After a week of trails in Waiheke, we headed to the mainland to start our 40+ days exploring this wonderful country. I am trying to avoid overlap between the main pages and the running pages- so be sure to check out the main pages for our family outings.  I didn’t realize until much later than I have a month void of garmin data from my runs. Luckily I have some of the data on the phone app.

Rotorua

After arriving to Auckland from Waiheke, we headed to Rotorua for a couple days of exploration. We left the kids at the hotel and headed to Whakarewarewa Forest for a quick run before dinner. The local park was a Redwood forest. Yes, California Redwoods in New Zealand! We decided on a couple trails (Pohaturoa Road and Bakers Hollow) and we were off. The trail started off in a grove of Redwoods before becoming more rocky uphill terrain. However the week of Waiheke hiking had helped our legs become accustomed to inclines. We were treated with a great view over the Rotorua area (complete with steaming mudpits). We started with running through Redwoods and then saw pine trees, Japanese larch, and Douglas firs and ferns (of course)! We were just able to make out our hotel also!

Garmin Data- Distance 5.16 miles; Pace 12:43 (all those inclines).

Lake Taupo

Our motor lodge was a quick couple minutes from the edge of Lake Taupo and a lakeside run was beckoning me. We stayed in Taupo for two nights and I had one run around the lake. The path was at times quite busy with cyclists, walkers, and other runners but completely manageable. The pathway starts at the Taupo Boat Harbour and heads along the lake. I could have run around the lake for days and not been bored! The views across the lake are just amazing! Above the lake towers Mt Ruapehu, Mt Tongariro, and Mt Ngauruhoe. Several hotels, motels, apartments, houses, and restaurants are passed which provide plenty of people watching. There are several hot water spots in the lake, so you can dip into the lake if you want. Kowhai trees provided some shade and ducks and swans provided mobility training! I intended to reach Five Mile Bay….but my legs had other thoughts and I turned around at Two Mile Bay.

Garmin data- Distance 3.88 miles; Pace 11:02

Napier

The best way to close out a year? Running! Our next stop was Napier which is located in the Hawke’s Bay area. We stayed at a motorlodge directly across from the beach and a long winding pathway. Perfect for running! I headed across the street and started running north along the coast until I ran out of sidewalk and then headed towards the opposite direction. The water was an unusual shade of tourquoise. I was surprised that no one was in the water! I later learned that the beach can be dangerous at times due strong waves and currents.

Garmin Data- Distance 3.55 miles, Pace 11:07

 

After Hawkes Bay, we headed to Wellington for a few days before heading to the south island. I managed a couple runs on the waterfront and a run-hike up Mt Victoria with my husband.

The waterfront offers miles and miles of flat waterfront running. Not much of Wellington is flat and I didn’t want to run the hills that make San Francisco streets look like pancakes! We started at Kilbirnie Park and ran along several of the bays (Evans Bay, Kio Bay, Weka Bay, Oriental Bay)towards Queen’s Wharf before turning around. The pathway was full with other runners and walkers. There was a bike path separately so we didn’t have to dodge cyclist. We passed quiet beach fronts, houses stacked on the hillside, beach parks with cafes, and rowing clubs.

Garmin Data- Distance 6.00 miles, pace 10:46

We had decided that we wanted to run/hike up Mt Victoria and had decided that the kids would just whine if we chose the hike. So we took on the challenge ourselves. We picked our way to the top through various trails and then back down again. It was a windy, blustery day but it made cool for running temps. On our way back down, we found the scene from the first LOTR movie. The trails were well marked and not highly technical. We passed several parks along the way and even went down a slide or two! The Hobbit Hideaway was well marked. There were countless trails when you counted hiking and dual-purpose (hike and bike). The hike up was definitely steep at time, but we were able to find some stretches that were runnable.

 

Garmin Data- Distance 3.70 miles, pace 22:11 (it was a lot of uphill work)

My running resolution for 2018? New Year’s Eve was spent in Napier and I spent my Dec 31st run thinking about 2018 goals. I considered a mileage goal but instead focused on strengthening my core; so I have a couple goals for 2018.

-20 minutes of exercise daily

-Build up to 50 push-ups a day

-Run a monthly 5K and 10K and track the times