Register | Login
Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: blairtrewin

In the 31 days ending Jan 31, 2011:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Run23 27:38:14 204.31(8:07) 328.8(5:03) 115054 /57c94%
  Pool running5 3:45:00 2.17(1:43:27) 3.5(1:04:17)
  Swimming6 3:43:00 3.73(59:49) 6.0(37:10)
  Total33 35:06:14 210.21(10:01) 338.3(6:14) 115054 /57c94%

» now

Monday Jan 31, 2011 #

7 AM

Run 43:00 [3] 8.2 km (5:15 / km)

Recovery run up into the northwestern suburbs of Geneva, reasonably solid climbing through the first half with the reward in the second. Stiff early but moving reasonably well by the time I was 10 minutes in, and handling the climb with some comfort.

Continuing to discover local landmarks; today's was the headquarters of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, rarely to be seen mentioned in the Australian media in sentences which do not include the word "junket". I've also discovered that there's another round of Swiss referendum action coming up in a couple of weeks - this time it's something to do with gun control (left for, right against), something to do with a tax amnesty (left against, right for) and a third one which I don't understand at all (supporters and opponents all over the place).

Sunday Jan 30, 2011 #

8 AM

Run 2:04:00 [3] 24.3 km (5:06 / km)

Felt much better for a decent night's sleep (even though I couldn't quite achieve my usual first-night objective of lasting until 10), and headed out once it got light, on a chilly, misty morning with a northeast wind which was unpleasant on the bridge but a non-issue otherwise. Started out on familiar ground, along the south edge of the lake and up into Cologny past some expensive real estate and the premises of the World Economic Forum (deserted - they're all in Davos this week), before a more exploratory section through semi-rural areas and small villages. Not quite where I'd planned because my map memory was flawed and I missed a turn, but kept on a general south- to southwest direction. There was about a half-hour stretch on the French side of the border, not all of it particularly attractive (lots of shops trying to capitalise on the exchange rate, plus the French aren't as efficient at getting rid of weeds on vacant blocks as the Swiss are), but including a very nice stretch through the forest next to the River Arve. Crossed back into Switzerland on a forest track with a sign which translated approximately as 'if you've got anything to declare, please cross at the main crossing down the road', which I thought was rather cool - obviously the Swiss aren't quite as paranoid about their border as some countries I can think of. A good day to explore, especially as my midweek long runs here probably won't include a lot of daylight.

As a run this was reasonable, and had a reasonable amount left at the end, although the course was not overly demanding, with few hills apart from a solid climb from 4-7km, which I handled reasonably. A little bit of right hip soreness at times.

Relaxing now in front of the tennis on Eurosport (but I'm not sure why the ads are in German when the commentary's in English).

Saturday Jan 29, 2011 #

5 PM

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

Made it to Geneva without too many dramas (although a somewhat unusual route choice from Melbourne to Singapore - Adelaide-Ceduna-Port Hedland - presumably prompted by staying out the way of the volcano in Indonesia). Headed out onto the streets almost immediately, hoping to take advantage of the last of the daylight (which lasted longer than I expected, almost until 6), going around the south side of the lake as far as the very posh-looking Yacht Club de Geneve.

I've had some very good runs in Canberra on crisp, dry evenings near sunset with the temperature falling toward freezing. This won't join them - it was too sleepy for that - but still a useful hitout and no leg soreness. My Achilles also doesn't seem to have tightened up as much as it sometimes does on planes.

More people out and about on the streets than last time I was here, although I wasn't here on a Saturday afternoon last time.

I'm usually OK after the first proper night's sleep, and plan to go long tomorrow morning - not 2.30, but hoping for at least 2. One of my best runs of last year was a long run on the first full day of a trip, on Dartmoor in September.

Friday Jan 28, 2011 #

7 AM

Run 43:00 [3] 8.4 km (5:07 / km)

Got a comeback run under my belt before leaving for the next stint in Geneva. A bit of rust in the system but no sign of any soreness from the leg, and I think I can probably rule a line under that particular injury (which is a better result than I'd feared on Sunday). As a run, pretty similar to several of the last couple of weeks.

