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Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 31 days ending Mar 31, 2014:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run22 19:55:03 123.27(9:42) 198.39(6:01) 1575115 /132c87%
  Swimming4 2:29:00 2.55(58:29) 4.1(36:20)
  Pool running3 2:15:00 1.3(1:43:27) 2.1(1:04:17)
  Cycling2 1:10:00 16.16(4:20) 26.0(2:42)
  Total31 25:49:03 143.28(10:49) 230.59(6:43) 1575115 /132c87%

» now

Monday Mar 31, 2014 #

7 AM

Run 43:00 [3] 8.0 km (5:23 / km)

The usual Monday morning creakiness in the body, but at least the engine seemed to be functioning today, particularly once warmed up. On the way up.
8 AM

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

Swim following the run. Felt reasonable during the run, but got an indication that there are still a few things not quite balanced as they should be in my body with intermittent foot cramps in the later stages of the swim (which isn't completely unusual), and a more significant cramp in the quad when I was getting out of the pool (which is).

WA are off to the polls this weekend to have another go at electing their share of the Senate. The most likely potential beneficiary of micro-party preference deals this time round appears to be the Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party, although the WA credentials of its lead candidate appear to be somewhat dubious - he lives in Lismore (at least it isn't Nimbin) and named the WA Premier incorrectly when asked by a journalist. (In practice, I'm expecting that the Liberals, Labor and Greens will get close to or above three, two and one quotas respectively on primary votes, taking the micros out of the picture).

(I last encountered HEMP amongst the colourful cast of characters at the 2001 Aston by-election - their person disappeared periodically behind the bushes, presumably to smoke a joint. Other highlights that day included the Wilderness Society koala turning up to scrutineer for the Greens, and the Citizens Electoral Council crowd spruiking a high-speed train around the entire circumference of Australia).

Sunday Mar 30, 2014 #

9 AM

Run 1:08:00 [3] 13.0 km (5:14 / km)

After a few frustrating days, the first signs today of turning the corner - still some way away from being 100% (something which was evident when going up hills), but at least taking a step forward from, say, 50% to 70%. Still wouldn't have fancied going out and doing this distance again (as was my original plan for the day as of a couple of days ago), but a run I'm prepared to settle for at this stage.

Saturday Mar 29, 2014 #

2 PM

Run ((street-O)) 51:40 [3] 9.31 km (5:33 / km) +100m 5:16 / km

Was catching up with various members of the extended family for breakfast in Williamstown and the Saturday street event was more or less on my home turf at Darebin Parklands, so I thought I might as well make it the venue for my Saturday run - the first of these events I've been to for about a decade. Course was an interesting use of a reasonably small area and I think I made a fair job of the route for the most part, but the running was again horrible (even factoring in a bit of slowness from parklands scrambling); this cold has not been particularly severe from the symptoms point of view but it's knocked my running around very badly, and I suspect a long run tomorrow isn't worth pursuing. Quite humid. Chasing Ian Dodd for a lot of the way.

Some of the back streets south of the railway line (no need to keep track of timetables today: it's closed all weekend for works) are ones I haven't ventured into since a 'theme run' of mine from around 2004; trying to fit a whole 2 1/2 hour long run on a double page of the Melway with no repeats or crossovers.

Friday Mar 28, 2014 #

7 AM

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

On the hills of Eaglemont. Managed to plod around, but just about the slowest I've ever been on this route - continuing to find training a real struggle.

Didn't quite get the revitalisation I was looking for at the football last night (although it was close); am encouraged by the signs for the rest of the season though. The people in front of me were using their phone to watch and bet on horse races in South Africa, which I would have taken as a sign that they should have stopped several hours ago.

Thursday Mar 27, 2014 #

1 PM

Run 40:00 [3] 7.2 km (5:33 / km)

A bit better than yesterday but this run was still very much in token-gesture territory, a flat short session around Fishermens Bend at lunchtime. Felt sort of OK without getting a sense that anything more challenging (like, say, a contour) would have been well received. Spent more time than I'd like thinking about the finer points of the Orienteering Queensland constitution.

