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Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 7 days ending Jul 22:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run6 4:46:28 25.66(11:10) 41.3(6:56) 5006 /11c54%
  Total6 4:46:28 25.66(11:10) 41.3(6:56) 5006 /11c54%

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Sunday Jul 22 #

11 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 1:15:28 [3] *** 6.1 km (12:22 / km) +300m 9:56 / km
spiked:6/11c

O-ringen day 1. My first experience of the terrain in the Ornskoldsvik area; I'd been led to believe it was physical and it was, but I hadn't expected anything quite as extreme as 200m climb in the first 1.7km. Couldn't run significant parts of the first five controls - don't have the strength for the steep climbs (some of which were more scrambling than running) or the agility for the loose rock. Improved somewhat after that. Technically this was a decent run; there were a few controls I was unsure on (especially 8, where I saw a flag and was thinking "I hope this is mine because I don't really know where I am" - it was), but no time losses bigger than 15-30 seconds, and none of the drifting which has plagued me in Swedish terrain (perhaps because there were few flat bits and the visibility was good).

Didn't feel as if I had a lot of energy today, which may have been partly a product of spending last night in a sauna - my room overlooks a moderately busy street and a restaurant which has sometimes noisy people leaving it, so leaving the window open wasn't really an option. (The hotel I'm staying in would be a perfectly acceptable 2-3 star hotel - and the location is certainly convenient, within a few minutes' walk of both the event centre and the bus pick-up point - but I'm paying 4-star prices for it). Certainly didn't have much energy for the finish chute, and flaked out when I got home.

The new shoes (with metal studs) did their job on the rock, moistened by a bit of overnight rain, but they definitely don't look new any more. (The rain may have cleared but it was very humid). I also took a big chunk out of my pants and found a replacement hard to find - apparently there are no normal-sized people at this event because the shop at the event site had nothing between XS and XL - but tracked some down back at the event centre.

My two main targets for this event are to be in the top half of the field, and make the chasing start (90 minutes). At the moment I'm slightly outside being on track for both of these.

Saturday Jul 21 #

6 AM

Run 35:00 [3] 6.0 km (5:50 / km)

Headed out early with Simon, in the interests of getting back before things got too chaotic in the house (they have three children under 6). It's not the first time we've been for a run together, but the last time we did, a quarter-century ago, he was about three-quarters of the height (he was nine) and I probably wasn't much more than three-quarters of the weight.

Simon led me on a tour of Forsbacka, the first half through the town area and past some very old industrial facilities, the second half on some forest tracks - the rougher parts of which demonstrated that, despite having only just got back into running, he's still got the sure-footedness on rough ground that led me to think him a likely orienteering prospect 25 years ago. I didn't have a lot of energy, something I attribute to the early start and not having eaten, but the Achilles was better than yesterday which is a good sign for the coming week.

Headed north after that towards Ornskoldsvik, in the process seeing solid rain for the first time in a long time. Don't think much of it got where it was most needed, though. Reports of a new fire outbreak in the Ornskoldsvik area northwest of town were somewhat concerning, but would have been more concerning had I not known that in Sweden, "six miles" means 60km, not 9.6km. (I still won't be completely shocked if the organisers and/or the fire authorities pull the pin on the two most northern days, days 3 and 4). Traffic was somewhat tedious at times, and quite a bit of it was probably heading for where I was.

Arriving in the wake of a thundery shower, Ornskoldsvik was doing a good job of channelling Brisbane. The event centre was as busy as expected. There's an election in a few weeks and clearly some politicians have decided that there are enough voters here for it to be worth their while campaigning here - the Social Democrats, and Centre and Moderate parties (both mainstream conservatives), all have stands, and the first two also have people giving speeches on evenings later in the week (which I'm sure will be massively attended). The Social Democrats are also sponsoring a day, something I'm not sure I'm particularly comfortable about even though I broadly support their politics. The Sweden Democrats - who, I suspect, are as under-represented in the Swedish orienteering community as One Nation are in the Australian orienteering community - are nowhere to be seen.

Friday Jul 20 #

7 AM

Run 41:00 [3] 7.2 km (5:42 / km)

Salen was where my international elite career ended (my last run for Australia was in the 2008 World Cup series there, which demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that I was no longer at the required level), but I don't hold that against it. I hadn't twigged when booking that the actual settlement of Salen is well below the ski villages, and had a rather hot and uncomfortable night (ski village rooms are designed to keep heat in, not out).

Headed out early in the morning, a distinct smell of smoke in the air, for an out and back on a quiet road along the west side of the valley - only saw two cars, although there were enough tyre marks to suggest that the road also gets some nocturnal* use (what's the Swedish for "hooning"?). This should have been a nice setting for a run and I was hoping for an hour, but the Achilles was intermittently troublesome, and not really improving with time, so discretion was the better part of valour.

