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Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 7 days ending Feb 19, 2012:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run8 8:06:00 56.67(8:35) 91.2(5:20)
  Skiing1 2:00:00
  Total9 10:06:00 56.67 91.2

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Sunday Feb 19, 2012 #

7 AM

Run 2:00:00 [3] 22.4 km (5:21 / km)

When choosing Interlaken as a base for the weekend I was guided partly by hoping to find somewhere below the snowline for the Sunday run, but that wasn't to be the case. There would be some excellent runs from here in the warmer months (or in less cold winter months for that matter), but the conditions made them a non-starter. (In particular the path up the valley to Lauterbrunnen, which forms the early stages of the Jungfrau Marathon, was under heavy snow, and the road was out of the question given the ski traffic).

Started out along the tracks towards the Brienzersee but these became increasingly icy and then were blocked altogether by forestry work, so I bailed out to the road on the north side of the lake. This turned out to be pretty good with a decent (and almost ice-free) footpath and almost no traffic at 7-something on a Sunday morning. Kept going until the footpath ran out and then turned around, which left about 40 minutes to be added once back in Interlaken, something done by heading out on the south side of the lake this time. Ran again into difficult ice for a section towards the end - there hasn't been much new snow for three weeks so what's there has been heavily compressed anywhere that gets any foot traffic.

As for the run, this was one of the better ones I've had since I've been here - no real muscle stiffness after yesterday - flowing pretty well when the going underfoot would allow me to do so, no real issues with the heel, and finishing off better than I have on the last couple of long runs.

Quite an interesting morning meteorologically - Interlaken was right on the rain/snow boundary and going up or down 20 metres was often enough to make the difference between light rain and wet snow, although nothing was accumulating. The snow was to be more annoying looking around Lucerne later in the day (although some of the costumes in sight were as interesting as the old town - Lucerne takes Carnival seriously, although the real action is tomorrow and Tuesday).

One oddity I saw in the hotel in Interlaken was the fire procedure - the designated assembly point was the petrol station just down the road. I don't know about you but a petrol station isn't the place I'd choose to hang out if there was a fire anywhere in the vicinity. (I'm guessing there is at least one fire in the hotel's history, as it claims a history going back to the 15th century but the building certainly isn't that old).

And spotted in Lucerne: a sign in the window of a souvenir shop which advised that the tourist tax refund scheme doesn't apply to chocolate. To qualify for the scheme the goods exported have to be worth at least 300 francs, which would be an awful lot of money to spend on chocolate even if it was included in the scheme (especially as chocolate is one of the few things that is relatively cheap in Switzerland).

Saturday Feb 18, 2012 #

10 AM

Skiing 2:00:00 [2]

Skiing in the Jungfrau region, on the north side of the Grindelwald valley in the morning then moving across to the Kleine Scheidegg ridge in the afternoon, finishing up in Wengen. It would be hard to imagine a better day for skiing than this - heaps of snow (the latest top-up two days ago), sunny, no wind, and not particularly cold (about 0) but not warm enough to start generating slush. The only drawback was that a fairly substantial part of the Swiss population had also noticed that it was a good day to ski, but even then it didn't feel anywhere near as crowded as it did last year (probably because where I was last year the conditions were very ordinary and everyone was cramming onto the handful of runs with vaguely reasonable snow).

The highlights were two top-to-bottom runs into the Grindelwald valley, one from each side, on either side of lunch, both with well over 1000 metres of vertical - you definitely won't find that at Hotham or Thredbo. (Something else you won't find at Hotham or Thredbo is three-quarter-buried farmhouses or the fragrance that comes from lots of cows in close proximity, although the Victorian government is doing its best to address the latter).

Also managed to avoid any crashes this time (but then I wasn't pushing the limit of my capabilities as hard as I was last time). Quads a bit sore at times early but better in the afternoon; will be interesting to see how I come up tomorrow.

Something lost in the translation department: on sale in Grindelwald was an anti-fog treatment for goggles, by the name of "Cat Crap". I think 'crap' means something (other than what it means in English) in the Romansch language spoken in the southeast mountains of Switzerland.

Friday Feb 17, 2012 #

7 AM

Run 1:01:00 [3] 11.4 km (5:21 / km)

It's a bit unusual for me to be backing up from a Thursday with another run (something done because the plan is to spend tomorrow on the ski slopes). Didn't expect a lot but didn't feel too bad on the whole - one point of worry when heel became pretty sore about 15 minutes in but that disappeared as quickly as it started. Ice again an issue today, on what was a crystal-clear frosty morning (a slightly colder version of Canberra in July; a sunny +6 at lunchtime feels warm now, which makes me hope for something not too hot on my return); not as treacherous as yesterday though.

