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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 7 days ending Sep 11, 2016:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run6 5:42:10 36.04(9:30) 58.0(5:54)32 /36c88%
  Swimming1 32:00 0.56(57:13) 0.9(35:33)
  Total7 6:14:10 36.6(10:13) 58.9(6:21)32 /36c88%

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Sunday Sep 11, 2016 #

9 AM

Run race 28:53 [4] *** 4.5 km (6:25 / km)

Earlyish on a Sunday morning, lots of people in brightly coloured costumes were gathered outside a West End theatre. This might not seem too unusual, except that in this case the costumes bore names like "Porsgrunn O-lag", "OLC Winterthur" and "SK 24 Praha" (alongside numerous British clubs).

My expectation was that Soho/Covent Garden would be a less challenging orienteering experience than yesterday but would make up for it in the icons department, and this was basically right. A bit disappointed not to have any controls in Covent Garden (thought this might have been a permissions issue, but course 1 had some), but ran through it anyway even though it might not have been quite the optimal route choice. On the whole a reasonably straightforward course technically with some of the route choices more clear-cut than I would have expected, but still a lot of fun, with various interested onlookers and numerous signs of iconic places. (The count of Monopoly places visited on the course looks to be four - Bow Street, Coventry Street, Leicester Square and the Strand - with three other near-misses, Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square and Fleet Street). Traffic was less of a problem than I would have expected, due in no small measure to the fact that Charing Cross Road (which crosses the map from north to south) was closed to through traffic because of the Tour of Britain final stage later in the day - maybe that's why it was possible for us to run here?

As a fairly non-technical course, I expected to be further down the places than yesterday and was (about halfway; fastest was 23).

Transport to and from the event (only about 3km away from Matt Schepisi's place, where I've been staying) was by means of the city bikes, universally known as Boris bikes (and will probably still be known as Boris bikes long after most people have forgotten who Boris was).

Saturday Sep 10, 2016 #


Someone I was starting with yesterday, who I don't think was a terribly experienced orienteer, didn't have a compass but did have a compass app on his phone. I think I confused him spectacularly by asking him whether the app was set to magnetic or true north.
11 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 51:17 [4] *** 7.0 km (7:20 / km)

London City Race, on the south side of the Thames at Rotherhithe. This part of London, perhaps more than most, has led a few different lives over the last couple of centuries, from the scene of some of the slums depicted in Oliver Twist, to a busy docks area through the mid-20th century (with some interruption thanks to the Luftwaffe), to its current incarnation as a relatively quiet and increasingly upmarket housing area, with the docks mostly filled in. The area might have been lacking in the iconic features that the London City Race sometimes provides (that will come with the Soho event tomorrow), but was an excellent area from the urban orienteering perspective.

A bit disconcerted at the start because it took me a while to find the start on the map (the alignment of the triangle was such that two of its three sides coincided almost perfectly with fences), and that might have carried on a bit further because I overshot a pathway on the way into 1 and lost 15 seconds or so. In general it took me a bit of time to get my concentration into gear, but I managed to avoid the trap at 4, and thought I'd planned to avoid it at 7 but then made a mess of my execution, and decided to cut my losses and switch to another route choice instead, which cost me probably 40 seconds or so. No further significant losses on route choice or fine navigation, on a course which featured a couple of legs which looked very long on a 1:5000 map (but were in fact just over 1km apiece), and running better than I often have been over the last couple of months. A fun day, and managed to get in before the rain started, although still very humid.

The mistake on 7 was costly; there was a bunch of 18 people within 2 minutes in my class (veteran men, M35-49), and I was 17th of them, narrowly beaten by some familiar names (Richard Baxter, Martin Ward) and plenty of unfamiliar ones. Ended up 27th, about a quarter of the way down. Fastest time was 42.

Friday Sep 9, 2016 #

8 AM

Swimming 32:00 [2] 0.9 km (35:33 / km)

As promised last week, this week I took to the waters of Lake Geneva for my swimming session at the Bains de Paquis - a lot quieter than they are in the evenings (as evidenced by the fact that there was no-one to collect the 2-franc entrance fee). I don't think I've done a swim training session in 'natural' waters since one at Edith Falls in the NT on the 2009 trip, and one difference with that is that Lake Geneva definitely has no crocodiles (even freshwater ones).

Felt a bit strange at the start but OK after the first few minutes - didn't quite judge the distance of my circuit around the two pontoons right and pulled up a little shorter than I normally would. In one direction I was going straight into the sun and seeing the right direction for the pontoon wasn't easy, but the tower whose shadow looks like a minaret (the construction of which was banned a few years ago in one of the less glorious moments of Swiss direct democracy) was a useful landmark.

