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Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 7 days ending Aug 5:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run4 2:04:05 13.24(9:23) 21.3(5:50)16 /16c100%
  Total4 2:04:05 13.24(9:23) 21.3(5:50)16 /16c100%

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Sunday Aug 5 #

Note
(injured) (rest day)

Tried to get out before the Foot O Commission meeting started, but Achilles no good today. I think it's going to be a case of managing it through the rest of the trip now, and hoping that it holds together for at least the competitions.

Took an excursion to the other side of the river today for the sprint relay - certainly a reminder that we're still in eastern Europe (as was the main road-turns-randonly-to-cobblestones bit coming out of Riga later). Australia was a bit off the pace but at least we improved a place on last year (nice work by Bun on the last leg to pull in a few places). Interesting that there were almost no changes in the teams ahead of us - apart from Spain mispunching instead of Ukraine, the only things which were different were that New Zealand beat us instead of Bulgaria, and that we were one place ahead of Germany instead of one place behind. (Incidentally, my job today, as it will be for the women's relay on Thursday, is finish line judge - only one tight one today, Belarus v Ukraine for 15th).

Saturday Aug 4 #

1 PM

Run race ((orienteering)) 18:05 [4] *** 3.2 km (5:39 / km)
spiked:16/16c

Handling a tricky protest was hardly the ideal preparation for this run; only got to the start a few minutes before my start time. Managed the navigation smoothly on a reasonably straightforward area, but couldn't get my running going at all. Achilles rather touchy today. Ended up about two-third of the way down, which was about what this run deserved (fastest was just over 14).

The spectator race was only a minor part of the day, of course; the WOC sprint was as lively as ever, and it as great to be there to see Tim's silver medal - and so close to going one better...The courses looked excellent technical courses for the most part, but most of the talk was about the start/finish configuration, which involved starters running up the same fairly narrow street in the opposite direction to both finishers and those doing the run-through, and the start point and last control being within a few metres of each other (which caused some confusion), all of this on the edge of an intersection which was open to traffic (I still can't believe this part). We managed to get through without serious incident - the worst I saw was Susan Loesch, finishing, colliding with a starter without major consequence - but that was more good luck than good management. (There was a near-miss, caught on video, of Daniel Hubmann leaving the start triangle almost colliding at high speed with someone coming into the last control). Pedestrian traffic was an issue, too, and I'm struggling to see how a WMOC sprint final in the old town can work (unless they run it at 7am).

Friday Aug 3 #

Note
(rest day)

Got into Riga on the ferry about lunchtime - very scenic trip for the first three hours out of Stockholm, and then slept very well too (had a cabin to myself, somewhat to my surprise - I guess most people travel in groups so if the ferry isn't full they don't put the extras in with each other).

The hot humid afternoon was an incentive to take it easy this afternoon, as was my slightly awkward location - I'm staying across the street from the embargoed area, and although I'm not formally covered by the embargo because I don't have an official position with any team, I didn't want to freak out any organiser who spotted me (going in the opposite direction looked like it went into an unattractive industrial area). I don't think any teams are staying here, but there was some O gear hanging off a balcony anyway - belonging, I think, to the secretary-general of the Chinese federation. Went to an Indian restaurant around the corner for dinner and it turned out the waiter was in Latvian M14/16 squads back in the day...

Thursday Aug 2 #

Note

One thing I neglected to note from my Lofoten travels is that I just missed out on the Arctic Derby - Bodo against Tromso, being played for some reason in the Lofoten town of Leknes. (This fixture hasn't been played a lot in recent years as Bodo have spent most of the last decade in the second division). I presume it must have been a warm-up friendly before the resumption after the summer break, as the result doesn't appear in the official league scores.
8 AM

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

Got as far as Soderhamn last night, where I'd previously been for the 2011 O-ringen. Going into the centre last night was an indication that the last seven years haven't been terribly kind to the place, but it was a convenient place to break the journey.

O-ringen 2011 didn't fill me with a desire to get back into its terrain - lots of small ankle-breaking rocks (the locals had evidently worked this out beforehand - apart from a couple way up north, 2011 had the lowest attendance in the last 40 years). The satellite pictures, though, did suggest there were nice tracks in the forest on the west side of the highway as long as I could find a way to get across it. There was indeed such a way, and after a very unpromising first 100 metres, I loosened up nicely and had one of my better runs of the trip, notwithstanding the extreme (for Sweden) humidity. Towards the end there were distant rumbles which steadily because less distant; I wouldn't have wanted to be out much longer.

The remainder of the day featured a few minor mishaps. What turned out to be a storm which was very productive of lightning (not so much of rain, with only a few minutes of downpour) knocked out Soderhamn's power while I was having breakfast, which led me to leave town as soon as possible rather than linger and work on a few things (plus, with the - unrealised - possibility of flash flooding on the roads, I thought it best to get an early start). Once in Stockholm, I found some of the drawbacks of Sweden's much-vaunted cashless society - the first parking meter I tried didn't accept foreign cards (and had no cash option), and neither did the station ticket machine. (On the other hand, the laundry I was going to - one of only two self-service laundries in Sweden, apparently - only accepted cash (unless you had Swish, the Swedish bank payments app) and I didn't have enough Swedish cash left, but fortunately they also accepted euros). Also had a failed attempt to get my tips in for this AFL round because the wifi I was using at the time blocked footytips.com.au as a gambling site (second attempt later succeeded).