Not too sorry that this week's Sunday long run will be done on a day of 4 rather than a day of 40.

For those going to the March NOL weekend there are apparently not one, but two, musical distractions on the Saturday night - one of the symphony orchestras on the north side of the lake and INXS on the south side. In a somewhat unfortunate piece of timing both concerts are currently scheduled to take place outdoors at the same time, which could make for some interesting acoustics.

Thursday Jan 27, 2011 #

8 AM

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

A couple of false starts this morning. First I got to the pool entrance to discover that I'd left the running belt in the car. Then I got back to the pool entrance to discover that I'd dropped my swimmers in the middle of the road. Alexandra Parade isn't really a road you want to cross once, let alone six times, but I eventually got going and had a decent session, sun glare again the only real issue.

Felt good on the ride into work from there, and generally today. It's amazing the difference getting an extra hour or so of sleep makes. Also no discomfort in the leg at any stage today, so I'll definitely go for a run in the morning - will find out a bit more then. Features of said ride included being passed rather too close by a bright blue hoonmobile and then passing it back 100 metres down the road (not quite as good as beating a Ferrari down the length of Flinders Street, but close), and noting that a Czech band is the latest on the eclectic list to play the pub on the corner of Elizabeth and Queensberry Streets. One of the bands playing there a few weeks ago was called Geneva Is Boring, something I'll have a chance to put to the test from Saturday evening onwards.

One of the things I was doing today was checking extreme rainfalls from the summer of 2009-10. I doubt if anyone who was at Falls Creek for New Years' last year will argue with my conclusion that it was not credible that a site near Falls Creek had no rainfall for the 24 hours to 9am on 1 January 2010 (and thus that the 150mm allegedly recorded there on 2 January was very probably a two-day total).

Wednesday Jan 26, 2011 #

5 PM

Swimming 37:00 [2] 1.0 km (37:00 / km)

A new swimming venue today - I'd been to an Australia Day BBQ at Hampton East and dropped into the Carnegie pool on the way home. This is a slightly ageing outdoor pool, which was quieter than I expected on a late holiday afternoon (and cooler than I expected, but fine once in). A reasonable swim, although I did see the return of something which I had thought was a thing of the past - the foot cramp (in both feet on separate occasions), and felt slightly bloated from the big lunch.

Most of the people at the gathering were work colleagues. Some parties have the most sober person as designated driver; this one had the most sober person as designated interviewee (it was the 'Australian' so one is always wary, but if it goes pear-shaped I'll be safely out of the country within 48 hours).

The leg has improved significantly today - feels as if it might almost be ready to run on tomorrow, but I think I'll give it another day and try something on Friday. Also don't seem to have suffered too much from a stint of 1am international teleconferencing (it is easier to take when it's on the morning of a public holiday and you can sleep in - or at least sleep in by my standards, which means 7 rather than 5.something).

I don't think I'll have any trouble finding somewhere to watch the men's Australian Open final in Geneva (local interest will presumably be heavily dependent on the semi-final result), but the Asia Cup final might be more of a challenge.

Tuesday Jan 25, 2011 #

8 AM

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

Seem to have improved a little overnight, and certainly a session in the pool didn't create any problems, so this looks like a good way to try to maintain fitness for however long I'm not running - except that my flotation belt is far too bulky to haul around the world. Presumably it's possible to get them in Geneva. Had assorted company in the lane today, including someone who was sufficiently large that I was half-expecting the Sea Shepherd crew to turn up to keep the Japanese away from her.

There were 47.8 good reasons why Port Augusta would have been a good place to avoid today. (Some would be unkind enough to suggest that it is worth avoiding under any meteorological conditions). Some of this air mass is on its way to Canberra, and possibly Melbourne and/or Adelaide if the winds go northerly enough on the weekend, by which time I will be safely out of the country. It will be somewhat ironic if the Australian record high goes on Saturday - not beyond the realms of possibility - while I'm on a plane.

Also noticed a piece in the Herald-Sun quoting someone from Trades Hall saying that the Australia Day holiday should become a whole week. I suspect it was said tongue-in-cheek, but you can't really get much more Australian than an over-the-top ambit claim in an industrial dispute....

