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Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 7 days ending Apr 23:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run6 4:23:39 19.57(13:28) 31.5(8:22) 54574 /90c82%
  Total6 4:23:39 19.57(13:28) 31.5(8:22) 54574 /90c82%

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Sunday Apr 23 #

1 PM

Run race ((orienteering)) 19:16 [4] *** 3.2 km (6:01 / km) +50m 5:35 / km

A couple of times in the last week I've been thinking that in my current form I was probably 1-2 minutes away from the qualifying cutoff in the World Masters sprint. That much was true, but what I wasn't expecting was that that was going to be 1-2 minutes (1.44 to be precise) on the right side of the cutoff - as it turned out, the first time I've qualified comfortably since 2011 (after scraping through with 10-15 seconds to spare in 2012, 2014 and 2015).

This was certainly a better run than either of my previous sprints on this trip. I feel as if my running has started to turn a bit of a corner in the last few days, and found the right pace for my current fitness level early on. The other aspect was to make sure I minimised my time loss, on a course which became very technical in the second half with many route-choice traps, and that mission was accomplished, with the only time losses being a few seconds where I wasn't absolutely sure a gap was legal and took the conservative option. Lots of runners around, and tried not to be too distracted by people on other courses, especially flying Kiwis (Alistair Cory-Wright in M50 went past me a few times); never saw anyone in my own class.

As an early starter, the next step was to see whether the run would be enough; it always looked like it would probably fall on the right side, but it took until the last quarter of the start list to be sure. Watching a marginal qualification situation involves looking at the number of remaining starters, knowing how many of them you need to beat and ticking off likely candidates; I wouldn't have put Carsten in that list, but he picked up the wrong map at the start and lost 3 minutes going back for the right one, finishing 10 seconds or so behind me. He'll set an early benchmark tomorrow.

The technical second half of the course definitely suited me more than the running race in Rotorua; I was 37th at control 13 (32nd is the cutoff), but 9th over the remainder of the course. Now to see what tomorrow brings. Having not expected to qualify I didn't bring any real expectations, but now that I have qualified, beating my qualifying result (20th) is the target.

Lots of good Australian results today, particularly but not only from the younger classes, and I think we can reasonably expect at least three or four gold medals tomorrow.

Saturday Apr 22 #

7 AM

Run 40:00 [3] 7.0 km (5:43 / km)

Stayed at Mount Maunganui last night, a place I had previously associated principally with 1 January news stories which begin "(insert large number here) people were arrested...". There was rather less debauchery (or evidence of recent debauchery) on display on an early morning in April, just a long beach to the Mount - the driftwood always makes NZ beaches, even in developed resorts like this - seem wilder than ours.

Headed up with Jenny to the base of the Mount; the track around the base is still closed due to landslides and neither of us fancied taking on the summit (the summit track was busy with walkers in any case), so we came back on the port side. Felt quite lively at times this morning - certainly more so than yesterday - which is a positive sign for tomorrow.

Headed up to Auckland during the rest of the day, as we did a passenger swap - I was rejoining my family, whilst Bruce was seeing the rest of his off at the airport. This transaction involved my getting the train up from the outer southern suburbs to where my parents are staying; the Auckland suburban rail system has certainly had a fair bit of work done on it (especially its stations) since I was last in these parts in 2005. Knowing the demographics of that part of town, it certainly didn't surprise me that there was only one other pakeha on the platform. (Apparently one of the challenges for Auckland public transport has been to convince whites that the trains aren't just for Maori and Pacific Islanders, a legacy of the fact that most of the main lines serve the heavily Maori/Islander southern suburbs).

Friday Apr 21 #

8 AM

Run 40:00 [3] 6.3 km (6:21 / km)

Back into the redwoods with Jenny and Zara. The plan was to try to get to the top of the hill but we didn't quite work out the trail network (at this point we were off the orienteering map) and ended up coming from 3/4 of the way up the hill back down to the bottom, at which point we decided a second attempt was unwarranted. Certainly a very nice forest to run in and we weren't the only people doing it by any means. Strangely, I was struggling on the gentle climbs but handling the steeper ones (including stairs) much better.

I'd begun to suspect that my Garmin's distance measurement was beginning to behave somewhat erratically, and the fact that my distance was 500 metres shorter than Zara's tends to confirm that (the redwoods probably aren't hugely conducive to satellite detection either).

Spent the rest of the day making our way slowly to Mount Maunganui via various Rotorua attractions (although only once, at the gondola/luge place, did we partake in the numerous local opportunities to spend copious quantities of money).

