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Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 31 days ending Mar 31, 2016:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run29 22:25:10 135.47 218.01 1640308 /327c94%
  Pool running5 3:45:00 1.74 2.8
  Swimming2 1:15:00 0.62 1.0
  Total36 27:25:10 137.83 221.81 1640308 /327c94%

» now

Thursday Mar 31, 2016 #

7 AM

Run 1:15:00 [3] 13.4 km (5:36 / km)

First excursion into the National Arboretum (since it's been that) on a classic Canberra early autumn morning. Took me a while to get going with a fairly ordinary first 20 minutes, but got into it more on the climb into the Arboretum, and ended up with a decent last 3km climbing back into Aranda. Pretty slow early on and on the singletracks. The Arboretum itself is going to be nice in about 30 years' time, but I suspect I won't be doing runs like this by then. In the meantime, the view from the higher parts is nice.

The competition is tough, but I think this will take some beating for the most bizarre Australian political news story of 2016.

Wednesday Mar 30, 2016 #

7 AM

Run 55:00 [3] 10.0 km (5:30 / km)

Didn't sleep that well but reasonable (if slow) once I started running, getting out into some old haunts - through the upper part of Cook and up to the Pinnacle, back through Weetangera. Encountered David Hogg (walking the dog) en route, which provided the opportunity to do some OA business (relating to Easter results) in mid-run (although not while actually running). With that break and a work deadline, ended up a slightly shorter run than I was planning but this week that doesn't really matter.

Saw a few holes in the suburbs where victims of Mr. Fluffy are disappearing (I wish the person trying to rent out a house in between two Mr. Fluffy sites the best of luck). Also noticed that Constable Kenny Koala is still alive and well and now has his own car, although after (at least) 40 years in the force you'd expect that he would have been promoted to Senior Constable by now.

Tuesday Mar 29, 2016 #

8 AM

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

Recovery session at CISAC, not my favourite pool - would much rather be doing this in the open air as it is at Fitzroy (although an outdoor pool in mid-winter in Canberra would be interesting). Major distraction was working out which bits of the old-style digital timer on the wall were stuck on/off and therefore which patterns on the display corresponded to which numbers.

Quite a bit of peeling skin on the soles of my feet after the weekend. Not sure if this was a consequence or a cause of the soreness there whilst competing, which I'd attributed to newish shoes which don't seem to have enough cushioning for rocky ground.

Easter brought quite a few people out of the woodwork for the first time in anything between 10 and 30-plus years (some of whom, like Mounty, did very well indeed) - on Sunday I was in a scrap for a while with Finn Marsland, whom I think I last encountered in about 16s. Four of the top five in M45 ran M16 at Easter in Wagga in 1985 (Steve 1st, Scott 6th, Eric 9th and me 10th, consisting of two wins and a massive day-2 blowout).

Easter terrain was somewhat slower on the other side of the Tasman - M21E in the NZ Long Championships was won in 95 for 8.2k. The map makes me tired just looking at it.

Monday Mar 28, 2016 #

10 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 53:06 [4] *** 6.3 km (8:26 / km)

Day 3 of Easter at Foxlow Flats. My chances of a good run disappeared at 2, a cliff in a green gully, where a good initial line tempted me to cross the main gully - not a great idea - and then I dropped back in at the wrong place and wasn't quite sure where I was. Dropped 2-2.5 minutes there; Ruhi went through me there, and for the rest of the course I was playing catch-up. We often diverged in route choice but converged at controls, and it wasn't until the second-last before I was finally able to break away - far too late to make meaningful progress towards getting back the two minutes. I suspected that the initial time loss would be enough to cost me fourth against Scott if he had a decent run, and so it proved; he finished just over a minute ahead overall. Once again very underpowered on hills, although at least I didn't walk any of them today (except in medium green). Very impressed with Steve's three days; he would clearly still be competitive, not with the very best Australian elites probably, but definitely with the next tier.

Pretty disappointed with my performance this Easter - never got my running together (except on Friday), and I shouldn't be making mistakes like today's either. I'm obviously not going to be competitive at elite level again, but have some work to do to at least be competitive in my (new) age group (or to have a decent crack at WMOC next year). Very good event on the whole though, and an excellent turnout, reflecting our continued growth in participation (we found out a few days ago that we cracked 100,000 for the first time in 2015).

