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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 28 days ending Feb 28, 2011:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run28 30:37:55 213.75(8:36) 344.0(5:21) 55053 /60c88%
  Skiing3 6:00:00
  Swimming3 1:29:00 1.62(55:05) 2.6(34:14)
  Total34 38:06:55 215.37 346.6 55053 /60c88%

» now

Monday Feb 28, 2011 #

7 PM

Run 40:00 [2] 7.0 km (5:43 / km)

MFR Monday night from Ilka's around Royal Park with a pretty good crowd. Even slower pace than normal - a mere 40-odd seconds per km slower than I did for four times as far on snow and ice last time out. Not too asleep but still felt pretty dismal running. Legs seem quite swollen after a long time in the plane - hopefully this will settle down tonight.

My first day back brought the news that the powers-that-be have decided that the project which I was essentially carrying single-handed through last year is now worth throwing four or five people at, which should at least mean I'm less familiar with the post-9pm train timetable and which lunch places open Sundays than I have been recently.

Sunday Feb 27, 2011 #

(rest day)

The day that disappeared (at least for me, although not for my luggage which is experiencing the 27th in Los Angeles without me - I just made the connection but my bags didn't).

Saturday Feb 26, 2011 #

8 AM

Run 2:39:00 [3] 31.0 km (5:08 / km)

This isn't my first time in Victoria. I came here in 1993 on the way to that year's WOC (having made my plans before narrowly missing the team): I was doing honours at ANU that year and that was the best way around the problem that the supervisor with whom I very much wanted to work (a feeling which was mutual) was on sabbatical in Canada for the second half of the year. It was a week which featured one of the epic runs of my life, a 3 1/4 hour effort - the first time I'd been so far - which started at the far end of a coastal walking track which was a good deal more rugged than I was expecting, in a year when the main significance of September 11 (for me, anyway) was that it would have been my brother's 21st birthday.

At the time, my supervisor's older son was also the subject of one of my occasional forays into talent-spotting. Simon Trevitt is now one of the more obscure figures of Australian orienteering history - one Easter, sixteenth in M12A (says he, looking back to the days when it was possible to come sixteenth in an M12A race in Australia). I'd first seen him as a six-year-old tagging along on a first-year field trip, going through Namadgi light green as if it wasn't there. Three years later, he was still a wonderfully fluent natural terrain runner - and fit enough that he joined me for the opening kilometres of several runs that week (although not the 3 1/4 hour one), not bad for someone who was still (just) in single figures - but never quite came to grips with the navigational side of it and disappeared from the scene a year or two later. These days he's living in Sweden.

(My other major piece of talent-spotting around that time can, I think, reasonably be counted as a success, even if he never quite made a WOC team and most of his championship wins have come in North America rather than Australia).

Today's run initially took me to what was temporary home ground in September 1993, the suburbs a few kilometres northwest of the city, before cutting east across to the university where our meeting has been this week. The aim was then to go down to and along the east coast but my map memory wasn't quite up to the job and I hit the coast at a dead-end, realising after that that this run was going to be a bit longer than I was planning on. Came back after that by the shortest feasible route.

This never sparkled as a run - and was a bit weak on the hills - but was a good honest effort, ending up as the longest run I've done in almost a year, and feeling as strong in the last quarter-hour as at the start. Again the surfaces were a real mixed bag with some good snow, some ice and some bare ground. Given that I was reasonably happy with the pace, particularly at the end when I started to get onto consistently cleared ground. It snowed for much of the last hour, although without any accumulation, and I did my first ice-induced face plant of the trip with about 30 minutes to go (fell into a snowbank with no lasting damage).

I'm now on the long trip home (which may be longer if the weather throws a spanner in the works at either Vancouver or LA).

Spotted on the way into the ferry terminal - a variation on a sign which I'm told provided much amusement to SA schools teams of 1990s vintage: 'Congestion Ahead When Amber Flashing'.

Friday Feb 25, 2011 #

7 AM

Run 1:00:00 [3] 11.5 km (5:13 / km)

According to the front page of the local paper there is a $150 fine for residents who fail to clear snow and ice from footpaths in front of their property. If the Victoria city council cared to enforce this law they could make themselves a ready $10 million or so very quickly, as I saw very little evidence of any such action having been carried out. A couple of days after the big dump, surfaces vary from bare (mostly downtown and in places exposed to the wind) to compacted snow. Both of those are fine to run on; the compacted ice that covers many of the footpaths is rather more challenging.

