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Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 7 days ending Jan 6:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run3 2:07:00 13.48(9:25) 21.7(5:51)
  Skiing1 1:30:00
  Pool running1 45:00 0.43(1:43:27) 0.7(1:04:17)
  Total5 4:22:00 13.92 22.4

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Sunday Jan 6 #

10 AM

Skiing 1:30:00 [3]

Took the opportunity of a spare day in Vancouver to take to Cypress Mountain - first time I've been skiing in a few years (other than my not-very-successful outing into cross-country in Norway last year). Originally expected to have company but my potential companions pulled out for various reasons, so I was on my own.

I've actually been here before, on a previous occasion with a spare day in Vancouver. That was a weekday, this wasn't, and it was predictably crowded, with fairly long lift lines and, by the afternoon, quite crowded slopes as well. (I got the bus up so didn't have to deal with the traffic jams getting into the car park).

The locals didn't think the snow conditions were great but they seemed OK to me (there's been some fresh snow after the big storm during the week, which partly fell as rain at this elevation). Felt my way back into it on the first few runs, and generally spent the day on a couple of longish but fairly easy runs that I liked - did a few blue runs to prove to myself that I still could, but found them hard work (especially on the quads). No crashes, which some would suggest indicates that I wasn't trying hard enough.

Saturday Jan 5 #

8 AM

Run 51:00 [3] 8.7 km (5:52 / km)

Back in action - Achilles sore for the first 10 minutes or so but otherwise OK. A loop through Campbell River, starting out through downtown while I was waiting for it to get light (on a morning of low cloud and drizzle where it wasn't completely obvious that it was daylight until at least an hour after sunrise), then on a trail behind the suburbs which I presume, from its consistent gentle gradient and the odd cutting, was a rail trail. Moving reasonably well by this stage, although it was a little annoying that the elevation I spent 3km gaining was all lost in a few hundred metres - like a lot of western North American towns, Campbell River's street grid doesn't pay much attention to the topography. Definitely felt better for having done this.

The morning plan was to go out to Strathcona Provincial Park and do the walk to Lady Falls - the low cloud definitely made it a waterfalls day, not a views day. This fell through because there was snow on the ground out there - not so much a problem with walking itself, but with the trailhead lot uncleared and snowbanks along the roadside, there was nowhere to park. In other circumstances a 120km return trip to that might have been annoying, but I still saw some nice country, and it meant I had enough time to see two very impressive falls on the way back (I thought the Elk River falls would be worth seeing when a sign at the start of the track warned that flows could be up to 40 times normal).

Got the ferry back to Vancouver this afternoon. One thing which caught me by surprise was how many people use the bus to connect with the ferry terminal - which meant standing in the bendy bit of an articulated bus with a full pack. Not the most comfortable trip I've ever done.
3 PM


Noticed coming back into Nanaimo that it was carpeted with election signs, whereas nowhere else had been. Some post-visit googling revealed that there is indeed a by-election coming up here, and an important one at that (with an effective majority of one, the BC government will probably fall if they lose here).

Friday Jan 4 #

(rest day)

Still feeling tight, and at times very sleepy (maybe not fully adjusted to the timezone) - didn't feel properly awake until after 10, despite having gone to bed at a normal time.

Made my way back across the island today, in better conditions than yesterday (although still with only limited views of the higher peaks). The coasts look even wilder at high tide than they did at low; on the other hand, the rivers have dropped quite significantly. It would also be fair to say that the economic transition from logging to tourism is less well advanced in Port Alberni than it is in Tofino (which is where, I found out via a 'year in review' piece in the local paper, is where Justin Trudeau goes for his summer holidays).

Ended the day in Campbell River, the northernmost end of the populated part of east Vancouver Island (from here it's 250km of forest and not much else to the ferry terminal at Port Hardy). Hoping to get to a couple of waterfalls inland tomorrow morning before heading back to Nanaimo and Vancouver, although from experience so far not a lot of park walking tracks have been opened.

Saw lots of driftwood on the beaches on both the west and east coasts, but nothing more unusual. Perhaps I wasn't looking hard enough.

Thursday Jan 3 #

(rest day)

The storm was still raging this morning and I thought that doing something in the afternoon would be a more promising option - but I still don't seem to be able to do it after spending a long time in the car. (The plane didn't seem to cause any problems, strangely enough).

I was a little nervous about crossing the island given the conditions, but BC seems to have a detailed and current road reports site, and the relevant road looked OK, so I decided to go for it. (Just as well I wasn't trying to take Highway 1 across to Calgary, which was closed all day because of avalanche risk). The road itself worked out fine, although it was one of those days where you didn't need to go looking for waterfalls - every gully intersecting with the road was a waterfall - and more substantial rivers were seriously pumping. Didn't do many photo stops - I come back the same way tomorrow when conditions will probably be a bit better. The storm broke just before I reached the coast, so I didn't see it at its wildest, but it was still impressive (the log perched on top of a big rock outcrop perhaps the most impressive).

