Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Playing Catch Up

It seems to be a never-ending game; catching up with uni, catching up with life, catching up with training. And it's about time for a catch up blog post! So what's new?

Sprint Canberra

Way back in January Sprint Canberra was held over the Australia Day long weekend, combined with an OA High Performance Squad camp. Both the racing and the training was high quality and varied, with everything from a mass start race on the intricate (and slippery!) Radford College, to a head-to-head butterfly looped bush sprint. Training included memory sprint training, running form, a sports psych session, and (although I skipped it), time trials! And just for a bit of extra prestige, and a lot of extra laughs - there were some $5 K-mart race leader singlets up for grabs. In an unexpected, but pleasing, start to the season, I managed to take out all 6 races against some very tough competition from Hanny and Rachel in particular. Although it wasn't clean running the whole way, with an epic mistake in race 5, meaning I was very lucky to stay in the competition!

Messing up the spectator run-through big time.
Hanny, Jas and I model the stylish leaders' singlets

A highly beneficial and hugely enjoyable weekend for all athletes involved, so a massive thanks to those that made both the races and trainings happen (the contributors are too numerous to list!). I even got to do my first ever radio interview afterwards, which was a cool experience!
Maps on DOMA.
Results on winsplits

Summer Holiday

In early February I hopped back over the ditch for a couple of weeks holiday and some nice running in the kiwi mountains. I'd already made the tough decision to give Sprint the Bay the skip this year, in favour of a family holiday. So rather than lining up with the other girls for Sprint 1 on Friday the 7th, I instead found myself heading out onto Mt Taranaki for a mission around the Pouakai Circuit with Mum. It's an amazing run, and on a good day gives stunning views...unfortunately after about 20mins, in the clouds came for us though. Leaving us with no views to enjoy, so atleast the company was good! Double unfortunately however...my knee seized up after a couple of hours. My ITB deciding to make itself known. I tried to put on my best face for mum, but I somehow doubt she'd have needed her mother's intuition to know what pain I was in!
The view that we didn't see.

A pretty accurate guess at the kind of view Mum did get to see. Sorry Mum!
 SO that was it for me running wise for my holiday! There was plenty of good times catching up with family and friends though. A beautiful wedding down in Nelson. (Thanks for the place to crash Immy, I'll definitely be back for a Nelson training week some time!) And a stunning, but very hard and long day on Mt Ruapehu collecting samples for my PhD (why do I keep creating more work for myself?!)

NOL Round 1: Brisbane

Returning to Australia, I flew straight into Brisbane for the first round of the Aussie National League. The weekend consisted of a 2x2 sprint relay on the Saturday morning, an individual sprint qual on the Saturday afternoon, and final on the Sunday. All of the races were based in central Brisbane - quite cool to be in a city for orienteering for once, not out in the middle of nowhere!
Although a little bit daunted by the race info, which warned of the 'numerous reptiles' you'd encounter on your race, the sprint relay around Roma St Parklands was great fun! Mace and I teamed up to successfully avoid all of the lizards on the paths (phew! not snakes!) and take 2nd place for the Cockatoos - beaten only on the last leg by Rachel and Anna from Queensland. The format was tough, but good fun, consisting of 4 completely different courses, in contrast to the very narrow splitting seen in the WC sprint relay.
Sprint Relay leg 2/4

From there it was on to two university campus maps for the individual qual and final. The areas were amazing, tight and technical. However, the multi levels of both maps caused issues for a majority of runners - getting stuck on ambiguously mapped levels at various points of the course, raising serious questions about the fairness of the race. That and a misplaced control played havoc with the results, as can be easily seen in the splits from the race! How the race was not invalidated, I just don't know. There seems to be a culture here where people are too afraid of what others will think to put in a protest, myself included.
Full credit to Hanny for the win however, she'd have beaten me multi-levels or no multi-levels! Hopefully I can give her a run for her money in the next round of NOLs this weekend!
Sprint Final. All maps from the weekend on DOMA


My knee was a bit of a wreck on return from the NOL races, so the last 4 weeks have been spent trying to get my ITB right. In what seems like a warped kind of joke - I was banned from my usual cripple trainings of deep-water running and biking, and only allowed to do short sharp sessions with changes of direction. Good for soccer pre-season, speed work and terrain work are ok(ish)! That, and innumerable strength and conditioning sessions have been suffered, as have painful physio sessions. All character building and which will hopefully stand me in good stead throughout the season. A massively massive thanks to Cathy for helping me rebuild after foolishly (and predictably) breaking myself again! It's going to be a continuous road to full recovery and maintenance, but I have the right support crew to keep me on it!
Today saw what will hopefully be a major step back towards full training- with the horribly anticipated cortisone injection into the worst inflamed area. Nowhere near as bad as the injections into my bum injury last year though! (insert reader's choice of inappropriate joke, I've heard them all).

And with 3 days until the second round of National League Races, it's just in time. I can't wait to get on that start line and see if I can do some catching up out on the course :)

Had to include this: It's taken close to 20yrs of playing, but someone
 finally got a shot of me where I'm neither in the process, or aftermath,
of being knocked to the ground! Time to retire while I'm on my feet I think!

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