Apart from the search for ground where I could be vaguely confident of staying upright, this was a fairly reasonable run, west from the city centre into Esquimalt as far as the military base. Not slowed down as much as I thought I might have been by the ground conditions, either.

Quite a nice morning although colder than it has been, enough for me to drag out a hat (which also gave me the opportunity to join those wearing red and black in solidarity with Christchurch, although this particular hat was that of a football team which is not the Crusaders).
5 PM

Run 45:00 [3] 8.8 km (5:07 / km)

Afternoon session as the sun was going down, round the point south of town with its great views across to the Olympic Mountains in Washington, and then around the east side of Beacon Hill, featuring a substantial proportion of Victoria's under-12 population on toboggans (an indication that snow is a bit of a novelty here). Also past the mile 0 marker for the Trans-Canada Highway, departure point for the debt truck on Tuesday (yes, Canada's got one too).

A bit slow at the start but worked into it quite nicely and moving well by the end. Footing still a bit uncertain in places. Still below freezing, but the wind had settled down making it quite pleasant.

Thursday Feb 24, 2011 #

7 AM

Run intervals 20:00 [4] 2.5 km (8:00 / km)

I rearranged my schedule for this week because of the early starts to the work day (which would have meant a 5.30 start for a long run if I'd done one in the Wednesday-Friday interval). When doing this I hadn't anticipated that the ground conditions for doing anything fast today would be challenging, at best. The outside conditions (lots of blowing snow) looked challenging too, but were easier than I thought they would be.

Headed for Beacon Hill park, and after a couple of false starts found a stretch (opposite South Park school, whose sign is, I suspect, much-photographed) where I could do a respectably-paced 1-minute rep without either going sideways on sheet ice or wading through shin-deep snow. Not too bad once going, and not quite as slow as I'd thought likely.

It's appropriate that a meeting on climate extremes has encountered a climate extreme. It's the second time in a row this has happened (last time it was a Dutch heatwave).

Run 19:00 [3] 3.6 km (5:17 / km)

To/from Beacon Hill, feeling my way a bit on some of the icier footpaths.

This is a route which took me past the BC parliamentary buildings, whose occupants are in the news at the moment because the governing Liberals are in the midst of a leadership election, which here is voted on by all party members. (You will be shocked to learn that this election is featuring allegations of rampant branch-stacking on all sides). BC's often colourful politics can be entertaining as I first learned on my first visit, at which point a Premier who was a slightly-less-inarticulate version of Joh Bjelke-Petersen was opposed by an opposition of idealistic socialists who still appeared to be on their way home from Woodstock. (Continuing the parallels with the much-lamented former Queensland premier, said former BC premier was widely believed to have engaged in dodginess - in this case, being unable to explain to the satisfaction of the Mounties exactly what services, if any, were involved in $20,000 changing hands between a real estate developer and him - but nothing ever stuck in court).

Wednesday Feb 23, 2011 #

7 AM

Run 58:00 [3] 11.1 km (5:14 / km)

I got a bit of a surprise when I woke up this morning to see snow on the ground and still falling steadily. (I wasn't the only person to be surprised - the forecast was for 2cm on higher ground and only flurries in the city).

This made for an more interesting run than expected - it was the heaviest falling snow that I think I've been out in. Still no great problem to be running in as there hadn't been time for any ice to form - slightly hard work going uphill but otherwise OK. (The most significant issue was that it was hard to tell in places what was road, what was footpath and what was park). As often on days like this, everybody who was actually out (and there were quite a few, either walking, running or cycling) was in a good mood and greeting everyone else who was out, and the traffic was eerily quiet. The snow was getting quite deep by the end - probably 5cm or so of additional accumulation in the hour I was out.

Quite a reasonable run as a run, too.

(And the forecast has been revised to 15-25cm, which I guess makes sense now that there's 10+ on the ground and it's still falling).

