Holy smokes, I Live in New Zealand.

Truck Strike!
July 3, 2008, 12:22 am
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There is going to be a truck strike in Auckland during the Friday AM rush hour.  It starts at 7:30 am and they are doing loops around the CBD.  I think they are running along:

  • K Road,
  • Albert Street,
  • Customs/Quay Street,
  • Anzac/Symonds Street.

I am quite glad I’m doing my part to reduce road dependancy by riding the ferry again as usual (circumstance)…along a non-major arterial (lucky).  So if you happen to live in Auckland and you’re reading this, plan ahead accordingly for this Friday (4 July).


Canada Day.
July 1, 2008, 3:51 pm
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One of my coworkers did remember that it was Canada Day this week.  You don’t really miss the holiday so much until it’s gone.

  • Barrie, 2006 – I unpacked all of my leftover moving boxes and there was a huge thunderstorm.
  • Barrie, 2007 – Craig came to visit and we survived the whole lot of nothing that is Canada Day in Barrie.
  • Auckland, 2008 – I’ve just uncovered a Canada Day pub quiz at The Drake in Ponsonby that starts at 6:30pm. 

HSBC Round the Bays.
March 17, 2008, 6:53 am
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I woke up this morning and thought, “Hey, Fun Run.”

The latest in a series of running races was the HSBC Round the Bays, an 8.4k run that is one of the largest runs in the world. 40,000 registrants last year, and an additional 30,000 random runners (UPDATED: early count is over 45,000 runners this year). I’m sure they were fairly close to that this year as well. I did not do any fancy training or anything so it was bound to be a tough day and, accordingly, I brought a camera along to show you some of the route. This route is my usual Sunday run.

The video turned out okay, but only okay.

Alternate link.

A clarification: at no point does Achilles Point actually appear in this film. So when I cite it, it is actually Okahu Point.

Cathay Pacific Half Marathon.
March 2, 2008, 8:27 pm
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1:51.  Not bad for a kid with a cold.

It was a legitimate fun run (as if 21k can be fun).  They aren’t even posting the results online.  They ran staggered starts and slotted people in based on anticipated finish (supplied at registration).  The goal was to have everyone finish at 10:30 AM.  I started sooner than planned because of this cold I have.

I don’t know.  It went well enough.  I stopped three times to have some of my homemade sport drink, but other than that I stuck to the plan  (10 minutes run, 1 minute jog).  It rained overnight so the humidity had broken, and it was cloudy so it wasn’t too hot.  It did rain (more like strongly misted) for the last 4k of the run.

There were free sausages and a miniature schnauzer at the finish line, who I got to pet for about a minute.  I want a dog.

I came home on the bus, stretched, showered, slept (if drifting in and out of sleep for four hours is called “sleeping”), ate a pizza, got to writing some e-mails, watched some TV, read some news, and then clicked “publish.”

All and all, a pretty good day.  Cough cough, sniffle.

How to Kill a Mandatory ‘Do Nothing’ Day.
March 1, 2008, 6:23 pm
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So I am running the Cathay Pacific Half Marathon tomorrow and, as is customary for long distance runners, I am sitting around the apartment doing nothing right now. Doing nothing means I can’t get hurt, plus I’m saving up all my energy for the big event tomorrow.

My goal time is 1:48, the same as my November run. But this 21k has more ups and downs in it, so I think a similar finishing time would be great. However, my cold hasn’t really gone away. Everything feels fine, but I have a slightly runny nose and my cough won’t go away. Regrettably, there is a wheeze in there so I’ll probably be doing a lot more coughing on my run that usual, which means probably no 1:48 for me tomorrow. I will let you know.

Back to the day-before shutdown. I’m idling away time behind my computer today because I have this cold, I don’t want to go into work (I said I would, but I am in no position to think today and I have other backowing work to do) and tomorrow is the big run. Long distance runners tend to shut ‘er down the night before in order to rest up and eat nothing but carbohydrates to have lots of energy the next day. It’s like a never ending preparation for a hockey game.

I’ve done all sorts of little things today, and to show you just how relevant the blogosphere is to contributing useful information to the world, the following is a comprehensive list of what my New Zealand Saturday entailed:

  • Jogged to the Langham Hotel, 1.5 km away, to pick up my and my friend Simon’s race kit. John Stanton recommends a 3k run at race pace the day before a half marathon, plus I wanted to see if I could force anything out of my lungs ahead of schedule.
  • Went to Foodtown and bought $80 worth of groceries. Highlights include strawberry ice cream, milk and chocolate for a blog post next week, laundry detergent and frozen dinners. All were on sale.
  • Sorted out my New Zealand banking and set up my next big funds transfer to New Zealand.
  • Set out my clothes for the race tomorrow.
  • Cooked a HUGE pot of ravioli and made a nice little side salad for myself. I bought a head of iceberg lettuce that came in a bag just like a loaf of bread would. Very snazzy.
  • Downloaded some movies and music.
  • Had two showers.
  • Drank three pints of “orange drink” (they say it’s juice, but it’s not real orange juice, you know?) and (to this point) one litre of water. More will be consumed as the evening rolls on.
  • The Sarah Silverman “I’m f*cking Matt Damon” video.
  • The Jimmy Kimmel “I’m f*cking Ben Affleck” response video.
  • A whole lotta CBC Radio 3.
  • A couple of phone calls and e-mails home, but that’ll be more a tomorrow thing to do.
  • Stretching.
  • Text messaging.
  • Run and empty the diswasher.
  • Some old time computer games, including a modified version of RBI Baseball featuring the 2006 Opening Day Toronto Blue Jays lineup.
  • Catching up on non-friend blogs (the friends get their attention tomorrow) such as Globe on Baseball and Drunk Jays Fans.

Geez, and whoever said a day alone at home couldn’t be busy and time consuming? I will let you know the results of tomorrow…tomorrow.

Run Club Update.
December 18, 2007, 9:08 pm
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Back in my first ever 5k race (Rotary Fun Run, May 2007, Barrie Waterfront), I set a goal to finish in under 22:00.  That day I learned that I had no concept of time, that I can’t go as fast when it is brutally humid, that I have to maintain a slow pace at the beginning of a race, and that I place too much emphasis on dominating races.  That was the best corny line I could come up with tonight.

Seven months later, it finally happened.  21:38.  The weather conditions were perfect and I actually did a good job of eating good food in the days leading up to the race.  Another mission accomplished in sunny Auckland (actually, it’s raining right now, but, you know).

My fast running friend here was still five seconds ahead of me so there is a long ways to go before I’m wearing the maple leaf for Canada in Beijing…or London for that matter.  Ha ha.

The other highlight of the night was that I won the “big spot prize” afterwards – a free, three-month membership to one of the gyms in Auckland.  I’ll let you know how that goes should I get around to activating my membership at Les Mills in the new year.

Special thanks to the Loaded Hog for making the series happen.  Tuesdays, 6 PM start (so be there at 5:30), $6 admission per week, first drink free afterwards.  5k course around the Viaduct and the fuel tanks.

Final Movember Score.
December 1, 2007, 4:46 pm
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Today being the first of December, I was finally allowed to shave off the moustache. Despite so many positive comments being received by the locals and you readers back home about how “it suits me,” it was determined by judge, jury and executioner that it absolutely had to go.

That said, it was probably the second most impressive mo out there (after the only coworker of mine who stuck it out the whole month).

mo final

I don’t miss it right now, but give me another week or so.