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Attackpoint AR - performance and training tools for adventure athletes

Training Log Archive: Bash

In the 7 days ending Dec 1, 2012:

activity # timemileskm+m
  XC Skiing - Skate3 4:29:34 23.55(5.2/h) 37.91(8.4/h) 571
  XC Skiing - Classic2 4:15:36 19.37(4.5/h) 31.18(7.3/h) 617
  Orienteering2 2:11:22 8.05(16:19) 12.96(10:08) 495
  Total7 10:56:32 50.98(12:53) 82.05(8:00) 1683

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Saturday Dec 1, 2012 #

10 AM

Orienteering race (Relay) 30:45 [4] 3.96 km (7:46 / km) +103m 6:52 / km
shoes: Salomon S-LAB FellCross

U.S Relay Orienteering Championships
McFarlan Woods, Cincinnati

1st leg relay runner on Team Canada, followed by Raymond, CJRoss and JTorrance. I think this was only my second orienteering relay, and I was surprised to find myself stressed, given that our team was ineligible for the U.S. championships so we were just running for fun. The map near the start/finish was very busy, and it took me about 30 seconds to sort it out. The trail to #2 seemed to be going too far so I turned off early on the wrong indistinct trail but after that, things went OK. The feeling that any error or imprecision would affect my team's result was always in my thoughts, which is weird since I am accustomed to being in that situation in adventure racing. I'm sure that it would (mostly) vanish if I'd done more than two relays in ten years of orienteering. We finished 4th of fourteen 8-point relay teams. Great runs by my teammates, two of whom have represented Canada at numerous international competitions!

Afterward, Barb B chaired a very pleasant OUSA Rogaine Committee meeting sitting on the grass in the sunshine. We communicate regularly by e-mail but it is nice - and very different - to chat in person. Other attendees were Tundra/Desert, EBone and Nikolay.

At a restaurant later, I saw deep-fried avocado on the appetizer menu - perfect for those people who find that regular avocados just don't have enough calories.

Friday Nov 30, 2012 #

7 PM

Orienteering race (Night) 1:40:37 intensity: (1:10:37 @3) + (30:00 @4) 9.0 km (11:11 / km) +392m 9:11 / km
shoes: Salomon S-LAB FellCross

U. S. Night-O Champs
Mt. Airy Park
Cincinnati, Ohio

The Canadians only have 3 national orienteering championships but the Americans have a whole bunch including some really cool ones like Night-O and UltraLong. Even though it meant a 9-hour drive just a day after returning from B.C. and its different time zone, I wanted to make the trip.

The pain was eased somewhat by picking up my new Outback during my 24 hours in Ontario. After a weekend of driving it, the reviews are mostly positive:
- Fuel economy is considerably better than my old car.
- Feels good to drive - smooth, quiet, good handling, comfortable driver's seat, etc.
- Bluetooth for podcasting and phone calls is awesome.
- Love the colour - I smile every time I see it. :)

- I really, really don't like driving an automatic.
- Cupholders were designed by people who have never used a cup in a vehicle in their lives.

Obviously, the positives outweigh the negatives!

Back to the Night-O... I'd hoped for a nap before the race since my alarm had gone off at 2 a.m. B.C. time before the long drive so I was exhausted. However, I ended up in a long tech support phone call with the hotel's wi-fi provider. In the end, they were unable to get the wi-fi to work during the weekend, which was tough for a hotel full of Attackpointers.

So... I was already tired when Tundra/Desert and I headed for Mt. Airy. It would have been better to do a longer warm-up since I went out overdressed, and that took some time to fix during the race. At the last minute, I remembered that for night nav (which I obviously don't do often enough), I use a tiny map light attached to my big headlamp. I can't use the big headlamp to look at the map because when I point it down, I'm no longer looking through the magnifier portion of my eye protection glasses so I can't read the map.

I quickly dug out my back-up headlamp from my pack and put it on pointed downward - a much larger light than I would normally use for map reading. Now it felt like I had a refrigerator on my forehead! Between wearing the wrong layers and the awkward light set-up, the percentage of my attention focused on the map was not as high as it should have been. I didn't always feel precise in my navigation nor did I make the best route choices but I didn't have any major trouble other than one place where the vegetation pushed me off my bearing - but I knew what had happened and was able to relocate after wasting some time.

There was a good amount of climbing on and off-trail, and some patches of difficult vegetation. Overall, it was loads of fun running around in the dark with lots of other headlamps bobbing around going in different directions. I'd chosen the elite women's course so the only goal was to have a fun, challenging workout. I had a respectable result under the circumstances, about 2 minutes behind the U.S. bronze medalist.