One benefit of not running elites at Easter: I didn't get a massive cramp in the middle of the presentation ceremony this year.

Sunday Mar 27, 2016 #

10 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 58:16 [4] *** 7.0 km (8:19 / km) +255m 7:02 / km

Day 2 of Easter at Primrose Valley (at least as I know it), a place which I last ventured to in 1986. (In the latest instalment of crazy things I did when I was fourteen*, on that occasion, naturally since I'd run my first M21 course the previous week and did OK, I did that class again that week - so what if it was a 21k Long-O?). The forest was a bit greener than I remembered it (less grazing?), but otherwise pleasant gully-spur.

A better run than yesterday - still didn't feel terribly strong on any sort of gradient, but there weren't as many areas of small rocks for me to feel awkward in, and only a couple of minor hesitations coming in to 1 and 6. Certainly not too upset I didn't have to go out for another lap at the end of this (whilst remembering that this will only be a quarter of the way through in four weeks' time). 3 minutes or so better relative to the field than yesterday, which means I've edged in front of Scott (although the top three are out of reach unless they make a mistake).

(* - actually, I think it might have been a week or two after my fifteenth birthday (it was July 1986, but I forget the exact date)).

Saturday Mar 26, 2016 #

10 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 1:00:44 [4] *** 7.1 km (8:33 / km) +205m 7:28 / km

Day 1 of Easter - acting my age this year (which is a bit more advanced than it was last year). Went in thinking a par result for me in M45 is probably fourth, with Steve Craig clearly the best on recent form, and Eric and Greg also likely to be somewhat better (at least if sprint times were anything to go by).

This turned out to be a somewhat disappointing run on the physical side after yesterday's promise; feeling a bit flat, and struggling for fluency in the terrain in an area with a lot of small rock underfoot. Two small errors, probably 20-30 seconds apiece, at 5 and 11, and probably didn't get a great line on the long 13. Steve went through me (6 minutes) about halfway round; caught up to Sticks about the same time and took a while to get clear (assisted by his having an ankle issue). Ended up in 5th, just behind Scott Simson in addition to the aforementioned three.

Having the finish arena in the suburbs isn't something we're used to - did mean a kilometre or so of fairly dead running at the end but was a good set-up (though the remote finish for the shorter courses wasn't entirely ideal).

Friday Mar 25, 2016 #

Event: #NIN3DAYS


There is a place (a very small one) south of Bombala called Mila. Unfortunately, it was too dark on the way through last night to take a picture of the road sign "10 Mila".
12 PM

Run race ((orienteering)) 21:21 [4] *** 3.8 km (5:37 / km) +50m 5:16 / km

Easter prologue at Uni of Canberra - a good course with a nice mix of complicated route choices early on, and some more intricate work in amongst the student residences later.

Pretty happy with this run - technically clean with no significant time losses on either fine navigation or route choice, and definitely feeling better running than in most recent weeks. In general felt as if this was a 30-60 second better run than those over the Melbourne weekend, and the results were consistent with that.

As usual for a sprint WRE, I started further into the start list than my current form warrants and therefore was being chased down, although only two went through me. Spent most of the last part of the course dicing with Ben Goonan and David Brownridge, who wasn't having a good day (seeing his exit from the second last control meant this was running through my head for the last part of the course).

A good event for the first day of Easter. The opening ceremony was slightly held up whilst Jase and I were discussing marathons with the Minister.

Thursday Mar 24, 2016 #

8 AM

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

Morning session from work trying to get a few cobwebs out before hitting the road after lunch for Canberra. Headed for Fishermans Bend - pretty industrial but its advantage at this time of day in the inner city is not many road crossings. Diverted along the waterfront to get a picture of the 'Cyclists Reduce Speed' sign about a metre from the end of a pier which I'd spotted a couple of weeks ago (this may or may not have been another reason why I came this way).

Came via Gippsland, collecting Kathryn on the way. Surprised how much traffic was streaming out of Canberra southwards, even at 11pm (presumably most were heading for Merimbula or thereabouts via Brown Mountain).

