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Training Log Archive: iansmith

In the 1 days ending Dec 3, 2011:

activity # timemileskm+mload
  Orienteering3 2:18:06 11.08(12:28) 17.83(7:45) 44155c74.3
  Running2 23:44 2.7(8:48) 4.34(5:28) 161c1.2
  Total4 2:41:50 13.78(11:45) 22.17(7:18) 45756c75.5
  [1-5]4 2:30:06

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Saturday Dec 3, 2011 #

10 AM

Running (Warmup) 12:00 [1] 2.0 km (6:00 / km)
shoes: 201110 Inov-8 Oroc 280

The weekend's events were great fun despite my mixed performance. I was concerned about my physical condition, but apart from some breathing problems from cold air, it was not limiting. More problematic was the lack of sleep; due to poor planning, I only got four hours of sleep before departing Saturday morning with Giovanni and Katia. I was noticeably tired during the Night-O, and my mental and physical inadequacy contributed to a disappointing race on Sunday. I need to prepare more effectively, and I must get much stronger technically and physically to be competitive. Over the past few months, my physical improvement has outpaced my technical and mental, which I will amend.
11 AM

Orienteering 15:52 [4] 2.54 km (6:14 / km) +69m 5:30 / km
13c shoes: 201110 Inov-8 Oroc 280

The short sprint at Cemetery Hill. I had three exciting legs in the first five - a poor choice to run high on the trail to control 3 (20 sec loss), an intelligent choice running low to control 4, and a big error in the circle at 5 where I was too high and got confused by nearby features (1:10 loss).

After my error at 5, I had a hodgepodge of legs - slow to 6, good on 7-9, too far to the right on 10 (-15 sec), and stuck in the green at 12 (-10 sec). Blegh. While I was running acceptably fast, I made sufficiently many poor decisions to turn a good effort into a disaster. I started slowing down near the end, according to comparative results in the splits. Nemesis'd, and fourth behind Boris, Giacomo, and Ali. Unlike Alex, I really enjoyed running across the corn field. Quickroute

Orienteering 22:51 [4] 3.1 km (7:22 / km) +66m 6:39 / km
18c shoes: 201110 Inov-8 Oroc 280

I didn't start my GPS at the start, so my data for the long sprint is incomplete. After some mistakes on the short sprint, I resolved to run more intelligently. During all three races, I ran comparatively well on the long trail legs and less well actually navigating - an area in which I need to improve.

I lost some time on the short legs - 5-10 - as a combination of hesitation and poor orienteering. At control 15, I met disaster - I ran up to the trail, then horribly botched my traversal of the green. I drifted quite far to the right and punched out into the clearing west of the control. I didn't realize it and ran farther up the ride to try to locate. I punched across the green into the correct clearing and turned to discern the features only to see Tim punching the control - 1:15 lost. Quickroute.

Orienteering 20:41 [4] 3.9 km (5:18 / km) +76m 4:50 / km
17c shoes: 201110 Inov-8 Oroc 280

In a highly improbable result, I finished the two preliminary sprints two seconds ahead of Ali, despite her respiratory difficulties. While not quite Disney movie plot quality, it would have been hard to contrive a more interesting scenario. We were over 3 minutes behind Boris and about a minute ahead of Giacomo, so interacting with anyone else was unlikely. There were some modestly entertaining jests from the spectators, but I was really looking forward to the showdown.

While I think staying with Ali and kicking in the afterburners at the end would have been a viable strategy (as I think I'm faster over short distances), I wanted to race on my own merits and avoid tactics in favor of finishing as quickly as I could. After flipping over my map, I pushed hard to put a little distance between us. I ignored Ali for the first three (easy) controls, though I don't think she ever lost sight of me. I elected to run out to the field to the east of control 4; I glanced behind me to see Ali running left of the line. I think my route was good, though I did get stuck briefly cutting trail corners. She lost time due to barbed wire, and I punched a few seconds ahead of her. I doglegged out of 4, and put on more speed to 5 and 6 to try to break away. I was scared of overrunning 7, and I slowed somewhat. With the excellent visibility, there was no way I could get away from Ali, though I did gain some distance.

I was getting tired to 8, though I knew Ali was just behind me; I was clean, though probably slightly high going into the marsh. I misread the trail intersections on the way to 9, and almost went down into the reentrant before doubling back to connect to the trail. We ran to the field and attacked 10 down the green hillside. We saw the flag from a good distance and fought through green; I got caught by a vine across my chest and ripped to a stop with a strangled yelp. Apparently Ali also met a similar fate with similar sound effects, but I didn't hear it. I punched 10 a few seconds ahead of her, and ran cleanly to 11, again trying to gain some distance. Unfortunately, I misread the vegetation on the way to 12 and drifted far to the right. By the time I had figured out my mistake, Ali was punching 12 and took a small lead.

