Road bike (commute) 19:00  6.3 km (19.9 kph) shoes: Giant TCR
Got back into Perth 12hrs later than planned and headed off to the GP not long afterwards to get my head examined. On the bike because what I really needed after a 28km O event yesterday was more exercise.
Many false starts: firstly my bike fell over inside and I had to put the chain back on; second attempt I was about to head off when I realised I hadn't taken the letter from the medic yesterday; third attempt I got out into the street before realising I didn't have a bike lock; then finally my cycle computer wasn't working and I found the cadence sensor had disappeared, presumably when the bike fell over but since I couldn't find it inside it is probably in the back of Tash's car somewhere. Consequently time and distance an estimate.
Got my head glued back together and have to have more tests for my high cortisol readings that I got tested for last time (but missed the subsequent appointment).
Surprised I've managed to stay awake this long. I barely slept Saturday night and last night I didn't sleep at all, nor did I sleep on the plane.
Orienteering (bush) race (Willagalong) 3:39:15*** 28.16 km (7:47 / km) +743m6:53 / km ahr:156 max:209 spiked:32/43c (injured)shoes: Salomon Speedtrak black/yellow
NSW Ultralong Champs & NOL 10 (M21E)
I reckon it took me ~2mins before I'd smacked the top of my my head on an overhanging branch and another minute before I had blood pouring down my face and all over my map. All this before even reaching the first control (of 43). I wasn't about to give up that early on though so figured I'd keep going until I'd either: a) finished; or b) passed out. Fortunately the former came first.
Really enjoyed the first two loops, lots of fallen timber but not piles of it as we encountered in ACT a few years back so managed to run around or over most of it. First loop I tended to follow people into controls in particular one NSW guy who was slightly faster than me but more directionally challenged so I didn't 100% rely on him. Made a few minor errors but nothing more than 20-30 seconds.
Second loop, after the debacle of tonking myself on the first, I managed to face plant not far out of the map change, in front of Fedor and some old guy who only moments before had asked if I was okay (this was the standard question I got when people saw my blood smeared face). Made a few bigger errors on this loop, probably getting tired but unlike the first where I was able to immediately correct, this time I had a couple where I wasn't 100% sure where I was meant to correct to (#24 and 25 being prime examples). #32 near the finish I had been in the correct clearing but couldn't see the control so then went to relocate from a nearby clearing only to find myself back in the same one where the control was and also had one of the Stingers pass me after I'd just put in a fair amount of effort up the second last hill to leave him in my dust.
Third loop I figured would be quick as it was by far the shortest of the three but it also had all the green and I got stuck in it at every available opportunity. Between 36-37 I encountered a whole mess of fallen pines where the map showed only moderate green, it really should have been dark green. I wasted a lot of time climbing over it all instead of going back to the road. Pushed on and made my way around although I made the bulk of my time losses on this last loop.
Happy to make the finish as I was getting pretty tired towards the end of the second loop and on the last one I ended up half walking/half jogging all the hills. It was however my slowest time on the three ultra longs I've done to date (all within the 3:15-3:40 range). As I've said in previous years, I may actually train properly for one at some point. My flat river runs didn't really cut it this year.
Top ten finish! That means I now have more NOL points this year in two events than last year in seven. I also didn't run in the ultra long last year so results are a bit biased.
Also managed to win a split, only my second ever in a NOL event (after the Sydney sprint relay a few years back). Of course it was the shortest leg on course from 32-33, where I'd almost gone all the way to 33 in an attempt to relocate for 32 but I'll take it.
Missed my flight home from Sydney. Given the flight time I had our WA team would have all had to finish the ultra long under 4.5hrs, which didn't happen :-( Was going to be tight regardless. Plus I needed medical aid at the finish (again), not unusual.
Running warm up/down 5:37 1.09 km (5:10 / km) +23m4:40 / km ahr:144 max:166 shoes: Salomon Fellraiser black/blue
Running late for the start so had to put a bit of effort in up the hill, then when I got there I discovered my start was 1:54, not 1:52 so had a whole two minutes extra!
Orienteering (bush) race (Wyangala Waters) 52:48*** 6.61 km (7:59 / km) +255m6:42 / km ahr:163 max:184 spiked:19/26c shoes: Salomon Fellraiser black/blue
NSW Middle Champs and NOL 9 (M21E)
First official bush event of the year (Umuna EOD being my only other run but at just 26mins it hardly counts). Got off to a bad start by binning 3mins on the relatively easy first control. Didn't take my time and rushed to where I thought it was, even found the broken fence to the west but didn't use it as an AP as I wasn't confident of it being the mapped one, so stupid since it had a control on it! Took so long there that Jarrah (2mins) had gone through before I realised and even Wayne (4mins) had already started well before I found the control. Fortunately settled down after that but a great deal of damage early on.