The outside of the Hotel President Wilson was crawling with police (some heavily armed), and the slightly-more-distant outside was crawling with news cameras, which I took to be an indication that Somebody Important was in town - not infrequent in this part of the world. Some subsequent searching revealed that the Somebody Important was probably John Kerry, here to meet with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in the name of making probably limited or non-existent progress towards stopping the war in Syria.

Off to London for the weekend tonight, with a bit of adventure on the way to the airport on the number 28 bus; we had to divert because of a crash, and once off the normal route it gradually became apparent that the driver didn't have a clue where he was or where he was going. A fellow passenger came to the rescue with a map on his phone (although the map wasn't always great at identifying which streets were bus-suitable, so we went over a few gutters). Eventually made it to the airport about 20 minutes after we were supposed to.

Thursday Sep 8, 2016 #

7 AM

Run 2:01:00 [3] 22.0 km (5:30 / km)

Not terribly fast but a steady run, taking advantage of a quiet public holiday morning. Got into some nice areas in the middle part of the run, taking in some country lanes on the southeast side of the lake (as often in Switzerland, you can't go too far wrong following yellow signs). Never really flowed but no real issues with endurance. Achilles a bit sore at times, which is often an indicator that I've gone for too long without a massage. Longest run since June.

Felt a bit sleepy at times afterwards, on a day when I spent a bit of time on trains - using the day off (which I hadn't expected to have before I arrived) to go to the nearest reasonably accessible really high mountain on the Swiss side, Glacier 3000 (which, as the name implies, is a glacier on top of a range at roughly 3000 metres) east of Aigle. Unless you have plenty of time, and plenty of endurance, and more of a head for heights than I possess, you get there by cable car from Col du Pillon, at about 1500m (going north, rather than south, from there would have made for a nice run). Spectacular views as you might expect (and felt warm in the sun even at 3000m), and abundant evidence, in the form of meltwater streams and a big sinkhole, of the glacier's questionable future.

(I had been thinking of going to the Chamonix-Mont Blanc region but scrubbed that idea because of the limited public transport between Geneva and Chamonix outside the ski season. This turned out to be a good move, because I've just heard on the news of helicopters being called in to rescue people on a stuck cable car at Mont Blanc).

Wednesday Sep 7, 2016 #

8 AM

Run 1:02:00 [3] 11.0 km (5:38 / km)

For some reason I'd had thoughts of doing a long run this morning, with the idea of clearing a bit of space on Thursday (which is a local public holiday, something I didn't know before I arrived) for going to the mountains. (I forgot to bring a pack I could run with, which made the logistics of going for a long run in the mountains themselves a bit too difficult - plus, as readers of Neil's log will know, mountain runs at this end of the Alps are pretty full-on - the high valleys, plateaus and tracks across slopes tend to be further east).

Anyway, sometime around 1am when I still hadn't succeeded in getting to sleep, I came to the realisation that it made no sense whatsoever not to take advantage of the holiday for a long run (not least because the roads within the inner urban area will be much quieter), and did something shorter today. Headed down to the path along the Rhone, which is a bit rough in places (even allowing for that it was a pretty slow run). OK as far as it goes, but it probably wasn't a bad thing that I wasn't trying to push out two hours today.

Tuesday Sep 6, 2016 #

8 AM

Run intervals 20:00 [4] 3.2 km (6:15 / km)

Definitely an improvement on yesterday - probably something to do with having slept well (in turn probably something to do with the lower humidity). Still not exactly something to get excited about, but did the necessary. Quite windy on the lakefront this morning but didn't feel especially different upwind or downwind.

Run warm up/down 19:00 [3] 3.3 km (5:45 / km)

Took a while to get going, and not so sharp coming back either.

Saw an ad today for a Charles Sturt University PhD project looking at the "ecological, genetic and cultural significance of taxidermied Murray cod in the pubs of the Murray-Darling Basin", requiring travel to "some of Australia's most iconic watering holes". I'm guessing they'll get a few applicants.

Monday Sep 5, 2016 #

8 AM

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

Felt pretty drained yesterday afternoon after the run, considering it was some way short of an elite long distance. While I hadn't noticed anything in the sickness department, Mum thought I sounded croaky when we spoke yesterday morning, and mums are always right about these things, aren't they?

Whatever the cause, I had the sense when I got up this morning that it wasn't going to be a great running morning, and settled for something on the flat (I'd originally had thoughts today of taking to the hillier country up past the UN headquarters). Was still pretty awful.

The Spanish heatwave really got down to business today - as the tweet about Seville's 44.8 (a September record by more than 2 degrees) said, "record anterior pulverizado". I'm not too upset that it's not going to find its way here, although high 20s (as it has been every day in Geneva up until today, and will be again later this week) is still warm for this time of year.

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