Posts filed under ‘race’

3rd Instalment, Army Careers Experience 2010 recap!

Day 3

It was a 6am start as usual and I woke from a good sleep. Straight into the days activities- bed making, fatigues, showers, getting dressed, tidying bedrooms etc. We had to lay out our clothes for the assault course we’d be doing later that day so Sergeant could tell us if it was appropriate or not. I planned to wear my old running shoes, track pants and an old rugby jersey (I also wore a thermal, which ended up being not such a bright decision.. but we’ll get to that later). We were all feeling pretty groggy but by now at least we’d all overcome the culture shock and were just generally happy and thankful to be there.
We reported in the corridor at the usual time of half past 6 and we given a brief of what the day would hold and what we were to do from there. I can’t really remember whether it was this day or not, but one of the mornings we got punished because the Barracks weren’t perfectly tidy. That came to us in the form of 17 diamond press-ups 😦

By 0650 hours we were downstairs, formed up on the road in our Platoon to go to Breakfast. I made sure my breakfast was a hearty one as I knew I’d be needing that energy later on in the day during the assault course.

After Breakfast we marched back to the Barracks to change into clothing for the mornings presentations. It was verrryyyy cold this day and we were all bundled up in several layers. The morning seemed to go pretty quick and by midday we were back at the Barracks for a cut lunch and to prepare for the assault course. Our cut lunch was mean! It had a pear, 2 sandwiches, a le snack, a moro bar, an apple juice and one other thing which I forget…

We were all feeling less than enthusiastic at the prospect of doing the assault course that afternoon… We knew it involved mud and water and given the current temperature, there was not a lot to get excited about that. We had to remove every single bit of jewellery that we had on for safety purposes, that was quite hard for me because the necklace I had on is a bone carving I made two years ago that is very very special to me and I hadn’t taken it off at all since the day I put it on. But, you gotta do what you gotta do, so the necklace came off. (I have actually decided to leave it off. When I made it, it was during a pretty nasty time in my life and by holding onto the necklace I was holding on to those memories. Taking it off sort of symbolised that I’m genuinely a changed person since then and I lead a completely different life.)
I also had to remove my glasses, which made me nervous because I wasn’t sure how I’d go on the course with impaired vision. All earrings were removed too, so we were totally bare apart from the clothing we’d be running in.

We jogged to the gymnasium in our Platoons and then proceeded to stretch and loosen up our muscles a little bit. We then were briefed by the two P.T.I’s that would be in charge of taking us through the assault course and teaching us the safe ways of overcoming each obstacle.
From there, we marched as one big Platoon until we left the military base and then broke into a double march (jogging to the cadence being called, e.g. “left! Right! Left! Right!”).

Once we arrived at the course, we were split up into the teams we were in for the Physical Training session on Tuesday and the P.T.I’s were split up so there was one to each half of our group, just so there was less congestion whilst trying to explain the course. We were walked (or rather, RUN) through the course and the P.T.I explained the safest way to complete each obstacle with our Platoon Sergeant doing a demonstration.

I was beginning to get a little nervous when I saw how big some of the jumps we had to make were, and even more so when I saw the mud and water we’d have to wade through. But, before I came on the ACE, I made a promise to myself and my mother. I would not back out of any challenges I would be faced with throughout the week. I would rise to the challenge and prove myself to anyone and get stuck in and give everything 100%. So that meant no quitting, it was pretty good motivation for me.

Being walked through the course took quite a while, and we’d kept our heart rates up because we had to jog or run the whole way. Once we were taken back to the starting point to get ready, we stretched as a group, but then, because some people had kept their hands on their hips or their arms folded, we had to do some press-ups as punishment. That was ok though, it was good to keep our bodies warm.

Our team was the first to go, and the floor commander of my floor in the Barracks was our staff member to assist. I ended up being very very grateful to have her there. One of the biggest differences about Waiouru compared to Whakatane, is the difference in Altitude. Waiouru is about 700 meters above sea level, whereas Whakatane is AT sea level. This means that the air in Waiouru is thinner with less oxygen, so when you’re exercising it’s harder to breath because there’s less oxygen in the air. This makes all physical activity MUCH harder than usual. (Also why top athletes travel to high altitudes to train, it means they’ll be fitter lower down). Because of this altitude difference, I started to get puffed pretty quick and it wasn’t long before I realized that completing the assault course would be no mean feat.