The people of Australia can rest easy: as a result of one of the bits of redundant legislation cleaned up during red tape repeal day yesterday, amendments to the Defence Act 1909 mean that the Government no longer has the power to requisition your mule or bullock for military purposes.

Wednesday Mar 26, 2014 #

7 AM

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

Woke up feeling horribly sluggish and unable to muster enthusiasm for venturing out on any sort of run (having previously downgraded my expectations from a speed session to a standard run). Decided to at least try to get something on the board and headed for the pool instead, which worked out sort of OK (although I still didn't have much energy for the ride in afterwards). As one might expect in the People's Republic of Fitzroy (this is the suburb where some graffiti appeared before the 2010 election "a fairy dies every time someone votes for Tony Abbott), the prospect of Australian knighthoods was being subject to general derision.

Talk of knighthoods might have kept us entertained in the morning but there was an alternative source of entertainment in the afternoon. In climate we're used to being on the end of conspiracy theories of assorted outlandishness, but never before have we had anyone accuse us of trying to crash the Indian stockmarket by making exaggerated predictions of El Nino. What's more, this wasn't coming from the Indian equivalent of Andrew Bolt - it was coming from the director-general of the Indian Meteorological Department (the full story is at

(His grasp of economics appears to be as shaky as his grasp of seasonal climate prediction; if the hoarding he talked about was actually happening and causing shortages, that would cause commodity prices to rise, not fall. If price falls occurred it would be through, for example, a lot of stock being put on the market in anticipation of a drought).

Feeling a bit better by the evening. Hoping to run in the morning, but definitely not at the usual Thursday level.

Tuesday Mar 25, 2014 #

7 AM

Run 1:02:00 [3] 11.3 km (5:29 / km)

Didn't sleep very well last night for assorted reasons and feeling a bit sicker this morning than I was last night (or perhaps just in a different phase). Being the stubborn soul that I am, decided to go out anyway since what I had planned wasn't overly strenuous. It was more or less OK in the first 3km on the flat, but anything more than level ground was a struggle, and faded further in the later stages. Decided after that that I was going to get the train into town...

Today's announcement of the reintroduction of Australian knights and dames brought back some memories of some past political campaigning. In the lead-up to the 1999 republic referendum I was doing a letterbox drop for the Yes campaign. My patch was South Yarra and Toorak, and the very first letter box I went to was labelled 'Sir David and Lady Hay'. I suspected it would be a waste of a leaflet, but dropped it in anyway. (It wasn't the first time I'd campaigned in Toorak - it's actually a marginal seat at state level because the Housing Commission towers in Prahran cancel out the mansions at the Toorak end).

(If I recall correctly, just about the last recipient of a knighthood in Australia had to leave his title behind at the entrance to the Big House - corrupt former Queensland police commissioner Terry Lewis).

Monday Mar 24, 2014 #

7 AM

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

Early morning session at North Melbourne after an earlier-morning drop-off at the airport (in the course of which I made my best route choice decision of the weekend - going round the Ring Road rather than Bell Street after hearing of a crash on the freeway near Essendon Airport - coming back the other way I could see that the resultant jam stretched back several kilometres).

Plenty of sore bits, some of which eased up as the swim went on and some of which didn't. Rather slow, and doing a morning swim in the dark takes a bit of getting used to for me.
6 PM

Run 49:00 [3] 9.0 km (5:27 / km)

Evening session after a rather stressful day at work, around the Tan. Felt a bit better than I thought I might, but very slow (traffic had a little bit to do with this, but not very much).

I thought when I looked ahead at my February-March schedule that it was just about inevitable that I'd get sick at some point, and a bit of a cough and a sore throat are emerging today (although so far they don't seem to have any noticeable impact on my running).

Sunday Mar 23, 2014 #

9 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 1:44:24 [4] *** 11.2 km (9:19 / km) +500m 7:37 / km

NOL long at Kangaroo Crossing. Much better run than yesterday - both technically and physically, and ended with a decent midfield result, though still a long, long way down on Simon.

