Showing posts from February, 2015

New Zealand Day 2: Rangitoto

Kia Ora!

I started my morning with a flat white, which is the favorite New Zealand coffee drink. It is espresso with a little bit of velvety, micofoamed milk. I'm a convert!

With my flat white in hand, Rory and I boarded the ferry to Rangitoto, an uninhabited volcanic island in the bay. Rangitoto was the last of 50 volcanos in the Auckland volcano field, but it hasn't been active in about 550 years.After a 25 minute ferry ride, we disembarked and started up the steepest, most direct route to the summit. It was very cool to hike through the lava fields. Rangitoto hasn't been active in many years, so we wondered why so many vegetation grew up in some places, but none in others.

We took a detour to the lava caves on our way up. They were very cool, but a little scary because it was pitch dark inside. We were trying to navigate using just Rory's phone as light, and there was both rough footing and a low ceiling!

The view from the summit was amazing. We could see the city a…

Auckland Day 1

Kia Ora (Hi!)
We have already fallen in love with New Zealand. After an early morning to get our flight from Boston to San Francisco and then an afternoon spent walking around San Fran, we were tired by the time we got on the plane. We had purchased the sky couch option: it ended up working out great for me (I could lay down completely) but not so great for Rory (who was way too tall). So I curled up in 2/3 of the space lying down and he sat up in the other 1/3 and we both managed to sleep for a lot of the flight. So we hit Auckland reasonably rested and ready for our first day. 
After very much needed showers and coffee we took a walk around the waterfront. Auckland is an isthmus, so it is surrounded on 3 sides by beautiful, teal ocean. There is a really nice path that runs for miles along the water, and we enjoyed getting some fresh air and stretching our legs. We stumbled upon an awesome little farmer's market. The produce looked so fresh and amazing! We decided to get our bre…

E Noho Ra

Marathon Training is done.
Our bags are packed (ish).

My nails are done in a fun honeymoon color.

We are ready for New Zealand!
"Wait," Sushi says. "You are going away without me? I want to come with you. Also, why is this snow so sticky?"

Dixie also seems a bit distraught.

Don't worry dogs (and friends and family)! We promise to update this blog as often as possible while we are gone. My race is March 7th at 7:30 am (which is 1:30 pm in EST in the US) so send some good thoughts my way!
E noho ra (Maori for Farewell)

New Zealand Training: The End!

Hi Friends!

I am starting to get really excited to New Zealand, well except for the prospect of driving there! I totally forgot they drive on the opposite side of the road. That combined with driving a much larger vehicle than I am used to that is also a manual is going to be a real challenge! Speaking of challenges, here's what I have been up these last 3 weeks.

Week 14 was the week we got about 3 feet of snow plus brutally cold temps, so I gave myself permission to not push the running and just try to get in a solid week of exercise over all.

Week 15 was my longest run of the training cycle. It was cold and snowy, but I felt pretty good. Hopefully just not having to wear 15 layers in the race will help me to feel lighter and run faster!

Week 16 was my first week of taper. I did one last double digit run and it was a real confidence booster. It was a sunny, warmer day and I felt great!

Here's a recap of all of my training:

Reflections on Training as Whole:

I was really consist…

Fitbit Charge HR

When my mother in law asked if I was interested in a Fitbit for Christmas, I was initially hesitant. I'd looked into fitness trackers, but it didn't seem like they offered anything that I couldn't get with my Garmin and a cheapo pedometer. But then, I saw that Fitbit was releasing the Fitbit Charge HR, with heart rate monitor, I totally changed my mind and said yes.

I've had my Charge HR for more than a month now, and overall I love it! It tracks the following:

Steps: I am very good about getting my exercise in, but I was surprised how sedentary I am the rest of the time. This has definitely encouraged me to move more in the rest of my life. The competition with my husband and friends really helps too. Do you have a Fitbit? Be my friend so we can challenge each other!

Heart Rate: I'd heard that the heart rate monitor wasn't super accurate, but I have been impressed. I've worn my heart rate strap that connects to my Garmin, and my husband checked it against th…

Heat Wave

I got to run outside today! Hooray! And the temperature was in the double digits (barely, it was 11)! Plus there was no wind! So it felt pretty darn tropical. 
Based on the fact that 11 felt "warm," to me this morning, I am starting to worry about race temperatures. 
Let's compare the forecasts for Maine and New Zealand. It looks like we finally might get above freezing here on Sunday. 

While in New Zealand it won't get below 76.

