A hard week, but full of fun 14-20th December

So nearly up to date!


A triumphant start of a very hard week.

After our late nights getting back from Karapiro we were given Monday morning off, but not a rest day – 30mins steady state, so I treated myself to a run – my achillies are super sore, hoping they behave themselves and it’s just the lack of running recently.

Tuesday was to be a training session involving Ballena Bay – brings dread into every Wellington rower’s heart……. After warming up, our coaches requested that 3 of us stay behind while the other set off……. we hadn’t made the top 8.They spoke to the other 2 first and then me. I kind of knew what was coming, I’d been thinking about it but didn’t know quite how it would work out.

It was a hard conversation for all 3 of us.

There are 12 people in the novice squad.

8 get to row in the coveted 8

1 is currently injured

2 get to row in a double

and then there’s me…….

This I’d worked out. What no one had worked out was what to do with me…..

Needless to say I cried, a lot, I couldn’t disagree with what they were saying -the 8 best novices are amazing (the best squad they’ve ever had), the 2 in the double are amazing also. So, we talked through options, some I vetoed (giving up, moving to Masters – they’re lovely but I want to complete my season with the Novices if I can), a few things popped out of the discussion to think about, so we left it there.

I was amazed to be given the option of just heading home, but wanted to brave it out and go finish the training session with the girls, so we went and found them. It was good to get some fresh air and run back from the Bay with them.

Wednesday – this was going to be a tough week

One of the ideas was that when the 8 and double were out I could (on a Wednesday as that’s when they train) go out with the Masters, so I did! Allan who coached me at Corporate rowing was there and made the mistake of being nice to me….. cue tears…… went out in the 8 with them, had my own personal coach sat behind me, was a rockier ride that I’m used to (us Novices have better balance than they did) but was good to be out on the water!


We did something in the evening…….

Friday – rest day!

But also email chat day – having thought about things since Tuesday, I had questions/requests to discuss. Was a very honest exchange, but no point being anything else!

I get to try being in a single – a boat all by myself – terrifying – but it means I can still row even when everyone else is out on the water. I get to sub into the 8 when people can’t make training (makes me feel like I can’t be sooooo terrible) and I’ll still do all the land-based training too 🙂

Saturday – meant to be a regatta


But in true Wellington form it’s too windy, so instead we were out at 7am for a row. The water was beautifully flat and I had fun in the coach boat as they rowed out to the airport. I swapped in on the row home as someone had a injury. Sadly by then the water wasn’t as great, but good to be in the boat 🙂

Then, a lovely thing happened as the Masters had just arrived and were heading out to Petone to row as the water wasn’t great in town. They asked if I wanted to join them – fab as it also meant I got a lift home!! We went out in an 8 and it was a lovely row, I really enjoyed it – sitting on stroke side really helped with that (and also I wasn’t the worst in the boat!!) Their coach at the end said I had a lovely finish (part of the stroke), well, bless him, I felt so bad as I then proceeded to burst into tears – after everything that had happened this week, praise was a bit too much for me!! We then proceeded to have a lovely chat and he said that I was welcome to come and borrow a wide-bottomed single from him if I wanted (he usually coaches the club next to ours) they’re more steady than the racing boats. He also said he’d have me in his novice team, but that’s never going to happen as I love mine too much.


No regatta did mean I could make it to sailing for the first time this season….. we sail out at Titahi Bay. We got there and it was WINDY, the water choppy and an on-shore wind at that. Too windy to sensibly go out – we may never have made it off the boat ramp!


Not sure why (retrospect is a wonderful thing) but we decided to go out in kayaks instead….. we’d gone less than 100m before I decided I was going back….. as I turned around I capsized…….  but managed to 1. get out of the boat, 2. keep hold of my paddle, 3. hold the boat, 4. realise my rowing hat had fallen off and managed to rescue it, but best of all 5. put my feet down and discover I could stand!!

What a relief, the kayak was so full of water and there’s no way I could empty it unaided, so I walked it over to a little boat ramp, hauled it up and awaited assistance……. Help arrived via a boathouse full of geese (apparently they rescue injured birds) kayak emptied it was back into the water and less than 2 minutes paddle to the boat ramp to the club.