Had a curtailed warm-up because I'd got my start time 10 minutes wrong (first time I can remember doing that), but it didn't seem to be too much of a problem once started. The first leg was long and downhill and I was pretty tentative coming in, but didn't actually end up missing the control, then got an early boost when I started pulling people in - Jemery Day and Peter Hobbs at 2, James Sheldon at 5 (which I also missed slightly, but others must have missed it more because it was my best split). Jemery and James were with me, more or less, for the rest of the course - not blindly following by any means, but they were definitely faster runners and I was navigating better. Took wide route choices on 8 (not obvious) and 11 (obvious). By then it was clear that the course was going to be a fair bit shorter (in time) than anticipated - kilometre rates here depend a lot on exactly where the course goes. Not a great line on 13 and took 20-30 seconds to see the flag at 20, but otherwise pretty clean through the finish, and reasonably solid with the running too.

Picked up almost as many points today as I did in all of last season.

Saturday Mar 22, 2014 #

4 PM

Run race ((orienteering)) 58:24 [4] **** 4.2 km (13:54 / km) +120m 12:10 / km

Middle WOC trial at Rowdy Flat. A very poor run - never managed to get any sort of proper concentration, which is something you can't afford to do on any technical area, let alone one as intense as this. I'm probably underdone on the technical side - because my training off-season was focused on the Six Foot, I've only had a handful of sessions in terrain - but even so I was very disappointed with this.

Perhaps the lowlights were (a) mistaking 7 for 17 coming out of 16 (not a massively costly error because they were all in a line, but embarrassing) and (b) losing time between the last control and the finish, but the big time losses were elsewhere - most notably at 12 where I convinced myself I'd climbed one gully earlier than intended (just after the Bruce train had gone through me) and thus ended up overshooting, losing about 3 minutes. Also a couple of minutes lost at 16, and smaller errors in half-a-dozen other places (and didn't have much of an idea what I was doing at 1, though sort of stumbled across it). Also lacked confidence scrambling in and out of erosion gullies (something you do a lot here), and won't want to have any TV appearances lined up this week as the result of a tumble on the way to 1.

Friday Mar 21, 2014 #

7 AM

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

This was a fairly straightforward session at Ivanhoe, which doesn't appear to be any more of a construction site than it was the last time I was there. Starting to get my sleep patterns a bit more on track.

As an Essendon supporter I've become used to opposition supporters making references to drugs, but tonight's was at least entertaining - a North supporter frustrated at his own team's poor manning-up saying "Get on them - the drugs they took aren't contagious!".

Thursday Mar 20, 2014 #

7 AM

Run 1:29:00 [3] 17.0 km (5:14 / km)

Not a full-blown Thursday long run, given the racing ahead on the weekend, but something of an approximation of it. Not a particularly sparkling run but not too bad on the whole. Achilles a bit dicey around the hour mark but then settled down again.

At the end, going past the Heidelberg oval, there was a young artist painting the scene; a throwback to something that was happening a lot in approximately the same venue approximately a century ago.

Spent quite a bit of this run thinking about possible ways to move things forward in Queensland (Queenslanders will know what I'm talking about). Without saying too much publicly at this point, developments and discussions today make me much more optimistic than I was this time yesterday about an end result that gives us (a) a functional Queensland organisation and (b) a Queensland orienteering community that isn't split down the middle.

The time of sunrise is moving later rapidly; it takes until 7 for the first hint of daylight now, meaning the first half-hour was well and truly in the dark.

Wednesday Mar 19, 2014 #

7 PM

Run ((street-O)) 50:05 [3] * 9.5 km (5:16 / km) +130m 4:56 / km

Jogged around street-O at Maroondah Triangle - not really energetic enough to do any more (though lasted through the day better than I thought I might). Some dubious route choices at the start (though less dubious than some), but did a reasonable job for the remainder. Definitely more hills than Amsterdam.

Saw an item of political history in the warm-up: a banner urging people to vote Yes on 3 September 1988 in the referendum to recognise local government in the Constitution. (It went down, mainly because the then Liberal Opposition was opposed to the other three questions on the ballot and thought people might get confused if they campaigned for a No-No-Yes-No so campaigned for No-No-No-No instead). It turned out the banner had been recycled and its other side was advertising the Ringwood Highland Games next week. Also spotted, on the way to the second-last control, was a church advertising a "Bible archaeology display", which could have been (a) information about significant historical sites in Palestine and surrounds or (b) an attempt to provide "evidence" for the proposition that humans and dinosaurs were on the Earth at the same time shortly after 4004 BC. (Given the sort of church it was, I suspect it's (b)).

