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Attackpoint AR - performance and training tools for adventure athletes

Training Log Archive: iansmith

In the 7 days ending Jun 4, 2012:

activity # timemileskm+mload
  ARDF2 3:56:22 14.96(15:48) 24.08(9:49) 723118.2
  Running5 2:07:14 14.31(8:54) 23.03(5:32) 20361.7
  Strength training1 8:000.8
  Total5 6:11:36 29.27 47.11 926180.7

» now

Monday Jun 4, 2012 #

8 PM

Running 22:55 [1] 3.83 km (5:59 / km) +28m 5:46 / km
shoes: 201108 Asics GT-2150

Easy run around the block with Magnus. We stopped at Chipotle midway through the run, and I taught him the ways of the burrito.

Woo Canada! - Canada abolishes the penny.

Sergei Shtanko. "No, maybe I can't win. Maybe the only thing I can do is just take everything he's got. But to beat me, he's going to have to kill me. And to kill me, he's gonna have to have the heart to stand in front of me. And to do that, he's got to be willing to die himself."

Sunday Jun 3, 2012 #

9 AM

Running 6:00 [1] 1.0 km (6:00 / km)
shoes: 201110 Inov-8 X-Talon 212

ARDF 1:12:10 [3] 9.08 km (7:57 / km) +359m 6:38 / km
shoes: 201110 Inov-8 X-Talon 212

The 80m frequency has always appealed to me more than 2m. Because the signals always indicate the true direction of the transmitters and lack spurious reflections, the 80m competition is more like a race and less like a crapshoot game of 3-card monty. I had a solid race and took a comfortable victory over Brad, a newcomer from LAOC. Grant and his wife went home on Saturday night, depriving me of more competition.

I struggled with the altitude - Mt. Laguna is at about 6,000 feet, and the vegetation and climb were unforgiving at times. I took the controls in the correct order - 1, 3, 2, 4, 5. I estimate that I lost about 10 minutes relative to a perfect race - one cycle on control 2, at around km 5, and one on control 5 at km 8 on my track. With a strong push at the beginning of the race and good fortune finding the controls off cycle, it might have been possible to get to control 3 at 18-20 minutes instead of the 23 it took me. Vadim was running faster than I at the beginning of the race; his time of 52 minutes was impressive, though he didn't have to get control 2.

I am quite happy that I had a good race - though it wasn't quite as dominant as my 2010 result. I easily qualified for the world championships team (unsurprising, as there are two open M21 slots besides mine), and I hope to face my Ukrainian nemesis, Sergei Shtanko, in Serbia. Provided I have enough vacation time, I will train aggressively over the summer with Lori (who had two very good races and is better at putting her equipment together).

My fitness is always an area that warrants improvement, and if I hope to compete with the Shtanko and the speedy Czechs, I will need to be faster. I have hopes that my orienteering background and fearlessness in the face of difficult vegetation will prove useful in competition. I have unusual ARDF technique; I remember rather than draw bearings, and thumb my map rather than mount it on a board. I haven't decided if I should revise my technique, but I am inclined to practice memory for bearings simply because the improved ergonomics of thumbing are far more comfortable and expedient for me. I am also hopeful that I can psych out my adversaries with my lack of drawn bearings without losing any pertinent information.

Results main page
2m Results, aw
80m Results, yay
5 PM


After the awards ceremony, I helped the Hubermans consume their leftover food. I hadn't made concrete plans for how I would spend the afternoon, so when it was brought to my attention that the late WWII-era aircraft carrier USS Midway was in San Diego, that the last tour started at 4 PM, and that the museum closed at 5. I made haste on the drive, losing a few minutes to a wrong turn and to delays finding parking. I arrived at the Midway at 4:05 PM, and despite repeated efforts, I was unable to persuade a rather contrarian museum employee to let me on board. I would have happily paid the entry fee just to stand on the flight deck. I have read about aircraft carriers all my life, but never have I been aboard one. To come so close to fulfilling a childhood dream and fail was devastating; I gazed longingly upon the hull from about 30m away for a while before departing. In an unexpected treat, the Nimitz-class USS Carl Vinson was moored across the channel.

The Essex class USS Intrepid is a museum ship in Manhattan; I will have to visit her sometime soon. My favorite aircraft carrier is unquestionably the USS Enterprise of World War II fame, but she was sadly scrapped in the late 1950s.

