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Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 7 days ending Feb 18, 2018:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run7 5:20:48 27.46(11:41) 44.2(7:15) 64037 /40c92%
  Total7 5:20:48 27.46(11:41) 44.2(7:15) 64037 /40c92%

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Sunday Feb 18, 2018 #

10 AM

Run race 43:36 [4] *** 3.7 km (11:47 / km) +150m 9:48 / km

Middle distance chasing start. Felt better running than yesterday, and only a couple of 10-second wobbles, but the terrain didn't play to my strengths as much as yesterday - mostly either flat or really steep - so I wasn't quite as close to the front end. Ended up dropping one place (effectively two, as the overnight leader didn't start) to finish 7th overall, still a result I was fairly happy with.

The dynamics of a chasing start are a bit different when you don't recognise your competition (and where there are lots of other people running around in a small area). I suspected at one point in mid-course I was in a small pack, which meant I wasn't going out of my way to get out of the way going downhill on a very steep track which I knew others could do faster (apologies if you weren't in my class).

Headed back to Madrid afterwards, a trip which partly demonstrated that I didn't miss a lot through being unable to see through darkness and/or fog, except for hundreds of wind turbines - since these are installed in a non-English-speaking country, presumably they don't give people migraines or cause chickens to lay yolkless eggs - and the Big Bull. Some nice country before I got on the freeway, though.

Saturday Feb 17, 2018 #

11 AM

Run race ((orienteering)) 1:14:35 [3] *** 5.9 km (12:38 / km) +440m 9:12 / km

Long distance day of the Costa Calida event - adding Spain to my list of countries competed in. Arriving at the event (finally getting to see the scenery after breaking out of the fog) it looked like it was going to be physical, an impression not dispelled by a set of winning times which suggested that the setters thought Olav Lundanes was going to do 7 min/km (they were right). It was indeed physical; the ground and the formations in many places reminded me of the steep bits of some of the Burra/Worlds End terrain, although the vegetation is very different, with low shrubs making it hard work to run through even when level.

I feared the worst when I struggled with a modest hill on the way to #2 (which I then compounded by doing more climb than I needed to when going past the control, a one-minuter which was my last mistake of the day of any size). At this stage it was already apparent that the advertised 5% climb bore about as much resemblance to reality as a Donald Trump tweetstorm. I did gradually get into it, getting a bit stronger as it went on (although still not running much of the steeper hills); the splits suggest that I didn't handle the very steep descent into #4 well, but at least I hit the control. Had a good stretch from 8 to 11 - perhaps the most South Australian bit of the terrain - with three top-six splits and thought I might have a chance of getting under 70, but I'd underestimated the gnarliness of a couple of the late control placements.

I knew others would be finding it tough too, but still placed higher than I expected, 6th in a field of 50-odd. There's a chasing start tomorrow, with the times sufficiently closely bunched on both sides that anything between 2nd and 13th is well within the bounds of decent-run plausibility. I'll be particularly pleased if I manage to stay in front of the bunch of six 1.20 apart between 1.30 and 3.00 behind me.
1 PM


Spanish orienteering seem to follow a similar approach to their young to that of the ancient Spartans. The winning times in M12 and W12 were 54 and 46 respectively, and there were finishers in times beyond three hours in both classes.

(In my early orienteering days you still sometimes got the odd young junior course which was shorter than the adults but almost as technically hard; M12A on day 1 at Easter 1982, 4.3km with controls which I'd consider bingo controls if I got them on a course now, was probably the last major example).
6 PM

Run race ((orienteering)) 16:37 [4] *** 2.7 km (6:09 / km) +50m 5:38 / km

Not quite sure what the organisers were thinking when they scheduled a late afternoon sprint after a tough physical long - unsurprisingly elite no-shows were in ample supply (it doesn't count towards the final result). I was in two minds myself but liked the idea of a Mediterranean old town sprint, and felt better than I expected. Nice enough course but didn't really get into rabbit-warren territory in the way that it sometimes can in that part of the world, and got blown away for speed, about three minutes off the lead.

