Sunday, December 03, 2017

Fire Brigade and a week’s rest.

Well, this week first.  Due to a forecast severe rain event this weekend, many local events were cancelled.  As for me, the first casualty was the fire brigade competition, scheduled for today, which was cancelled on Thursday night.  Because of this, I entered the track and field meet scheduled for yesterday.  However, this was cancelled late on Friday, as part of a statewide cancellation.  So, I ended up with a week’s rest from sport.  Ironically, while some parts of the state did indeed suffer record rainfall and significant flooding, the system left us virtually untouched, and rainfall figures of 26.4mm for the entire event, nothing remarkable.

Last week, our fire brigade team journeyed over 200km west to Horsham for an extra competition (given what happened this week, that was just as well!).  The meet was small, with only 3 teams, but it was good for our relatively new team to get some experience.

The program was in a traditional order, bringing back memories of competitions 30 years ago.  First up were the marshalls.  With up to 3 entries, and being one of the 50% of the team with experience in these events, I got to run them all, starting with the 1 man marshall.  Had a bad hydrant, but the rest of the run was good.  The bad hydrant put me out of contention for any placings.

In the 2 man marshall, I ended up running twice, as part of 2 different entries.  Ran a reasonable 19.62 second first run, enough for 4th place, then immediately went back to the start for the second run (in a different combination).  This one was 20.29 seconds, with a struggle to finish, because of the very limited rest.  It was good enough for 5th place.

The final dry hose event was the 4 man Y.  I ran a good left branch, but a hiccup elsewhere put us well out of contention.  Our second team did score a place.

From here it was over to the main track.  I didn’t run the hydrant race and in the ladder race, I had a slow 8.86 second run.  Not quite sure what happened, but something to work on.

As our regular latter person was unavailable for this week, I ran ladder in the hose and ladder 5s, an event I had a lot of success in C section last year.  We ran 24.42, around the time our C section team ran last year, and enough to get second place.  Although slower up the ladder, my high track speed certainly helped.  Next were the hose and ladder 8s.  This is the normal hose and ladder event for an A section team like ours, and it is highly unusual to run both.  However, this made for an interesting comparison.  The hose and ladder 8 is identical to the 5, except there are 3 extra team members who run down and raise the ladder in the 8s, while in the 5s, the ladder is fixed.  This means I can’t climb until the ladder is in position.  I took a slower approach, cruising in formation behind the 3 ladder throwers, and was able to time my approach to be ready to climb as the ladder was in position.  Our time was 26.01, scoring us second place.  My reliance on track speed, rather than climbing speed puts me at a disadvantage in this event.

Next up the pumper and ladder event.  Our regular ladder person was unavailable, so I had to run all ladder events this time around.  Had a good run myself, but a problem elsewhere cost us a lot of time.  

I sat out the pumper 4s, but the team ran a good run, winning this event.  My next event was the hose and reel 6s.  This time, I ran in a new position for me - first branch.  That has me on the back of the cart for the trip down the track, then catching my end of the first length, putting the branch on and hitting the disc for the first time.  Had a good run and we got second place.  Following the 6s were the hose and reel 8s, basically the same event with 2 extra people to assist.  I overshot my position this time, but recovered and made it to the branch line in time for a hit.

Had a run in the champion 4s on the branch.  We were the only team to field 2 entries, but while I had a good run, problems elsewhere cost a lot of time.

Final event was the Y8.  This went together well, despite a hiccup or two, and we easily won with a time of 36.87 seconds.  Again, I was back on the ladder for this one.

We finished second overall, not far behind the winning team, which was a good result for a team with so many new guys.  Looking forward to see what we can do at the business end of the season.  With today’s competition being cancelled, there’s no more until the middle of January, when the busy part of the season gets underway.

Next week, it’s back to the track for track and field.  Time to test out some technique improvements there.