Monday Jan 24, 2011 #

8 AM

Swimming 39:00 [2] 1.0 km (39:00 / km)

Had another interrupted night's sleep, although not as bad as last night - this is one of those strange injuries that hurts (on occasion) more at rest than in action - so actually hit the snooze button when the alarm went off, which isn't normally my style. Must have worked because I felt much better during the day than I did on either day of the weekend (it's probably a sign you've been pushing yourself too hard when you fall asleep on a train at 11 on a Saturday morning).

It was then a case of exploring what I could do, starting with a swim in which I wasn't using the legs too much (so it was even slower than it usually was), combined with a short bike commute. Seemed to function OK.

Sunday Jan 23, 2011 #

9 AM

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

Caught my foot on a step at the station yesterday afternoon and didn't think anything of it when the resultant soreness in my lower right leg disappeared after a few minutes, but it reappeared during the night, waking me up a couple of times and making for a pretty rough night. That, and general run-downedness, made me apprehensive about going long, but the leg felt OK on getting up and I thought I'd at least try, with a short initial loop to see how it went. No sign of trouble for the first 15 minutes, but then the leg started hurting quite sharply, and while it didn't seem to be impeding me, keeping going in such circumstances is asking for trouble.

The question now is what the problem is; the soreness seems to be around the bone but surely I couldn't have broken anything in such an innocuous incident (and if something was broken I suspect it would have started hurting within 20 seconds, not 20 minutes). Another unappealing possibility is that it might be a stress fracture, but if so it seems strange that the soreness first emerged when walking with no sign of trouble on runs up to yesterday. Hopefully neither of these scenarios comes to pass and it's a deep bruise or something like it that will settle down within days.

Saturday Jan 22, 2011 #

9 AM

Run 1:05:00 [3] 12.5 km (5:12 / km)

Didn't feel as if I could quite get myself into a rhythm today, although not the weakness that there was at times in the last couple of weeks, and some good patches in the second half coming back from the Templestowe river crossing. Feeling tired and run-down later in the day though; I've worked past 10.30 the last couple of nights and think I may be pushing myself further than I'm designed to go (and yes, I know Liggo does it just about every day). Main objective at the moment is to hold myself together long enough until I get on the plane on Friday night and flake out.

Random sights of the city: somebody playing a musical instrument by a billabong near the Yarra Trail.

Friday Jan 21, 2011 #

7 AM

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

A reasonably relaxing session in Fitzroy Pool, in anticipation of a frantic day which turned out to be a good deal less frantic than I was expecting (partly because the release came out earlier than I expected, which meant in turn that the first wave of media was handled by people in Europe).

It did seem somewhat bizarre that the ABC thought that the geologist Bob Carter, who is the climate science equivalent of "well known to police", was the appropriate local expert to use for comment on the statement.

Thursday Jan 20, 2011 #

6 AM

Run 2:05:00 [3] 24.4 km (5:07 / km)

Felt half-asleep for the first 45 minutes but eventually developed into a reasonable run, which will do something to restore my confidence after last week's debacle. Pretty good in the last half-hour, didn't fall in a heap on the hills and actually finished with something in the tank, which is a bit of a change from the last couple of weeks. Hints of Achilles soreness at a couple of points. A little longer than planned after extending through Greensborough. Slow early but more respectable in the second half.

I'm reasonably familiar with domestic media frenzies but tomorrow has the potential to bring a global media frenzy - the World Meteorological Organization is putting out a statement (in about 30 minutes as I write this) that 2010 was the world's hottest year on record. I'll probably have a fairly significant role in handling this statement, which will be an interesting challenge (especially if Fox News comes calling), although I've also got a bit of apprehension at the back of my mind because, based on the experience of other globally high-profile climate scientists, it will put me on the radar of some deeply unpleasant people. Hopefully there aren't too many death threats.