Tuesday Feb 22, 2011 #

8 AM

Run 2:03:00 [3] 24.4 km (5:02 / km)

Obviously I was tempting fate by talking about earthquakes a couple of days ago. Vancouver isn't immune itself - it's a region which gets them rarely, but has the potential to get really big ones (there's geological evidence of one of magnitude near 9.0 in 1700 - oddly enough, the exact date is known because of records of the associated tsunami in Japan), and a lot of the suburbs are on river delta sediments which are definitely not something you want to be on in a big earthquake, as Christchurch has found out.

(Another random coincidence in the disaster department is that my first two trips to Darwin both coincided with major terrorist attacks, which if nothing else proved that it is possible to get an international story on the front page of the NT News).

This run took in what I imagine is the classic Vancouver run - a loop of Stanley Park. I haven't run this before - in 2002 I was on one of that year's numerous abortive comebacks from compartment syndrome and hadn't yet started running again. That took in the first half - including a few photo stops on a clear chilly morning - before then heading out west for the second half as far as Jericho Beach. Hit some hills in the last quarter. Black ice a bit of a nuisance at times, along with some leftover sleet (as I was to find out on the way out of Vancouver, the snowline was about 50 metres).

The run had a very promising start which it didn't quite live up to, but still a solid long run, coming out of a flat patch in the middle - probably better than I was expecting after sleeping badly last night (and that hasn't even really caught up with me later today, which is surprising). A little left hip soreness in the middle but that disappeared by the end; Achilles also a little touchy but still much improved on last week.

Monday Feb 21, 2011 #

7 AM

Run 44:00 [3] *** 8.2 km (5:22 / km)

A shortish run from central Vancouver which included doing a few controls on the False Creek sprint map (would have liked to have done a bit more but had a fairly narrow window between first light and bus departure time) - reasonably standard urban sprint but still good to get the practice of that. Felt reasonably good for the most part.
10 AM

Skiing 2:00:00 [3]

Spent the rest of the day on Cypress Mountain, just out the back of Vancouver. In marked contrast to my previous visit to the slopes, the snow was excellent, the weather was not warm and the slopes, being a weekday, were uncrowded (I imagine the place gets packed at weekends). This made for a generally enjoyable day; the more powdery snow was a bit more demanding on muscles than the equivalent in Switzerland, which may or may not make its presence felt tomorrow.

Covered almost all the green and blue runs, with just one run at the top end of the blue range stretching me beyond my capabilities (although a few others streched me close to my limits).

Sunday Feb 20, 2011 #

11 AM

Run 23:30 [3] *** 3.0 km (7:50 / km)

Woke up to a stellar view of Vancouver and its backing mountains, not a common occurence in winter. I've been here once before in winter and the cloud base didn't rise above 200 metres in two days. (That visit also demonstrated how many Australians there were travelling in that part of the world; it was the day of the Newcastle earthquake and it was standing room only in the TV room of the Vancouver youth hostel when the TV news was on).

I'd posted on Pat's log about the possibility of getting some maps from last week's sprint camp, thinking I might get out for a run on a couple of the maps closer to the city, but it ended up turning into a full-on training day thanks to Thomas Nipen and Louise Oram, taking us down to the South Surrey area for three different sessions. It turns out Thomas is also in the meteorology game so we had plenty to talk about other than orienteering...

The first one was a route-choice exercise. Did this at jogging speed as a warm-up, testing different route choices in parallel with Louise. There was a certain amount of randomness to this as a major element in route choice wasn't reflected on the map - the difficulty of the various flights of stairs on the walking tracks - but still enjoyable - and I learned fairly quickly that the local forest was only to be entered in small doses.

Achilles was fine today for no obvious reason. It was fairly uncomfortable on the flight over but I think that's because of the angle you sit at on a plane. Apart from that the only real negative of the flight was that it was an hour late which meant missing out on all the Greenland and Arctic Canada views (instead of flying with the sunset we were an hour behind it).
12 PM

Run ((orienteering)) 19:15 [4] *** 2.4 km (8:01 / km)

Next step was running the WRE sprint course from last weekend - Thomas had even put some flags out for Louise and I (I definitely wasn't expecting this), as hard as I reasonably could at the moment.

The bulk of the course is in a mountain bike terrain park with tracks going everywhere (and not always linking together in a logical matter). The forest was a bit less thick than the last area and doable in small doses (to link tracks together).

