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Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 30 days ending Sep 30, 2010:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run25 28:01:47 194.92(8:38) 313.7(5:22) 194078 /87c89%
  Pool running4 3:01:00 1.74(1:44:02) 2.8(1:04:39)
  Swimming2 1:10:00 1.24(56:20) 2.0(35:00)
  Total31 32:12:47 197.91(9:46) 318.5(6:04) 194078 /87c89%

» now

Thursday Sep 30, 2010 #

8 AM

Pool running 46:00 [2] 0.7 km (1:05:43 / km)

Pool running session at Unley. It's a good set-up for it - plenty of deep water which is the main prerequisite (you can't really do this in less than about 1.6 metres - at my height, anyway). Felt reasonable through the session, although I'm worried about what feels like a hint of a cold coming on - not brilliant timing if so.

It was onwards from there to our Adelaide office, finding a different route this time because I learned on Monday that approaching the Fullarton Rd/Dequetteville Terrace roundabout on a bicycle is roughly as perilous as approaching it at 300 km/h in a Formula 1 car with a shredded rear tyre.

Wednesday Sep 29, 2010 #

9 AM

Run 50:00 [3] *** 7.0 km (7:09 / km) +220m 6:10 / km

50 controls in 50 minutes, waking up the SI units as a training run before commentating on the Australian Schools Relays. It should have been 50 controls in something rather less than 50 minutes (even bearing in mind my less-than-intense pace), but my concentration went totally missing in the last section (which was trickier than it looked with quite a few controls in pits and other hard-to-see places) and I was all over the place. Also didn't feel especially strong, but then it was a training run...

The forest had a couple of magnificent sections in it (especially one area of very mature pine, with nothing on the ground except green grass, and rock features everywhere) and was generally a joy to be in.

Tuesday Sep 28, 2010 #

1 PM

Run race ((orienteering)) 45:42 [4] *** 5.9 km (7:45 / km) +250m 6:23 / km

The race after the Australian Schools Championships is rarely my best of the year. There's usually been a bit of a motivation deficit and a suboptimal pre-race preparation. This year's race title made explicit my implicit goal in past years (beating all the School people, something I haven't managed since 2001).

It was fairly obvious from the first 100 metres that things weren't happening for me physically today. Kept plugging away and didn't miss much apart from a bit of a drift on 11 which cost me 15-30 seconds, but had no energy, especially uphill. By 10 I knew I had no chance of beating our brats and was going to have to settle for beating some imported ones, but I couldn't even manage that; had I been running the Schools I would have been eighth (the same place as I got in Sunday's elite NOL race). Still, if I was going to have a bad day it wasn't the worst day for it to happen.

There was a bit of a splash in today's paper about the list of SA's 10 Most Wanted, but it seems no-one bothered to check whether all of them were still wanted; it transpired one of them was in jail in the Northern Territory.

And I saw yesterday a somewhat original political nickname: Martin "Robin" Ferguson (because his fridge magnets say "Martin Ferguson - Working for Batman").

Monday Sep 27, 2010 #

8 AM

Swimming 36:00 [2] 1.0 km (36:00 / km)

Checked out the pleasures of Unley pool, Jenny's local, on the way into a day's work in our Adelaide office. This was definitely a recovery session - I didn't feel too bad yesterday but definitely felt aches in assorted locations in bed last night, and took some loosening up this morning. Pleased that the Achilles seems to have come through the weekend OK, though.

I was thinking that riding up Greenhill Road was easy - and then turned the corner and found out why it had been easy. A westerly will do that to you.

It's also perhaps a bit scary that my knowledge of European climate is sufficient to know, to within a couple of days, the date of the picture on display last night of a very small worra standing next to a quite large Northern Ireland snowman (for the record, it will have been somewhere around 8-12 February 1991; the photo would have had to have been taken sometime in the 1990-91 or 1991-92 winters, and I don't think any other event in that time period was cold enough to produce substantial snow in Northern Ireland, which doesn't normally get much of it at sea level).
7 PM

Run 38:00 [2] 6.5 km (5:51 / km)

Monday night run of a different sort, in Adelaide from Fern and Tyson's place in Eden Hills. A bit stiff and sore at the start but ended up settling down quite well, and felt quite strong on a couple of the hills. Felt faster than it was, but the lack of light in places may have been an influence there. (Lack of light was a more significant problem later, to be specific, getting back from Eden Hills to Daw Park with two blown headlights - although it was better for it to happen in suburban Adelaide on Monday than somewhere out the back of Dimboola on Friday night).

