I have just got over a slight knee injury, and so have been taking it easy the last few weeks, but with my upcoming race getting ever closer, I thought it was probably time I tried to push the distance to see if I was even capable of doing a run which was close to the 25km distance of my race.
So I decided to try do the Remutaka Incline again (it used to be called Rimutaka, but was recently changed to the Maori spelling of Remutaka). I knew this route was 20km, so decided to try add a bit extra onto the run to get bit closer to my race distance.
I went with a friend this time round, which made the run seem a lot easier (although still pretty hard) because just having someone to talk to, takes your mind off the pain and distance still to go.
The first couple of km’s went by before I started to get into the rhythm and got my breathing right, then it was just the endless uphill climb to the summit. It’s not a very steep climb to the summit, but it just keeps going on and on.
Once we reached the summit, we decided to carry on through the next tunnel to see the cross Creek side of the mountain. This tunnel was way longer than I thought it would be (almost 1km) so I was glad I had my phone to use as a flashlight.
The track on the other side was so different, narrower and the landscape more picturesque. We made our way down the track for a bit till we got to the lookout, then stopped to take lots of photos.
We then turned around and headed back to the summit. It was only at this point that we realised how much steeper the incline was on the cross Creek side, as it took a lot of our energy to run the short distance back to the tunnel.
Once we got back through the tunnel to the summit, we decided to head back down via the back track, as neither of us had done that before.
As soon as we turned off the main track onto the back track, the incline started up again, but way steeper this time so I had to reduce down to a walk (or power hike as I like to call it). The incline went on for quite a while, but it was nice to see the different landscape. The track eventually leveled out and we started the decent back down the hill, this was fairly steep but enjoyable as I could finally run again. We finally got to our turning to head back to the main track when we came to a stream. So much for keeping our feet dry on this run!
Soon after this we joined back up to the main track and continued towards the end.
This was when I really started to feel the impact from the distance we had traveled so far! At the 6km marker (distance so far from the summit back to the car park) I looked at my gps watch to see how far we had done in total so far, this was saying 19km.
From this point to the end, the running just got harder and harder as my muscles were really starting to feel the exhaustion from the distance we had traveled. We both were encouraging each other on and setting mini milestones as well as counting down the markers.
As soon as I saw the gate at the end of track I was so happy! My watch clicked over to 23km just as we reached the gate. This was the furthest I have run yet, and boy was my body letting me know!
I’m really proud that I managed to push out my distance this much, esp after my injury, but hopefully I will be race ready in 3 weeks time!