At the end of last year I completed the 18km Tough Mudder run with pretty much zero training and 3 weeks post surgery. It was tough but I felt good and must have been on some kind of high as I signed up for the 22km Waitomo Trail run this year in April.
Being so far ahead felt good, I had plenty of time to start training but then all of a sudden come January I realized it was only a few short months until the big event, yes Trish this is a BIG event.
So I decided to hit the trails and start training for this thing, I have a distinct memory of a post into our Raor Squad support group about how I was heading off for my "big" run in the morning which was 8km the longest I had voluntarily run in years because let me tell you, I may be a fitness instructor but I was adamant I AM NOT A RUNNER. I have never really enjoyed any type of long distance running and the thought of getting up and running made me queasy.
Let's change the subject quickly here, I have a dog- his name is Flash, he is world famous in the Studio for being the lazy fluff ball in the middle that sleepily watches you while we work out. He never really got exercised properly which has given me massive poochy mum guilt as I could see he was getting quite lardy under all that furr.
Well my wee furr mate became my training buddy, as soon as I would pick up my keys in my running gear he would get all excited and sprint up to the car, guilt set in as I watched his face when I would be driving off to walk up Parihaka by myself (You can't take dogs in there)
Then I remembered there is an awesome track out the back of Parihaka called the Goatzee Track, there are also lots of trails that the Whangarei Mountain biking Club use.
Well this has become our regular playground, Initially I felt quite nervous parking at the top by myself so we now (now that we are super fit) park at the Whangarei Falls and run 1.5km along the AH Reed track then cross Whareora Rd and scoot up Goatzee to the top of Parihaka then back which equates to around 12kms (!!!)
This has now become a routine training run for us and here's the bit that really got me.. there have been a few times something has popped up on my "Running" mornings and I started to feel all agitated and pissed off- Not relief for getting out of the dreaded run, but annoyance that this thing had popped up into my running time.
It suddenly dawned on me that I had become quite fond of my time in nature, I had quality time with my pooch which sounds incredibly cheesy but he is the biggest goofball and has the time of his life exploring the bush, my mindset felt clearer and more grounded, I could take any crap I was holding onto out on the hills and leave them there. Not to mention how incredibly lucky we are to have these amazing trails right on our doorstep!
What an epiphany, I think the biggest change has been my mindset and realizing that we can change how we talk to ourselves. So many people are stuck in their story, creating their own belief system that they aren't capable of X Y Z because they don't like it, they can't or whatever. For some that may be true because of injuries, I am not dismissing that. We come across many people through our studio who fall back in love with exercise again and usually all they needed was to change things up.
So fast forward to the BIG DAY! I had been warned that this was one tough sucker, the average finish time was 5hrs so my goal had been to finish in under 4hrs. My body felt the best pre-event that I have EVER which was an amazing feeling. The terrain is pretty rugged in some areas with the first 5km pretty rough, climbing over and under trees, jumping creeks, Then we get to go through a huge cave which was amazing! Across more creeks, hills and farms, people were slowing down left right & center with sore calves as the course is pretty tough and my left calf started to give me grief at the 15km mark.
I finally made my way over the hill where you can see the finish line but you have to go around a small valley first to get there which was a bit cruel! The finish (also cruel) is on a hill, so I managed to grimace my way across that coming in at...3 hours 29mins! I was bloody stoked!
The training paid off, I am now eyeing up my next challenge- either the 3 Pigs in Glenbervie (Flash & I still haven't explored in there yet) or the Taupo Ultra Marathon- I'm looking at the 24km option. I love a good mud run and it's crazy to think that I have embraced this into my lifestyle but I am truly enjoying it and strongly encourage anyone out there who has always put something off to give it a go! Throw yourself in the deep end, as long as you prepare yourself you won't regret it!
I Guess I'm a Runner Now!
check out this handsome guys transformation, since we started training together
follow is journey on insty @flashygetsfit