Wednesday Mar 23, 2016 #

7 AM

Run 1:11:00 [3] 13.0 km (5:28 / km)

Started better than most recent runs and ended up as a reasonable session, although rather slow on the Yarra singletrack (no mountain bikes coming the other way this time). Definite hint of smoke in the air - burnoff season is under way.

Tuesday Mar 22, 2016 #

7 PM

Run ((street-O)) 56:03 [3] * 11.01 km (5:05 / km) +60m 4:57 / km

A trip out to the west (Yarraville Greens) because I was asked to do the Western Series presentations (bookending a day which started with the IOF meeting). Like Sunday, this run started feeling bad but came good one I got going - the difference tonight was that it happened after 15 minutes rather than 45 (not that there were any hills to test it here). Not flat out but definitely at a higher tempo in the last two-thirds; the competitive juices got going a bit once it became clear that I'd have some work to do to get them all inside the time cutoff (something ultimately achieved by 90 seconds).

Lesson learned: will definitely need to make sure I don't cut corners on the warm-up over Easter.

Spotted on the way into the event was a sign for the building of the Yarraville Mouth Organ Band; the newness of the sign suggests that it still exists.

Monday Mar 21, 2016 #

7 AM

Pool running 45:00 [3]

Some shuffling of the post-Easter week so I was in at the pool this morning. Not feeling especially energetic this morning - hopefully whatever is causing this will have passed by the time we actually get to Easter.

I have an IOF Foot O Commission teleconference tomorrow morning but I think the FIA's effort over F1 qualifying has ensured that, whatever we do, we won't be responsible for the silliest decision this week by an international sporting governing body.

Sunday Mar 20, 2016 #

Run race ((orienteering)) 1:08:39 [4] *** 7.2 km (9:32 / km) +320m 7:48 / km

State Series/Eureka Challenge at Nerrina. Felt awful for the first half of this - no energy, plus back was playing up at times, and David Brownridge gave me a pretty good indication of just how slowly I was going when he went through me at 4 (although I did hold that gap for one control at least thanks to a route choice). Thought seriously about calling it a day but decided to press on, with a bit more misery when I had trouble finding the gap in the green on the way to 10, but eventually it did start to feel a bit better and at times on the final loop running did start to become enjoyable, and the hills a bit less of a burden (although still not easy). Time was far off the pace as I would have expected (interestingly, the splits don't suggest I was that much worse in the first half than the second). Will certainly need to advance considerably on this if I want to run a place next weekend. Didn't lose much time in circles - a bit hesitant on the approach to 12 and a few iffy lines in places, but the gully crossing at 10 was the main time loss.

If this was the Grand Prix and Leon was a Mercedes, Brodie a Ferrari and Bruce a Red Bull, I was definitely at the Datsun 120Y end of the spectrum, but at least I got around without crashing.

It was the coolest day we've had in a long time (the sun was something to seek out rather than shelter from), but the forest had dried out after Friday's rain, which I presume was the reason why the school sign read 'Cross Country Off'. They must be getting soft these days - in my view the only acceptable reasons for calling off a cross country race due to adverse conditions are if the course is on fire or requires swimming. (As someone who thought mud would be to his advantage, I was deeply unimpressed that the ACT Schools was called off due to rain when I was in Year 12; somewhat ironically, the selection race for the ACT team that had to be run instead a few weeks later was run in far worse conditions than the cancelled race would have been).

Saturday Mar 19, 2016 #

10 AM

Run 52:00 [3] 9.4 km (5:32 / km)

With no particular reason to be out early either ahead of doing something else or to beat hot weather, I was out a bit later than usual today. Loosened up OK after the first kilometre, but was feeling a bit sluggish for most of the run nevertheless - perhaps at its best down by the river (although I didn't get onto the more slippery bits). Felt rather autumnal.

Did my first bit of 2016 election campaigning this afternoon, finding a couple of new patches for distributing material into (the Hells Angels clubhouse was across the road so I didn't get the chance to find out whether anyone is enrolled to vote at that address). Somewhat ironically, the address I had the most trouble finding was an orienteering one. The one pile of letters I haven't yet dealt with - might leave those ones for the post - are the couple of dozen for those enrolled at 101 Yarra Bend Road, aka the Thomas Embling Hospital (which last attracted attention in a political context when one of its inmates - who has since gone on to bigger and badder things - punched Tony Abbott when he visited the facility as Health Minister).