Wednesday Jan 19, 2011 #

7 PM

Run 41:36 [3] * 9.1 km (4:34 / km) +100m 4:20 / km

Street-O at Boronia, a flattish area combining very unscenic industrial estate with Melbourne outer suburbia. Enough route choice to make it interesting (a railway line helps there), but in the end most people seemed to go roughly the same way. Not for the first time this season, I found myself in a scrap with Ian Davies, but at the moment I'm running like a vehicle without a fourth or fifth gear and he was a little bit too fast for me (he did his best to give back that advantage with a couple of errors, but won the sprint finish). Somewhat faster than previous weeks, but flatter terrain and benign conditions (certainly compared with last week's steam-bath) had a fair bit to do with that.

News of last year's election doesn't seem to have reached this far east yet because a sign on the football ground fence still advertised Jason Wood, Federal Member for La Trobe (probably best known in non-political-tragic circles for being the MP whose unfortunate slip of the tongue led him to refer to "genetically modified orgasms" in a speech in Parliament - needless to say, this has been immortalised on YouTube). At one point in the run we passed a sign "Free Wood" and the thought did cross my mind "he only lost the election - he isn't in jail".

I have also noticed in the letters columns of the Financial Review of late contibutions by regular correspondents Des Moore, calling for the building of more dams, and Joseph Toscano, calling for the establishment of more comprehensive early warning systems. I'm not sure which is the more ironic - a representative of the Institute for Private Enterprise advocating the spending of large amounts of government money, or a representative of the Anarchist Media Institute advocating the expansion of a government program (or the establishment of a new one).

(I strongly suspect, by the way, that both of the above organisations consist of one person, a computer and a fax machine).

Tuesday Jan 18, 2011 #

7 AM

Run intervals 41:00 [4] 9.0 km (4:33 / km)

Woke up with quads tighter than they had been on Sunday or yesterday. Felt fine once I was out running, but the stopwatch doesn't lie....

Kooyoora could be another area which looks interesting at the moment - it was pretty much at ground zero of the most exceptional rain. (Wedderburn, Inglewood and Dunolly have all already broken records for their wettest month ever).

Monday Jan 17, 2011 #

7 AM

Swimming 37:00 [2] 1.0 km (37:00 / km)

Swim at Fitzroy, ironing various creases out of the body (this time without having been for a run first). It took a while to iron said creases out but it worked out OK in the end. Water warmer than usual (and it's amazing how different 28-degree water feels to 27-degree water).
7 PM

Run 40:00 [3] 7.4 km (5:24 / km)

First MFR Monday night run of the year, with a decent turnout, around the Tan from Simon's temporary (architecturally interesting) abode in South Yarra. Stiff early but improved a bit after the first 10 minutes (and my quads didn't totally freak when presented with going down the Anderson Street hill, which is good news).

I spent quite a bit of the day collating (more) records. Perhaps the most impressive is that Victoria has already had its wettest January on record and the month's only just over half over. The total water content of the atmosphere over Melbourne on Thursday also broke the previous record by more than 20%, with values which would be high even for Darwin in the wet season.

Sunday Jan 16, 2011 #

7 AM

Run 2:29:59 [3] 27.4 km (5:28 / km) +700m 4:51 / km

Two Bays Trail Run. Treated this as a long training run (not that I suspect I would have been able to race it a lot harder). This starts off with 270m climb in 3km up Arthurs Seat (the top of the track being about 20 metres away from the spot where Cassie got married), then drops off again, before undulating the rest of the way to Cape Schanck.

Handled the initial climb pretty well, but realised on a short climb at 5.5k that I had no strength in my quads (a common problem in recent days). This was somewhat alarming and made me realise I had to be careful or I was going to blow up a long, long way from home. Settled a bit after that but still found any climbs, of which there were a few in the 8-12k section, hard work. From 12 to 22k was through forest, mostly flat or slightly downhill - still not totally comfortable but accumulated the distance without undue difficulty. That left the final section across the top of Bushrangers Bay. Had a good patch at the start of this section, but had to walk a steep set of stairs with about 2.5k to go and struggled home a bit from there. Did manage to find a bit for the last 100 to get in under 2.30 (at least according to me).

This is a nice course and well worth the effort. I shouldn't, though, be finding 2.30 at training pace as difficult as this, even on a hilly course. In particular the lack of quad strength is a major concern.

