33 days to go

Quite the urban adventure was Saturday’s team walk. An unusually high tide wiped out the path but didn’t deter us. May we be so determined at the real event.

It’s time to get determined with our fundraising too. Each participant is required to raise a minimum of $500 before the walk. Through a combination of giving Oxfam gifts for Christmas and donating the service fee from the organic food co-op I run and a generous donation from a neighbour, I have almost reached my minimum. Could I invite you to join in and help us help Oxfam NZ raise the million dollars they are hoping to this year? All funds raised will go to Oxfam’s vital work in reducing poverty and demanding justice for the world’s poorest communities.

If you would like to donate to our team. Poverty, Pleasure & Pain you can click right here. Or if you would like to pledge an amount, you could leave a comment below.



40 days to go

Thick black blanketed the city. Stars twinkled large and small. A yellow crescent moon competed with the orange glow of the street lamps. I walked in silence broken only by the crickets chirping their morning song in the dew-laden grass. Imperceptibly the darkness turned to deep inky blue. After an hour it faded to barely blue at all. Clouds hid the moon, the stars were swallowed by the dawn, faint apricot stained the horizon. I remembered being with the youngest four hiking in Spain. We had got up at five so we could witness the mountain sunrise. We had picked our way along in the dark which slowly, gently had given way to light. No blazes of colour, nothing dramatic, nothing spectacular. Today was just the same. Imagine my surprise when I glanced eastwards and saw the cumulus clouds burning! A bright pink light dazzled on top of the clouds, outlining them as if with jewels. The clouds themselves, in contrast, looked like Monet had brushed some hazy pink pigment across them. A real treasure. So began Saturday’s training walk which encouragingly covered more than half the Oxfam distance. Yes, I’ve made it to 54km and in under 12 hours…so even if we crawled the remaining 46 at half the speed we would make it in time. It no longer seems an unfounded arrogance to say that barring injury, I should finish. Do you share that faith? Would you be willing to prove it with a donation to our team, Poverty, Pleasure n Pain? You can do so here if you like. Or perhaps you want to wait until we’ve delivered the goods, so to speak – that’s OK; donations can be made for six weeks after the event. And maybe you don’t want to give at all – of course, that’s fine too. Whether you give a lot, a little or not even a penny, I wish you some treasured sunrises.

Last week’s training:
6.6km with Rob
54km alone

Total: 60.6km

47 days to go

IMG_3466It’s so good to be supported by a hubby who drags you out at all the times you just don’t want to go – after dark, straight after dinner, mid-afternoon on a holiday. And he walks faster, too, which is a training technique that is supposed to be good for you, but I can never bring myself to indulge in on my own because I like comfort too much.

I hoped his three drag-me-round-the-blocks (which were so much more fun because he came too) would set me up well for a second attempt at walking to the hospital and home again; this time there was no plan for a pick up in our van…it was walk home or settle down in a hospital bed. Thankfully it seemed to work. Just after completing the marathon-distance (42km) I started to feel a bit tired and then the last hill appeared. Rather than slogging up slowly, I heeded the hunger rumblings in my tummy and decided to see if I could push myself faster…..and succeeded.
The best news was I did not seize up over the course of the evening and was only mildly stiff the following day – nothing that an easy team walk in the dark with the rest of the team wouldn’t fix.

Last week’s training:
5.7km hilly, fast
7.8km hilly with Lanky Legs son too (I had to run at times to keep up)
9.2km pleasant walk, but still quicker than my usual
47.6km to hospital via Upper Harbour Crossing, lunch break with Grandpa, bus ride across Harbour Bridge, and walk home
9.7km night walk with the team

Week’s total: 80km

54 days to go

It is starting to become apparent that this will be the almost-training-less walk.
On Saturday I was aiming for 50km – it was going to be a joyous occasion of confirming I could at least complete half the course! I made it to North Shore Hospital, wet and after a couple of hours in the air conditioned environment also cold and bordering on miserable as one knee ached and the opposite calf spasmed with cramp.
The plan had been forRob to pick me up and drop me over the Harbour Bridge so I could continue my trek homewards. I never got out of the van!! (In hindsight, it would have been the perfect opportunity to trial our cramp solution – but I think the aircon may have frozen my brain cells!)
Then on Sunday there was a team walk. However, Monday was to be the first day of our academic studies and so it was suddenly a matter of urgency to complete some preparations – no walk for me.

Take home lesson: if you don’t walk for two weeks don’t expect to increase your distance, no matter how good the last walk was

Last week’s training: