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Attackpoint AR - performance and training tools for adventure athletes

Training Log Archive: PG

In the 7 days ending May 11, 2009:

activity # timemileskm+ft
  road running4 3:01:42 21.13(8:36) 34.01(5:21)
  orienteering1 1:54:39 6.52(17:34) 10.5(10:55) 984
  Total5 4:56:21 27.65(10:43) 44.51(6:40) 984
averages - rhr:55 weight:136.4lbs

» now

Monday May 11, 2009 #

rhr:55 weight:135.5lbs

Back to the doctor's today for minor surgery. I always thought that "minor surgery" was, as the saying goes, surgery that happens to someone else, but this was truly minor -- removal of some bits of graphite fibers from my right palm.

Those fibers had been comfortably residing there for about 9 months. They were originally part of the shaft of my 5-wood, and it got a little banged up over the years, and at some point last summer in letting the shaft slide through my hand I got speared, reasonably painfully so, though the pain may have been as much from the stupidity as the actually wound. I extracted most of it, but not all. And since then it bothered me most of the time not at all, but every once in a while if I would grab something wrong, I'd get quite a sharp jolt of pain. But never quite enough to do something about it.

When I mentioned it to my doc last week, he said he could take care of it, no big deal. My lingering thought was that he was excited to do a little old-fashioned medicine instead of just the usual GP stuff.

Anyway, I showed up this morning first thing, somewhat anxious but not bad. A shot of painkiller to make things possible, and after a couple of minutes he went at it. And after about 5 or 10 minutes of cutting and poking and mainly trying to soak up my blood so he could see, all he had produced was one sliver of graphite, about 1/16th long. Time for plan B.

So far part of the blood control operation had been a cuff around my arm, inflated to just more than my blood pressure. Took this off for a moment, raised my hand way up to drain the veins ("That looks better, nice and pale."), and then cranked the cuff up an extra 20 points to see if that would help.

Much better, and before long a couple of longer pieces had come out, and he looked around a little more and decided he was done. One stitch went in, a lot of blood got wiped up, and I was happily sent on my way. Now I'll just have to see if that improves things.

Note: I was also sent happily on my way by results of most of my blood test. PSA is .006, which is excellent (0 is the goal, but this is close enough to just be considered "noise"). Cholesterol is 203, which is a little high but also a little better than before, and the HDL part is 75, also better than before and excellent. Other stuff was in the normal range, though I did notice that something called hematocrit was 41.0 and on the low end of normal. I think this is the number the cyclists try to get at 49.9 (more than 50 will flunk a drug test), so I maybe need some EPO. Or maybe just get out the door and train a little more.

road running 35:06 [3] 4.35 mi (8:04 / mi)

Couldn't fond any EPO in the house so had to go for a run. In town, flat, felt no so bad and was putting out a decent effort by the end.


A little excitement on the south side of town Saturday evening, mini-tornado, relocated one of the old tobacco barns....

Sunday May 10, 2009 #

Event: Billygoat

orienteering 1:54:39 [3] 10.5 km (10:55 / km) +984ft 9:33 / km

Billygoat -- the course (with my route). As usual, you could skip a control, and go to either of the two #5's.

Not as bad as I feared, either in how I felt or how I did. Still was stumbling and falling a whole lot. But could have been a lot worse.

A few comments --
4. Went down the left side of the marsh to keep open the option of skipping 4 (which I still like the idea of, but decided against).
5. Took the right fork. Seems like left was quite a bit quicker (though my execution of the apparently simple route to 5R was quite bad). To 6, no problems, just a lot of walking.
9. Not good. Headed for the trail and missed it, too high, so in the crappy woods for far too long. Probably better to head west from 8, right out to the trail, longer but easy. And then approach to control was bad, had a couple others around me and got pulled left, though at least I corrected quicker, just had a gut feeling I was wrong.
13. A little too high on the hillside after half-way, wasted time both with extra climb plus crappy woods on slope plus too much time reading map and not moving.
21. Lots of crappy woods in the first half (oh to be young and agile), but I got a good line to avoid the worst slopes and green and rocks.

