super generic girl

the awesomely average life of a girl like all others


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So, hmm, now what?

pictured: random non-running related snippets of the last few days, reminders of how I’ve been really busy, you know, not running.

I had heard of it before. That hiatus that settles in after a big run. You train for months, run the event you trained for and then… well, then nothing. You tell yourself you’ll definitely hit the road again as soon as you recover but, really, the recovery excuse gets used for far too long.

In the period since the Big O Trail Run on May 26 and today, I have run a grand total of around about 26km (of which nearly 16km of those were yesterday). Lame, I know. It’s not even that I was in pain (I was only in pain for a couple of days following the run). My legs just didn’t want to run. I ran a shameful 3km a week after that event and, despite not sore, my legs just didn’t feel like moving.

I don’t even really have a good excuse. I’ve been allowing myself as much crap food as I want (although, surprisingly, I haven’t been craving as much bad stuff as I used to) and I’ve been taking time out to do stuff I hadn’t done during training (stuff like sleeping in or taking a nap on a weekend). I’ve also been reading more and spending a lot of energy trying to stay warm. I’ve even taken a ballet class (a good 20 years after the last one), and found a way to relate it to running and, somehow, justify in my head being in that studio rather than out on the road (exercising different muscles, stretching, yadda, yadda, yadda).

What I need is a new challenge. The Wellington Half Marathon is coming up this weekend and I’m ready to fly down to the capital and get blown by the wind gusts as I try to run along a mostly flat course along the waterfront. I haven’t exactly trained for it, unless you count weeks of chocolate intake as training for a half marathon. And once that run is finished this coming sunday, I’m in serious danger of having no goal to work towards.

One thing I know: I want to get back on the trails. The road does very little for me these days and I find myself looking up bush tracks online in my spare time. I need something big and something better, something that will force me to panic and work hard for it. After two months of obsessing over that 35km distance, there’s an emptiness that comes with having no set goal to train for. With the cold days of winter well and truly here to stay, I either find a new challenge soon or I risk taking up hot-chocolate-drinking as my new sport.

This week’s self-imposed homework: get out there and run (no tapering needed when training was non-existent) but, most importantly, pick a new challenge to work towards.

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2012 started on top of an active volcano so it’s already officially an awesome year

Happy 2012, everyone! What you see above is Mt Yasur, an active volcano on Tanna Island (Vanuatu) violently spitting lava. We took this photo on the evening of the 31st of December, last week. This was how we said goodbye to 2011 and how we greeted 2012: standing on top of an active volcano, the ground beneath our feet shaking violently and the noises of a rumbling volcano echoing through the valley. It was pretty much the best new years eve ever. I didn’t see any fireworks, for the first time in my life on a new years eve, but I still had the best fireworks display one can ask for, courtesy of mother nature.

I have just returned from a wonderful trip to New Caledonia and Vanuatu and have about 6943 posts I want to write about the amazing time I had on those islands. But first, and you’ll understand my reasons for being a bit late to this, time to reflect on the 2011 resolutions and make some for 2012.

2011 was the very first year of my life when I made new years resolutions and actually carried them in my mind throughout the year, rather than forgetting them within the first week. Keeping those resolutions in mind made my year a truly spectacular one. It didn’t just end in a spectacular way, it was actually a really good year.

It’s not like anything particularly major happened. I’m still not a Lotto winner (possibly because I never remember to buy a ticket). But several little and not so little things made 2011 a really good one. I didn’t fullfil all my resolutions 100% but I worked on them throughout the year and having those goals made it feel like everything I did actually mattered somehow. To sum up:

2011 goals:

enter 12 running events – sort of check. I entered 11. Sickness led me to pull out of one in June and I thought I’d make up for it in December but sickness was, once again, to blame. Still, two of the eleven running events I entered were half-marathons – which is twice the number of half-marathons I was planning to run, so I’m pretty happy with that.

run a half-marathoncheck! And check!

start a savings account – check!

travel to a pacific island – totally managed to blow this one off the scale! Within the past 12 months, I went from zero Pacific Islands visited to four Pacific Islands visited and I didn’t even have plans for any of these trips when the year started. *pat on the back!*

write more (for fun) – I didn’t do quite as well on this one as I’d planned but I did start this blog so that should count!

visit my family back home – Yes! And it was as amazing as always!

learn to swim – I’m going to put a green tick on this one because I actually hardened up and took a course back in July. Call me weird but I don’t like swimming. But I did it.

join couchsurfing and host someone – done!

do a multi-day hike – another green tick! It was just a 20km hike with a night at a hut but it still counts.

give up soft drinks – ha! Not sure what I was thinking when I came up with this one.

See? Not too bad. There were some other things I had in mind when the year started like get more into crafts and have little projects going on but that really didn’t happen and I abandoned that idea pretty early on.

What about this year? My goals for 2012 are actually not all that different than my 2011 ones. This year, among other little things, I hope to:

reach all my running goals for the year – which I’ve already blogged about here

eat better – something I sort of started in 2011, probably due to all the running madness, but haven’t focused on enough

waste less daylight – Sleeping in is overrated (now this will be a challenge…)

spend less, own less stuff – just because it’s a bargain, it doesn’t mean I have to have it. Actually, if it’s a bargain, it probably means I don’t have to have it.

and a few other things that were already on last year’s list (like visiting family again). So there you go, not much but enough to keep me out of trouble.

Here’s to a wonderful year!


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2012 running goals – part 1

Last Friday, I went for my first run since the half-marathon in Kerikeri.  I hadn’t actually intended to stop running for a whole six days but the whole week just flew by and it kind of just happened. Today is day five of yet another hiatus (after my last run on Saturday).

Can you even call it a hiatus if it’s only been five days? I guess not but too late now, not hitting that backspace key.

As bad as it sounds, this is still better than the period post-Taupo-half-marathon when I stopped running for quite a while longer (don’t blame me. Blame winter. That’s what I’m doing).

Entering a race every month this year has helped create a running habit and keep me motivated to continue training and I’m afraid that, if one run ends and I don’t have another in the pipeline, I might just get a little too lazy (something I seem to have a natural talent for).

After crossing the finish line in Kerikeri, S. and I lied on the grass and started drawing up the plan for what should happen next. Three days that, we signed up for a short fun run in December (and this will really be fun as it will even include costumes!) and came up with a list of runs we want to do next year. We’ve got three running events planned for 2012 so far and intend to enter a few more (the whole one running event per month idea proved quite successful this year so maybe it’s best if we carry on with that formula).

I want to take this very seriously and actually stick to training plans next year, contrary to what I’ve done this year.  So, to make it official, here are my 2012 running resolutions (part 1 only, as we still have to choose other running events for the rest of the year):

  1. Return to Waiheke Island in January and run the 12km Wharf2Wharf again. It was the first running event we ever entered, last January, and we didn’t know what to expect at all. I’m super curious to go back and see what it’ll feel like this time.
  2. Run four half marathons
  3. Run the Cathay Pacific Half Marathon in Auckland (in February)
  4. Run the Rotorua Half Marathon (in April)
  5. Run a half marathon in two hours (or less)
  6. Run an average of 100km a month
  7. Do more cross-training
  8. Speaking of those programmes, find a good one and stick to it.
  9. Run the Kerikeri Half Marathon again (and beat my current time for that course)
  10. Choose a full marathon to do in 2013

So there you have it. I’ve got put my running shoes where my mouth is. Okay, that sounded gross. Backspace. You get the point.