FiNZ 45 – #EscapeFromFroston Part 1

The guys have arrived! We put out a call to our friends and families early on in our journey and these three accepted the challenge. Chris, Pete & Josh decided to make it even more challenging by enduring a long haul flight to layover in Aussie versus Auckland. But alas, they made it intact and with only 1 bag lost to Virgin Australia :-/

Despite the bag fiasco, they arrived! We spent Friday afternoon introducing them to the city of Christchurch and made our last-minute plans for the weekend. We knew we wanted to go north but weren’t sure where. I did a quick Airbnb search found this place in the tiny village of Anakiwa–the start of the Queen Charlotte Sound track.

We had a base plan, so we were off early Saturday morning along the scenic Route 1…

First stop Kaikoura and the seal colony…


Kaikoura Beach Walk


Seal Colony

Next stop Picton for lunch and to get groceries (Anakiwa does not have restaurants or beer…), and then through a very windy road to Anakiwa! Our Anakiwa stay involved going for a run on Queen Charlotte’s Track, enjoying the harbor, and cooking up some dinner and breakfast at our Airbnb.


Anakiwa Harbor


Pete’s Point

The next morning we decided to go back through Lewis Pass and stop through Nelson. This was a fabulous choice as there was a perfect beach in Nelson which I got to enjoy while a couple of the guys were out running…again.


Tahunanui Beach, Nelson


Tahunanui Beach Boys


Landslide Waterfall Pitstop

Monday night we did something a little different — Ko Tane! A colleague had told me about a local Maori experience dinner that everyone agreed we should check out. Not only did we learn a lot about the earliest settlers of New Zealand, I learned how to dance with a poipoi and the guys learned how to do a haka. We ended the night with a table full of meat cooked with traditional Maori methods.


Ko Tane – Maori Experience

It was still too early to go to sleep, so our initial thought was to go to a bar. Then we remembered the Dance O Mat. Without Keith or I telling anyone what was going on, we drove to the gap filler location, I created a quick playlist, asked for a $2 coin from our guests, and plugged in. For the next 30 minutes we owned that Dance O Mat with Taylor Swift, Kesha, & Lady Gaga singing along. We definitely had a few tourists come over to take photos of us. #famous


Dance O Mat!


Goodnight Christchurch

On to Part 2!…


Jen’s Half Marathon Challenge 2010

So I made the comment on facebook this past week that I thought I’d like to run a half-marathon within the next 2 years.  This got a surprising amount of feedback, including:

Jon (my brother) – “hahahahahahahaha”

Rick – “All at once or 0.54 miles per month?”

Yvonne – “yay! thats awesome!”

Coach Savi (old xc coach) – “This one just stuns me!! ….”

Chris – “I’ll be there”

So despite my brother laughing at me and former running coach being ‘stunned’, I think this will be a really fun goal.  And with some advice from others, 2 years has turned into more like 6 months.  If I start training now, I think I might get pretty bored without some action 2 yrs from now.  Therefore, I have set my alarm at 7am most days this past week so I could get in a run before heading to the office for the day.

In addition to running, I’d also like to point out my cross-training–walking to class everyday.  I’ve been used to climbing to school everyday, in which I complain blogged about in undergrad (the fact that every higher education institution has to be built on a hill).  However, I don’t think I’ll ever complain about WPI’s hill again after being at Cornell for the past several months.

After doing a little topography digging here’s my results:  my office is about 805 ft above sea level. Walk starts at around 525 ft above sea level.  The difference?  280 feet of vertical elevation on my morning walk.  Therefore, this can be equated to me going up and down Mt. Wachusett about every 3.5 days.

Ithaca Topography

Between running and climbing–bring it on Half Marathon Challenge!!