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Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 7 days ending Feb 12, 2012:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run8 7:57:00 52.69(9:03) 84.8(5:38)
  Swimming1 35:00 0.62(56:20) 1.0(35:00)
  Total9 8:32:00 53.31(9:36) 85.8(5:58)

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Sunday Feb 12, 2012 #

10 AM

Run 1:52:00 [3] 19.0 km (5:54 / km)

Pretty sore in various places through the later part of yesterday after my arse-plant efforts on yesterday's run, but felt better this morning (and the most significantly sore item at rest, the shoulder, was a non-issue running).

Started out with Jim and a clubmate repeating the climb of the local hill from yesterday, but this time via a steeper and shorter route. (I was wondering why I was struggling to get traction in a couple of spots where the others were doing it easily, and then learned they had studs on, which Jim didn't yesterday). Also lacked a bit of confidence descending but a fun first half-hour. After that I peeled off for a big loop around the base of the Kolsas hill. This had some very nice stretches - ten minutes or so on gently downhill snow-covered forest tracks was a particular highlight. Not always at my best on some of the longer climbs in the second half but a reasonably solid day's work, before returning to soup and waffles (and cake for Norweigan Mother's Day) - there are worse ways to refuel after long runs.

Warmest day since I've been in Europe on the higher ground (not far below 0), although it still felt like it was close to -10 in the more sheltered valleys. Felt a bit overdressed in the warmer areas of the run but there was a certain amount of when-in-Rome-do-as-the-Romans-do there. (I'm guessing that the Norwegians are coping with current conditions better than the Romans are, not that Norwegian temperatures have been that far below normal anyway).

Saturday Feb 11, 2012 #

10 AM

Run 1:03:00 [3] 9.0 km (7:00 / km)

I'm not having a brilliant run with flights at the moment: last time I didn't make a connection, this time it was my luggage which didn't (although this was totally expected as the connection in Zurich shrank from an hour to 15 minutes - should have done what I did last year and got the train to Zurich to pick up the flight instead).

I wasn't particularly adventurous in my exploration last time I was here in July because the Achilles was having a bad week and I was trying to avoid hills as best I could, but made up for it today, starting out with the narrow track that I thought was the way you skied out of the area until Jim started running down it. The snowy tracks in the forest up to the top of the hill were certainly not fast to run on and were occasionally a bit hairy, but still a good exploration experience. It wasn't until we came back into the suburbs that I came to grief (it's surprising that it's taken a week for it to happen); didn't manage to bang myself up quite as spectacularly as Cassie (who's recovering reasonably well), but still have a pretty sore shoulder to show for it. Finished with a fairly solid climb, which had the positive spin-off of knowing which way to walk home later in the day when I'd done my shopping (presents for a recently-happened 1st and a soon-to-happen 35th) and Mum and Cassie were still going to be another '30 minutes' (which unsurprisingly proved to be a bit longer than that).

Ranged from -7 up high to perhaps -13 in the valley, but with no wind this felt a lot less cold than most of the Geneva runs have.

Friday Feb 10, 2012 #

12 PM

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

Lunchtime swim, having braved the latest instalment of the high winds to get there. I can't say I'll miss this pool (and it will be my last visit there for the foreseeable future - they're closed for maintenance the next two weeks), although today was more civilised than usual - less crowded, and most of the people in the slow lane were actually slow (in Australian pools it tends to be the opposite problem). Seemed to go quicker than swimming sessions normally do.

Thursday Feb 9, 2012 #

6 AM

Run 1:56:00 [3] 22.0 km (5:16 / km)

Out a little earlier than I would otherwise have chosen because of an earlyish media engagement, but my main concern about this, the darkness, was quickly allayed - I had forgotten just how well the semi-distant light of a city reflects off a snow-covered surface. Headed out west along the Bernex ridge, feeling reasonable through the first half-hour before getting a bit more adventurous on snow-covered farm tracks in the not-really-dark. At the hour mark I thought it was going to be a good one, but the second half ended up turning into a bit of a slog. Left heel a bit sore and it feels a bit different to the usual Achilles trouble; will need watching.

The temperature soared to the dizzy heights of -2 this afternoon, but we're back in the bitter cold and high winds tomorrow. Oslo will seem warm.

The aforementioned media engagement was with Eurovision (known in Australia only for their song contest, but in reality a consortium of European broadcasters who pool news material too). The WMO media person who came with me has done some interesting journalism work in various places, and was telling me of one episode she covered a few years ago. There was a G8 summit in Evian (on the French part of the Lake Geneva shore) but the French police wouldn't allow anyone anywhere near the place so the usual suspects decided to have their riot in a small town just across the Swiss border instead (as you do). One of the premises in this town was a private bank which concluded, probably correctly, that the sort of people who turn up to riot at G8 meetings wouldn't be too well-disposed towards private banks either, so they stuck a few toys in the window and put up a sign declaring themselves to be a creche. It sounds about as convincing as the "Baby Milk Factory" signs which appeared during the first Gulf War outside every building that the Americans had just bombed, but it worked.

(A few years later, when the Americans decided to respond to a terrorist attack in Kenya masterminded by an Afghanistan-based Saudi by bombing Sudan, they did manage to mistake a pharmaceuticals factory for a military facility).

Something discovered today which I thought was a bit quirky: January 2012 was the fourth-warmest on record for the US as a whole but was no more than fourth-warmest in any individual state, which strikes me as being the climatic equivalent of winning their class at Easter by 20 minutes whilst winning one split in three days. (Someone who went on to bigger and better things has actually done this - guesses as to their identity are welcome).

