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Training Log Archive: cedarcreek

In the 7 days ending Sep 22, 2007:

activity # timemileskm+m
  ARDF 80m1 2:02:00
  Orienteering1 1:19:57 4.78(16:43) 7.7(10:23) 136
  Total2 3:21:57 4.78 7.7 136

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Saturday Sep 22, 2007 #

Orienteering race (Sprint) 25:13 [4] *** 2.22 km (11:22 / km) +51m 10:11 / km
shoes: Nike Trail (Blue)

Sprint A, Course 3 (Red/Blue).

I had trouble seeing the first leg, so I just attacked the first route I saw, which was down the trail to the yellow, left on the trail, then right. I thought, "Wow---that was quick". I do love 1:4000 maps. (EricW and I had a discussion about them on Sunday). Leaving 1, I felt 2 or 3 bees around the back of my neck, and I swatted at them as I ran away. No stings, luckily.

The first sprint was really fun. The start interval was 30 seconds, and there were people everywhere. There was forking between Course 2 and 3, so people were going in all different directions, which was really cool.

I got too far left at 10, and found some smaller unmapped rocks before I turned right and got 10.

A really fun course. It's interesting to me that sprints are often considered to have trivial navigation. I much prefer this type with lots of quick decisions to be made and essentially non-trivial navigation. If I had one criticism of the courses, and realize this is a total nitpick, it was that it needed maybe 3 more controls added with really short leg lengths. I don't get the "sprint feeling" unless I have a few controls that are crazy fast, close-together, with direction change, and yeah, trivial navigation.

Orienteering race (Sprint) 25:45 [4] *** 2.33 km (11:03 / km) +52m 9:57 / km
shoes: Nike Trail (Blue)

Sprint B, Course 3 (Red/Blue)

Turn the map over, and...a long leg. I totally missed the trail in the big reentrant (I didn't see it on the map), so I clipped the top of the reentrant and went straight at it. I ended up on a trail going down the steep section, so I thought I was perfectly lined up. I ended up about 1cm away WNW on the large boulder (with a flag on it), where I saw the code was wrong. I saw Cristina looking confused going N (to my left), but I was sure I needed to go right. Probably 45 seconds lost. My fastest split was 2-3, 58 seconds, but probably 15 of that was me hesitating, getting left (yeah, I know), and having to change direction to avoid the earthwalls.

I went left on 8, through the little saddle, and on a bearing North. I ended up 40m left of the control, which I think is a pretty big miss. I didn't take the trail because of all the contour lines. Let's think that through: 5 contour lines. 1.5m contours. 7.5m of climb. Compare that to my route: 7.5m climb. Sheesh.

My nitpick for this course. Not enough controls. I think John Fredrickson is on to something there.

Later we laughed about the "long" first leg. It's 375m. Isn't that funny?

Orienteering race (Sprint) 28:59 [5] *** 3.15 km (9:12 / km) +33m 8:45 / km
shoes: Nike Trail (Blue)

Sprint C, Variation 6. (This means my loop order was South, East, North.)

The Sprint Series Final Course. We got to watch the 2 Sprint Finals, with extreme spectator visibility (and PG heckling Sam). The men's race was so amazing---on the second loop, I think, 5 competitors hit the common control at almost the same time.

The first map had the three loops, and a more conventional yellow-course like difficulty, but then, it did have a 3 loop butterfly with all the readability issues---which is part of the game.

The second map was much more difficult navigationally. It had two "long legs" of 400m and 360m (again, that is so funny).

The course was amazing fun to run, and very fun to watch. The excitement got to me, and I was running much harder than I normally think I can. I did walk up the hills, and I used "reading the map" as an excuse to catch my breath. I need a lot of work on reading while running. I'm able to do it somewhat, but I usually default to the cautious, slow method of walking to read the map.

Sunday Sep 16, 2007 #

ARDF 80m race 2:02:00 [4] ***
shoes: Nike Trail (Blue)

80m US ARDF Championships at Fallen Leaf Lake, near Lake Tahoe, CA.

I remember complaints about the FLL map from the 2003 US Championships, and I asked Bob Cooley what they were. He said there was a lot of unmapped undergrowth. As it turned out, I only found a little unmapped undergrowth, but I screwed up the course so bad it only hurt me a little.

How did I screw up?

1. I lost contact.
2. I didn't take accurate bearings when I had the chance.
3. As a result of 1 and 2, I made some terrible route choices.
4. I got discouraged in the massive patches of 3rd green or slash undergrowth (not an IOF symbol), and didn't push hard enough.

At the same time, I do have some criticisms.

2 had no business being where it was. I think there was a powerline nearby, and that's the only way I can reconcile my bearings (short of me screwing up completely, which I just don't accept). It was 2 or 3 cycles from the trail for me, but only about 200m, so you know it was thick.

This might not be fair---I thought 2 was higher up the hill than it was: Once I got 2, I had to decide to descend to the flatter area, or go cross-hill trying to miss huge areas of thick green. It seemed like the only reasonable thing to do was to go cross-hill. Interestingly, people who had to get both 2 and 5 probably should have gotten 5 after 2, and didn't have the difficult choice to make for 3 from 2. That would have really helped.

I told Bob Cooley that I would have liked the course better if the numbers were reversed. He let us get too far down the corridor before getting cross-bearings for 3, 4, and 5. 3 was very close to a big hill, and that greatly influenced my decision to cross-hill to 3. Had an earlier signal shown it to be clear of the hill, going cross-hill would have been much less of a good choice. I have been thinking about whether 3 is unfair, but I have to think that it is not. Part of the question is: Did many people initially place it up the hill?, but another part of it is: Isn't this a test of fitness as well as navigation and DFing ability? Isn't near a hill legitimate? I need to consult about this question.

At 3, I was about 125m from the control, and yet it took me 2 cycles---about 10 minutes---to reach it. It was thorny, slow undergrowth. I just couldn't imagine why a control was placed there.

On my way to 4, I encountered the first of the unmapped undergrowth, and I chickened out and took a trail, probably adding on a full cycle (5 minutes).

I had no idea where I was, except near the road, so I aimed for it (going to the finish), and quickly found more undergrowth. If I trusted the map, I would have straightlined, but I didn't, and I added maybe 300 or 400m to my route and took the curvy road into camp. It just didn't seem worth the risk to go cross-country. Later, I found out that people who went straight lost 5 to 10 minutes over my road route. I hate it when chickening out is a better route than being aggressive, but I'm guess I'm glad I knew enough to chicken out.

My 2 hours was good enough for 4th in M40. In the grand scheme of things, I thought this course was better than the 2m course. I felt like one control, 2, just ruined my whole day. I really want to blame the course setter, but I honestly can't. I lost contact. I made the decision to cross-hill from an assumed location way uphill of where I really was. I basically completely screwed up the course from 2 onward.

I need to work on 2 things. I need to just quit messing around and mount a reversed-rosette compass on my 80m receiver. Alternately, I could go back to Gyuri's ruler attachment. Second, I need to run more 80m courses. I have very little confidence running them, and I need to be a lot more familiar with my receiver.

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