I twisted my ankle on the first big jump because it was about 2 meters distance and the place to land was not big and was on a lean, so it was hard to jump fast and land safely. After that, that’s when things got REALLY hard. That’s when we encountered the first of the MUD. The mud was pretty much the equivalent of sinking sand, but mud style. We were half way up our shins in mud and it got hard to drag our mud-filled sneakers out. Little did I know that was was nothing compared to what was to follow almost immediately…..

That’s when we met the water.

It. was. FREEZING. It was a freezing cold combination of mud and water and we were up to our armpits in it. It was so so cold that I went into shock. I started crying because I was panicking and I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t breathe for two main reasons, first being that IT WAS FREAKING COLD!!!!! My chest had closed up from the cold and breathing was almost impossible. Also, I was exhausted and was already struggling to breathe from that.

I would’ve quit right there and then, but the only way of getting out of that ditch was to just get through it. Above us was barbed wire so there was no getting out there.

Oh, not to mention the fact that we were being BLASTED IN THE FACE AT CLOSE RANGE BY A FIRE HOSE.

Yeah, that wasn’t so much fun.

The rest of the course was of similar levels of enjoyment, and so physically challenging I was crying the whole way. I just had no energy, I was so fatigued and the tasks were so hard… My team were amazing though and super encouraging. We eventually finished and a wave of relief washed over me. Sergeant Te Kani was absolutely amazing. She stuck by my side the whole time and hauled me up banks when I needed it and held my hand when I was going to slip and fall. I couldn’t have finished without her.

Our group double marched in a small Platoon back into the Military base where the Fire Fighters had set up a decontamination shower. That was also painfully freezing and super high pressure. I was frozen solid (if it was possible to be anymore frozen than I already was) once I came out. The girls jogged back to the Barracks, we ran upstairs and stopped at the lino landing where we stripped off down to bra and undies and left all our wet stuff there whilst we all had hot showers. The shower actually burnt my skin because I was so freezing and the temperature change was so dramatic.

It did feel great to be in warm, dry clothing with clean hair 🙂 I just lay on my bed for a while and relished in the satisfaction that I completed the assault course from hell and didn’t quit even though I really wanted to.

It was only about 3.30 in the afternoon but we were all ready to hit the hay and sleep. We couldn’t though, we still had a huge afternoon planned- Dinner, further presentations and visiting the Army Museum.

We got to have about one hour of downtime to stretch, relax and get ready for dinner. During this time I wrote up some more blogs for the Army website.

Around 1725 hours we started getting dressed into warm clothing for Dinner at the Mess, followed by a visit to the Army Museum. I found it hard to get excited about the evenings events because all I wanted to do was curl up in a little ball and go to sleep. Also my ankle was really starting to aggravate me and it was constantly throbbing. I had no pain relief either which made it hard to deal with.

We were split into 2 groups to go to the Museum. The first group would go first and the second group would go to an Officer presentation while we were away and then we’d swap round.

The Army museum was incredible. It was beautiful and detailed and all the set-ups were incredible. We had a question sheet to answer to make sure we were actually reading the information instead of just walking around talking. Each group we were in had four people and my group wasn’t really a “group” as such. Hannah was the only one really serious about it, I was just keen to wander around and take it all in. I could’ve looked at everything for hours… It gave me a whole new appreciation for the Anzacs and all other soldiers who have fought in the New Zealand Army who died accidently.

Once we returned, group two headed off and we headed to a presentation by two Officers (one who happens to be a WHK local! Captain Copeland- some of you may know him). It was really interesting, we were given the opportunity to ask any questions at all that we had about anything to do with the Army, and it was the first presentation when I was totally hooked and genuinely interested in everything they were saying.

We were all exhausted by the end and ready for bed. We headed back to the Barracks, completed our fatigues and got ready for bed.

