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Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 30 days ending Sep 30, 2011:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run26 27:25:47 178.04 286.53 2050104 /126c82%
  Pool running5 3:45:00 2.17(1:43:27) 3.5(1:04:17)
  Swimming4 2:24:00 1.86 3.0
  Total35 33:34:47 182.08 293.03 2050104 /126c82%

» now

Friday Sep 30, 2011 #

7 AM

Pool running 45:00 [2] 0.7 km (1:04:17 / km)

In sounding-worse-but-not-feeling-as-bad mode; won't be at 100% for tomorrow but shouldn't be catastrophically bad (it's perhaps fortunate that I'm acting my age tomorrow and won't be doing a proper long race until next week). A fairly relaxed session at Ivanhoe.

The No Carbon Tax demo at the Bureau ended up being a spectacular flop - depending on who you spoke to, the attendance was either three or four (plus four police). I think this officially surpasses the 1991 anti-Gulf War protest at ANU (nine speakers, eight in the audience) as the biggest protest fizzer in my recollection, and in the 1991 case the wind was rather taken out of the sails of the protest by the fact that the war which they were protesting against had ended several hours before the protest started.

Thursday Sep 29, 2011 #

(sick) (rest day)

Not great timing for a cold, although hopefully I'll be through the worst of it by Saturday. I seem to be cursed when it comes to Australia-NZ Challenges - I've had to pull out of both of my last two teams because of injury in the last couple of days before the event (ankle in 2000, broken arm in 2005). At least this year there is no sprint race to injure myself in between now and then.

In regular training mode I'd probably have tried to get out for at least a token effort, but at this point there was nothing to be gained by doing so.

Some slightly careless wording in a news story today claimed that people who spend more than 10 hours a day sitting at a desk have a 48% higher chance of dying. Last time I looked 100% was not 48% greater than 100%. (Reminds me a bit of the story some year ago which stated that one-third of people who take up smoking will die, which sounds like a pretty good incentive to take it up - a two-thirds chance of immortality...). Matters morbid were on our minds a bit today with the news that our cancer-stricken colleague (who's only a couple of years older than me) probably isn't going to last more than another few weeks.

And screaming headlines elsewhere claimed that Andrew Bolt has been silenced. He's been silenced so effectively that he devoted pages 1, 7, 36 and 37 of today's Herald-Sun to telling us about it.

Wednesday Sep 28, 2011 #

1 PM

Run 44:00 [3] 9.0 km (4:53 / km)

A lunchtime run, having decided that it wasn't worth getting up early in the morning after an IOF Foot-O Commission hookup last night which went until midnight. Managed to slot in between the first light band of rain and the second much heavier one (which featured a light show which lasted for several hours) and had a mostly dry run, although Melbourne's runners need a collective dose of Harden Up because the Tan was pretty much deserted (and I don't think we can blame school holidays for that).

This was a fair run although Achilles still a bit sore. Started out with a colleague who's a fair bit better than me these days (he has a realistic chance of breaking my Bureau of Meteorology marathon record in a couple of weeks' time), which pulled me along a bit. I started to feel a bit unwell during the afternoon which is a bit of a worry at this point; will see how I feel in the morning before making any decision about what to do.

One of the sights of the day was a group of mounted police with riot shields, possibly getting some training in before the planned festivities at our premises on Friday morning - or they might be training to deal with what happens on Saturday night if Collingwood lose. (Also sighted on the run were five Collingwood supporters at various points, only one of whom had a visibly incomplete set of teeth).

Tuesday Sep 27, 2011 #

7 AM

Run 1:12:00 [3] 15.0 km (4:48 / km)

The longest run I'll do in a short lead-up week. Like just about every other run of the last fortnight, this one started indifferently but soon settled down as I headed out along the Yarra; some good patches at times and a bit faster than some recent runs. Still not brilliant but a step in the right direction.

I then had my fastest ride into work for a while; having a properly-pumped up tyre helps (as does the lack of school-related traffic, it being school holidays).