Some of the rest of the day was spent crossing bits of Sweden which will be familiar to many who have spent time in Sweden but were new to me (including seeing tangible evidence that Malung actually exists). I'd always planned to come this far south before heading up the coast - staying the night with a long-standing friend who's been mentioned here before - but the fires further north would have forced me to do so anyway.

(* - is it still nocturnal when it doesn't get dark?)

Thursday Jul 19 #

7 AM

Run 35:00 [3] 5.0 km (7:00 / km)

Stayed overnight at Cassie's place (minus Cassie and family, who are in Australia - I had to send her the sad news that a creature or creatures unknown has demolished the carrot crop on the balcony while she's been away), which meant the opportunity to demonstrate to my travelling companion why you'd get good at running on rough trails if you lived here. This was a pretty slow session for that reason, mostly on the small trails and up Kolsastoppen from the south side, before going down the ski slope. Struggled with the back on the first climb, to the point that I might not have continued without a companion, but fine thereafter.

Dropped Jenny off at the airport in the afternoon (after linking up in the morning with Cristina and Lukas), then set course for Sweden. It's fortunate that I had planned to go via Gavle to catch up with an old friend from Canberra days, because as it turned out bushfires in Sweden would have forced me to track that far south anyway. Went as far as Salen today, incorporating a detour to Hamar (short in distance, longer in time because of major roadworks approaching town) in successful search of public wi-fi to do a teleconference with. The tail end of the route to Salen was a little unfamiliar compared to 2008 because the signs pointed down a back road (which I'm guessing was still dirt in 2008), but it saved me 20km so I'm not complaining.

Wednesday Jul 18 #

Note

There were a few showers around today in western areas, and it was even cool at times at high elevations. That's something I won't see a lot of in the next week or two - a historically significant heatwave is unfolding in central and northern Scandinavia, with 32-34 degrees today anywhere in the Arctic regions which was even vaguely sheltered from the coast and records all over the place (including Bodo's first-ever 30). A bit of a break is forecast from tomorrow but heating up again next week; looking at mid-high 20s at this stage for O-ringen in Ornskoldsvik, with considerable upside potential. There is a total fire ban in Ornskoldsvik (as in many other parts of Scandinavia), which will make life interesting at the O-ringen campsite, although there will apparently be a designated (concrete?) area for campstoves.
7 AM

Run 58:00 [3] 10.0 km (5:48 / km) +200m 5:16 / km

This run involved going from Montana to Florida and back again, all in under an hour. Before you start wondering, both Montana and Florida are localities in Bergen, the former the location of the youth hostel where we stayed, the latter a site near the lake where Bergen's main meteorological observing site is. As the former is at about 175 metres and the latter is near sea level, this meant a run with a lot of downhill early and a lot of uphill late. I was pretty happy with how it went, and in particular, how I was able to grind my way up a long hill better than I have for a long time (the last 3km were almost continuously uphill). A hint of Achilles soreness at times but nothing to be concerned about.

This set the scene for a day's road trip from Bergen to Oslo which I expected to be epically scenic, and was - particular highlights being around Hardanger Fjord, the climb onto the plateau (including the waterfall at the top), and across the top. A long day but definitely worth it. Back in Oslo tonight before heading for Sweden tomorrow.

Tuesday Jul 17 #

Note
(rest day)

This day more or less disappeared (and unlike Jenny, I didn't head out for a short session at 9pm). Made our way from Stavanger to Bergen, a 170km distance on the road which ends up taking five hours because of two ferry crossings (to say nothing of the world's two deepest undersea tunnels - having been neither to the Dead Sea nor on a submarine, 260m below sea level is a first for me), then took the cablecar up the mountain behind Bergen - I'm sure the hardcore run this - for some spectacular views, despite the first substantial rain in town for weeks. (As Bergen gets something like 270 days of rain in an average year, this is unusual).

Monday Jul 16 #

7 PM

Run 42:00 [3] 7.0 km (6:00 / km)

Main activity for the day was the Preikestolen walk. This is moderately strenuous (4km each way, about 350m climb), and had as much of a stream of humanity on it as the Tongariro Crossing. Some places, though, are iconic because they deserve to be iconic, and this is one of them. I'm not great with heights so I didn't go close to the edge, but still got to experience most of the views.

I also find the Norwegian attitude to such places refreshing, presumably because they don't have lawyers that tell the responsible authorities "unless you put up a sign saying 'if you fall down this 600-metre cliff you will die', someone will sue you because you didn't warn people that falling down a 600-metre cliff will kill you". In Australia we probably wouldn't be allowed within 100 metres of the place. (In general, I don't get the sense that arse-covering is a substantial part of the Norwegian character). Incidentally, with something like 200,000 visitors per year, the known number of accidental fatalities at the site is zero (there have been a few suicides).

The run itself was a bit of an afterthought, quite late in the day back in Stavanger. Both of were grinding the gears a bit, but my quads (which had found the descent from Preikestolen fairly demanding) loosened up, and it turned into some not unpleasant suburban exploration, including a lake and a couple of nice bits of forest.

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