So finished well after 13, pretty much all by myself (and by myself quite a bit before that too). Saw Glen just before 18, he was just behind me going up the hill to 20 but I think I had a better micro-route to 21 and got clear. And a few others (Kristen, Randy, Ben) were not too far ahead at the end, but they were never in sight.


Scenes from the BG --

Childcare the old-fashioned way, not an adult in sight, and the kids having a fine time, including Max Ahmed on the ascent (larger version)....

And half of WCOC's outstanding leadership duo (Lyn Walker) showing fine form at the finish....

While the other half (name withheld to protect the guilty) was enjoying the Billygoat birthday cake....

Saturday May 9, 2009 #


Finally got around to doing my routes for the Team Trials:

Sprint. Comments: This was pretty close to as good as I could do. It was very easy, surprised me, but then the rocky areas were quite bad. They could have made the course a lot harder by using harder placements but I don't think that would have been better, and probably worse.

Only problem was 3, lost a few seconds, plus a little uncertain coming up the hill to 8.

Middle. Comments: Not a bad run, just no legs and feeling a little insecure at times as there were places where you did not want to miss. Shaky right off the bat, got off course on the way to the first trail, but at least I was sure when I was dropping down to the control. To 4 ended up a contour line too high. To 14, stood still quite a while about 100 meters short, just not reading the map well, finally determined I had to go farther along the ridge before dropping down. The rest was OK.

Long. Comments: Not too much in the way of errors, but there were some. Shaky approaching 1, was lucky to see it. 3 was the worst, figured I'd run down the reasonably clean reentrant and do a left hook over the small spur, but the reentrant was quite junky and I lost track of where I was and cut left too soon, and proably spent 2-3 minutes getting through the manzanita, cussing all the time. And missed 12 a little, did a loop around the rocks before I found the correct cliff. That last one was definitely a case of struggling to read the rock detail on the 1:15,000 map.

As far as routes, hard to compare because everyone else is so much faster. The only places I felt particularly good about my routes was the first part to 3, finding the ride angling down the steep hillside (hard to see on the map), and then to 10, staying high and then coming in at the end through clean forest. The rest was, well, forgettable.


Drove over to Boston to visit with my niece Alex and my brother Michael, up from Texas for the weekend to visit her. Took the T in from Davis Square where she lives to Park Street, then spent a long and very pleasant time walking around, mostly in the North End, also some around Beacon Hill. Once again, too much to eat, but good training for next weekend. Got home just before the storms rolled in.

Friday May 8, 2009 #

road running 49:10 [3] 5.3 mi (9:17 / mi)

South Sugarloaf and back before breakfast. Hard to get out the door, but then it's done for the day. The usual no zip, but at least ran all the way up, even if the pace was slow (10:10).


I seem to have gotten a number of e-mails this week inviting me to be a friend of someone on Facebook. I thought there was an age limit, like under 30? And I already spend too much time on the computer as it is.

Is there any reason I should be on Facebook?

Thursday May 7, 2009 #


Went in for my annual physical and as is often the case with such things, there is good news and bad news. To start with the major bad news, and when this happens to someone of my stature it can only be termed major bad news, the fact is that I'm shrinking. No, not in the way that I'd guess most of us get spam offering to remedy that. Just simple height. And short as I have always been, peaking at 5'6.5", it seems I am now 5'5.5". So now I can fondly look back to the days when I was not just faster and smarter but also taller. My dad lost about 4" by the time he was done, so I guess I'm headed for 5'2".

Next, the minor bad news. I had thought because of my medical adventure over the past year that I could dispense with the annual DRE, but that was not to be, though at least this time it was not so painful. As expected, there was no prostate to be found, just, as the doc said, a divot.

And the good news? I still have a pulse.

road running 56:06 [3] 6.85 mi (8:11 / mi)

Up along the river (route). Sluggish as usual.

I think the right state of mind for Sunday's Billygoat will be mellow. Seems the only reasonable option.

Wednesday May 6, 2009 #


A few notes from California --

1. I had good feelings from the orienteering. One reason had to do with something I try to do but too often forget, namely to connect in some way with someone new at every orienteering meet I go to.