I considered running to the left to get to 13, but when Ali went right, I quickly decided to stay with her to avoid the risk of losing her entirely. I was really fighting to keep up, and adrenaline coursed through me. I punched 13 a few seconds behind her, and we diverged on the way to 14. I had decided to run out to the field and haul - the green was a fight, and the frisbee golf basket was a perfect attackpoint. It turned out that I was exactly on the line to 14, and I hit the boulder quite accidentally just ahead of Ali. I ran right along the trails to 15, and I noticed she wasn't behind me. I got caught in some green briar for some expletive-loaded 10s when I tried to cut the trail corner, but I saw her a few seconds behind me when our routes intersected.

I ran hard to 16 - though not quite kicking - along the trail, and I was momentarily distracted after leaving the trail by a boulder. I noticed the golf basket, and punched the control 2 seconds ahead of her. As soon as I made it out to the field, I started kicking, though she was apparently 1s behind me. The finish chute was short and downhill - my best conditions, and I ran at maximum effort in the off chance that she was making a move.

The race was very exciting; while we only diverged twice, it was a very tense and demanding race. I could not have been as physically aggressive and mentally focused had I been running alone. A friendly nemesis can drive you to extraordinary effort. I wonder what would have happened had I not been so lucky at 14. I think the last legs played slightly to my strengths - the navigation wasn't tricky, and there were lots of trails. I would probably still have taken the trail to 15, but coming from behind running into the last controls would have been tremendously climactic. Quickroute
1 PM

Orienteering (Control Pickup) 31:45 [1] 2.67 km (11:53 / km) +27m 11:19 / km
7c shoes: 201110 Inov-8 Oroc 280

Grabbed seven controls. We apparently started pickup a bit too early. I saw Marek, who was running the final sprint, as I was heading to pick up control 14 from that race. He was looking for 13, which I had just picked up.

I tried to replicate my route to 14 without success, even at a walking pace. I have no idea how I managed to get to 14, as the vegetation was impassable in places. I suppose either I was very fortunate to find a suitable line, or threat of nemeses can drive me to absorb more vegetation punishment than I would ordinarily.

Running (Control Pickup) 11:44 [0] 2.34 km (5:01 / km) +16m 4:51 / km
1c shoes: 201110 Inov-8 Oroc 280

Running out to pick up the one control that had been overlooked.
6 PM

Orienteering (Night-O) 46:57 [2] 5.62 km (8:22 / km) +203m 7:05 / km
shoes: 201110 Inov-8 Oroc 280

Night-O at Mt. Tom, set by Ali with easy controls (1-4) progressing to intermediate controls (5-6) and then advanced to the end. Boris loaned me Becky's light (thanks, Becky!), which was much brighter than my pitiful headlamp - I really need to upgrade.

After some concern at the gate that we might be found by police who were coming to rescue a car that was still in the park when the gate was locked, we parked elsewhere and ran to the start. Everyone was milling around for instruction, so I started and passed Dean before the first control.

I was tired from the day's activities, so I intended to treat the course as a fun jaunt in the woods and not a race. I glanced behind me as I was climbing the trail to 1 and beheld a picturesque chain of bobbing headlamps running across the bridge by the lake. I saw an intermittent headlamp on my way to 4, but was quite alone until 10. I was surprised how long the march to 7 took after leaving the trail, but despite my insecurity, I was where I expected to be. I walked much of the way to 8, more due to difficulty matching features than to climb and fatigue; I was quite confused, but 8 was on the far side of a hill, so it wasn't too tricky. I was too far to the right, but I corrected. I started to see headlamps on my way to 9.

As I was leaving 10, I saw a fast moving headlamp bust down the hill, so I abandoned my "not a race" plan and picked up the pace to 11. I had a 20-30s lead when I tagged 11, but I lost all of it fumbling on my exit down to the road. I attacked 12 poorly, and was far too high in the reentrant. The fast light - which turned out to be Boris - and I paused to look around, and I saw the reflector first. Boris ran down to the road to get to 13, and I saw him below me as I scrambled on the slope. We intersected and wandered among a confusing set of knolls before we saw the flag; I got to it slightly ahead of him. Fourteen seemed safe, so I charged across the reentrant monitoring my compass and again punched just ahead. On the exit from 14, the cable from the battery (which was strapped to my wrist) to the light was disconnected by foliage, and I was plunged into darkness. I reconnected it after some groping, though it might have been faster to pull out my backup light.

Boris and Brendan crushed me by over five minutes. I'm not thrilled about my navigation - the controls were visible from as far as fifty meters, and that extreme visibility encouraged bad orienteering habits. I think for short legs, less visible controls are better for training purposes, though on long legs, the high visibility flags are really helpful. I didn't take full advantage of the exercise, though I was quite tired. It was great fun running around in the woods; thanks to Ali and Boris for setting it!

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