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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 31 days ending Dec 31, 2013:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run27 32:58:00 230.02(8:36) 370.18(5:21) 55091 /95c95%
  Pool running4 3:00:00 1.74(1:43:27) 2.8(1:04:17)
  Swimming5 2:34:00 2.61(59:01) 4.2(36:40)
  Soccer1 1:08:00 4.97(13:41) 8.0(8:30)
  Total37 39:40:00 239.34(9:57) 385.18(6:11) 55091 /95c95%

» now

Tuesday Dec 31, 2013 #

7 PM

Run intervals 46:00 [3] * 8.7 km (5:17 / km)

An example of the sort of run I hope to leave behind me in 2013. The plan was to do the Royal Park street-O alternating hard/easy legs, but in fact I was feeling so sluggish that there didn't seem to be a lot of difference between the hard legs and the easy ones. A Q+A format rather than punches, which meant the opportunity to "get" a few controls from distance (had I felt so inclined I could have got 16 from 200 metres away, but thought cutting that off was a bit too blatant); breaks up the rhythm a bit writing the answers down (not that there was much rhythm to be had tonight). Perhaps a bit better in the later stages, but that's not saying a lot.

This was a fairly forgettable year for my orienteering, with a back/glutes/hip/hamstring/other random body parts injury troubling me for much of the year (still with me, but not surfacing as often as it was a couple of months ago); only this month, easily my longest of the year, has training got back to a level that I'd consider reasonably normal (and then only for volume, not for speed). Best result was the Oceania middle win in M40, but while I ran a good technical race on a technical area, it was a result which said more about my opposition; probably the runs I was happiest with were in Tasmania in May and at Narrinyeri (SA) in June, although in both cases there was no effective opposition so it was hard to judge. Best training run was clearly the long run from Warwick at the end of June, although a couple in the last week have threatened to get into at least the same ballpark, and there was also a gorgeous half-hour on a random Monday night in May.

Monday Dec 30, 2013 #

11 AM

Run 45:00 [3] 8.2 km (5:29 / km)

Would have been a nice morning to be out early (sunny and a low of 2.5 at Coldstream, often a reasonable indicator of the Yarra flats at Heidelberg), but I couldn't be bothered being out early. It was still nice when I actually headed out as part of a two-leg session - in fact this is my idea of a perfect summer day, even if it isn't warm enough for some (low 20s, sunny, low humidity, light breeze).

Legs felt like bricks when I started but were reasonably mobile within a kilometre or so, whereupon it turned into a reasonably standard Monday session, although a bit hillier than most recent Mondays - kept plodding away but not much of a spark.

Streets bagged today: Albert Jones Place, Eaglemont. (I'd had vague ideas of getting it at the end yesterday, but it was a bit further back from Bundoora than I thought and I ended up going back directly from the far end of Banksia).
12 PM

Swimming 37:00 [2] 1.0 km (37:00 / km)

Followed up the run with a rather slow swim at Ivanhoe, the major purpose of which was loosening myself up (certainly not for any sort of exercise intensity). Fairly early on, though, my body started to notice that I hadn't eaten anything since just after getting up, and later on cramps started to threaten in the foot (not so unusual) and calf (more unusual). I took this as a sign that I was still salt-depleted from yesterday and did a certain amount of chip-eating in the afternoon.

Sunday Dec 29, 2013 #

8 AM

Run 2:30:00 [3] 29.0 km (5:10 / km)

Set out with the intention of lifting the longest-run-of-year benchmark a bit further and succeeded. Had the feeling about a kilometre in that this was going to be a pretty good one, and for two hours that was the case - steadily clocking up the kilometres, coping well with the hills (not as many as on some recent long runs) and generally going quite smoothly, with a few very good patches, especially around 18-19k coming through Bundoora Park. Started to struggle in the last half-hour, although more in a tired-muscles sense than a weakness sense, and was still able to handle the final climb with a little in hand. Still not quite sure where the next 16km are going to come from, but that's what the next two months of training are for.

Conditions as good as they get at this time of year (16-18 degrees, low humidity and a cool southwest breeze), but didn't drink enough - water being in short supply on these routes with only one dodgy bubbler about 85 minutes in (will have to start carrying my own when I come out this way, something which is probably good practice for what's upcoming anyway). My shoes aren't quite broken in yet as I have noticeable blisters on both little toes, although neither caused me much trouble on the run.

Put the newly-acquired waffle iron to good use post-run.

One more street ticked off: Albert Court, Greensborough (Albert is one of Melbourne's more popular street names so it's mildly surprising there's only one in Banyule).
8 PM


I'm starting to wonder about Ararat: as viewers of the Big Bash will have heard ad nauseum (in the context of a Biggest Loser special that is being vigorously promoted), it has one of Australia's highest obesity rates (something I don't think can be blamed very much on the Vines Cafe's hot chocolate, the best I have found in Australia). Now it's been reported in today's Age that, according to 2011 Census data, Ararat and Benalla are among the regional Victorian centres where the Census found precisely zero same-sex couples. (To the surprise of no-one who's been there, Daylesford was at the top of the list, at least in percentage terms).

