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Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 7 days ending Jul 29:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run4 4:30:51 14.48(18:42) 23.3(11:37) 78033 /50c66%
  Swimming1 38:00 0.62(1:01:09) 1.0(38:00)
  Total5 5:08:51 15.1(20:27) 24.3(12:43) 78033 /50c66%

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Sunday Jul 29 #

Note
(rest day)

On what was possibly Narvik's hottest ever night (probably around 22), I didn't get to sleep until sometime after midnight. Woke up with some soreness on the right side of the back (not the central location where it usually is), and a token attempt at a run suggested that the short run I'd had planned wasn't worth the effort.

Narvik itself isn't unknown territory for me - we passed through on the way to Nordkapp in 1989 (in fact I think I stayed in the same hotel) - but the rest of the day was devoted to exploring new territory, en route to, and in the eastern part of, the Lofotens. I've been led to believe that the west end is the really spectacular bit but there was plenty of spectacle to be had where I went today - an almost endless combination of mountain, lake and sea underneath a hot blue sky. (I'll need to wait to see the official numbers, but I suspect today's temperatures were above pre-2018 records, although mostly falling short of the records set a week and a bit ago).

On the road, there seemed to be more people leaving the islands than entering them (probably because it was a Sunday and they were heading off to catch planes back to their home in time to restart work on Monday) - this doesn't always make for comfortable driving on the narrower bits of road (most will move as wide as they can but there are always one or two who play chicken). There are still plenty of people here, as evidenced by the tents (probably at least 50 of them) pitched in all sorts of unlikely places on the approach to Henningsvaer - surprised the authorities haven't put a stop to this, notwithstanding Norway's general right to camp on public land. It probably wouldn't be such a comfortable experience in a more typical Lofoten summer.

Saturday Jul 28 #

11 AM

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

First swim for a while, in a local outdoor pool in a small place called Ranea (about 30km north of Lulea), a couple of hours into the drive. (In case you're wondering how I found it, my original thoughts were to look for one in Lulea, but the local council website covered the whole commune, not just the city, and Ranea came up). Quite a busy precinct as there was a mountain bike race starting nearby, but the pool itself was quiet. No lanes marked and got a few turns wrong, but otherwise good to be in the water, even though it felt as if I was flailing around a bit.

It was quite a long day on the road - Skelleftea-Lulea-Gallivare-Kiruna-Narvik, through mostly pleasant forest country until Kiruna, then increasingly mountainous and scenic on approaching the Norwegian border (my standard procedure on this stretch was to make a photo stop whenever I looked like getting stuck behind a slow-moving caravan). The Gallivare-Kiruna region is mining country, in the sense of digging stuff out of the ground in vast quantities. (Elsewhere in northern Sweden the mining that's happening is of vast quantities of data - the combination of a cold climate, cheap, mostly renewable electricity, and good communications makes it a good place for data centres; I think Facebook have set up somewhere around here).

Had to dodge reindeer a couple of times coming out of Kiruna - they have only slightly more road sense than kangaroos.

Achilles, which has been fine most of the trip, was a bit touchy today, especially after long stints in the car.

Friday Jul 27 #

12 PM

Run long ((orienteering)) 1:12:31 [3] *** 6.8 km (10:40 / km) +220m 9:11 / km
spiked:12/15c

Last day of O-ringen on the eastern outskirts of town - not as hilly a day as the other days, and with a few more tracks, but still plenty of detail.

Being outside the chasing start cutoff we were off at 15-second intervals. I was passed just after the start triangle - which didn't faze me as I expected that I'd be amongst people who were faster runners but worse navigators - but the first leg was enough to demonstrate to me that just getting around today would be a challenge; felt weak, and although the back wasn't painful it felt as if it could go at any moment. I immediately settled into survival mode, dropped 30 seconds or so on each of the first two, but from there my navigation settled down even if my running didn't. Couldn't do justice to the amount of track running on the long 8, but did see a few of those who started around me there, tangible evidence that my run wasn't as bad as it felt. Couldn't hang onto that bunch on 11, the last long leg, and dropped 30 seconds on that control too, but I'll settle for managing to salvage a result on a day when it wasn't going well - after all, whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger (or at least that's what I said post-run to Tara, who survived a very tough week of her own - although the top sticking-it-out points go to Aislinn, who was out for over 2 hours on both of the last two days).

Dropped a couple of places to end up 61st. I was a little closer to the leaders than on the first two days but placed worse, probably because there was less potential for others to blow out.

Headed up north after the day's run was over (being discouraged from hanging around the arena too long because the caterers had run out of a lot of stuff), with the target being the Lofotens. That's still a couple of days away, but for now I've ended up in Skelleftea, on a very pleasant evening and staying in a more pleasant place than the concrete sweatbox which has been my home for the last six days. Didn't see any evidence of the Big Moose.

I think a day off running tomorrow will definitely be in order.

