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Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 7 days ending Feb 25:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run5 3:39:00 22.56(9:43) 36.3(6:02)
  Swimming1 38:00 0.62(1:01:09) 1.0(38:00)
  Skiing1 32:00
  Total7 4:49:00 23.18 37.3

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Sunday Feb 25 #

9 AM

Run 1:13:00 [3] 11.0 km (6:38 / km)

This would get fairly draining if you had to do it every day for a couple of months, but was fun as a one-off. There was some new snow overnight and it was still falling when I headed out (probably about 4-5cm of new cover). The trails have deep snow on them, probably close to a metre, so I decided that the bike path alongside the Bekkestua road would be adventurous enough for the day. This gets ploughed but not salted/gritted, so was a few centimetres of fresh powder over a thin, hard-packed base - not too difficult downhill or on the flat (especially with my "winter tyres" - strap-on metal studs - on), but hard work uphill, especially in those areas where there was some additional debris from the ploughs which had just been working the road. Turned around just short of central Bekkestua; reasonably pleased with my handling of the long grind back uphill, but I still wasn't too upset to meet the plough coming the other way about a kilometre before the top. Felt a lot easier after that. Fairly happy with my body's response to this, but tired in the rest of the day so might have struggled with anything much longer.

Saturday Feb 24 #

4 PM

Skiing ((cross-country)) 32:00 [2]

Thought I'd have a try at some Norwegian cultural assimilation (not being quite sure of how much exercise I'd get by doing so), and went out to try cross-country skiing with Jim and Max. (Jim had already clocked up 40-something kilometres for the day). I've done a bit of downhill skiing over the years - although not since 2012 - but only one very brief foray into cross-country, when we came over for Christmas in 2005.

This started out fine but went pear-shaped as soon as I had to start going down hills - which meant I ended up on my backside several times (in fact probably the most exertion of the day was getting up again, upper-body strength not being one of my greater assets). Part of my problem was that I was never quite sure when my skis were going to start sliding - no doubt you get more of a feel for this after a while. I was also on heavily waxed skis, which were good for going uphill but caught somewhat unpredictably (at least to me) on the gentler downhills; it probably helps if you've got the confidence to go faster.

Jim has a fair bit of experience in teaching people to cross-country ski from scratch (he's a PE/outdoor ed teacher at an international school) and thinks I'd get the hang of it given a few days, but I don't have that (at least this time round).

According to my watch, my average speed was 2.0 km/h. I think the winner of the Olympic 50km this morning averaged something like 24.

Friday Feb 23 #

(injured) (rest day)

The Achilles has been getting progressively a little worse this week - this often happens with an extended period without a calf massage - and was uncomfortable pushing off this morning. Hopefully a rest day will do it some good. Will be interesting seeing how it responds to the snow this weekend.

The fortnight in Geneva is now done with (except for passing through on the way back on Monday); I'm now heading north to Oslo for the weekend.

Thursday Feb 22 #

8 AM

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

Seem to be struggling to shake my cold off at the moment and felt a bit indifferent last night, then when I couldn't get to sleep and was still awake at 2am, I decided that trying to go long probably wasn't a great idea (may give it another try tomorrow). Ended up heading out for something shorter, in conditions a little less tough than yesterday's (though only a little). A so-so run. Achilles a bit marginal.

Election time is coming up and I saw a row of poster boards blown over by the first hint of rational arguments high winds. Most prominent are the MCG, a local populist outfit whose main platform seems to be opposition to cross-border commuters - they're campaigning for local employers to be required to prove that no local resident can fill a job before going elsewhere. I'm not quite sure what problem they think they're trying to solve, given that unemployment in Switzerland is somewhere south of 3% and that it's estimated that Geneva itself has 50,000 more jobs than it does working-age residents. Last time round they got 19%, enough for a close second in a crowded field.

(As to why people might commute across the border, a hint comes from the experience of one of my former Australian colleagues who's been working here for a few years: to buy the apartment they've been renting, a decent place in a good suburb but by no means extravagant, would cost $2.5 million, but they've found something only slightly smaller a few kilometres away on the other side of the border for $600,000).

Wednesday Feb 21 #

7 AM

Run 1:03:00 [3] 11.0 km (5:44 / km)

Welcome back to an old friend, the Geneva Bise. This is the northeasterly wind that the topography makes Geneva a tunnel for, and in winter it is not a warm wind. It wasn't as extreme as the 2012 vintage of the genre (think 0 degrees and 60 km/h rather than -10 and 80 km/h) - that may come next week - but still enough to make one think about what you do. In my case, this meant staying well clear of the lakefront (with its spray from breaking waves, although it's not cold enough yet for the spray to freeze) and long bridges, and heading southwest in mostly more sheltered areas. This took me through a mix of unfamiliar and unfamiliar ground, the latter a nice pocket on the south side of Onex. The last 15 minutes was hard work, mostly straight into the wind down Boulevard des Acacias and its continuation, and with a few traffic stops which you don't really need on a morning like this.

The run was reasonably slow, not so surprising in the conditions. Achilles iffy at times but manageable; it may help having an effective ice pack applied to it whilst running...

Work today took me, among other things, to looking for data quantifying the impact of 2017's extreme weather events. Tracking the source of the claimed US$400 million in indirect economic impacts in Macau from Typhoon Hato led me to conclude that most of that $400 million was probably money that wasn't lost in Macau's casinos. I don't know about you - although I'm assuming that not too many AP readers own casinos in Macau - but I'd regard that as a positive rather than a negative.

Tuesday Feb 20 #

8 AM

Run 10:00 [3] 1.7 km (5:53 / km)

Intervals fail: Achilles was feeling iffy during the warm-up, which isn't so unusual (or necessarily anything to be too concerned about), but quite painful as soon as I pushed off for the first rep. That led me to switch to plan B...
7 PM

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

...which was the Vernets pool in the evening (the one close to the office is closed for annual maintenance). Geneva pools have never been my favourite, but tonight was especially challenging - the section which was marked out with lanes was all being used by squads, and the remainder was a free-for-all, with no particular logic about who was going where. (Probably half the people in there - and there were plenty - were attempting to do laps, with the rest going every which way).

After observing for a couple of minutes to see if there was any order to the chaos before plunging in, my main objective was to get through without crashing into anybody, which had moments like looking up to see three side by side coming straight for you, and seeing them part to leave just enough of a gap to get through - reminded me a bit of trying to cross the road in Hanoi. Started to get a little less frantic towards the end as closing time got closer. After all that, the swim itself seemed somewhat incidental (and the distance is an underestimate because I wasn't always going in straight lines).

Monday Feb 19 #

1 PM

Run 33:00 [3] 5.6 km (5:54 / km)

Didn't get back until close to midnight last night (and not the most comfortable of flights, with a large, slightly inebriated and manspreading neighbour), and had a meeting running from 8.30-12.30 in the morning, so lunchtime was the first opportunity to get out. Didn't expect much but still headed out with the hope of doing the run over the top of the Pregny hills; after the first kilometre uphill past the UN it was apparent that this wasn't the day for hills, so turned around and settle for minimum-respectable-run territory. Into a bit of a northeasterly coming back, something which will be making somewhat more of a presence as the week goes on.

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