Nice loop around and across the hillside before heading down into the watercourse where I failed to muck up #9 as others had done but I mucked up #10 instead. Not overly bad, just wasn't sure and picked my way through the rock slowly before going to exactly where the control was.
I'd had a look whee the spectator run through control was prior to the event and consequently got one of my better splits of the day there (one of three in the top ten). Took the poor road option from 16-17 when going straight was perfectly fine, then tried to hit the top corner of the fence to #18 but ended up hitting the fence on the red line because I hooked around too much.
Very hesitant into #19 when I thought someone near me had found a control so I went to investigate (silly since it meant I gave up on my plan to go to the rough open as an AP) then a couple of fast guys went through and I used them to #20 (my equal best split, along with the finish) and 21 but didn't trust their direction through the saddle to #22 when it should have been my direction I didn't trust, so they got away from me.
Made a bit of a meal of #24 in all the rock and then the last control that was on the tip of an open area, going too far left, but I did get it before the two people in front of me.
I enjoyed today's area, open although not overly runnable for me with all the rock but that was fine (ran as much as I could). Very steep in parts but I didn't mind it. Managed to beat two non-WA people (actual finishers) and two of the West Aussie contingent although Cameron got me by nine seconds. As it turned out, even if I hadn't blown three minutes on the first, I would have only got Cameron because the next place was five minutes ahead but would have been nice to get under 50 minutes.
The Fellraisers were a piece of shit: laces came loose and I developed hot spots on the balls of my feet over only a short distance so I decided not to wear them tomorrow (good thing I brought along the Speedtrax). I really need new shoes.
The TCR was back in action after I put the new chain ring on a couple of days ago so it took back its former role as commuter bike. Seemed to go okay. Weather was looking ordinary earlier in the day but it had cleared up by the afternoon so I didn't have to pike on training.
I was very excited when Tash told me about a new MTB multi-day race happening in Tassie next year (the Dragon Trail) based around Derby & St Helens, although was considerably less excited when I found out it was Geocentric running it. Not because I think they'll do a crap job but anytime a professional race organiser gets involved, it prices everyone out of the market. I'm looking at you Rapid Ascent.
Race directors must think that just because someone owns a bike that he or she must be loaded with cash but think about it, a bike is a lot cheaper than a car! So anyway the cost of this three day race, if you happen to be one of the first 100 entrants, is a rather princely $550, which is more expensive than the already highly priced Cape to Cape (four days) and its sister races. If you miss out on that then the earlybird rate is an extra 20% and add another 20% on top of that for the regular rate, post December. Sadly I'll probably still do the race, though even more sadly it's two weeks after the MSW and three weeks before Easter so it's not like I can tack anything onto it to make the trip worthwhile (unless someone puts the selection trials on around that time???)
As a comparison, the three day Easter in the Alice MTB race is $319 but I'm sure it used to be much cheaper than that when Paul Darvo was involved. Weirdly they give Alice Springs residents a 40% discount to that race and other NT residents a 20% discount even though those outside of NT have to essentially mortgage their houses to be able to afford flights there (I recall in 1996 that WARA gave international visitors to the WRC free entry to offset the costs of flights, doesn't seem to be reciprocated by other organisations since I don't ever recall receiving discounted entry to any races I had to travel to). As another comparison, Joel and I have so far forked out around $232 to enter three orienteering carnivals consisting of 16 races in total in Europe across June and July. Now that's what I call good value!
Another possibility for the Tassie race is that I can wait and see if ADF will fund the event but even if they do, there's no guarantee I'll get the funding and I probably wouldn't even find out until after the normal entry deadline, at which point the price has skyrocketed to $830. Plus airfares won't be offering discounted rates by that point. Life is so unfair.
Orienteering (bush)46:02 7.61 km (6:03 / km) +59m5:50 / km ahr:132 max:177 shoes: Salomon Fellraiser black/blue
Map memory exercises around Garvey Park. Two different courses of eight controls each, remember as many or as few as you could and go find them, returning to the map whenever you needed to. I quickly saw a nice loop of four on the first map so went off to search them with Andries in hot pursuit. He passed me when I couldn't find the control at the end of the bridge (it was kind of hidden behind the tree next to the bridge) then got in to the little hill control just ahead though he spent less time back at the map looking at the next loop. After the second loop I came in about a second behind him at 9:23 but with a 15 minute time limit, Michal decided we'd get less time on the next loop, down to 12 minutes.