Friday Mar 18, 2016 #

7 AM

Run 1:45:00 [3] 19.4 km (5:25 / km)

Run from near work to suit plans for later in the day. There was a strong meteorological system making its way across Melbourne overnight. I thought it might be hard work on waking up to find a dewpoint starting with a 2, but the main front went through just before I started; the rain was not as heavy as I thought it might have been either.

This went southwards through St. Kilda to the Elwood canal, my options for routes without too many road crossing limited by the closure of Albert Park due to the Grand Prix. Had that not been a factor I probably wouldn't have chosen to come back along the waterfront, with a headwind at an angle of 45 degrees or so which felt every bit of its 35 knots, but in fact that section was the high point of this run with plenty of strength on display (after having taken the first half-hour or so to get going). It was a bit annoying that the wind dropped out just as I was turning around for it to become a tailwind, but as is sometimes the chance in challenging wet/windy conditions, I didn't feel as if I was tiring in the least. Pretty reasonable effort on the whole.

I did enough early-morning runs into St. Kilda (seedier then than it is now) when living in Albert Park in the mid-1990s to see some interesting sights; this morning's was someone walking (slightly unsteadily) in a bright green suit covered with shamrocks. I expect he was grateful that St. Patricks Day is followed by World Sleep Day. (It was also the National Day of Action Against Bullying, but someone forgot to tell George Christensen).

Thursday Mar 17, 2016 #

8 AM

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

Was always going to shuffle my longer run for tomorrow given a middle-of-the-night teleconference, but yesterday's Achilles issues reinforced that view. Felt better this morning (although tight again during the day at work). A nice session once in the pool, on what might (or might not) be the last warm morning of the season.

Wednesday Mar 16, 2016 #

7 PM

Run ((orienteering)) 47:00 [3] * 8.8 km (5:20 / km) +170m 4:52 / km

Summer Series end-of-season novelty event at Maroondah Triangle - this year matching the name of the street sign at the control with one of 20 clues on the map. I twigged a bit too late that this meant that you could leave out a control (as long as you were confident you'd got the other 19 right, thus getting the 20th answer by process of elimination). If you chose your route carefully, you could also "get" a control from the other end of the street (as I did at 6 - not sure I can claim a "spike" for a control I didn't go within 200 metres of).

Achilles was playing up a bit tonight so took it easily, on what might (or might not) be the last warm-weather run of the season. Opened up a bit in the last couple of kilometres as it improved a bit, although it was never 100%. Felt quite strong apart from the Achilles (as with yesterday), particularly on the climb into 3, which is reasonably promising.

Good to see Mike Hubbert there after he departed Sunday afternoon's event in the back of an ambulance.

For some reason I've found myself on the mailing list for Australian Sex Party media releases, and was rather amused today to get one where the first few words visible were "Sex Party Calls For Stripping". You'd expect the Australian Sex Party to be in favour of stripping, but in fact the words to complete the sentence were "the Australian Christian Lobby of charitable status". (For those of you from elsewhere who are wondering about the Australian Sex Party, their 2013 election campaign commercial (language warning) may give you an idea).

Tuesday Mar 15, 2016 #

7 AM

Swimming 37:00 [2]

Hadn't slept that well last night, but felt more or less OK once into the pool. A slightly better swim than in the last couple of weeks, although faded a little at the end.

It felt quite cool this morning, which is a slightly disconcerting sign of acclimatisation given that 15.1 is only a few tenths below the average for January. (The run of 15+ nights remains alive and will reach a record 26 days on Friday if the forecast is right, before stopping there; meanwhile, Sydney's record runs of 26+ days and 20+ nights both ended today).
1 PM

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

South Wharf intervals. After a very unsettling morning at work I needed this session as much for my mental health as my physical - don't think I've had quite such a sense of taking my frustrations out on the pavement for a long time. Perhaps that helped the running side of things because this was actually a pretty decent session, on the first occasion for a while that I've been down here. Slightly harder work on the even reps into a fresh easterly wind (not often you see that in Melbourne).

(Things did improve considerably in the afternoon, and I don't think that the run was entirely responsible for that, although it helped).