- Tony via Tumblr

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Javelin - Attempt 3 (15.97m)

400m sprint.  Time was 1:05.41

My leg of the 4x100m relay.

100m sprint at today’s meet.  13.57 seconds.

AV Shield Round 5

Back at the local shield meet this weel.  I had entered the 100m, long jump, javelin and 400m.  In addition, there was a 4x100m relay on offer.

First up was the 100m.  Conditions were good, but had a slow start.  This time, a video was available, which I will be reviewing for more ideas to work on my starts.

I had some ankle issues while warming up for the  100m, and with important commitments next weekend, I decided to withdraw from the long jump, so my next event was the 4x100m relay.  Here, I ran somewhat better than in the 100m, receiving the baton with a good change, then passing it on with a very quick change, due to a large difference in speed between myself and the next runner.

The rest of the day got busy, with the javelin next, managing 2 throws of 15m or better, before heading off to the 400m.  The 400m was tough with a strong headwind in the back straight.  Managed a time of 1:05.21, in a tough run.

Returned to the javelin in time for me final throw, which was my best at 15.97m.  This was my third best throw ever, and the whole javelin event was my most consistent throwing to date.

Next week, the fire brigade season starts with our new team.

- Tony via Tumblr

Sunday, November 12, 2017

2017 State Relays

I’ve been a bit slack this past week.  Had a non AV shield meet last week, and put in some reasonable performances in difficult, windy conditions.  Results were:

200m - 27.71 (-3.9 wind)

100m - 13.66 (-1.4 wind) 

Triple jump - 7.69m

Discus - 14.91m

Now on to yesterday, when the Victorian Track Relay Championships were held in Melbourne.  My day was made somewhat easier, by the fact that there would be no heats in either the 4x400 or 4x100m, which meant I could take it easy and arrive around lunchtime in plenty of time for my runs.

First up was the 4x400m.  400 metres is always a challenging distance to run for me, and there was no comparison with the metro guys, many of who can run 400m in less time than _anyone_ in my area around the same age.  I ran the first leg and got around OK, before passing the baton on in 4th position.  We ended up finishing 5th (out of 5!), in a time of 4:33.14.

My second and final event was the 4x100m.  At this distance, I’m a lot more competitive.  I ran the second leg, along the back straight.  Started with a good baton change in 4th place, and managed to have us in third when I handed the baton to our third runner with another good change.  We finished 4th in a time of 51.89.

Overall, I enjoyed the day.  Back to normal AV Shield competition next week.

- Tony via Tumblr

Saturday, October 28, 2017

An Afternoon at the Track, and an Award.Today was back at the track for week 4 of Athletics Victoria...

An Afternoon at the Track, and an Award.

Today was back at the track for week 4 of Athletics Victoria Shield competition. My first event was the 200 metres. Unlike 2 weeks ago, I was well rested before competition. Conditions were interesting, and good for me, with a headwind on the bend, and a slight tail wind on the straight. Started well and ran a good bend, though my lack of speed endurance work in the last few weeks showed in the final part. Finished with a time of 27.39.

Next up was triple jump. Got better with each jump, finishing with a jump of 7.90 metres.

The 100m sprint followed, after a break. Got a reasonable start and felt good, but the time seemed a bit slow at 13.48.

Straight after the 100m was discus. First throw was a wobbly 10 metre effort, and the next was a fairly ordinary throw around 13m. Last throw was the best at 15.76 metres, less than a metre off my PB.

Final event was the 4x200m relay. Had a perfect change and realised early on that this was going to be a serious contest, so I kept up the pressure. Handed to our next runner with another good change. Our team won the event.

Had to leave fairly quickly, as I had the fire brigade annual presentation dinner. At the dinner, I was awarded runner of the year for our “C” team for the previous summer.

- Tony via Tumblr

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Tacking Into the Wind.This week’s track meet was conducted in cool and windy conditions. The...

Tacking Into the Wind.

