January 2010 started over gluhwein at a fireworks display in Bled, the first main stop on our European winter tour. We spent another three weeks or so overseas, and arrived home in time to catch the best parts of the New Zealand summer and to celebrate our first wedding anniversary.
Of course, "home" had changed, and February saw me figuring out how to get back to reality at the same time as adjusting to a new city, finding a new home, and starting a new job. February was also the month of my 28th birthday, and a great weekend of mountain biking with Phil in Rotorua. I did two mini triathlons, with a technical DNF in the first, and a second overall placing in the second.
In March, I started training with Coach Paul again. Phil started showing me the sweet rides around Cambridge, and I took my first kayaking lesson, with vague plans of going for my Grade 2 (that never came to fruition)! I also commuted to work for the first time, and loved it (which reminds me that I really didn't do it enough). I didn't post a lot here, and I didn't train a lot either (partly due to an exciting case at my new job). I was definitely struggling to settle into my new life and new routines- something that hasn't really changed. Oh yeah- and my sister got MARRIED!
April meant a big trial (including a week in Rotorua, and my first proper speaking role in Court), more mountain biking, Easter, a trip to Wellington, and a wet ride on the Makara loop. I didn't post AT ALL here, which is just shameful. Buckeye shows me I spent a lot of time doing Coach Paul's sadistic trainer intervals. I was happy to be running sub 6:00/ks at an "easy" if not "aerobic" pace, which really shows how far my running has come!
In May, we did even more mountain biking, which I recorded in this ode to my MTB, Maxwell the Silver Hammer. Since I started mountain biking a couple of years ago, there have been a few great rides that really made me feel confident about one day being able to ride (super easy) MTB races. This was definitely one of them. I also ran my first MAF test. My goal was to do the 8km in 45 minutes and I just about made it. Now I'm regularly running that pace without leaving E1! I also did my first guest post, and ran my first 10k race since 2007, in the satisfying but unspectacular time of 49:26. We tried to get ourselves a bit more involved in Waikato life, arranging blind "couple friend" dates, and heading along to local spin classes.
June was for darkness, inside and out. I struggled a LOT with the lack of lights in the country, and hated my morning and afternoon workouts. My running suffered, and my second MAF test was ghastly. Despite this, I entered my A race for the season, the Ports of Tauranga Half Ironman (which is now only two days away), hoping for a sweet sub-6 at long last.
In July, I passed my driving test. After too many visitors and weekends away, we stayed home and made the most of our weekend workouts in and around Cambridge, tackling the massive Sanitorium hill, running the Kairangi loop, and doing our second lap of Maungatautari in preparation for November's Karapiro Half Ironman.
August was ACONSO- "August: Choosing Other, Non-Supermarket, Options". We stayed away from the supermarkets for the entire month, getting our food from farmers' markets, Bin Inns and the greengrocers instead. We really enjoyed it, but haven't put our good habits into practice as much as we'd have liked. We spent a weekend in Wellington for Phil's 30th birthday. After a disastrous performance at the Taupo Half Marathon (so disastrous I never even did a race report) Coachy put me back on long runs, and I enjoyed some great adventure runs in Wellington and Hamilton. I was pissed off that slacker Phil was performing better than me, despite missing most of June and July due to the world cup. Grump.
Then came abstemious(booze free) September. I discovered that I didn't like not drinking, so cancelled Sober October and No Booze November, though I did try to cut back on the grog, and to clean up my weekend eating. I ran Sanitorium Hill, did my first 2hr + long run, and did my first 20km training run in ages. I started tracking my monthly stats, and was pleased with my average daily training time of 1.12 hours.
Instead of being sober, October was O for Oarsome. I went for my longest bike ride EVER with Phil and Mike, and managed to run a jolly solid 2 hour run the next day. I entered yet ANOTHER half ironman, and our "season" started in earnest, with 5k races and mini tris all over the place. I took my "current" 5k time from 24:xx to 23:19. We went to Taupo to camp and ride W2K. I wrote about training "performance", and adopted the phrase "Training is the studying, racing is the exam", which I've tried to keep in mind. I trained 30 of 31 days, and racked up 46 hours of training. October really was Oarsome.
November was "Oarsome" too, but for a different reason! I took a week off work to volunteer at the world rowing champs held on my doorstep at Lake Karapiro. I had to miss my usual 5k race (gutting, as it was a super fast night for everyone) and ran my own "race" instead, finishing in the acceptable "unsupported" time of 24:30. I also did my first big race of the season- the challenging Karapiro Half Ironman- and had my first ever DNF a couple of weeks later at the Contact Blue Lake event. November was a tough month for Kiwi cyclists, and I blogged about that here and here. It was a pretty solid month overall, as my stats showed.
In December I raced Tinman for the second time. My performance was pretty lacklustre, particularly my run, leaving me feeling pretty nervous about our half ironman this weekend. I was busy and very stressed as the holiday season approached, but got in most of my training, and had some very good runs and rides. We travelled to the Rotorua Half IM for a swim and a day of spectating, and did some great fast bricks in Cambridge and Kerikeri later in the month.
I'm not sure what 2011 is going to bring. The beginning of the year will be fairly full on with two half ironmen and the standard distance Nats in Wellington. I know if I'd done my best, I'd have a shot at long distance and standard distance worlds, but I haven't, and I'm a long way off the shape I feel I could be in, so Wellington will be just be a fun blat to top off an epic season. From then, who knows?