Saturday Jan 15, 2011 #

8 AM

Run 1:07:00 [3] 13.0 km (5:09 / km)

Sluggish early, picked up somewhat later, but never particularly comfortable, especially up hills. Struggling for confidence at the moment.

Friday Jan 14, 2011 #

7 AM

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

Went to Richmond rather than my usual Fitzroy, partly because Melbourne was continuing its attempt to imitate Darwin in the monsoon and I thought things might get a bit uncomfortable in the outdoor pool, although as it turned out the serious rain didn't return until just after I got to work. (It says something for recent conditions that the environs of an indoor pool felt less humid than the outside world). One thing that's changed in the 18 months since this was a regular Friday morning haunt - it's a lot harder to park (I think more restrictions have been introduced in nearby streets). A reasonable session, although didn't feel as if it was flowing quite as well as it usually does (and of course there was less to recover from in a recovery session than would normally be the case).

There might be a few new erosion gullies on the Golden Fleece; there were numerous falls in excess of 250 millimetres yesterday in the St. Helens area.

Thursday Jan 13, 2011 #

6 AM

Run 1:16:00 [3] 15.0 km (5:04 / km)

The conditions got the better of me today. It was just as humid, if not more so, as last night (for sustained high dewpoint the current event ranks second only to one in February 1955, a record which may well fall by tomorrow morning), I hadn't slept well, and expected it to be tough going, which it was. Sluggish in the first half-hour but thought I might be able to fight my way out of it as I have a couple of times in recent weeks, but taking on water had no real effect. By 45 minutes I was starting to entertain the possibility that I might not last for two hours and readjusting my course to one with reasonable bailout options. By 60 minutes I was really struggling, and holding out to reassess at the next water point. There was no improvement after that, either, and I decided I wasn't going to achieve much by pressing on (and ran the risk of getting into real trouble; it was a definite danger sign that my pace had slowed by 20 seconds/km in the last 3k, something which never happens on a normal run).

A failed attempt at a long run (and a sleep-deprived night) probably wasn't the best of preparations for a stressful day, either...

Wednesday Jan 12, 2011 #

7 PM

Run race ((street-O)) 47:01 [4] * 9.8 km (4:48 / km) +150m 4:27 / km

Street-O at Lilydale Heights, one of the more far-flung venues and one I haven't run on before. A semi-tropical night with dewpoints almost as high as they've ever been on a sustained basis in Melbourne (22-23) and intermittent showers of warm rain. Street-O control cards aren't made of particularly robust material, and keeping mine in one piece was quite a challenge.

No real route choice tonight. Felt OK at the start but still no extra gear for the hills or for extra speed. Settled into a pace 50 metres behind Ian Davies and 50 ahead of Rachel Johnson (clearly having an on week). Ian made a couple of small mistakes which put me ahead of him, but then I didn't see a gap in some vegetation which brought us back together with two controls to go. Rachel then kicked home as hard as she did a few weeks ago and once again there was nothing I could do about it, but at least I got Ian for the first time this season, which reinforces yesterday's impression of slight progress but progress none the less. Bruce wasn't there tonight; 5 minutes behind Bryan.

Not sure if the course-setter was a Gerry Rafferty fan, but there was a control in Baker Street.

Tuesday Jan 11, 2011 #


I'm putting a note here so people can post in comments info about orienteers affected by the Queensland floods, or anything else relevant to the situation.
7 AM

Run intervals ((fartlek)) 41:00 [4] 9.0 km (4:33 / km)

Seemed to take forever to wake up this morning. Still felt half-asleep when I set out despite it being 90 minutes after getting up, and that filtered through into a struggling first section. Got into it a bit more in the second half, and even felt as if I had a bit of strength attacking the final uphill rep, not something which has been a familiar experience lately. Just made it under 10, which is still well short of where I want to be (9.30 would be respectable), but at least heading in the right direction now.