Run 21:00 [3] 4.0 km (5:15 / km)

Warm-up and down, including the rather amusing sight of a 'Cyclists Reduce Speed' sign about two metres from the end of a pier - must get out there with a camera sometime. (It's a leftover from when there was a temporary bridge off the end to get around a building site on the shoreline).

Had a bit of Attack of the Killer Physio tonight (she worked on my Achilles more than has previously been the case - although it's actually been a bit better in the last couple of days than it was for most of last week).

Monday Mar 14, 2016 #

8 AM

Run 35:00 [3] 4.2 km (8:20 / km) +150m 7:04 / km

For those who've seen the exit sign to Little River on the Geelong freeway and wondered what's there, the answer is "not much" - perhaps a couple of hundred people, a pub (but no general store that I saw), some impressive 19th century bluestone public architecture (two bridges and a station), and a surprisingly large primary school for a town its size (wonder if they pick up any students from Werribee?). It has a remarkably country feel for somewhere only 45km from central Melbourne.

We were here because Jenny was keen to do a run in the You Yangs, and given that I wasn't running this afternoon I was OK to pass up the morning race too. I haven't been there since a stint of scrub-bashing with Bruce in about 2003 in the name of determining that it was too thick to contemplate using for Easter 2006 (a pity because there's some terrific rock there). We settled on the track that goes around the mid-upper slopes of Flinders Peak, the main mountain - a bit scrambly at times, but some excellent views, especially from the eastern side. Really a tourist run. The initial climb was a bit of a wake-up call, reminding me that I don't usually start runs uphill these days, but OK after that.

Before the post-fire thickening after 1985, it was a pretty nice area, most memorably at the 1985 Victorian relays, held on the first weekend of the WOC 1985 carnival, with almost nothing on the ground and a mass start of 300 teams, including many of the top international elites (who were doing not much over 4 minutes/km). In one of my occasional outbreaks of teenage craziness, I ended up running all three legs after my two teammates didn't turn up. (Also in my list of craziness for that fortnight was running the women's WOC course the day after the event after first crossing the mountain because I hadn't heard that the start was near Melville Caves; perhaps it's not that surprising that in amongst that, actual M14 courses on competition days seemed pretty tame).

2 PM

Run 16:00 [3] *** 2.5 km (6:24 / km)

Last-minute control checking/turning-on run for the Parade event, which I was controller for - they were all in the right place (although one unit wasn't working) and all the gates were in the state the map said they should be. A little closer to the first start time than I'd originally planned on (which meant a bit of a last-minute dash for food in between this and the first start, meaning the last-resort option of the Hungry Jack's drive-thru).

The event seemed to go well - Ralph's courses were well-received and as far as I could tell the only thing that went wrong was that it took a while to get the results screens working. The overall results were also calculated within a few minutes of the last finisher thanks to the series scores option in Eventor (must remember that one the next time I'm responding to a letter from someone complaining about it).

Sunday Mar 13, 2016 #

11 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 17:57 [4] *** 3.3 km (5:26 / km)

MSW 3 at Deakin University in Geelong - another new area for me. Seemed to be lacking a bit of energy this morning and that carried through onto the course, but a reasonable run technically for the most part - only glitch was at 20 where I went for a small gap which didn't have an exit but only lost 10 seconds or so. Like a lot of people, I had trouble working out what was what with the ramps near 11 but went out a bit wide to sidestep the issue.

Not quite the same level of finish chute embarrassment this morning as last night, managing to hold off Lauren Baade (who I was sort of around for the last few controls).
5 PM

Run race ((orienteering)) 18:38 [4] *** 3.3 km (5:39 / km)

A new map for me and a new one for everyone else as well - Kardinia International College, at the top of a hill on the northwest edge of the city, with good views over the northern part of the city, the bay and the soon-to-be-former Ford factory, but not a particularly steep map.

Word from earlier runners was that it was pretty technical, and I got my route slightly wrong to 2, but reasonably clean after that - seemed to maintain concentration pretty well. Got to know the area reasonably well after the second time through. Thought I'd done a bit better than the other runs, so I was quite surprised to get back to discover that I was stone motherless last, and in serious danger of staying there. Tyson eventually saved me from that (he was 20 or so seconds behind me all weekend), and a couple of others came in behind too.

