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Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 7 days ending Dec 10, 2017:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run6 5:58:00 37.72(9:30) 60.7(5:54) 300
  Pool running1 45:00 0.43(1:43:27) 0.7(1:04:17)
  Swimming1 35:00 0.62(56:20) 1.0(35:00)
  Total8 7:18:00 38.77(11:18) 62.4(7:01) 300

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Sunday Dec 10, 2017 #

8 AM

Run 1:30:00 [3] 16.0 km (5:38 / km)

Run along the rail trail from Opua towards Karekare - dead flat apart from two steep pinches (one in each direction) to get around a closed tunnel. The first of these knocked my quads around a bit and I didn't really settle properly until after a brief stop at the turnaround. Much better after that, but the steep bit caused a different problem second time around - a shower 10 minutes beforehand had turned the surface into the sort of yellow clay that (a) makes everything very slippery and (b) cakes on your shoes. Achilles starting to play up from around 75 minutes onwards, but still felt sufficiently OK to do a short out-and-back at the other end to take it up to 90; I'd perhaps hoped for a bit more had everything gone well, but this was a step in the right direction.

Spent the rest of the day making my way down the coast (as much as the road network and the topography allows) - some stunning bays off the coast road from Russell. These roads are slow, but I'd rather be driving 60 because the road winds a lot than because I'm stuck behind 20 other cars and a milk truck.

Eventually everything converges on the one spot, namely the main drag of Warkworth, and the traffic was consequently ugly. (It wasn't too great on the Auckland motorway either, and I ended up swinging west via the Upper Harbour Highway before making use of the tunnel, which is open now).

Naming note: according to what I read whilst there, Paihia (a somewhat unlovely town in a lovely area) got its name from one of the early settlers who knew the Maori word for good was "pai" and asked a chief "pai here?". Perhaps this is the equivalent of the numerous places in Australia which are reputed to be named for whatever the local Aboriginal language was for "I don't know" or "I don't understand you".

In six days in New Zealand, I did not see a single sheep. (It's all cows up north these days).

Saturday Dec 9, 2017 #

8 AM

Run 52:00 [3] 8.5 km (6:07 / km)

A run which definitely didn't live up to its surroundings - felt weak and sluggish throughout. Headed down to the river in Whangarei and then on a track on the east side of the river (NZ reminder: track along rivers cannot be assumed to be flat) - nice twisting in amongst the kauri. Back through the suburbs and hoped the gentle downhill might get me going again, but it didn't. Suspect I wasn't getting full value from my GPS in the kauri section.

Perhaps fortunately, I didn't need to be too energetic through the rest of the day, some of which was devoted to a cruise in the Bay of Islands - definitely not a letdown when it came to the scenery. The weather was kind to us, too, with a few morning showers clearing out.

Friday Dec 8, 2017 #

7 AM

Run 37:00 [3] 6.3 km (5:52 / km)

A recovery run of sorts, although still some hills to deal with - nothing too drastic. Headed out west towards Grey Lynn, mainly in the name of a lack of main roads to cross after the first bit. Didn't feel especially energetic, but do seem to be feeling slightly stronger uphill than on the last couple of days.

For the last couple of days I've been surrounded by people who are as much into finding obscure sources of information about historical climate as I am. At the moment we're particularly interested in the Southern Ocean - a real data void before the satellite era - and trying to track down as much ship data as we can. One unexpected source that someone has begun exploring is evidence that whaling has done something for scientific research (although not via the Japanese) - in the first half of the 20th century, whalers had to lodge a form for each catch with the marine authorities in Wellington (and perhaps other ports), and those forms contained information on the position, weather conditions, and ice if there was any.

The workshop finished this afternoon and I've now headed up to the Bay of Islands for the weekend (getting as far as Whangarei tonight), before flying back Sunday night. This meant braving Auckland's traffic, although I'm glad I was heading north - west or south would probably have been horrific. (There was a train strike today, but that shouldn't have affected northern traffic because there are no trains that go in that direction).

Thursday Dec 7, 2017 #

7 AM

Run 1:18:00 [3] 13.0 km (6:00 / km) +300m 5:23 / km

Most ambitious yet in terms of terrain, starting out by heading up Mt. Eden (predictably spectacular views, and predictably large numbers of people using it for morning exercise). Pleased that my injuries didn't cause any issues either up or down, although my fitness for the climb was definitely lacking (no doubt a consequence of not having done any proper hills for weeks). Quads a bit iffy for a while after coming off the mountain but ran that off (a good sign for Two Bays, where I'll have a hill half as big again to deal with early on). Bit of a plod on the last section, coming back initially through Remuera (a suburb with a reputation as Auckland's poshest, though I think these days it's a bit like the North Shore in Sydney - solidly upper-middle class but the really serious money is closer to the water), then past the Domain. Had initially had thoughts of 90, but thought it best not to push both climb and distance boundaries in the same run; will have the chance for more on Sunday. Pulled up OK.