Didn't hit any of the first three cleanly as I struggled to get used to reading the tracks and how quickly things came up in the forest at 1:4000; probably lost a minute or so over that section. Settled down after that but never felt totally in control in the forest sections. Running respectably well without being quite as aggressive as I'd like, but not feeling as hopelessly uncompetitive as I was at Christmas, which is at least some progress. Also good to get a hard-run sprint under my belt in advance of a couple of sprint races at home in the next three weeks.
2 PM

Run 14:10 [3] *** 2.6 km (5:27 / km)

O-intervals after lunch. More open forest than the other two (i.e. straight options were actually viable once in a while), and an older map which meant some of the small tracks weren't as accurate as they were on the other maps, but still an enjoyable session on the whole. Also discovered that mud is a lot less muddy when it's frozen (but not all of it was frozen, so I'll have some shoe-scrubbing to do before going home).

Didn't feel as good in this session as in the other two. This may have been because I'd eaten a bit too much for lunch or because jet lag was starting to catch up with (or all of the above).

On the whole a good day's work, and definitely a good experience to have. Thanks to Thomas and Louise for setting this up. (It's also a fine example of how connected we are in the orienteering world).

Saturday Feb 19, 2011 #

8 AM

Run 2:15:00 [3] 26.4 km (5:07 / km)

Finished off this stint in Geneva with a long run, a little later in the morning (i.e. it actually started in daylight) because my flight wasn't leaving until 1.20. Took the opportunity to explore to the north, a direction I hadn't really been in (partly because getting there required negotiating a couple of awkward road junctions which I thought might be a problem during the week).

As with my first run here, this one took me into France for a while. Last time I found Geneva's Queanbeyan but this time round it was a charming small town setting up for its Saturday market, before moving on to the closest proper forest to Geneva (which looked unexciting for orienteering - flat and probably pretty green in summer - but nice for a track run). Dropped down to the lake after that, via a nice section along a forested river, and back to base.

The far end also gave a sighting of a high school wall with a mural presumably of 1960s vintage given who was pictured on it (the ones I recognised were Martin Luther King, Marilyn Monroe and Che Guevera), and one of Switzerland's many fallout shelters. Melbourne also apparently has these - we found out a while back thanks to a Herald-Sun FOI request that the old Bureau building has one in its basement, but nobody has the responsibility for telling people of their existence in the event of their being required, or stocking them with supplies. It was difficult to argue with their headline 'N-PLAN IN A MUDDLE'.

This run was a good solid effort from the endurance point of view, but the Achilles continues to be at nuisance level, and also had my worst chafing for a while.

Now in Heathrow en route to Vancouver, where I'll be for a couple of days before moving on my next official engagement in Victoria on Wednesday. Planning to run some of last weekend's Vancouver sprint maps tomorrow, all being well.

Friday Feb 18, 2011 #

7 PM

Swimming 34:00 [2] 1.0 km (34:00 / km)

Went the distance this time without any equipment failures (once I'd worked out how to stop the new goggles digging into a sore spot on my nose). Once again it was hard to enjoy this because it was a bit too crowded, especially the person who was doing backstroke at twice my speed - and I know it was twice my speed because he whacked me at the same point of every lap. (What he was doing in the slow lane was not immediately obvious).

They don't seem to tire of voting in this part of the world - last week's referendum posters were replaced almost immediately by ones for Geneva's next date with democracy, local council elections next month.

Thursday Feb 17, 2011 #

7 AM

Run 2:01:00 [3] 23.2 km (5:13 / km)

A little bit out of sorts this morning and not entirely comfortable on the run - the Achilles continues to be at nuisance level and a few other bits of me felt like they were starting to seize up on the later part of this run - not sure if this is a response to going out twice yesterday or not. Still managed to battle through for the duration, on a run which was at its best on a scenic, albeit slow, section along a creekside path in the middle, as well as the agricultural section which immediately preceded it.

Can't say I was particularly surprised to find out that the 'Gillard government is only giving $1M to the flood appeal while hundreds of millions of your money goes to the Indonesians' message that was doing the rounds a few weeks back was of Queensland One Nation origin. It looks like they've now acquired the political nous to know there was fertile ground for their seeds to fall on, which is a worry - smart racists are much more dangerous than dumb racists.

