Running the Lonely Country Roads

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Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas – ours was relaxing, and included some exciting family news!

Surprisingly, not too much food was eaten… Though there was plenty of wine. Calorie blow out, but it could’ve been so, so, sooooo much worse. Which worked out well… No Christmas food hangover!

No Christmas food hangover and my cold’s cleared up – a Christmas miracle!

Feeling the fittest I have in days, I hit the road for a quick run this morning. Just around the block. Turns out that the further you are from the city, the bigger the blocks get. Keeps things easy though, it’s pretty hard to get lost when you’re running in a circle.

Country running is different to running in the city…
…you’re actually running on the road – there are no footpaths
…but you’re also running through muddy grass patches
…and dodging the fresh cow pats
…you can run for quarter of an hour and not see another soul
…cows will judge your orange running gear
…and you’ll have a new appreciation for travel roads

Sadly, I’m back in the city tomorrow. But I like this new spin on things.
Loving the isolation, quiet and peace that comes with running country roads.
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Bring On The Holidays

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Today’s officially my last day at work for the year.  My office shuts down from Christmas, and we’re not expected back until the 13th January.  That’s three weeks of time off that I can’t wait to make the most of.

Last year, I used this time to travel around the US – exploring a part of the world I’d never visited before.  It was a busy, full-on (and expensive) month abroad.  I loved (almost) every minute of it.

This year is going to be far more relaxed.

Christmas with the folks. Daily runs with the dogs.
Lazy afternoons in the sun.

No doubt I’ll be lifting plenty of bottles of wine, too.
Will consider that my strength work.

Hope you’ve got a good Christmas planned, too!

Suuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmertime

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Summer’s here!

Christmas in New Zealand is great – sunny, and casual. BBQ dinners aren’t usual, and someone in the family almost always falls asleep in the sun after eating too much.  Sunburn isn’t usual.  Neither is a box full of empty beer bottles after lunch.

Like everywhere else in the world that celebrates Christmas, it’s a day of temptation, overeating, and self-medicating with alcohol – family, am I right?

I’ll be staying with my family for much of the break, at my parents’ place in one of the sunnier parts of the country at this time of year.

While they’re not ridiculously unhealthy, they’re not ones to prescribe to a off-to-the-gym-and-a-salad-for-lunch lifestyle.  My brother’s of the knife-throwing, archery, and upper-body training persuasion.  The rest of us… sit around and eat.

I plan on doing a fair bit of running.  Take the dogs out for a bit of an explore – they’ll love it.

But it’ll be a bit of a change for me – running on country roads, in the heat, with a companion.  I’m looking forward to it… but it’s going to take some getting used to.

I imagine it’ll be very different to the clean footpaths, overcast weather and cool temperatures here in Wellington.  Or the treadmill in an air-condition gym, surrounded by the buff and motivated.

Any words of advice for the changes?  Or am I making mountains out of mole-hills?

What are your plans for the Christmas break?

Ohakune Old Coach Road

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Sorry I’ve been quiet on here this past week; I’ve been on an adventure.

With the Tall One, this weekend was spent exploring parts of New Zealand that we’d never seen before. Parts that are key in the country’s history, but not so important to day-to-day life now. Parts that are gorgeous – both in their aesthetic appeal, and their nonchalant being.

The New Zealand bush is all ‘Yeah, so what if I’m cool? Keep moving’ while it leans against the bar in its worn-in cowboy boots, cigarette resting between two fingers. The bush wouldn’t even worry about a hat, because it just doesn’t have the time to care about that shhhh

We did the Old Coach Road walk from Horopito to Ohakune. The trail itself doesn’t go to Ohakune township, but we walked the extra 3km from the end of the trail to get there because my planning was terrible and I shouldn’t be trusted with a map. From now on, my plans should all undergo a peer-review before being implemented – but that’s a story for another day.
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The walk has only been reopened in recent years and follows the path travellers and coaches used to have to take between the Northern and Southern railways before they were connected (like they are today). The road was cobbled, and a lot of the stones remain. Other remnants include old viaducts, and tunnels.

Every now and then we caught glimpses of the current railway lines. If we had timed it better we could have been right under the current track as the train sped overhead. Unfortunately, we missed it by about 10-15 minutes.

It was really wet.
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It began raining when we were in the shuttle out to the starting point and didn’t let out until we were more or less at the end.

We had our raincoats, and kept warm, but we got very wet. Especially our feet when we had to cross a couple of streams that had washed-out bridges. We were wearing sneakers – not tramping boots – so there was nothing to keep the water out.

It was so much fun.
And we saw it all in less than a days walk.

Afterwards, when we got back to our accommodation, we thawed under the shower and had a mid-afternoon nap before finding tasty nibbles for dinner. Super casual. Soooo New Zealand bush.

And – the best bit – no more sunburn!

The Best Way To Wrap Up The Week

20131130-092222.jpgThis week has been a good week. Career wise, it’s been a bloody fantastic week!

Why? Two main reasons;

1. I had my promotion confirmed. It’s effective from 1 December (Sunday), and is a milestone promotion so I’m actually doing something slightly different and not just getting a bump in pay/charge out rate to clients (though there’ll be some of that, too). Just call me Amy, the Senior Consultant.

And…

2. I passed my final professional exam! You remember that six hour exam that I mentioned last month? Well, after 7 years of study and sitting the exam, I’ve passed. Comfortably. So I’m definitely happy with that.

Proud, even!
Now to get this half-marathon training under control…

In the meantime, I just have to get through today. I have a family reunion / my grandfather’s 90th this afternoon and caught the 11hr overnight bus from Wellington to Auckland last night. Operating on about 3hrs of broken sleep suck, but I’m excited to see everyone now that I’m here!

Red bull, red bull, where be ye?
(Please, red bull, get in my belly)