So I almost reached a crisis point on my journey this week. My passport arrived and the photo (which I trusted my husband to take) was next-level horrendous. I was almost confronted with the uncomfortable reality that I am chubby. And if I am chubby, then running is non-negotiable (horror!). But then the girls at work showed me how to extend my neck for photos, and just like that, I lost at least 5kgs on film/device (see photo comparisons). Crisis averted. The neck-stretch technique is still a work in progress as you can see from the photo, but at least I don’t have to stop eating pies. Yet.
Further to this, my knees have been hurting. Although I noticed that when I get the stitch, the pain in my knees subsides. If this is the pattern, then all I need is a punch in the face and all will be right. I did consult Coach Ray on this knee pain. He asked how much stretching I was doing, to which I replied “None”. I fail to see what stretching has to do with the bones in my knees”. Then Coach Ray rambled on about ligaments or tendons or something being connected to the bones, blah blah blah. So I’ve made a couple of attempts at stretching this week and will work on increasing that. Just to prove Coach Ray wrong. Because I think it’s the shoes. I think I need new running shoes. And new active-wear too. And to actually just not run. Yes. All of those things will help with the knee pain and I’m going to prove it.
Anyway, after such an abysmal week last week, I got out for 3 runs this week, which while less than Coach Ray scheduled for me, is a damnsite better than last week!
- The first was pretty much what Coach Ray prescribed. Lots of 1min running with 30sec walks in between, followed by 30sec runs broken up by 1 minute walks. I’m actually getting good at these and the 30sec runs. I was taking them up a level (which still isn’t what you’d call “fast”, but it’s an improvement). Maybe I’m getting fitter, even? It rained though. My mascara ran (faster than me, actually), which coupled with the cold shower facilities at my place of work (Whakatāne District Council) made the freshen up infurriating and all interactions with my colleagues from that point rather unpleasant (because I was grumpy, but also because I was smelly).
- My second run was short – about 3km (and I did it without stopping, I’ll have you know). But it was boring . Coach Ray’s scheduled runs have much more variety and I like them better. I ran with my dog, Lola Honeybug (not Lola HoneyBOG as was registered by WDC Customer Services – what kind of name is that?!). And no, WDC Dog Control, she was not off-lead anywhere inappropriate, nor did she chase ducks around Sullivan Lake. I was also NOT woefully unprepared without a plastic-bag when she pooped at the corner of Douglas and Alexander during Whakatāne’s version of rush hour.
- The Sole-Sister’s Ngā Tapuwai Toi walk: Sole Sister’s is a community of warrior woman apparently, who like to hike with each other into the depths of nature. I’m pretty social, and obsessed with community (it’s my job), so I was naturally intrigued. So I decided I’d go. I was aiming for a 10km effort from town through the bush/round the coast to Ōtarawairere Bay, then up to Ōtarawairere Village and back to town via Kōhī Point. I was nervous about this one. 10km is a bloody lot to do. So I started carbo-loading the night before (Alcohol has sugar, right? And sugar is a carb!).Then I had to do a fair bit of rehydrating (which you always have mixed feelings about when you have a rubbish pelvic-floor). Anyway, I did it. And goddamit, I kind of liked it. When it was over. And maybe a little bit when it was happening too.
I’ve done a couple of #sundayrunday’s now where I’ve run (and walked) for around about 1.5hours and I reckon, when I compare it to my 30-40min training runs, that I need that extra time to really loosen up, get a rhythm going, and get that “runner’s high” they talk about going on. And the views you get round these parts when you do make the effort, they just all add to the experience, the #soultime.
So things are getting interesting on this wee journey to Toi’s Challenge in November, and slightly less painful (except for the knees) than they were at the start. So we’ll keep going for now.
– Rebecca Mackay
Rebecca will be writing weekly as she continues her journey to achieving her goal of completing the 18km Tois Challenge. Check in next Tuesday for her next article.
Read Rebecca’s article from last week here:
And all her previous articles are stored here: