While I was away in New Zealand I vowed to make sure that I did not give up or stop my training in any way. I was determined to make sure that Sundays run will go easily.

One of the first things I did in New Zealand once we made it to Christchurch was go for a run. It allowed me to relax, switch off and get back into a normal routine after traveling half way around the house world. Finding time for a run is never an issue, just means I sacrifice some sleep for it. Honestly though I didn’t need to most days as I was waking up around my usual time.

I ran everyday on the South Island and with Wellington being a mid point and a fairly relaxed time for us, I took the opportunity to have one final long run. I did a 9k run along the waterfront with a nice long uphill finish. The run was great and went easily and even managed to keep the timing on track, hell I smashed it.

I took one day off running in Rotorua to allow recovery from the big run in Wellington (doesn’t mean I skipped though, I still hit the gym) and kept running daily after that. My Auckland & Rotorua runs were great and fairly scenic.

Now that I am back I have to keep the training up and have been averaging 6k runs since Auckland. Tomorrow (Thursday) will be a final training run at 6k so will push hard, then Friday starts the tapering. 5k slow run on Friday, Saturday off and then Sunday is the big day. Doing this will help avoid injury and give me the best chance of making my run dead on how I want it.

I am in SFO right now, alive and well, the flight was good but just a quick post to let everyone know I am safe and sound back in the good old US of A.

Current Location: Gate 50 San Francisco Airport T2

The last 11 days have been pretty amazing. I can’t believe this famil is over. I have had a blast and met so many people. Although Auckland was not as great as Rotorua (some stuff ups and bad things happening again) it was still a good time. I am kind of sad to be leaving Auckland tonight. Leaving behind my new friends and all the people I have met along the way.

So many fun times, so many not so fun times, so many moments that looking back though were awful at the time, were still fun and I will have those kinds of memories for a while. Hobbiton on Saturday was interesting. I will admit that it is not my kind of thing so I wasn’t solely interested in all of the meanings behind each and every bit, but it was pretty to look at the photos hopefully will turn out great. I think I had more fun making stupid tweets and jokes with a friend while we were walking around. The harry potter joke in the middle of hobbiton probably wouldn’t go down to well for some people.

Yesterday we headed off in our little groups to Waiheke Island, it was a very relaxed day and I was able to have a good relaxing time, enjoying my morning run and slowly waking up around the city. The boat ride out wasn’t to bad and I managed to not freak out even in a bit of a rough patch near one of the docks. The day itself I wasn’t really looking forward to as it was a wine tour really on an island required to get there by boat… yeah that sounds like my perfect day out. But the company that was with me and the places we did go, I had a great time. Spending the afternoon in the sun before coming home was great.

Last night was the final dinner and it was a great night, the more “formal” occasion, but I think the night in Rotorua felt more like the big final dinner as it felt more like a party atmosphere. Last night felt more like a goodbye than anything else, having to say farewell to new friends.

Tonight I hit the skies again, back into my second home, heading home to SFO on the “Queen” (747) and then onwards home to Seattle. I don’t want to leave, I don’t want to get back to work but I know I have to. Won’t be home long as I am back in the Skies on Saturday, heading to DC… but more on that later in the week.

Current Location: Skycity Auckland

The last two days in Rotorua have been a blast, I have had the most amazing time. I never thought that it would be as good as it was.

The last time I was in Rotorua, I had been a very different person and the whole experience was very different. I was extremely sick from what I thought was the smell. Either the smell was not as bad or staying further away from sulphur point meant it was not as bad, allowing me to enjoy the city more.

Since we were split up into our smaller groups it was heaps of fun and we did plenty of crazy activities, I am trying to work towards possibly sky diving, and with yesterday’s efforts and something planned in Auckland I think i’m getting closer.

At Agroventures yesterday I did the freefall extreme and that was heaps of fun, even though I have been told I almost died (I saw the video later and it looked fun but not that bad).  On top of all that I did what they call the “Swoop” which is like the canyon swings you see in Queenstown, just no Canyon. That was fun apart from the going backwards bit.

Agrodome was its usual cheesyness but I think I entertained myself more from twitter and making bad kiwi sheep jokes. Got to see a kiwi start the hatching process and have a bit of random fun at Rainbow Springs.

My final highlight for the night was up at Skyline, had an amazing night with plenty of fun and to me it was the best night so far. Everyone pulled out the stops in Rotorua and amazingly shocked and suprised me. I never thought that Rotorua could be so varied and so much fun. Rotovegas, you provede wrong.

Current Location: On a bus, headed towards Matamata

Well my time in windy Wellington is coming to a close but it was not as windy as advertised. The city was actually fairly calm and did pretty much as advertised. I enjoyed the small amount of time we had here in the city.

It was good as we had some later starts than we have had so far which meant that I could still sleep and get some good runs in for my training (especially this morning). The runs were good and the timing was spot on and I enjoyed running along the waterfront to see the city and just live it up. The sunrise in Wellington has been stunning over the water and several times I was running and the flights were taking off at the same time as I was out there. Always good for an avgeek right?

The rest of the time was fairly relaxed, not much free time but no stress of multiple site inspections or anything like that. However going into Rotorua our next stop, it’s going to be all action, all the time!

Today I am off to the airport around 10am ish for my flight to Rotorua and my first time at Either airport but most of all, my first time on a Dash 8 300, which I am looking forward to the difference compared to the Q400 which is ever so popular.

Time to get some breakfast into me before I pass out, see you all at my next stop!

Current Location: Novotel Wellington

Kinda wish I was in the air right now rather than on the sea, you know what I am like with boats, but right now I am trying my best to keep myself distracted, trying hard not to give into the usual urges of eating crap when I stress. The trip the last few days has been rough, not on an eating way because I have been able to control fairly well, it was just bad yesterday weather wise.

New Zealand has had some insane weather the last few days and the weather right now is rain outside, but the weather yesterday in the Abel Tasman could best be described as “if hell was wet”. The day started off ok and I was able to get a run in and stay dry but when I came back, the wind picked up (not good) and the rain started. The rain was fairly light and almost Seattlish in nature. It did not stay that way. As the day got on both the wind and the rain picked up. The wind was gale force warnings and the rain at times was torrential. O did I mention we were due to walk the Abel Tasman Coastal Track? Something that requires a boat and wet landings to access?

Well wet is something we definately got. I was drenched head to toe and soaked through to the bone. I did not enjoy the day at all, but I sucked it up. I did get to go for a 4km hike which was more like a 4km jog and I caused the local tourism rep (who was an awesome person mind you) to panic that I had gone missing. Thing was I was just a couple of kms ahead of the main group on the track going at my own pace.

The day out otherwise was fine and dinner was a very relaxed affair and by the end of the evening I was enjoying some time with some people from Sweeden and the UK.

Right now I am sitting on the Aratere Interislander Ferry as we cruise into the North Island and I wish right now I could just get off. The boat is moving (ever so slightly) side to side and I have had to keep my brain focused on so many other things that I just hate it. I tell you what, I can’t wait to step onto dry land. God how I want dry land!

Current Location: Aratere Plus Lounge: Interislander Ferry

My time in Christchurch was good, a city that had been devastated several years ago, countinues to rise from the rubble and bring itself back, bigger and better than ever.

If lnly a brief stay of 2 nights in the city, it was a good glimpse into what is a massive undertaking to rebuild their lives and in some cases start fresh.   It was great to see things like the gap filler projects that help fill those small pockets of the city with community driven ideas (like the pallet Pavillion) to keep residents and visitors sane.

We also left the city limits and headed towards the south, towards the banks peninsula and Akaroa. Akoroa is a small quaint seaside town about 90 minutes south of Christchurch and has a very heavy French influence. We were in town during french fest and so everyone was out to have a good time. The sun was out, the temperature though not hot was pleasantly warm (enough) and relaxing on a Saturday afternoon was like a gift from above. Add in the views, (that were stunning) a nice spot in the sunshine under a tree and some time to catch up with an old friend and the day was a real treat.

Running in Christchurch was a treat as there was not a single hill around so it was all flat all the time, but there is no sense in the way that streets are laid out at all, so I easily got lost, several times. Running in the dark, in an unfamiliar city is always an adventure.

Time to head north now, away from the plains, to the peninsula areas towards Kaikoura, Blenheim and Nelson. I have to say as we leave that Christchurch is not yet fully recovered, but it will.  Time, dedication and passion will help rebuild the city. Something a lot of residents have.