Oddity of the day was looking up a place by the name of Cryna in Queensland on Google (to see whether it was a placename or an acronym) and seeing as two of the leading links, a real estate site purporting to offer good deals on commercial real estate leases in Cryna and a dating site purporting to have details of lots of single men and women in Cryna. The satellite image on Google Maps suggests that Cryna is a road junction and not much else, so I'm sceptical that either site would deliver what it promised. This prompted me to look up Betoota, which famously had a population of 1 (an elderly man) for many years (I believe it's now zero). Google didn't claim any links to commercial real estate there, but there were links claiming to offer properties for rent, and profiles of local women.

Monday Sep 26, 2011 #

7 AM

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

Took a long time to get going but in the end turned into a reasonably standard recovery run, albeit in the morning rather than the evening (less to recover from than there usually is, too). No sign of the back/hamstring problems of yesterday.

The area around Fitzroy Pool is popular with bill posters, and in amongst the upcoming concerts (Dolly Parton, anyone?) was an ad for the appearance of Eddie Everywhere and sundry others I haven't heard of at something called a 21st Century Financial Summit. Seeing mention of such things reminds me of our old next-door neighbour in Albert Park, a 'colourful entrepeneur' who eventually disappeared to Hong Kong leaving $50 million in debts behind him, before resurfacing a few years later running financial advice seminars in which one of the items was 'how to separate your assets from your creditors'. Disappointingly, I was out of town the day the AFP paid him an early-morning visit (also disappointingly, I wasn't out of town the day I had to convince a couple of fairly hefty blokes at the front door that the person they wanted didn't live here).
8 AM

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

Didn't really get going in this session; intermittent goggles trouble didn't help. A bit later than usual which also meant it was a bit less crowded (not that Fitzroy ever gets that crowded). Always nice to be out in the spring sunshine.

Sunday Sep 25, 2011 #

8 AM

Run 1:31:00 [3]

Today was apparently International Stay in Bed Day (in support of raising awareness of some disease or other), but my one concession to it was to stay there until near 7. Headed out for a bit of a hitout with Bruce from his place, occasionally venturing onto some rougher ground (including in an area I hadn't been to before, the NMIT grounds).

Not a great run - my back/hamstring was occasionally troublesome and will need watching. (The back tightened up badly during a toilet stop after 30 minutes and I was worried that my run would end then and there, but it was OK once I stood up). I've had experience of this before so am not too worried about next weekend, at least not yet.

Saturday Sep 24, 2011 #

1 PM

Run race ((orienteering)) 42:21 [4] *** 6.5 km (6:31 / km) +250m 5:28 / km

Made the trip to Diamond Hill, feeling that I needed a bit more technical work after rather too many careless mistakes on straightforward gully-spur controls in the last few weeks. Not the greatest of runs physically; still think I'm not 100% well, and took until the second half before I felt as if I had any fluency in the terrain. Decent technically though; 15-seconders at 2 and 16 but clean otherwise. Ended up 2 seconds behind Warren, and somewhat more than 2 seconds behind Evan.

You don't go into this game for pretty legs and today was especially prickly. At least the prickles don't seem to embed themselves in one's body long-term like WA ones do.

Epic Fail of the Day: to the person or persons responsible for the reference to "Julie" Gillard on the front page of today's Age. As subediting blues go, getting the name of the Prime Minister wrong on the front page is about as good (or bad) as it gets.

(The standards of political subediting haven't been great lately. There seems to have been a fair bit of confusion as to whether the name of a certain allegedly enthusiastic user of union credit cards has a "p" in it - it doesn't - and one, possibly an Adelaide supporter, even called him "Scott Thomson").

Friday Sep 23, 2011 #

7 AM

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

A reasonably standard session at Fitzroy, which has a new clock (which looks harder to read than the old one, but the test will be doing it through foggy goggles on the last lap next Monday).

Vehicle sights of the morning: (a) the clearly committed supporter who had a bright purple ute sporting a Fremantle Dockers sticker and (b) the big 4WD with a mountain cattlemen's bumper sticker with a big Australian flag flying off the aerial. I'm guessing they didn't vote for the Greens.

