Getting my Run on, all over New Zealand

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If you thought I meant that I ran from place to place within NZ, sorry if you’re disappointed, but you’ve got to be kidding! I’ve been getting my run on, but I am the first to admit I am definitely an amateur!
Since moving to New Zealand, it is safe to say that I have become far more regularly active. This was inspired not only by own my personal goals for myself, but from being surrounded by active and fit friends. Running seems to be a love it or hate it kind of thing, and fair enough whichever category you happen to be in.I personally love how New Zealand has local groups that are responsible for organising these fabulous events that inspire and encourage everyone to get out and get active. I’m not exactly competitive  about the whole racing thing, but this is such a unique way to get out see different parts of the country, to experience kiwi culture and get amongst making healthier choices! I’ve run 5 different ones so far, and each and every one has been a great experience to see a different part of an area, even the ones I thought I was familiar with I always saw something new.

The Christchurch SBS 10k  (June 2009)

Getting my run on - Christchurch SBS 10k
Julia, Emma and I at the start line
In early 2009, having made new friends at teachers College, I spent lots of time with Emma and we eventually developed a routine of going to the gym and out for runs together. I was by no means fit and when she mentioned doing a 10k run – I had NEVER done such a distance! – I was scared! So I opted to register for the 10k Walk category. I could walk for days, but run- not so much.On the day of the event, it snowed quite literally at the start line. Queen’s birthday weekend 2009 was my first taste of road racing. I started off getting my walk on, before I was getting my run on. You know, that whole ” you’ve gotta crawl before you can walk” deal.

The Moro Half Marathon – Dunedin (September 2009)

The end in sight as I finished my first ever half marathon!
After a bit more time spent preparing getting my run on, the day in September that I was meant to run 21.5km around the Otago Harbour finally arrived.I remember “getting loaded” the night before – on carbs that is!  There were a bunch of us out of class of 23 that were going to be completing the run. I was still not yet a confident runner, but armed with Lepper or whatever that energy gel stuff that Emma gave me was (stashed in my bra) I was determined to give it my best and finish – even if that meant crawling. Luckily, it did not mean crawling.

That race was by far the first time I had run 5km without stopping. And by the end, my pace was so slow, that the hard-core fast-walk ladies were pacing me by not running. But that was ok. Even when faced with a lovely giant hill at the 4km left mark, I got through it and completed :) I was even pleased that I had had done it in less than 3 hours (2:58) which meant that next time I did one, I could easily improve.

Sport Northland: Paihia 8k Fun Run (May 2010)

A-Bomb and I post
Paihia run May 2010
I had trouble regaining my fitness after being knocked down with atypical pneumonia in October/November 2009. Once I moved up to the Far North in 2010, I was determined to get it back to getting my run on, and regaining my fitness. We lived in a rather hilly area of Mangonui, but once you got over the fact that you had to run on the State Highway (with a foot path) there were some pretty good runs you could do. I was gung-ho to get it done and signed my flatmate and I up to do an 8k in Paihia, a mere 45 minutes away one weekend in May. Little did I know, the night before our favourite local band was playing in town as fundraiser.People just don’t understand when you tell them you’re not drinking because you’re going to do a big run in the morning. Looks of “why would you want to do that?” often follow. This wasn’t my best run, I don’t even remember my time – but it was a gorgeous day and the loop around the Waitangi Treaty grounds in Paihia was absolutely gorgeous.

SportNorthland Whangarei 9.4k (September 2011)
Still determined to get back into it, and be a better runner, I signed myself up for another run. Thom’s grandparents live in Whangarei so we went down and spent the night with them, and some of friends from Teachers College that now lived in Auckland also came up and to do the run together as well, “for old times sake”.The morning of the run, it absolutely poured with rain. I sat in the car at the start line until the very last minute. Everything was drenched within minutes and I was trudging along with heavy soaking shoes. Then the sun came out, and I was still wet but now hot, so had to take off my layers and carry them too. With only 2k left to go, it then started raining, again. Ugh. That race took me 1:20 I believe and was I ever glad it was over.

SportNorthland Kaitaia 13k (October 2011)





Photo of my photo
in the Northland Age
Sucker for punishment, I signed myself up for another. I just went into the walk category, as I usually enter the run, and then run until I can’t anymore and then continue to walk. But this time, it was worse not being able to run at all.
Weather was iffy (although not as bad as Whangarei!) and by the time I got to the 5k mark, I had the sorest hip going on. I’d already been limping for who knows how long. So I took the courtesy bus back.
The funny part was that my picture was in the paper, with the caption “Thumbs up to indicate she’s good to go for the 13k” and I wasn’t.
I did stick around for the prize giving at the end, in the rain, and lo and behold, I actually WON a $250 voucher for a new pair of Asics running shoes! Not a bad deal!
Whangarei Beach2basin 9.4k (March 2012)
Soph, myself and Mel at the Beach2basin
Finish Line, 4 March 2011

With 2012 came the My 100 Days Challenge which I have admittedly fallen off the wagon on, BUT still determined to keep running. I roped 2 of my friends into making a night of it, and heading back down to Whangarei to spend the night with Thom’s Nana and Poppa before we ran at 8am.

There had be a WeatherBomb warning prior to, but on the day the weather was perfect and I couldn’t have asked for a better route to run. It started at the Onerahi Yacht Club, went along the Harbour through Waimahanga Track then round to the Town Basin. Still fighting a cold, my lungs were not impressed with this effort and rebelled by feeling like they were on fire the entire time.

Since being stood on by horse a couple months ago, I have had problems with my calves in that they will seize up while running… BUT that did not happen this time, I just couldn’t breathe.

Still, I beat my own time on the 9.4k, completing in 1:13:31.

Next up – to tackle the Paihia run again on 27 May 2012!

What are your thoughts? Have you ever done a race like these? Would you?

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