Tuesday, March 12, 2013


It has been a busy week of running, shoe buying, Routeburn Classic organization, university attendance, race entering and gym classes.

Hardened CXWORX Athletes (photo: LES MILS)
I have been focusing on more hill and trail work as I figure that this is the best way for me to build my muscle strength and stamina for the Routeburn Classic race.  I have been supplementing my running with Les Mils Body Balance and CXWORX (core strengthening) classes.  Body Balance is a zen mixture of yoga, pilates and tai chi, and I love these classes which focus on a combination of strength, balance and flexibility.  The core strengthening CXWORX is a more challenging and fast paced work out using resistance bands, weights and an inordinate amount of ab work.  I attended my first CXWORX yesterday, and hid myself at the very back of the class, I always feel a bit embarrassed about my lack of coordination and I didn't want to distract the rest of the participants by constantly falling over and collapsing from exhaustion in front of the hardened and athletic class regulars.  After 20min of ab and quad strengthening, we lay on the floor to balance the routine with some back strengthening work. I toiled a way, and rose at the end of the class to discover (to my dismay) a veritable puddle of sweat on the floor where I had been working out.  Thank goodness I was at the back of the class.  As a preventative measure I procrastinated over packing away my gear, skillfully blocking said puddle from the view of everyone else, until I was sure that sufficient evaporation had occurred to let me off the hook.
Something like what I look like after CXWORX

After the CXWORX class, I went for a trail run.  I have been expanding my knowledge and repertoire of the running trails available where I regularly run, so I can comfortably cover more than 10km of mixed terrain in the heat of the day, and always have beaut views and wild surroundings in which to enjoy my run.  It is awesome to feel my fitness levels increasing, even just in the last week, some extra training and distance seems to be improving my speed and stamina.

Excitingly, I have  sorted out my flights and accommodation for the Routeburn Classic.  It is a relief to have everything booked, and to know that my supporters (cheers M & D) will be coming to cheer me on at the finish.  Alternatively they can join the search party to look for my exhausted and kea-pecked carcass if it turns out that I have bitten off far more than I can chew....maybe I should wait to jest until after the event!  The only major thing that I have left to sort out is whether or not to purchase the tailored nutrition plan that is offered specifically for Routeburn Classic runnings.  I think that the plan sounds pretty comprehensive and I would be a rather worth while investment, especially as I am still feeling my way a bit with the race-fueling side of things.

Introducing my new "ROADIES"
I also bought two new pairs of shoes.  They are the same make and model as I already own: Mizuno Wave Ascend 7.  I LOVE these shoes, the ride is so comfortable and the support is perfect for my feet.  However after around 700km, my original old faithfuls are starting to loose a bit of grip and rigidity.  I  figured that getting two pairs would mean that I could keep one for trails and the other for roads, that way they should last doubly as long, and my trail shoes should retain more tread.  Awesomely, I was able to get one pair in the old (and brilliant) colours (these will remain my trail companions) and one pair in the new (and slightly less exciting colour combo!).  The new ones are my roadies.  However, after a grueling 40km break-in run (more on that another time), the new colours have really grown on me.  Is it possible to have two most favorite pairs of shoes?
...and my faithful trail companions 

I haven't quite worn out my old pair, so I will keep using them for trail running, and then break in the new pair, and hopefully have them nice and limber in plenty of time for the ROUTEBURN CLASSIC!

And last but not least, I have been entering a  few more races, the Porirua Grand Traverse, which is a couple of weeks before the Routeburn, and a few trail races for the months after.  Now that I am back to being an impoverished university student I am tossing up between traveling (often quite a distance) to races (can be a bit pricey), but which I love (atmosphere, motivation, people, practice), or saving my pennies and training on some of the fantastic near-home training grounds that I have discovered over the summer.  It is really nice to have some fab hills, and some great views to run with.

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