The evening was no less jam-packed with a trip to the Westpac Stadium to watch Wellington Phoenix play Sydney FC – our work night out. Was great, we had a lounge, food and an amazing view. My boss is a massive fan, taught me the chants, my favorite being the one when you spot seagulls flying over the stadium – ‘Seagull’ ‘Seagull’ ‘Seagull’ until they’ve disappeared…….. Final score was 1-1, disappointing Wellington weren’t ahead in the last 10 minutes as then we’d have been treated to the sight of the Phoenix fans removing their shirts and twirling them around their heads….. My boss challenged me to get a selfie with the team captain at the end of the game – mission accomplished – photo and an autograph…. Bodes well for my next performance review I think


Sunday was a quieter day (thank goodness!)

Another 7am rowing, this time the girls went out in 2 quads, I got to cox one and they spent an hour or so chasing each other up and down the water – I got a tad soggy, but was great fun.

The girls then went on to do weights while I had a go in a single – v scary, just you in a boat by yourself – you go off balance, you fall in, it goes wrong, it’s your fault – no one else to blame. But also, you are totally in control – if it goes right you stay dry and can work on correcting what’s going wrong without affecting anyone else. Apart from a mad 5 minutes where I drifted into a load of other boats that came into the lagoon (while everyone was watching) and the one time I got myself stuck in the corner of the lagoon and had to be pushed off with an oar it went pretty well!

I stayed dry, didn’t panic too much, loved actually rowing it, struggled with turning round – my oat kept sinking, but left the lagoon happy and ready to do it again soon 🙂





KR1 week 7-13th December

So, this week was a light week in terms of rowing – lots of technical stuff/short pieces so everyone was rested for the Christmas Regatta at Lake Karapiro.

It’s a BIG regatta, the biggest we’d been to and will probably get to go to (even Nationals isn’t as big as there’s no school teams there)

True to recent form, I have no idea what happened in the week, but on Friday through various means we traveled up to Karapiro, a small town/village by Cambridge, which is near Hamilton, or to be v general on the North Island!

Cambridge is famous in NZ for horses/horse racing/harness racing – we stayed at the Raceway – most minimal place yet, we were in a function room, a bar (no alcohol), a toilet, a long walk to the shower block (1 shower) where we did find a hot water boiler and a microwave…….. but it was only $10/night.

This is all a good 6/7 hour  drive from Wellington. I had my Software Testing exam on the Friday, so made the good decision to catch a flight up to Hamilton and by happy coincidence so was another rower so we had a fun trip together – drinking coffee and eating Russian fudge and boiled sweets.

As there are no cooking facilities at the Raceway and no where else within walking distance we went to the onsite bar/restaurant – there was a Friday special of steak for $16 and turned out to be pretty good. Pretty much everyone had arrived by 10pm when our coach came in for a chat/what to do in the morning etc. Once he realised how late it was we were sent to bed – had to be up at 5:30am!!

Saturday – heats

It was a bit overwhelming arriving and seeing a sea of boats along the side of the lake. There were nearly 3000 rowers and it felt like as many boats. People from all over the North Island, some from Australia and a team from China.

There are heats on day one and finals on day 2. This is the fancy regatta – they have people who lie on pontoons and hold the boats at the start (like you see on the TV).

I did not have a good day.

The first race I was in was the Quad sculls (it’s at this point in life where I’ve realised it’s sculling, not skulling – now have quite gruesome images in my head) anyway, it’s not my strongest point and for 3 out of 4 of us, I think it’s fair to say it’s not our strongest skill. We were also hampered by having (what turned out to be) an inexperienced cox. It was a horrible row, we came 6th or last depending on how you want to look at it.

Next up was the Novice 8 – I was in with the same crew as last week and still on stroke side – my favourite. We were in a battle for 1st/2nd from the start, it was great, we rowed so hard, but with about 250m to go I caught a crab, my oar twisted and got stuck and there was nothing I could do. 250m is a good minute or so of rowing, losing a rower on one side means it’s v difficult to steer as the other side is always pulling you around. There was nothing to do but 1. desperately try and free my oar, 2. cry when I realised that wasn’t going to happen and 3. watch our potential chance 1st place go, and the 2nd and the 3rd……. 4th place – I was gutted for everyone – 1st or 2nd and we’d have been in the final……. Everyone one was so nice about it, I got hugs and lasagna, wise words, stories of other crucial times people had messed up, but still, a chance in a final gone…..

