a road run around the 'burbs and a couple of hikes up North Head and Mount Victoria.  Again, got some lovely scenery shots.  And y'all know how much I love sharing, so here ya go:

View of Rangitoto from our start point

It was cold, hot, cold, very very windy, wet, warm, wet, windy and cold.  I kid you not.  The weather was cray-cray.  But we stuck it out despite both of us taking turns at whining pretty much the entire time, and managed to run the planned 25km, which we were actually happy about.  Not that you could tell because of the complaining...

All up, it was a 79km week - the most I've ever run in a week, I think.  I was a little tired at the end of it, and thoroughly enjoyed my rest day on Monday!  I accidentally ended up extending that rest day into two, by running out of time to run on Tuesday.  Oh well...  This morning was a 4.30am start in order to fit in a 20km treadmill run before the kids woke up and dude.  I had the best breakfast afterwards.

Southwest tofu scramble and breakfast potatoes.  22g of protein!  Omnomnom!!  And that doesn't include the protein in my second breakfast (PB&J on toast.  What?  I was super hungry!)  I added extra greens to the scramble and used baby silverbeet instead of spinach.  It was really good.  I have now managed to make two tofu scrambles I really enjoyed, yay!  And those potatoes?  Will definitely be making those again, yum!  Not to mention quick and easy.

This weekend is the last XTERRA race, in the Hunua Ranges.  Sadly, I won't be able to make it since my BFF will be in town with her mum - we're going to Cirque du Soleil.  Can't wait!!  But that means I would be completely abandoning them on Sunday morning if I went to the race, so I'm going to skip it and just do a long run (35km planned) later once they've left.  Which also means tapering won't begin until next week, as per the training schedule.  Being able to knock out one more mid-30km run will make me feel a lot better about attempting to do 42.2km next month.  I hope.  Holy shit, only three and a half weeks to go...

I'm going to have to get some new trail shoes before then I think.  My Inov-8's have a little hole in the lining of the heel in one shoe, and the last thing I want is to get a blister.  It's really annoying because otherwise they're still perfect - the tread has hardly worn at all.  They've still got at least 1,000km in them (they've done just under 500km so far).  Hopefully I can get the lining fixed...  In the meantime I'd be a complete girl's blouse and wouldn't be able to run the marathon if I got a blister on the back of my heel midway through, so in order to eliminate all possible excuses I think I should just get some new shoes.  Any suggestions?

Ooh, one more thing - I got my hair cut this morning and thought I better take a picture for posterity.  I'm hopeless at styling it so it won't ever look this good again.  It's starting to get longer finally, but it'll be a while before its back to the length I had it at before.  I'm thinking I need it really long again so I can go completely hippy and braid flowers into it while wearing loose tops and no bra, long flowing skirts, bare feet and lots of beads ;)

I've resigned myself to the fact that I will never be able to make a selfie look effortless.  Sigh.

Look, grey hairs!!  I love them :)  I need more, they look cool.  Hope you're having an awesome week, and your weather is better than ours.  Classic Auckland Spring is being its usual self and can't make up its mind.  Fun times.  I'm over the rain, bring on the Summer!