Ended the day in Tofino, an end-of-the-line town which used to be a flashpoint in the battle over logging old-growth forests, but makes most of its money from tourism these days. Was a bit more indulgent at dinner than I usually am (a famed local seafood place), but passed on the $900 bottle of Grange...

Wednesday Jan 2 #

8 AM

Run 46:00 [3] 8.0 km (5:45 / km)

Essentially a repeat of the False Creek run from August (I was staying one block away, in an establishment at least twice as good at half the price), except that this time I knew how to get onto the Granville Street bridge the first time. Started quite promisingly but didn't really pick up in the second half as I'd hoped it might, and found the climb over the bridge hard work (fortunately in this context that was the only climb on the run).

I then headed across for a few days on Vancouver Island, getting the ferry across to Nanaimo in the morning and then making my way up to Ross Burnett's place about 80km up the coast, via a few provincial parks (most of which were closed as a result of a big storm a couple of weeks ago). A not-quite-as-big storm was unfolding during the afternoon, although the serious rain didn't really get under way until after dark.

Tuesday Jan 1 #

11 AM


Spent some of the waking time on the flight alternating between reviewing a draft IPCC report and doing some more work on the historical results archive. Was wondering if I'd got the two mixed up when, in the space of a few paragraphs of each other in the former, I came across references to Sinickas et al 2015 and Round et al 2017, to say nothing of quite a few Hogg et als a few pages later on. (In case you're wondering, Alex was writing about avalanches, Vanessa about unstable glaciers and Andy about various things to do with the Southern Ocean).

The actual results I was looking at involved presumably the youngest participant in an elite race in Australia: in the 1980 Australian Relays Kathryn Tarr, who I think was 11, teamed up with her mother and Libby Meeking in Yarra Valley's W21 team. Those of us with experience of M/W12 courses circa 1980 will know that a 21s course wouldn't have come as quite as much of a technical shock to an 11-year-old of that vintage as it would now. (One of these days I must get round to scanning and posting the M12A course from day 1 of Easter 1982, which was 4.5km long and featured controls which I would consider bingo controls even on a hard-navigation course; somehow most of us got round it, and a few even broke the hour).
4 PM

Run 30:00 [3] 5.0 km (6:00 / km)

The original plan for this run was to head out early in the morning before leaving Melbourne. My back was giving trouble then, but one of the benefits of the date line in this direction is that you get two bites of the cherry for a 1 January run, and I took advantage of the second of them after arriving in Vancouver. This was a straightforward shake-out-the-cobwebs and orientate-myself run along the shoreline and through the West End; slow, but no injury problems except for a little back tightness on the steepest climb. Lots of people out on the shoreline path, as you'd expect on a public holiday on a nice afternoon ('nice' being defined here as 'not precipitating', but in fact it was quite pleasant - weak sunshine and around +4); not concerned at all by the cold were the participants in the Polar Bear Swim, which had recently finished.

The flights were both on time although I didn't get as much sleep as I'd hoped for. Had 5 hours in Los Angeles (an airport which has improved significantly since my last visit, with immigration being particularly painless), and decided I didn't want to spend that long hanging around the airport, so decided to get out of there for a couple of hours to the nearest beach, Manhattan Beach. Not a cheap excursion (taxi was the only option given the time window and that it was 7.30am on a public holiday), but glad I did it. Manhattan Beach is the spiritual home of beach volleyball and there are nets set up for at least a kilometre along the beach, but none were being used on a chilly morning (plenty of people walking or running along the esplanade though). With clear skies most of the way, the flight from LA to Vancouver was scenic, particularly a fairly close pass of Mount Rainier.

(Manhattan Beach would have been a decent place for a run, too, had I had anywhere to stash my gear).

Tofino, my tentatively planned destination for Thursday night, is famed for surfing in summer and storm-watching in winter. Current forecast: about 100mm of rain in 18 hours from 6am to midnight tomorrow, with clearing showers and high winds to follow on Thursday. Should be fun (providing the road's open).

Monday Dec 31, 2018 #

8 AM

Pool running 45:00 [3] 0.7 km (1:04:17 / km)

Closed out training for 2018 with a session in the pool; my parents are still working out when to switch on and off the solar heating so it was a bit on the cool side, but still perfectly tolerable. The view definitely compensates for the going round and round in circles.

It was another rather frustrating year in which I never really got going, but still had plenty of enjoyable runs during the year (even if most of them weren't very fast). The competitive high point in something that mattered was probably the 3rd at the North American Middle Distance (if you took in things which didn't matter, I'd almost call it the pre-WMOC indoor event in Denmark); the most enjoyable probably the Flinders weekend in June; the most out-there my first taste of Chinese village orienteering in April; and the "did that really happen" moment was beating Martin Dent on the last control to finish split at the ACT Middle Championships.

Off to Vancouver via Los Angeles tomorrow for the next IPCC meeting (depending on the flight path and time zone configuration, I might even dip briefly back into 2018). I'm assuming that the real Los Angeles of 2019 will be somewhat different to the fictional one (although not even the most dystopian 1980s science fiction scriptwriter could have come up with a President Donald Trump).

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