Finally there was the 4, I was in bow side for this – my less favorite side and already feeling bad after the 8 race I didn’t feel great, we had the same bad cox as the quad earlier in the day, I think it’s fair to say we were tired and the wind was blowing. It was a bumping row to the start, a lot of fingers/thumbs getting bashed on the riggers and tempers were frayed by the time we were at the start…… The row itself was ok, we came 4th, so not last, but not great either.

I meant I had no final races the next day – the only Novice not to 😦


The girls in the 8, top 4 and quad and double had all got into the finals – they’d had great races and that was oar-some news!

We ate at the Raceway again – this time a yummy burger. Also spotted an amazing mullet – v blurry as we were quite far away, but I think you can get the idea.

Sunday – finals day and rain

Lots of rain! And even better, lots of wins. Everyone rowed so well, for the Novices, every win was a great one – especially the Novice  8 – was so exciting to watch – so proud of the girls. The races we didn’t win there were good reasons for, so a great leaning opportunity.

For me it was a hard day, the further realisation that I wasn’t up with the best rowers, so much technique still to work on…. What I did learn though was what I’d be reassured of the previous day – people do catch crabs – one of our boats caught 2 in quick succession – makes mine nothing special – just another thing to learn from.

Boat loading took FOREVER – probably not helped with the knowledge that we all had a massive drive ahead of us. We didn’t leave until around 6pm, took a quick drive to Taupo for Burger Fuel – yum – and then the long drive to Wellington. Events occurred that we will never speak of, although someone has spoken, I’m hopping it never gets out of the Novice girls circle of trust……



Jury Cup week 30th Nov-6th Dec

The notes are still incredibly vague……..


no clue!

tuesday 2k test

Horrible – had to work out our own plan to get through it – my plan, as ever, was to get under 8 mins, all I needed to do was sit on 2min/500m splits and under for a few strokes and I’d make it under 8 mins.

We had no one coxing us apart from to say ‘remember your plan’. I was doing really well (at sticking to the plan) until the last 250-300m when my splits went from 2mins up to 2:11, I pulled myself and my legs back together, but by then it was too late. I finished at 8:01 – gutted


no idea

thu boat loading 6x 1min

Erghhhhhh. I got to training early and someone else was already there so we did out 6x 1min together. She declared this would be the easiest set piece we’d done in ages…. The first one was mental – we just had to to them as fast as possible – we rated at 40 strokes/min – stupidly fast, normally we do low 30s for racing

With a rest inbetween (I think 2 mins??) we went again 5 for times, this was generally at a slower rate of 36/37 – far more do-able after the  craziness – no way we could have kept that pace up!

fri rest and wanganui – Jury Cup

Rest day and a drive to Wanganui. This was an easy drive compared to when we went for camp, no pouring rain or driving wind. We arrived in daylight! Stayed at the YMCA – an old private school – lovely place, had time to go to the supermarket and settle in before others arrived and an early night before race day

Sat – race

I wasn’t in the Novice 8 but did get to row with another team from the rowing club in their 8 – had a great row – we came 2nd. Also came second in our 4 – hurrah!

Was also in a quad, but that was cancelled – it got really windy out on the water, we all had to shelter under the trees – actually under – we were holding onto branches/leaves to stop floating downstream. Once they’d decided to cancel the races we then had to row the 2km back to the finish – slowly and carefully, but was fun as we had a safety boat with us and a lady filling up her memory card on her camera – sadly not found where the photos ended up!


In the evening we chilled out, some of the guys partied, I was boring (and tired) had 1 beer and was in bed by 9:30pm……..

Sun – train/travel

We got a lie in as the Club women trained first. We had a fab long paddle up the river and back before loading the trailer with boats/oars etc. Left pretty early to travel back and were home in Wellington at about 3/4pm – the luxury!!!

Let’s see what I can remember from 16-22nd Nov

Monday 16th – sleep in, text from Joe, immigration, no key, bootcamp, green parrot

Those are the clues….. I slept in (ie didn’t set my alarm for 5:20am), Texted my rowing coach, got a reply…… got a phone call from Immigration saying my work visa application had been approved – hurrah can stay for at least another year in NZ – collected passport for can go to Oz at end of week. Did bootcamp to make up for missing training in the morning (hideous circuits trying to beat previous time each time round) and then went to the Green Parrot to celebrate – amazing steak!!!

Tuesday –

There would have been some training in the evening…….


According to my calendar – hair cut and then rowing…..

Thursday sydney – early training rhys

Here I have more of a clue – went to Sydney!!!! But first did some erging with my bf (trying to correct his technique) then a monster breakfast out, a mad pack, trip to the airport, flight to Sydney and then a drive to the Blue Mountains – stopped at a really yummy Thai restaurant on the way, but sadly no idea where or what it was called….. The temperature difference between Welling (17) and Sydney (27) was amazing, so warm, every time we got out of the car we were reminded of how warm it was (compared to the aircon in the car!!) We drove out to the Blue Mountains and stayed at a really friendly hostel called the Flying Fox in Katoomba – was late when we arrived, so time for a glass of wine and a sleep!


For some reason we were both awake stupidly early, but was to be a blessing in disguise – temperatures of nearly 40 degrees C were forecast so it was good to get up and out before it got too hot. Took a walk down to see the view at Echo Point – it didn’t disappoint and even better there was no-one else there!!


We wandered back for our free breakfast – amazing yummy bread and jam and cups of tea. Spent the day exploring, went to see Gordon Falls – a bit of a disappointment, but with the weather it shouldn’t have been surprising there wasn’t that much water!

Lunch was at a yummy veggie/vegan place in Katoomba. In the afternoon we were in Leura and spotted a sign for a vegan restaurant open in the evening – was upstairs in the mall, popped our heads in and it looked great, so that’s where we went for dinner – after an evening stroll back at Echo Point.


Food was delicious, was even dessert – we got 2 to share and thankfully both preferred different ones!!


saturday TM

Tough Mudder!!!! Our reason for being in Australia. It was held in Glenworth Valley just under 2hr drive away from the Blue Mountains – was a lovely drive, but we only had the map they gave us when we hired the car…… it took us most of the way, but not the vital end bit….. we had no data on our phones, was getting a bit tense as to whether we’d missed a turning/not gone far enough when out the corner of my eye I spotted a sign (I thought) for Glenworth Valley, we turned off the main road and there were no signs, we drove, no signs, then turned around to retrace our steps when thankfully I spotted a sign from another road pointing to Glenworth Valley, with much relief we followed that and were soon surrounded by people all heading in the same direction!

This was my second Tough Mudder to participate, but my 3rd after volunteering in Auckland last year – spent 2 great days manning the Cage Crawl (Day 1 and Day 2).

My first TM was in the UK and was soooooo much fun and I’d trained so hard for it, this time, I’ve been training for rowing and hoped that would be enough!! My report for the UK was obstacle by obstacle, but without the memory of Nikki to help me this is far less detailed!!


11233093_10156293221250293_1878294117877734748_oIt was fun, it was hard, it was wet, muddy and shocking (of the electrical kind) was well worth the travel to get there and everything that went before.

My favorite obstacle this time was the mud mile – mud banks to climb over before plunging into muddy water to climb up another bank (and repeat). Least fav was Arctic Enema – plunging into a skip filled with water and ice, ducking underneath a divider and climbing out – loved it first time round, this time freaked out, panic breathing, horrible – the smile in the photo above is misleading!

Had 2 showering sessions to attempt to get the mud off before changing into clean/dry clothes. Then drove to Sydney, parked up and found our hostel (our room more like a hotel) for the night – by the train station – Bounce. Had an ensuite and white towels….. they may rethink that for next year – any TM people should just get old towels. Despite the previous 2 showers there was still mud to be found, lots of it – I was finding mud in my ears and nose for days…….


After a v solid nights sleep we were up early for breakfast – got to see a steam train leaving the station from our view over the railway tracks in the hostel’s fab kitchen.

Then packed away our stuff, carried it back to the car before heading off to our treat for the day – a Jet Blast Ride in and around the harbour. This was so much fun, the time flew by, we got a little soggy, but then we did sit right at the front!!

The rest of the day we walked to the Rocks, the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Botanical Gardens, back down Pitt Street and we were done.

When I say done, I mean could walk no more, had seen as much of Sydney as we could do.

Time to head to the airport and back to Wellington…… arrived back at 11pm and we were home for 1am. What a great trip away 🙂


9th November – James Bond week

Monday out in the 8 ghost rowing – loved it – the concept of pushing with the legs and doing nothing with the arms is doing wonders for my blisters, or complete lack of new ones – going to stick with this!!


Tuesday on the ergs, horrible weather, horrible 2km pieces, 3 of them…….