The presentations were tonight (alongside a dinner provided by the local Scouts). I did the honours for part of it, which had the handy side-effect of placing me in the right position to be at the front of the dessert queue - a much more useful presidential perk than a personal parking spot at the golf club.

I have no plans to leave Australia in the next three months, or even Victoria in the next four weeks.

Tuesday Mar 18, 2014 #

(rest day)

In the air Amsterdam-Hong Kong-Melbourne, eventually getting in the door at home a couple of minutes after midnight (and then not sleeping that well, with some assistance from (a) my Garmin making various random beeps in the recharging process and (b) forgetting to reset my watch alarm from its Monday-morning 5.55am). Didn't sleep that well on the plane either, thanks in part to persistent turbulence through a stretch I'd expected to sleep through, over Kazakhstan and western China. Suspect I'll pay for this tomorrow.

Monday Mar 17, 2014 #

7 AM

Run 54:00 [3] 10.0 km (5:24 / km)

A final jaunt around Amsterdam before heading home - fairly slow, although my erratic splits suggest the GPS may not have been giving me full value in the more densely built-up areas. Main destination was the Vondelpark, Amsterdam's largest city park, with an approximately 4k loop around it which appears to be as well-used by local runners as the Tan in Melbourne (although the nearest equivalent to the Anderson Street hill is at least 100 kilometres away).

I steered clear of the "official" red light district when booking somewhere to stay, but the area within a few hundred metres of the station in general is a bit on the seedy side (although a sign of the times was that one of the people sitting in the window of a house with red lights was surfing an iPad between "engagements"). Not exactly the world's only city where the station area isn't its most salubrious (though the hotel was fine).

Also spotted was the memorial to the world's victims of persecution of homosexuals; there are a few places in the world where I can imagine such a monument being erected, but I'm struggling to think of anywhere other than Amsterdam where it would be built next to one of the city's major churches.

And, just to prove that the Netherlands is not completely flawless as a cycling paradise, I saw someone get doored this morning (no obvious damage to any parties involved). As a pedestrian, one of the most significant local hazards is people who ride while using phones (I'd guess something like 10% of people I saw on bikes were doing it) - not sure whether or not there are any laws against it but if there are no-one takes any notice of them.

At the airport now; home tomorrow night if things go to plan.

Sunday Mar 16, 2014 #

11 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 1:25:40 [4] *** 8.0 km (10:43 / km) +480m 8:14 / km

Taking to the Hungarian forests. This was the first time for many years that I've run in a European forest in the colder months, so I was expecting (correctly - most of the map's green barely existed) that it would be a good deal more open than in the summer. However, the contours (of which there were more than advertised) have no seasonal variation. I can cope (more or less) with lots of climbing - but struggled badly with running on extremely steep slopes, especially as they were quite slippery (probably would have been regardless but light overnight and morning rain made sure of it). 14, 15 and 16 were on an escarpment which drops 90 metres in about 150 metres horizontal, and it took me about 11 minutes to cover 600 metres in that section, despite totally open forest. We don't get any experience of that type of very steep, slippery ground in Australia; I'd have been interested to see how the good locals (or Matthias Merz, who was at the meeting in his capacity as chair of the Athletes Commission and ran M21 today) did it.

Lost about 5 minutes across three controls: 5 and 16 were both small errors in distance but in such steep country that it took me a while to get back to where I should have been, 18 was just silly. The climb through 20 was cruel and unusual punishment (and my back locked up a bit coming out of there, too). Foot OK throughout. Probably would have struggled to get much under 80 with a good run; Mikko won with 66 with the best local at 73.

There's a lot to be said for a sport which is sufficiently consistent worldwide that you can just turn up to a Hungarian weekend event and immediately have a pretty good grip of what is going on.

