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Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 7 days ending Aug 12, 2018:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run5 3:32:32 18.89(11:15) 30.4(6:59) 27528 /34c82%
  Swimming1 37:00 0.62(59:33) 1.0(37:00)
  Total6 4:09:32 19.51(12:47) 31.4(7:57) 27528 /34c82%

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Sunday Aug 12, 2018 #

(rest day)

One of the longer days I've ever experienced, but didn't manage to find time to do a session in its 34 hours (at high latitudes you can cross a lot of time zones in not that many hours of flying). Travel day Helsinki-London-Vancouver. Might have thought about doing something with my 5 hours in London had I had anywhere to leave my bag, but I didn't (instead, thinking I probably didn't have time to get right into the city and back without pushing it, I decided to pick a random Underground station and look for somewhere to have lunch; slightly to my disappointment, I found what must be the only Underground station in suburban London which doesn't have an Indian place within easy walking distance). First part of the morning was devoted to catching up with an atmospheric scientist who used to be at Monash but is now in Helsinki; since Helsinki doesn't do early Sunday morning cafes the way Melbourne does, this was a picnic breakfast in the somewhat unglamorous setting of a bus shelter (it was raining), but the company was good.

The travel itself didn't go too badly, although we were about 40 minutes late on the Vancouver leg. Lots of cloud but caught just enough glimpses of Greenland, Iceland and Baffin Island to keep me satisfied. England is definitely the green brown and pleasant land at the moment; perhaps the most striking from the air are the cricket grounds where the pitch is lush green (even the most minor of grounds will have a turf pitch - often not a very good one from my experience) and everything off the pitch is bone-dry.

Was wondering if I might have some issues with British immigration not believing I was only going to enter the country for a couple of hours, but when I told the person I just wanted to get out of the airport for a couple of hours he said "I don't blame you". I had been looking forward to seeing the weekend British papers in the lounge, but someone must have done an exclusive deal because the only ones to be found were News Limited publications. (News seem to like doing this sort of deal, which may explain why Sky News have spent the week throwing their toys out of the cot over being kicked off the screens at Melbourne Central).

Saturday Aug 11, 2018 #

8 AM

Run 37:00 [3] 6.4 km (5:47 / km)

A fairly casual morning session before the WOC long distance, going to the middle arena and back. (There was surprisingly little evidence that the event had taken place four days ago; just a couple of leftover forbidden area signs). A bit concerned about the Achilles early on but it settled more or less OK, and felt reasonable while running for the most part. Hadn't noticed on Tuesday that there's a bit of a climb back to town from the middle arena.

It was then onwards to watch the long (free of any complaints to deal with as a jury) - as always, a hard day's work for the competitors. Tash keeps putting sloid long distance results together, and both Bryan and Matt kept going on a day when they could easily have given it away, giving us the points we needed to keep our second man for next year (albeit only through a German mispunch). As always, there were some ups and downs for us at WOC, but quite a bit to be pleased about, including Vanessa's PB, Doyley's good debut and a solid men's relay.

Historical segue of the day goes to the commentator who noted that Sandra Grosberga was wearing number 39, the year Latvia were second in the European basketball championships. This isn't quite as obscure as it sounds; it seems that their controversial one-point loss to Lithuania is still well-remembered in both countries, not least because it would have been just about the last time for over 50 years that either competed in anything as an independent country. (Some further reading on this revealed that (a) there used to be a rule in basketball, scrapped on the eve of these championships, restricting the use of players over 1.9 metres tall and (b) only two of the competing teams had any players over this threshold; times have changed...).

So ends (in effect) the European phase of this trip. The next target is Whitehorse, but there's going to be a lot happening between here and there. First step is Riga to Helsinki tonight.

Friday Aug 10, 2018 #

10 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 50:00 [3] *** 6.2 km (8:04 / km) +105m 7:26 / km

Latvian O-Week, day 5. This one was on an area not used for WOC but advertised as relevant to WMOC 2019 (which I probably won't be coming to, but worthwhile anyway). The old map was 70% marsh so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. What we got was very open forest, a fair bit of marsh (not boggy or wet, but definitely harder to run than the non-marsh), and sand-dune type contours in between the marshes.

Took the first leg to get the feel for holding direction, what was up and what was done, but navigating reasonably well after that (on a course made easier because several of the controls were very visible). Really struggled with the running early on, and although that improved, I was never particularly strong on an area where the soft ground demanded it. Given how open it was I expected someone to get close to 6 mins/km, and someone did (think I ended up 11th).

This was another hot day, this time with a strong, dry, gusty southerly wind (an unusual situation for northern Europe, where heatwaves normally come with little or no wind). It was the sort of day where we probably wouldn't have gone ahead in Australia because of fire danger, and in the evening at the medal ceremony, I did smell a hint of smoke on the wind from the south (although I don't know where it's coming from). A change is due tonight.

Driving in Latvia has had its occasional moments; most of the driving is conventional, but every now and again you get a reminder that some of the behaviours you've probably seen on Russian dashcam videos were learned before the breakup of the Soviet Union. Of course, it would not be in any way stereotyping to note that those drivers with a I-don't-give-a-f**k-if-you-have-right-of-way-get-out-of-my-f***ing-way attitude (one of whom required some evasive action on my part on the way back from the event) are almost exclusively to be found in expensive German or Italian cars. (In a similar vein, apparently some scurrilous soul has been putting up official-looking posters in London: "Drive a Jeep or Range Rover in the city? You could be entitled to free penis enlargement surgery on the NHS").

