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Training Log Archive: jennycas

In the 7 days ending Apr 14, 2017:

activity # timemileskm+m
  running6 4:38:30
  orienteering2 1:03:55 4.29(14:54) 6.9(9:16) 160
  kayaking1 1:00:00 1.86(32:11) 3.0(20:00)
  Total9 6:42:25 6.15 9.9 160

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Friday Apr 14, 2017 #

1 PM

orienteering race (Oceania Sprint Auckland U) 18:55 [4] 2.7 km (7:00 / km)
shoes: Asics 2000-4

Nice uni campus, fairly open except for the 'maze' of tiny transportables near the end, but still with some good micro route choices. Had a comparatively early start before it rained - running W40 for the A-NZ Challenge - and felt I did ok to come equal 4th with Rachel, although I wasn't able to run particularly fast, having tired legs from having focused more on running up hills than on speed this past week.

On my way towards the 'maze' I saw someone come down an embankment and made a note of that route choice for later, figuring there must be stairs or something. Basically, it was a flat lawn with an uncrossable hedge/thicket marked 70% of the way around, an impassable cliff marked 25% of the way around, and a tiny gap which looked like stairs because of the contour line running through the middle of it, but which, when I started to go down, turned out to have no stairs and in fact to be an olive green garden bed which I backed up out of as hastily as I could, wondering why on earth they had bothered to map the tiny bit where the hedge had obviously been chopped down as being any different from the rest given that the whole embankment was forbidden/impassable anyway!

Stood around in the mud for a while waiting for the results displays to function properly but after a couple of soaking showers had come through, decided to go home and look the results up online, but I can't even find a results page/tab/link from the Oceania website...

Anyway, during the sunnier parts of the day G & I walked up Mt Victoria (this morning) behind our accommodation to take great photos of the view back towards the city and out to Rangitoto, and up Mt Eden (this afternoon) to admire the grassy volcanic crater as dozens of other people were doing. I hadn't realised you can't drive to the top; I ran up there last time so wouldn't have been aware of this. On the way down we heard a sound like a broken lyrebird and there turned out to be a Tui in the tree above us, puffing out his white throat feathers and making extraordinary noises :)

Thursday Apr 13, 2017 #

4 PM

running 43:00 [3]
shoes: Asics 2000-4

We left the Coromandel Peninsula fairly early, before the rain started again, because I'd been spooked by the number of locals who'd said yesterday "I don't think you'll make it out of here tomorrow"; the accommodation owners had even suggested we stay another night (tempting, because Flaxmill Bay Hideaway is rather luxurious). Streams and inlets along the coast road were all really full but I think that was partly because of it being high tide at 9am. Mind you, low-lying areas of coastal towns including Cooks Beach were precautionarily evacuated this afternoon...

Anyway, the drive back to Auckland was uneventful, the northbound traffic jam which we hit at about the point where the highways divide rather frustrating but after 30km of bumper-to-bumper, the traffic miraculously opened up beautifully on the harbour bridge. We got to our accommodation in Devonport on the north shore about lunchtime and I consumed the best seafood chowder I've eaten since Jan 2nd, 2013 - and I remembered the right restaurant!

Since the weather didn't seem to be crapping out after all, I went for a run out to and around North Head, the old defence station with tunnels into the hillside and the "disappearing gun" then down to Cheltenham beach, and on the way back, slogged up (the tiny) Mt Victoria from where the views back to Auckland CBD and the harbour bridge, plus out towards Rangitoto Island, were magnificent.

Wednesday Apr 12, 2017 #

11 AM

running 1:10:00 [3]
shoes: Asics 2000-4

By the time I'd finished breakfast, it was raining. But it wasn't cold yet, so I went out anyway. Explored the walking tracks up to the clifftop lookout in the Shakespeare's Cliff headland just down the road from our accommodation, then went down the steps to tiny Lonely Bay & back up again, across the bridge into Cooks Beach township (rain was coming sideways as I ran along the beach itself) as far as the monument to Cook's observation of the transit of Mercury in 1769 then back to Flaxmill Bay including one hard 4-minute hill up the gravel track to the lookout.
1 PM

running 30:00 [3]
shoes: Asics 2000-4

Came back to our cosy dry unit, had a drink and a banana, looked at the weather forecast and decided to do tomorrow's planned run today also - up the washed out slippery steps to the lookout above Ferry Landing, down the very rough path to the landing and back along the beach road to Flaxmill Bay.

Plan for the day had been to go to Cathedral Cove, but a) the walking track to the beach is closed due to washouts after last week's rains, and b) the water taxi from Hahei wouldn't have been taking passengers to the cove in this weather. So we crossed on the tiny little passenger ferry to Whitianga instead, getting completely wet in the process of walking down the main street, and then sheltering & dripping in various galleries & coffee shops for the afternoon. To drive around the harbour to Whitianga would be over 40km, but the ferry takes only 2 minutes. Given the amount of rain which is likely to fall overnight, I'm not sure that staying at the furthest point of a dead-end road, with a couple of streams to ford between here and the highway, was the smartest of ideas but it has been a beautiful spot and we will definitely have to come back to see everything else the Coromandel Peninsula has to offer.

Tuesday Apr 11, 2017 #

8 AM

running 1:05:00 [3]
shoes: Asics 2000-4

The actual volcanic plug Mt Maunganui being about 2km north of our accommodation, I decided to run there this morning and up to its 232m 'summit' since the base circuit track around the tip of the peninsula is closed due to landslips. Took the beach along the eastern side of the otherwise-flat suburban sand spit to get there, watching the surfers and marvelling at the signs pointing towards safe refuge (strangely enough, the top of the 'mountain') in the event of a tsunami. It was a bit of a sweaty climb to the top - I now understand why times for the 9km Mount fun run are so long - and breakfast at a little local cafe was well-deserved when I got back.

Took a while to drive north along winding roads to the Coromandel Peninsula this afternoon, but we got to the popular Hot Water Beach - where spades are hired out from the kiosk and you can dig your own hole in the sand while hot water wells up - just before the tide started to come in and wash everyone's personal hot tub away. Now staying in very nice accommodation near to Cooks Beach and every street in town is named after something or someone to do with one of his expeditions (playing street-name bingo is almost too easy...).

Monday Apr 10, 2017 #

8 AM

running 35:00 [3]
shoes: Asics 2000-4

Just ran the same farm-roads cow-grazing loop as Saturday evening, because I knew it was nice, and because I didn't have the energy for much more - or the time, because we had a midday tour of the Hobbiton movie set booked. This was definitely a worthwhile activity, as I have always felt that the Shire must exist somewhere and not just be a figment of Tolkien's imagination. Now, thanks to Peter Jackson's imagination, it's a faithful representation of this alternate reality (also a huge money-spinner), and utterly enchanting in its attention to detail, even with the dozens of tourists being shepherded through the site with cameras at the ready and drinking the 'complimentary' ale at the Green Dragon Inn.
6 PM

kayaking 1:00:00 [2] 3.0 km (20:00 / km)

The evening's activity, once we got to Tauranga on the east coast (strange to think that we were on the west coast only yesterday) was to do a glowworm kayaking tour, which turned out to be on the man-made Lake McLaren about half an hour's minibus-and-kayak-trailer drive from our assembly point at the Waimarino water park, and only involved a very small stretch of glowworm gorge, but I was grateful for the uncomplicated nature of the kayaking on the open linear lake because I am fairly woeful both at paddling and at steering with the rudder, so it was a good thing we were in a double kayak with G doing most of the work. Nice evening for it - we have been getting all the serious touristing done before the weather craps out again later in the week!

On the way back to our Mt Maunganui accommodation we found The Pizza Library where all the pizzas on the menu are named after different novels, and of course I ordered The Hobbit :)

Sunday Apr 9, 2017 #

11 AM

orienteering race (Rangitukia) 45:00 [3] 4.2 km (10:43 / km) +160m 9:00 / km
shoes: Inov8 ORoc 280

So, I'd seen that there was an orienteering event on today in the Waikato region, and on closer inspection it turned out to be not far from Pirongia, which is a good central base for the things I wanted to see & do around here - hence the farmstay only 5km from the O map :)

I didn't expect much from a map/course in open farmland, except to have to do that classic NZ thing of running across a paddock then suddenly going into a diveroll under an unmapped, almost-invisible electric fence (I only ran straight into one of them!) but also I figured it could be good hill training. Was wondering why the climbs out of each creek seemed so much steeper than mapped until I realised the scale was 1: 7500...only had a couple of controls in the thick bush, and got lucky on one of them because it was placed lower than on the map and I approached it from below. Good fun, and I got to wade a stream at the end, but glad I wasn't rogaining through farmland for 24hr this time. (Incidentally, I have noticed that the sawtoothed line of hills just north of here is the Kapamahunga range; don't suppose that's where the fearsomely steep orienteering map from the '80s was?)

Had hoped there would be enough time this afternoon to drive out to Raglan on the coast for lunch (turns out it's a surfie town and the restaurants move fairly slowly) and from there south to Bridal Veil falls (spectacularly dropping 55m into a valley) and Kawhia harbour, Marokopa falls then back via Waitomo, but the back roads were so slow and winding, especially on dirt - 25km took nearly an hour at one point - and the actual distances further than shown in my atlas, so we got to the roaring Marokopa falls after the sun had set, although there was still enough light to take decent photos, and then walked into the Mangahopue Natural Bridge valley by torchlight, by which time the glow worms were coming out along the walls of the river gorge and on the roof of the natural archway above us, making it a truly magical experience.

Saturday Apr 8, 2017 #

6 PM

running 35:30 [3]
shoes: Asics 2000-4

Geoff & I flew out of Adelaide at 8pm, Melbourne at 11:35pm, and into Auckland just before 5am. It sucks to lose a night's sleep, but on the other hand this gave us an extra day for touristing. Having cleared customs by 5:30am we walked with our gear 2km to the car hire place which didn't open until 7ish, then headed south and breakfasted in Hamilton, saw bored but very cute kiwis (somehow I hadn't really believed they existed) in the nocturnal house at Otorohanga, thousands of glow worms from the boat on the underground river at Waitomo caves (which were closed last Wed when the river was flowing at roof height) and are now staying on a dairy farm near Pirongia from which I went for a sunset run around some rural roads, admiring the cows. Everything's so green, and there is still a lot of water lying around in any river valley.

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