Lennel Road

Took a run round from Ngaio to Wadestown then back via Crofton Rd. Toughest bit was heading up Lennel Rd to the Wadestown shops. Hills are definitely getting easier.

Saw some sights I’ve not known about, including a street called Goldies Brae, and a house known as ‘the banana house‘ – apparently one of the best examples of environmentally-friendly concrete architecture from late 19th-century New Zealand. Who’d’ve thought!

Today’s run: 10km, 57 mins

Suburbs to city to sea

Foul weather so had to abandon plans to run over Kaukau and around Ohariu Valley – will keep that run for next weekend, fingers crossed. Could barely see the tops of the hills for low cloud and rain but it was the gusty wind that really put me off heading up to the summit.

Settled instead for suburb-to-city-to-sea run, 16.5km round-trip through Kelburn, the university, down to the waterfront, back to Kaiwharawhara and home via Old Porirua Rd. Hadn’t quite counted on how hard Old Porirua would be after more than an hour’s running but took it slow and got to the top just fine. Will aim for an abbreviated Kaukau run tomorrow.

Today’s run: 16.5km, 98 mins

Slow hills

I’ve started to diverge a bit from the training schedule: Thursday’s 45 minutes turned into 50, yesterday’s 70 into nearly 80, and today’s 35 into a 75 minute hill run up to Kaukau and then onto the Skyline Track. Good running, taking it slow and carefully on the hill tracks. The ascent had to be the biggest challenge – roughly 18 minutes uphill slog, but managed it with only a brief bit of walking when it got really rough and steep. Stiff southerly on the summit too.

Today’s run is the first I’ve mapped using Map My Run, which you can view here. (I did embed it in the post but it reloaded every time I viewed the page and just started to piss me off.)

Oddly enough I feel like a turncoat for not using Google Maps, which has been my mainstay lately. Google Maps aren’t as useful, though, for off-road routes and the little elevation widget on Map My Run is kinda handy. On that note, the ascent to the top of Kaukau is roughly 280m over about 1.5km.

Today’s run: 10.5km, 75 mins

Northland shops

Took a long slow run round the back way and up to the Northand shops, over the top of the ridge and down through Thorndon. Back along the key and up Old Porirua Rd.

A friend in the UK was in touch to stress that I need hill running and a weekly long long run so today’s run covered at least the hilly angle and is a good starter for building up to 1.5 to 2 hour runs. He also sent through a link to the McMillan running calculator, that lets you input a sample time and it’ll work out optimal times for all distances as well as different training paces.

Based on the 50 minute 10km I ran earlier this week, the calculator thinks I should be able to run a half-marathon in 1:51:16. Something to aim for at least; certainly want to be under 2 hours and the closer to 1:45 the better. Here’s the full race times and training pace summary:

Today’s run: 13.5km, 78 mins

Karori cemetery and up, up, up…

Took a long run today, much longer than expected to be honest, from Ngaio down to Otari-Wliton Bush, through to Karori cemetery, then up the Skyline Cemetery Link track. Had been running for 45 minutes by then so took a breather before heading up the Skyline track for another 15 minutes. Alternated walking and jogging for the rest of the trip to Bell’s track and down to home. All told I was out of the house for about 90 minutes, and only 10 or 15 minutes of that was walking, though some of the hill running was pretty slow and included a few wrong turns (not to mention dodging cowpats and bulls!).

Big uphill slog to get from the cemetery to the Skyline but felt good to get there, and great views out over Makara to the South Island. Got a good view of the new turbines for the wind farm on the Western Hills as well. I wouldn’t have found the track up to the skyline without the help of a site that a mountain biker I know vaguely through Twitter put me onto. If you’re looking for walking, running or riding tracks round Wellington check it out at http://tracks.org.nz/. Not sure how far I ran but for pride’s sake I’m claiming about 12kms (might have been more, might have been less).

Today’s run: 12km, 90 mins

Old Porirua Road

Fantastic run to the bottom of Ngaio Gorge via Crofton Rd (uphill), Old Porirua Rd (down, down, down) then back up the bridle path to the top of Culcutta St. Not very fast but the stretch to Calcutta (pictured) was about 13 minutes of solid uphill.

View Larger Map

Good running down Old Porirua Rd taking it easy. Wonderful views and not a car the entire stretch. Sort of place I could imagine living but know the isolation would get to me in the end – you can walk or drive but don’t bother waiting for a bus. That and the possibility your house might fall down the cliff. Houses perched above slips, letter boxes propped up by the side of the road and rough paths disappearing into the bush.

Today’s run: 7km, 43 mins