Had a shocker. The first was fine. Rating 24 for 1000m and 26 for 1000m. The second I couldn’t breath at 1000km (at 26), stopped, cried and after some friendly encouragement pulled it back together for the last 1000m (at 28). The third I managed 1000m at 28 and some at 30 before again my breathing went haywire, missed about 10 strokes getting by breathing back and then finished – I was amazed – I finished before quite a few people, so if I can sort out my breathing and keep up that pace I’ll be pretty chuffed with myself.

So, not much to celebrate about rowing, but I did get my work visa for another year, so was allowed out for chocolate cake 🙂


Wednesday – I slept in for a whole hour….. woke at 6:20am thinking it’s a bit light outside and sure enough it was. Quick text to my coach stating the obvious – I’m late! It was a mad dash to get dressed and drive into town and to training. I arrived at the club to find all the ergs full, so was sent on a 20minute run (here) while the others finished what they were up to. When they did it was my turn – all by myself (totally my own fault) – 40/20s 3 lots of 10 – it was HARD. The others had looked broken by the end and they had each other for company. It was a good exercise in not letting myself talk myself into quitting or taking it easy – no point in getting up late, coming to training and not doing it properly – may as well have stayed in bed for that.

Thursday – really enjoyed today. We started with a fun abs session – all 10 of us got to pick our favorite abs thing to do and we did it for 2mins, high knees in between! Then we had a really great team chat about race plans and how things are going to work going forwards before getting into some erging putting that plan into action – hard work, but fun – I love chats like that, made me feel really excited about rowing and it’s always good to remember why we’re doing all this training!

Friday – rest day, but also James Bond Day!!!!!!! As a fundraiser for the club we sold tickets to a special screening of the new James Bond film, Spectre. Was at the Penthouse in Brooklyn, nice arthouse-type cinema, v comfy seats and free wine 🙂 Really fun, but with a 7am start was home straight afterwards for an early night

Saturday – 7am start but rowing in Petone so a quick cycle and I was there – early – early enough to make me double check facebook to check I’d got the time right as no one else was there…… We had rather a rough row in the 8 (the waves not our technique (so much)). I was on bow side (my less favorite side) and have discovered that the feeling I’ve been getting of ‘catching’ the water before I put my oar in properly and I’ve been trying to correct is what I actually should be feeling (it’s called getting backsplash). Good to know if slightly frustrating to have been thinking it was wrong all this time…..

The afternoon was given over to the important job of cider tasting. A magazine (Capital) had got in touch with our coach and wanted to know if he could find 10 women who’d be prepared to try about 20 ciders….. he wasn’t short of volunteers! It was a really fun afternoon of tasting, commenting and trying to think where we pictured ourselves drinking these ciders, what landmarks or personalities did they remind us of……. we got better as time went on – some were really yummy, one or 2 were certainly not, but I’m now a firm fan of berry ciders – yum

Sunday – erging – it was hard, I wanted to give up, we did 3 sets, only a short way into the 2nd and I was willing to give up and go home, but talked myself through it and somehow held on through the 3rd. Next week is peak week….. help!


Feels like a short week after camp

actually a long week though……. it’s 13 days

Tuesday water – race starts – with Nina, packed away in record time

Wednesday water – power strokes – fun with Joe


Thursday – recovering from kidney bean poisoning

Friday rest day

Saturday Petone Regatta – 4 – shelly B, novice 8 win, quad cancelled, no sunburn

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/944879467 – v stressful being stroke in a 4, the first time I’d been in one since we last raced in Porirua. Went ok, we didn’t die or fall out (just about didn’t anyway……

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/944879482 – the horrible 8 we had at Corporate – Shelly B, crab-a-rama, but awesome cox, nice and calming and we got there to a win!

Sunday – up stupidly early to watch the All Blacks, snooze, 10am on water working on the legs

Monday 6am start “gentle run” and then sprints on the ergs


Tuesday 2km test – I knocked good 3 seconds off my last time, again an awesome cox who kept me going – getting closer to being under 8mins – I WILL get there

Wednesday – can’t remember – something inside – certainly on the ergs……..

Thursday on the water in an 8……. need to keep up with this blog……

Friday boat loading

Saturday, up at 5:30 to head to the Manawatu for the day. Row, BBQ breakfast, more rowing – amazing, lovely flat water and lots of time to work on technique – loved it. Somehow managed to burn the back of my legs though……

Early morning Wellington
Early morning Wellington



At the river
At the river

Sunday – weights and watts – really enjoyed it – not done weights for ages and really pushed myself with the arm work. Not worked out the watts on the ergs yet – managed 308 need to be closer to 400…….

