27 May 2013

80 km

This week marks the 60th anniversary of New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Tenzing Norgay reaching the top of Mt Everest that very first time. On the descent, it's reported that when Hillary caught up with his friend George Lowe (also part of the expedition) Hillary said, "Well George, we've knocked the bastard off!"

You're thinking, how can I possibly see any similarity between reaching the highest mountain in the world back in 1953 and running 80 km for the week? You're right, I can't, but it made for an interesting lead in to this post. My way of acknowledging a truly great New Zealander.

Back on topic. I'm happy to have made it through my first 80 km week during this base building phase. I do remember running a few 60 km weeks a year ago at a faster pace and completely breaking down with everything from turf toe and IT band syndrome to generally feeling sorry for myself. The difference this time has been running within myself and enjoying the experience. I understand now that not every run needs to be taxing and that true strength comes from running on tired not injured or damaged legs day after day. There is a difference.

I had been a little nervous about Saturday. My new training plan asked for a 12 km marathon paced workout. After running 5.15 min/km aerobic sessions all week and a 2 week layoff before that after the Rotorua Marathon, could I cope? A 4.46 min/km 12 km which felt so easy gave me my answer.

While this week wasn't Everest it certainly felt nearly as good.


  1. Keep up the good work!

    By the way Mark did you see that an 80 year old Japanese dude climbed Everest last week! Just heard an interview and he said the decent literally almost killed him!! Wonderful story.

  2. Just read a piece about Miura's climb. Brilliant. Love the quotes "You get tired when you are old", "I lost strength in my legs" and "I could not move at all". Those are the exact quotes I could have used during my last marathon! What a guy. Nice way to finish as well by saying "longevity isn't just about staying healthy, it's also about having goals.