Somewhat unsettling before the start was the sight of Mike Hubbert departing the scene in an ambulance (second-hand reports suggest heart issues but not life-threatening).

Ended the day at the Little River pub (suggested as an overnight venue by Jenny as a jumping off point for tomorrow morning). I wonder if the Little River Band have ever played there?

Saturday Mar 12, 2016 #

11 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 17:48 [4] *** 3.2 km (5:34 / km)

First race of the Melbourne Sprint weekend, at RMIT Bundoora. Like a few of this weekend's other venues, others have been here before but I haven't (by virtue of having been away for all of the 2014 and most of the 2015 sprint series). A bit apprehensive before the start because my Achilles, which has been pretty sore on getting up from a period of inactivity over the first couple of days, took its time warming up, but it was a non-issue once racing.

Fairly straightforward start but some good legs in the last two-thirds of the course (was happy not to fall into the trap many did at 13). Not great on the pace with John catching me by 9. Only time loss of consequence was at 7 where I overshot a bit and lost 15 seconds or so.

Almost had a head-on with Zoe Melhuish at 6. I suspect she would have come off second best from such a collision had it taken place.

And Geoff Lawford got me by 1 second, demonstrating that if I can stay at this speed for the next 15 years I potentially have what it takes to win an M60 WMOC sprint gold in 2031.
5 PM

Run race ((orienteering)) 20:00 [4] *** 3.7 km (5:24 / km)

Second and biggest race of the Melbourne Sprint weekend, at the University of Melbourne. People seemed to assume that I would have a home-ground advantage here, but in fact the School of Earth Sciences where I was based when on campus (which wasn't that much of the time - I spent probably 70-80% of my time at the Bureau) is across the road from the main campus, and it was the best part of 20 years ago anyway. More recently my excursions onto the main campus have mostly been to play CSIRO at soccer, something which will hopefully still be possible this time next year.

Felt decent in the warm-up but struggled a bit for a top gear in the race. Had a first-ever annoyance - losing my control description sheet when it fell out of the holder on the way to 3 - but otherwise unrattled through the first half of the course. Ended up making one error of consequence, dropping 20 seconds or so through failing to notice that my exit direction from 14 did not in fact have an exit (a conclusion assisted by seeing a 'NO EXIT' sign, without which I would have dropped another 20-30 seconds). Did the garden section at the end OK, but had some ego-battering at the end when I was comprehensively walloped in the finish chute by Sophie Arthur.

Despite the seedings, I did not beat Ralph (and neither did anyone else).

Friday Mar 11, 2016 #

8 AM

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

A pleasant enough session in the pool (which felt a bit cooler than normal). Achilles feels particularly tight when getting up from sitting down at the moment - hopefully that won't be an issue over the weekend. (I did quite a lot of sitting down today, in the process of getting our report on the recent/current heatwave out the door - have certainly had a bit of practice writing reports about extreme weather in the last few months).

Thursday Mar 10, 2016 #

7 AM

Run 1:28:00 [3] 16.0 km (5:30 / km)

Not exactly super-fast and a bit of a grind at times, but definitely my best run this week - even felt like I was enjoying it some of the time, particularly in the middle. A bit cooler with hints of rain at times. Shorter than normal for a Thursday given the racing ahead this weekend, but felt as if I probably had something left in me.

I've been doing a bit more media of late than had been the case for a while (partly because of the abundance of interesting weather, partly because we're not trying to make ourselves such a small target on climate issues since the change of leadership, partly because I'm picking things up for a couple of absent colleagues in the regional offices). Yesterday's one for ABC News 24 was a bit awkward, not because they asked any difficult questions but because the earpiece sound was very loud and a bit distorted and no-one could work out how to do anything about it. I could sympathise a bit with Brian Johnson, who's now had it medically proven that rock n'roll is indeed noise pollution.

Wednesday Mar 9, 2016 #

7 PM

Run ((street-O)) 49:18 [3] * 9.0 km (5:29 / km) +110m 5:10 / km

Felt horribly sluggish and a bit tight and decided to turn this into a jog; there were moments when I thought I might have cut it short altogether but didn't think I could stomach two DNFs in successive weeks. Finally started to come good in the last 10 minutes. Not sure what the issue has been this week; surely it's not just the humidity (humidity which would be tame in Brisbane in the summer, or Darwin most of the year) getting to me?