Also unlikely to vote for the Greens are those who are planning to attend next Friday's No Carbon Tax demo in Melbourne, which is being organised outside our premises - although they obviously don't know who does what where because it's going to be outside our Victorian forecasting office (we climate people are in a different building). Naturally word of this has been passed to certain comrades who are in no way being encouraged to organise a counter-demo (in fact I believe two separate counter-demos are being planned; this could be fun). What will be splendidly ironic is if the demo coincides with the announcement of this September as Melbourne's warmest on record, probably a 50:50 chance at present.

Thursday Sep 22, 2011 #

7 AM

Run 1:33:00 [3] 18.4 km (5:03 / km)

Another rather patchy run as I gradually ease back the long run distance. Hamstring tightness at times. Probably at its best on its toughest section, the middle through the hills of Templestowe, but never really sparkled. A bit later in the morning than usual because of a 9am meeting with the OA auditor, but it didn't seem to make a lot of difference to the run.

I've noticed that I'm going to be in Spain on their election day, which could be interesting. A past experience with a European election was being in Milan on the day of regional elections in 2004; there was a certain irony to the fact that the party whose representatives were most enthusiastic about pressing their literature into my hand was one whose principal platform was kicking foreigners out of Italy.

Wednesday Sep 21, 2011 #

1 PM

Run intervals 15:20 [4] 3.8 km (4:02 / km)

Another slightly-off-my-best run, a 3x1k session on the Tan which was 3-5 seconds slower per repeat than last time was (although still faster than anything else this year). Felt like I was working fairly hard; perhaps not 100% well (woke up coughing at times last night).

Run 33:00 [3] 6.5 km (5:05 / km)

Going to/from the Tan, in the process seeing an entry for the Department of the Bleeding Obvious, council workers installing 'Subject to Flooding' signs on the bike path under the Swan Street bridge. (This underpass floods at high tide in any decent southwesterly, and judging by the amount of debris on the path, did so again at some point in the last day or two).

And today's bit of bizarreness was the deer's head found in a Queanbeyan shopping mall. Presumably Queanbeyan's mafiosi have run out of horses.

Tuesday Sep 20, 2011 #

7 AM

Run intervals ((fartlek)) 40:00 [4] 9.0 km (4:27 / km)

I've gone off the boil a little bit in the last few days and today was indicative of that, a little slower than last week although surface water (following a quite attractive thunderstorm last night) might have had a little to do with that. Started a little frustrated after spending half an hour trying without success to get a bike tyre back on the rim (my next-door neighbour, with a better lever, and probably a better technique and more brute strength, managed it inside a minute).

Monday Sep 19, 2011 #

7 AM

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

Swim at Fitzroy. Felt pretty good despite a little hip soreness at times, and second half a bit faster than in recent weeks. The person with the three bottles of product was there again this morning.

The ride in didn't go quite so well - my front tyre has been gradually deflating for months (the valve is broken) and my commuting times have been drifting backwards commensurately. This morning I finally decided it has reached the point of being unrideable, bailed out and got the tram instead.
7 PM

Run 36:00 [3] 6.4 km (5:37 / km)

MFR Monday night from Vanessa and Ilka's, acting as the token bloke. In years gone by, venturing into these parts on this particular day could have been a perilous exercise, but (a) Brendan Fevola no longer plays for Carlton and (b) Naughton's Hotel is no longer trading. Instead the only perils were presented by a squally northerly wind (which became a squally westerly after we finished); this may well be the warmest run I do before December given that I'll be missing for most of November.

Didn't feel particularly brilliant, although better in the second half.

Sunday Sep 18, 2011 #

11 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 1:09:32 [4] *** 9.9 km (7:01 / km) +440m 5:45 / km

State Series at Belltopper Hill. I think the last time we were here was about 15 years ago; its previous incarnation featured a run which was probably the high-water mark of the few weeks in 1994 when I could lay some sort of claim to being the best in the country. Since then there's been a fire down the south end and the old paddock in the centre of the map has become a bit more overgrown (most of us suspect we spent more time in said paddock than the mapper did), but most of it is still classic steepish Victorian gully-spur.

This was not one of my better days; dropping 4 minutes or so on a gully-spur course is not good enough. The two worst errors (2 minutes at 2, 1 minute at 4) were both on bingoish controls - bushfire regrowth was a factor in the former - but I should still be able to get these OK. Second half better both physically and technically, but never as strong uphill as was the case last week. Jim took 5 minutes out of me, and I suspect Bruce will take more (I haven't seen his time yet).

