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Training Log Archive: j-man

In the 31 days ending Jul 31, 2008:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Orienteering2 2:33:03 6.84 11.0 400
  Total2 2:33:03 6.84 11.0 400

» now

Thursday Jul 31, 2008 #


It looks like I might not get around to putting in individual races from WOC and the World Cup, but the general upshots are more important anyway, so this is a start of the debriefing.

Needless to say, it was a highly frustrating and disappointing affair. While it would have been nice to conclude my international orienteering "career" in finer fashion, perhaps it is easier to terminate something when it is clearly not worth saving.

The positive aspects were I had no excuses. I was not injured, ill, malnourished, sleep deprived, or possessed. I was at times a bit distracted by the implosion of the HF industry, but not when it came time to race.

Anyway, I have determined that I really can't do orienteering as conventionally understood. I have faked it for a while (a long while, perhaps.) I have actually done very little orienteering recently (over the past several years) and when called upon to do it, I have failed miserably. I have done a lot of running with a map around the SE PA area, and deluded myself to think it is orienteering, but when you can visualize not only the map but most of the terrain of the places you run, what is the point of actually doing it? I might as well get a course and visualize what I would see if I were to run it.

I grew to like my pseuso-orienteering, and got good at it. It was fun to race against Wyatt and others at pseudo-orienteering. It was fun and convenient. Who would turn down going to a DVOA meet to do real orienteering? True, I could have done more on my own, but I really feel like I got lulled into a sense of complacency. I was eating pseudo-orienteering candy. And I was lazy.

Of course there were other problems. Last year at WOC I decided I needed to increase my strength and endurance some (maybe a lot). I think I did that during the fall and winter and then managed to injure my leg and my spirit. When WOC rolled around, I was probably 80-90% of my peak capability, which was unfortunate. So, perhaps I was attempting to orienteer at a miscalibrated physical capacity. And I crossed over the redline more easily than I had expected to. But, still. To have no good races out of 8?

My concentration is terrible. My attention span is not a strong suit generally, and it was a major failure point. I think I can maintain concentration for 20 minutes or so, which means I am only suitable for sprints (although that didn't play out at ORingen.)

Anyway, much more to be said. The conclusion, however, is that by now I should be able to orienteer. I think I have the raw skills, including problem solving, spatial relations, and the ability to read a map. I can tell people how to orienteer and can sometimes even do it. But, to be so bad when it is time to compete is ridiculous. So, it seems like the marginal benefit of trying to get better at orienteering, save taking some elixir, is just not worth it. I enjoy competing, I enjoy orienteering, and I really like pseudo-orienteering, but there is no point striving to get marginally better to compete internationally when the problems are so pronounced. To be good internationally, you need to be good when you are 17 and keep getting better. Not to be OK when you are in your 20s and get worse.


I thought it was really the death knell of TNT, but some long lost souls materialized and I was heartened. TNT persists, endures.

Wednesday Jul 16, 2008 #

Orienteering 1:00:00 intensity: (20:00 @1) + (30:00 @2) + (10:00 @3) ***

Middle model. A warmish day.

I did the model controls forward and backward. I then did some other map reading in the model area and then went across the road to the blandish hillside for some more controls.

Orienteered decently, but got off on one, and the error cascaded. Still, when going slow, it isn't too hard.

Tuesday Jul 15, 2008 #

Orienteering race 1:33:03 intensity: (8:03 @2) + (45:00 @3) + (40:00 @4) *** 11.0 km (8:28 / km) +400m 7:09 / km
shoes: May 2007 Integrators

WOC 2008 Long qualifier.

Perhaps I don't want to resume logging with a retelling of a disaster, so this will be a brief pause in my hiatus.

It was an incredibly frustrating experience. It seems like every time I do one of these things something else goes wrong. In Denmark it was largely route choice, in Ukraine forcing it and running too fast in the beginning. This time probably about 12-14 minutes was lost on 4 controls just in the control circle alone.

I navigated pretty well to close to the center of the circle and even saw the feature but didn't see the flag and wasn't sure where I was. It got so bad that the last time it happened, when I was so sure I was in the right place, I had to go back to the previous control. And I still wouldn't have found it except that I went in the direction some other guy went.

This orienteering wasn't hard and I was in control. I don't know if I had good legs or not--whether I was running slower than I would have normally. It feels like a really good run would have been about 75 today for me, assuming I didn't flub around so much. I know I would have been quite happy with that as opposed to what I actually did.

The terrain was fairly neutral and not surprising. On the rough side in some place, compared to what we are used to, but there were a lot of rides and things. The route choices didn't seem to be decisive, but I suppose I will need to look at others.

Anyway, I am at a loss to determine what was going on. This has happened to me before (like at an A event at the nature center in CT) when I would navigate fairly well to the feature and not find the bag. I must confess that while reading my descriptions roughly (such as looking for a boulder) I didn't read the location most of the time. Another problem may be that I simply couldn't read the map correctly in the circle due to vision. Another good reason to stop doing this I suppose.

Upon analyzing my routes it appears that I had 9 decent controls out of 21. On those I averaged 26% behind the (course) winner (not superman.) (I base this assessment of goodness based on my route, not my times.)

Anyway, not sure what this proves except that I need to have a great run to be at 75 minutes, which still isn't qualifying.

But, 9/21 is pretty poor and my bad controls ranged from 34% to 174% back.


I have made a habit of falling and damaging things this year. I don't think I am getting clumsier or falling more often, but with unlucky results.

Going down a steep hill out of two my feet slipped out from under me and so I put my hands back to stop from falling. I didn't fall but my hands got a very sharp rock so I cut my palm, again. So, on the next couple legs I kept wiping my hand on my pants. It stopped bleeding about halfway through until I tripped again towards the end. Anyway, not nearly as big of a deal as my knee, but annoying. Maybe I should wear gloves? Minna and this Japanese guy had real injuries though--Minna won her heat while bleeding from a bad wound on the top of her head.

Also annoying is that my shoes are essentially trashed and they aren't selling shoes here. Should I take better care of my shoes? I am lucky if they last a year (I repaired these in the beginning of the spring season and they were new going into last summer.) Also, my Jalas I got at Jukola are in about the same shape.

Saturday Jul 12, 2008 #


I don't often wish I were Canadian, and I suppose I still don't, but I do have to give them credit: they have got style and audacity. (And a legit currency to boot!) The Canadian squad's gear is staggering in its quality, variety, and I suppose, quantity.

They have 2 scintillating tops: same design, but one mesh and the other Extreme, and a singlet to match. They have hats, golf shirts, full warmups, and warmup vests. They have casual sport shirts. Most of the stuff is from Trimtex, with the random shirt and hat from Axis Gear. Who knows what else they have--underwear?

Don't get me wrong--we have great shirts, too. They are a step up and we will be among the better dressed athletes. But, the extent, style, etc. of the Canadian stuff is hard to believe.

Anyway, as WOC is not a fashion show, we will be taking it to the Canucks in the forest, no doubt about that! But, before and after, I have to give them the edge.

Let's bring it!

Thursday Jul 3, 2008 #


Played at Merion. Had a 99 but with a 9 and a 7 on the front.

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