Heyington Heights is a place prone to route-choice epic fails. I thought I'd made a decent job of it given that the course-setter's estimate was 9.8k, but Bruce went a kilometre shorter to disabuse me of that notion. It also takes one past some vastly expensive real estate for a taste of how the other 0.01% live, with the sounds of what I assume was a Toorak society party coming from behind one of the hedges between 1 and 14.

The assembly area was at the Kevin Bartlett Reserve. Not only was this named while he was still alive (something you wouldn't see happen in Canberra), it was named while he was still playing - the plaque from 1980 somewhat optimistically says "he has played in five premiership teams to date". (As AFL fans will know, Richmond haven't won one since). They must have been confident that he wouldn't disgrace himself in a nightclub incident.

Tuesday Mar 8, 2016 #

7 AM

Run intervals 20:00 [4]

All Nations intervals, a good deal slower than the person I saw doing intervals in Alphington yesterday. Never caught alight but a better session than I had expected after a very sluggish warm-up. Rather humid morning, although that was a lot better than the searing heat later in the day would have been.

Run 23:00 [3] 4.0 km (5:45 / km)

Warm-up and down. Felt very sluggish indeed on the way there, as previously noted.

Put in a long day at work today (there will be a couple more coming, given the interestingness of the weather this week). Normally mid-evening public transport works reasonably smoothly, but tonight the loop was closed because of trackwork, the connecting train to Flinders Street was 10 minutes late, and then I missed the connection by 30 seconds and had to wait 30 minutes for the next one. Not the ideal way to do things at 9.30 on a 34-degree night (but at least it gave me the chance to properly read the latest Australian Orienteer).

Monday Mar 7, 2016 #

8 AM

Swimming 38:00 [2] 1.0 km (38:00 / km)

Felt like a womble even by my usual swimming standards. Eventually picked up a little in the last couple of laps, but this was never a particularly good session.
7 PM

Run 41:00 [3] 7.3 km (5:37 / km)

This run was a bit of a moveable feast. I originally had thoughts of doing it in the morning as a run/swim double but then didn't feel like getting up as early as that would have required after the trip home last night, then made plans to do it at lunchtime but forgot that there was a union meeting then (the fact that our union meetings happen at lunchtime gives you an idea as to our level of militancy; one of our decisions was to agree in principle to a productivity-enhancing form of industrial action, a 48-hour ban on going to meetings or responding to e-mails).

Eventually ended up doing this from home in the evening. This gave me the chance to explore a few pockets of the local area I haven't previously been to, on both sides of the lower Darebin Creek. The southeast corner of Alphington featured someone doing intervals much, much faster than I'll be doing them tomorrow. Felt pretty sluggish most of the way but no more than I'd expect on a Monday.

Sunday Mar 6, 2016 #

10 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 44:50 [4] **** 4.7 km (9:32 / km) +240m 7:36 / km

ACT Middle Championships at Honeysuckle Creek. I was last here in 2007, at which stage I thought it was getting thick to the point of unuseability, but Craney picked the best bits of it for some good courses in manageable, though tough, terrain. (We might have to wait a while for it to become nice again - it took about 40 years for Orroral to thin out after the 1952 fire, so if history repeats itself - and it doesn't burn again in the interim - the north end of the map might be ripe for something sometime in the 2040s).

Rather hesitant on 1, a not-as-distinct-as-it-looked-on-the-map gully in a section of the map which has been a Bermuda Triangle for me in the past, but the 20 seconds or so lost there proved to be my biggest loss of the race. Settled in reasonably well and caught Martin Dent 6 minutes at 4. We were in contact with each other until 14 (unsurprisingly he was running faster - although not by the margin you might expect - but making more mistakes), a decent section for me with only small wobbles at 6 and 7. 14 was a tough uphill leg into low-vis bush - Mark Gregson caught me there but we dropped Martin. Mark then got a better line than me on 18 and got away, but I finished reasonably cleanly.

