Saturday, June 21, 2014

New Zealand - 6/18 - 6/20

Continuing on the journey to the land of the hobbits...

June 18th - 2014

Got out early this morning for a short run around the resort.  It had rained the night before, but the clouds cleared up as the sun came up.  My sleep schedule is still pretty messed up, going to bed at 8:30 PM, waking up at 5:00.  Hoping that it normalizes pretty quickly...

Went for a run in the morning around the resort..

Felt pretty good after the run....

After the run, I didn't need to meet my co-worker for training until 3:00 PM.  I headed back to the room, showered and went out for lunch.  There is this great little Chinese place I found that only serves vegetarian and vegan food.  It's not fancy, but it was cheap and plentiful.

Hole in the wall Chinese vegetarian restaurant  

Ramen, really good!

Following lunch, I headed into the ops center.  It looks like mostly our days will be working 6 days a week, approximately noon until 10:00 PM.  Some days I'll be going in earlier, other days later.   It's a good schedule.  The 22nd is the shortest day of the year down here, so with this schedule I'll be able to get up early, get some exploring in while it's light out, and then head into the office.

June 19th - 2014

Another day out exploring.  This time I wanted to check a little cafe on the south end of town up in the hills there.  I left early, 7:15 am and headed up to the Cup Cafe.  When I arrived, they told me no breakfast yet, as the chef hadn't shown up for the day.  No worries, I ordered a Flat White (basically a cappuccino) and sat and admired the view.

Nice cafe I found on the south side of town up in the hills.

Eventually the chef showed up and I ordered a nice plate of pancakes.  One of the biggest differences in New Zealand is eating out.   First, it's more expensive than the states, maybe by 20%.  Second,  portion sizes are smaller, which is probably a good thing.  Tipping isn't the norm (which may make up the price difference) and they rarely bring you the bill, usually you go up to the cash register to pay after each meal (something I only learned by sitting and waiting for about 20 minutes for the meal).  Also, they do love their hollandaise sauce here. :)

View of Christchurch from the cafe at sunrise.

After eating, I had a short run on the books so I headed up to Victoria park for a little exploration.  Victoria park has a series of trails for both hiking (trekking as it's known here) and mountain biking.  It might have been that I was out pretty early, but I didn't see any mountain bikers out and about.  Good for me as I had this mecca of trailrunning all to myself.  There were some step hills, but lots of singletrack.  Some through forest, other parts crossing across fields.   Lots of terrain for the mountain bikers as well (jumps, banked curves, etc).  If I actually did mountain bike, it would be a ton of fun, but instead I ran.

Trailrunning through Victoria park (scouting trip for long run on Sunday)

They even have a terrain park much like snowboarding in a ski park.  

Map of Victoria park.  Reminds me a ski resort with all the trails and terrains for running and mountain biking.

I was nearing the top of the mountain and some pretty intense clouds started to roll in.  Not wanting to be caught out in it, I headed back.  The scouting trip was complete, I knew it would be a good option for Sunday's long run.  

Clouds coming in over the summit of the mountain.  Time to head back down!

On the way back I stopped at a little walk through mall called the Columbo.  They had a dumpling bar I wanted to try.  Seriously great food here.  Not only was there this place, but about 6-7 other little food stalls as well as a few cafes.  I can't wait to come back and try some of the other places in here.

Lunch after running at the Columbo.  Found a little dumpling bar.

Following my normal routine, I headed back to the hotel, showered and headed into work.

June 20th - 2014

I decided that I had been exploring quite a bit, so I wanted to sleep in a bit. Not to mention when I woke up my room was really cold (the heater doesn't work all that well).  Once I dragged myself out of bed and got dressed, I headed out for today's progression run.  My coach had me doing a warmup and then doing a progression run starting slightly below MAF and building up from there (with plenty of rest between intervals).  It was a pretty easy run and one I was looking forward to as she actually let me speed up a bit. There is a wildlife park near the hotel called The Groynes.  Lots of flat trails and roads made it perfect for the intervals I was doing.  

Out for a progression run at the wildlife preserve near our hotel.  Flat trails were perfect for the type of work I was doing.

It was pretty frigid at the start, but warmed up near the end.  I think by now my clock is finally becoming a bit more normal.  

Tired, time for food.

Honestly, the days are starting to blur together. This tends to happen on this type of project.   We are off by one day back home and we aren't sticking to a m-f schedule.  All we do is look out maybe a day or two ahead of us.  Pretty sure I did the normal schedule and showered and headed into work.

To be continued....

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