Again plenty of traffic interruptions; it seems fairly unavoidable here in the inner suburbs. One also has to keep one's wits about one because of some of the driving, such as people (illegally) failing to give way when turning into a side street, possibly because they're distracted by talking (illegally) on their mobile phone.
6 PM

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

Wouldn't normally back up like this, but the logistics of a swim tomorrow were going to be difficult, whereas the combination of a 90-minute break between workshop finish and workshop dinner, and a pool a couple of minutes away, was a tempting one.

The Auckland Tepid Baths doesn't sound like the most inspiring of names, but it's Auckland's original indoor pool - more than 100 years old - and has the character which comes with that. It was closed for a couple of years around 2010 after being found to be structurally unsafe - presumably translating as "if there's an earthquake the roof might fall on you". (If a volcano erupts in the harbour, not a totally impossible scenario at some point in the next few centuries, it's not going to matter much how good the engineering is).

Was a bit worried about the swim when in the first couple of laps my hamstring felt like it was threatening to cramp - memories of the Mildura session in June - but settled down after that. Not the most energetic of swims but enough to loosen me up a bit.

Wednesday Dec 6, 2017 #

7 AM

Run 1:00:00 [3] 10.2 km (5:53 / km)

From central Auckland out to Herne Bay, sort of along the shoreline, then back through Ponsonby. Not terribly awake at the start (not surprising given that it was 5am Melbourne time); also not a run to get terribly excited about, and Achilles was a little more touchy than yesterday, but still one to put in the book. Whilst you could certainly make much hillier inner Auckland runs, this still had more hills than anything else I've done in the last month or so, so good to see that I didn't fall completely apart.

Stopped to unfold and consult the map I'd brought with me a few times; normally in foreign parts I quite like to head in a direction and not worry too much about the finer points of a route, but despite having the very large target of SkyTower to aim for (I'm staying a block away from it), I didn't trust myself to find a way across Spaghetti Junction without cartographic assistance.

The workshop field trip today took in, among other places, the location in Albert Park which was the main Auckland observing site for most of the 20th century. Perhaps it's as well I didn't know its status earlier or I might have been distracted on an important occasion; I passed within 20 metres of it twice in the WMOC sprint final.

Tuesday Dec 5, 2017 #

3 PM

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

A very early start today (at least a 4.30 alarm got me on NZ time half a day early); obviously no time to do anything before flying out so instead headed out more or less as soon as I'd checked into the hotel in Auckland. I'm on the west side of the CBD so Victoria Park seemed a good target - central Auckland is not the most pedestrian-friendly place on the planet so I wanted to minimise the number of road crossings. Dead flat for this set (and mostly shady, which counts on a warmish afternoon), and a reasonable set, although definitely feeling lactic in the last bit of the final three reps, which may be because (a) some hangover from doing it just off the plane (b) an indication of being out of form or (c) an indication that I was trying hard. Naturally I'll assume (c).

Run warm up/down 21:00 [3] 3.5 km (6:00 / km)

Warm-up and down, with a bit of a detour on the way because the mischief that long-haul flying plays with your internal signals clearly applies as much to four hours on a plane as to 24. Tired coming back, but in a been-working-hard sense - no injury issues, with the steep climb back up being hard work but not painful.

Monday Dec 4, 2017 #

7 AM

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

Swapping around sessions since I won't have the running belt in NZ. Once again at Ivanhoe because of the showery weather (and because getting to Fitzroy would have been a nightmare with a critical intersection closed for tram works - even as far back as Station Street, the traffic was the worst I can remember seeing). A reasonably straightforward session; Achilles seems to have pulled up OK after yesterday.

Had planned to go out for a run at lunchtime (taking advantage of the coolest lunchtime likely for another three months or so), but discovered I hadn't brought any running shorts.

US gun laws absurdity (an occasional series): Wisconsin recently passed a law that introduced such a thing as a 'mentored' hunting licence (one which allows you to hunt in the company of a fully licenced hunter), with no lower age limit. Since the law was introduced last month, 24 such licences have been issued to people under 5, 10 of them to people under 1. (Presumably what is actually happening is that some hunters are taking the opportunity to take their kid along and instantly double their quota).

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