In this case there were a couple new connections. The first was with Nikolay Nachev. He is originally from Bulgaria, was on their junior team and then senior team, but never got to go to WOC because they never had the money to send more than a couple of runners and he was third or fourth. He is about to get his citizenship in this country, and there was an issue as to whether he could compete in the Trials. My opinion had been that he shouldn't have because there was no way of knowing when he might actually get his citizenship and so the team composition might be in limbo for quite a while, but I have no say these days (probably just as good) and the other team members seemed happy to have more competition, so he ran. And that seems like it was the right decision.

Anyway, on Sunday, the long course, I was the first starter and I expected to see a few of the young ones cruise past me, which they did, and one of them was Nikolay. Though at the time he was passing me, I don't think the word "cruise" ever entered my mind. We came together on the steep climb up to #8, I was maybe 10 meters ahead of him with about 5 or 6 lines still to climb. I was climbing at a rather slow pace; I wasn't actually breathing hard, didn't feel like my heart was working that hard, but the legs were just dead and it seemed like the best I could do. Nikolay, on the other hand, sounded like he was in the last mad dash of a short race, tremendous noise breathing in and out, really a quite terrible racket, alternatively he was about to have a massive heart attack. It was very impressive, or scary, I mean, we were only half way around the course, how could he possible be working so hard?

And as I staggered up the hillside, and the racket kept up, and I'd look over my shoulder to marvel at it all. And note that I was looking behind me, because for all his youth and his strength and his effort and his just frightful noises, it suddenly occurred to me that he wasn't going any faster than I was! By the time we got to the control I was still in front. To #9 it was uphill quite a bit more. Things returned to normal and he quickly passed and was soon long gone, while I was spending too much time laughing about the trip up to 8.

Later I had a chance to chat with him, a real nice fellow. And next year maybe he is in better shape and makes the team.

The second connection was with a fellow I had seen around a bunch but not talked too, but had heard lots of good things said about earlier in the weekend, namely Greg Lennon from Quantico. The lots of good things were with regard to the work he did, really the driving force, to make the hiring of an Executive Director for USOF a reality.

He'd been at the BAOCs meeting the evening before about JWOC, and so we talked a bit about when USOF had organized WOC-93 and how that had been. Interesting conversation, also on my part brought back lots of memories, mostly good ones.

2. Spent Sunday night in San Francisco, took a very nice late afternoon drive around the city when the traffic was very light, then happened upon a really good Thai restaurant to finish off the day on a fine note.

3. Then to San Diego Monday morning to visit Gail's step-father, the reknowned (at least to bridge players and/or applied mathematicians) Ivar Stakgold, who at age 83 relocated out here from the East Coast, unloaded one girl friend and picked up another. A very pleasant day and a half visit before heading home Wednesday morning, including trips to the zoo and the museum of contemporary art, several excellent meals, and a chance to see Gail's half-sister who drove down from LA. And weather that was as perfect as it was miserable in Cobb. A very good trip.


A few shots from the San Diego zoo, which make it pretty clear that a day there is pretty much just like a day in Sunderland --

Yoga class....

Nap time....

Some serious thinking....

Good vegetarian food (with plenty of fiber)....

And sometimes another nap....

Because you have have to rest up for the visit to the art museum, where art can turn out to be most anything (there are actually two significant pieces on display here)....

Tuesday May 5, 2009 #

road running 41:20 [3] 4.63 mi (8:56 / mi)

Before breakfast run in La Jolla. Plan was to head for the ocean, but I didn't have a map, and I didn't get real close. And it was mostly on concrete, the rest on asphalt. But still quite fine, beautiful morning.


Mostly down on the way out, even that seemed a struggle. Turned around at 20:25, figured I'd be 25 minutes coming back, but I hooked up with a local runner for part of the return and that kept me going. So a feeling of accomplishment rather than sluggishness.

Now off to see some sights, and eat, and maybe a few more sights, and then eat some more, and then eat some more. Will be quite the blimp by the time we head back east tomorrow.

San Diego, by the way, was where many years ago I met the most famous orienteer I ever met, Ingemar Johansson. A visiting Swede wanted to meet him, so we found his house, went knocked on his door, he was there, very interesting. I'd guess most younger orienteers have never heard of him.

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