I wrote some more blog before switching off the light to go to sleep. I couldn’t help but smile as I lay there, the day had been very very successful and I was very proud of myself for what I had accomplished.

Unfortunately, I didn’t sleep so well, but it was a great day and I had such a good time, I couldn’t wait to see what the next day would hold! 🙂


April 12, 2010 at 8:59 am Leave a comment

Upcoming Challenges.

Hey guys!

School was great today 🙂 Just so you know. I’m starting to feel even more positive about it, and the fact that the production auditions start on Monday makes things even more exciting 😀

My audition is on Monday and I can’t wait!!!! I’ve prepared my song, but I won’t tell you what it is until after I’ve sung it 😉 For those of you who don’t know, I think you’ll get a bit of a shock haha.

Now, the purpose of this blog post is so I can fill you guys in on the upcoming sporting challenges that lie ahead for little old me.

Upcoming Challenges for 2010.

I’m sooo excited!! One of my New Years Resolutions and Bucket List choices were to complete a triathlon, and even though this one is tiny, it sounds perfect for me for where I am in my exercise right now.

The race consists of a 300 meter swim, 10k bike ride and 2.5k run or walk. I know, it’s tiny! But that’s why I’m attracted to it. As my readers know, I’m recovering from a serious knee/hip injury which has caused me to take a two month running Hiatus and do nothing but swim or use the Elliptical.

I’ve been seeing regular physio therapy to help recover and my rehabilitation is coming along nicely 🙂 My knees are very slowly beginning to ease up and my hip is perfect.

I’m still not back into running, but I’m starting to test the grounds a little bit by running here and there. Initially when I got my injury, I couldn’t cycle either because that aggravated my knees.

After a decent rest, I’m able to cycle a lot further and of a higher intensity. I’ve become quite a confident swimmer also, so to me, this triathlon sounds perfect for me. If the run is too hard on me, I’ll simply slow to a walk or a jog which will be fine because the race isn’t about winning.

I’ve got a decent bike.

And my running shoes 😀

So I think I’m pretty much prepared in terms of gear. I’m a little nervous to start running again, I don’t want to aggravate my knees and worsen the injury.

I’m being very cautious about running, I’ve tested it a little bit and I find that I can go for 5-10 minutes with minimal pain, but after that it gets more challenging. I’m determined to complete that triathlon though, and I shall do it even if I have to walk the final stretch.

  • Secondly, I’m going to participate in school Swimming Sports for the first time since year nine 😛

I think I’ll enter as many Breaststroke events as I can and maybe a couple of lengths of freestyle. I’m still not very good at freestyle and I get tired quickly, so I usually can’t go for any longer than 3-4 lengths without stopping for a break.

  • Thirdly, Athletics Day at school.

I should point out that since I’m in P.E Elite, these school events are compulsory anyway, but I’m listing them here because for the first time, I’ll be willingly entering them with enthusiasm.

I want to enter as many events as possible on Athletics day, apart from sprints, for obvious reasons…

It sounds like a ton of fun with some great prizes, and I’m always keen to get a new accomplishment under my belt 🙂

  • School X-Country.

This is still kinda up in the air atm. I’m not 100% sure if I’ll be ready to run by then, I’m just gonna take it slow and play it by ear.

That’s all I know of for this year in terms of fitness events. I’m sure there will be more coming! And I can’t wait to let you know about them 😀

I’m so excited for this year and can’t wait to see how things pan out.

Have a great night and enjoy your weekend!


That’s all I know of so far for this year.

February 5, 2010 at 8:23 am 1 comment

Toi’s Challenge recap.

Well, as the readers know, yesterday I took part in the Toi’s Challenge, 18.5 Kilometer bush walk as a walker.

That was the first time I’ve ever done it in my life and I set a new PDR (personal distance record) when I completed it. I was really proud of myself for having completed it with minimal training 🙂

It took me and Mum 4 hours to do it. I decided to stick with her for the whole time and I was SO proud of her because she’s done NO training at all and still managed to kick butt and came in a mere 5 minutes after myself. She would’ve kept up with me but she got stuck behind this big group who were walking a step a MINUTE and looked like they were about to keel over :/

It was, without a doubt, the most painful four hours of my life, but the most beautiful. I saw some beautiful scenery that I didn’t even know existed in our small little town, and I also worked those Glut muscles!  Which is what my trainer Gaz said is something I need to strengthen.