Now at Budapest airport on the way back to Amsterdam, after the drive back from the event (about 70km out of Budapest), passing a lot of posters with smiling faces, slogans I don't understand and party initials I partly understand - Hungary's off to the polls in three weeks' time. (So's Holland, for local council elections next week). It's not the most appealing of choices; the incumbents are a strongly conservative party with some parallels with the Abbott Liberals (and an intolerance for institutions which get in their way), very visible in the poster department - perhaps less so in likely votes - are Jobbik, a seriously nasty group who, along with Golden Dawn in Greece, are the closest modern Europe gets to a Nazi party, while the socialists are still struggling to recover from the economic issues (with some assistance from the GFC) of their last term. It probably didn't help that their leader (who's having another go this time) was taped saying to a party conference shortly after their last re-election that they'd "lied in the morning, noon and night" about the state of the budget.

A slight annoyance on the trip is that for unknown reasons, the car made a sound whenever it reached 79 km/h. I'm assuming my habit, circa 1977, of making a police siren noise from the back seat whenever the car appeared to exceed the speed limit would have been somewhat more annoying.

Saturday Mar 15, 2014 #

7 PM

Run 36:00 [3] 6.0 km (6:00 / km)

Got out in the evening, fairly briefly, after a long day in the IOF Foot O Commission meeting. Naturally I was going to turn this into a tourist run so headed for Castle Hill in Budapest - some nice sights and some nice views (although I wasn't always 100% sure if I was supposed to be in the places where I was). Biggest challenge was getting back; I wasn't sure whether I could get off the southern end of the hill (the most obvious option was blocked off for building works) and ended up going back more or less the way I came.

Happy with the way the foot (and to a lesser extent the Achilles) stood up, especially as there was a fair bit of stair work in this run, both up and down (which explains the slowness).

A nice evening for running after a strong cold front went through, with strong winds, a bit of rain and a drop from 18 degrees at 3pm to 5 at 6pm.

Friday Mar 14, 2014 #

7 AM

Run 32:00 [3] 6.0 km (5:20 / km)

A slow session around the eastern edge of Utrecht. Didn't feel 100% at the start (although more the Achilles than the foot), but improved as it went on, in some contrast to Wednesday. An encouraging sign although things clearly still aren't 100% (as indicated later in the day). Quite misty this morning.

The run took me through a street labelled "Fietsstraat: autos te gast" which I think translates approximately as "bike street: cars are guests". I'm assuming the expression "get off the f***ing road, you f***ing c****" has no Dutch equivalent.

Finished what I was working on earlier than planned, which gave me enough time to go into Amsterdam and be a tourist for the afternoon before flying out to Budapest - worthwhile, although my foot didn't really appreciate a couple of hours of shuffling round the Rijksmuseum. Once again got a hard time at Amsterdam airport - security this time (seems that when the sign says to take your laptop out of the bag, you're supposed to interpret this as meaning 'laptop and all other electrical items').

Thursday Mar 13, 2014 #

7 AM

Cycling 40:00 [3] 14.0 km (2:51 / km)

Foot didn't feel quite right when walking around on it last night so decided to take to the stationary bike at the hotel instead. This was as exciting as such things usually are (although the view of the old fort out the window was nice), but was a reasonably solid session - felt like I was putting some decent work in.

In two visits, I don't think I've seen a cloud in the Netherlands (apart from a bit of sea mist), much less any precipitation. On both occasions records have also been set for the warmest weather so early in spring. It's been a very pleasant week - low single figures by night and mid- to high teens during the day, a bit like one of the nicer Canberra Mays.

Wednesday Mar 12, 2014 #

7 AM

Run 20:00 [3] 3.6 km (5:33 / km)

First attempt at a run. No pain as such in foot, but still didn't feel quite right (nor does it feel quite right post-run), and did give a sense that things might have been about to get worse in the last minute or two, so will need to be careful. Did manage to get enough distance to get a bit of a look at the dunes (the track itself was only sandy intermittently).

Next stage of the trip is coming up: heading down to Utrecht tonight.

