Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rimutaka Incline (aka Last Tick on my "Dream List")

Firstly ... look at my weight ticker! I reached the 60's *happy happy happy dance*, okay, it is a bit of a cheat, I don't normally run on a Friday which is weigh-in day, and when I do run I know I drop about 500g from water lost ... so yesterday I was a day ahead of myself because my long run was today (Saturday) rather than Sunday, so I had my rest day on Thursday and ran 5km yesterday - but I'm taking it, even if it means I probably won't change much this week (in fact will have to be very careful not to go up!).

The last tick on my "Dream List"

When I was overweight for years, I always had vague thoughts in the back of my mind of what I'd like to do if I ever lost weight and got a fitter. They were the Kapiti Womens Duathalon - I did that in February, the 10km run Around the Vines - did that in March and the last one was to WALK the Rimutaka Incline, I never thought I'd run it - but I did, today :)

Such a neat race, as far as organisation goes, you don't get a lot for you buck - no free fruit at the end, nothing in the goodie bag except your number (in fact no goodie bag, just your number), water only at the drink stops. But the actual race, and course - amazing!

It is run off-road through what was the old railroad route (the actual tracks have long gone - not sure how many years ago, but they have a huge tunnel that goes through the hill now), 10km up hill, then 7km down (they lied, it was 11km up and 7km down). It is a gentle incline upwards, you don't really notice it until the last 2-3km, they were hard. There is just one small railway tunnel on the way up, and three longer ones on the way down - so, so, so cool running through railway tunnels, except of course for the fact that it is dark (they put lights up via generators but it is still dark), and worrying about tripping!

Okay, the running part of the race - about 400 people were entered, not a huge number. My sister Julie was doing it to, her husband kindly dropped us off at the start and was there at the end to drive us home (you end up on the other side of the Rimutakas, a big windy hill road). She decided that I was grown up enough to run on my own this time, so she took off at the start, and of course I didn't see her again until the finish. I started, going at my new 5:50 pace which seems to be the new "comfortable" for me - kept that 5:50-6:00 pace pretty much until the last couple of kms of the 11km hill. The hill work I've been doing really paid off, there were a lot of people walking those last couple of km, but even though it was hard, I never felt like I couldn't keep running ... although, a woman in front of me turned around and asked me if I needed an inhaler! Sheesh, no wonder i have music so I can't hear my breathing, it must be bad! LOL ... I assured her I was fine, just working hard :)

Reached the summit (*phew*), had a drink and gel and then started running down, bit stony, slippery at first, and the longest tunnel, then a really steep gully down and then up - impossible to walk up, more like a stony mountain goat kind of up! But once we got down and then up that gully it really was downhill, in the middle of nowhere, just the track and amazing NZ bush surrounding us - it felt really good, going gently downhill and being in the middle of nature :) Some of the way down was a bit worrying as it was pretty stony, rocky, but mostly I felt great that second half. The finish seemed to be miles away once I had about 1km to go - but I got there!

According to my ipod - it was 18.2km (rather than 17km as advertised, at the 10km mark I checked and my ipod said 9.9km, so I think it was pretty accurate) and I ran it in 1:48:30 - woohoooo! Although (and don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled with my time for what is quite a hard run), to put things in perspective, Julie ran it in 1:35 and two mothers from school ran it in 1:22 and 1:23 (sheesh they are fast!).

(I didn't take the photos - I found them on the web and copied them onto here - thank you whoever you are, great photos!).

I have a huge blister on the inside (arch) of my foot - I could feel it the whole way, not sure if my sock had a wrinkle, or what quite happened - I was relieved when I took my shoe and sock off and it was still whole and not a bloody mess though, because it was feeling like that by the end.

So ... now, roll on four weeks of half marathon training, I'm starting to look forward to my next half marathon in four weeks - I'm feeling stronger and stronger all the time :)

Now I'm off to our school's annual community fireworks display - for Guy Fawkes that was over a week ago ... in all honesty I'd rather be watching the all important All Whites (NZ Soccer Team) game, they are playing in the Wellington stadium, a sold out crowd of 35,000 - if they win (against Burain (Sp!)) they will be in the World Cup next year, for the first time since 1982 ... so DH and two boys have gone into watch that - I get to take the girls to the fireworks, fireworks don't do it for me at the best of times, when they're on just as the soccer game is on TV, they're really not doing it for me ... but Miss Charlotte (8yo in a few days) is very excited about the fair they have on before hand and the fireworks, so I have to put on my happy Mother face and make it fun for her! Miss Rhiannon (nearly 11yo) is already down there hanging out with her friends ... wonder when she suddenly grew up?

Good luck for everyone else running this weekend - enjoy yourselves!


  1. Wow! What a beautiful race to run in! You are doing so well...Keep it up!! and the wgt lost is fantastic!

  2. Great job on the race and the course sounds so cool! I would love to run that! Congrats!!!!