Forgot to turn my GPS on right away so I'm missing the first part of the route, and I've updated the time/distance. [Edit: The awesome Cedarcreek has modified my GPX so that the controls after I turned on the Garmin now appear in the right place on the GPS track - yahoo!] Other than the first bit, I'm able to compare my routes to Alex and Ali in a race for the first time. All I can say is "Yikes!"

Thursday Nov 29, 2012 #


Here's 'Bent's action movie trailer for our ski trip. We didn't get the GoPro out with our friends around because it can be intrusive, but it would have been nice to see them in the movie. Next time!

12 PM


Successful Christmas shopping trip to Toronto. Got a South St. Burger, a latte and a Subaru. :)

Wednesday Nov 28, 2012 #


Birthday Boy spent his special day in transit, poor guy! We're back in Palgrave with a fire burning, two Labs cuddled in our laps, and a dusting of snow on the ground. Silverstar was great but home is the best.

Tuesday Nov 27, 2012 #

10 AM

XC Skiing - Classic 1:20:00 [2] 10.85 km (8.1 kph) +159m

Last day of 'Bent's birthday trip. We did a relaxed classic tour of the lower Silverstar trails with some GoPro filming. I accidentally left the Garmin off for awhile after one of our photo shoots so had to update the distance using previous GPS tracks. This is the 5th sunny day in a row, so some of the trails had rough patches or debris. Still, any day spent playing in the snow is a good one.

I may not be able to ski with good technique but I am getting better at seeing our flaws when I look at photos. I hope that can lead to some improvement because the photos of me have already given me a *long* list of things to work on.

Charm and AZ are here for this week's ski clinic so we stopped by the Bulldog Cafe to say hello and catch up quickly. Their coach is none other than Marie-Cat; it had been so long since I'd seen her that I got chatty and totally forgot to take her photo.

Then we had a terrific lunch at The Den - one of the few restaurants open here when the downhill skiers aren't around. As 'Bent says, their logo is "a bear with a footprint problem".

2 PM

XC Skiing - Skate 58:38 intensity: (48:38 @3) + (10:00 @5) 10.21 km (10.4 kph) +158m

We finished off with a short skate ski before packing up. Mostly we toured the same trails as this morning but right at the end, just as we were approaching our condo, 'Bent wanted to try the Silver Streak trail. "It's only 500 meters long!" Sure, I can do that. It turned out to be a big climb. Halfway up, we met Tarno and Almageddon who told us the trails to take when we reached the top. Those trails climbed too. Hmm. When we finally popped out at a place we recognized, we were near the top of a ski lift - and our condo was at the bottom! Luckily, they'd groomed the hill in preparation for the downhill ski opening on Thursday. The last 10 minutes provided the toughest challenge of the day but it made a great finish to a fun holiday.

On our way to Kelowna, we checked out the Stussi Sport cross-country ski shop in Vernon where we had a 10% discount. Let's just say that we saved a *lot* of money there. :) 'Bent has been spared some trouble since he was able to buy me a few great Christmas gifts in advance, including new Salomon classic boots. :)

Monday Nov 26, 2012 #

11 AM

XC Skiing - Classic 2:55:36 [2] 20.33 km (6.9 kph) +458m

With the ski clinic over and our friends mostly back at home, 'Bent and I bravely headed out on our own.

I know it sounds lame but our bodies were kinda tired after the sudden leap into ski season so we had a lazy start to the day. The muscles we use for other sports feel fine but apparently skiing uses a few muscles that don't get such a good workout in summer, and they're a little surprised at all the action. On the bright side, I'm not feeling the altitude as much as the last time we were here. That has nothing to do with fitness - just good luck.

It might have helped if we'd eaten the Breakfast of Champions we had on Saturday. 2011 world mountain bike champion Catharine Pendrel was here for last week's ski clinic, and we ended up in line together at the bakery where she helped us by listing healthy ingredients in a muffin she likes. Naturally, that's what we bought since it seems to be working for her. I noticed on her Twitter that she met retired cyclist Axel Merckx skiing here a few days ago. Apparently it's good cross training.

We drove over to Sovereign Lake and did a big loop starting up Aberdeen. The trail had been rolled two days ago but hadn't been track set. It had been well used and was a little slick and rutted in places, so it wasn't the easiest place to practise proper classic technique. However, it was incredibly beautiful as we climbed up (and up and up).

As we climbed higher, the views got better and better.

This picture is cross-country skier porn!

Our destination was Silverstar summit - the top of the ski chairs that come up from the other side of the mountain. First we stopped at a lookout near the top.

Then we got to the summit. The resort opens for downhill skiing in three days so things are just about ready to go.

'Bent was shooting video.

And of course, I was hugging trees.