Saw a somewhat novel form of political advertising on the way there - someone was riding a bike (slowly) up Shepherds Hill Road with a sign on the back of their bike extolling the virtues of a candidate for the local council. It turns out that having someone actually campaigning in SA local council elections is a bit of a novelty - there are only ~1100 candidates for 700 positions and something like half the seats are uncontested.

Sunday Sep 26, 2010 #

11 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 1:49:43 [4] *** 14.2 km (7:44 / km) +640m 6:18 / km

SA Long Championships. Lifted my best placing of the season a notch further to 8th, although it was a small field and Julian made us all look silly. (Everyone who started finished, though, which was impressive, especially given the number of bailout options the course offered).

Didn't get off to a great start - I took the wide track route to 1 which clearly wasn't a good option as Grant caught me 2 minutes there (that said, my split suggests that I might just have been slow - and the track run did give me the chance to plan the rest of the course). Didn't try to stay with Grant and settled reasonably well after that, hitting controls well and getting a reasonable route option on the long leg. Went through Lachlan at 8 after he overshot it badly. 8, 9 and 10 all had big climbs and after going through those three I was starting to struggle a bit, more for muscular endurance on the climbs than anything else (the Achilles was fine, though). Drifted a little wide mid-leg on 11, my only real mistake of the day. Simon went through me there and Jules at 12. By then it was pretty hard work but I got a bit of a second wind on sighting Bruce at 15 - not something I would have put much money on this time last week. I'd caught him by 16 and we were together to 18, but he got a bit of a break taking a different line to 19 and by then I had nothing left to respond with.

Reasonably happy with the way I slogged it out today, although I'm still not especially pleased with my endurance - perhaps a legacy of not having had the usual state-championship buildup to this. Next Saturday will be more open and the field will be stronger, but a top-10 might still be a possibility.

Saturday Sep 25, 2010 #

2 PM

Run race ((orienteering)) 38:05 [4] *** 6.1 km (6:15 / km) +190m 5:24 / km

Australian Middle Championships, 9th. Pretty happy with this run - any top-10 placing at this level is a good thing to have at this stage of my career. It's my best placing of the season (albeit in a thinner field than those at Easter), although oddly enough it's my fourth successive top-10 in this event, which I used to have a less-than-stellar reputation in (partly a legacy of butchering a 1995 WOC trial after a terrific long race).

It was a surprisingly interesting area with lots of mining detail (more of the pits and mounds than detailed-erosion type), although the course probably didn't quite make the most of it with a number of controls after obvious catching features. Pretty clean on the whole with only a 15-second wobble at 5 and a slight drift offline at 21. Didn't feel especially strong pushing uphill with Achilles not quite right but not too bad; also didn't feel especially fast (and was worried at one point that Bomb was going to run me down on a common leg; maybe that was part of what pushed her to victory?) but a reasonable result.

Friday Sep 24, 2010 #

7 AM

Pool running 45:00 [3] 0.7 km (1:04:17 / km)

Pool running session at Fitzroy. Again seemed to be working reasonably well, not that this is a major test.

We have an 80s party coming up on Sunday night so I was interested to see a 'where are they now?' piece in the Guardian which featured the people responsible for inflicting upon us Aga Doo, voted the worst song of all time in Britain. (It ranked second in a similar poll in Australia, probably because the British have the good fortune never to have heard of Mark "Jacko" Jackson). The answer is playing the Leeds equivalent of the Rooty Hill RSL.

(I've dug out my 1987 Australia-NZ Challenge team shirt for the gathering, although I haven't yet checked whether I can still get into it).

