I started the holiday with high hopes for training, but my real goal was not about training as much as about lifestyle. I knew I would come away happy if I felt like I had been "active" every day. And, guess what? I nearly did it. I wish I could say I did it, but I'm not beating myself up too much!
On the first full day at P's parents place, we drove into Hamilton, the nearest city. While P checked out the shops at the scary huge hypermall (tiny by US standards), I swam 2000m in the local pool. I was a bit disappointed in the pool, to be honest- the outdoor 50m pool was closed (the weather wasn't great, but wasn't THAT bad) and the indoor 50m pool was split up. BO-ring. It was an OK workout though, and it felt good to check it off the list!
In the course of my swimming pool research, I discovered some hot pools located in the region that boasted the longest opn hot water hydroslide in the country. Perfect way to entice a boy to a swimming pool! We tossed up riding out there and back, but once I realised it was at least 65k in each direction I decided it wasn't so smart. As we drove, we breathed a HUUGE sigh of relief- it was another 23km of steep windy hill to get to the pools after you reached the town! That would have meant over 100m of pretty hard riding that day. The hot pools were fun- not the fanciest, but not too bad. I didn't do any particularly "active" swimming, but running up the steps to the hydroslide's got to count, right? I didn't take any pics, which was a little silly! After that P drove me out to Raglan, which boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. I fell completely in love with the place and can't wait to go back there next time we're up in the area.
When we got home I was feeling antsy, so I persuaded P to run with me after dinner. The one problem with staying at P's parents' farm is that it's right on the state highway, so you can't just run from home. It's not really a big enough farm to run around either. Since I don't drive, I was kinda reliant on P. Excuses, excuses! We drove into the centre of town and ran for about 50 minutes around the streets and some lovely trails. It was great being able to run on trails after 8:30pm, and to be able to run on trails that weren't 90% vertical!
The last day before we left for the beach we rode. We didn't go far, and although it was high on P's list of "top holiday moments", I was feeling a little bit stressed out for some of it so it wasn't quite as fun for me. Having said that, the stress ended pretty early on and all in all it was AWESOME. I love love LOVE riding out there. It's mostly rolling and some medium sized climbs, and you can go off on country roads and just fly. So so fun and SO different to riding in Welly (where it's UP or DOWN or FLAT and if you want to do anything other than ride round the bays, you're in traffic. Yuck.
When we got home, we ran twice round the horse track. P needs to do some bricks to get ready for his du on the 22nd!
The drive to the beach from Cambridge was the MOST beautiful ever, absolutely breathtaking, and I am embarrassed to say that I do not have any pictures.
It's probably not necessary to spell out the details of my other workouts/"active" activities, but I ran for 30-45 minutes 2 of the mornings we were at the beach, fell in love with the swimming pool in New Plymouth (I didn't "train" as such- I probably did about 10 laps of the 50m pool- the rest of the time was spent playing, going down the hydroslides and mucking about in the wave pool), we went on a couple of walks (other than the one I talked about yesterday) and spent some time in the surf. I did some "proper" swimming in a lake on our way back, my guess is about 400m though, so nothing too flash!
The last workout I wanted to talk about was on our last full day- the day of the Round the Mountain ride that we had originally intended to do. We planned some of our route during our drive to the mountain the day before, and were thinking we'd do a loop of about 70 km. The first 12 km looked easy, but oh my god, I was ready to stop at 12! That was the hardest "easy" 12km every. Basically, combine a loong false flat with strong headwinds and a really bumpy road and you get one tired and frustrated Kate. It got a bit better after that, though it was so cold I had to stop to put a polyprop on- the roads were better, we could mostly ride next to each other and we got to enjoy the undulations a little more (my speed was still only in the early 30s (km/h) on the downhills though!). P pushed me to keep off the brakes on the downhills, and I got much better at letting myself go, even with him cruising in front of me (it drives me CRAZY). Pretty much before we knew it we'd arrived in a smallish town a little further on than the one we'd originally planned to stop in, about 47k from the start. We had a late lunch in an Irish pub (yum), refilled some water bottles and then headed on. We also got to see some of the stragglers in the Round the Mountain race go past. The next part of the ride was hard but fun- riding hard into cold headwinds on the state highway. It's amazing how having cars speeding past you makes you push that much harder! My water bottle holder came loose, which was very distracting- it sounded as if some important part of my bike was making that odd clinking noise, so we stopped in the next town (where we'd planned originally to turn off) to fix it. As we slowed down, I noticed that we hadn't clipped my front brake on. Hmm.. only like 70km in!!
The last 25-30km were amazing. We both found a second wind, the wind was at our back and instead of a gradual uphill, we had a gradual downhill, with lots of super fun rollers. WOOHOO! My speed went below 30km/h ONCE for those last ks and that was on a short hill and it went down to 29.5. I was glowing, just loving it! My cadence improved, and we think we would have averaged over 35kph on that last bit. If only we could have a whole ride like that! When we got back into town, we were at about 97 km so we decided to be a bit pathetic and to zigzag back home for the next 3 km. I was also sitting at 2984 calories or something, so I was keen to kick those last 16 calories in the butt :-) We hit home at 100.31km, and 3031 calories burned. I am so proud of us- that's our longest ride to date by about 30km, and getting past that 100 mark is so cool. I know now that if we keep up with our training, we WILL be able to do some proper rides during 2007, and also that I will be able to ride with P stress free.
I'll probably post some more random pictures, but other than that, that's it for my holiday tales.