Saturday Dec 28, 2013 #

7 AM

Run 1:09:00 [3] 13.0 km (5:18 / km)

Never got properly going this morning - not sure whether or not to blame going out earlier than usual on a Saturday, although it didn't seem to hurt on Christmas Day. (Can't blame the heat - it hadn't started warming up yet). Did manage to grind reasonably well up the hills coming back; this has been the case for a couple of weeks now and gives me some encouragement, although I haven't done anything on the scale of Arthurs Seat (let alone the Pluviometer) yet.

One of the quirks spotted at the cricket is that you see plenty of flags and shirts for English football team, but almost none for the big teams (West Ham, Norwich and West Bromwich Albion are about as mainstream as it gets). It seems that the more obscure the team the greater the street cred, with special bonus points for non-League teams (I was particularly impressed to see a Winchester City shirt). I was a bit worried I might have been mistaken for the Barmy Army myself as I realised halfway to the station that I was wearing red, but it didn't happen, amongst neighbours who were a good deal more sober and more congenial than yesterday's (including Ricky Ponting's high school principal - you won't be surprised to hear that Ricky gave considerably more attention to his cricket than to his studies).

Friday Dec 27, 2013 #

9 AM

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

At Fitzroy Pool on my way to joining 78,000 of my closest friends at the MCG (must say I didn't think there were that many - seemed to be a reasonable number of empty seats, but maybe not at the same time). A fairly routine session with the usual Friday morning regulars, except that today I was overlapping with the end of their session rather than the start.

Spotted in the 2013 Wisden (which I was browsing during flat spots in today's play) - an entry for 12 September which cracked me up:

"Rock star Alice Cooper, 65, visited the Test Match Special box at Lord's during the South Africa Test. On being introduced, Geoff Boycott shook hands with Cooper's wife".

Found myself last night looking up some information on the recent history of Surinam, having had my interest sparked by seeing a reference to a 1990s civil war there I hadn't previously heard of. This revealed that the place is run by someone (who I also hadn't previously heard of) who sounds like he's well up there in the World's Dodgiest Presidents ranking list (career highlights include being convicted in absentia in the Netherlands for cocaine trafficking, and allegedly killing dissidents during his 1980s incarnation as part of a military junta).

Thursday Dec 26, 2013 #

7 PM

Run 47:33 [3] * 8.67 km (5:29 / km) +130m 5:06 / km

It's a while since I've tried to come up from a midweek long run the following day; the slight rearrangement of the week meant it happened this week, and having a street-O within walking distance of home (Banyule/Viewbank) was too good an option to pass up (after a very inactive afternoon on the couch in front of the cricket). Always felt like a struggle, perhaps a bit more so in the first half; did manage to find something to "run" up the infamous bank at the back of the Heidelberg football ground (something only possible when it is dry). Think my route was reasonably good (dropped 13 and 19), though missed 12 a bit through misreading the control description.

On the way back to Melbourne, I went past the kilometres-long traffic jam at the Chadstone exit. Obviously there are people for whom the ideal Boxing Day is battling the crowds in shopping centres but I can't see the attraction myself (and I definitely can't see the attraction in spending all night outside David Jones or Myer to be first in line for their 5am opening).

Wednesday Dec 25, 2013 #

6 AM

Run 2:01:00 [3] 21.2 km (5:42 / km)

Christmas morning long run down on the Peninsula, shifted a bit earlier than usual because certain smaller members of the household were unlikely to be able to wait too long to get stuck into the presents (in fact I was surprised they lasted until 8). More awake than has usually been the case for a 6am start in recent times. With Jim for the first hour and a bit, out to Sorrento and then along the back beach track, a much favoured venue of mine - occasionally sandy but mostly a decent surface, and lots of small ups and downs. (It was high tide so not a good morning for the Portsea beach). He cut back when we were opposite Blairgowrie again while I continued on to Number Sixteen (looking for a bit of extra distance to get the projected length out to two hours, I actually went out to the beach at Number Sixteen - something I've not done before despite the many times I've used the track end at its car park as an endpoint). Hit a very nice rhythm climbing out of Pearse's Beach and held it for most of the last 40 minutes of the run, turning it into my best long run of the second half of the year - certainly the first one since the nationals where I've finished something in the 2-hour range not feeling as if I was just hanging on (and not just because there was no Hawdon Street involved in the last 500 metres this time). The last kilometre was the fastest, always a good sign.

This is the sixth consecutive Christmas Day where I've gone 2 hours-plus, either running or riding. It's one way of creating room for the feasting for the remainder of the day.

Tuesday Dec 24, 2013 #


Wish you were here time - tonight's forecast for Winnipeg:

"Increasing cloudiness. Light snow and blowing snow beginning overnight. Wind becoming south 30 km/h early this evening then increasing to 50 gusting to 70 overnight. Low minus 27 with temperature rising to minus 18 by morning. Wind chill minus 39."

The morning conditions sound pretty similar to those I experienced there on Christmas morning in 1989, except there the -18 was on the way down rather than the way up (it had been above freezing the previous evening - and warmer than Tampa as the locals made sure everyone knew).
1 PM

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

After a few false starts, today was the first session that I'd characterise as a proper speed session: the fairly standard 10x1 minute on South Wharf at lunchtime. Occasionally felt a bit lactic in the later part of sprints but that's the idea; no injury issues, and got a little faster as the session went on (generally comparable to the par of the last couple of years for this one).

This was the first session in new shoes, and they still need a bit of breaking in: I've now got a bit of a blister on my right little toe.

Run warm up/down 19:00 [3] 3.8 km (5:00 / km)

Warming up and down. Took a bit of time to get going, as is almost inevitable these days.

The Grinch award for the day goes to John Hart of Restaurant and Catering Australia, for whingeing in today's papers about his members having to pay penalty rates to staff for working tomorrow. Clearly the cost of penalty rates is sending his industry to the wall, which is why no new cafes have opened in Melbourne for years.

The numbers were dwindling at work today: officially we were supposed to finish at 2, but I was on a roll with something and didn't end up leaving until almost 5. (Discovery of the day was some dodgy data from Marree in March and April, the removal of which means that South Australia is going to have its hottest year on record by an even larger margin than we thought it was going to).

I also noted that today the NSW police raided premises on the Central Coast and seized $43 million worth of drugs, and a python. One wonders what they're going to do with the python.

Monday Dec 23, 2013 #

7 AM

Swimming 37:00 [3] 1.0 km (37:00 / km)

Pretty slow but otherwise routine, forgetting to a greater extent than usual that I have two arms and two legs and that moving through the water is normally more efficient if one uses all of them. Starting to become a bit rainy by the end (really heavy drizzle, but enough to make the ride in a bit uncomfortable).
7 PM

Run 47:00 [3] 9.0 km (5:13 / km)

Was originally planning to go out around the Tan at lunchtime but something came up with work, so went out around the Tan in the evening instead - one of those delightful cool, sunny evenings that Melbourne sometimes turns on once a system's gone through. Really grinding the first 10 minutes, then got into a bit more of a stride - never particularly comfortable, but starting to become a decent recovery session by the end. Got to hear the Carols by Candlelight rehearsal intermittently through the run.

Went home via Northland to do the last of the Christmas shopping - nowhere near as crazy as expected (it's amazing how easy it is to find a parking spot at a shopping mall if you go straight for the rooftop and don't spend 20 minutes waiting to pounce on a spot 50 metres closer to the entrance).

Sunday Dec 22, 2013 #

8 AM

Run 2:23:00 [3] 26.0 km (5:30 / km)

Moved the longest-run-this-year benchmark up a bit further (this time in both distance and time, although it's an indication that nothing I've done this summer is on a par with the June long run in Warwick that it took me 2.15 to go past the distance that took right on 2 hours that day - albeit on a flatter course). A struggle at times early and late, but found some strength when it was most needed, on the big hills through Lower Plenty around the middle of the run (I think my body, soreness-wise, copes better at the moment with 10-15% hills than 2-3% ones). Intermittent rain made the running conditions outwardly comfortable but still losing a fair bit of fluid (as evidenced by the fact that I was drinking plenty for the rest of the day and it took a long time for anything to come out the other end). Felt as if my calves were about to cramp at the end, but they didn't do so post-run so I may have been mistaken.

A few slightly irregular stops on this one - one to retrieve someone's lost bank card sitting in the middle of a road at Banksia Park (later left at the police station, but not until after the run was finished), and one on seeing a recently retired work colleague.

First two streets collected were easy (Alanah Pl, Ivanhoe and Alandale Rd, Eaglemont were on the board within the first 15 minutes). Alban St, Montmorency was a bit harder. I was hoping for Albert Pl, Greensborough too but it turned out to be a little out of range, so will have to wait until next week.

Saturday Dec 21, 2013 #

11 AM

Run 1:09:00 [3] 13.2 km (5:14 / km)

From Albert Park with Jim, showing him some of the tourist sites of Melbourne (like around the MCG and part of the Tan), and some of the less publicised sights (like the house of my great-aunt which had a body dumped in its foundations during construction, something confirmed only about 15 years later when the perpetrator - already serving a life sentence for something else - confessed). Started a bit close to a substantial breakfast and felt a little out of sorts at times, although that may also have been because of whatever was causing me to cough quite a bit this morning. A bit better in the second half.

Friday Dec 20, 2013 #

7 AM

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

A reasonably pleasant session on a warm morning (albeit not as warm as I'd feared, which meant a reasonable night's sleep), sun glare on the even laps being the only negative. Time has once again started running backwards at Fitzroy (at least on its clocks).

Going past Queen Victoria Market wasn't the madhouse I expected on the last Friday before Christmas (and in general a reasonable number of people seem to have cleared out already; the traffic this morning, except around the market, was noticeably lighter than normal). Work had a certain end-of-term feeling to it today although a lot of us will be around Monday and Tuesday.

Signs you've been around for a while department: seeing a reference on Asha's log to its being 47 degrees in the sun yesterday made me think of a certain other temperature reading which had had too much sun, and my 1997 debunking of it which led to a (verbal) stoush with Cloncurry's aggrieved mayor on national television, which some of you will remember. Asha certainly won't - she hadn't been born yet.

Thursday Dec 19, 2013 #

7 AM

Run 1:36:00 [3] 18.0 km (5:20 / km)

As flagged last night, scaled my ambitions for this morning back a bit - was originally thinking 90 minutes but ended up being a bit more than that. A better start than last week, then a steady, rather grinding run. Didn't heat up this morning as quickly as I'd feared - particularly when there were signs that the northerly was about to get going about halfway through - but still humid enough to be challenging - not really a day to be pushing the boundaries. Struggling a bit at the end and finished thinking that I wouldn't have fancied another 20 minutes, but the Hawdon Street hill will often do that to you.

The opening stage of this run was through West Heidelberg, to pick up Ajax Court (not sure if it's pronounced as in the cleaning product or the Dutch football team) and Alamein Road, into country where front lawns bear a variety of vehicles in assorted states of (un)roadworthiness. Also picked up Alan Court in Bundoora, in a 1950s/1960s subdivision where the main street is Patricia and the side streets are Alan, Darren, Judith and Rae; I don't think I'd be speculating too wildly if I suggested that someone, probably the developer, named the main street after his wife and the side streets after his kids.

And, surprisingly, it wasn't the NT News which featured the opening paragraph:

"A man has escaped conviction and kept his drivers' licence after driving a motorised esky to McDonald's while drunk on pineapple vodkas and low-carb beers."

Wednesday Dec 18, 2013 #

7 PM

Run ((street-O)) 49:33 [3] * 9.52 km (5:12 / km) +160m 4:48 / km

Warm weather street-O fail. Even in the first couple of kilometres, I didn't have any upper gears, but it was about 4km in that I ran into a brick wall (probably the mental knowledge that any chance of a decent performance was gone by then made a difference, too). Really struggled from there, especially uphill, despite not trying to run that hard, and slightly overran a couple of gaps for good measure. Probably a similar sort of run (and similar conditions, 28/17 so fairly humid) to Forest Hill a couple of years ago - the difference being that at Forest Hill I had a good excuse for not being acclimatised because I was just back from Geneva. Route was decent, which will make the result look better than it deserves to be.

The original plan was to go 2 hours tomorrow morning but I think this needs reassessing in the morning. In other circumstances I would have considered tonight sufficient grounds to defer my midweek long run to Friday, but given the reasonable probability of Friday's 6am temperature starting with a 3, I don't think that's such a good idea.

Not expecting much of a turnout at Eltham tomorrow night - 40 degrees and lots of big hills.

Tuesday Dec 17, 2013 #

7 AM

Run intervals 20:00 [4] 4.1 km (4:53 / km)

Actually got through a faster session this morning without any back issues, which is a start. Did a track session at Clifton Hill because of morning logistics, but didn't feel like taking on my usual sets of 400s there, so decided to do a fast straights/float curves session - really just to get the feel of trying to run fast again. "Fast" is a relative term on a morning when I was distinctly unawake (at least in the first half), but I should be better for this session.

Had the afternoon off to go to John Colls' funeral - much too soon, of course, but a good opportunity to celebrate all that he achieved in his life, and to catch up with various orienteering or former orienteering people I haven't seen for a while (not least Stuart). The closest I worked with John was on WMOC 2002 (from which he ultimately resigned in frustration over dealing with the World Masters Games organisation; there was a reference in one of the speeches to his "not suffering fools gladly", and fools were not in short supply at WMG 2002).

Run warm up/down 21:00 [2] 4.0 km (5:15 / km)

Warm up/down. Very sluggish in the warm-up, which carried through into the more intense part of the run.

Something I've discovered (thanks to a fridge magnet last night) is that there is now a place in Templestowe which sells Swedish pizza (no, it's not Ikea). As many of you will know (not least from having consumed a lot of it in the days when Australian dollars bought less in non-Norway Scandinavia than they do now), Nordic pizza is a somewhat different species to what you will find elsewhere. One thing I recall from a previous trip was a show on Finnish TV which featured two (obviously gay) Italians called Fabio and Fabrizio, on a road trip around Finland assessing the quality of Finnish pizzas.
6 PM


I was getting a bit worried when I logged on after getting home and heard that Sophie Mirabella had been appointed to the board of the ASC, but was relieved on discovering that the ASC in question was the Australian Submarine Corporation, not the Australian Sports Commission. Neither of these ASCs should be confused with the Australian Science Communicators, the (former) Australian Securities Commission or the Associated Southern Colleges.