I got told off…….

I was in trouble yesterday with Nikki.

In fact I’ve been in trouble with her since Saturday.

Roller skating without protection is my crime…….

It was all fine until I was attacked by an evil lip at the end of a bridge…… the skates swooped out from under me as I tried to jump/step/skate over it and I landed on my right hand, elbow and bottom with great heaviness and much attention from those around me.

I was mostly fine, no head bumping, slight amount of blood on my hand and  having refused all offers of help, I managed to get back up on my ‘feet’.

Once the small crowd had dispersed I may have admitted to a small amount of pain, but it was all good – although I’m never skating over that bridge again!

Stopped off at the rowing club to wash my hand and remove a couple of loose chunks of skin. It was deserted when we’d passed about 10mins before, but when we arrived the deck was covered in people and there was no hiding my injured hand or my ‘old school’ skates or the fact I almost could have put an end to my rowing for a while……

We headed off in a safer direction – away from people/dodgy surfaces and on to Oriental Parade. Much better, I had a chat to a man who referees Roller Derbys, picked up some skating pointers from him (he was under the illusion that I was just learning to skate…… no my friend, I have a good 35 years of experience)

Then, and far more excitingly, I spotted a shiba inu – a what? you may ask? only one of the cutest dogs ever!! They’re fairly rare over in the UK where I was lucky enough to have 2. Over here, it’s the first I’ve seen since I’ve been here. But chatting to the guy who owned her, there’s a breeder in Christchurch.

Murphy dog, he had a peaceful life
until this one came along – Maple
But they were good friends
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Murphy on his favorite chair in the days before Maple – so handsome

Of course, I had to sit on the floor and have a cuddle, she licked my hand better and cleaned my face and then it was time to say goodbye – she goes for a run and tows her owner behind on his skateboard!

So, should I be wearing protection? (well, probably yes) My friend had wrist and elbow guards on, but that wouldn’t have saved my hand or my bum….. Do I listen to my very wise friend Nikki, who points out that just because this all didn’t exist when I was younger doesn’t mean I shouldn’t wear it now…… or compromise and wear pads, or do what she wants and wear a helmet which feels like over kill, but if I bumped my head would keep me much safer?

An impromptu day off – Lyall Bay, a seal and snowy mountains

Last week my bf and I decided we’d take a random day off work – was the perfect day to chose – beautifully sunny – and as we both do early morning exercise on a Wednesday we made the most of the day!!

If you read my rowing posts then you’ll already know that I was on Wellington waterfront with this as my view as the sun rose.


After meeting back at the house and cooking the most amazing breakfast (we were hungry) we decided to head out to Lyall Bay – not sure how to describe where it is, so here’s a map!!


It was a crazy windy day in the Bay – the seagulls were struggling to stay stood on the seawall. The spray coming off the waves kind of shows the wind, but I loved it – it’s great when you’re wrapped up against it with the sun shining.

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Even better of course when you take refuge and watch it through a window with a yummy coffee! Lyall Bay has an awesome cafe with an incredible view – Maranui Cafe – go if you ever get a chance – you can book a table, so get one by the window.


We decided on another walk along the beach before lunch, and lunch can only come from one place in Lyall Bay – Seaview Takeaways – in the Top 10 of fish and chip shops for Wellington (this isn’t because there’s only one place to eat in Lyall Bay, just it’s the best). A word of warning, their portions are HUGE – I asked for fish and got the equivalent of 2 battered fish compared to where we normally go.


Amazing and fresh and way too many, but it did seem a shame to waste them on the seagulls.

To try and work some of the food off, we took a drive (yeah, I know) round the coast for a look. We were chatting about how beautiful Wellington was and whether it had caught up with my love of Taranaki yet….. I was repeating my usual response of ‘yes, but it doesn’t have a mountain’ when we came around a corner and the bf announced ‘but how about that?’

The view was breathtaking and isn’t really at all captured in the photos, but you could see all the way to the snow-capped mountains on the South Island – beautiful.

If you click on the image, you can spot the mountains on the horizon!

So just for an afternoon, maybe Wellington was up there with Taranaki…….

He deserved a kiss for that (not that it was planned, just happened to be a clear day and he spotted them at the perfect time!!)

We stopped a bit further on to get out of the car and take a proper look. More photos of crashing waves and mountains

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Then who should we come across but a seal?!