And those who know their Shakespeare will have appreciated a Scottish Third Division football match on Tuesday night, in which both Macbeth and Malcolm were sent off (disappointingly it wasn't for fighting each other).

Wednesday Feb 16, 2011 #

7 AM

Run 1:00:00 [3] 11.8 km (5:05 / km)

Out to Bout-du-Monde and then along the river, a reasonably classic Geneva run (although the traffic at both ends was a bit less classic). Felt reasonably solid up the early hills but not really flowing well elsewhere.

The French have a way of making even the unattractive sound attractive (a 'place de reception des dechets urbains' is a rubbish tip), but I saw a couple of good ones today: a solarium which was a 'salon de bronzage', and a van offering 'depigeonnage', which might have been hard to work out if the business hadn't been called 'Stop Pigeon'.
6 PM

Run 41:00 [3] 8.1 km (5:04 / km)

A bit of a milestone today - the first time for the best part of 18 months that I've done what used to be a standard midweek double. It's not yet morning run plus Summer Series but it's a start: I'll be racing twice in a day in the not-too-distant future (although Bruce was making noises about 'resting' me from the sprint relay in Canberra) and it's as well to get used to being out twice in a day again.

The run itself was a fairly routine out-and-back along the Lake Geneva shoreline, quite pleasant apart from having to negotiate traffic early and late. You always feel faster than you actually are running in the dark.

Tuesday Feb 15, 2011 #

8 AM

Run intervals 20:00 [4] 2.6 km (7:42 / km)

10x1 minute again in the lakeside gardens, a bit slippery after overnight rain. Took a while to get going properly but came pretty good at the end, with the last three reps the best since I've been here (something I won't be putting to the test again until November).

Run warm up/down 20:00 [2] 4.0 km (5:00 / km)

Going to/from the intervals session. Achilles took a while to warm up and seems to be suffering from standard deterioration-because-calf-hasn't-had-a-proper-massage-for-a-while-on-overseas-trip syndrome; hopefully it will hold out for another couple of weeks.

Monday Feb 14, 2011 #

7 AM

Run 43:00 [3] 8.2 km (5:15 / km)

A reasonably mundane recovery run on a loop north from my (new) temporary abode. I wondered briefly if my flight last night had landed in Naples rather than Geneva when I came too close for comfort to being cleaned up by a motorbike being ridden along the footpath at one point, but that was all the excitement for the morning. Felt somewhat warm on Geneva's first above-freezing morning for a month, something not entirely unconnected with this evening's first moisture for more than a month (although perhaps not yet enough to trouble the scorers).

The gun control referendum went down, attracting a strong yes vote in Geneva, a less strong yes vote in the other major cities, and an overwhelming no vote in the country. I gather this is a reasonably common outcome of Swiss referenda. It would probably be a reasonably common outcome of Australian referenda, too, if we had more of them on hot-button issues, with Canberra (and perhaps Melbourne) substituted for Geneva (and is also strikingly similar to the outcome of the referendum on whether Norway should join the EU, another one which was successfully framed by its opponents as a battle between the elites and the people).

And it looks like I'm not the only person who's had issues with vehicles which don't float:

Sunday Feb 13, 2011 #

10 AM

Run 1:46:00 [3] 19.4 km (5:28 / km) +550m 4:47 / km

I went to bed last night having a feeling that the forecast of -15 would be conservative, and so it proved. On logging in this morning, it was -18 in central Oslo and -26 at Fornebu, the old airport (and reasonably representative of valleys in suburban Oslo).

There's a Scandinavian saying "there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes" (it rhymes in Norwegian, and probably in Swedish and Danish too), so this was no reason not to head out. By the time Jim and I did head out it had warmed up a little, probably to about -22 in the valleys and -10 on the top of the Holmenkollen hill, which was our destination; the former was the coldest I've been in (running or otherwise) since Canada 1989. If anything I was a bit overdressed for the warm hilltop section (although the effort of getting to said hilltop counted for something there).

Holmenkollen was the biggest climb I've taken on in months, and was reasonably hard work towards the end; wouldn't have wanted it to be much longer or steeper but managed to cope. (As with the Two Bays Run, a small climb after the main one was tougher than the main climb itself). Achilles a bit touchy on the descent but settled once back on the flat. Again most of the run was on snow in some form or other; Jim was a bit bolder on the steeper descents than I was. Quads feeling a bit fatigued at the end (although nowhere near as bad as some runs a month ago). I'm not sure this will do much to prepare me if it's low 30s in Canberra in March (or WA at Easter), but it was definitely a worthwhile experience.