Tuesday Mar 11, 2014 #

7 AM

Swimming 39:00 [2] 1.1 km (35:27 / km)

Morning session in the hotel pool - didn't get as dizzy as I sometimes get in such situations. Stayed in for a bit longer than usual (or planned) because I glimpsed the poolside clock on a turn and thought I was way under time, but it was actually the second hand that I'd seen. Foot is continuing to improve, and I'll try running on it tomorrow assuming it still feels OK when I get up.

Interesting turn of phrase: an Australian Christian Party candidate in the Tasmanian election was quoted as saying of his prospects that he "wasn't expecting a miracle". I thought miracles were their stock-in-trade (or is that only the Catholics?).

And I realise political correctness has moved on a bit after 32 years, but this quote from a World Cup retrospective in the Guardian is priceless. (The context is the infamous match in the group stages of the 1982 World Cup between West Germany and Austria, in which the only result which would allow both sides to go through - at Algeria's expense - was a 1-0 win to West Germany, and mysteriously that's exactly what happened...).

"That was nothing on the reaction of Hans Tschak, the head of the Austrian delegation, a man who made Alf Garnett seem enlightened. "Naturally today's game was played tactically," he said. "But if 10,000 'sons of the desert' here in the stadium want to trigger a scandal because of this it just goes to show that they have too few schools. Some sheikh comes out of an oasis, is allowed to get a sniff of World Cup air after 300 years and thinks he's entitled to open his gob."".

Monday Mar 10, 2014 #

(injured) (rest day)

Arrived in Holland early this morning - a reasonably smooth trip although longer than scheduled thanks to unusually strong headwinds. It wasn't entirely smooth sailing on arriving in Holland - first an unusually thorough grilling from an immigration official who wanted to see everything up to and including printouts of hotel reservations (don't know if my frequent travels have got me red-flagged on a database somewhere or whether he was just having a bad day - I guess I'll find out the next time I enter the Schengen area), then confirming that Dutch train ticket machines still don't take non-EU credit cards, then being stung for an extra 12 euros or so because the touch-off machines at the station for the Dutch equivalent of Myki weren't working and the maximum fare thus got deducted. (Possibly an indicator of where Myki got their ideas on user-friendliness, I can apparently get this back if I download and print a form, fill it out in Dutch, and post it in, whereupon I'll presumably be sent back a Dutch cheque which will cost more to bank than its face value).

Despite these minor issues, I made it to Egmond aan Zee, only 10 minutes after the scheduled start of the meeting. It's a small town on the west coast plonked right in the middle of a strip of coastal dunes (some of which are big enough to probably be close to the highest point in this part of Holland), which would make for an excellent map in the probably unlikely event that you could get permission to run a race here. The town itself gives you the distinct impression that its population in July is at least an order of magnitude higher than its population in March.

The foot continues to improve, and I'm cautiously optimistic that I'll be able to try running on it again later this week, although maybe not until I move on to Utrecht on Wednesday, which would be a pity as the dunes are worth exploring.

Sunday Mar 9, 2014 #


Once again on the move - the two international expert groups that I'm on each have a meeting every couple of years, but have decided to have them two weeks apart. (Had it not been for Six Foot and last week's State of the Climate release, I'd have tried to find a way to stay over). The meeting's in the Netherlands, and I'm then staying on for the weekend to go to an IOF Foot Commission meeting in Hungary (and running an event in Hungary next Sunday if my foot is up to it).

The foot seems to have improved a bit in the last 24 hours; there's now only slight discomfort walking (something I've put to the test a bit in 7 hours between flights in Hong Kong), though it's still not exactly in a state which makes me want to burst out and go for a run. At least the place where the meeting is has a pool, and being the Netherlands I'm assuming it won't be too hard to find a bike, or somewhere to ride it, if necessary.

Saturday Mar 8, 2014 #

7 AM

Run race 47:00 [3] 8.0 km (5:53 / km)

Six Foot Track. After all the build-up over several months, it was over before it had really started; cruising along at about 7k in fairly innocuous terrain (for those who know the course, the footpad across the paddocks just after you leave the fire trail), one step nothing was untoward, the next step my left foot was hurting - badly - with no obvious incident to cause it. It was pretty quickly apparent that it was getting worse and not the sort of thing that would blow over; had it been with 5-10k to go I might have tried to push through it, but not with 37k to go.