It was one of those mornings where it feels pleasantly cool until you start trying to do something (21/20). Still, humid as it is here, it's nothing compared to what is happening further north. I don't have much involvement in the current phase of the situation (although I probably will in post-event reporting), but had a lot of trouble concentrating on what I was supposed to be working on this afternoon (going through 1926-56 temperatures at Cape Otway).

Monday Jan 10, 2011 #

7 AM

Run 42:00 [3] 8.0 km (5:15 / km)

Once again, a bit of a struggle to get out on a Monday morning after a long run on Sunday. Stiffness was gone within a few minutes but still pretty sluggish for most of the way. I imagine doing a run before a swim makes things worse here - normally I'd be doing it the other way round.
8 AM

Swimming 36:00 [2] 1.0 km (36:00 / km)

Started reasonably promisingly but drifted away in the second half. Will still do me some good in loosening myself up, although I'll find out how much good tomorrow morning. A couple of bits of me threatened to cramp on occasions (and one bit actually did when I was lifting myself out of the pool at the end, resulting in a somewhat ungainly exit if anyone was watching, which they probably weren't).

Sunday Jan 9, 2011 #

8 AM

Run 2:28:00 [3] 29.5 km (5:01 / km)

Sunday long run with Bruce, starting at his place but heading upriver beyond mine, getting as far as Banyule Flats before coming back past La Trobe and down Darebin Creek. Not a run that will go down in my list of classics, and thought it might have been on its way to falling apart in a bad patch around the 1.50 mark, but pulled it together and a reasonable last 20 minutes. Still, the fact that I'm finding a relatively flat 2.30 at a not-exceptionally-hard pace in not-exceptionally-difficult conditions (19 degrees, though quite humid) hard going is an indication that I still have some work to do. Hopefully once I've got another three or four of these under my belt it will become more routine.

I spent some of the remainder of the day at the soccer, spending the last 10 minutes pondering the question of whether it was more or less of a debacle than Boxing Day. It was best summed up by the boy texting after the game who asked 'how many s's are there in 'embarrassing'?'

The local fire brigade have had a busy weekend: a big factory fire just across the creek yesterday morning, and sadly a house fire with several deaths this afternoon in the next suburb.

Saturday Jan 8, 2011 #

9 AM

Run 1:09:00 [3] 13.3 km (5:11 / km)

A tougher one today because of both the course and the conditions. As has been stated here ad nauseum in recent weeks I've been struggling on hills lately, and there's only one way to do something about it - in this case involving taking on one of my traditional hilly routes, the North Balwyn/Bulleen traverse. It was also the warmest run I've done so far this summer, 27 degrees and a piercing morning sun, although it was still cool enough for the north wind to be relieving rather than searing. Felt better on the hills than I have for a few weeks (although still not particularly fast on them). Again found the conditions testing in the later stages and was definitely glad I wasn't going 2 1/2 hours today - but then if I was going 2 1/2 hours I'd have started at least 90 minutes earlier. There's a fair chance I'll escape the summer without any days a warm as this for a run of that length; tomorrow will be cooler, next Sunday will probably be cooler, and from late January onwards I'll be back in winter, leaving 23 January as the only date to worry about.

A link to a run of an earlier era came in this morning's Age, which featured a short story partly set in the grounds of the derelict Dubbo drive-in, previously noted at

The ride home last night, like a lot of Friday night rides home in recent weeks, was well into the evening (about 10 this time). A hot night definitely draws life out into the streets, and at 10 it's still lively, rather than menacing as I imagine it can be four or five hours later. It was somewhat ironic that the song running through my head for most of the way was one of loneliness in the big city:

"He’s got this dream about buyin’ some land
He’s gonna give up the booze and the one night stands
And then he’ll settle down, in some quiet little town
And forget about everything."

Friday Jan 7, 2011 #

7 AM

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

Pool running at Fitzroy. First time for a couple of weeks, on a warm morning. Felt like I was putting in some reasonable work but still good to be in the water. Feeling much better for a decent night's sleep, as is quite typical (can't say I'm really looking forward to a 0100-0230 teleconference next Wednesday morning).