Thursday Sep 23, 2010 #

7 AM

Run 1:03:00 [3] 13.0 km (4:51 / km)

Final hit-out before heading to South Australia, from Clifton Hill up the Merri Creek to past Normanby Road and back along the railway line (more or less). A nice run at times although still not quite feeling right; not really as sharp as I'd like to be heading into a race week (but then this year has been about not being where I'd like to be going into a race week).

The Collingwood supporters are out in force this week. So are the Collingwood supporter jokes, although most of them have been recycled from the Port Adelaide supporter jokes in 2004 (with the exception of the one about how the small Port supporter contingent was because the remainder weren't allowed to leave SA under their parole conditions).

Wednesday Sep 22, 2010 #

7 AM

Run intervals ((fartlek)) 39:00 [4] 9.0 km (4:20 / km)

Last fast session before the championships and definitely not one to get excited about. Took a long time to loosen up and not really flowing that well even on the second loop. Mediocre pace as well (fastest loop 9.49).

This is the first time I've run the regular fartlek circuit in a while. There was a detour early thanks to building work which will require a bit of an adjustment in future. The route also took me past Heidelberg Football Club, devoid of a premiership cup for the first time in five years after a major grand final upset (they won the second semi by 106 points and were 17 points up at half-time in the grand final, but were overrun in the second half), and an abundance of signs expressing the residents' lack of interest in a freeway through their backyards. I understand the sentiment, although the Friends of Banyule group itself is a Liberal front set up by a local upper house MP (of course setting up "grassroots" organisations is something that Labor would never even contemplate doing :-).

Tuesday Sep 21, 2010 #

7 AM

Run 1:31:00 [3] 19.0 km (4:47 / km)

A shorter and earlier long run than usual because of the upcoming weekend races; headed up past La Trobe Uni into Bundoora Park, taking in what the Melway describes as the 'highest point in the metropolitan area' (this involves a 1960s definition of the metropolitan area). Felt pretty good at times, and was able to pick up the pace somewhat in the final third as I realised that I was running late for the train I wanted (the long gradual downhill from Watsonia isn't the most difficult of finishes either). Achilles still a nuisance but otherwise a pretty good run.

Ran into Bruce on the train, the first time I can remember this happening despite our living in our present locations for the best part of a decade. I think he normally heads in earlier outside of school holidays, and of course I'm not on the train that often.

Monday Sep 20, 2010 #

7 PM

Run 38:00 [3] 7.2 km (5:17 / km)

Monday night from Zoe's, going around the east side of the city as far as a lap of the MCG. I don't think it was intended as a theme run but that's the way it worked out, it being Grand Final week. A bit stiff at the start but ended up settling into quite a nice run.

Jas is doing an interview tomorrow for a graduate position in the climate change policy area of the Department of Sustainability and the Environment, so we spent some of the run throwing practice questions at her. I was impressed that she managed to come up with a sensible answer to 'In your opinion, have the Annex I parties to the UNFCCC made effective use of the CDM to satisfy their COP commitments to support LDCs in reducing GHG emissions?'. (And I didn't even mention NOx or SOx).

Sunday Sep 19, 2010 #

8 AM

Run 2:01:00 [3] 23.5 km (5:09 / km)

Longish run from Bruce's place. I'd felt pretty tired driving back from Kooyoora yesterday considering the relative shortness of the race, and woke up with a bit of a stiff back this morning. This loosened quickly but was perhaps an indicator that I was going to find today fairly hard going. The first hour was OK, but I was struggling to respond when Bruce picked up the pace a bit, and more so when we headed for the Kew hills (I didn't try to push the hills but still found them hard going). Achilles was starting to struggle a bit by the later hills, too). All in all, not a run to fill me with confidence about how long hilly races (of which there will be a few) are likely to go the week after next.

Saturday Sep 18, 2010 #

1 PM

Run race 52:17 [4] **** 6.7 km (7:48 / km) +170m 6:55 / km

A very enjoyable Bendigo event in the most difficult square kilometre in Australia, the gentle slopes on the north side of the mountain at Kooyoora. I made a horrible mess of a control here last year - it's the sort of area where you can pay very dearly for a mistake - and was intent on something better this year.