Saturday Sep 17, 2011 #

8 AM

Run 1:00:00 [3] 12.0 km (5:00 / km)

Knee was a bit sore on the bike yesterday and early on today, but OK once I got going. Not the most brilliant of runs, but definitely better than Wednesday or Thursday, especially in the second half.

Most of the rest of the day was spent either preparing to have a somewhat belated celebration of a significant milestone or actually doing so. (If you're wondering why it was so belated, this was the first weekend since 8 July that my parents and I were in the country simultaneously).

Friday Sep 16, 2011 #

7 AM

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

A fairly routine if relaxing Friday morning session in the pool, spending a certain amount of time thinking of good one-liners relating to the overnight events in Mitchell.

The metrosexual is not exactly an unknown species in Fitzroy, so I was less surprised than I might have been in other places to note that the occupant of the next shower had three separate bottles of product.

As many Melbourne people will know (not least the numerous Melbourne orienteers who have been employed by them at some point), the Melbourne Bicycle Centre has a permanent 'sale' sign outside. There's a bit of a change now - it's a 'renovation sale' instead.

Thursday Sep 15, 2011 #

6 AM

Run 1:45:00 [3] 21.0 km (5:00 / km)

About the most positive thing that could be said about this run is that it's light for the start of my Thursday long runs now (not that I'll be doing another proper Thursday long run until late October or early November). Otherwise it was pretty similar to yesterday morning, just lasted for longer; perhaps I'm not used to going back to the hard Wednesday night/long(ish) Thursday morning combination?

Wednesday Sep 14, 2011 #

7 AM

Run 1:02:00 [3] 12.1 km (5:07 / km)

A run from Canterbury station, in preparation for tonight, out to Box Hill and Wattle Park. This proved to be a pretty dismal run, again one where I didn't seem to be properly awake - a bit of a problem on morning runs at the moment. Improved a bit in the last 20 minutes.
7 PM

Run race ((street-O)) 42:43 [4] * 9.3 km (4:36 / km)

I'd hoped that this morning was an aberration and it looks like it might have been.

Putting in a Wednesday night appearance was almost as much about doing business (in the form of offloading assorted items of Oceania carnival gear brought back from NSW) as it was about running. Once the run got under way, it looked reasonably routine and uninspiring for the first 15 minutes, although it was already obvious that we were a long way ahead of the clock.

At that stage I was about 80 metres behind Ian Davies, who might have found Kooyoora a bit beyond his current capabilities (I suspect 70 minutes will be the year's longest split) but is pretty quick on the streets. A route choice on the next leg sliced 50 metres off the gap, and when we were close together at the next control I decided to have a crack - the first time I've managed to successfully throw a surge at someone for ages. This fed into a pretty good second half, flowing well down the hills and attacking the climbs with some degree of confidence. It's still not remotely in the league of Bryan (who was four minutes ahead today) or Bruce, but it's progress - my kilometre rate tonight was on a par with the best I managed in daylight last summer.

I'm pleased by the signs of continued progress, and at present feel like I'm probably running as well as has been the case at any time since my initial Achilles-induced layoff in November 2009. There's still some way to go to get back to where I was in October 2009, but it's a start.

Tuesday Sep 13, 2011 #

7 AM

Run intervals ((orienteering)) 40:00 [4] 9.0 km (4:27 / km)

Again felt a bit sleepy as I did last week but quite good once I started running, an easier process than it was a couple of weeks ago; my Achilles has settled significantly in the last week or so and no longer requires a few minutes of shuffling to start.

The pace continues to improve a bit - more convincingly under 10 this time, although wasn't quite as fast as it sometimes felt. Still feel as if I'm running into reasonable form at about the right time.

I also had a look at my 1995 NOL map. The fallen timber (from a recent storm) that made its presence felt at times on Sunday must have slowed the area down more than I thought, because in 1995 I did 5.8 minutes/km (compared with 7.6 on Sunday) on a course with similar length and climb - albeit with more consistent rolling hills and fewer really steep bits - and I haven't slowed down that much. (The forest must have been much more open because I took straight non-track route choices on some legs in 1995 which I wouldn't have considered in 2011).