This week’s track meet was conducted in cool and windy conditions. The conditions did cause a few issues with my tight hamstring, making it difficult to keep warm.

First up was the 100 metres. Got off to a slow start, but was able to take full advantage of my power into the stiff headwind to make up ground and finish with the bulk of the field.

In the long jump, I struggled to get my run up right, due to the gusty tailwind and the cool conditions. Best jump was 3.67m.

After the long jump was the 4x100m relay. I ran the final leg, into the wind. Unfortunately, a mishap during the change led to a dropped baton, which cost a lot of time. My run into the wind went well.

I decided against running the 400m, to reduce stress on my legs in the cool conditions, and finished the day throwing the javelin. My final throw was a PB, which was a good way to finish the day.

Have a few issues to work on, to get my times back to where they were late last season.

- Tony via Tumblr

Saturday, October 14, 2017

A Challenging DayToday was the second week of track and field. However, today was also the fire...

A Challenging Day

Today was the second week of track and field. However, today was also the fire brigade’s annual preseason training day. This started early in the morning, and consisted of several km of running and walking, along with various physically challenging activities, over a period of 4 ½ hours. I won’t go into details, but to say that I did hold up pretty well, due to my fitness. Despite being the oldest in the team this year, I showed that age is not a limitation.

After the training challenges were over, we had a BBQ lunch, then I had to make a quick trip across town to the athletics track. Yes, despite the tough start to the day, I decided to go through with competing. I arrived just in time to sign into my events, then did a shortened warmup, due to lack of time and energy.

First up was the 200m. It was immediately obvious that the morning’s activities had taken their toll. I finished with a slow 28.33 seconds, but not bad under the conditions!

Next was the triple jump. On the first attempt, one of my feet collapsed, and I wasn’t sure if I would continue. However, my second jump was fine, and I was confident to continue. Finished with a distance of 7.66m.

Then on to the 100m. With my fatigued state, I wasn’t expecting miracles. But I got off to a reasonable start, and managed 13.86 in a field that was slow overall.

My final event was the discus. Had 2 good throws in the 14m range, the best being 14.91m.

I decided not to make myself available for the 4x400m relay, because my speed endurance was severely limited, without having to consider the rigours of the 400m distance.

Anyway, looking forward to being able to go all out next week.

- Tony via Tumblr

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Start Of A New SeasonToday was the start of the 2017-2018 track and field season. There was a...

Start Of A New Season

Today was the start of the 2017-2018 track and field season. There was a preseason meet last Sunday, but due to last minute car issues, I didn’t make it.

Today, I entered the 100 and 400m sprints, as well as the long jump and javelin. I also ran the 4x100m relay.

Up first was the 100 metres. Ran a bit slow at 13.41 seconds. A tight left hamstring didn’t help, and for some reason, I felt “disconnected” from my body, lacking the ability I had built up to monitor and tweak my performance. Hopefully, that’s something that will come with training and competition.

Next was long jump. Again, I had that same lack of connectedness, but I still managed 4.05 metres, which was reasonably good, given my overall performance, and better than this time last year.

This year, the 4x100m relay has been moved to the middle of the program, to encourage participation. I ran the third leg for our open men’s team. Had a rough change at the start of my leg, which slowed me a little, but I rapidly got to top speed, once settled. My second change was near perfect and performed at top speed. This was my best run of the day, and we finished a close second.

After the relay was the 400 metres. Wind conditions were tough in the back straight, and I finished with a time of 1:05.55.

Final event was the javelin. My first throw was the best of the 3 at 14.41 metres. Not bad, given my lack of practice.

Overall, it wasn’t one of my best days. Need to get that hamstring sorted, and have to reconnect to my body, so I can improve my performance. My 100m and long jump felt like they were on auto pilot, rather than me being in the zone.

Anyway, back again next week. Its good to be back on the track.

- Tony via Tumblr

Ready for the new track season.

Ready for the new track season.

- Tony via Tumblr