Here are some photos I got yesterday and a couple of videos.


That’s Mum getting us registered as walkers about half an hour before the race began.


My lucky number– 13. Won me a cute little spot prize which consisted of a small punnet of strawberries (which I devoured within 5 minutes of finishing the race), a box of lollies (which I tried to offload to Dallas coz they were yuck lol) and a walkers magazine.


The start and finish line. Looking very legit. I liked the big clock.

That’s a video of the race beginning as you can see. There were loads of people.

Throughout the walk, I stopped to take a photo of every single breathtaking view. Here’s pretty view number 1:


The entry to the beginning of the Toi’s track. We’d already been walking for half an hour just to get there:


Pretty View #2:



Pretty view #3:



Pretty view #4:


Here’s a video of a small part of the walk.

More scenery:



There’s loads more, but I won’t post them all, there’s too many! It was a truly beautiful walk though, and I’d recommend it to anybody. However, you do require a certain level of fitness for it to be enjoyable.

I’m really sore today, in my hips, butt and lower back. I don’t know why but I had killer back and hip pain yesterday.. made me a little worried :S

Anyway, I have a study group to go to in 40 minutes and I’m walking there, so I’ll take some photos and post them later 🙂


November 15, 2009 at 10:22 pm 2 comments

Things I’m Grateful For #6

Missed part 1,2,3,4 & 5?

I am grateful to live in such a beautiful part of the country.

Completing Toi’s Challenge yesterday was a huge accomplishment for me, and it was also fantastic in the regard that I’ve never really appreciated the beauty of Whakatane.

Of course I still can’t wait to haul ass outta here, but believe me when I say it’s the people and memories I have here that I dislike, NOT the town itself.

Toi’s is supposed to be one of the most beautiful walks in the world, and it truly lived up to it’s reputation.




You get the idea 🙂

It was truly breathtaking and I’m glad I participated in the challenge as a walker because if I had been running, I would never have absorbed in the scenery. This gave me the opportunity to truly take it all in and stop and take heaps of photos.

Obviously the photo will never be as good as reality, but it gives you a good idea.

Have a great day 🙂

November 15, 2009 at 7:23 pm Leave a comment


Hey guys!

Well I’m completely thrashed because today I spent 4 hours hauling ass through Tois Challenge-– an 18.5K trail race… with minimal training.

I’m totally exhausted because it’s been one hell of a weekend. One extreme to the other– sitting on a motorbike for 7 seven hours, then walking non-stop up hills and stairs for 4 hours… I’m not going to post a recap now because, to be honest, I can’t be bothered. I plan to drink up to rehydrate and then I’m going to nap.

Everything hurts and I just want to sprawl on my bed and let my footsies have a rest.

I had an awesome time with Gaz yesterday, didn’t really get any photos, but I learnt heaps which I’ll fill you in on when the time is right.

For now, here’s two shots of me about a quarter of the way through the race:




November 15, 2009 at 1:53 am Leave a comment

My first race EVER, 10k recap!

Well today was a really really exciting day for me, because…. I took part in my FIRST EVER RACE!
It was also the BEST run I’ve ever had in my life and I was so happy and satisfied with my efforts at the end 🙂

But let’s go back to the beginning…

I was really nervous when I woke up this morning at 7, but I just tried to mentally relax, I made a yum breakfast of Egg in the hole and toast with peanut butter and sliced strawberries. Was gooood.

We left at 8.30am and arrived about 15 minutes later. We registered ourselves and then the dog and then we waited around for a bit.

It was all new and exciting to me since I’ve never raced before. I stood around taking lots of photos 🙂


Running conditions were absolutely PERRRFECT today. It wasn’t too hot and wasn’t too cold. It was a little bit cloudy which was good because it meant we didn’t have the sun beating down on us during our runs.

