twilight and shadow

Keep up the good awesome

'I could tell you my adventures - beginning from this morning,' said Alice a little timidly; 'but it's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.'
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

I'm so excited I can barely sit still to type this...my piano arrived a couple of hours ago!! It stayed at my parents when I moved out but I finally have room for it where we're living now so after many years apart (okay, so I would go round to their place pretty much just to visit my piano!) we are finally reunited...and I've been playing pretty much nonstop since then!

The keys look like slabs of white chocolate with licorice strips...I must be hungry! Actually, it reminds me of when I was quite little and my eldest brother made me a piano cake for my birthday. Mum joked it was his first engineering masterpiece!

Anyway, as you may know, J and I were away last weekend competing in the Great Lake Relay round Lake Taupo. The night before we left for I had dinner out with a group of friends at Thai Eden. Thai has to be one of my favourite foods. You can't go past a creamy coconut milk curry filled with tofu and veges. Fills in all the gaps.

By the time we ordered I was starving so I shared a starter with another of my friends doing the relay with us...Pak Tod, a selection of tempura vegetables with sweet chilli sauce. They even had tempura baby corn!

For my mains I decided to indulge in the Panang Tofu, a rich coconut milk red curry. When I make curry at home I don't use nearly as much coconut milk so it's a real treat when I go out to a Thai restaurant. Not the best of currys but hey, it was still delicious.

The weather was not looking too promising when I got up on Friday and our drive down to Taupo was often in torrential rain. But arriving in Taupo itself the weather seemed to have cleared up quite a bit and there was definite promise of some easing in the weather. Our event started at 2am (the start times depend on the grade you are entered in - anywhere from 9pm on Friday night to 3am on Saturday morning) on the Saturday morning so the night crew (J and I included) were up by 1am and piling into our support van to get to the start.

The early hours saw us pulling out some crazy "encouragement" for the other runners and our team mates. "Keep up the good awesome," and "The sun rises from the East for everyone," were some of the most memorable ones.

Fueling up on a lara bar before my first run at around 6am - a 10.1km leg mostly of steady uphill as the sun came up. See the leg here. The best thing about this leg is you start off in the pitch black and as you run the sun slowly comes up so by the time you get to the transition area it's broad daylight!

Above was our first view of the lake after several hours on the road. It must have been about 9:30am but it felt like the afternoon considering we'd been up since 1am! The first part of the course winds along farm roads and it's not until you turn onto SH41 and head up the hill that you finally get a view of the lake (and a sense of scale of what you're doing since you can't see the other side of the lake except for the odd misty shadow on the horizon.

Above is the grind of Hatepe Hill, a steady 3km climb in the middle of my 6.1km second leg around 1 in the afternoon. Pictures always make hills look flatter than they really are! You can see the leg here.

Here's Lake Taupo near the finish line as we wait for our final runner to come past. What was scheduled to be a cyclone never really turned into much. Look, blue sky!

Coming in with a total time of 13 hours 1 minute and 39 seconds we came 30th out of 157 running teams and were nearly 40 minutes faster than last year - we rock!

Speaking of the lara bar I mentioned above, Katie from Chocolate-Covered Katie (which is a truly awesome name because being covered in chocolaty goodness would be delicious...and did that just sound really weird?) has this amazing competition going at the moment to win a box of Jocalat bars (they're kind of like the chocolaty, decadent version of lara bars). Go here for more details.

Back to my piano now...