Current Location:somewhere between Christchurch & Kaikoura

Well after a truly long “Day” I am finally down in New Zealand. After waking up in Seattle at 4am on Wednesday, its now 11:30am on Friday and here I am at my destination. The flights down went off without a hitch and I managed to get myself window seats the whole way. Mind you two of my flights (both on Hawaiian) meant that I was way down the back, but hey, that is what we do for a window seat right?

It was great to get the new airline experiences and getting to add some new lines to my map is fantastic as always. Still need to get my head back on the ground, but it is going to be a busy time down here in NZ. Don’t know if I will have time to do everything I want but there is hopefully going to be a bit of downtime where I can do some of the stuff I want to.

Anyway just a shot out to let you all know that I am safe, alive and well down here in the Southern Hemisphere. Try not to miss me to much guys!

Current Location: Chateau on the Park, Christchurch – New Zealand

It has been a quiet weekend. Paine Field has had its main runway closed, so on a weekend where I have no travel planned or anything crazy like running a triathlon, it makes it REALLY quiet. I haven’t spent any time going back and forth to Paine Field. It meant I have had plenty of time to catch up on a lot of things, finishing off stories for AirlineReporter (like the one that went live today) or get some stuff done around the house. I have even had the time to do most of the packing for my trip to NZ this week. The weekend was just so quiet yet so awesome at the same time. I was able to get get a haircut and try a few different things and now as my weekend comes to a close, it feels kind of weird to not be running around like crazy finishing things off.

Really happy with my training over the weekend. Saturday was bootcamp and I went for a 2 mile warm up run before the session but the session was a challenge as well as we were taking on the hill. I think I went a little to hard to fast on the first hill run as I could not manage the top, something I have done in the past many times without hassle. Eagerness is not always a good thing it seems. But I managed to concur the hill in the second time around and I was happy to do so. Really happy. I came home from bootcamp totally satisified. After a half decent nights sleep last night, I headed out on my training run for the 10k at the end of this month. I am happy with my run this morning, but not overly so.

That was my run this morning and it may look good, but not when you break it down. I am trying to Average 6 min kms for the 10k as I really want to try and get under 1 hour, and keeping it at that level is where I need to be. But breaking down the run it was off pace. I was on pace up until the last km or so which if you check the splits, that’s what I was at. So did I tire out in the last km or did I just screw up? I don’t know to be honest as the first 2km were mostly uphill as I run Punishment Hill as part of the course. Normally if I was running this route as a distance route (rather than punishment) I would run it with Punishment Hill at the end, so that I have the downhill to pick up some speed and as a bit of a reward before powering the last km home. But today it was a bit about pushing myself to do some more uphill training (the last part of the MCM10k is uphill) so the first part of my run was uphill and it was tough but the splits were spot on, they should be that slow. So maybe I just screwed up?

I am quite proud of myself so far this weekend though, being so quiet, old habits could easily come out. But I have kept it under control and I am looking good heading into the start of the trip to NZ. I did give in to a little treat at breakfast this morning but well, I need some reward right? What did I do, well I had some of the Biscoff spread I bought a couple of weeks back and finally cracked open this morning. O M G, this stuff is the BOMB. Way better than peanut butter (And thats saying something coming from me). Amazing and delicious… probably taste pretty awesome stirred into some ice cream… hrmmm now I have ideas!

Like I said earlier in the week, October is going to be a tough month because I am travelling quite a bit. How much you ask.. well just take a look for yourself:


That is a total of 20,543 miles, and that is just the air legs! It is broken into 2 seperate trips though. On Wednesday I am heading to New Zealand for work and spending time on both Islands. That should get me back into Seattle late evening on the 21st October. Then on the morning of the 26th October I am headed over to Washington DC for the Marine Corp marathon. Although I will be gone only two days it is a long way to fly for a 10k run.

All in all I have a big month of travelling with some pretty cool stats:

2 New Airlines (Hawaiian & US Airways)
2 New Aircraft (Dash 8-300, A321)
4 New Airports (WLG, ROT, PHX, PHL)

Should be a good month for the mileage account hopefully! Where are you off to this month?