Monday Dec 16, 2013 #

8 AM

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

A slightly later start than usual after watching a recording (I almost said a "tape") of the overnight Norwich-Swansea match. Seemed to be a bit of pool traffic this morning (normally it thins out a bit as it gets later into the morning), but on the whole a fairly standard Monday morning session; a good loosener.

A reference by the commentators to the unusually mild conditions (in a fortnight which has seen a wild ride in European and Mediterranean temperatures, with record highs and record lows, some of them in the same place) led me to a check of British observations for the day, which in turn led me to one of my favourite observation site names, Middle Wallop (which is in between Over Wallop and Nether Wallop). Middle Wallop is about 20km northwest of Winchester and was the direction I headed on some of my long runs there, although I never quite got there, coming closest on a late November 33km which at the time was a PB for longest run. (At somewhere near -10 at start time - don't know for sure because in those days Middle Wallop only did observations on weekdays, though Winchester, a classic frost hollow, would have been several degrees colder anyway - it was also a PB for coldest run, although that didn't last long).
7 PM

Run 44:00 [3] 8.0 km (5:30 / km)

A good turnout for the final Monday night session for the year, from what was once Liggo's place in Kew (I've lost track of who actually lives there now and who used to). A faster start than I'm used to for these, but generally better than I was expecting - certainly the best I've felt on a Monday for a while (although that may be partly through it being evening rather than morning), and reasonably happy with the big hill coming back through Kew after a section on the riverside single tracks. Resisted the temptation to sledge Rob too much about the cricket.

Meanwhile, at least one court has seen fit to throw the book at someone convicted over a road-rage incident against cyclists. (Given where it was, I'm guessing this character might be known to Shep or some of his fellow riders?).

Sunday Dec 15, 2013 #

8 AM

Run 2:11:00 [3] 24.1 km (5:26 / km)

A fairly similar route to last week, mainly because my targets were in the same general direction - out in the hilly bit of Greensborough and Montmorency. Never reached great heights as a run, and slower than I would have liked, but kept plugging away - and the rejuvenating qualities of the Banyule Flats single-track section (often experienced as the stretch between about T-18 and T-11 towards the end of a long run) still seem to work. Tired in the last 10 minutes, but certainly didn't fall apart to the same extent as I did last week (nor was I as much of a wreck for the remainder of the day), and handled the final climb home better than I was expecting to - the kinder conditions this week helped. (Once again, finding water was a problem - didn't see any until about 30 minutes to go). Still wouldn't have fancied having 21km to go at that point, but that's what the summer's training is for.

Longest run in time this year, though not in distance (I'd still like to be doing my long runs a bit faster than this, though the last couple have had long hilly sections). Longest week of the year too.

Surprised the slowly spreading red patch on my top (chafed nipple) didn't elicit any remarks from passers-by.

The targets today: Aintree Place, Greensborough (in a steep pocket of the suburb near the Plenty River junction with a side creek - a pocket I'll see again in the not-too-distant future because it also has an Albert and an Armstrong) and Airlie Road, Montmorency (a long gradual descent off the Montmorency ridge).

Saturday Dec 14, 2013 #

9 AM

Run 1:11:00 [3] 13.1 km (5:25 / km)

Hillier than most recent runs I've done, through Bulleen and the west end of Templestowe, including one of the more significant climbs in this part of the world, Macedon Street. Fair to middling through the first half (which contained the bulk of the climbing) - didn't feel especially strong uphill but no obvious injury issues (and hamstring was fine after the first few hundred metres). Settled down well and a pretty good second half.

Random piece of information of the day: according to a paper I came across today, the homicide rate in northern Europe (not including war/battle deaths) in the 20th century is 97% below that which prevailed from the 13th-15th centuries. (The medieval rate is in a similar range to that which prevails in the modern era in South Africa, or the more violent Latin American countries).

Friday Dec 13, 2013 #

5 PM

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

Work Christmas "lunch" today (the lunch part of it didn't actually turn up until after 3, which caused a certain amount of disgruntlement amongst some members of our party), and it was over in Fitzroy, so I decided there wasn't much point in going back to work - I've only got about 35 days' worth of accumulated surplus hours this year so it's not as if I'll miss those from an afternoon off - and instead rearranged the day so I went in early and headed to the pool post-function.

It was a little too close to eating for comfort, and the hamstring doesn't feel quite right (though certainly not as acute as anything in October), but not bad once I got going. A different crowd at the pool at 5pm to what you see at 7am - you certainly don't see people reading in poolside chairs in the early morning.

Looks like an international meeting of mine which I thought was going to be mid-year is now going to be in March, which if it happens will mean two major trips in the space of a month, the second of them probably involving flying out a day or two after the Six Foot Track (in which case I suspect an upgrade will be frequent-flyer points well spent).

Thursday Dec 12, 2013 #

6 AM

Run 1:51:00 [3] 21.0 km (5:17 / km)

For the first 15 minutes this was ghastly - as badly as I can remember starting a run without actually breaking down. The next 15 minutes were slightly less bad but still not exactly filling me with confidence about doing anything much. It was at about this point that I woke up, and from there it was pretty reasonable, especially through the middle third. The hill coming back through Eaglemont in the last 15 minutes was a bit of a struggle, but nothing compared to the early stages of this run, which ended up as one of my better midweek long runs of the year if you subtract its start. Will do me good to have had the experience of digging myself out of a hole, something I'll very probably have the opportunity to try to do at some point in a certain future race.