Of course the second loop was more difficult and I managed to not remember exactly the location of the second CP in the bush so ended up skipping it and the third one (needed to know where the second one was as an attackpoint) although got the fourth. Collected the second loop of four but ran slightly overtime so a net score of 5. So sad.
Time includes warm up and down where we chased away a dog that was on a lead but not in control by its owner, which just happened to be the same dog I almost ran over on my ride into the park since it wasn't in control then either and it ran across the path in front of me (although the owner stepped on its lead to stop it but I'd ridden off the path by that point).
Additions and updates to the Kalamunda map. I wanted to make sure the GPS trace I added on haphazardly for the new downhill trail off Gungin after the last ride I did was accurate from what I drew but turns out it was not quite although I didn't even get to that point before I found yet another new trail down from the top of Gungin. These trail builders are sure getting excited about building unsanctioned trails. I'm sure there'll be no repercussions down the track (so to speak). Also went to check out the trail that Richard B added on (across the side of Gungin) for last year's event but it no longer exists. A very short lived track and well worth the effort of building it I'm sure.
I had a package arrive from the online MTB store just before I went out but since it contained what I recalled as being just two new tyres, I didn't bother opening it. Of course as I had my first crash out there today and landed on my right knee, I remembered that I'd also bought knee pads and they were now sitting at home waiting for me in the box. Stupid.
Unfortunately that wasn't my only crash for the day and the second one was a doozy. It was the second time down the downhill trail (I had to remap a nearby trail and so jumped on the downhill one where it crossed over) and was of course about to finish up for the day when I went over a rock that I'd already been over once and almost stacked it but this time I completed the job, the front wheel lobbed in the ground and I flew over the bike and kind of ended up with it on top of me. Unfortunately I also managed to land on the map board and damaged it so that was nice (unlike the old ones I used to get back in the day that would break when you sneezed on them, this one remained intact). Shame it was my good one although I'm not entirely sure why I take that one out when I have an old one in the cupboard that I can use for mapping. Stupid really. Think I bruised my shoulder in the process but should still be able to run this weekend.
The original plan for today had been to go for a ride and then do map updates but I thought I'd do it in reverse in case I ran out of time, given how late I started (was wasting the morning drawing a school map and avoiding doing the OWA audit). Almost didn't bother after the crash but went and did the Farrell/Scorpion loop. Still feeling a bit lethargic from the weekend.
No real surprise I got a call today from the AEC asking if I was available to work at the election this weekend. A case of way too little and far, far too late. It would actually cost me more in flight and event cancellations than I could earn at the election although in the process of doing the ultra long weekend in NSW, I've managed to not only bugger up my working opportunities at the election (but I blame ScoMo for his delayed election announcement) but also at Friday night football and in addition the Perth Glory are now playing the final at the stadium this Sunday. Add to that the nine day training block my unit is doing commencing this Saturday and I've really done myself a number (not one of these working opportunities was available or probably even realistic way back when I booked my flights in January). Life is so unfair.
Not a lot of hard training happening this week trying to recover from the rogaine and taper (whatever that is) for the ultra long so made this an easy-ish although long-ish bike session (i.e. not a smash fest). Back to the old days of 4 x 15/5 at E2 although with the various path closures along the highway and freeway, that ruled out my usual route down to Rowley Rd in a big loop so just went out to the path closure on Joe Fryway and returned until the third rep in the other direction and then back.
Reps ended up being faster than I anticipated, with the two fastest being not a lot slower than the time trial average on Sunday and they were in opposing directions too meaning there wasn't a lot of wind around (if any). First rep probably would have been a tiny bit faster but for the fact that I ran out of path before I ran out of time so had to do a U turn to finish it off.
Cut short the ride home along the river because I didn't feel like it so just hopped out onto the road.
Running23:44 5.13 km (4:38 / km) ahr:159 max:190 shoes: Salomon Speedtrak black/yellow
The other part of today's plan (outside of drawing a map) was to go for an easy run because apparently I have a couple of runs this weekend and my legs weren't tired enough already today. The ultra long isn't quite as far a run as what I did last weekend but still far enough and (hopefully) at a faster pace. I'm not even sure how much we ran last weekend: Dave made me run downhills, uphills, flat, through paddocks, bush, whenever he spotted a control, when I wanted to run, when I didn't want to run, when no-one else was running and all the while my sole just wanted to depart.
I wore the Garmin on my other arm today because I wanted to even up the tan, not that I'm any chance to get rid of the white spot on my left wrist but it made me feel better. Running with an opposing wrist Garmin felt weird though, I kept thinking I wanted to fall over.