Thursday Feb 16, 2012 #

7 AM

Run 2:01:00 [3] 22.4 km (5:24 / km)

A run which will definitely be remembered for its conditions - some of the most challenging ground conditions I've encountered on a run, as yesterday's limited melting refroze in places overnight, resulting in widespread black ice. Once it became obvious that it really was widespread I thought I'd put my microclimatic knowledge to good use and headed for higher ground and more urbanised areas, but the conditions were so marginal for ice (the airport hovered between -0.5 and +0.5 all night) that it was almost impossible to pick where it would and wouldn't form - often the ground would be covered with ice in one place but 50 metres away in a not-obviously-different location there was nothing. I did manage to stay upright for the full distance, not something which was a given, but it was understandably pretty slow going - becoming a bit easier once it got light after 45 minutes or so, and I could make a reasonable attempt at seeing what I was dealing with.

The original plan was to head along the lake for a while but that was too icy to be feasible, so instead much of this run was on the ridge east of the lake, coming back along a creekside path (where the old, crusty snow in places was almost a relief). Plugged away for most of the way; left heel became quite sore in the last 15 minutes.

Wednesday Feb 15, 2012 #

7 AM

Run 1:05:00 [3] 12.3 km (5:17 / km)

This time I really was able to ditch the thermals (didn't get as far as ditching the gloves, but probably could have). Nothing special in the early stages but became quite nice in the second half. Heel warmed up better than I thought it was going to, which is encouraging.

Once again referendum time is coming up in Switzerland and the posters are out in force. Among the issues that the Genevois will be dealing with when they front up to their neighbourhood local de vote on 11 March are a proposal to increase minimum annual leave from four weeks to six (supported by the unions, opposed by business and trailing in the polls - it seems that racial populism plays well here but economic populism doesn't), one to introduce school on Wednesday mornings (I'm guessing the results of this one would be different if the voting age were 8 instead of 18), a stop-the-world-I-want-to-get-off proposal to reintroduce regulated retail prices for books, and a law to deal with demonstrations which seems to be attracting radically different interpretations from the 'yes' and 'no' campaigns. (This particular poster display spot was next to a monument I'd been wondering about, to 'the victims of 9 November 1932' - some googling revealed that this was the date when the police shot up a socialist/communist demonstration, probably the last time something so dramatic happened on the political scene in Switzerland).

And, since no-one's ventured to guess who it was who won Easter by 20 minutes while winning one split in three days, it was Simon Uppill in M16 in 2002.

7 PM

Run intervals 36:00 [4] 8.0 km (4:30 / km)

Was planning to replicate last Wednesday night's session but couldn't match it exactly, thanks to the builders who have descended on the riverside bike path since yesterday (and detoured cyclists through a mudbath, just in case you thought Swiss builders were more considerate towards cyclists than their Australian counterparts). With some minor tweaking it still ended up pretty similar, three lots of about 1400 metres with a couple of minutes recovery in between. The first one was a bit awkward because of working out what I was going to do (and staying out of the way of a dog which had a stick about 1.5 metres long in its mouth and was waving it around unpredictably), but flowing quite nicely for the second and third.

Tuesday Feb 14, 2012 #

Run warm up/down 20:00 [3] 4.0 km (5:00 / km)

Warm up and down from the intervals session.
7 AM

Run intervals 20:00 [4] 2.7 km (7:24 / km)

10x1 minute on the bike path again - next week the track should be clear. (It occurs to me I've never seen a proper thaw take place - apart from Canberra snowfalls that are gone within a few hours, at every place I've been to with snow on the ground it's still been there when I left).

So, yesterday wasn't the last really cold run: -8 again this morning, but with no wind that's reasonably comfortable. Took me a long time to get going, though; it wasn't until the last couple of reps that I felt as if I was moving reasonably well.

Update on annoying niggles and sore spots: shoulder and backside still a bit sore on waking up but no problem running, cracked foot soles ditto, heel a bit more of a worry but not beyond the niggle stage at this stage.

Monday Feb 13, 2012 #

8 AM

Run 43:00 [3] 8.0 km (5:23 / km)

Back in Geneva. The northeast wind that's been a constant companion since I arrived was still there last night, but had died away by the morning and probably won't be seen again (at least in the next week). This will most likely be the last seriously cold run; I've also concluded that Oslo snow is much nicer to run than Geneva snow, probably because there's more of it so it doesn't compact to ice quite as readily.

I'd got back pretty late after a late flight from Oslo and hadn't slept that well. The run didn't feel too bad (although climbing was a drag), but nothing to get really excited about either.

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