Collected quite a few streets today: Adrian Court, Bundoora, Aileen Avenue, North Heidelberg and Ailsa Grove, Ivanhoe.

Wednesday Dec 11, 2013 #

7 PM

Run 46:23 [3] * 9.68 km (4:47 / km) +150m 4:27 / km

Street-O at Kerrimuir - oddly enough the third time I've run here this year. Not one I'll really want to remember. Back and associated items were again a bit troublesome, though not as bad as yesterday; sort of held it together through the first 6km without ever really feeling that inspired, but fell away badly on the climbs after that (on a map which is never steep, but never flat either). Still, managed (slightly) faster on a bad night tonight than on a decent night three weeks ago, so I'm getting somewhere. On a better night I might have contested a finish sprint against Patrick Jaffe (although I would still almost certainly have lost it); he was 10 metres ahead of me going into the last 100.

Nice running weather again; it won't be so pleasant next week.

Tuesday Dec 10, 2013 #

7 AM

Run 46:00 [3] 9.0 km (5:07 / km)

Haven't had a bad one for tightness for a couple of weeks so it was a bit of a surprise to get one today (just when I thought I might be through the worst of it after a decent spell). Was planning to do fartlek this morning but it was apparent after the first couple of attempts at going fast that it wasn't going to happen. Hopefully will be in reasonable nick tomorrow.

The Minister for the Environment issued a media release today in which he said that the Government was "drawing a line in the sand", perhaps slightly unfortunate wording in a media release about dredging.

Monday Dec 9, 2013 #

7 AM

Run 41:00 [3] 7.5 km (5:28 / km)

Once again the run-then-swim double, a little later than last time because I was spending the day at Melbourne Uni at a workshop which didn't start until the slightly-strangely-chosen time of 9.40. As expected, started very stiffly but loosened up more-or-less OK after the first 10 minutes or so. Never exactly flowing but a bit better than this time last week.
8 AM

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

Working hard enough on the weekends now that the loosening properties of a Monday session in the water are becoming noticeable. Also the first chance to put the new goggles to the test. A fairly slow swim but got going a bit better in the last 10 minutes. The serious rain didn't arrive until after I'd made it to the uni (and had cleared Adelaide by much the same time).

Today's workshop was one to develop a decadal plan for mathematics and statistics in Australia (which I was at in my Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society). Unsurprisingly there were quite a few people there who recognised me chiefly as "son of", equally unsurprisingly I wasn't the only orienteer there (Jan Thomas and Peter Taylor being the others - Jan was even wearing her Tuckonie badge). One of the ideas floating around, in the hope of doing something about the proportion of Australians who don't like maths by the time they get to Year 8 (84%, according to recent research), was to promote role models of people who work in the mathematical sciences in the hope that others will realise they're real people. I can think of quite a few people well-known to most readers of this log who would be strong candidates for that...
9 PM


Not sure if I was the only person who found it a bit depressing to read the following (in a discussion of the American Geophysical Union's conference, which I presume is the reason why Lizzie's in San Francisco):

"Also AGU and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund have organised a facility for individual consultations with a lawyer (by appointment via for people either who have found themselves involved in legal proceedings associated with their science or people who are just interested in what they might need to be prepared for."

So far the occasional mutterings about legal actions involving my work have come to nothing (although there are a couple of issues which have the potential to flare up in the coming weeks), but the possibility of one - and the consequent potential need to find a couple of hundred thousand dollars in a hurry to defend it - is often at the back of my mind.

Sunday Dec 8, 2013 #

8 AM

Run 2:00:00 [3] 22.3 km (5:23 / km)

First attempt at a proper weekend long run since September. For the first two-thirds it was reasonably promising - not particularly quick, but grinding up the hills OK, especially in the St. Helena sector towards the middle where the hills existed in some abundance. There were two concerns; one was occasional minor hamstring twinges (had these yesterday too, but nothing close to the severity of last month, and they settled eventually), and the other was the handily-placed water point across the road from the Watsonia shops seems to have disappeared. That meant no water for the first 85 minutes on a reasonably warm morning, and I suspect that is part of what caught up with me (although muscles which aren't used to working for this long probably contributed too). Whatever the cause, I struggled quite badly coming back up the hill from the Plenty River into Watsonia, and unlike what is sometimes the case, wasn't revitalised by the long gentle downhill back from there. I'd also somewhat underestimated the distance of the run and was feeling such that I didn't need too much of an excuse to settle for 2.00 and think that 2.10 to 2.15 was a bit too much of a jump first up.

I'll be in trouble if this is indicative of what is going to happen in three months' time - it did occur to me that my finishing point is almost exactly half-distance, with the next move being 3km of a 14% average hill - but I'd expect a solid summer of training will make a difference here.