On a course like this avoiding disaster gets you a long way, and I claimed some scalps I haven't claimed in a long time (Hoggster, Andrew Barnett and Matt Doyle, and almost Grant). Ended up 7th overall, just under 10 minutes behind Leon, and probably 3-4 minutes better relative to the field than I've been used to in middle races in this type of field in the last year or two. Repeating the result in less technical terrain may be somewhat more of a challenge.

Saturday Mar 5, 2016 #

10 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 22:30 [4] *** 2.9 km (7:46 / km) +80m 6:49 / km

ACT Sprint Championships at CIT Bruce (reportedly the fourth choice of venue after an inability to get permission for the first three options - perhaps the CSIRO people were worried that I might try to organise a demo).

Made a horrible start to this race - lost time on the first two controls in the bush, not that I was alone on #1, a 0.3m termite mound in green - not, incidentally, on the Sprint Canberra map - where the fastest split was 32 seconds but only five out of 25 broke 50. (Bizarrely, despite losing 20 seconds on this leg, it was my best split placing of the day). This was then followed by a fall, a shoelace issue, and then falling into a classic sprint trap with the uncrossable fence on the east side of #6. By then I'd already dropped two minutes or so and the rest was about getting some good practice in, which I think was more or less achieved - got through without any more disasters, at least. This weekend is mainly about getting practice in race conditions before hitting events which matter more.

Perhaps I should have expected a better result, as the latest IOF sprint rankings suggest that I should be able to beat Oleksandr Kratov, Ralph Street and Graham Gristwood (ranked respectively 325, 326 and 327 to my 323). This may or may not have something to do with the fact that I have a full set of four scores and they only have two apiece. (On the other hand, I'm one point and one place behind Nieuwy).

Friday Mar 4, 2016 #

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

Morning run from Royal Park (in the name of later-in-the-day logistics for the trip to Canberra). A fairly similar run to Monday - very slow start which gradually built up a bit at the far end up around Moonee Valley, but never great, and slowed to a crawl on anything resembling a hill. Back OK although this wasn't a route to really test it.

Had a rather unsettling ride back to the car at lunchtime - encountered someone on the bike path (with a wine cask next to him, much of the contents of which had probably been consumed) who let loose with 'Oy, what ya f***ing looking at ya f***ing motherf****r f***ing get back here ya f***ing c**t'. Naturally I had no intention of doing any such thing and got out of the area as quickly as I possibly could; could have been quite a threatening situation otherwise.

Thursday Mar 3, 2016 #

7 AM

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

Switched to the pool today after last night's events; certainly didn't feel as if I would have had a lot of energy for getting out the door at 6am and going for a long run (in fact I've been a bit down on energy more generally in the last couple of days). Got into it more once in the pool and it seemed to go OK in the end.

Wednesday Mar 2, 2016 #


Currently on the Guardian website: "Malcolm Turnbull refers submarine leaks to federal police". Personally, if I had a leaky submarine, the Australian Federal Police wouldn't be my first port of call if I wanted something done about it, but each to their own, I guess.
7 PM

Run ((street-O)) 4:00 [3] * 0.8 km (5:00 / km)

First time for a while that my back's played up - maybe it's the venue (the first time this issue flared, back in 2013, was also at this venue, in Greythorn). Didn't think there was much to be gained by trying to push through it (my tentative plans had been to use this as a fartlek session, having raced on Monday).

It would be fair to say that I hadn't been full of enthusiasm even before the start, notwithstanding the appearance of a cool change of sorts. Heat is something we'll need to get used to over the next week or two; inland southern NSW and northern Victoria look like having a March heatwave of historic proportions over the next 10 days or so, although it's still not entirely clear on how many days the serious heat will break out to the coast.

At least the unplanned early finish gave me more time to work on the papers for tomorrow night's OA Board meeting that I haven't done yet.

Tuesday Mar 1, 2016 #

7 AM

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

Something of a novelty not to be trying to come up for something long after going hard at street-O the previous evening. This felt reasonable after the initial loosening up, but was somewhat slower than I'd usually expect. Explored some new territory (albeit not far away from old territory), having noticed a couple of weeks back that there's a path of sorts on the east side of Darebin Creek (upstream of Livingstone), accessed via stepping stones near the bridge.

Calves and associated bits very tight at the moment (was shuffling the first 30 seconds each time I got up from my desk today); definitely overdue for tonight's massage.

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