Sunday, May 23, 2010

I've Clearly Lost the Plot

On Tuesday this week my brain must have stopped working because I signed up for the Auckland Marathon.  So not only have I registered to voluntarily run 26.2 miles, I've decided to do it for the first time in a city built on a dormant volcanic field. Genius.

Last February I signed up for my first half marathon and as I was training for that run, I decided that I would never want to run more than 13.1 miles.  Apparently pain has no memory because by the time the Chicago Marathon came in October, I was actually convincing myself that I could do a marathon if I put my mind to it.  The excitement as I watched a friend qualify for the Boston Marathon with only seconds to spare was contagious.  I did a bit of research, you know, just in case I thought I might want to sign up for the Chicago marathon.  It was scheduled for October 10, 2010...or 10-10-10.  All of a sudden this wasn't just an idea, it seemed possible (it's incredible what your mind can convince you of).  If I was going to complete a marathon I couldn't think of a better day to do it.  But, it wasn't to be, because I moved to New Zealand instead.  My goal of a marathon would have to wait...or would it?

When I arrived I resolutely decided to continue my running...which I did for about two weeks. Then there were foods to try and socialising to do (which involved alcohol, of course), and more food to try and wine to taste...and one thing lead to another and all of sudden my clothes weren't fitting like they should.

This past Monday I was at my limit.  I bit the bullet and joined the gym (which is $23/week as opposed to the $23/month I was paying at home).  With my membership (which is at the YMCA, one of the cheaper gyms in the city) came a personal trainer.  I dragged myself out of bed to make it in for my first appointment on Tuesday morning, at which point I had to admit out loud my horrible habits.  The culminating point was when I was asked to step on the scale.  Disaster.  I hesitated, I closed my eyes, I stood up tall and held my breath.  As the numbers flipped around to their final resting place, I chanced a glance down.  I didn't like what I saw, even in Kilograms I knew I didn't like it.

Well, all I can figure out is that when those numbers came up on the scale I must have gone into some sort of trance.  Who knows, maybe it was temporary insanity.  Within the hour I registered for the Auckland marathon.  If I needed something to work towards in order to get myself back in shape - I now had it.

That night I drove part of the course over the Harbour Bridge.  As my car climbed up over the bridge, my mind was trying to block out the fact that even in the car it seemed like a long way. Shit. (Pictured above is the Auckland Harbour Bridge)

I no longer need to worry about filling my days with distractions.  As of the end of June I will start training for what I can only assume will be a glimpse of a small bit of my own personal Hell.  What I can say is that barring any volcanic eruptions, I'll finish and I'll have something crossed off my bucket list to boot.

To give you an idea of what the course looks like, I've plotted it out on  To see the elevation use the "View Elevation" button below the map.  You will get an idea of what the organisers call "rolling hills" during the first half of the course.  At least I can say I am looking forward to the views and getting back into shape as I work toward this goal.

Things to be thankful for:
- Good advice and encouragement from friends who are accomplished marathoners
- Two legs and feet that, as of today, seem to work quite well
- A ridiculous need for achievements
- Bucket lists, even if I do make it up as I go along


  1. Ok so...i hate to tell you this, but marathon training is a horrible way to lose weight. You are really hungry after running 50 miles a week. BUT it is an amazing journey and doing it in Australia seems PERFECT

  2. Ryan & I are plotting to run the Chicago marathon for our 30ths next year (even after I also swore 13.1 was my absolute limit!) I am terrified.....but I know that you will kick some serious rump, and have beautiful memories to boot!