I did get something a fair bit better. I wasn't super-agressive physically in the terrain, but stayed in control for the most part, and got it back quickly when I lost it. Not really any major mistakes as such; a couple of times I drifted and pulled it back, and a couple of times I got poor lines in the terrain and lost time without really losing track of where I was. My luckiest break was at 14, the first control of the second loop: I was unsure and thought 'if the control isn't behind this rock I don't have a clue where I am', but it was.

Bruce and Bryan were late starters so I don't know how my time will rank, but I was pretty happy with this run. A good day out a week before the Australian Championships carnival (and good to get this under my belt: it's only my 3rd event in Australia since Queens Birthday).

Friday Sep 17, 2010 #

7 AM

Pool running 45:00 [3] 0.7 km (1:04:17 / km)

Pool running session at Fitzroy. I seem to be able to push a bit harder in this session than I could earlier this year, which I guess is something to be pleased about.

Apparently the fact that it's been raining a bit this year means that Victoria doesn't have to worry about water supply ever again. I wonder if there is a journalist in Victoria who has enough of a memory to remember that at the last election a desalination plant wasn't Labor policy, but was Liberal/National policy?

Thursday Sep 16, 2010 #

7 AM

Run 1:45:00 [3] 21.3 km (4:56 / km)

This run never even looked like catching alight - I think not enough sleep this week was starting to catch up with me (although this one wasn't especially early by Thursday morning standards). A bit of a slog but did manage to work reasonably well through the last third despite not particularly enjoying it. Still haven't got my internal clock quite sorted which meant a section in the middle was spent in search of a suitable facility. On the good-news sign, the Achilles has been a bit better this week and I'm reasonably confident it's not going to be a major obstacle in SA (could be famous last words!).

Wednesday Sep 15, 2010 #

6 AM

Run 1:03:00 [3] 13.0 km (4:51 / km)

A run which sometimes threatened to catch alight but never quite did. A bit earlier than usual; I woke up at 5.30 (obviously still doing a bit of time zone adjustment) and thought I'd put that to good use. Spent quite a bit of time along the river, which is still running strongly.

There's been some minor rearrangement of the title of our minister. Possibly somebody noticed that Sustainable Population, Environment and Water made for a somewhat unfortunate acronym.

Tuesday Sep 14, 2010 #

7 AM

Run intervals 20:00 [4] 3.2 km (6:15 / km)

8x400 (78-86) on a 2.5 minute cycle. In performance terms this was probably my best run of 2010 - it's the first time that I've got within striking distance of what I was doing last year (when I typically peaked at 77s). Not a bad time of year for it to happen. Didn't always feel as sharp as it looks - and a hint of a stitch at one stage - but it didn't seem to make a lot of difference. Excellent conditions for it.

Run 20:00 [3] 4.0 km (5:00 / km)

Warm up and down. Didn't take quite as long to get going as I have on some recent days.

Somewhat to my embarrassment (especially as I'm chair of the responsible VOA subcommittee), I'd forgotten that Victorian Long Champs have a 21E class and put my entry in for 21A. It will be fixed (if I'd really wanted to back out of the top class, I'd be running 35s).

And tragic news on the home front: the local KFC is closed for renovations until December. I don't know how I'll be able to cope.

Monday Sep 13, 2010 #

7 AM

Swimming 34:00 [2] 1.0 km (34:00 / km)

Monday morning swim at Fitzroy. Woke up early this morning but that was more or less by design (to watch the tape of the GP that I couldn't stay up late enough for last night). It turned out to be one of the better swims I've had for a while (i.e. the water didn't feel like treacle).
7 PM

Run 48:00 [3] 9.3 km (5:10 / km)

MFR Monday night from Simon's place in Carlton. A bit longer than usual for a Monday night (and one of the better crowds for a while), heading up around Princes Park and the zoo before finishing through the university. Felt rather tight after an afternoon of sitting down but got going after 10 minutes or so, and felt like I was flowing pretty well through the second half.