Last night I decided to run the 10k instead of the 5k as I had originally planned. I decided that I would because I know I’m capable, I’ve done it plenty of times before, 5k is too easy and I might as well make the most of the beautiful weather and awesome opportunity to race!

The race was along the beach, and I actually really enjoyed it. Though the scenery was mostly the same from 3k’s onwards, I found it really relaxing and I felt like I could really concentrate and focus.

Here’s me just before the race began.



It was sooo crowded at the start. People were backed up for ages. I kept thinking to myself “God, you’re planning to run a marathon in a year, imagine this amount of people times 100… damn…”



I was able to break the race up into separate distances which really helped time tick by and kept me motivated. Because the race was broken up into 3k, 5k and 10k, there were the 3 and 5k marks to turn around and go back to finish, and each time I reached one of these, I felt good knowing I only had X amount of K’s left.

They had a water station during this race which was AMAZING. Seriously, I never run with water, so being able to grab a cup and chug it back made such a huge difference. Truly. I have totally been underestimating the importance of staying hydrated whilst running. I’m not going to start thinking of ways I can carry water with me efficiently to help me go further and faster.

Mum caught a snap of me coming past after the 3k mark:


I had a great playlist going too. Spring and Summer are the seasons for Rock N’ Roll for me. It’s when I become truly reconnected with my Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Slash’s Snakepit etc. So lately I’ve been running with what I’ve named my “Rock N Run” playlist. I had that blaring the whole way and it really helped me stay motivated. It also helped take my mind off the distance.

I felt great all throughout this run. No hip pain. No leg pain. I was well-hydrated and properly fueled. It was just a bloody decent run.

My feet got so wet though. Each time I had to run through a small body of water, my shoes would totally fill up and it would feel like I had weights attached to my ankles… damn.

I was so happy to reach the 10k turn point. It was easy from there. I totally picked up the pace and thrived on passing others and knowing I’d smashed my PR (personal record). I knocked a crazy FIFTEEN MINUTES off my usual PR!!! I finished in about 1hr, 5mins. I couldn’t believe it!!

I was about a kilometer from the finish line, and there was Mum with the camera 🙂


Once I crossed the finish line, the volunteers handed me a cup of water and a huge banana, then I plonked myself on the ground in relief and stretched as best I could. I was exhausted because not only had I run faster with that distance than I ever have before, but it was on SAND. Sand sucks to run on when it’s soft. Thankfully, most of the way it was hard, but in the last little stretch it was soft which made it very difficult.

After stretching, I met up with Mum, Mark, Sam and the dog and we stuck around for the prizegiving.

Taking some nice lil’ photographs while we waited. We were waiting for two hours!


I love this one because the dog looks like he’s smiling 😀 Looks like he’s in absolute heaven.


As they drew the names for the spot prizes, which were actually really really good prizes, we grew more and more doubtful that we’d win anything. Then it got to the last prize, and the BIGGEST. It was a tent donated by Whakatane Outdoors that fits 7 people, the value of $750, they read out the name and who should win it? None other than OUR family! 😀 We were all happy campers, I’ll tell you that (lol, pun not intended).

It was an impressive thing too!

Here’s a photo when they were halfway through dismantling it for us to take home. I thought to take a picture just a little too late.


We headed on home, making a stop at Rebel Sport first so I could buy some sole inserts for my running shoes for better arch support, some running socks and a couple of other things Mum wanted. I saw a running skirt and almost went mental! I’ve read all about them on blogs and I want one so bad. I was really happy to see that Rebel Stock them 🙂

They’re also hiring for Xmas at the moment, so I’m going to fix up my CV and apply 🙂 Sounds like the most perfect part-time job for me.

Anyway, that’s all for now lovelies. Hope you enjoyed reading about my kick ass day!

I’ll leave you with some photos of beautiful Ohope just before we left the race site.




October 25, 2009 at 2:49 am 1 comment

School has officially consumed my life.

Yes, as the title states, my life has been taken over by school and studying. After seeing how badly I did on my math and science exams, I am HAULING ASS to do whatever I can to improve those marks. Also in english, I almost got excellence and I know exactly what I need to work on to be able to get there.