It's all the more frustrating because there had been no trace of this injury in the build-up; it would have, perhaps, been more comprehensible had one of my various long-term issues flared up (my back had given a hint or two on the very small bumps found in the early kilometres that it might not have appreciated the Pluvio, although I know from experience that it sometimes handles 20-contour hills better than 2-contour ones). It feels vaguely like an injury I did in early 2011 (which suddenly appeared in even more innocuous circumstances - walking to the station). That one settled within a week or so and I'd be satisfied with a similar outcome here; at least that would leave my orienteering season reasonably intact and give me a chance to get something useful out of the endurance training of the summer.

It's uncomfortable to walk or stand on tonight, and I'm certainly satisfied that I made the right call on it; even if the problem is not structural, doing 37k in those circumstances is an open invitation to cause trouble elsewhere. One consolation was that it happened at almost the easiest place to DNF from (near a road crossing with a decent number of spectators, allowing me to hitch a ride back to Katoomba without much trouble); another was that it was early enough that, leaving aside the injury, I haven't smashed myself for no result.

It almost seems superfluous to talk about the small proportion of the run that happened, but what there was was on track - very early days but, once out of the steep stairs and congestion of Nellies Glen, I was cruising along on gentle downhills at around 4.30-4.40/km without feeling in the least bit stretched. I was a bit concerned about being underdone - would have liked a couple more really long runs under my belt, and losing a couple of weeks of serious training with the fall in late January didn't help - but I'll never know how that would have worked out in the later stages here.

I don't like leaving unfinished business so am already thinking about next year; the scheduling stars were unusually aligned this year (no NOL and a late Easter), but next year should still be OK (and this year's Two Bays already gives me a qualifier).

Friday Mar 7, 2014 #

7 AM

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

Last hit-out before Six Foot, at Ivanhoe. A fairly standard session. The long-awaited renovations there have started (six months late, which is about par for the course for Banyule), leading to a somewhat circuitous route in and out but no major changes to the pool (yet).

Headed up to Sydney, and on to the Blue Mountains, this afternoon. I'm glad I don't have to deal with Sydney traffic every day - I think I covered about the same distance in my first hour out of the airport as Martin Dent probably will in the first hour tomorrow. (The climb up the Blue Mountains wasn't a lot of fun, either). Intercepted an intense but brief thunderstorm in western Sydney; there was also some severe thunderstorm action in the Lithgow area, which hopefully won't have too much impact on the river levels.

Saw during the week that Gina Rinehart is patron of Volleyball Australia. While we could do with some of Gina's money I can't say I'm too upset that she's gone elsewhere. According to the report she particularly likes beach volleyball, although I'm assuming she doesn't play it - the thought of her in beach volleyball gear (or absence thereof) is too ghastly to contemplate.

Thursday Mar 6, 2014 #

7 PM

Run intervals 23:00 [4] *** 3.6 km (6:23 / km) +135m 5:23 / km

O-intervals with MFR at Darebin Parklands. This is the first time I've actually managed to get to one of these sessions since they started up on a Thursday night about 6 weeks ago (mostly through being away, sometimes because in the build-up I've had other training priorities on Thursday). Nice set of courses set by Kez and a certain amount of frenzy in the mass starts - tended to get out of the blocks slowly on each interval and come through the field a bit. (Getting out of the blocks a bit slowly has become commonplace for me; perhaps I shouldn't anticipate being too close to the front of the wave at the top of the stairs on Saturday). Not massively strong up hills but otherwise a decent session; fairly short, but couldn't linger because of an OA Board hook-up.

Wednesday Mar 5, 2014 #

7 PM

Run race ((street-O)) 44:50 [4] * 9.28 km (4:50 / km) +110m 4:34 / km

Street-O at Heyington. Spoilt the race by failing to notice that there was no way out going from 4 to 2, the last control, and wasting 250-300 metres, but otherwise there were some good positives to take from this. A slow start, but after 3k got into a nice scrap with a group of four schools people from Trinity and Camberwell; stepped up a gear for this and was able to keep it going. We split apart for a bit later in the course through different control-drop options but came together again at the end; you won't be surprised to hear that they outsprinted me although it was a bit more of a contest than I thought it would be. The second half was probably the best I've run in one of these since the Camelot event in November.