One thing which this run restarted was my stalled alphabetical challenge - which had gone nowhere because the next name on the list (Adori Ct, St. Helena) was only in range on a run of this length (as it turned out, not quite in range on a two-hour loop) and I hadn't done one for three months. The next few look quite a bit easier (if things go to plan I should knock the next three off on Thursday).

Saturday Dec 7, 2013 #

8 AM

Run 1:00:00 [3] 11.1 km (5:24 / km)

Out a bit earlier than usual for a Saturday run which I expected to be a bit tougher than usual; none of the muscle stiffness which I thought might have been there, but a bit down in energy after a harder day yesterday than is usual for a Friday. Headed out along the Yarra Flats and back through Eaglemont, not great on hills but definitely not as slow as Thursday. Very nice morning for running.

Spent quite a bit of the run thinking of Nelson Mandela and his legacy (having read the paper before coming out here). Probably his greatest legacy, as I've remarked before, is what didn't happen - his leadership was crucial in making the transition from apartheid essentially peaceful when there was vast potential for it to be otherwise. South Africa still has more than its share of problems, many of them the consequence of its vast disparities of wealth, but a lot of good things have happened in the last quarter-century too.

The reason why I was out earlier than usual was to ensure that I was back in time for the opening of Six Foot Track entries, having heard that in past years they filled up within minutes (this year wasn't quite as bad, perhaps because there was a specific quota for first-timers). This is a run which, like the Canberra Marathon a few years earlier, has long been on my to-do list but has had to wait until now because it rarely fits in with the orienteering calendar (it usually clashes with National League events). Not quite sure what to expect as I haven't done a race of that sort of duration before (except for rogaines, and I haven't even been out for more than 4 hours on one of those for a decade); will need to experiment with things like eating on the run, something I haven't previously done to any real extent. I'm interested to know if any other orienteers are taking advantage of 2014's favourable calendar.

Friday Dec 6, 2013 #

7 AM

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

At Fitzroy on a cool morning. Felt pretty stiff at the start and a bit of generalised hamstring fatigue at times during the session (not as specific as what I was experiencing a few weeks ago), but loosened up a bit during the course of the session.

A new gym has opened near the pool. Among its offerings is "Infrared Hot Yoga". I don't know what that is either.
4 PM

Soccer 1:08:00 [3] 8.0 km (8:30 / km)

The annual tournament between the Bureau, CSIRO and Melbourne and Monash Unis. I haven't played in this for a few years, either through refereeing (in the couple of years when it was played indoors, something which places a premium on skill, which I don't have, and less on endurance, which I do), or through being injured at this time of year. Found a niche in which I could be useful this year - either breaking for counter-attacks, or dropping back in a hurry to cover the other team's - and was on the field for almost the entire time (there are unlimited substitutions), and didn't even manage to score any own goals this year. Certainly felt the fatigue from the recently-unfamiliar experience of repeat sprints by the end, but everyone else was more tired than I was....

The good news was that we won, more through hard work in defence than skill: two wins, 2-0 and 1-0, and a 0-0 draw. This is the first time I've been on a Bureau winning team (I missed the last two). The final game, a 1-0 win against Monash (for whom a draw would have been enough), had its moments, including a disallowed equaliser with a couple of minutes to go.

Will be interested to see how I come up tomorrow.

Thursday Dec 5, 2013 #

6 AM

Run 1:41:00 [3] 18.5 km (5:28 / km)

Longest run for three months as the build-up takes another step forward. I didn't expect it to be easy to come up after last night and it wasn't, but I've felt far worse on other Thursdays in recent years. Very slow on the three major hills but fairly reasonable otherwise (a bit of newsletter-dropping also slowed things down a little). Finished off quite well. Definitely tired through the rest of the day, though.

Not the most difficult detective work of the day: police investigating a car blocking a Canberra bus stop found a woman slumped behind the wheel, who was "unable to understand simple instructions" and attempted (presumably without success) to restart the car. You'll be shocked to hear that she blew somewhere north of 0.2.

Wednesday Dec 4, 2013 #

7 PM

Run race ((street-O)) 49:31 [4] * 10.81 km (4:35 / km) +110m 4:22 / km

Camelot Rise is an area where I always seem to run well. Tonight wasn't exactly on the scale of running 36 for 10k as I did here in 1997 (that night was probably the fastest I've ever run anywhere, at least between controls), but it was my fastest street-O run since last November, and arguably my best running performance this year (a category which is admittedly a bit like being the best fast bowler in Bangladesh). Won't get the rewards for it on the scoreboard because the route was poor - 10.2 seemed to be the benchmark - but I didn't really care.

The conditions were ideal - rain during the day cleared by 5pm (just like the models said it would) to a dry, cool evening - and I settled fairly quickly into a consistent pace; even the hills (not a lot of them here) felt easier than the last couple of weeks. Expected to tail away a bit in the later stages, which were a bit hillier and with more widely spaced controls, but didn't, and finished off well (just winning a sprint against Simon Rouse, although I wouldn't have done if he'd seen exactly where the finish punch was).