While 'Bent was leading the way with the GoPro on our descent, he missed our turn back to Sovereign and nearly took us down the wrong side of the mountain. Fortunately, we figured out our error before we lost *too* much elevation. Adding to our nervousness was the fact that we needed a more expensive ski pass to go on both sides of the mountain, so we weren't just lost - we were breaking the rules!

We came down via Lars Taylor and got chilled with the wind on the descent. After a break to warm up at the Black Prince Cabin, we continued around the Carl Wylie trail to the stadium, then went back out to do Woodland Bell and some other "green" skiing near the parking lot.

While we were having snacks in the ski lodge, Munny Duncan of Salomon came up to introduce himself and compliment us on our choice of clothing. We had a great chat and discovered a whole bunch of mutual friends and Salomon colleagues. Such a small world.

Speaking of which, the Tarnopolsky family just got here, and we had a nice evening of dinner and conversation with them. I'd also hoped to entice Urthbuoy up here for a nice, relaxing skate ski but he didn't take the bait. :)

Sunday Nov 25, 2012 #

8 AM

XC Skiing - Skate 1:30:00 intensity: (1:00:00 @2) + (30:00 @3) 11.4 km (7.6 kph) +143m

Skate ski clinic with Coach Sandy. 'Bent and I rarely skate ski so we had been anticipating today's morning and afternoon skate ski sessions with less than total enthusiasm. We could have opted for classic lessons only this weekend but we knew some skate skiing would be good for us. Most of the skate skiers did the same thing in reverse and were similarly dubious as they approached yesterday's classic skiing sessions!

Later we plan to write down some key ideas from our sessions but one big take-away is that most of the concepts are transferable between skate and classic. Although we are longtime classic skiers, these were our first formal classic lessons (not counting a terrific informal session with VO2Max), so I hadn't ever thought about it. More surprising was the transfer of skills between skiing and the Chi running style I've been trying to adopt. Very cool.

Sandy walked us through various fundamentals - committing to balance over one ski, proper body position at different points, poling, 1-skate, 2-skate, offset - and we practised transitions between our "gears" as we skied some rolling trails. Lots of drills - no poles, long glide on one ski, Barbie doll arms (locked elbows - forces you to use abs), etc. Good stuff and not as stressful as I'd feared. The hills were short and we had lots of instructional time so the effort wasn't crazy. (Skate skiing almost always makes me go anaerobic.)

Sandy's suggestion is that we work to get to the point where we know how to skate ski 20 km (say) with proper technique without getting out of breath. Then if we want to, we can always add muscle to go faster and harder - but with correct technique.

One of my big problems, it turns out, is that I am so self-conscious about my technique that I constantly look down at my skis and poles to check what I'm doing. I'm supposed to work at lifting my chin from my chest and looking ahead on the trail while putting my shoulders back, avoiding hunching my spine, and opening up my chest and lungs.

(Elapsed 2 hrs 38 min - time deducted for coaching stops, distance added for section where Garmin was off.)
1 PM

XC Skiing - Skate 2:00:56 intensity: (40:56 @3) + (1:00:00 @4) + (20:00 @5) 16.3 km (8.1 kph) +270m

After lunch at the Bulldog Cafe, we had to say farewell to most of the group we've been hanging out with - Revy, C-Bass, Rich C, Sara, Sean & Juliann, Myra & Danny. The Carbons stayed for the afternoon classic clinic. The 5 skate groups from the morning were collapsed into one since most attendees were leaving. I'd slotted myself into the middle level but in the afternoon, I was with Coach Dave and the fast boyz. (Two of us were given the option of an intermediate session just for us but decided to tough it out).

On the plus side, we did an absolutely beautiful ski up to Alder Point and back. It was sunny and cool with heavy snow coating the trees. Perfect ski conditions, spectacular views, great company.

On the negative side, there was a lot of climb. According to AP (which rarely lies), I'd done 67 minutes of skate skiing in 2012 before today. So... it was a shock to some muscles and my cardiovascular system to ski for 3.5 hours today, especially after the season's first two days of classic skiing. Although I tried to cling to some remnants of good technique, I'm afraid some of this morning's improvements were set aside in favour of just getting my sorry arse up the mountain. I was one of the two slowpokes in our group but it didn't really bug me, and it didn't seem to bother the others either. Now that I've survived, I'm really glad I did it. It was a huge confidence booster.

Here are George, Eric, 'Bent and Coach Dave Harbocian.

Here are the views from Alder Point. Important: You should stop skiing when you arrive at this spot.

We shared a condo with the Carbons but our schedule was so busy that we didn't get a lot of time to relax and catch up. Next time! Their skiing skills have become quite good - and they both bought new skis here to add to their quiver. We all warned them this would happen. :)

Night view from the condo.

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