Friday Feb 16, 2018 #


A late evening thanks to a delayed arrival in Madrid: almost a carbon copy of last year's equivalent event except that the delay was before leaving Geneva rather than at the car rental counter, and that I didn't take the chance this time on eating on the road. Ended up getting to where I was staying (about halfway to the event) about 11.30, having spent some of that time wondering whether 120 was a sensible speed to be doing with patchy fog about - unlike Portugal, you don't see many going much faster - and some putting places to names I'd previously identified primarily with the relegation zone of La Liga. (Some would say that the relegation zone of La Liga normally starts at about fourth...)
7 AM

Run 41:00 [3] 7.0 km (5:51 / km)

A see-if-things-still-work run which was essentially answered in the affirmative (once I'd spent bits of the first kilometre coughing up stuff). Second half of the run was basically normal. Achilles tight early but gradually loosened during the run, and not a problem during the day.

Did a bit of exploration today, heading right down to the point at Jonction, the point where the Rhone and Arve rivers meet and used at warmer times of the year by the locals for swimming/picnicking/hanging out (and reputedly a certain quantity of commerce involving illicit substances). The bulk of the junction itself is occupied somewhat unromantically by a bus depot - but then, Sydney used to have something comparable (the Opera House is built on the site of a former tram depot). There was also a bit of adventure in this section on some muddy riverside paths, at a time of year when I definitely didn't want to fall into the river - even if it was the warmest morning so far.

Now on the way to add a new country (Spain) to my orienteering list. It's a completely new area but the model map looks very Australian.

Thursday Feb 15, 2018 #

(sick) (rest day)

I'd made the decision not to run this morning before going to bed last night, and wasn't too upset to have a reason not to get out of bed too early this morning. Felt somewhat better by the afternoon (and got on a bit of a writing roll late in the day as well), so hopefully I'll be right to head out tomorrow (and in reasonable condition for the weekend).

Achilles felt tight walking around today for no obvious reason.

Wednesday Feb 14, 2018 #

8 AM

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

Yesterday's high couldn't last for long; by evening I had a sore throat, and had a fairly rough night. Didn't feel too horrible when I got up and decided to press on regardless and see how it felt. This wasn't the most sparkling of sessions, but not too bad. Faded quickly through the day, though, and I'm starting to think that a long run in cold (possibly freezing) rain tomorrow morning may not be the smartest of ideas if I want to run well in Spain this weekend.

Run warm up/down 20:00 [3] 3.5 km (5:43 / km)

Warming up and down to/from the lakefront. There had been a bit of snow overnight; in the old town where I'm staying, it had settled only on roofs and elevated surfaces, but once away from buildings there was a couple of centimetres even on pavements, except where it had been cleared or salted. (The section of the lakefront where I actually did the intervals was one of those).

Tuesday Feb 13, 2018 #

7 AM

Run 1:01:00 [3] 11.0 km (5:33 / km)

Somewhat out of the blue, one of my smoothest and most enjoyable runs for months. Based on one of my classic Geneva routes, out along the Arve to the old Vessy power station before coming back through the suburbs on the northern bank (territory I also went into yesterday, but these runs were chalk and cheese). Flowing particularly well in the last 15 minutes as it shifted to being mostly gently downhill.

The invigorating conditions may have been a help: clear, dry and around -6 degrees. I'd forgotten how nice this was to run in (yes, I mean it seriously).

Monday Feb 12, 2018 #

7 AM

Run 44:00 [3] 7.2 km (6:07 / km)

A struggle throughout; partly this was because my back wasn't great and caused difficulties on any significant hills (which made it as well that they were all gradual), but felt pretty flat even throughout that - perhaps because it's a bit of a novelty these days to run the morning after something long. As with Saturday, distance is probably a bit underdone in the old town section but even outside that things were slow. Dry when I was out, but it looked like there had been a bit of snow not long beforehand, with some settled on cars and grass in the highest parts of the run.

I spent most of today reading large numbers of national climate summaries in search of information for the report. My music shuffle happened to throw up "Vienna" as I was reading the Austrian one, whereupon I took the track list as cues for where to go next, through the likes of "One Perfect Day" , "Rasputin" and "Mexican Radio". (The 2017 answer to "is it still raining there in England?" is "about as much as it usually does").

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