And a rather unfortunate juxtaposition from an ABC promo yesterday "On 7.30 tonight: could 9/11 happen again, and how Sam Stosur did it". And to think we wasted all this time looking for Osama bin Laden.

Monday Sep 12, 2011 #

12 AM


This is not a PB for the longest solo drive home after a major event - that remains as the 930km after the 2007 SA Championships in Burra - but 890km is still a fair way. The last couple of hours did take a certain amount of the same mental application as was called on for eight-contour climbs out of the second-last control earlier in the day; my legs felt as if they were on the point of cramping several times. I made it home a few seconds after midnight.

I did take the opportunity to do a site visit at Wyalong (and didn't even notice until I downloaded the photos this morning that there was a very photogenic storm cloud and rainbow in the background - not sure if it's quite calendar material, but I'm still happy with it).

The trip did teach a lesson about how much fuel you save when sitting behind a truck as I was for 70km out of Narrandera. It also told me just how many local councils in all directions proudly proclaim themselves as the "gateway" to the Riverina ('nothing to see here but least we're on the way to somewhere!'). I guess Coolamon was hardly going to put up a sign which said "Welcome to Coolamon Shire: Highest Sexual Assault Rate in NSW".
8 AM

Swimming 36:00 [2] 1.0 km (36:00 / km)

A bit later than usual, having taken the decision from the benefit of recent experience that arriving better-rested half an hour later at work was worth a couple of hours of extra productivity once I got there (it's good to be in a workplace which offers that flexibility). Not as stiff as I was expecting to be, and a decent swim even if I did drift out of it a little bit towards the end.
1 PM

Run 45:00 [3] 9.0 km (5:00 / km)

Perhaps sitting for 11 hours in a car isn't such a bad way to recover from a long race. This was a remarkably smooth run in the circumstances, heading out at lunchtime on the Tan in nice running conditions. Never felt remotely uncomfortable; a very encouraging performance. We'll learn more in the remainder of the week.

Sunday Sep 11, 2011 #

10 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 1:37:48 [4] *** 12.9 km (7:35 / km) +605m 6:08 / km

There were a couple of good omens for this event. The previous time I'd run on the Rydal map (albeit starting at the other end) was the first of my two career National League wins (admittedly in just about the weakest men's field ever to contest a National League race), and the last time September 11 fell on a Sunday I won my first Victorian state championship at senior level. I didn't win my first NSW championships at senior level - NSW and WA remain the only holes in that record - but I did get closer than I thought I was going to, ending up second 4 1/2 minutes behind Shep.

The race didn't get off to a good start when I lost a minute on the first control, a mountain bike track bend (perhaps I should do some training on green courses because my most significant errors both days this weekend were on green-course controls). I won't blame distraction by trying to work out who was the Little Foot who did the time calls on the start robot.

It settled reasonably well after that, but I didn't feel as if I was going all that quickly, an impression reinforced when Lachlan went through me at 4 and I only stayed sort of in touch with him through to 7 because he lost a bit of time on a route choice to 5. (I wasn't sure whether he was on my course - I knew he was entered in M20 but thought he might have changed to M21 and filled the vacant spot two minutes behind me, but in fact it was just a common section of our courses). By then Josh wasn't too far away from me, and through mid-course it was looking as if the only way I was going to finish 4 1/2 minutes behind the winner was if he was the winner (and that even then hanging on within 30 seconds of him was going to be a stretch).

Josh pulled away from me on the long leg to 12 - with hindsight he would have been better off not doing so - but I knew the race was only just starting then, with some serious climbing in the last quarter of the course. I was reasonably happy with my strength in this section, particularly the tough last climb out of 17 where I was trying to tell myself "this is where Cadel makes his move", but was still surprised to get to the finish and see no Josh, and still no Josh for the next few minutes. At first I thought I might have taught the youngsters a thing or two about pacing in long-distance races, but it turned out he'd actually made a massive parallel error in the mountain-goat country at 13 and put himself squarely in "if I were going there I wouldn't be starting from here" territory. Without that mistake he would have won.