As Canberrans will know, the Bogan Mardi Gras (aka Summernats) is under way this week. I saw a report which said that organisers were aiming to make the event more family-friendly this year and in particular to make it more appealing to women. Women have always been an important part of Summernats - if there weren't any there the crowd wouldn't have anyone to yell 'show us yer tits' at.

Thursday Jan 6, 2011 #

6 AM

Run 2:00:00 [3] 23.4 km (5:08 / km)

Was expecting it to be a bit of a challenge to back up after last night, on a route which, like Sunday, was hilly in the first half (out to the footbridge at Lower Eltham) and flatter in the second. Started slowly, but began to build into it nicely from about 30 minutes onwards, and coped well with the long Old Eltham Road hill. I thought this might set me up for a good second hour as had been the case last Sunday, but instead things fell rather flat - mainly because I wasn't recognising how much fluid I was losing, on a humid (by Melbourne standards) morning which would seem tame to our Territorian, or even Queensland, readers (16/15) but was a bit more than I've been used to. Took on some water about 80 minutes which fed through into a good patch for some time after that, but by the last 10 minutes I was struggling again and happy to see the end. Ended up pretty wrecked by the end of the day (I'm writing this struggling to stay awake at 9.30).

I was 4 kilos lighter after this run than I was 48 hours earlier. That's in the ballpark of what I want to lose by the start of the competitive season, but I don't think that's the way that it's supposed to be done.

We're expecting to put a statement out on the Queensland (and other) floods tomorrow, which has taken up quite a bit of my time this week. I had thought there was another flood story that might get a fair bit of attention when it was reported that a live cow had been washed out to Great Keppel Island (which gives a new meaning to 'get wrecked on Great Keppel'), but it turned out that while the cow was real, it was also dead.

It was also pointed out by someone today that if you enter 'Australian Made' into the search box on the (mostly useless) Harvey Norman website, you get the result 'The search for 'Australian made' did not return any products'.

And you know that our cricket commentators are desperate when they start mentioning George Davis. (In 1975 a Test in England was abandoned when the pitch was dug up by those wishing to draw attention to their claim that George Davis, who was in jail for armed robbery, was innocent. As it turned out he was indeed innocent, but he was back inside three years later, and this time there wasn't much room for doubt - he was caught driving the getaway car with several guns alongside him).

Wednesday Jan 5, 2011 #

7 PM

Run race ((street-O)) 1:01:38 [4] * 13.0 km (4:44 / km) +200m 4:24 / km

At Kew East for what was advertised as a 'novelty' score event. The novelty was that four of the controls weren't on the map but were instead shown on maps placed at other controls. This made it a bit of a lottery which I lost badly, having to do two long out-and-backs when if I'd run the loop in the opposite direction they would have fallen into a logical sequence (although it would have helped if I'd actually looked for a map segment at 7). Ended up doing 1.1k more than Bruce, which would have pulled the margin down from eight minutes to a vaguely respectable three or four. Wasn't sure until the end that I was going to get them all in time (and wouldn't have done but for the unusually early start, giving us 63 minutes instead of the more typical 58-59).

As with yesterday, this run felt better than the equivalent two weeks ago but wasn't a lot faster (although mucking around a bit on 3 and 20 due to deficiencies in map memory would have slowed things down a little). OK at cruising speed but no extra gear for hills (or for the finish, as demonstrated when Bruce was warming down at about the same speed as I was finishing).

Annual climate statement day today: mainly about rainfall this year, and a quieter media day than some have been in the past. I suspect I'll make up for lost time here when the global statement goes out.

Tuesday Jan 4, 2011 #

7 AM

Run intervals ((fartlek)) 41:00 [4] 9.0 km (4:33 / km)

Thought I might have bottomed out but it hasn't happened yet - felt better than last time I did this but still over 10 minutes. Perhaps one day isn't enough to recover from a really long run yet (hopefully that will change).

Early January has its pluses - you certainly can't cross Rosanna Road without lights at 7.15 on a normal weekday morning. However, numerous businesses in the vicinity of our office clearly haven't noticed that we're mostly here in the first week of January (in fact it's one of our busiest times of the year) - the one place to get coffee that was actually open had a queue stretching out the door.

