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Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 7 days ending Oct 12, 2014:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run6 5:26:01 24.3(13:25) 39.1(8:20) 36544 /61c72%
  Total6 5:26:01 24.3(13:25) 39.1(8:20) 36544 /61c72%

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Sunday Oct 12, 2014 #

6 AM


For the first time in a few years, had what used to be a routine experience - a missing-the-start dream on the night before a big race. (This one involved a mass start race in Scotland and having to get my compass and SI stick out of a car which I couldn't find in the car park).
11 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 2:03:32 [4] *** 12.1 km (10:13 / km) +175m 9:31 / km
spiked:16/24c (injured)

Long distance. Got off to a bad start again, this time in the physical sense - took a heavy fall on some bare rock going into 1 which produced a reasonable amount of blood from both hand and knee. Wasn't sure at that point whether I was going to be able to keep going but knee seemed structurally sound so I thought I'd press on.

The first six were in the flat country which much of yesterday's course was in, with a couple of scary long legs at 2 and 6. I wasn't exactly navigating with confidence and wandered a bit on 2, but hit the controls OK. The biggest blue of the day was at the end of this section - got the wrong exit direction heading to the powerline from 6, found myself on the wrong side of a lake, and then compounded things by not retreating but instead going a long way round on the southern side of the lake; probably dropped about 4 minutes there.

The second half of the course after the map change was somewhat different, more features and a substantial track network which I made plenty of use of. My navigation became scrappier though, dropping about 90 seconds at 14, a minute on the second-last (23) and smaller amounts at 18 and 19. Happy with the endurance though - didn't really feel tired at any stage (perhaps because I was rarely running that fast).

Too many errors to be happy with this, although my placing was better than yesterday (28th, slightly below midfield). Something around 115, which I would have been happy with, would have placed in the low 20s. Might well be my last elite long distance championship race.

It will probably be my last race for this weekend, too, because the knee was worse than I thought; the cut was deep enough to require stitches at the local hospital, and while the doctor says those present no barrier in themselves to running, it has swollen up tonight to the point that walking is difficult and I suspect it will be the standard three days for a badly bruised knee; hopefully no worse.

Saturday Oct 11, 2014 #

12 PM

Run race ((orienteering)) 49:29 [4] *** 5.0 km (9:54 / km) +90m 9:05 / km

North American middle. Flat technical terrain as yesterday, with lots of little one-contour bumps and not a lot bigger, visibility often not great, mapped better than yesterday but the greens were still fairly unreliable.

Started slightly bizarrely with a 180 out of the start triangle. Picked that one up within seconds then got through the first four without significant (technical) time loss, but not with any real confidence in my navigation. I then dropped a couple of minutes on 5, largely from thinking I was too far south because I thought I'd seen a distinct vegetation boundary that I hadn't. 8 was a long, scary leg through nothing much - held it together for most of the way but lost it at the end and bounced back off 9, dropping another minute. (Many people came unstuck here - it was actually one of my better leg placings, and a control a couple of hundred metres short of there caused carnage in the women's field with double-digit time losses for several big names).

Did much better from there, only trivial time losses and started to feel as if I was making sense of the terrain, though still slow. Ended up about two-thirds of the way down which is further off the bottom than I've recently been at home, with a couple of worthwhile scalps. Rasmuss Andersson did an utterly ridiculous 28, Marc Lauenstein a slightly more realistic 33. Best local was Brian May at 37, striking a blow for the forty-somethings and earning himself a WOC place (don't know if he'll take it up). Some massive blowouts today, particularly amongst the women.

It's been a good event so far; in terms of the level of organisation I'd put it roughly on a par with one of our national carnival events, and numbers are broadly similar too (in the 600s). Our field was pleasingly large at 67. One big difference with Australia is that there are 10-year masters groups except for the very oldest (75+), and no AS or B classes - something some will love and some will hate.

Friday Oct 10, 2014 #

3 PM

Run 24:00 [3] *** 2.0 km (12:00 / km)

Model events traditionally fill a function of damaging confidence and this one was no exception; technical flat terrain is something I've often struggled with and it was difficult to find things on the model map I could rely on. In part this was because the model map was from 2010 and was, I suspect, fieldworked at a different time of year, so the green only approximately matched what was in the terrain, and it's been dry so even quite big water features were dry (one allegedly uncrossable marsh had become a slightly muddy depression). Tomorrow's map should be better. Should be interesting.

Thursday Oct 9, 2014 #

3 PM

Run 56:00 [3] 10.3 km (5:26 / km)

This was a longer day than originally planned (from the travel point of view, not the running one), as my parents convinced me - not that I needed an awful lot of convincing - that Quebec City was very much worth going to, something which meant probably 300-400 kilometres more compared with my original plan of Montreal (I'll still pass by Montreal in the morning but won't spend any time there) - in turn meaning starting the day more or less at first light. It was certainly well worth going to, and traversing the back roads of northern Maine as part of getting there was even more stellar for autumn colours than yesterday was (and not bad in the hills-and-lakes department either); the leaves are a bit past their best on the Canadian side.