I’m still not over the fact that you can just see seals here – he was really cute, but all alone and with those big eyes looked sad – we wondered if he’s lost his friends. I wanted to take him home, but wasn’t allowed 😦

Did get this photo to remember him by, now my wallpaper on my computer at work


Turned out we were right by the road to Red Rocks – somewhere everyone talks about for spotting seals (so it shouldn’t have been a surprise, but I had no idea where we were – cue another map.)

this time with Google Earth - even from up there you can see the waves
This time with Google Earth – even from up there you can see the waves

Was a lovely day, a struggle to go back to work, but Thursday was rainy, so really a day to be indoors and dream about the next day off

Week 4 – BASE – whatever that means


So this week we enter a new cycle – cycle 7, week 1, BASE – not entirely sure what this means – it’s the first week of the 7th cycle (I get that bit) but BASE? Who knows

Monday – out for another lunch time run – my breathing suffered today for no apparent reason – was a lovely sunny and not too windy day for a run – all the way out to the lighthouse and back – had to walk 3x on the way back 😦

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/899101524 – you can see the nice run/walk pattern……

Had a lovely stretch in Civic Square while a man was creating loads of massive bubbles – was a shame to go back to work! Another run this evening and that will be the 50mins for the day

Tuesday – first 2km test – after warming up for a good 10mins the aim was to row as hard as possible for 2km (on the ergs). I sought the advice of my corporate coach, as ever he had wise words to say and great faith in me – thought I could get a sub-8min time – that would mean I’d need to be at a 500m rating of sub-2mins all the way. In the end I was slightly over that at 8:09:02. The last 100m took forever, it should be 10 strokes, but it was like the end would never come.

So my rating was just over 2:02/500m – not bad but room for improvement. First step to that being working out how to stop my feet coming loose while rowing! Although apparently it should be possible to do feet-out rowing for 2km…… We had a nice cool-down jogging around the lagoon – much as my legs didn’t want to do it they definitely felt better for it.

Wednesday – 6am at the rowing club – why so early? There was rumour of a chance of getting out on the water – not a hope, it was way too rough.

Random thing happened in the changing room – 2 of the girls congratulated me on my 2km time – thought it was a little odd, but nice and friendly and it was my first test. I realised why though when I looked at the 2km honours board – I was on it!!!!!!

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I was so excited, I ran to take a photo!

Excitement over and it was off outside to do something either called a ‘bee sting’ or a ‘beasting’ – either way it sounded painful……

1 shuttle run, 1 press up, 1 sit up, 1 burpee

2 shuttle runs, 2 press ups, 2 sit ups, 2 burpees

3 shuttle runs, 3 press ups, 3 sit ups, 3 burpees

…… you get the idea………

10 shuttle runs, 10 press ups, 10 sit ups, 10 burpees

But we did get this as our view


Then some more static exercises, step ups/abs/tricep dips/abs etc

I’m certain I heard, ‘last abs and we’re done’

But what I didn’t hear was ‘….. done outside’

Back into the Rowing club for some erg work (it’s now Monday and I have no idea what that was)

Thursday was a mixture of ‘power’ work on the ergs and weights – this is when I miss Nikki, she was always my memory for this kind of thing………

What I do remember was a rather spectacular sunset/rainbow combo


Friday – rest day!!!!

Saturday – we didn’t row until 2pm as the weather was so miserable in the morning – out skulling in what they call the ‘octopush’, basically a quad, but for 8 people! Had Nina coaching us and a really great session on basic technique – I felt far more confident in skulling afterwards in everything but ‘feathering’ the blade – fine in my right hand, but can’t do it with my left. Instead of twisting your wrists to do it, you’re meant to just open up your hand and roll the blade…… works for one hand but not the other….. https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/899101531

Sunday – another beautiful day and out in an 8 this time – sweeping – but was sat bow-side for the first time ever – was very confusing – you hands do different things when sweeping – the outside hand (on the end of the oar) is the one that ‘pulls’ and the inside hand does the feathering – I struggled to make mine swap, it all felt very uncomfortable!

Not as uncomfortable as I felt seeing the giant jellyfish swimming underneath the boat – they were giant, their tentacles really long, one even had a baby jelly fish stuck in there.

End of another fun week – lots of hard work with the 2km test, skulling, sweeping, jellyfish and an angry oystercatcher

Week Three – an easy week?