As expected, the locals were not in the least deterred by the conditions and were out in droves on skis, walking dogs et al. - most noticeably a group of (presumably) African immigrants with cross-country skis undergoing some cultural assimilation.

Flew back to Geneva this evening. It feels warm, relatively speaking.

Saturday Feb 12, 2011 #

3 PM

Run 1:02:00 [3] 11.2 km (5:32 / km)

An afternoon run with my brother-in-law from their place in suburban Oslo, on a very nice afternoon once you get used to the idea of a Nordic winter (sunny and around -8 with no wind). The run was mostly on snow of varying degrees of depth and firmness (although with only short patches of deep soft stuff, and none of the ice that is more a feature of the inner city).

Not a bad run, and no sign of the Achilles soreness I\ve had a bit of the last couple of days - more of it after a couple of hours sitting on the plane than actually training. (The sitting on the plane was slightly suboptimal for other reasons because I was next to two drunks, but they didn't make too much of a nusiance of themselves - and Oslo Airport`s luggage delivery was so efficient that I landed at 10.40 last night and made the 10.56 train).

Definitely knew I was in Oslo catching the train out to Cassie and Jim\s place - half the platform was carrying skis and heading for Holmenkollen and points beyond.

Performed my first uncle duties today (without either dropping the baby or being thrown up on). Now engaging in a Norwegian sporting Saturday afternoon by watching the biathlon and the ski-jumping, and wondering what Australian TV commentators would make of one of the German ski-jumpers, one Andreas Wank.

Will also be interested to see when I get back to Geneva how the gun-laws referendum went. I have even less time for Swiss gun lobbyists than those in most other countries because of their role, seeing us as a threat to hunting interests, in dragging Swiss orienteering through a series of expensive legal battles in the 1980s and 1990s.

Friday Feb 11, 2011 #

12 PM

Swimming 20:00 [2] 0.6 km (33:20 / km)

A swim which came to an abrupt end because of a goggles failure, which was a pity because it was going along pretty well, despite the lane again being too crowded for its own good (or perhaps because the crowds provided an incentive). Still a bit of right shoulder/arm soreness, but of the 'a bit of work will do this good' variety (I think).

Off to Oslo this evening. The forecast has backed off a bit - now only looks like about -10.

Noticed in the local papers that someone was killed during the week at the resort I skied at last weekend - they came to grief on the Chavanette Wall, renowned as the most difficult run in Switzerland, and closed because of ice and a lack of snow. You'd really expect a 65-year-old to know better.

Thursday Feb 10, 2011 #

6 AM

Run 2:01:00 [3] 23.3 km (5:12 / km)

A reasonably solid long run, if a little lacking in energy at times. In darkness for most of the first half with an earlier start than last week. For the third time in as many long runs, my map memory was slightly astray and I didn't go quite where I intended (ending up retracing last Thursday's steps for about 20 minutes in the middle), but that's often not a bad way to explore. Changed plans again when it turned out that one area with widely spread small roads on the map, which I thought might have been semi-rural, was actually a "zone industrielle", but found a nice way back to town (most of the way).

Wednesday Feb 9, 2011 #

7 AM

Run 1:17:00 [3] 15.0 km (5:08 / km)

Out to the south of Geneva around the back of the golf course, but using a different way to get to the top of the hill this time, using quieter back roads and seeing even more extravagant real estate than I did last time I was in this part of the world. A somewhat longer run than planned, which wasn't really a drama. OK on the steeper climbs, but probably not more than OK. Achilles a bit touchy this morning but shoulder is improving.

I found out last night that Argentina are playing Portugal in Geneva tonight. Would have been a good game to go to but it doesn't look like there are any tickets available, so hopefully it will be on TV.

Tuesday Feb 8, 2011 #

8 AM

Run intervals 20:00 [4] 2.5 km (8:00 / km)

Again the 10x1 minute cycle. Didn't feel quite as sharp as last week but going a bit faster, which has to be a good sign. A bit slippery underfoot on the frosty grass. Shoulder a bit more of a nuisance at speed than it was at a slower pace, but only a nuisance, nothing more.

