19 FEBRUARY 2013

I must say; I am blessed to have such wonderful family and friends. I really am, they are supportive, encouraging and always have my best interests at heart…..well, so I thought.
During my training for the New York Marathon a friend used to threaten me with what she called “surprise coronet peak”. The idea behind this was when I least expect it, day or night, rain or snow, to be dropped at the bottom of Coronet Peak ski field access road with my mates heading to the top for a touch of wine and a picnic.The genius of this plan…I could then drive everyone back down.
I always presumed this was a cruel threat because the thought of an unrelenting run up hill for 8km just seemed stupid to me…….that was before I signed up to do the Routeburn classic…..a mountain run!
One Sunday, not too long ago, the plan was for myself and two friends to head over to Sam Summer’s trail. I would run the track and my friends would walk. It was about 13.00 – so the heat of the day. I knew something was a miss as i was instructed to prepare Powerade and Leppons. I was then told that plans had changed and we would need to stop at the bottle store. I knew, Surprise Coronet was upon me.
I was nervous and excited as I stood at the bottom. Luckily, my friends/coaches did not abandon me for Wine Time but stopped at strategic points on way up to act as “Aid Stations”. 1 hour and 11 minutes after I began the long trudge up, I was approaching the base centre. Dripping in sweat but with a smile on my face, I looked across to see my friends finally knocking back a plastic glass of wine.
I am a little surprised to say I enjoyed the run. I learnt the importance of nutrition whilst running – something that i had not been hitting the mark with previously.

Beyond Surprise Coronet – we have had a mixed bag of weather down here lately – although, it seems whenever I pull my running gear on, the sun beats down. This weekend I found myself running in the heat of the day again having been held up by the Come Dine With Me omnibus. I made my way to my favorite Mace Town track. About 3kms in there is a sign off to the right, “New Chums Ridge”. I decided to give it a crack. It is little more than a Goat trail. It all felt very adventurous and fairly soon I felt very far from anywhere. I began to worry that if I tripped and fell, I could lay undetected for weeks! Fairly over the top and hysterical, I know. On the bright side, these sinister thoughts did distract from the ever present and ever annoying “slish, slosh” of my camel pack. I can tick this one off as another off road run I have enjoyed. There were parts where I was hot and irritated, parts when my running technique become less jogging and more crawling shuffle style. Overall my learning curve is on the up. I am embracing the adventure aspect, the new challenges, the necessary adaption of my style, even running with a pack on.
I am glad I am feeling positive at this stage as I am told “Surprise Remarks” may be unleashed at anytime……