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Training Log Archive: vmeyer

In the 7 days ending Mar 19, 2018:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Orienteering1 1:33:03 3.24(28:43) 5.21(17:51) 225
  Total1 1:33:03 3.24(28:43) 5.21(17:51) 225

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Monday Mar 19, 2018 #


Train to meet Roger's friends - missed connection.
Picked up at transfer station by aforementioned friends
Cantina - not so successful
Short visit to Francesca and Massimo's villa - a work in progress, no need to apologize!!
Driven by F & M to an even closer train station to get back to Rome
Roger done for the day
I enjoyed the "me" time, though I wish it hadn't been at Roger's expense!

Sunday Mar 18, 2018 #

Event: QOC Manassas


Day starts a little better in terms of Roger's stomach, but he still makes things exciting by slipping in the shower. Think small shower - sardine. And very soapy. Got him out, and no damage done, except to the ego.

Orienteering after that.
5 AM

Orienteering race (ITALY!!) 1:33:03 [3] *** 3.24 mi (28:43 / mi) +225m 23:37 / mi
ahr:130 max:170 shoes: Pink Ice Bugs #2

So much fun!!

When Roger was planning our trip to Italy, the original plan was to go first to Naples for a week, and then to Rome for a week. But, when we looked to see what orienteering events might be near either city, the only one scheduled was near Rome, on the first Sunday, March 18. After making contact with the organizers of ENEA to make sure the event was taking place, we reversed the locations, starting in Rome first. Besides being able to orienteer in Italy, I was also happy about this, since I think Rome will be even busier next week, as more people arrive for Easter on April 1. We are departing for home on March 29, after leaving Naples on the 28th...

Each year, from about October to March, ENEA Casaccia Orienteering puts on the Trofeo ENEA, a series of 7-9 events. From reviewing past results, I knew that the event have two courses: Corto (Short) – 2.5 km, 125 m climb, 9 controls and Lungo (Long) – 4.3 km, 210 m, 11 controls. I was prepared to tackle the Long, and I hoped to complete it in less than two hours.
It was tough getting out of the door to the event because Roger was still feeling weak, but he was feeling better this morning. But then there was the rain. I kept Roger telling that it was always better in the woods, and I told myself that I didn’t come all this way not to go orienteering. So, off we went, with just a little bit of a driving adventure getting out of Rome, Porta Pia area.
We arrived early, around 9:15, and no one else had arrived yet. However, on the way, we saw this sign, so we encouraged that the event would take place.

And, I was not concerned because I was told that it was to be a small event, and people would arrive just before 10 to set up. We parked and waiting in the parking area above the “arena” and when cars started going by around 9:45, we drove down the hill and parked near the tent.

I was welcomed by Vincenzo, who was the organizer.

Then, we watched as the first competitor started.

Vincenzo told me that it was muddy and slippery, and that the green was impossible to penetrate, so taking the trails was better, even though they were slippery. He also inquired if I was expert, which I translated as experienced. I assured him, and another woman later, that I was, and that I would return safely before the courses closed. Being an organizer at home, I appreciated that there is concern when unknown people show up at an event, and then they do a course which is too difficult for them. I didn’t want them to be too concerned about me.
The temperature was around 50 F (10 C) and intermittent rain. I paid my 5 euro, received a punch card, and picked a start time of 10:10. I did not take the separate control descriptions, which were in symbol format, which would be important later, perhaps.

While Roger entertained himself by taking pictures of “herbs”…

I went back to the car to finish getting ready. On bottom, I wore ¾ pants, long socks, ankle braces, and Icebug shoes. On top, I wore a rain jacket over a short sleeve shirt. I carried a small waist pack with a small camera and a small water bottle.
I was still in the car at 10:10 on the event clock, 10:08 on my watch. Oops. So, I hurried and got to the Start,

and I was handed a map...

I was pointed in the correct direction and off I went up the trail at 10:12, instead of 10:10. No problem.

Trail to #1 – muddy. Careful, careful, I do not to fall so soon!

Along the ravine.

Then don’t really notice that the control is up high, but some people are up there, and I read my map and see that is where I need to go also.

Thank you for the steps on the right. I don’t think I could have made it up on the trail to the left.
Control #1 – oggetto particolare

When punching the first control, I notice that the map has descriptions in Italian, not symbols. OK, I will just need to read the map for what is in the center of the circle.
From 1-2, I have a bit of a problem with the extra trails through the green, but I manage it without too much problem. Muddy and wet in this area – so much fun!
Control #2 – radura, bordo sed-est

Some fine mud and other organic material coming from #2

Execute route to #3 cleanly, as another orienteer takes a less than optimal route.
Control #3 – radura

For 3-4, I go right along the bigger track, and along the way, I startle this guy and his friend, which likely explains the extra tracks in the area…

Control #4 – albero isolato

The straight line to #5 is very short, and it is tempting to cut through the green. However, going through the little bit of light green out of #5 confirmed that going around was the best way.
Control #5 – masso

The route to #6 is the straightest line of the day.
Control #6 – albero isolato, il piu a sud-ovest

Stop to enjoy the view from Control 6-7.
1000 #7
I make the first of two errors from 6-7, getting twisted around in the green area, exploring some extra tracks and not listening to my compass. Finally, I go the correct direction and am very happy to see the control.
Control #7 – sella poco evidente

Control 7-8 is fairly straight, but I am distracted by others, and I do not take a picture.
Control # 8 – piccolo cima colle (no photograph)
Before control #2, I have taken my jacket off because I was overheating, and I was not happy that I had to carry it around the rest of the course. BUT, then on the way to control #9, the weather turned bad...first rain, and then freezing rain or hail.

I was happy to put my jacket back on, and to pull the hood up over my head. There were 4-5 people passing me through this area, and it was a very steep climb, and I had to stop and rest along the way.
I was on a good line, but then I drift to the west, and I was a little distracted by the person I was near to control #3, and I trash around in the area of tracks too far up the hill, because I do not notice the contour lines. I see the control, but I do not believe it is mine, but he heads down there, and doesn’t come back. I go down too, but very carefully, because it is steep and slippery. I sit on my bottom and ride down a long way in the mud. Wee!! So much fun, especially since I didn’t hit any rocks on the way down!!
Control #9 – piazzola (no photograph)
It is still quite steep and slippery from control 9-10, so I take my time, cutting some corners, when I am able to. Finally get down the hillside, which is very loose dirt in parts.
Control #10 – paretina di roccia, la piu au est
Picture from the control…

Simple navigation to the final control, #11 – oggetto particolare

Another competitor coming in the final control…

Off to the Finish, where Roger waits to take my picture.

Wet, muddy, and happy! Finish time, after adjusting my start time, was 1.33.40, and I placed 15/17. Win/Win.
After I finished, I talked to some people, gave out the QOC buffs, I had brought with me, and then changed into dry clothes, and Roger and I headed back to the hotel for a nap.

The event turned out to be everything I expected. It was small, inexpensive, low-key, and, yes, pin punching was used, which was quite OK. Everyone was very friendly, and I believe they were happy to have a non-Italian come and compete at their event. The maps were not overly complicated, and were pre-printed. There were extra trails in some places, but I knew this and concentrated on the contours. The controls were in the correct locations, which is always appreciated.
I finished the course in less than two hours, I didn’t get hurt, and I wasn’t last. The slippery mud made it an adventure, going both up and downhill. Those of you, who know me, know that I love mud, and so that did not bother me at all. Even the hail was an unexpected bonus – the icing on the cake!
I couldn’t have asked for a better experience for my first time orienteering in Italy.
Map with tracks. [After fiddling with the watch, it wasn’t actually started until on the way to 1…]

Club’s webpage:
Event page:
3 PM


After a long nap, and only a small danish in the last 24 hours, I am starving! Likely, the only vacation that I will come out ahead in the weight department. Roger is feeling better after a nap, so we head out to find a meal, which is not an easy proposition on a Sunday afternoon at 3 pm, since many places are closed on Sunday, and those which are open close at 3 pm.

The first place turns us away, but the second place seats us, even though it is after 3, and we have a very fine meal, not rushed too much at all, considering that the kitchen is trying to close - bags of garbage being schlepped out to the front dumpsters, and all that. Seriously, why are are the dumpsters in Rome on the front street?!

Anyway, a fine way to end the day, and Roger has another early night, while I enjoy the time to myself.

Saturday Mar 17, 2018 #


St. Patrick's Day - did not realize it until we see some green clad revelers. Not to be confused with the many Scots in kilts in town for maybe a rugby event.

Back to San Silvestri via bus 62, though we missed our stop. Got off much later, and I needed a fix, after skipping yesterday. Coke zero, not exactly diet coke, but close enough. Roger claims that this is why he panicked, and he approached a taxi driver at the nearby taxi stand. Or maybe the driver approached us, jumping the queue, and after arguing with the other driver, we drive off. Roger notices that the meter isn't working and asks the guy to start it. He says, no 15 euro, and we say no, meter. He says no, not today, and we say, no, you are ripping us off.

So, we opens the doors, while the taxi is moving, luckily slowly, since he had tried to confuse us by taking us through a rabbit warren of roads. We get out, and realize that we should have just gotten on the same bus going the other way, which we so. Whew, rookie crisis averted.

Get the Disney stamps for the kids and them off to Termini Wine Bar for lunch, followed by gelato and a nap.

Roger still is experiencing lower intestinal distress, but that doesn't stop us from having a noon meal at the Tremini Wine Bar.

Long nap, and quiet time for me follows.

Friday Mar 16, 2018 #


Roger gets up, is sick, gets back in bed, and at 11 we make our way to a restaurant near the Pantheon, via taxi. The food is good, and Roger stuffs it in, despite the intestinal distress.

Bought a clock.

Taxi to San Silvestri, in the opposite direction, which was worth it since Roger was pooped. Philatelic store was already close, and ATM was out of order.