Awake for the run, but staying sort of awake during a drawn-out meeting this afternoon was a serious challenge (I have been known to fall asleep in drawn-out 2pm meetings even with no travel involved).

Job application Epic Fail of the Day: we currently have a vacancy and part of the application process is having to answer some questions online about the Australian climate. One applicant cut and pasted something directly off our website. Unfortunately for him/her, the person handling the applications was the same person who wrote the text in question in the first place.

Sunday Sep 12, 2010 #

8 AM

Run 2:01:00 [3] 25.0 km (4:50 / km)

Just because I'd been sitting on a plane for 24 hours was not a good enough excuse to skip the Sunday long run. (I might have been tempted by the Maxi 3-Hour at Whroo but thought driving a couple of hours each way was asking for trouble).

The course was based around the Yarra, initially up to the bridge at Templestowe, in the name of seeing its current state (strongly flowing but not really in flood), before coming down as far as Hays Paddock. (This part of the route was determined by the availability of public conveniences - I've learnt from past experience that they are often required at short notice on just-off-the-plane runs). The run was nothing special for a normal day but quite satisfactory in the circumstances, with the second half being the better. Some hamstring tightness which presumably means some back tightness (in turn almost certainly plane-induced); will watch but no cause for alarm.

Ran with Lisa Weightman's bunch for a bit later on; I've seen her out a few times but this was the first time we were going in the same direction. You will not be surprised that the main topic of conversation was potential Commonwealth Games weather. At least the marathoners don't have to worry too much about incomplete facilities. The bunch was going a bit faster than I really wanted to be today, and I peeled off after a bit.

The final part of the run took me past the residence of a just-reappointed minister (and it says something for Australia that there is less visible security on her house than there is for the neighbours on either side). I did think it was a bit strange that the only thing the ABC radio news this morning thought was worth reporting about the new ministry was that Christopher Pyne doesn't like it, although any leanings displayed are nothing compared to those of News Limited. Perhaps Julia can engage the services of Barry Hall to sort out the editor of the Australian?

(On the other hand, perhaps the media just love negativity. I saw a nice demonstration of this while I was in Britain; there have been some problems with a new tax office computer system which has led to large numbers of people getting incorrect assessments, and the media was full of stories with people with substantial "unwanted" tax bills (is there any such thing as a wanted tax bill?). It wasn't until I'd been there for three days that I found out that the number of people getting bills is half the number of people getting refunds).

Saturday Sep 11, 2010 #

(rest day)

Had better luck with seats on the trip home - scored an exit row on the Dubai-Melbourne leg, always a nice bonus. Did something dangerously radical and actually bought something at an in-transit airport duty-free shop - a drink. (Emirates, like a lot of other airlines, don't really provide you with enough fluid to offset in-air dehydration; this is something Qantas are very good at).

It's been rather in the news this week that sporting identities have demonstrated via their use of Twitter that they are twits (one hopes Brendan Fevola never starts tweeting). One which might not have got as much attention in Australia was the effort of one Dimitri Mascarenhas, a sometime member of the England 20-20 team, who called the chair of selectors a "F***ing prick" after being left out of this week's team. Can't imagine this is exactly the way to win friends and influence people (JWOC candidates for 2011 should perhaps take note).

Friday Sep 10, 2010 #

9 AM

Run 42:00 [3] 8.2 km (5:07 / km)

Final session in Exeter, this time heading into town to see what the area along the river looks like. Pretty stiff in the first few minutes but developed into a fairly standard recovery run after that.

There were local elections in Exeter yesterday. There were still a few leftover signs at polling booths but not the wholesale decoration of any wall within cooee with banners extolling the virtues of one or other of the candidates (I'm not sure if this is because of custom, law, or because no-one - apart from the five Labour leadership candidates who were all in town - really cares that much about who gets elected to the Exeter City Council). Also not a sausage sizzle in sight.

So began the journey home, with a stop at Bristol to catch up with Grace and Matt for lunch. I really liked Bristol on my previous visit in 1989 (despite getting the worst sunburn I've ever had in my life while I was there, after a sunny day at the cricket) and it looks like it's still got a good vibe. I've never been so much of a fan of London and only spent a few hours there this time.

