Tuesday, 7 August 2012

04.08.12 That elusive Mt Kaukau Run.

For those of you that have been reading this blog for a while now, you will remember that it has been a dream of mine to run to the top of Mt Kaukau in my Vibram Five Fingers but knew that it was a long way away as I did not want to do a long run too soon and potentially injure myself.  Well I took it slow and got injured anyway, so thought stuff it, I am going to go all out.  I normally do this run with a back pack on with full gear in readiness for my adventure races but today I ran only with a fuel belt on filled with a couple of small bottles of Gatorade.  I felt very light and free especially with my Vibram Five Fingers on and not my usual cross training shoes.  I began the run and felt no pain in the foot or my leg like I had the other day.  It was a good start to the run and the day was perfect.  I made it to the bottom of the mountain in no time and was feeling so good that the spot where I normally stop to rehydrate and have a gel; I ran straight past it.  At the base of Mt Kaukau as you head up to the actual ridge line, you go up a series of tracks and stairs.  I made the conscious decision to run up all the stairs and I was allowed to walk in between them.  I realized pretty quickly that I was able to run with relative ease up the stairs as their was no resistance or weight from heavy cross training shoes.  I was able to increase my cadence with relative ease which was increasing my speed.  I made it up to the ridge in no time and looked up to see the tower as shown below.  To the left of this image is a lookout on another part of the hill and on the right is a trig station.

I now run to the trig station on the right and then back along the ridge to the lookout where I rehydrate and eat.  The ridge line track up to this transmission tower is very rocky and I was always wondering how my Vibram Five Fingers would go considering there is a thin piece of rubber between you and the sharp rocks and not much else.  To my surprise, they did very well.  I still felt rocks but nothing like I thought it may be.  I get to the lookout and have a quick drink and a gel before heading back home.  I am feeling really good as I am running down the track and even though it is wet and slippery my footing is not a problem and I am thinking of when I last ran down this rocky path of how I had fallen over and commando rolled onto my backpack and then SLAP... I am on the ground.  I have slipped and gone down like a sack of crap.  I am on the ground a little stunned but realise that I am fine and get back up.

I head back home and have the option of taking the long way or the short way...I take the long way.  I cannot believe how good I am feeling and even running up the hill of death I am feeling good as my cadence is definitely quicker than it has been before.  I finally make it home after an hour and 40 minutes I am home.  My wife opens the door and without me saying anything say's "You don't even look puffed".  I don't feel puffed and now I don't look it.  My foot is better, my groin does not hurt and I have conquered the elusive Mt Kaukau run.  I am finally back on track for my Half Ironman in January.

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