It may say something about my racing style that on a day when I came a competitive second in a field with only three real contenders (although Kas, until he punched the wrong last control, and Alex gave decent accounts of themselves), I only won one split of 19. Notwithstanding this, I was reasonably happy with this and will get a bit more confidence leading into the championship season.

An oddity of the M21A field was that only one of them (I think, unless Boadhan is 21?) was between 21 and 35, and that one only just. The limited field was a bit disappointing; obviously I didn't expect many to come from Victoria, but the timing of this race made it an ideal lead-in to the bigger things to come and I thought there would be a much stronger NSW/ACT presence than there actually was. State championships certainly don't carry the significance they once did (although the increasing strength of the NOL has a bit to do with this).

Saturday Sep 10, 2011 #

1 PM

Run race ((orienteering)) 42:30 [4] **** 3.8 km (11:11 / km) +155m 9:17 / km

NSW Middle Distance Championships at Gardiners Gap. This was an area I last ran on at the 1997 NSW Championships and chiefly remembered for three things, all of which had at most indirect connections to a fairly forgettable performance: (a) it coincided with a very well-publicised car crash in Paris (b) I came within a second of being beaten on kilometre rates by Cassie (who later came pretty close to beating me outright when she ran M21A on the second day of the 2000 QB3; I suspect that being beaten by one's little sister is not something one would live down in a hurry) and (c) the very narrow gap between cliffs which proved to be so narrow that Scotty got through easily, I got through not-easily and Jock didn't get through at all and had to take a detour of several hundred metres.

That gap wasn't a gap on the 2011 edition of the map. That wasn't the only thing that had changed about the map - it turned out that it was printed at 1:7500 by mistake, although I don't think anyone really noticed while they were out there. (I did think some things came up quickly in the less slow areas but the idea of an incorrect scale didn't occur to me). It's probably as well for the winning times that the courses were 25% shorter than advertised.

The course itself, as one might expect of a middle distance course in sandstone country, concentrated on the heavy rock, including three smallish loops from a pivot control. (I thought there was a pretty good chance that at least one person would miss a loop, and today's victim was Josh). For a lot of the course I felt I was running the course reasonably well technically, although not really attacking the terrain as much as I should have been. The wheels fell off a bit towards the end, though. On 16 I chickened out on going down a mapped gap and then made a bit of a mess of the control too, on 17 I was a bit wide (on a control I'd already been to three times), but then I screwed up the second-last control, a watercourse that should have been just about the easiest control on the course. Those misses accounted for about 4 minutes between them. For a while I thought my cunning plan of running M21 to avoid the faster opposition on the same course in M20 and M35 might have worked, but then Shep put a deserved 10 minutes into me (without errors it still would have been 6).

Lithgow is a nice setting but is still rather devoid of eating places (particularly if you want something other than a variation on meat-and-veg). Like a lot of others I ended up eating a mediocre pasta at the Lithgow Workers, where the mood was a fair bit better than it would have been the following night after their rugby league grand final loss in Orange.

Friday Sep 9, 2011 #

7 AM

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

Melbourne's longest dry spell in the cooler half of the year since 1899 ended not long before the start of this session, and the process of ending it was still under way as I got in. It was a bit of a novelty to be doing this session is reasonably heavy rain - no great drama in the pool but the chair I left my towel under wasn't as effective at keeping the rain off as I thought it would be...

This seemed a fairly routine session except for a moment about halfway through when I got a nasty cramp in my right calf - I've felt on the verge of cramping during this session a few times before but this is the first time it's happened properly. I'm a little surprised as the weather isn't warm and yesterday's session wasn't really out of the ordinary. It settled down within a minute or so and didn't recur.

The rain was clearly a novelty for Melbourne's drivers, too, judging by the long list of accident reports on the radio (although I suspect a few crucial words were missing from the statement "there's been a collision between the Tullamarine Freeway and Pascoe Vale Road").

On the road to NSW Champs this afternoon.

Thursday Sep 8, 2011 #

6 AM

Run 2:01:00 [3] 24.0 km (5:03 / km)

One of these years I'll learn that trying to burn candles at both ends is a Really Bad Idea and that attempting to do a long early-morning run after a late-night teleconference is asking for trouble. (At least I shouldn't have another late-night teleconference this year; the next hookup is when I'm in Geneva).