Run 21:00 [3] 4.0 km (5:15 / km)

Warming up/down for the intervals session. Felt a little out of sorts early but settled down reasonably well.

Monday Feb 7, 2011 #

7 AM

Run 43:00 [3] 8.3 km (5:11 / km)

Geneva's channelling Canberra in July this week (-5 by night, +12 by day) and there was a certain familiarity to the scenes this morning, frosty grass and people scraping ice off car windscreens (although they have proper tools for that here; in Canberra the weapon of choice, at least in the days before plastic drivers licences, was the Medicare card).

The run was reasonably mundane for the first half up through the Old Town, but caught alight in the last 10 minutes, probably the best I've felt on a run for several months, floating along the path next to the lake. A bit disappointed to pull this up but there was work to be done.

My right shoulder was sore this morning for no obvious reason (possibly bruised from Saturday morning's crash?). It was a non-issue running but I probably wouldn't have wanted to be swimming today.

This weekend's long run in Oslo could be interesting. Depending on which forecast you believe, Sunday morning will be somewhere between -15 and -24, which in turn would make it my coldest run since either Albuquerque 2001 or Canada 1989. Still prefer this to +35.

Sunday Feb 6, 2011 #

7 AM

Run 1:01:00 [3] 11.2 km (5:27 / km)

Another mountain village run, a slightly longer one this time, going up to the next centre, Grand Paradis. The main interest in this turned out to be meteorological: it was +6 at the chalet, +1 in the village, and a fair bit colder than that at Grand Paradis 2k up the road, which is a semi-enclosed bowl which gets no sunlight for three months a year and still has a decent snow cover - it was cold enough to be painful on the skin, which to me means at least -5, probably closer to -10. Coming back it warmed so quickly in the space of 50 metres that it felt like stepping back into a heated room.

The run probably wasn't quite as good as yesterday, although on the positive side, I again managed the climb home OK, and the left hip soreness which made its presence felt after skiing was a non-issue on the run; probably just muscle stiffness.
10 AM

Skiing 2:00:00 [2]

Another day on the ski slopes, venturing a bit further afield today. I was a bit more comfortable with my own level today (at least until being forced out of my comfort zone by the last two runs of the day, which were more challenging than I'd have done by choice but were the least difficult way to get back to the cablecar). I was rather less comfortable with what everyone else was doing on the slopes - it was pretty crowded (probably because the snow conditions were sufficiently ordinary that most people were seeking out the same few runs with decent cover) and some people were doing some pretty strange things; it's challenging enough for me to handle myself without having to try to second-guess what others are going to do. (Lowlight of the day was someone who ignored a sign 'slow: piste crossing' sign, kept going at full speed and took out someone coming across, fortunately without obvious damage to either party).

Again very warm for the season, and quite slushy in exposed areas by the end of the day. It was still daylight when I started heading back to Geneva, which was perhaps unfortunate as I got to see some very ugly valley towns incongruously perched amidst gorgeous surroundings.

Definitely feel as if I've done a solid weekend's work (although no muscles started screaming mid-piste like they did a couple of times yesterday).

Saturday Feb 5, 2011 #

7 AM

Run 41:00 [3] 7.5 km (5:28 / km)

Started the day out with a run, albeit a short one. As one might expect of an alpine village there aren't a lot of flat places to go, which is not really such a bad thing. A reasonably routine run but fairly happy with how I handled the climb back to where I'm staying (1.5km at about 10%), and didn't seem to make too much of a mess of my quads with the downhill start.

The valley was a frost hollow par excellence this morning: +3 where I was staying, but probably about -5 on the valley floor.
10 AM

Skiing 2:00:00 [2]

First foray onto the slopes since 2005. I've never been the world's most expert skier but counted myself in my Canberra days as a reasonable intermediate. It didn't take too long to discover that the scale of things is different here, spending the first few runs discovering my limits (and only having one crash in the process of discovering them). Probably only about a quarter of the runs were within my range, but by late morning I'd found a set I was comfortable with and had a pretty enjoyable afternoon. Getting back to the cablecar wasn't so much fun as the snow conditions were getting pretty ordinary on that side of the range.