Thursday Apr 20 #

9 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 24:58 [4] *** 3.2 km (7:48 / km) +10m 7:41 / km

Roughly two years ago, I ran a WRE sprint in Switzerland, won in almost exactly the same time as today's, in a field with Fabian Hertner and Martin Hubmann at the front end. Nick Hann is good, but I don't think he's better than the aforementioned pair, which means that it's probably a fairly good indicator as to how much further I am off the pace this year that I was three minutes further back today than I was then. After last Friday I felt that I needed to find another 1-2 minutes if I want to have a realistic chance of qualifying on Sunday, and today did nothing to disabuse me of that notion.

This was something of a running race, without much in the way of complex route choice, although a few controls where you needed to look for the right place to come off the track into the vegetation. Lost a little time on 17 through mistaking a contour in dark green for a track and not being able to get through somewhere where I expected to, but otherwise I was generally just slow - perhaps I should have got that message when I was only just hanging on to Anna Fitzgerald through our apparently common first few controls.

We'd been warned in advance about the higher lake levels and large amounts of surface water (Rotorua has had 445mm of rain in the last 30 days), but it wasn't too bad with nothing more than ankle-deep. Sprints are prone to last-minute changes, but one problem we definitely don't have in Australia - at least not in my considerable experience of sprint controlling - is that of having to delete a control because of new geothermal activity around the control site.

There was a night market in one of the streets of Rotorua this evening. You'll be shocked to hear that a street with lots of food stalls in a place where lots of orienteers are currently based was a good place to see them. Also there was the leader of the NZ Labour Party (doing a "politics in the pub" night), but I left the politics for the locals this time round.

Wednesday Apr 19 #

12 PM

Run ((orienteering)) 1:20:54 [3] *** 7.7 km (10:30 / km) +170m 9:28 / km

I entered M21E for the midweek events months ago (before I knew I was going to spend most of the summer injured), and was wondering why I had this morning (especially when my back was sore after an hour standing up with the mike before I ran). Thought I'd go out to enjoy myself, and cut it short if either I stopped enjoying myself or it was hurting too much.

I did enjoy myself. It was a scrappy run technically, but then the flatter parts of the terrain were difficult to be precise in. My worst section of the course was the first part of the redwoods - dropped about 4 minutes to those around me between 12 and 16, including probably 2.5 minutes on 14 (an over-ambitious straight option and pulled up short in a featureless area) and a very silly small overshoot of the road crossing control. Wasn't particularly looking forward to the final sector in the green but in fact this was my best part of the course - it was slow but you could keep moving (or alternatively often bail out to a walking/MTB track). My running also came good (relatively speaking) in this bit and I felt better in the last 10 minutes than I have since I've arrived - maybe I should walk across a mountain range the day before races more often. Was only a few from the bottom, but 13 minutes down on Bruce (compared with 20+ in the Oceania Middle and Long) probably puts some perspective on this run relative to the others.

Rotorua isn't quite as smelly as I remember it, but still definitely has plenty of steam appearing at random intervals (if you see a traffic cone randomly placed in a paved area it's probably covering up a vent).

Tuesday Apr 18 #

(rest day)

This is entered as a "rest day" on the basis that it didn't involve any "training", but it was a pretty solid day's work - doing the Tongariro Crossing walk, which is about 20km and predictably spectacular, climbing from 1100m to 1880m before dropping back to 750m. This is not exactly a solitary wilderness experience - heard somewhere that 4000 people per day walk it in peak season - but the crowds somehow didn't really spoil it (apart from occasionally getting in the way of photos). Found the first part of the descent on a steep volcanic sand surface a bit testing, but nothing to really bring into play my unease of sorts with heights.

Monday Apr 17 #

12 PM

Run race 58:31 [4] *** 4.1 km (14:16 / km) +315m 10:19 / km

Oceania Middle. A steep limestone area, mostly on farmland, and I simply couldn't handle running on the steep slippery ground - never felt as if I was running with any sort of confidence, despite feeling a little stronger than I have earlier in the week. The result was predictably abysmal. Possibly the lowlight was going in thigh-deep into a muddy marsh (although I did manage to extract myself, with some difficulty, without losing either shoe or SI stick). Didn't always feel confident navigating around the limestone, with a minute or so lost at 10 and smaller losses at 9 and 13 (12 I found OK, but negotiating the sheet-mud gully to get up to it was not a thing of beauty). I'd like to come back here when it's dry.

The conditions, both during this weekend and in the build-up to it, have created more than their share of challenges for the organisers (especially when it comes to parking) - perhaps the best pre-start entertainment today was seeing the jack-knifed food van, and Marquita on the tractor helping to extract it (perhaps we'll need to suggest adding tractor-driving to future IOF Event Adviser courses).

As for the Challenge, so near and yet so far; we lost 37 to 35, with two classes today (W21 and M55) being lost by less than a minute. This makes me somewhat more frustrated at letting the opportunity slip on Saturday.

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