Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Little things

This post is just a random conglomeration of little things that are on my mind at the moment.  Bear with me:

  • I finished T's Slytherin scarf yesterday.  It was going to be for his birthday at the end of next month, but he was so happy it was finished and wanted to wear it straight away (and for school today) that I couldn't really say no.  I mean, could you say no to this?  So cute!!

The original size was going to be way too big for my little guy, so I altered the pattern slightly by casting on 70 stitches and knitting a 20-2-4-2 row pattern (instead of 90 stitches with a 27-3-5-3 pattern).  You can see the size difference this created with X's original size Gryffindor scarf for comparison:

I used just over five balls of Countrywide Yarns Windsor 8ply for the green (shade 34), and about 2/3 to 3/4 of a ball of Naturally Loyal 8ply for the grey/silver (shade 940).

  • I swapped from my iPhone to a Samsung smart phone on Deane's insistence that it would have a better battery life, and because he thinks I am enslaved by the iMentality (I don't think so, I just like the operating system on my phone because it's easy to use.  And anyway, he was the one that bought me an iPhone in the first place, so really, it's his fault).  And I have to say, the camera is totally harshing my Instagram buzz.  All the photos are blurry and the lighting is terrible...  I am aware that my photography skills are crap anyway, and seriously, what can you expect with a smartphone camera, but still...  Not to mention, the battery life in the Samsung is actually no better than my iPhone - they both only last half a day before needing a recharge.  So I'm going to swap back.  The apps on the Samsung are buggy anyway.
  • I have very mildly strained the peroneal tendons in my left leg/foot (as far as I can tell by self-diagnosis using the internet, because we all know how reliable and accurate that is).  This was most likely caused by running on the side of the road with quite a sharp camber for an extended period of time on Sunday.  Not to mention the whole running 25km in old shoes after two weeks of rest following a marathon blah blah blah.  So this week, again, I am resting.  I had planned on doing a bunch of other exercise but have re-evaluated this based on how my foot and ankle has been feeling over the last couple of days, ie: not good.  I concede, I have an injury.  Boo.
  • Our Foodbox delivery this week is a day later than usual due to Labour Weekend.  We have completely run out of fruit and vegetables except for half a bag of frozen baby peas, a handful of frozen berries and a tin of peaches.  I am not okay with this situation!  Yes, I could've gone to the supermarket and bought a few things to tide us over but I'm trying to spend as little as possible at the moment.  I have considered cancelling my weekly Foodbox order and going back to buying my own produce, but that would likely end up being much more expensive.  I have to avert my eyes when walking (speedily) through the produce section of the supermarket because I want to buy ALL THE THINGS.  Blueberries are $14 a punnet?  Who cares?  FRESH BLUEBERRIES!  Dragon fruit $5 a pop?  YAAAAAY DRAGON FRUIT!  Mangoes!  Raspberries!  Kale!  Sugar snap peas!  Papaya!  Cherry tomatoes!  Watermelon!  Alllllllll the things!!!!  You see my problem?  My kids aren't big on veges.  Deane eats some but prefers dead animals for nourishment.  I can only eat so much, so despite wanting to buy and eat everything, I physically cannot do it, and produce invariably ends up going to waste, which is sad.  And expensive.  Or I need to be better at freezing stuff.  In any case, I cannot wait for today's fresh produce delivery!
  • I recently spent half a day restocking my freezer with single serves of pre-cooked brown rice, chickpeas, beans and brown lentils.  It takes a little organisation (and a lot of mini containers), but the convenience of being able to grab something out and quickly defrost it under some running water (or taking it out ahead of time and leaving it to defrost if you planned ahead) is totally worth it:

  • Extra time on my hands, and a recently completed scarf, brought out the return of the fugly blanket.  It's getting bigger, but I'm pretty much out of colours now, unless I want the rest of the blanket to be green, grey, white and red.  And this photo is fantastic evidence of just how shitty the Samsung phone camera is.  This is the best picture I could get:

  • T was sick all Labour weekend.  He passed his germs on to X who spent yesterday at home, and is home again today.  T decided to make him comfy on the couch before heading off to school this morning:

Ridiculous, but very cute and sweet.  Ah, brotherly love...
  • I'm volunteering at the Auckland Marathon this week - both Thursday and Friday at registration, and on Sunday (race day).  I'm really excited about it!  Hopefully I won't screw anything up :)  I've always admired and appreciated the effort volunteers put in to behind-the-scenes work for running (and other sporting) events, so it will be nice to be on the other side for a change.  The weather over the last few days has been rather wet and miserable (although I thoroughly enjoyed this morning's thunder storm), but it looks like it'll clear up nicely in time for Sunday.  Fingers crossed!  And if you're running in the event, good luck!  I might see you there :)

Monday, 27 October 2014

How NOT to return to running after a marathon

  1. DO NOT attempt to run 30km after a two week break following your first ever marathon
  2. DO NOT wear shoes that have done over 850km and are likely to have worn out midsoles
I managed to hold out a full two weeks with no running.  It was tough, but I did it.  Of course, upon resuming the sport (yes, it is a sport), one presumes one is supposed to ease back into running in terms of distance and speed.  Well, not this idiot.  Such was my enthusiasm for getting back into it, I decided to run a cruisy 30km (!!!) on Sunday with Rob, who is training for the Queenstown Marathon in November.  We met out in Maraetai at Te Puru Park, and headed off on our run at a leisurely 6'30"ish pace through Beachlands and Omana Regional Park.  We met up with Deb at the beachfront after about 12.5km and continued on along the Maraetai Coast Road to Duder Regional Park before turning around and heading back.  By the time we reached Duder, my knees were getting quite sore.  On the way back along the Coast Road, it was fairly evident I wasn't going to make the full 30km - the pain in my left knee was radiating up my thigh and down my shin.  I had to take several walk breaks along the way.  Rob took pity on me and decided to call it quits at Deb's car, 25.8km in, rather than continuing on back to Te Puru.  Brunch was in order at one of the local cafes so it wasn't a complete let down, but I was disappointed to discover that my old nemesis - Runner's Knee - has never truly left me.

Ah, yes... Runner's Knee.  It deserves capitalisation.  Thinking that I had fully recovered from the marathon (how could I not be?  I felt really good, and I hadn't run in two weeks just to be extra careful!) I did not expect to be dealing with this.  Sure, a 5km or 10km run would probably have been a better option, but damn.  Are you kidding me?!?

Today, my knees are a little stiff and sore in various places, and I've noticed a dull pain that extends from the arch of my left foot, up the back left side of my ankle, all the way up to my thigh.  Must. Do. Stretches.

Looks like the next week will be full of yoga, cross training, walking, cycling and maybe some swimming.  I'll see how I feel by the weekend and decide whether or not to go for another run.  Here's a tip for you: do not neglect your strengthening exercises!  Lunges, squats, core work, etc etc etc.  This is a timely reminder that I really need to get back into it.

It was a good run - the scenery was beautiful despite the overcast day (which was actually perfect for running - not too hot, not too cold, and zero chance of sunburn), it was just unfortunate that my body wasn't quite prepared for it.  And I forgot to take my phone with me, so I don't have any pictures :(  I'll have to go back again some time to remedy that, and hopefully complete the run sans painful knee issues.  I am not prepared to call it an injury.  Not yet.  I'm not ready to give up my injury-free year quite that easily!

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!