Rebecca Run’s: Ups & Downs (and Tunnels Too)

These last couple of weeks have been full of ups and downs.

I found a nearly-new pair of sweet boots at the Sallies for $5. Then I got blisters in said shoes. Big meaty blisters which genuinely prevented me from running.

I ate a pizza. Like an oven-tray sized pizza. At least. Possibly more. It was so good.

Work was awesome. Then work sucked. Then work sucked more. So I went on holiday.

My coach called me a “shit cake”. It went down like this: I asked him if there was value to my running game in doing jumping squats and lunges and the likes. He said that that type of activity was like “icing on a cake”. But the cake was your core fitness. “And a shit cake is still a shit cake, it doesn’t matter about the icing.” Can you believe this guy?!!! I asked him when I would stop being a “shit cake” then? And also made the point that he’s the “shit cake’s coach”. And then the bastard gave me fartlek training! He’s really not that supportive. Or maybe is. I’m not sure. But he is definitely annoying. That I do know for sure.

So I did some jumping squats and lunges. And the next day I could barely move. The following day wasn’t much better.

I had a fight with my husband (#loveyoubabe). Like a full on text fight in which I seemed to be the only participant. And then because I’m so mature and self-aware, I reflected and was able to acknowledge (also via text) that indeed I was not pulling my weight with the dog (crying on Dog Control Graeme Lewer’s shoulder in the main street of town about how needy my dog is [#loveyoulolahoneybug] may also have had something to do with it). So I saved my marriage, modified my behaviour and started walking the dog in the mornings. Which when you’re wrangling a pram or heaving a back-pack full of toddler I think may constitute at least half an easy run? [Definitely a workout – Coach Ray]

I lost  2kg on my low-carb-high-fat diet – I mean lifestyle. Then arrived at my inlaws’ beach house in Whiritoa and discovered a full bottle of BaIleys. So I’m saying hello to 3kg’s in 3 days I expect. But what am I actually meant to do with that? (Thanks for nothing, Inlaws!) (But I do appreciate the beach house and the BaIleys) (I’m sorry) (Please get some more in duty-free this weekend).

And I went for a few runs. And though I’m loathed to admit it, there were bits and pieces of the runs (mainly the end when they were over, but also small stretches during them) that I actually quite enjoyed.


  • I ran for 3 minutes non-stop from Seaview carpark up through the bush towards Kohi Point. THREE MINUTES! NO WALKING! Do you have any idea how long 3 minutes of running is up a hill? Up that hill?!
  • There are undulating stretches winding up and down and around at various points of Toi’s. And, not always or even often, but at times I was able to RUN these, without stopping, and dare I say it, without slowing down. I actually felt like a real runner. Like maybe my thunder-thighs were made for this. Like if someone had observed me (stalker!) for these fleeting moments they might have thought I was actually a mediocre runner (#winning). Maybe a little below that. But they wouldn’t have thought I was someone just wandering around on a hike looking for birds that’s for sure.
  • On Sunday, after 7.25 hours of procrastination and repeated comments from my husband that I’d be happy when I’d done it, I ran 10.5km in 1.5 hours. I put some tunes on – which made me feel like I was in an epic music video or at the climatic point of an inspirational running film about my life  – and I did it! And at the end I even strode it out at my top speed (I can’t call it sprinting – the ship has sailed on that type of motion for me a long time ago) to my house, 50m or so (which incidentally did something to my digestive system which I won’t go into). And I did feel happy I’d done it. All of it.

On another note, it’s Mental Health Awareness Week. And be it a chemical imbalance you’re dealing with, a new baby, an experience of change, loss and/or grief, or just the challenges – big and small – that life throws your way, life is hard and it can take it’s tolL. Then throw in the rest of it – Trump’s America, climate change, cancer, politics and religion, white privilege, workplace bullying, the price of fuel, your earphones dying 4km into a 12km run, having a bladder the size of a wall-nut on a 12km run, etc. etc. etc. it can all get on top of you.

I ran along the Karangahake rail trail this morning, Paeroa to Waikino, wrestling with some things that are both infuriating me and bringing me down lately. Running was a helpful medium to exert some of that negative energy into. My husband (who happens to enjoy running and do a lot of it when he hasn’t blown out his calf) has also always said that running is like an anti-depressant. [I concur – Coach Ray]

Anyway,  at some point there’s a kilometre long stretch of train tunnel (see picture). I thought, life can be a bit like this, especially when you lose a battle or when you have to go through an ugly thing. You can see the daylight at the end, but it’s often further away than you think, and you just have to keep moving forward. But I thought, definitely for me at the moment but I know for others too, we need to look for those lights along the way. Talk to someone until they listen, eat well, exercise, focus on the next good thing, say “no”, say “yes”, practice gratefulness, look after ourselves and acknowledge our headspace and our wairua need some nurturing sometimes. And be the light for others in their tunnel. Even if you don’t get it.

And run, maybe. Or walk when you can’t run. Running has been one of my lights these last couple of weeks anyway.

Peace and light.

  • Tip of the week: If your foot goes numb while you’re running, save yourself a Google search to establish whether you’re having a cardiac event and need a helicopter, and just loosen your laces. Your feet swell when you run and too-tight laces can push on nerves causing this effect (On second thought, never trust anything I say. Ever. Always – ALWAYS – see a medical professional).

– 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 last article here:

Rebecca Run’s: How To Be A “Serious” Runner (Or At Least Appear To Be One For Temporary Periods Of Time)

And all her previous articles are stored here:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.