I stopped by a restaurant in Little Italy and ate a tasty plate of Fettuccine Alfredo with a glass of wine before retiring to the airport. While the wine instantaneously enhanced the dinner, I had some head and stomach discomfort that I attribute to the wine. I am a lightweight.

At the competition, I got a hearty laugh out of the suggestion that I (and Lori) get my ham radio license. I race ARDF for the competition, not the radio aspect; while I'm happy that some people enjoy radios, I have absolutely no interest in amateur radio.

Saturday Jun 2, 2012 #

11 AM

Running 15:00 [1] 2.5 km (6:00 / km)
shoes: 201110 Inov-8 X-Talon 212

Warmup and drills before the 2m race.

ARDF 2:44:12 [3] 15.0 km (10:57 / km) +364m 9:46 / km
shoes: 201110 Inov-8 X-Talon 212

The 2012 US ARDF Champs were at Laguna Village near San Diego this year. After some reluctance, I decided to attend the event because I want to make the team for the 2012 World Champs in Serbia, and I didn't feel comfortable accepting a slot without showing up and earning it.

My attempt to avoid sacrificing a work day led to crazy logistics; I left Boston at 5 PM on Friday, landed in San Diego at 11 PM, and after a quick nap to avoid dying on the roads, arrived at the meet site at 3 AM (PST). I sleepily put my receiver together at about 8, and we were ferried to the event start at 8:45.

There were problems with the event organization immediately. For each race, five transmitters (with an e-punch at each) are set in the woods. Unlike in O, their exact location isn't that important; it takes a lot of effort to set a transmitter wrong. The information about their location isn't on the map, so they really can be anywhere without affecting the legitimacy of the race, as long as they are audible from the start location (as per the rules). Despite only having to set five transmitters, there were problems with two of them at the scheduled start time, so we waited for two hours while the organizers went into the woods to change the batteries or some such nonsense. Despite these efforts, transmitter #1 was off for the duration of the race, so we only raced with four controls. Fail.

My Garmin died midway through the race because I had turned it on at my scheduled start and forgotten to turn it off while we waited. In an idiotic oversight, I had put my yagi antenna together incorrectly, swapping the long and short elements. I haven't worked out exactly what that did to the signal and the relative phases of the components, but what I was hearing was garbage. While I could hear the receivers, my direction-finding ability was totally shot, and I had trouble localizing anything. The antenna was held together with screws, so even had I figured out the error, I could not have fixed it mid-race. By some miraculous confluence of good fortune and geographic reasoning, I found control #4 on a hill. I didn't want to give up, so I ran around for three hours searching in vain for the other four transmitters. My attack of the knucklehead was entirely my fault, and clearly I should have spent a non-zero amount of time with a 2m receiver in the past year. Poor preparation will lead to failure.

There were 3 M21s competing. Brad made the same mistake I did - incorrectly assembling his antenna - and found no controls. Grant, the Canadian, found two before encountering a mountain lion at 10-20m distance running at full speed. He made noise and shook his receiver to scare it away, but discovered shortly afterward that his radio had flown off his antenna into the woods. He searched for a time, but eventually had to bail out. He doesn't use his map, so had no idea where he was; he apparently got a ride back to the finish and so DQ'd himself. As a result, in a pitiful demonstration of 2m proficiency, I won the race.

Words cannot express the frustration I felt during the race; I haven't been out on a course that long in many years, and I have never failed to find all the transmitters in an ARDF competition. Three hours without any water and the technical difficulties at the start of the race did not improve my mood.

Friday Jun 1, 2012 #

(rest day)

I signed up for the Blue Hills Skyline race on 10 June today. It will take a bit of scheduling prowess to race at 8 AM and have the controls ready for the 10 AM start of the orienteering event at Houghton's Pond, but I think I will manage. I'm not in any kind of racing fitness, but it should be a fun excursion.

I'm traveling to San Diego today for the US ARDF champs, so training will be difficult to schedule. A rest day will also be good so my legs are fresh and peppy. I haven't touched a receiver in over a year; while I'm not worried about the straightforward 80m race on Sunday, the 2m race could be a challenge. I shouldn't have trouble getting lots of O this week, but ten miles of running is disappointing. Resting Tuesday (after WeMa gauntlet) and today seems reasonable; maybe I can get some easy running in this weekend.