Notwithstanding all of this, I managed to get to the port whilst only partially dissolving into a ball of sweat (Stockholm's temperature/humidity/cloudiness stats for today would all have been entirely in keeping with a day at the warm end of normal late-summer conditions in Brisbane), and am now on the boat to Riga. Had been on the boat for all of five minutes before meeting Bubo...

Wednesday Aug 1 #

8 AM

Run 41:00 [3] 7.1 km (5:46 / km)

Spent the night in Tarnaby, a ski resort town perhaps most famed as the home base of Ingemar Stenmark, an Olympic skiing gold medallist from the days when Sweden used to produce skiing medallists (one of the things I've absorbed from my Norwegian extended family is the capacity to sledge Sweden about winter sports performances). Had my best night's sleep for a while, which probably had something to do with the room temperature starting with a 2 rather than a 3, and set out for a run along the lake, with a baseline ambition of 40 minutes and the potential to extend if I was feeling OK. As it turned out I had more energy than I have for a while, but Achilles was still iffy so I left it at the short end.

Otherwise it was a long day on the road to get me most of the way back to Stockholm. My original plan was to stay inland for a long way, mainly using the E45, but advice yesterday, although the road was still open, was to avoid it if possible (which I took to mean that it could be closed at any time if fire conditions changed), so instead I headed basically south to reach the coast at Sundsvall. About 250km of this was on back roads cutting south towards Sundsvall, which was fine for most of the time apart from a 20km stretch which reminded me that the old Alaskan joke about the year having four seasons - Almost Winter, Winter, Still Winter and Roadworks - also appears to apply in northern Scandinavia. This road was dotted with settlements with a few dozen or hundred inhabitants apiece, most of which appeared to be as far past their peak as many comparably sized places in agricultural areas of inland Australia.

Pleasant scenery for the most part (lots of lakes) without huge amounts of spectacle - there was low cloud early on for the more mountainous sections (the first time this has happened to me on this trip).

On a day like this you spot the quirks, and a couple which were particularly spottable: (a) seeing a sign for the Swedish Caravan Museum a couple of hundred metres after overtaking a contraption which definitely belonged in it and (b) tailing a taxi for about 50km through the middle of nowhere, before we reached a town of sorts and the passenger disembarked at the local Systembolaget.

Tuesday Jul 31 #

7 AM

Run 25:00 [3] 4.0 km (6:15 / km)

A short session in A (definitely a short location entry for the training log) to see if things still worked, and with a time limitation given an early ferry to catch. The original plan was to head west along a path mapped along the lakeside and hopefully get some closer-up views of the mountains, but I've seen enough of this country to suspect that it wasn't going to be a flat graded track, and by the time it got to the point of traversing a rock slab along a point with a chain to hold onto, I thought there might be better options (it becomes something other than a conventional run once you start having to use your hands as well as your feet). Did a bit of exploration of town, such as it is, with the rest of the time, seeing in the process why A is the end of the road (that said, the Norwegians would be perfectly capable of building a tunnel through a sea cliff if there was something at the other end).

Back was OK today, but did feel pretty sluggish. I slept more than I thought I might given the trifecta of a hot room, inadequate blinds and squawking seabirds outside most of the night, but was still a bit tired.

Got the ferry across to Bodo in the morning, then drove down in the afternoon to just over the Swedish border - the first of a couple of long days (made longer by a 45km stretch of roadworks north of Mo i Rana). Saw a reading of 28.2 in Bodo and had to remind myself that this is Not Normal (until two weeks ago it had never reached 30 there), though I did run into some rain on the last bit of the drive.

One thing I've been tracking on this trip is to see whether I can spot number plates from all 28 countries of the EU. In the last 24 hours I've picked up Luxembourg and Slovenia, leaving six outstanding: Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Malta and Cyprus. I'll be impressed if I get either of the last two.

And I thought I'd judged things perfectly in the supermarket at Mo i Rana to get rid of my last Norwegian cash, but I forgot about the bottle deposit...

Monday Jul 30 #

8 AM

Note

Improved a bit on yesterday, but still no good on the first hill. Maybe tomorrow (a reasonably solid walk today did seem to loosen things up a bit).

Did the second half of the Lofoten traverse today, finishing up at the end of the line in A. The impressively jagged and vertical mountains, and nearby bodies of water, featured again today, but an extra element added to the mix was beaches, with very white sand, and sometimes lots of people on the sand and in the water (it wasn't always easy to get parking spots). One had to keep reminding oneself that it is not normal for the temperature and humidity on an Arctic island to be doing an excellent imitation of Sydney in December, and that sometimes the area would go years without seeing a day anything like this.

The walk was up and over a mountain gap (probably 250m or so elevation) to get a view of another beach, reputedly the most spectacular of the lot. I settled for the view from above but plenty had gone down - in terms of its accessibility, I guess you could describe this as the Lofoten equivalent of Wineglass Bay. Definitely got a sweat up doing this walk (and realised why afterwards when I saw the dewpoint numbers).

I felt pretty tired at the end of the day - I think more because of the driving than anything else. You can never really relax on the roads here because of their narrowness; even the main highway is narrow enough in its western sections that one needs to move over for any oncoming campervans (plenty of those!)/trucks/buses.

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