Thursday Sep 9, 2010 #

6 AM

Run 1:44:00 [3] 20.0 km (5:12 / km)

Didn't get home from the conference dinner until 11.30 last night but that was not enough to deter me from this morning's session (at least I was only lacking sleep and not hung over). This one was also based on the hills north of Exeter, using a route occasionally frequented by my host (who's been far too busy this week to even contemplate coming out with me - yesterday she was preparing a talk at 4am).

There was just enough light when I started to be able to manage the off-road sections (although not enough to be able to see all of the mud before treading in it). For the most part it was a mix of country lanes and 'public footpaths', some of which were merely a straight line across a field. At one point I lost the path and ended up in a dead-end field; making my exit I stood up too quickly and thus had an altercation between my head and some barbed wire. This produced a certain amount of blood but if you're deterred by a bit of blood you're in the wrong business. Later on 100 metres of floodwater from yesterday afternoon's thunderstorm had to be negotiated on one of the lanes (although the morning itself was very pleasant).

As a run it was reasonable, although having a bit of an off day on the injury front on the later hills.

The global surface temperatures project we're embarking on is a very long-term one. I suspect this means that, as the only three seriously involved at present whose ages still start with a 3, this week won't be the last I see of two other occupants (one permanent, one similarly temporary to me) of 23 Stuart Road. There's a fair chance my involvement with this project will last to (or possibly beyond) my retirement.

(On a slightly offbeat note, one thing which was mentioned was options for getting numbers taken from images of old data forms or hard-copy publications entered into computer databases. The British have had a bit of this done in prisons and have noticed marked differences in the quality of the work according to the crime. Apparently the paedophiles are the best - I guess most of them have good computer skills).

Wednesday Sep 8, 2010 #

7 AM

Run 1:06:00 [3] 13.0 km (5:05 / km)

A very pleasant run on a nice crisp autumn morning heading for the low hills north of Exeter, taking in quite a few paths and narrow English country lanes (the only negative being the intermittent presence of cars on said country lanes; there's sometimes not a lot of room to get out of the way). A slightly longer run than planned after being reminded of an occasional hazard of English maps, the "public footpath" that doesn't exist.

Again tight early, but freed up well and running quite strongly on the hillier parts.

Tuesday Sep 7, 2010 #

7 AM

Run intervals 20:00 [4] 2.8 km (7:09 / km)

Headed for the Heavitree Pleasure Ground, a name which, for reasons which may be apparent only to fellow children of the 80s, put me in mind of Frankie Goes to Hollywood (in fact probably only fellow children of the 80s have heard of Frankie Goes to Hollywood). It's actually a fairly standard park which I employed for a fairly standard travelling intervals session, 10 reps with about a minute in between them. Ended up at 67 seconds uphill and 61 down after being a few seconds slower at the start, not awe-inspiring but fairly reasonable by the end. Achilles tight on the warm-up but OK once going harder.

Run warm up/down 19:00 [2] 4.0 km (4:45 / km)

Going to/from the park. Perhaps at this point the more appropriate lyric might have been "can you tell me, is it still raining there in England" (actually, more appropriate still in the light of the events of the preceding couple of hours might have been "The Red Flag", if I could remember the words).

Monday Sep 6, 2010 #

6 PM

Run 38:00 [3] 7.4 km (5:08 / km)

This run got reshuffled a bit through the day. Plan A was a standard morning run. I'm staying with one of the conference organisers (*), who's into endurance sports herself (although more cycling, and starting to dabble in adventure racing), and she mentioned that she was planning to run at lunchtime, so plan B was to join her. She then decided she had too much to do to go out (I'm not sure if the heavy rain which fell for most of the day encouraged her in this decision), and getting in and out of the Met Office building without having someone with a pass to do it with is more hassle than it's worth, so I rescheduled again for the evening.

It being peak hour, I chose a route on the map with the principal aim of minimising the number of significant road crossings. This turned out to take me into some of Exeter's grittier suburbs, although Exeter's grittier suburbs are still reasonably tame (no burnt-out cars or discarded needles in sight). Not the greatest run I'll ever have with quads pretty stiff after yesterday's session, but loosened up, sort of, in the second half. Not an awful lot of strength on the hills either.