Tuesday Mar 4, 2014 #

6 AM

Run 1:22:00 [3] 15.0 km (5:28 / km)

A little shorter than planned because I was running late, and in general a run for which I was a little bit down on enthusiasm and spark. Once again had to make a mid-run pitstop - one of the hazards of a recent large time zone change (hopefully one which will have sorted itself out by Saturday). Grinding up hills OK though, and not as much calf/achilles tightness as the last couple of days.

Heard it said today that "in the 21st century, countries don't act in a 19th century way by invading another country on a trumped-up pretext". It's an admirable sentiment, but I'm not sure that a US Secretary of State (who in a past senatorial life voted for the Iraq war) is exactly occupying the high moral ground in saying it.

Monday Mar 3, 2014 #

7 AM

Run 39:00 [3] 7.2 km (5:25 / km)

A pretty ordinary session - felt a bit like a post-long run (or race) Monday morning without the preceding long run or race. Didn't help that for most of the second half I felt like I was about to explode (body internals take longer to readjust timezones than sleep patterns do; I ended up sleeping essentially normal times last night).

Noticed in a local council newsletter yesterday that, under changes to Victorian tobacco laws to come into effect next month, among the places which it will be illegal to smoke within 10 metres of the venue of an organised underage sporting event. This raises the question of whether the "venue" for an orienteering event is the whole map and whether it becomes "underage" merely by having participants under 18. It's a somewhat amusing thought to think that, say, Asha or Patrick might be able to render an entire suburb legally smokefree for the duration simply by turning up to a street-O event taking place there.
8 AM

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

Moved on to swimming, approaching from a bit further away than usual because the police (who outnumbered protesters today at the drilling site by a margin of several dozen to 0) had taken up all the nearby parking spots. A fairly sluggish session. Back not great today.

Sunday Mar 2, 2014 #

10 AM

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

This wasn't one of the easier long-haul trips I've had - I don't often get dud seats these days but did this time (next to the toilets and with a very large next-door neighbour) and, unusually for me, didn't get any meaningful sleep. With that in mind I thought (correctly) I'd probably go downhill quickly during the day and that I should get out as soon as possible after getting in the door, and did so; my original thoughts before the trip were to aim for 90 but in the circumstances I was happy to settle for 70, out to the Finns Reserve bridge and back. The run itself was fairly typical of just-off-the-plane runs - feeling uncomfortable because of various clogged passages, and Achilles a bit touchy (especially uphill), but not actually a bad run in terms of what I was doing and how long it was taking me to do it.

I'm now in semi-zombie mode and hoping to stay awake until a reasonable hour (if I get to the end of the first session in Cape Town I'll have done well). I get to do all this again next Monday and then the Wednesday after that, although those trips won't be quite as long in time terms, or involve quite as big a time change, as this one did.

Saturday Mar 1, 2014 #

8 AM

Cycling 30:00 [3] 12.0 km (2:30 / km)

Had 9 hours between flights in Dubai and decided to stay in the hotel in the airport terminal (expensive, but given that the amount that WMO were paying us per day in Morocco considerably exceeded the amount that hotel actually cost, I think I'm still in front for the trip). This came with access to the gym (note for future reference: while it's located within the hotel area, this appears to be open to the broader public for a fee of about $15), so I headed there for a turn-the-legs-over session before getting on the next leg of the flight.

Was hoping to use the treadmill but someone else was already on it, so used the stationary bike instead. A session that did what it was supposed to. Actually running from airports is something I've only done a couple of times, both times involving going from the old Adelaide domestic terminal (which conveniently had luggage lockers in the car park) to the beach. As far as I know Lauren Shelley is the champion in this respect, her personal best effort being to manage to do a run between flights at Heathrow, an airport which doesn't actually have any route in or out of it which is legal to traverse on foot.

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