Monday, 31 January 2011

NZ ctd

Sat 29th.

So today was the day after the storm. In fact we just had a lot of v v heavy rain overnight. We awoke to alot of water everywhere. However it was a pretty nice day so we had got all the bad weather out the way whilst asleep, well in bed anyway as sleep was difficult with the v heavy rain all night.
I went for a run (7m at 7.20 pace) which was good. The firebrigade were out pumping a couple of houses out on the seafront. We were wondering what the air raid siren was that we heard the other morning and it turns out it is to summon the volunteer firebrigade. It goes off quite a bit. Apparently if it is a continuous tone that is a warning of a tsunami and you have to head for the hills.
The rest of the day v lazy.I went for a walk along Buffalo beach. The sea was a sort of dark mustard colour because of the cyclone but people were still out enjoying themselves.

Sunday 29th.

Our last day in Whitianga.
I went out for an early run and did 6m at 7.17 pace.
We wanted to see Cathedral cove but the steps had been washed out by a landslide so we couldnt access it. We headed over to Hahei which was lovely and then over to Cook's beach which was stunning and virtually empty.
The rest of the day we sorted the house out for Dave and Emma's return.
Some neighbours, Leslie and Lois had offered to put us up so we headed over there for the night.
It was a really kind thing for 2 people who didnt know us to put us up in their house.

Monday 31st

After breakfast with the ladies we went back nextdoor to catch up with Dave and Emma.
Again it was incredibly kind of them to let us have their home, especially as we barely knew them. They have had a great time out here and it was good to hear their experiences.
We had a drive down to Taupo today which took about 4-5 hrs. Lots of evidence of mudslides.
We stopped off just south of Rotarua to see some boiling mud!.
A sign of things to come.
We are now at Kauri point our home for the next 5 nights. It seems v nice. We have had a great evening having dinner with our hosts, Gail and Robert and family and some other guests.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

NZ ctd

Wed 26th

Once we got settled into the house we were ready for sleep. Unfortunately the jetlag kicked in in a big way. I dont think I slept much at all and about 4.30 we gave up and read, had brekky etc. However it was a stunning day once dawn broke about 6.30 and we went out for our runs. I can honestly say that it was worth the effort of coming to NZ just for the experience of running along the beach with the sun coming up along buffalo beach. There is a real clarity at that time of the morning. There were lots of other runners as well. This climate just lends itself to outdoor activity. I ran 7m for the record but the distance was completely unimportant.
We had a max of 27 deg so even at 8am I was somewhat warm after running.
I went into Whitianga which is a 5min walk and got some bread and had a scout around.Its a popular summer destination but very unspoilt. No kiss me quick hats or amusement arcades here.
In the afternoon we got he ferry over to ferry landing which is only 1-2min. There we did a walk to a cliff top called Shakespeare's point. It was a lovely walk along beaches and coves.
We past the smallest library have ever seen and a Tsunami civic plan which was unexpected.
Onwards we made a beach called lonely bay
There I played in the surf. Great fun.
Back home we caught up with our favourite weatherman Jim Hickey who talks to NZ as if he knows everyone personally. Its a big country but a population the size of Scotland so maybe he does. He always give Dunedin a big hello, dont know why.
After that they had the NZ equivalent of watchdog, whinge of the week. You've got to love their turn of phrase. The big story was that a takeaway was doing deep fried oysters with chips but only putting half an oyster in each serving!! After some investigation he guilty proprietor was happy enough to talk to the disaffected customer so everyone was happy. As you can tell NZ is not into big news but I love these low key what are local stories that get reported nationally.
Thurs 26th

Slept poorly again Wed night. We had plans to get up early to go to hotwater beach. You have to get there for low tide which was 7.40am on Thursday. Why is called hotwater beach? Well its because there are some spots where you can dig yourself a hole in the sand and create a wee hot bath for yourself. I presume there is some thermal activity going on under this beach. Anyway we turned up with spade and joined a happy group doing the same as us
It was a another gorgeous way to see the morning in.
In fact the sand was way too hot to stand on in places.
After that we cavorted in the surf getting beaten up by the breakers. Brilliant.
We were home by 11 with a sense of having had a full day already.
The rest of the day we relaxed as it was pretty hot. We did go for a walk along buffalo beach.
I slept better last night but Liz is still on UK time.