Monday Jan 3, 2011 #

8 AM

Run 42:00 [3] 8.1 km (5:11 / km)

A recovery run on a day when there was something to recover from. Very stiff early but felt like I was actually running after 10 minutes or so, and fairly routine from there onwards. On a par with what I normally expect of Monday nights (which aren't happening at this end of the year).

Swimming 37:00 [2] 1.0 km (37:00 / km)

Leg 2 of the Monday triathlon (bike commuting being the third leg, on the way to spend my holiday Monday trying to resolve issues arising from sundry missing rainfall data in Queensland). Busier at the start than I can remember seeing at Fitzroy, probably because a lot of people had forgotten that it opens at 8 on public holidays so the 6 crowd, the 7 crowd and the 8 crowd were all there at the same time. Didn't cause me any issues though. Generally turning the arms over and giving the legs some time in the water in the hope of getting rid of some of the stiffness from yesterday; seemed to perform that function fairly well though not pushing too hard.

Sunday Jan 2, 2011 #

9 AM

Run 2:31:00 [3] 31.0 km (4:52 / km)

Completed my longest week of running since mid-2009 with my longest run for six months, which divided quite neatly into three parts. The first part involved the rolling hills, first of Ivanhoe and then of North Balwyn and points east, and was hard work, especially early when every hill was a struggle. Started to feel more like it after about an hour, much as I had on Christmas morning, and then had a very solid hour coming back before a final loop near my place. Hanging on through the last 20 minutes, which is not surprising given how long it is since I've done anything of this length - managed to cope with the final hill better than I thought I would, though.

It wasn't the easiest long run I've ever done, but good to get back out to the 2.30ish length that is normal Sunday territory for me at this time of year. Also good to get the pace back down to a level a bit closer to what I expect of this type of run. It should be easier next time, although next time might well be hotter with 31 forecast for next Sunday (though it is a forecast with quite a bit of potential to change). I've successfully bypassed the first bit of serious heat in Melbourne this summer (the 41 last Friday) and will bypass some more by being away for all of February - certainly won't need to worry about excessive heat on long runs in any of Geneva, Oslo or Vancouver (although Oslo did jump to +5 yesterday, its first excursion above 0 for six weeks).

Saturday Jan 1, 2011 #

11 AM

Swimming 37:00 [2] 1.0 km (37:00 / km)

You couldn't get much more Australian than this - a country swimming pool (in Gloucester) on a hot summer's day, the smell of a barbeque wafting in from the campground next door. The kids even did a good job of staying out of my way. I wasn't going all that fast but didn't really care. A nice way to break up the trip back from Armidale to Newcastle. (I might be inclined to suggest to those back at work that the reason I didn't swim in Armidale was that I refused on principle to set foot in something called the Monckton Centre (this will go over the head of those not in the climate game), but the real reason was that it didn't open until 10 on public holidays).

A bit of bruising on my left foot from an argument with a stump towards the end of yesterday's course. I don't expect this to cause me too much grief.

One tradition which seems to have died is the post-5-days New Year's Eve party (and with it my role as official timekeeper) - almost everyone had left town except for the locals. I ended up being a hanger-on at the Northern Tablelands barbeque and then went into town to watch the fireworks.

With a new year comes a new age group for some of us. It's quite a distinguished group that we welcome to the veteran ranks this year (although most of them probably won't admit to it in domestic competition any more than I have) - among others, Rob Walter, Reuben, Jo, Allison and Susanne. This brought my mind to how good the 1996 JWOC team turned out to be. Their JWOC results were reasonable but not spectacular (although it was just about the last time we had a decent JWOC relay performance), but the team went on to produce six WOC team members (five of them finalists) and three others with significant domestic elite careers.

Back in Melbourne now after a detour to the beach at Hawks Nest (where it was remarkably difficult to find somewhere to get lunch on a public holiday at a beach resort) and a delayed flight back from Newcastle.

On the Age website at the moment is a story: "Our sporting stars can welcome in the new year with a sigh of relief - surely 2011 can't be as bad as 2010". Next to it is a story about Brendan Fevola starting 2011 off by getting himself arrested.

« Earlier | Later »