So, it’s Monday and I went for a run with another rower at lunchtime – a far nicer way to train – we had a good stretch on the fake turf in the middle of Civic Square too! Both of us have aching calves and now my quads have joined the party. Another one tonight and that will make up our time. The run has helped loosen the muscles, so every cloud……

Tuesday we were back on the ergs. 10minute warm up waiting for our coach to arrive, then 2x 2km pieces – not ‘go as fast as you can’, but ‘go as fast (or slow) as you’re told’. My first was pretty good, 8:18 but my second was about 8:25 so far worse – was disappointed, but my legs were still tired from the steps of the weekend. 5minutes more on the ergs and then I ran my remaining 5mins on the way to the train station – good way to make sure I caught the train!

Wednesday. Now, I had written this on Wednesday but it didn’t save and only because it’s saved on my Garmin do I know that we went for a 10min run and judging by the timing it was after some work of some sort on the ergs….. now I remember – speed work – I wrote a good explanation on Wednesday….. can I be bothered to write it again? Not really…….. in short we did arms really fast, faster, even faster and stupidly fast, then arms and bodies, then arms bodies and half slide – all to work on keeping good form while moving fast – apparently in a few weeks that kind of speed will feel more normal and less insane..

Thursday – that’s only yesterday so much easier to remember (I say that but actually I’m struggling)….. We did another run around the Overseas Terminal (10mins) then it must have been 10 min ergs to make up our 20mins? Then a mixture of weights (heavy) 7 reps of each – biceps, abs with weights, dorsal raises and upright row – I rocked these last ones – there was 35kg on the bar and I did them without too much trouble (whoop me!! someone wanted to know how I got to be so strong. I paraphrased Nikki ‘I’m freakishly strong’ but followed that with ‘in some areas, still can’t do a man press-up).

Each round of these was interspersed with erg work – high resistance, trying to stand up 1min on, 1 min off for 4 rounds – we were getting told off for giggling (=not working hard enough) so serious face had to come out……

Friday – rest day – not as tired as I have been, but it has been an easier week compared to the last couple. No rowing tomorrow, there’s a regatta on and less than perfect weather – works out kind of well as it would have been a struggle to train and do the run I’m doing – now there is no ‘training’ so the run makes up for that!

Saturday – no rowing, but Tough Guy and Girl instead! I did this last year and was kind of dreading it again – there’s a massive hill with a rope to help pull yourself up it – I remember wanting to quit halfway up and made it to the top through encouragement from a lovely random stranger. The day dawned beautifully sunny, if a bit windy. The run was great, far more fun than last year, through the trees, streams, tunnels, I even managed to get up the hill with relative ease (pretty pleased with that!!) ran down the hill thinking I might go for a second lap (there was a 6km or 12km option – my plan was to only do 6km but was feeling surprisingly good) that was until I hit the cargo nets – all good, some barbed wire – fine, then the mud pit…… I employed the technique we’d used in the Major Series basically go fast down the middle – sadly what thwarted us then did so again – someone stopped in front of me (actually 2 men) and that was me stuck…… as soon as you stop the mud gets you and there’s really no coming back – please do enjoy the video of these several minutes of my life, winning, then failing and sinking and then just lying on mud……..

After this, I would say humiliation, but by the time I was out I really didn’t care (hence sharing the video), I had to pull my leggings back up – I looked like a badly dressed teenager with my crotch down by my knees – and carried on with all the energy I had sucked out of my legs – the ability to do a second lap was a distant memory. More trees, streams, mud and a quick river crossing later and I was over the line!

Didn’t realise quite how muddy I was until I got my photo taken and the women said ‘OMG your back!’ – I was caked in mud – including a massive lump on my chin I hadn’t noticed……

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Loved the run this year and the showers were as amazing as I remembered – such lovely hot water – had to queue, but took the opportunity to rub as much mud off myself as I could manage – in the photo, where my skin looks pale, that’s just dried mud, not just the dark ‘splashes’ 🙂


Sunday was a fun morning on the water, but I was in the coach boat – last of 9 to arrive, so I drew the short straw…. was meant to be swapped in but as the others took sooooooooo long getting ready it never happened (there was so much faffing before we got on the water – even asked the coach if it was always this bad and I’d never noticed it being caught up in the middle of it all!). Learnt a lot though through being able to see what people are doing wrong (and right).

Also saw a jetskiing tiger/lion – not really something I thought I’d ever see…..