The range straddles the French/Swiss border - I'm staying on the Swiss side but the snow was better on the French side so it was well worth heading for there. There hasn't been any new snow for three weeks and today was quite warm (probably +4 at 2000m).

No doubt I'll learn a few things in the morning about muscles that aren't normally heavily worked (I already found out a few things about said muscles on some of the sharper traverses, to say nothing of the inadequacy of my arm muscles on my one venture onto a poma - stuck to chairlifts after that).

Friday Feb 4, 2011 #

1 PM

Swimming 35:00 [2] 1.0 km (35:00 / km)

A lunchtime swim which is a bit of a change of habit (Geneva pools don't do early mornings). Sometimes a bit crowded to be pleasant but on the whole a fairly reasonable swim.

Added to my local sporting experience last night with a trip to the ice hockey, where Geneva beat Fribourg 3-1 (apparently something of an upset) to assure themselves of a place in the finals. I'm still none the wiser as to what forms of contact are actually against the rules. There was also the mandatory all-in brawl, although they left it until the last possible moment (eight seconds remaining on the clock).

Off to the ski slopes this weekend; not sure if I'll be on here before Monday.

Thursday Feb 3, 2011 #

7 AM

Run 2:00:00 [3] 23.0 km (5:13 / km)

Feeling somewhat better this morning (a proper night's sleep helped) and set forth on a long run on a very nice morning for it, a clear morning, starting under the stars and seeing the morning gradually emerge as the run went on - I can appreciate why sunrise is such a good moment in a rogaine. Of course, there is a consequence of a dry, clear morning at this time of year, but minus 7 isn't so bad for running if you're dressed for the occasion.

Enjoyed myself and reasonably comfortable for most of the way - at its best in the semi-rural areas in the middle (at least those bits which weren't downwind of the piggery). Once again saw a bit of the singletrack next to the Rhone with associated sharp climbs and descents, this time on the south side. Slower than I'd like, although I'm not convinced the Garmin is reading properly in the inner city (either that or I'm suddenly slowing to 7 min/km every time I hit the main square). If I was conspiratorially inclined I might be thinking that the top-secret mind-control beams being emitted from UN headquarters were interfering with the satellites.

Wednesday Feb 2, 2011 #


Probably wouldn't be a great day to be doing a repeat of this session:

7 AM

Run 1:00:00 [3] 11.2 km (5:21 / km)

Awoke, still not 100% well, to the news of the imminent destruction of Mission Beach and the imminent arrival of a new relative.

It goes without saying that it was -1 again, but with a bit more wind which counts for something at that temperature; not a day to be going along the lakeshore. Instead I took to the riverbank downstream from the lake, on a track which was a good deal more adventurous than I was expecting, with lots of rough single track up and down and a few bits of stair work. Enjoyed that section and have noted for future reference. The return through the suburbs wasn't quite as exciting, and I was struggling a bit for enthusiasm by the last 10 minutes.

It took a few more hours for Max Alexander Nybraten to make his appearance (or at least for me to hear about it).

Definitely a day when I was struggling to concentrate on the work I was supposed to be doing.

Tuesday Feb 1, 2011 #

8 AM

Run intervals 20:00 [4] 3.0 km (6:40 / km)

10x1 minute in Mon Repos park, half slightly uphill, half slightly downhill. Had a pretty rough night with the beginnings of a cold (which so far don't seem to have become any more than beginnings) and didn't get much sleep after 4, but this was a pretty reasonable run, feeling as if I had a bit of pace (although the times - or to be more precise the distances covered a minute - were still nothing to get excited about).

A slight change in conditions would be nice - the temperature hasn't budged out of a range between -0.1 and -1.8 since I've been here. Perhaps Australia has sucked in all the world's supply of interesting weather. That said, it's quite nice to run in.

Run warm up/down 21:00 [3] 4.0 km (5:15 / km)

Warming up/down for the speed session. Achilles a bit tight when I started but loosened up pretty quickly.

Met quite a few people today, including the director of the Egyptian meteorological service, who appeared to be genuinely interested in the weather (by no means a prerequisite for a director of a national meteorological service in Africa), something I take as a hint that he probably isn't a political appointment and therefore probably won't be seeking alternative employment (or asylum) this time next week. His Tunisian counterpart has apparently already been advised that his services are no longer required.

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