Wednesday Feb 8, 2012 #

7 AM

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

As suggested a few days ago the track was unrunnable (for anything fast anyway) so I settled for a set of 10x1 minutes, using the bike path next to the Arve river as the best available stretch which met the criteria of being (a) long enough to run fast for a minute (b) free of traffic and (c) essentially free of ice. Predictably fairly slow in the first couple of reps but better as it went on. Much less windy today (although almost as cold). No trace of yesterday's calf twinge.

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

Warm-up/down from the intervals session; continuing to take a while to warm up in these conditions.

Saw a piece from someone yesterday who, drawing a rather stretched analogy, liked trends in the frequency of extreme climate events to the performances of an athlete taking drugs (it made more sense if you read the full piece). This prompted me to think that the sort of arguments as to why climate change doesn't exist which can be found repeated ad nauseum at places like Andrew Bolt's blog can be thought of as being about as credible as the "explanations" of various sportspeople as to how they came to have banned substances in their sample. (While Alberto Contador's doped-up Spanish cows is one of the better ones, my personal favourite is Dennis Mitchell, who attributed his positive test for testosterone to the fact that he'd drunk six beers and had sex with his wife four times on the night before the test - although you'd have to wonder about cause and effect here).
7 PM

Run tempo 39:00 [4] 8.1 km (4:49 / km)

Tried my luck again with the session I was planning to do last night, in more favourable conditions and with a more favourable lead-in (i.e. the public transport system actually did what it was supposed to for the first time this week) - three sets of 1.5k at something like street-O pace with a bit of a jog in between. Used the same riverbank as this morning, which is fairly unoriginal but it's the best ice-free footing going. In a sense it was not too different to what I normally do on a Wednesday night, except that it was 40 degrees colder than my last street-O outing and there was no navigation involved. Settled in pretty nicely once the inevitable initial slowness was out of the way and a decent session on the whole.

Tuesday Feb 7, 2012 #


The day's prize for self-incrimination (from the Guardian):

"Sunderland fan Peter Copeland, 29, has pleaded guilty to posting racist tweets in an argument with a Newcastle fan. "His comment upon arrest was: 'All this because I called Demba Ba a black bastard?'" said prosecutor Peter Anderson."
7 AM

Run 1:02:00 [3] 12.0 km (5:10 / km)

As promised the wind got up during the night and was gale force near the lake, which was a good reason not to go anywhere near the lake on the run - later in the day the WMO building provided a good view of the surf, and I'm told there's some spectacular icing on the shores where the waves have been breaking, which I'll go and have a look at one lunchtime once the wind's dropped a bit. (There was a picture on the news of a car whose owner made the mistake of parking it near the lake in a splash zone before the winds got going on Saturday - it's now completely covered in ice and also stuck in ice up to its axles).

Even away from the lake the conditions were somewhat daunting, but I told myself that I'd coped with worse in Winnipeg on Christmas morning 1989 (just as windy and -18 instead of -11), and in reality it wasn't too bad in the suburbs. Started with the wind, had some heavy crosswind at times later until I got into the shelter of the lee side of the Rolex factory (not to be confused with the "Rolex" factories to be found in sundry Chinese back streets), and braced myself for a tough slog into the wind but was at the right angle to miss the worst of it. Felt like a fairly smooth run but still rather slow, given that there was no appreciable snow/ice running on this one.

The density of ice floes coming down the river Arve is getting higher each day, and I wonder how far away it is from freezing over altogether.
7 PM

Run 4:00 [3] 0.8 km (5:00 / km)

Like a 43-degree day in Melbourne, today was a day to endure when you needed to be outside and to hope that enough of the city's infrastructure would hold together for long enough to be able to do what you planned to do, more or less. For the second day in a row the failings of the Geneva tram system - which isn't coping too well with the conditions - left me walking a substantial part of the way home (and thinking of the old British joke about how Virgin Trains got their name because they never went all the way).

I got a few twinges in my right calf walking back from the UN building where I'd gone to do a BBC World Service interview. (The BBC World Service radio was my main link to the English-speaking world on numerous late 1980s/1990s trips, so this had more thrill to it than the average interview). The plan tonight was to do a tempo run of sorts, but I wasn't really that enthusiastic, and when I got another twinge a couple of minutes in I didn't need much of an excuse to try my luck again in (hopefully) better conditions tomorrow. I'm hoping it's just a short-term reaction to the cold weather and not a sign of something more substantial.

I'm starting to wonder a bit about the 'hood. Last night I had an encounter with a couple of people I presumed to be pickpockets (I worked out pretty quickly that they were probably up to no good, and there was nothing in the pocket they groped anyway), and today I noticed that Crime Converters have set up business nearby - although to be fair they can also be found in Burgundy Street in Heidelberg.

And one side-effect of the cold weather: Occupy Geneva have packed up and gone home, and so have the Iranians who've been camped outside the UN for about the last 10 months.

Monday Feb 6, 2012 #

7 AM

Run 40:00 [3] 7.3 km (5:29 / km)

Didn't feel too bad by post-long-run Monday standards - no obvious signs of stiffness, but pretty slow (and I don't think I can hold the footing totally responsible for this). Managed to get the run out of the way before the winds got up too much - minus 11 is not unpleasant when there's no wind but quickly becomes unpleasant when there is.

I was, however, to get another opportunity to discover windchill; Geneva's public transport authorities didn't appear to be any better at coping with extreme weather events than their Melbourne counterparts and I ended up walking the first 30 minutes back from work in search of a tram line which was functioning (in the process passing plenty of going-nowhere-fast cars in traffic which was gridlocked even by usual local peak-hour standards). At least it was a tail wind.

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