A letter to Greta

Greta is a fantastic woman and running coach (you can be both) She has done amazing things with sister Julie’s running technique and stamina.  Julie is now a keen member of her running group the Rejoov Runners in Sydney Australia.


For my birthday this year, Julie gifted me the Rejoov Runners  12 week online running program so I could complete the Queenstown Half without totally disgracing myself.  It has been a wonderful present truly.  For the last 10 weeks Greta has been checking in, sending me through a weekly plan, being so positive and upbeat it has really kept me on track – well a wayward all over the place track.

On Sunday I ran the Auckland 12km Traverse and Greta asked for an update.  I started to write her an email and then I realised I could use this as a blog and kill two birds with one stone mwhahaha.  So here goes Greta, here is your update

Hi Greta, thank you so much for being so supportive and interested in my efforts.

Anyway here are my impressions of the Traverse and my training so far
The 12km Traverse is part of the Auckland Marathon series and is designed so you can run over the Harbour Bridge without the pain and suffering of having to do the Marathon or Half.  And it is pretty special because it is the only time of the year people not in vehicles are allowed on the bridge.
Like the whole event it is really well organised, and they always seem to get the weather right as well.  Nice and sunny but not too hot.  You run for about 4kms on the flat then up and over the bridge, another nasty little hill and then the last few kms are on the flat around the waterfront until you arrive at the finish line.
I did it last year, while sister Julie slogged her way around the full Marathon course. This year I thought it would be a good wee warm up event before I do the Queenstown Half in November.
Doing the Queenstown Half seemed like a good idea at the start of this year, but to be honest it has all been a bit of a struggle.  The job I took on in May where I was on call 7 days a week really played havoc with my whole fitness and training regime.  I kept managing to have niggling injuries, and my motivation was probably around the 2/10 mark.
If I didn’t have your training plan I don’t think I would be anywhere near ready. Not that I have followed it that well (ahem)  It was just that when your 12 week program turned up with tasks for me to do and things to fill in I cried a little bit. My job had so much of the tasks to do and things to fill in, that the thought of doing any more just gave me the heebie geebies.
But I managed to takeaway my own key learnings.   Stretch, rest, and get that long run in once a week. Hmm managed to completely miss the interval training bit.
My long run routine (which is usually on a Sunday) goes like this
Wake up
“God it’s Sunday I have a long run today”
Moan and groan about it to Brett for at least 40 minutes before leaving for my run
Run – while Brett stays home and does all the house work
Share run update on Facebook along photos of blistered chaffed bits
Moan and groan and hobble around for a couple of hours
Did my nutrition guideline mention gin and chippies”? I am sure it did.
Drink gin eat chippies
The following Sunday repeat, but just run a little bit further
Anyway this year with the Traverse I wasn’t quite as fast as I was last year – that’s what happens when you ignore interval training sessions – just saying.
But I did it, I did get bunched up near the back at the start and nearly tripped over.
Run almost over before it started.  That would not have been cool.
Key learning there get yourself into a good position if you can.
Too busy thinking about a good selfie rather than a good start position
I managed to be consistent with my pace and I knew I could have kept going. Which is just as well, seeing as at Queenstown I will have to do 9 more kms.  Yay
My mind does funny things when I run a race (funnier than usual)  I start trying to beat people just in front of me, or working out what their story is.  Why is that older, fatter person with the weirdest running style passing me?  Did they do interval training or something?  And I am not proud of this but I got a hate on for the young girl of about 10 or 12 who kept running back down the bridge to check on a friend then running back up, passing me and then running back down again.  She did this about 6 times.  While I was still struggling to just get up there once!!!
That happy finished feeling

I did find some good people to strap up my blistery foot before race day, and it did make a difference.  But it looks like I am going to have to invest in some new shoes.  Obviously the ones are using are causing problems – just on my right foot strangely enough. Hmm maybe I am the one with the weird running style.

Obligatory blistery foot photo
So lovely Greta, onwards and upwards for Queenstown.  Plenty of extra curricular activities have been booked, visits to wineries, and eateries.  Brett has never been to Queenstown before and he deserves to enjoy some fun times seeing as he has been such a fantastic supporter of my efforts.  Seriously he has listened to a lot of moaning.
I am really looking forward to the race, and while I won’t be breaking any speed records. I will have a great sense of achievement for doing something I thought was impossible a few years ago.
Thank you, I will proudly wear my Rejoov Runners shirt in Queenstown, and as sister Julie pointed out I will be very thankful it is black and not green and gold, that really would be going a step too far.  Even for a fantastic running program.
Love Nat

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