Incredibly, probably due to application of Wyatt's Boot of Asclepius, GimpyFoot did not hurt at all when I got up this morning.

Thursday May 31, 2012 #


Updated OUSA rankings were posted today. I am disappointed by my performance over the past year; I felt like I had great potential, but this hasn't manifest in my race results. I raced very poorly at the Classic Champs - both physically and technically. Flying Pig had some acceptable performances, the Team Trials meet was decidedly underwhelming, and I still couldn't get it together for the Western MA meet, though those races were among my better. Clearly, I am doing something wrong.

I have a tendency to injure myself, I don't race well (lots of mistakes), my physical fitness is weak, and my mental preparation is inadequate. I will address all of these in a concerted effort with an intermediate target of the NAOCs and a singular focus on the 2013 Team Trials.

My first priority is building up base running to prevent injury, to increase my physical fitness, and to establish a platform to build up speed, threshold, and hill training. While I'm woefully behind on my running goals for 2012 (1300 miles, 25 mpw), I only need to average 4.5 miles per day to attain that. Goal for June: 25 mpw, or 107 total miles.

My second priority is to spend more time orienteering - thrice weekly, including at least one weekday. Most of that should be training - getting out on novel maps, practicing specific techniques, and taking lots of controls. Some of that should be in race situations with as close an approximation to a major race as I can effect to simulate the mental and physical pressures of a race. I have lots of good training partners in the Boston area, and there is no shortage of maps in New England. I am encouraging fast people to come to NEOC meets (I'm looking at you, Giacomo) to provide a deeper field. Other priorities are getting enough sleep, cross training, eating healthily, and being active in the O-community.

I am discouraged, but that will only make me try harder. Also, apparently I suck at sprints. When did the middle distance become my best discipline? (Update: Apparently 2010) I guess it is the default for people like me who are neither fast nor strong. Upcoming expeditions will include a June 16-17 trip to WCOCland, Fairfield University and Harriman. Let me know if you are interested in coming!
11 PM

Running 42:31 intensity: (18 @1) + (16 @2) + (29:10 @3) + (12:47 @4) 7.75 km (5:29 / km) +87m 5:12 / km
ahr:152 max:175 shoes: 201108 Asics GT-2150

Easy evening run. I tried to keep my cadence high and my HR low. Photobombing the Zhyk may be my greatest orienteering achievement of the year so far.

Photobomb success
Not so graceful
A monster is born
They're both crazy
The Italian Banana runs in style

Strength training (Core) 8:00 [1]

Eight minutes of core: tuckups, kayakers, plank, bicycles, oblique crunches, 2x side plank, leg lifts. There are many good reasons to have a strong core.

Wednesday May 30, 2012 #

8 PM

Running 40:48 intensity: (29 @1) + (17 @2) + (21:12 @3) + (18:31 @4) + (19 @5) 7.95 km (5:08 / km) +88m 4:52 / km
ahr:155 max:186 shoes: 201108 Asics GT-2150

I went for an easy twilight run around Fresh Pond. At WeMa Day 3, Kseniya mentioned to me that I was bouncing excessively as I trundled around the course, and that this inefficiency was probably slowing me down. I focused today on keeping a quick cadence with short turnover, but my mind did wander. The evening was serene, and I had much opportunity to reflect. GimpyFoot felt excellent, though this morning, my foot did hurt for the first few steps as is typical. My legs were clearly still tired - I had aches in odd places, but once I started moving, the feeling improved. I tried to keep my pace slow in my reformed focus on base building.

My bike has developed a strange squeak coming from around the front axle. I haven't been able to localize the source yet, but I will seek a remedy in the near future.

Tuesday May 29, 2012 #

(rest day)

I decided to take a rest day. My legs and feet, while apparently uninjured, are sore and worn out from the weekend's effort. My right plantar fascia was tight when I woke up on Tuesday morning, though not significantly more than before the weekend.

The plan is to resume regular base training for the next few weeks. I might go to the CSU intervals workouts for camaraderie and variety, but I think the short programs are in my best interest.

I posted quickroutes from the weekend, excepting Mt. Tom which both has technical difficulties due to multiple maps and was a disastrous experience.

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