I’ve set myself specific targets to study and aim for. I know I can get there, and that’s why I’m putting in the hard yards.

I’ve started getting up half an hour earlier at 6.20 am so I have time to study in the morning, and I’ve given up my lunchtimes for lunchtime math tutorials and soon to be science tutorials if I can fit them in. I’m going to start staying behind for an hour or so after school for Maths as well, plus an hour of study once I get home.

I have never ever been so committed and motivated to achieving well in any kind of exam. I’m proud of myself because I know that if I keep this up, I WILL achieve and I WILL pass those exams with merit or hopefully higher. It’s all about how much you’re willing to put in. As the saying goes: You get out what you put in.

I’ve almost passed level one anyway. I was a little offended today in deans assembly at school when they growled us for only 12 out of the 250 odd students having already gained level one. You need 80 credits to get level one and I have 56, BUT, I have only been offered 60 so even if I had passed everything, I wouldn’t have level one yet!

I was a bit irked for being told off for something I have no control over.

Anyway, my life outside of school?

Running has taken a bit of a break for now… I’m taking a rest day in between runs because my hip isn’t 100% better yet. I think it’s really helping. I’m also doing lots of stretches as the doctor suggested and I’m only doing very slow 5k runs.

I pushed the boundaries today though and decided to do a very intense 35 minute interval training workout.

I had 10 songs on my ipod playlist, the first and last are about 5 minutes long and the first one is for a warm up, the last for a warm down. My warm ups and warm downs are just a slow jog for the duration for the song.

For the rest of the 8 songs, I did something different for each one. Switching between sprints, strength training (lunges and squats whilst holding weights), skipping with a skipping rope, knee-to-chest skipping and jogging.

I love this kind of workout because it’s fun and interesting and makes time go by SO much quicker which is good. Also it targets multiple muscle groups and has a variety of demands which is really good if you want to see quick results and an increase in fitness.

I feel good now, my hips not too bad. I stretched it really well after. My calf muscles are a bit stiff from the skipping rope, but it was a sweet workout and I’ll probably do it again on Monday.

I have a race on Sunday! As mentioned in previous posts. And that’s if you can count a fun run/walk a race lol. Oh well, i’m going just to have fun and get a good workout. Also so I’ll be running with OTHER PEOPLE for once! I always run by myself and it gets lonely after a while.

I’d love to meet people with common interest.

Interval training was a particularly good choice today because lately I have found that with long runs, my legs have been getting extremely sore and tired about 3k’s in, which is NOT good. I’m not sure why but it’s freaking me out. A little interval training is good to strengthen my legs and increase fitness which will hopefully help stop that problem.

If you have any suggestions on that, please leave a comment 🙂

I did something today that I have forgotten to do before all my last few runs…. I put on sunblock!!!! 😀 Yes that’s right, I slathered my arms, face and chest with SPF 45 sunblock.

I was urged to after seeing how quickly I’m tanning up. I never usually tan this early into the season, but baby I am BROWN! I realized that given how often and how long I’m exposed to the sun, I really need to start being more careful with skin care. So from now on, sunblock it is!

I was really grateful too because the sun was beating down on me so hard for the full 35 minutes and for once, I didn’t have to worry and kick myself for not wearing sunblock 🙂 I felt safe and protected.

Anyway, that’s pretty much what’s up in my life as of right now. I have more to say but I’ll post it all in separate posts so they’re not so long.

Have a fabulous and beautiful, sunny spring evening!

October 23, 2009 at 6:34 am Leave a comment

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Hey there, my name's Jenny. I have a huge passion for cooking/baking, writing, yoga and photography. I love nature and my favourite thing to do is spend an entire day outside, breathing in crisp, fresh air. Even better if I have a pen and paper with me. I started out running in March 2009 but sustained an injury in October 2009 which has unfortunately prevented me from running. I've been experimenting with other kinds of exercise to find another one that clicks. Follow me on my journey to maintaining good health + surviving high school and pursuing a career in Journalism. I Hope you enjoy reading my blog!

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