(* - those who think that public servants live it up in five-star luxury - i.e. readers of the Herald-Sun - may be interested to know that this week I'm on an air mattress on the floor of somebody's spare room - while this is partly because the funding I could get was only enough to cover the flight, in a lot of ways this is actually preferable to an anonymous hotel room. Still gives me a good comeback if my travel details are ever on the end of a Herald-Sun FOI request).

Sunday Sep 5, 2010 #

10 AM

Run 2:04:00 [3] 23.4 km (5:18 / km) +470m 4:49 / km

Long run on Dartmoor. I was hoping for decent weather but didn't get it; the plateau was shrouded in mist for most of the run (although the visibility was mostly in the 500-1000m range, not enough to cause serious navigation issues). The rain, though, stopped when I started and only came back briefly.

This was a very enjoyable run, especially the first half, running free across the moors on a loop east, then south from Princetown (roughly based on the half-marathon route from the Dartmoor mountain marathon). A bit rough and/or boggy in places but not enough to cause any real problems, just slow me down a bit. It was a long climb back along the disused railway but handled it reasonably well, and the biggest positive of all was that my Achilles was the best it's been since World Masters with only minor twinges on the steeper climbs. The only negative was that my camera batteries had run out (although it wasn't really photo weather).

The best of the day was spent exploring the coastline of north Cornwall and Devon; naturally as an extreme-weather person I had to check out Boscastle, the scene of a famous flash flood in 2004. Today the worst thing that happened was having difficulty finding a spot in the car park. (This wouldn't have been a problem in 2004, once all the cars that had been in the car park had been forcibly relocated to the harbour).

Saturday Sep 4, 2010 #

(rest day)

I managed to get the worst seat on the plane (middle, last row, didn't go back properly), but got to sleep eventually and ended up surviving the trip OK. The only part which didn't go to schedule was the Dubai-London leg (compounded by a long immigration queue, Dubai flights containing a fair number of people from countries which arouse the suspicion of immigration officials), but this just absorbed most of the time that I would have had to have waited for the train to Exeter. Managed to stay awake until 10, which was the principal objective today.

Friday Sep 3, 2010 #

6 AM

Run 41:00 [3] 8.0 km (5:08 / km)

Always too much to do in the last couple of days before going away (and hence too little sleep); wouldn't normally run on a Friday but thought it would be logistically easier than attempting to do it after the flight tomorrow (especially as I'm not due into Exeter until 6.30pm).

Took a little bit to get going but better than I thought it might have been after yesterday. Achilles so-so but stable. A reasonably flat route starting from the Ivanhoe pool.
7 AM

Pool running 45:00 [3] 0.7 km (1:04:17 / km)

The second stage of this morning: the regular pool running session, in the not-as-large-as-I'd-like surrounds of Ivanhoe. A decent session though; working reasonably hard at times.

Thursday Sep 2, 2010 #

6 AM

Run 1:44:00 [3] 21.0 km (4:57 / km)

Went out with a bit of a spring in my step after hearing of the issues with the Liberal Party costings (I would have gone out with even more of a spring in my step if I'd seen the "Fred Nile in web porn scandal" headline before the run instead of afterwards), and also had a bit of daylight when I started a long run for the first time in a while.

Took on a hillier course than I have since coming home, heading out through North Balwyn and North Box Hill before coming back along Koonung Creek. Handled this OK initially but started to have some issues around halfway. The last third was flowing nicely aerobically, but a nagging niggle was still there.

Wednesday Sep 1, 2010 #

7 AM

Run 1:01:00 [3] 12.0 km (5:05 / km)

Run from Clifton Hill around the Yarra in steady light rain - which would be getting me ready for this weekend except that I won't be here. (It looks like I'll instead get to experience rain on Monday and Tuesday). Not a bad morning for running, not so nice for riding afterwards. A bit more touchy on the hills than in recent days but finished off reasonably well, in a run that had its moments but never caught alight.

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