Let the Training Begin….

It has been one month since our first blog introducing the Rays of Sunshine to the world of Adventure Racing.  Selecting the team, coming up with a name and posting our first blog really was the easy part!  From the updates below it appears there have been a few “holy, moly what have I got myself into” moments.

In amongst freaking out the Rays have been busy training for earlier events they have entered and making plans to tackle the other disciplines required for the Adventure Race.  Here are their individual updates….

Ray of Sunshine 1 – Vicky

After all the enthusiasm to enter the Adventure Race, select a team and decide on our team name the reality of what we’ve committed to has hit home.  So many questions…

How will we meet up (Rachel lives five hours away), when will we meet (Renee gets married in March), what training do we need to do, how will we obtain all the equipment we need to train with?  After a flying visit to the Hawkes Bay over Labour Weekend where the odd wine was consumed in the line of duty, a master plan was hatched.  We have set aside two weekends to do some team training – one in mid January in Taupo and one in mid February in Auckland.  We’ve all trained together before but not for something quite as time intensive or exciting as this.  We all enjoy pushing ourselves physically but this is certainly going to be a step up.

I’m personally training for the Rotorua Quarter Ironman on the 19th December so my training programme includes two swims, four cycles, four walks (these knees don’t run any longer) and two to three weight training or core sessions per week topped off with two yoga sessions – no one said it would be easy!  This very busy schedule probably sounds a lot to some and downright crazy to others but I’m lucky enough to do this as part of my job.

My main concern at this stage is holding my team up during any run sections but I figure if I can pull my weight during the other disciplines they might go easy on me.  I will try and be the brains of the team – ha ha!  If all else fails I will bring great food and promise undying loyalty.  Until next month….  

Ray of Sunshine 2 – Renee

After accepting the Adventure Race challenge it has now hit home that the training must begin – not next month, not after Xmas, not in a couple of weeks, but now!!

I am starting a four week bootcamp in the week beginning the 23rd of November, which is made up of four 6am starts – two involve running and the other two are weight sessions.  I’m very fortunate to have our team leader and mastermind, Vicky, as my trainer – it’s a win, win!!

I’m also a member at my local Les Mills Gym where I have an obsession with the GRIT classes.   My weekly training will consist of GRIT, running, cycling, weights and boxing so along with work and home life it’s pretty much go-go-go…it’s no wonder I look tired all the time, but definitely worth it!!

I participated in a women’s Mountain Biking Skills Clinic at Woodhill Forest on Saturday the 21st November.  Signing up for this clinic was a no brainer given mountain biking is part of the Adventure Race.  I learnt some basic skills – I have been on a mountain bike before but spent a bit too much time hitting the dirt so I thought some sound advice and skills were in order : )  While I thought I learnt a lot I still managed to hit the dirt in spectacular fashion.  I was riding down a very steep hill trying to remember all the things I had just learnt when I came to a sharp turn.  Somebody had placed a tree stump there and yep, over the handle bars I went landing face down in the dirt!  My wrist felt a bit sore but it wasn’t until about 4pm that day that I noticed the swelling and thought I better get it checked out.

The good news is there are no broken bones just a shadow in the scaphoid area.  I have a cast on for a week and hopefully the next X-ray will give me a clean bill of health.  But don’t worry fellow Rays, I intend to be at the first run session of the four week bootcamp on Tuesday morning!


Ray of Sunshine 3 – Rachel

There has been a lot of thinking, googling and planning going on since I agreed to be part of the team.  I have a few events and adventures coming up over the next six months so have needed to prioritise my training plans.  On top of that I suffered a small tear in my right calf muscle which put paid to my running schedule for a month.  Fortunately that has come right so on with the plan.

I am also participating in the Rotorua Quarter Ironman doing the swim and run legs.  My current weekly training schedule involves three runs (walks), two swims, a weights session and some cycling.  I will admit that the cycling has involved friends and lunches at wineries though – oops!

However, yesterday I was fortunate enough to spend some time in Eskdale Mountain Bike Park with Jamie, a friend and master mountain biker.  Jamie showed me the lay of the land in terms of how the park is laid out and which tracks would be suitable for me to train on.  We spent some time studying the maps and using various landmarks to get our bearings – I felt confident with Jamie there but can see some ‘where am I’ moments coming up when I venture in there on my own.  I’m sure it will aid our team cause when we are in the thick of the orienteering side of things.

Talking of orienteering and map reading, Vicky has agreed to take the lead on this but I have bookmarked a few pages off the internet to read so I at least have some idea of what we are looking at when presented with the maps.  I am not guaranteeing the theory will translate successfully to practice but we’ll see.

I don’t own a kayak or stand up paddle board but have sussed out where I can hire them and use them to hone my skills.  Going forward I plan to put half a day aside a week to do some kayaking and then go on to the mountain bike park for a ride.  Once the water warms up a bit I will attempt paddle boarding – it needs to be warm enough as I envisage spending a bit of time in the water!

After participating in the Rotorua Quarter Ironman which is on the 19th of December I will swap one of the weekly swim sessions for a bike session as I have some multi day trail rides coming up at the end of January and at the end of February.  I have also entered the inaugural Hawkes Bay Marathon on the 14th May 2016 so will begin the 18 week training program at the beginning of January.

It will certainly be a busy summer but what better way to spend it, getting out there in the warm sunshine and doing all the things I enjoy while working towards my goals and feeling fit and fab : )

PS – I also had my first hole in one playing golf yesterday.  Perhaps golf could be the mystery activity – here’s hoping.


Ray of Sunshine 4 – Katy

I’m getting very excited about this adventure race business!  I signed up with full enthusiasm as I do with most things in my life and then the apprehension kicks in as I realise I don’t really know what I just signed up for.  The thought that I had just been tricked by Vicky also entered my mind – great team leadership!

I’m currently training for a half marathon on Waiheke Island which is on the 12th of December so am not too worried about the run or walking parts of the race.  I also love orienteering and went to Outward Bound back in my prime (at age 16 : )) so can work my way around a compass.

My current training program involves two weights sessions per week, three runs a week, a weekly yoga session and another long run as I prepare for the half marathon.  I also play summer hockey once a week and will often go for a swim or walk to round off the week on Sunday’s.

I’ve never been into cycling which is causing a bit of anxiety as I know all the other Sunny Rays are right into it and I don’t want to drag the chain! So my goal this coming month is to get out there on a couple of bike rides to test the waters and give these old legs a new challenge!  Peace out, Ray number 4!




This blog was originally set up to share our 9 month adventure around Europe and the USA with friends and family in 2014. On returning to NZ in January 2015 I decided to carry it on so I could continue to share any future travel adventures - it has become my electronic travel diary. I hope you enjoy and get inspired to visit some of the wonderful places we have visited.
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