I headed out at 6.10 but didn't wake up until 7.45. I did manage to avoid doing anything too stupid in the intervening interval and kept pumping out the kilometres, somewhat unconvincingly, in the vague general direction of Surrey Hills (where I had some maps to drop off at Belinda Dale's place). Started to come good in the last half-hour (in advance of a less than productive day at work). From past experience I should be fine after a decent night's sleep.

And an AFL investigation has found that Dean Wallis is an idiot. Most Essendon supporters worked that out at around 4.45 p.m. on September 18, 1999.

Wednesday Sep 7, 2011 #

7 AM

Run 1:00:00 [3] 11.7 km (5:08 / km)

Felt a bit spaced-out this morning, although a bit better towards the end. Never a great run and some moments where it was a real struggle, especially up hills. A bit of a pity to waste a nice morning for it.

Random fact of the day: the Australian Defence Force puts more money into music in Australia than the official arts funding bodies do.

And it looks like the weekend's system for NSW has lost most of its moisture - it will still be very cold but I'm now not expecting anything more substantial than a few snow flurries with little or no accumulation.
1 PM

Run intervals 15:15 [4] 3.83 km (3:59 / km)

Repeat of last week's session, 3x1k on the Tan. I didn't enter this with a lot of confidence after this morning's ordinary effort - although the warm-up felt better than that, it wasn't as lively as last week. It therefore came as quite a surprise to do something significantly faster than last week - 5-6 seconds faster for each kilometre than last week, finishing off with a 3.44. I'd still like to be faster - wouldn't we all? - but this is pretty reasonable progress at an end of the season where progress is definitely good news.

Run warm up/down 32:00 [3] 6.5 km (4:55 / km)

Going to/from the Tan.

Tuesday Sep 6, 2011 #

7 AM

Run intervals ((fartlek)) 41:00 [4] 9.0 km (4:33 / km)

As with last week, a bit early in the morning for this type of session, and my mind was wandering at times with thoughts of 5 July 1900, but did manage to crack 10 for the first time in a while on the second loop, without ever feeling particularly sharp.

I've been in the ALP for 20 years, but tonight was the first time I've seen a chook get raffled. This may say something about the branches I've been in - the ACT, Albert Park and Ivanhoe are all hotbeds of chardonnay socialism and the raffle prizes tend to reflect that.

Monday Sep 5, 2011 #

7 AM

Swimming 36:00 [2]

At Richmond for the first time in a while, perhaps a bit too early for my own good because I'd forgotten that everyone has to change lanes at 7.30 (for some reason once the squads finish they close off the side of the pool that the squads weren't using). That annoyance behind me, it was a reasonable session although drifted out of it a bit later on.
7 PM

Run 45:00 [2] 8.0 km (5:38 / km)

MFR Monday night session from Kirsten's, not featuring the new mum herself (it's a bit too soon for that), but featuring opportunities to see the expanded household before heading out in a small group. Quite a few random bits of soreness at the start (including bits that aren't usually sore), but it all warmed up and felt reasonable in the second half.

Didn't see any of the local business entrepeneurs in Victoria Street, but did have an encounter with someone we strongly suspected of being one of their customers while we were stretching post-run.

And, somewhat to my surprise, I've made the cut for the red start group at Oceania (except at the Oceania Long where I'm running in the M40 Challenge team). Hopefully someone else will get the "and he is making a verrrry big mistake" treatment from the commentary team.

Sunday Sep 4, 2011 #

10 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 1:26:21 [4] **** 10.6 km (8:09 / km) +365m 6:57 / km

Got off to a slow start again today, not realising that 1 was a bit further into the green than it was mapped and losing a bit of confidence on 2 after not seeing a small track - probably 30 seconds on each. (Perhaps bailing out to the big track would have been a better option on 2, too). It got better from there, nailing the tricky 3 across a vague low-visibility area (one of several legs like this on the course) and then settling pretty well. Running quite smoothly although lacking a bit of aggression in the terrain. It got tougher again from 9 to 14 - particularly in and out of 10, the one section of the course which was seriously steep and green - but got through OK apart from a small wobble at 11. Ended up dropping a couple of minutes in small increments, not too bad for here. Also finished with a bit still left in me, which suggests the work of the last few weeks is having some impact - although 110 minutes at Badja will be more of a test than 86 minutes here was, especially as the course was much kinder physically than it can be here.

