Sunday, February 21, 2016

Kerang (14/2) and Echuca (21/2) competitions

The peak of the fire brigade season rolls on, with another two weeks in a row on the track.  Both competitions involved some travel, a bit over 100km.  On the 14th, there were only a small number of teams, which made for a short but very busy day, because each event was over quickly, with the small number of teams.  As a team, we did well, with clean, consistent runs for the most part, and placing well against higher ranked teams.

Yesterday, by contrast was a much bigger competition.  However, having our A team present and mutually helping out another team meant that I had 4 extra runs.  Events won were the C section hose and ladder 5s, and the C section 4s.  I was back in pole for the 4s and ran well.  I also ran in the ladder race (where a slip put me out of contention), 2 man marshall (had a good run), 4 man Y, pumper and ladder 5s, and ran pole in the A team for their hose and ladder 8sfor the morning.  During the morning, I had a scare with my right hamstring showing signs of stress.  However, putting myself through some sprints revealed no issues, but I did have some tightness in the lower back and glutes, which I was able to manage with some stretching.  That set me up for the afternoon.

After lunch, were the C section 4s, which we won, as previously mentioned.  I was back in pole, to get the reel down as fast as possible.  Next were the A section hose and reel 8s.  This was an experience, because I was put in a position I've never run before.  However, I had a good run, because I understood the role reasonably well.  Following the 8s were the sixes.  Because us and another team were short of runners, we exchanged one each way.  I got to run with the other team in pole and assist.  It's always interesting running with someone else, because each team has a slightly different way of doing things.  This run went well, with some complimentary comments from the other guys about both cart speed and the run back to the hydrant, both of which I had a key role in.  Several minutes later, we had our own run (with one of the guys from the team I helped filling in).  Again, I ran assist with a near identical performance.

After the 6s were the champion 4s.  For this, I ran hydrant, with a good, fast run.  This gave me plenty of time to be setup, before the others came along with the reel.  We had a good, solid run, but not fast enough to win our heat.

The final event was the Y8.  Our run was good, but didn't place.  I later filled in for the A team, running second branch.  By this time, the long day was having an effect, and I had a brief mement of sensory confusion, before realising which hose I had to put the branch on, just in time, before the water arrived, and managed to hit my target.  It was almost a reflex, once I was able to find my space. :)

Yesterday was a generally good day, with a few minor hiccups.  My fitness is holding up well in the face of repeated demanding weeks - this is probably the highest workload I've ever had.  The athletics training that I did up until the end of January is really agreeing with me.

This coming weekend is a rest from competition with the junior state championships.  Although way too old to compete, I will be attending, both as a junior leader, helping to look after the kids, as well as to officiate all weekend.  I'm one of many judges who will be required.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Fire brigade PB!

Sunday saw a return to the fire brigade track for the first of 3 competitions in a row.  Since the end of January, I've focused my training purely on the fire brigade events.  This has reduced my training load considerably for the rest of the season.

On Sunday, my day started with the first event, the hydrant race, which I normally don't run.  However, I ran a reasonable time in the 14.30s range.  Next event was the ladder race.  My heat time was 8.06, equal to my post comeback electronically timed PB.  In the final, I easily beat this with a 7.88 run and narrowly missed out on a place.

The day ended up being one of my busiest ever, with a total of 13 runs in 10 events, 3 of which were filling in for the A side, as they were short one person, and I'm one our fastest and most experienced.  Highlights of the day were second in the hose and reel 8s, despite a few hiccups elsewhere in the run, as well as running our first 6 for the season.  And in the final event, the Y8, I ran twice - once with the A team and again with ours.  The A side won the Y8, and we finished 5th, which effectively meant I was represented in two placings! :)

The other thing to come out of the day was that despite a very heavy workload, I was still performing at my best and without any niggles at the end of the day.  The extra training with the athletics club over the past 6 months has not only given me more speed, but also better capacity to handle a heavy workload.