This gives me a fair bit of confidence - it's now pretty close to the level I was at for most of the time between 2009 and 2012, and makes me hopeful that some of the more nightmarish performances of 2013 (and the sprint series has produced plenty) might be a thing of the past - at least until the next injury....
10 PM


I've been working on two different pieces of writing tonight. One is a piece on the western Queensland drought which has been through seven different people (so far), all with their own, not always mutually compatible, ideas on how to improve the text. The other is my president's column for the OA e-news. Sometimes things are a lot easier when you're in charge yourself....

Tuesday Dec 3, 2013 #

7 AM

Run 1:01:00 [3] 11.0 km (5:33 / km)

A session on a rather humid morning around the tracks of the Yarra between the Studley and Fairfield boathouses. A bit better than the last few days, but still on the slow side (even when taking the terrain into account); as with Sunday, dropped away significantly in pace towards the end, this time without a hill to disguise it - hopefully this won't persist when confronted with some tougher tests later this week.

Monday Dec 2, 2013 #

7 AM

Run 41:00 [3] 7.4 km (5:32 / km)

Headed out fairly early, off not enough sleep thanks in part to a delayed flight last night. Nothing unusual about a struggle at the start of these, but didn't loosen up after the first 10 minutes to the expected level (nothing from the injury point of view, just sluggish). A warm morning, especially when not in the shaded parts of the Merri valley.

You know it's December when stories (almost invariably baseless) start appearing about something to do with Christmas having allegedly been banned on the grounds of "political correctness". Today's effort was a story circulating on Facebook (not picked up by the mainstream media as far as I know, although it wouldn't surprise me if it got a run on 2GB) claiming that Christmas lights had been banned in Cardwell because they allegedly offended local Muslims. The Cassowary Coast council was commendably quick to issue a statement saying that they had not banned Christmas lights, that no individual or group (religious or otherwise) had asked them to do so, that the mosque cited in the story did not exist, and that if there was a local imam nobody knew who he was.
8 AM

Swimming 8:00 [2] 0.2 km (40:00 / km)

The next stage was a swim which came to an early end thanks to a goggles failure, although to be honest I was rather lacking in energy or enthusiasm anyway; the cold is not quite beaten yet.

The pool was less busy than it would have been later in the day, on Melbourne's first proper hot day of the season (36.0). For a while it was hovering on 34.9 and a few of us were thinking that there would be some aggrieved building workers, until we realised that it was an RDO (for good measure it turned out to be the building industry unions' picnic day). A lot of people in Melbourne are probably surprised that spring 2013 was warmer than usual, although not record-breaking like some other parts of the country. Perhaps they need to look at November 1916 (when there were 10 days under 15 in Melbourne, and snow fell on Mount Lofty on two separate occasions) to see what a cold spring looks like.

(For those who were wondering about the significance of 34.9, in Melbourne building workers get to knock off for the rest of the day if it hits 35; one day about 10 years ago it touched 35.0 for about three minutes before a lunchtime cool change and I spent the rest of the day fielding calls from irate building site managers).
7 PM


I've occasionally remarked on the questionable appropriateness of ads turning up in my Facebook feed (rarely does a day pass without at least one appearing which involves products which I suspect would be of interest to ASADA). Tonight's offering was one saying that if you're "fit and smart" you had what was being looked for in a protective services officer. A lot of fit and smart people read this log but I'm guessing that very few of you would have the slightest interest in such a career. (Protective services officers are not-really-police who, in fulfillment of a 2010 state election promise, stand around Melbourne railway stations from 6pm to after midnight, normally doing Sweet Fanny Adams except at a few specific hotspots).

Sunday Dec 1, 2013 #

6 AM

Run 1:32:00 [3] 17.1 km (5:23 / km)

The OA Conference long run is not quite what it once was (there was a time when it was where most of the real Conference business got done); just three of us today (and an early start - just after 6 - and not as long as usual, thanks in part to an 8.30 start at the AIS).

More awake than I expected to be at the start (with some waking-up help from my younger nephew). Did the first 20 minutes with Jenny to the AIS before meeting up with Craig, then down through Bruce Ridge, O'Connor and the ANU to the lake, back up through Aranda Hill. Quite a promising first half - certainly better than any other run since Monday, although still lacking a top gear - but started to fade away, and the last 10 minutes were definitely a struggle (I don't think I was alone in this respect). Only very minor soreness on hills, just not much strength on them.

Got through a lot of worthwhile discussion over the weekend, particularly in getting good state buy-in to the athlete pathways concept (the implementation will be the next challenge). Now pretty tired and waiting for a delayed flight back to Melbourne.

Had to laugh yesterday when Dave Meyer mentioned (among the activities happening at the AIS) the talent ID program for combat sports. I had been under the impression that this took place outside Mooseheads (or in my day, the Private Bin and the Blind Beggars) on any given Friday or Saturday night.

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