My poor, white, vitamin D deficient skin can't wait to soak up some sun, That warmth is going to feel great when I am sitting on the beach, but I think it is going to be a major bummer during the marathon. I don't ever handle heat well and I am not even a little heat acclimated. 
All I can think of is my second marathon which I ran in Virginia Beach. I trained during the New England winter and then it was 85 on race day. I crashed hard at mile 16 and I spent the last 10 miles just trying to move forward as I threw-up and tried not to…

20 Miles Done, It's Taper Time Baby

While I did say the other day that that I have become more fond of the treadmill this winter, I am not fond enough to want to do a 20 miler on it. So when I woke up and found it already snowing (and a whopping 10 degrees) this morning, I was determined to head outside anyway. Besides, the rest of the week is going to be even colder and snowier.

I won't lie, the first few miles were miserable. My fingers and toes were painfully cold and I was constantly cursing the quickly moving traffic as I had to run in the road. I was trying to decide how much of my run I was going to force myself to do outside before I called my hubby to come rescue me and take me to the gym. I decided to do at least 14 so I wouldn't have to run more than an hour on the treadmill.

But around mile 8 I realized that I needed to modify my route. The side streets were still a slippery, snowy mess so I needed to stay on the main road. I headed myself out towards the end of Black Point. This was my favorite par…

Learning to Love the Treadmill

It is no secret that I have never been a fan of the treadmill. The time just seems to go by soooooo slowly. However recently I've found myself choosing it more often and *gasp* almost enjoying it!

Of course these aren't exactly normal circumstances. We have gotten about 8 feet of snow in the past 14 days and it hasn't gotten above freezing. Running outside hasn't been a lot of run. There are so sidewalks, so I stuck sliding around the road, battling traffic. I am lucky if I keep moving forward.

So it feels pretty darn good to get on the treadmill, knowing I am safe, and get to actually run at a decent pace. I've learned a few treadmill tricks along the way. 
1. Find something good on TV. Distraction makes the time fly by.  2. Do intervals where you are frequently changing your pace and/or elevation. 3. Find the treadmill where you are most comfortable. For me this is nearest to the fan, on the end of a row, and the treadmill that has separate controls for the TV an…

Things that are always good

Yesterday I went for a long snowshoe with friends and after an active afternoon out in the cold, I was starving and majorly craving Thai. We headed to my favorite Thai place and I got my favorite pad thai. After my first bite I let out this huge satisfied sigh. It was just SO good.

It got me thinking about how you build some things up in your mind, but then when you actually have them, they aren't that good. And then there are those things that just never disappoint. Naturally that led to me making everyone else make a list of their favorite things that never disappoint.

POM's Crab Pad Thai. I mean pad thai is pretty much the best thing ever. Top it with tons of fresh Maine crab and you have made the best thing ever even better. Only twice in my life have I had the willpower not to eat the whole thing all at once.

Dairy Queen Turtle Pecan Mudslide Blizzard
I don't know what they do to those pecans, but they are the best nuts. Add in caramel, and hot fudge, and ice cream and…

New Zealand Training Update Weeks 11-13

Hi Friends! I can't believe another 3 weeks have gone by and I am now in my final block of training. Here is what I've been up the past few weeks.


I am doing better about taking care of my body! I have taken rest days, done more core work, and made it to at least one yoga class a week.

I am so impressed with myself that I managed to get in all my scheduled runs and meet my total mileage during these weeks because the weather was terrible! We had a legit blizzard and several other serious storms so running outside has been very difficult, if not impossible.

That said, I am starting to burn out on the treadmill and am already done with the indoor track. So this week, which is an off week with no long run, I am cutting myself some slack and not worrying at all about mileage. I'll get to the gym or the pool and get in a couple runs, but I am not going to stress. I have the fitness. It is very safe to run outside right now and I don't want to get hurt!

I realized …

Mid-Winter Classic 10 Miler

This was one of those mornings where I woke up thinking I was nuts. I was actually paying money in order to freeze my butt off. 
I signed up for the Mid-Winter Classic last fall, knowing that it would good to have a race as part of my marathon training. I did not imagine then that the race would be held on a bitterly cold day after several major snow storms. There was so much snow in fact that they almost cancelled the race. They were worried about safety on the roads and parking (since the giant snowbanks take up a good portion of the parking lots). In the end though, they decided that the race was on. 
I was equally glad and sad. I wasn't particularly looking forward to a slippery, hilly, freezing race, but on the other hand I knew that I needed to get the miles in and that it would be better with safety marshals, the company of other runners, and water-stops. 
My training called for a total of 16 miles for the day, so I needed to tack on an extra 6 to the race distance. I decid…