Picking up

I took a few weeks off after the last half-marathon but have been picking things up again over the last few weeks.

I’m currently trying to work my way up to 70 or 80 kilometres a week and have gone from 50 to 57 to 68km in the week just ended. Ran my first 25km run at the weekend as well. Will try to cover about 40km over 4 or 5 weekdays and then build up to running the balance at the weekend – a main run on Saturday and a possible recovery run on Sunday. Will cut back this week to about 60km with a 20–22km long run at the weekend before building up again for a couple of weeks.

Worked out a good 12km run late last week up to the top of Mt Victoria via Carlton Gore Rd, up to Alexander Rd, then a loop around the lookout and back down the same way. Can cover it in about an hour or so. I’ve finally managed to impress one of the hardcore lunchtime runners who I’ve been running past for months and never managed to get so much as an eyebrow raise. Finally at the top of Mt Vic he’s giving me some respect!

Image above is taken the top of Mount Victoria a few years ago, ‘Cityscape at Twilight’ by flickr@Glutnix, http://www.flickr.com/photos/glutnix/5158360.

Marton half

Ran my second half-marathon at the weekend in Marton. It was a small field, but a good local run around the gentle hills of Rangitikei. The results are available here (though I timed myself at a minute slower than the official time, as did the runner who came in first).

My plan was to run 4:45 minute kilometres on the way out and aim for a negative split on the way back to come in under 1:40:00. I stuck fairly close to a guy from Palmerston North, chatting a bit on the way out and then managing to keep him in view on the way back in. The lack of km markers made pacing a bit tricky and the sun was pretty high in the sky so more water stops would have helped.

The heat wasn’t such a problem on the way out thanks to a northerly breeze (pretty stiff at times), but the wind meant a slightly slower first half than I’d planned. That said, it was slower by seconds rather than minutes and with the breeze behind me and a gentle incline back to town, I ran the second half around 2 minutes quicker.

Official time: 1:38:56 (my time: 1:39:53)

Wellington Botanic Garden

This is an aerial view of the Botanic Garden in Wellington. It’s about two minutes run from my office but I haven’t really explored it lately. Years ago I used to run there a bit but recent training has meant I’ve concentrated on running flat over measurable distances.

Yesterday I went round the gardens with a guy from work and was reminded what a great place it is for aimless and unstructured running. Lots of it’s hilly and on well-maintained tracks and trails, and you can criss-cross back and forth for a session of any length.

I was there again today getting slightly lost. Good stuff.

More routes coming up

Been thinking about what else to run in the lead up to the Rotorua marathon (if I do it). I’ve also been advised by a friend to do some shorter runs and concentrate on speed before starting to train for Rotorua. So here are a few local events:

Both offer 10km and half-marathon options, as well as the marathon. Thinking that Wairarapa would be a good 10km and either a 10km or a half at the Great Forest.