Thankfully, Riverhead Forest isn't too far away so we didn't have to get up ridiculously early for this one. A 6am wake-up seems quite reasonable these days! I scoffed some breakfast and took my time getting ready, and am forever grateful that the pre-race nerves have all but disappeared and I don't have to contend with multiple bathroom trips before heading out the door. We arrived quite early as usual, but this time we had to park a little way away from the event base. The morning was a little drizzly, but nothing like the rain we'd had the night before, so hooray for small mercies. It was a little chilly but still in double digits temperature-wise, so shorts, a singlet and merino sleeves were sufficient for the run. Martin and I chatted to a few people before the start - you get to know quite a lot of them after a while. Regulars, I guess you could say ;) Malcolm Law complimented me on my High Five-0 head cover, lol ^_^
At 9am we were off up the gravel forestry road before heading onto the single track into the forest and our first taste of mud. The course took in alternating chunks of road and trails, and each change was welcomed as you'd get a little bit sick of the mud so would be happy for some gravel, then would get bored with the gravel and be happy to slog through the mud for a while. It was very slick and slippery, but squelchy and sticky at the same time. Being 4WD tracks, there were deep gouges in the mud quite regularly, along with the odd puddle or two. Some of the puddles were quite deceptive in their depth and several people got caught out, ending up waist-deep. I managed to get one that was about mid-thigh, so not too bad. I was also lucky enough to avoid a face- or butt-plant in the mud, and my hands remained relatively clean - I was quite determined not to trip and have to break my fall with my hands! I joked about the girliness of it with a few guys during the run - ewww mud! Hahaha!!
Wow, look at those pristine-clean legs!
Not any more!
About three quarters of the way through the run I stripped off the sleeves. It was still fairly cold, but I run better when I'm not too warm. Sleeves are awesome for that very reason. You should totally get some.
The super long course was (by my watch) 22.4km, and I completed it in an official time of 2:35:23, placing 76/100 overall, 18/31 female, and 13/20 in my age group. I was expecting about that time, so was pretty happy with it. It was quite a good run, I was just really looking forward to seeing the toadstools. Blah.
Very soon after I'd finished, I met Kath. Hi Kath! I'm sorry I wasn't particularly chatty right that moment, but I'm glad you found my advice helpful. Good luck with your afghan!! I hope it goes really well (I'm sure it will). Just a quick piece of extra advice - keep track of your knitting row by row, so you don't get lost in the pattern. That's what I did, and I only ended up having to tink back a half row once. Considering the size of the afghan and my ability to screw up the simplest of patterns, I think that's pretty good. I just have one question - you live in Auckland, you're a knitter, and you run trails. How are we not BFFs already?!? Seriously, we should hang :) And just quietly, I'm a little envious of your ability to totally rock those short shorts ;)
After we'd finished, we headed to Hallertau for lunch. I just threw my jeans on over my shorts and the caked-on mud, then had to deal with the chunks of dried mud digging into my legs and getting all itchy and annoying through the next two hours. I was really looking forward to the shower when I got home!! I'd heard good things about Hallertau, and it's always so busy, so I was a little nonplussed to discover that apart from side dishes, they had only one vegetarian meal on the menu, and it was so rich and full of cheese and cream that I could barely get through it! I didn't feel too well afterwards. I couldn't even just get a salad, because both their salads had meat in them. Stink. Everybody else's meals were good though, so I can see why people flock to the place. Just not many vegetarians/vegans ;)
Speaking of food, check out the breakfast X and I had on Saturday:
Mini chocolate pancake stack for me
Mini pancake super-stack for X
He ate all but half a mini-pancake - pretty good effort! So y'all know I like cooking by now, and every now and then I whinge about having a small kitchen. Deane kindly built me a spice shelf over the weekend:
Pretty cool, huh? Sadly, the cupboards are still crammed full, but this at least stops things falling out onto my head on a regular basis ;) Thanks Deane!
And now I will leave you with some pics from our training run from the previous weekend - we ran from my place to the Waitakere Dam, then ran Fence Line Track, Waitakere Dam and Waitakere Tramline Walk. All up, about 34km. Hard work! But the scenery was, as always, beautiful.
View of Auckland from Henderson Valley Road