Re-re-re-restarting running (a woeful tale)

Been a while since I’ve posted, in part due to a lack of running events (did anyone write up the beer-foot invitational – it was so long ago).

2013 was a bit hit and miss after Kaweka, only one Xterra and one destination trail run (an aborted Ruapehu RTM). Mileage actually stayed pretty solid through to the end of July and then it all started coming apart.

A cruisy 3hr mixed road/trail run in early August did some damage to the right leg (don’t remember exactly what now). Training restarted in earnest on the last week of August. As I recall at this stage a goal was to target a fast time at the Auckland Marathon.

The restart (#1) started well and mileage was comfortably increased through to mid-September when the constellation of troubles really began. First a past mysterious nerve pain started reasserting itself to the point I was sent off for ultrasound and blood tests. Nothing discovered, and it faded of its own accord over the following months. Then a hacking cough that even took me off the bike as it became painful to breathe, putting me out for nearly four weeks. Auckland was out.

Another restart (#2) mid-October, four runs into which saw an ill-disposed MEC sprint training session pull a quad(!?). Another couple of weeks off. The West Coast was written off about now.

Restart (#3) at the beginning of November was going very well, just in time for the Kaweka Mountain Marathon in February which I had an early-bird entry for. Mileage was comfortably increasing until I hit my first rest week in the last week of November, when another cruisy 2hr mixed trail/road run saw the right leg fall off again.

Unfortunately the opportunity to fill in with a bit more cycling was also somewhat crushed at this point by a well-timed bike crash. Following a complete two week stand down training restart (#4) commenced on the 16th of December.

Since then, thankfully, everything has been dreamy. Have managed a good couple of training blocks, and so long as I avoid road running in shoes my right leg seems happy.

However, comparing the same periods over the last couple of years I’m way down the mileage leading in to the Kaweka (let alone Tarawera). Given the limitations of time to build anything decent by way of endurance up by Feb 1st I figured I’d go super specific and concentrate on doing time at +20% gradient climbs/descents.

The Kaweka Mountain Marathon is definitely an inspirational to run, if not somewhat frightening to prepare for. Good motivation for all those restarts then. So how’s my confidence level? Actually not too bad, no I don’t currently have the endurance for a +7hr run, but last year there was a lot of time spent on those +20% grades (mostly  walking) – which I do feel better prepared for. My pick then is that 2014 me will be pretty competitive against 2013 me. I’ll post back with reality in the first week of Feb…

Morning on the Omanawanui (Whatapu), a new year dawns…
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