Tawharanui trail run

Anzac Day!

I had been planning on looking into what they do here in regards to ceremonies and such. I figured at the very earliest it would be a late-morning thing. Should have done a bit more research, because the big ceremony turned out to be the Dawn Service at 6 am. Fail.

So, Marjo and I drove out to the Tawharanui Peninsula for a late morning trail run (my fur buddy had to stay home – no dogs allowed in Tawharanui National Park!). The initial plan was a morning of surfing, but we found out that everything was closed until 1:00 pm. So, no surf board rentals. But no disappointment though either. Surfing on a beautiful beach or running around a picturesque national reserve? I’m always game for either, so we worked with we had we had.

It was a bright, sunny day and quite a few people were gravitating to the park – apparently the campsites there are some of the best to be had (I’m going to have to go back to test that theory), the surf was great (for those who actually had surfboards!) and there was no shortage of perfect picnic spots to lay claim too (I would hope not, considering the park is 588 hectares).

It didn’t take long for us to break away from the more populated areas. We just charged our way up a dirt path through farmland to get up to the ridge that provided a panorama view of the rolling green hills and white sand beaches and a vast expanse of ocean. We trotted along tree-lined trails where the branches formed a canopy over our heads. We stopped at a cliff’s edge to take photos of the outcroppings of rocks and the crystal clear water below us, as well as Great Barrier Island visible in the distance. It was breathtaking! (Both in the visual sense and because running up those hills was a little strenuous.)

There were many trails to choose from – meaning I could head out there time and time again and not get bored of running the same loop. The only con is that it takes about an hour to drive out there, so it’s more of a weekend destination. But I’m slowly creeping my way up further north into new territory. I can’t wait to have a vehicle to call my very own! So much ground to cover in this incredible country…


Friday Favorites

It’s been a long week.

The first full working week I’ve had in over a month, actually. And it was a more hectic week than usual, what with our big project being released to the world last night. I’m about to settle int0 a deliciously lazy evening, but first, here’s some of the smile-inducing “little things” that made my Friday:

  • Officially registering the Auckland half-marathon. Apparently I’ve come out of marathon retirement! I have six months to get back into fine running form.
  • Emptying my wallet for this little guy at the supermarket (that probably makes me sound waaay more generous than I actually was because I only had a few dollars in change). Anzac Day is coming up and it’s kind of neat to be sporting a poppy different from the ones I’d get back home.
  • Leila doing her spectacular jump-and-spin in the park tonight. Very few have seen it, and it hasn’t occurred very many times since we moved to NZ, but I think it’s hysterical. It’s like her puppy switch is flipped and she goes crazy. Barreling around the park, taking hairpin turns, a big sloppy grin on her face, stopping to spin on the spot a few times before taking off again. I chase after her, she charges after me, she picks her leash off the ground and gives it a shake. I fall into a laughing heap in the grass beside her and I imagine we look so nauseatingly happy. Like we’re in a commercial. For a pharmaceutical or something. Anti-depressants, maybe. “YOU TOO COULD BE THIS HAPPY.”
  • Dry-cleaning Leila with this amazing Pet Head dry shampoo I brought back with me from Canada. Yes, from the same company that makes Bed Head products for humans. It smells very yummy (blueberry muffins!) and it’s so handy for in-between legitimate baths.
  • “Toffee-apple” colored jeans.  I’ve been singing to the tune of T-Pain: “Toffee-apple colored jeans, boots with no fur – where’s the fur?! – her coworkers were looking at her…”.
    I know. Trust me, I know. It makes me uncomfortable too.
  • Ipod tunes! Gin Wigmore is one of New Zealand’s national treasures and her new album is finally available on itunes.
  • And also more itunes goodness – the first itunes movie I’ve rented!  The documentary “Aliens of the Deep” which is awaiting me to push Play. I’ve had this huge facination with sharks since I was 14 or so…yes, they’re pretty scary, but I’m excited to see what even scarier stuff they’re dredging up from down there. Nerd out!

Happy weekending!


The Orewa 10.5 km Beach Run (also, Why I Punished my Lazy Self)

It’s been a little while since I last participated in a race. The last one was a half-marathon in Kelowna and after that, I took a break. My body demanded it. More specifically my battered knee that, even while encased in a fiberglass monstrosity to keep my ACL and MCL from moving all over the place, was starting to get a little fed up with all this running business.

Matching shoes, shorts and shirts. I’d like to say that it wasn’t planned, but I don’t even know anymore.

We “forgot” to pick up our race bibs the day before. You could tell who got theirs on race day because they had ran out of “half a half” bibs and had to improvise…

Fast forward a year or two, and I found myself signing up for the Orewa Beach Run. I had been getting back in my running groove since moving to NZ, but my routine was derailed when I went back to Canada for three weeks.

I decided to do the Auckland half-marathon later this year and what better way to kick off training than with a 10.5 km run?!

The course was pretty spectacular. Along the beach for a few km (I may have been heavily distracted for this portion of the race by the beautiful view),  which led into a nature reserve, then onto the road for a bit before looping back. I found that the changes in scenery made the race go by relatively quick.

The three Lulu Lemon-ers and Les Mills-ner.

Probably not the best course to set a personal best though, as there were a few spots where it was bottle-necked. Good thing I set a lofty goal of ten kilometers in one hour. Then I found out it was actually ten and a half kilometers but I still did it in an hour so I’m pretty sure I just showed myself who’s who. (???)

We celebrated afterwards with a delicious breakfast and bowls of coffee and heaps of water. Even though Carolyn of yesteryear would probably smack me upside the head if I classified this as a “Sunday Funday”, it was still a feel-good day and it motivated me to get back into my routine and work harder.

*Pauses for sip of wine*


Happy Birthday, Seester!

Habappy birthday to one of my most favorite people in the entire world.

An endless source of motivation, inspiration, advice and entertainment.

Charging after her dreams, doing what she loves and sharing her passion.

I have the most admiration and respect for her.

And it’s been two years since I’ve been a part of her birthday celebrations! Only because of the nearly 12,000 km distance that was between us. I think the last birthday I celebrated with her looked a little something like this:

Hahaha, we’ve come so far.

Love you,  Marjo!



…well, it wasn’t that much of a tantrum to return to New Zealand from my three week stint in Canada. But since I won the Air NZ auction and flew back in Premium Economy, the bar has now been taken to new heights. My next flight home is in September, where I’ll be back where I belong in Economy. Oh the humanity. (I’ve never flown anything but Economy before, so I felt like a princess. Imagine if I were flying First Class? My head would probably explode.)

I had strategically planned my upgrade bid. I figured flying back in comfort would be a nice distraction from the fact that I had to leave Boyfriend again. For maybe another six months! 🙁

My travel kit included purple socks?! (See? Distracted before we even left the ground.)

And my meal came in several courses?!

And I needed another tray to hold my extra booze and dessert?! Good thing the seats next to me were empty.

Anyway. Transitioning back to Kiwi life was made a bit easier by a company retreat to Auckland’s Zen Gardens.

Beautiful place to satisfy the eyes, heart and soul.

And any place that has tree houses is A-OK in my books!


Ps. All this amazing photography was done with my Blackberry.