Thursday, 21 August 2014

Arataki to Huia and back... sort of... and some other things

Last week turned out to be a little craycray - I finished my assignments in time and submitted them Tuesday afternoon (phew!).  Dying to know what marks I get for them...  Wednesday through Friday was full of home-schooling a nine-year-old.  We did science experiments, maths, baking, reading, origami, word puzzles, some online school work, and went for walks.  Fun, educational, interesting, and very time-consuming!  I got the bare minimum of housework done, and absolutely no study or running.  Saturday I was mentally pretty wiped, so I just kinda pottered around doing bits and pieces - cooking, knitting, reading etc. So to fix that (well, the running at least), I hauled Martin out on Sunday for a long run.  He drove though, so I can't be held entirely accountable ;)  We were planning an out-and-back to Huia from the Arataki Visitor Centre, but ended up doing more of a loop, taking in Tom Thumb and Twin Peaks Tracks.  I lost GPS satellite connection partway around so I don't have an exact route.  Plus, my memory sucks and I can't remember if we ran Summit Track or Christies Track, or which combination of the other tracks around the area.  I know there was a tunnel somewhere...  The Twin Peaks track is hard work, and not as well-used as much of the Waitakere tracks, but oh, the views were amazing!  Sadly, my phone was doing its usual 'play dead' trick so I missed getting a picture of the most beautifully stunning scenery (I'm still annoyed about it and vow to one day go back just to get that photo!!), but we did get some lovely pictures along the way all the same, including a snap of the sign marking the highest point of the Waitakere Ranges - Te Toiokawharu:

This is what it looked like on the way up:

The picture doesn't really show it, but this whole area was covered in bright green moss.  It was beautiful.  Stupid useless phone camera...

Twin Peaks is bloody steep, and very overgrown!  Fallen trees were everywhere to climb over, and I was amazed at the amount of mud we had to trudge through (not in these pics though, obviously).  It made for very slow going, but the views were worth it, and there is nothing quite like being in the middle of the boonies with greenery all around you and the sound of native birds.  We saw and heard tui, kereru, fantails, and even spotted this beautiful pheasant:

The only other scenic shots I got were these, on the Pipeline Track (or Hamilton Track, I'm not sure), and one looking out towards Huia Dam (or Nihotupu Dam, again, not sure.  I should start taking notes...)

There was about three or four hours where we didn't see another single person.  I guess 'off the beaten track' (ie: not on the official Hillary trail) isn't all that popular.  I'm not complaining, it was actually kinda nice...  The day was a lot longer than we expected, but it was a goodie - we ended up doing 34km (or 31km, depending on whose watch you looked at) and 1,564m total elevation.  And the Danish Delight ice cream stall in the car park was still open when we got back - bonus!  It took us about six hours all up.  Essentially, this was three quarters of what Waihi will be in distance, elevation and time.  So a pretty damn good training run and indicator of the potential outcome for Waihi.  The good news is, we should finish before the 8 1/2 hour cut off.  The bad news is, its very unlikely we'll win it ;)  Hahahahaha!

This week so far I've managed to fit in a bit of everything - study, running (on the treadmill because the weather's been poop), parent/teacher interviews, etc etc.  Although I am seriously considering whether its worth paying $40-$60 a week to have somebody else come and do my housework so I can fit in more study and running... at least until my marathon's done and dusted...

Treadmill running has been made a little more interesting by digging up different workouts online.  Sure, the treadmill has built in programs, but they're unpredictable in terms of speed and incline with no indication when its suddenly going to kick up to 14kph - I can't run that fast!  So having a workout written on a wee piece of paper and taped to the bottom of the screen has worked for me so far, I just adjust the speed/incline at the right times.  Hill workout, speed workout, whatever, you can find a pre-written plan to suit.  Ah, the interwebs.  So very handy...

Today I'll admit to not getting any study done, but I got to meet one of my favourite authors - Rachael Herron!!  Looklooklook:

Author selfie!!!

She is just so lovely, and her wife Lala is awesome :)  I love them, and am so glad I got to meet them both!  Rachael is on tour to promote her latest book, Fiona's Flame (which I haven't read yet.  So many other things to do, not enough time for reading. Ugh).  Happy happy happy :)  And, true to form, I gave her a knitted gift.  This time though, I managed not to make a complete dick of myself in the process.  Small victories, you take 'em when you can ;)

I'm looking forward to this weekend - we have our family movie planned (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - X and I just finished the book last night), and another long run on Sunday, somewhere around the 30km mark. Yeehah!  Have a fabulous weekend! :)

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe how quickly your marathon/my half marathon is coming up - the year is whizzing by!
    Glad you are getting heaps of trail running in as a buildup, and remember after a taper you will feel a lot more spritely!
    Hope to see you at Riverhead next weekend!