Thursday Jul 26 #

9 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 1:19:47 [3] *** 6.0 km (13:18 / km) +220m 11:14 / km
spiked:8/11c

No, I couldn't put five days (more or less) together in this terrain - today was the day of the blowout. Two major errors - a classic parallel error at 4 where I ended up one level too high (at the time I thought it was 5 minutes, but the splits suggest that it was more like 7-8), then didn't climb soon enough on 6 (and compunded it by getting stuck trying to get around a cliff) and dropped another 4-5. Was better at pinpointing other controls in the circle today - and had one moment, on nailing the difficult downslope 8, of seeing a somewhat befuddled Mats Troeng, whose control this clearly was not - but with two misses as big as that it hardly matters. Perhaps not surprisingly, after the mistakes, I started to notice that I was tired, but didn't finish off too badly.

Out of the top half of the field now, as I expected (I think I'm 7 minutes and 4 places outside, which will be difficult to make up with the 15-second start intervals tomorrow).

Wednesday Jul 25 #

1 PM

Run race ((orienteering)) 48:05 [3] *** 4.4 km (10:56 / km) +130m 9:31 / km
spiked:9/13c

A couple of mistakes turned today from what would have been a good run (I would have been happy with sub-45) into a so-so one, but continued to avoid disaster. Dropping about 1.5 minutes on 4, a careless miss on a short leg, and 2-2.5 on 10, a leg across a slope with lots of scattered rock and no big features which I recognised as highly dangerous but still couldn't execute at low speed (and had to climb back up to the control, always a depressing thing) - would have been better to climb initially and go in from above. Pretty clean on the rest, though, and running better than I have on the last two days (the substantial net downhill helped). Very nice up on the tops with good visibility and lots of bare rock, although having thought I'd got on top of the mapping in the last two days the interpretations today seemed a bit different.

Very late start and rather warm and humid (27), but that didn't cause me as much bother as I thought it might - certainly made sure I was well hydrated before the start. I was very impressed by the presence of a water trailer at the mountaintop start and was wondering if it had been brought in by helicopter (knowing past O-ringen logistical feats this wouldn't surprise me), but it turned out there was a nearby logging track on the other side of the hill.

Moved up four places so am now a little more firmly settled in the top half, but making the chasing start will be a big ask - I'd need to be within 16 minutes of the lead tomorrow which is well inside what I've managed on the first two days (which are of similar length to tomorrow).

M40 wins the prize for the best front-end field (at least in the older classes); the top four were separated by six seconds today, and three of the four were Mats Troeng, Emil Wingstedt and Jani Lakanen.

Tuesday Jul 24 #

Note
(rest day)

O-ringen rest day today (except for the elite who had a town sprint in the evening - their day off is tomorrow) - certainly a rest day which I needed after struggling at the end yesterday. (I suspect I'm still a bit dehydrated, too, which will be something to watch over the remainder of the week).

Spent the morning out at Skuleskogen National Park with Toph and Jacqui and climbed up to the canyon and the associated mountain - mostly features similar to, but on a larger scale than, the ones we'd seen on the course on Sunday and Monday, but good to be able to take in the views and understand the country a bit better (for example, the areas of scree are old beaches, in an area that's uplifted to 280 metres above sea level after the retreat of the glaciers and is still rising at nearly a centimetre per year - more than enough to offset global sea level rise in this region). Glad to have gone early, as the car park was getting close to filling up by the time we arrived.

Monday Jul 23 #

12 PM

Run race ((orienteering)) 1:10:28 [3] *** 6.1 km (11:33 / km) +210m 9:51 / km
spiked:4/11c

Day 2 of O-ringen has not been kind to me over the years. My record in it reads: 20-minute mistake (1989), 15-minute mistake (1991), 20-minute mistake (1998), competition-ending injury (2000), and jogged/walked around after a day 1 injury and still made a 6-minute mistake (2011).

(There were also two days when I didn't run day 2 in the conventional sense: 2008, where the World Cup started with a sprint on the second evening, and 2015, when I only ran the last three days, as a warm-up for WMOC).

The big positive to draw from today is that there was no comparable disaster. It certainly won't go down as one of the great runs of my career - scrappy in the circle and barely spiked a control, but nothing bigger than a minute or so - but it could have been far worse. Also hit the wall quite badly with about 15 minutes to go on a warm day (i.e. I couldn't run a two-contour hill on a track) - must have looked pretty awful when I finished judging from Tracy's reaction when she saw me, but didn't feel too bad after some water and 10-15 minutes in the shade. Will appreciate the rest day tomorrow.

The first two-thirds of the course were again in fairly steep and rocky country, but today we went across the slopes more than up and down them. Running a bit more fluently than yesterday (at least until the aforementioned later stages).

51st today, 10 places better than yesterday, and moved up to 56th (exactly halfway). Seemed to be some big blowouts today. Managed the unusual feat of placing better on the course than on any split.

A prize for enterprise goes to the kids who lived in one of the houses we walked past on the way back to the bus stop, who were selling chilled raspberry cordial for 5 kroner a cup. I suspect they'll have made several thousand kroner over the two days (assuming their raw materials supply kept up).

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