Fri 27th

This morning we were off early to travel to the very north of the Coromandel peninsula to do a walk called the Coromandel walkway. They do call it as they see it here.
We headed off at 6.30. The forecast was not so good today with a tropical cyclone forecast later.
We headed over to Coromandel town (50min) then up through Colville and north to leave the sealed road on our way to Fletcher bay. There was 35km of gravel road to negotiate and negotiate we did. Wouldn't have been too happy if it was our car!
We eventually arrived at Fletcher bay which is lovely and set out for Stony bay
(yes it was stony) 11k away
We got great views the 1st half of the walk and saw no one.
The 2nd half was basically bush. Overall a really nice walk and quite challenging. We had lunch at stony bay and did a quick turnaround as it was starting to rain. It did rain quite alot on the way back but viz remained OK.
Of course we had 35k on unsealed road again. By the time we got home it was belting down with rain with alot worse forecast so we will see what transpires overnight.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

New Zealand

At present am in Whitianga, N Island NZ.
Our journey over couldn't have gone any better. We flew with emirates and everything was on time and luggage arrived with us. We got the bus from the airport into Auckland and after a 20min walk got to our hotel. In fact its catered apartments. I have to say it was superb, really plush and incredibly comfortable bed. We managed to stay up after a run along the seafront. Its been v stormy over the weekend and was still windy. Great to be running in shorts in the warmth though.
After an OK italien meal we hit the sack about 8.30pm. I woke up for about 30min at 4 but then slept on until 8. Result.
We got our car after being picked up and headed off south to the Coromandel peninsula.
We drove to Thames then headed up the east coast to Coromandel town. All v pretty. Again a v lovely drive to Whitianga and we then found our house for the next 6 days. A friend is over here doing a 6 month locum and is away at the moment so we are lucky enough to be able to have his house. Its in a great spot and is a 3 bed bungalow. All v suburban but nice.
After some supermarket shopping we went out for a walk. This is a bit of paradise, so pretty. Below is were my morning run is.
This is the place we are staying in.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Born to run

Just finished this book. Its well written and full of interesting ideas.
I intend to try and modify my running style to a definite forefoot strike with shorter stride length and see if it helps prevent injury. I did this on Sunday and fairly whizzed down to Comrie but slightly strained my R hamstring which isnt a promising start. Managed a 6 miler in Perth yesterday and although I could feel the ham it doesnt seem to have done any harm.
What about barefoot running?? I am seriously considering this when the weather gets warmer.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Rain and mud!

Drove over to Crieff for a quick swim (could have saved time and swam up the A822) and Harriers speed session.
We did a 1-4-1 pyramid in heavy rain. It was great!!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Things are on the up

The great thaw has started. It was a tropical 5deg when I got home this evening. We could actually drive down to our house for the 1st time since November if this keeps up.
As the roads were free of ice I did a 6miler from home with my headtorch. Great!
This week has gone as follows.
Mon swim
Tue swim am, run 6m pm
Wed 30min on turbo trainer
Today swim am and run as above.
Consequently I feel great!!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

A slow start to 2011

Tweaked a calf on the 2nd, picked up an urti on the 3rd. Great!
Havent done anything all week but did 30min on turbotrainer yest and today and did 2m in the snow yesterday.
It snowed several inches again last night but a thaw is forecast for wed.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Hello 2011

Not a great start. Went out for a 6 miler on the 2nd and tweaked the calf. Not bad but as i have a bit of a cold its time to be sensible yet again.
I had a fab run on he 31st feeling good and moving as well as I have for months so it is disappointing but nothing to be gained from pushing on.