Thursday Aug 9, 2018 #

10 AM

Swimming 37:00 [2] 1.0 km (37:00 / km)

Bit of groin tightness this morning and Sigulda has a decent pool, so I thought I might as well use it. Thought it might have been crowded given the hot weather (low 30s), but hardly anyone was there, probably because the waterpark component doesn't open until 12, with only the indoor pools open in the mornings. Water not as warm as I'm used to in indoor pools, which suits me fine.

One of the more interesting relay days I can remember, especially amongst the men - it's not often that you see eight teams within a minute. Some excellent course-setting, both in the technical forks and in having a major route-choice leg late in the course. I said before the long leg that if someone was brave enough to go right if the pack was going left, they would win, and so it proved.

Relays have changed a fair bit over time; I was looking at the JWOC 1991 relay results today (in the course of a discussion about that day's heat in Berlin, in the context of near-record heat there yesterday). The fastest leg time in the men's relay was 64. (Also interesting to see a few names there who never made it at international elite level but are now regulars at WMOC). It's certainly different from the days of four 70-minute legs at WOC relays 30 years ago.

Wednesday Aug 8, 2018 #

10 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 47:32 [4] *** 4.5 km (10:34 / km) +170m 8:53 / km

Latvia O-week day 4 - partly the southern half of the WOC middle distance area, and partly an area to the west (we didn't cross the river, which was a pity). Major issue here was the few very steep slopes - I'm not particularly good at getting up slopes which are steep enough to require use of the hands, and even worse at getting down them. (It certainly showed why those who attempted to run directly up the hill yesterday lost time by doing so). Some of the controls were quite easy; reasonably clean for the others early on, but didn't quite hit 15 (the WOC TV control) straight on, and also lost a little time on the next one. Not fast, but perhaps had a bit more than I thought I did, as the last hill was quite strong. One of my better results of the trip - clearly in the top half this time.

Did a bit of exploring in the afternoon along the back roads as far as Cesis, with its small but interesting old town. One discovery is that - like much of rural Australia, but unlike most of western and central Europe - any rural road not significant enough to have a number has a fair chance of being gravel (fortunately rental companies here aren't as anal about gravel roads as their Australian counterparts and only specify no off-road use; in any case, my car came with enough documented scrapes that it would be difficult to demonstrate that I'd created any new ones unless it actually crashed).

The medal ceremony from yesterday was in the town centre this evening. This, which has been done a few times before, is a well-intentioned idea to try to engage with the town, but almost all of those actually there were orienteers (most of them connected with countries represented on the podium). Nobody booed the Russian anthem, which may indicate that (a) we're more civilised than football fans or (b) the crowd didn't have too many locals in it.

And a bit of insight into what goes into WOC scheduling; this week is the week of both the European swimming and athletics championships, and the WOC races are scheduled so that they can fit into TV schedules in the gap between the swimming/athletics heats (morning) and finals (evening).

Tuesday Aug 7, 2018 #

10 AM

Run 47:00 [3] 8.0 km (5:53 / km)

A bit more exploration through the north side of Sigulda, including going out to one castle and trying unsuccessfully to find the mound for another off map-memory. Felt much the same as yesterday, with Achilles a bit iffy without giving any serious trouble; rather slow but seemed to be functioning OK. Enjoyed the cooler conditions, with even a few showers early on.

This was the prelude to an afternoon at the WOC middle - a good day's competition. It was pleasing to see some new faces at the top of the podium, and also to see a career-best result from Vanessa, and Matt getting to spend 40-odd minutes on the couch after an encouraging first appearance. (Incidentally, having just done the points, we're almost certain to regain our second spot in the women's long in 2019, and should keep our two men's places unless something goes badly wrong in the relay).

Monday Aug 6, 2018 #

7 AM

Run 31:00 [3] 5.3 km (5:51 / km)

An attempt to see if things still functioned and was pleasantly surprised to see that they did. Did essentially a lap of the north side of Sigulda, a rather spread-out town (like a lot of eastern European towns these days, much of the retail is in malls on the highway) but pleasant enough. Went out as far as the road past the TV tower; the Vilnius one is a Lithuanian national sacred site (a number of people died there in 1991 trying to stop Soviet troops from shutting it down), but I don't think Sigulda's has any such historical significance.

Spent the rest of the day in IOF meetings, mostly productive but with a few curveballs (of which more may or may not be heard). Haven't heard what Council has done with the various major event bids but I understand that there will be an announcement this week.
7 PM


There's nothing particularly new about self-incrimination on social media, as demonstrated by the experience of the armed robber who did a stretch in the Hume Hilton after Detective Frogga spotted him bragging about his exploits on Facebook (clearly some ACT crims didn't learn from that experience), but today I found out that the way the organisers became aware of the Russian athletes breaching the JWOC sprint embargo (for which the Russian team was disqualified from that event) was that said athletes posted a picture of themselves in the embargoed area on Instagram.

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