The run was done in the mid-afternoon - I'd originally planned to do it when I first arrived in the city, but thought better of it on the grounds that (a) I was stiff after five hours in the car (apart from photo stops) and (b) I needed lunch, so instead ran after I'd spent a couple of hours wandering around and inside the old city walls. The conditions weren't as challenging as they were on the only previous occasion I've run in the province (the December 1989 run which is otherwise noted as my coldest ever run - minus 27 - ventured onto the Quebec side of the border for 10 minutes from its Ottawa start), but it was still cold and windy with occasional sleety rain. Headed out away from the city centre from a start near the citadel, ending up at the far end in what I suspect is one of Quebec City's posher suburbs (like equivalent suburbs in Melbourne, bearing occasional signs expressing the locals' non-enthusiasm about higher-density housing developments). Hard work at the start but better in the second half, though Achilles was a bit sore in the last couple of kilometres.

Pulled my limited French out of the pocket today but haven't really needed it (other than for politeness) - those I've dealt with have all spoken excellent English. (Somewhat to my surprise, you see some bilingual signs on the US side of the border too - not sure if this is for the benefit of visitors or whether there is a French-speaking community in northern Maine too).

Fossil fuels featured heavily in the round of election ads I mentioned yesterday (the alleged support of candidates for carbon pricing was a regular feature in attack ads, which are much more personal than their Australian equivalents). Other undesirable impacts of fossil fuels were on display today as my route took me through the small Quebec town whose centre was flattened by an oil tanker explosion last year (as it happens, this was in the news today because the coroner handed down his report yesterday).

Wednesday Oct 8, 2014 #

12 PM

Run ((orienteering)) 36:00 [3] *** 3.7 km (9:44 / km) +100m 8:34 / km

Went for a run at Pawtuckaway (for my fellow countrypeople who probably haven't heard of it, it's in southern New Hampshire and was used for a World Cup race in 1992) around the middle of the day. This area has a very high reputation and with good reason - it's highly technically challenging, but is also pleasant to run on - generally open deciduous forest (starting to generate enough fallen leaves to obliterate the MTB track that isn't on the old map), although with quite a bit of rock underfoot. No doubt there are other sections which aren't quite as open.

Took a while to get my terrain legs in the generally soft ground and wasn't pushing it too hard, but flowing quite well by the end. Navigating reasonably well. Definitely glad I went out - perhaps not quite as magic as Harriman but still an area well worth going a long way to run on.

The rest of the day was devoted to going further north in New England, seeing quite a bit of the White Mountains and lots of colourful forests (and the people at the weather museum in North Conway run by the Mount Washington Observatory people were friendly even when I told them I was partly responsible for Mount Washington losing its world record for highest wind gust). It's also election season (particularly visible in New Hampshire, which has a highly competitive Senate race this year), and there was a bit of a blast from the past to see numerous "Re-Elect Reagan: The Tax Fighter" signs.

(When WOC 1993 was going on, the countryside was liberally dotted with "Re-Elect Grant" signs. We souvenired one but I'm not sure whether or not Frogga still has it).

Tuesday Oct 7, 2014 #

2 PM

Run 37:00 [3] 6.0 km (6:10 / km)

Early afternoon excursion with feet around the East Rock park in New Haven (a regular running haunt of his - as the name implies, an old glacial hill 100 metres or so above the valley, with some beginning-to-fall leaves and roughish tracks underfoot). Nice setting for a run but I wasn't really up to the job today, a bit stiff in the back after the long flight (and perhaps also a little close to lunch). Good to catch up with the newly expanded family (except for TinyFeet, who was at daycare).

It was a day with a rather hectic social calendar, as my evening stop was in Rhode Island with an old school friend I hadn't seen since WOC 1993. (There were quite a few US embassy families at my school, meaning I had quite a contacts list in the Washington DC area for a while. Definitely good to catch up (and the four-year-old of the house is definitely the son of his father).

While it mostly isn't too challenging, there are a few things about US driving which take a bit of getting used to, especially the fact that freeway speed limits are taken as a suggestion only - if you do 65 miles an hour in a 55 zone, you will still be moving more slowly than the majority of the traffic. (Driving consistently 10 mph/15 kmh over the limit in Australia would probably have collected you enough tickets to have lost your licence by the end of the first week).

Heading up into New Hampshire next, hoping the weather (with heavy rain forecast overnight) will clear in time for a Pawtuckaway run and mountain views further north.

Monday Oct 6, 2014 #

(rest day)

Epic travel day even by my standards (and stretched out further by the fact that it's a 12-hour time change): Perth-Doha-New York. All went smoothly and I had a spare seat next to me both legs which was good. The new Qatar airport is definitely a substantial improvement on its predecessor, and is about three times too big for the number of passengers it currently gets (I was wondering if there were frequent-flyer points for the distance between the gates).

Interesting route choice on the second leg: directly north from Doha over Iran and the Caspian, then northwest over Russia and Estonia, crossing Scandinavia a bit north of Oslo and Stockholm (passing more or less directly over the Nybraten farm at Lunderseter), then just south of Iceland and Greenland (too far to see either). This is somewhat north of the great circle route (which crosses the UK); not sure how much of this was avoiding hostile winds and how much was avoiding hostile people who might have rocket-launchers. Cloudy for much of the way but some excellent views of the Iranian and western Norwegian mountains. Also a reasonably smooth passage into the country, even if I had to point out to the immigration official that he needed to change the year on his 90-day date stamp (so various people have got stamps today entitling them to stay in the country until 3 January 2014).

Definitely knew I was in New York when the first thing I saw on emerging from the subway was a yellow cab blasting its horn. I'm overlapping narrowly with my parents (my first night here is their last at the end of a six-week trip) so they've organised an apartment in Tribeca. There are worse fates.

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