I finished 1 1/2 minutes down on Bruce (although he made more mistakes than I did) and a fair bit ahead of everyone else, so may get some decent ranking points out of this (it was a badge event). Also gives me a good feeling about NSW Championships next weekend (although I'll want to give myself more time to recover from the drive next Saturday than I did yesterday).

Not sure if there was something unusual about the map printing but the print rubbed off more easily than it usually does. It didn't affect any of my course but the control descriptions were fading badly inside 15 minutes.

Random observation of the trip home 1: if you are a cafe in a small town which is trying to generate business from passing traffic, closing at 1 on a Sunday is not really the best way to go about it. (No doubt, in the best small business tradition, it will all be Julia Gillard's fault that they aren't making as much money as they would like).

Random observation of the trip home 2: I understood what the number plate 'CCCP 1' was about, but was a bit surprised it wasn't on a Lada.

Saturday Sep 3, 2011 #

2 PM

Run race ((orienteering)) 41:57 [4] **** 5.1 km (8:14 / km) +235m 6:41 / km

Getting hit by a car wasn't the greatest of starts to the weekend, even if it was a low-speed encounter (with a car going the wrong way up a one-way road) in the Preston Market car park which did no lasting damage. (Preston Market is a fine place to see Melbourne in its full multicultural glory, but a side-effect of this is genuine Roman or Athenian parking - I learned early on to park some distance away and walk).

The trip up wasn't the smoothest either with a traffic jam of cars trying to get into Calder Park - it didn't look like a motor racing crowd so I'm not quite sure what it was. (Whatever it was, at least the weather was kinder than the 42-degrees-turned-into-big-thunderstorm for the infamous 1993 Guns n' Roses concert, several survivors of which work alongside me).

Eventually made it to Kooyoora a bit later than I'd liked and didn't warm up as well as I would have liked. Evidently my brain was also lacking in a warm-up, as I was very hesitant into the first control and dropped 40 seconds or so. Settled down after that, although it was halfway before my legs really felt like they were moving well, and I don't think going left on 4 was the best option (Bruce went through me there). A decent second half; Bruce was 4 minutes up on me at halfway and that gap stayed to the end.

Friday Sep 2, 2011 #

7 AM

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

A reasonably relaxed session at Fitzroy on a nice morning. As usual a few aches getting across the road though....

The extended model runs for next weekend look "interesting" - if the most extreme one comes off it will snow in Dubbo, never mind Lithgow. I'll believe that when I see it, but we'll certainly need to be prepared for cold.

Thursday Sep 1, 2011 #

6 AM

Run 2:11:00 [3] 26.1 km (5:01 / km)

Didn't reach great heights but a solid effort, similar to last week although perhaps it hurt a bit less. Quite a hilly first half through East Ivanhoe and Balwyn - nothing massive but most of it up and down - then long flat or downhill sections from Kerrimuir back. It's the first time for a while I've been out this way, the main change being one disappeared petrol station at Kerrimuir (presumably the block will now stay vacant for the next decade while the lawyers argue over who pays to clean the soil up, if past experience in Blackburn and Albert Park is anything to go by).

Had a bad patch around the 90-minute stage, but managed to fight my way through it and had a reasonable second wind in the last 20 minutes, as was the case last week. (Not sure I would have rebounded from the Hawdon Street hill had there been 5000 metres remaining after it and not 50, though). No sign of the knee twinge from yesterday apart from a little stiffness in the first few minutes.

And when it comes to unfortunately worded political media releases, it would be hard to go past one on agricultural pests issued today by one Senator Mary Jo Fisher, which started "The security of Australia's food is under threat...".

(For the benefit of international readers, said Senator Fisher is currently experiencing a few legal difficulties, relating to her alleged pilfering from an Adelaide supermarket).

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