Back to Piazza Galeno.

Roger passed out to morning. I strolled around the neighboring area, maybe more casually than I should have, considering the Adult Film options in the area.

Back safe and sound, and Roger still asleep.

Roger still is experiencing lower intestinal distress.

Thursday Mar 15, 2018 #

2 PM


Toronto to Rome

Wish we had upgraded to First Class. This was hard on us. Arrived in one piece and got the rental car. Would have lost the Amazing Race at this point - can drive a manual but can not figure how how the emergency brake disengages. BUT, then we drive out, and the young couple who drives out well ahead of us is on the side of the road trying to figure something out. So, maybe we didn't do so badly.

With help from the car rental staff, and maybe 45 minutes later (steep learning curve), we were on our way. However, Roger almost hits the car behind us when backing up - a sign of things to come. After narrowly missing the concrete barrier to the on ramp, as well as cutting off a couple of vehicles, we make it to the shopping mall.

No success for the product Roger was looking for at the grocery, but we did get an Italian phone number for 30 euro, and then headed into Rome.

After imploring Roger to drive more carefully, we only had about five more incidents before we reached our accommodations. After have thrown my body across the parking spot to reserve it, we were able to get into out accommodations.

Things were looking up. Didn't realize until later the extent of his intestinal distress - weakness, light headed, in addition to the other fun things...
4 PM


Roger has food poisoning. Of course, this isn't going to stop us from meeting the friends he made in 2016, Massimo and Francesca, at an eatery. So, after passing out for several hours, we make our way to the eatery.

And, Roger doesn't know how to not eat - three meals a day, come hell or high water. It isn't until day three that I finally convince him that crackers and water for 24 hours will be helpful.

So, he eats.

Pictures to follow...well, good pictures.

Wednesday Mar 14, 2018 #


Notes to flesh out and add pictures...

8:45 am Dropped Pepper off with Laura, Aaron, and Boomer
9:30 Target to buy a suitcase
10:00 Home to pack - I had packed nothing for myself
10:30 Arrange online for a cab to pick us up at 11:30
11:00 All ready - who needs a gazillion hours to pack?!
11:30 No RedTop Cab, try to check on status but option is missing online and via phone
11:33 Go back online and arrange for another taxi ASAP
11:38 Taxi arrives - whew!, though not to worried because flight is delayed

Maybe 60 minutes late, we eventually get on plane to Toronto - Economy Plus - ok for such a short flight.

Arrive in Toronto. Roger is flagging a bit, so I grab his carry-on and jacket and we head towards customs.

Once through customs, he asks where his jacket is, which credit cards and IDs, though not his passport... Ah, crap, I have dropped it somewhere. They let me reverse myself, through customs, back towards the gate, and I do not see it. Pretty sure that this is grounds for divorce. Not the best way to start a two week vacation...

I check around, and many Air Canada people are very unhelpful, but back at the customs area, an airport employee is able to confirm that someone has found the jacket and turned it in. But, they want to know why I am on this side of the customs area, if I have already one through customs. Um, they told me I could go back and check.

After getting escorted to the Lost & Found area, by this very wonderful employee, having the jacket brought out, and having the jacket checked for bomb residue, I was in possession of the jacket again, and the grounds for divorce had been alleviated, once again. Whew! On to the Toronto to Rome flight!!

Tuesday Mar 13, 2018 #


Prelude to Italy
When Roger and I got married, quite spontaneously, in April 1986, he had already had plans to go to Italy for vacation the following week. I had no desire to go then, not then of for even the next 20 years, as Roger made a trip back every 2 years or so. We always referred to that first time as Roger’s honeymoon.

In 2006, I went along to Italy for Roger’s “second” honeymoon. Over the next 12 years, I had no desire to go again, and Roger preferred going alone, like I prefer to go to most orienteering trips sans Roger. It is what works for us.

However, Roger’s solo trip in 2016 didn’t go all that well. His emails to me were full of tales of being lost and being sick. I don't even think he realized how badly he was doing.

I hoped that he would not want to go again. Then over the last year the renal cell cancer, first diagnosed in 1988, reappeared. Not for the first time, with the other seven times being malignant thingees attached to his lung (right or left). This required seven times going in and removing the growths - Thoracotomy (sp?). Not fun, but Roger bounced back each time, even though he lost some of his strength and stamina after each one.

After many months of "wait and see", it was determined that the new growths had penetrated the lung, and surgery wasn't a good option. In October, Roger received five heavy radiation doses to the lung area, and now we are in "wait and see" mode again. The side affects have been shortness of breath and a dry cough. Roger does not tolerate either of these "inconveniences" well, so I try to refrain from telling him to suck it up, at least most of the time. ;-)

So, that's where we are now with Roger's cancer - waiting to see what the next scan in April shows.

With that being said, Roger wanted to go to Italy, and I am here for him, whether I wanted to be or not.

I am posting this now, because I know some of you have wondered what is going on with Roger's health, and by doing do, maybe I can write about the next few weeks, while we "wait and see."

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