Not ex­actly bionic – yet

Auckland City Harbour News - - News -

With just three weeks to go un­til the Auck­land Marathon, we check in with self-pro­claimed couch pota­toes Jo­ce­lyn Rein and Janie Smith to see how they’re go­ing with their chal­lenge to Push Play. Has po­lice re­porter Janie got the legs to go the dis­tance or will arts re­porter Jo­ce­lyn out­pace her?

By Janie Smith

With only three weeks un­til the quar­ter marathon, hit­ting the gym has be­come se­ri­ous busi­ness.

I’ve taken to hog­ging a tread­mill and re­fus­ing to budge, turn­ing red­der and sweatier by the minute as other peo­ple come and go.

My run­ning is mov­ing ahead, per­haps not in leaps and bounds but at a nice steady jog­ging pace. Af­ter try­ing out 5km and find­ing my lungs still work­ing, I went for 7.5km.

Reach­ing that three-quar­ter mark gave me a huge sense of ac­com­plish­ment.

As I forced my legs to keep mov­ing for the last 100 me­tres, I felt like an Olympic ath­lete, a med­i­cal marvel, the Lance Arm­strong of the run­ning world.

That is un­til I emailed a friend to boast and he told me he’d run 34km the same night. In the face of such fit­ness and stamina, I went back to feel­ing like a mildly en­thu­si­as­tic slug.

But I’ll keep up the cycling, box­ing and jog­ging and hold out for the buzz of fin­ish­ing the whole 10km, which will be the far­thest I’ve run in my life.

By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

I’m ashamed to ad­mit it, but get­ting out of bed on a Satur­day be­fore 11am is pretty rare.

Ris­ing at 8am and go­ing for a run? Un­prece­dented.

But the big day is draw­ing near and it’s time to get se­ri­ous.

That’s why last week­end I found my­self pound­ing the pave­ment in the early hours along­side a sur­pris­ing num­ber of fel­low jog­gers and dog-walk­ers.

Who knew there was life be­fore noon on a week­end?

The great thing about run­ning, I’m find­ing, is the sense of com­rade­ship. It’s al­most like a se­cret so­ci­ety. Nor­mal peo­ple by day, trans­formed into ath­letes in their lo­cal streets.

And there’s also a run­ners’ eti­quette. You must never pass a fel­low run­ner without ac­knowl­edg­ing them with a smile or a gasp­ing “hi”. Each smug in the knowl­edge that we are out test­ing our­selves while oth­ers sit at home.

I found great ben­e­fit this week in ad­vice on breath­ing from a co-worker and run­ner. Slowly in through the nose and out through the mouth for the first kilo­me­tre is key.

So 9km down in just un­der an hour. What’s one more?

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Push play: Jo­ce­lyn Rein, left, and Janie Smith are put through their paces in prepa­ra­tion for the 10km Auck­land Marathon on Novem­ber 2.

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