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Attackpoint AR - performance and training tools for adventure athletes

Training Log Archive: iansmith

In the 7 days ending May 26, 2008:

activity # timemileskm+mload
  Orienteering3 5:12:14 12.14(25:44) 19.53(15:59)32 /45c71%541.0
  Running1 15:00 1.24(12:04) 2.0(7:30)3.8
  Total3 5:27:14 13.38(24:28) 21.53(15:12)32 /45c71%544.8
averages - sleep:7.5

» now

Monday May 26, 2008 #

Orienteering race 3:24:15 [5] *** 11.2 km (18:14 / km)
spiked:12/23c shoes: 200803 NB MT800

DVOA Chasing the Star Long. I had a very poor course at the West Point classic (10.4 k), and ended up not finishing due to exhaustion. For this course, I was prepared with two Gus, but I still regarded it with much trepidation. I'm not really ready for this distance, and protracting the time with navigation and errors only makes it worse. In that sense, I'm glad I'm finished. My mood about and during the course was further improved by events.

My route from control ten to eleven was fairly straight - I went up onto the campus hill between rather than contouring around. However, when planning through the parking lot on the northeast side of the hill, I conveniently overlooked the ten foot cliff. Upon my arrival, I started sliding slowly down the bank towards the cliff because of all the leaves. The cliff itself was built up with a manmade wall about ten feet high. I decided to descend anyway; I found a tree growing out of the side and used that to get a grip on a column of the wall. I then fell about three to four feet onto a thick bed of leaves. Unfortunately, during my fall, my e-punch was clipped off of my finger by the column.

I could not find my e-punch. The leaves were very thick, and because the area below the cliff was inclined, I slid down and disturbed many leaves on landing. Because the e-punch flicked off (the potential energy of stretch the elastic around my finger released), I wasn't really sure how far it went. After a cursory search, I twice climbed the column and simulated the event with a stick. I became convinced that the e-punch had fallen near me and been buried. Given that the leaves were up to eight inches deep, this wasn't all that helpful. I reasoned that finding the e-punch was a far better recourse than going on without it; I wanted my splits from the first ten controls, I'd probably be DQ'd if I showed up at the finish without the ten controls, and I didn't want to replace my $60 e-punch. I tried many search efforts while contemplating what course of action to take, but just as I was about to give up, I saw its yellow tip poking out of the leaves. Words cannot convey the euphoria I felt at finding it; I had all but given up hope. I climbed down the cliff 1:23 after my start, and I found the e-punch at 2:07. I lost 45 minutes in my search.

At that point, I wasn't especially worried about my time, but I wanted to finish as quickly as possible, and the euphoria from finding my e-punch encouraged me to take some chances. Controls 12, 14 and 20 to the end were shaky. I took my GUs at 9 and 15, but felt exhausted from control 19 to the end. I made minor errors on 8, 9, 12, 14, 20, 21, and 22, and a major error on 10. Some of my route choices, while solid, were slow - 6 in particular.

While I wish I had been faster and more accurate (even if I hadn't lost 45 minutes looking for my e-punch, my time would still have been 2:40), I was satisfied with my race. I've struggled with long courses, and this was about as good as I could have expected at my current performance level. I need to run much longer distances if I expect to compete in such courses.

Congratulations to Ross and Wyatt in particular for making the US Team, and all the US Team members. I met quite a few people at this meet - Gerald Yip, Leif Anderson, Christoph Zurcher, Nikolay Nachev, and (briefly) Eric Bone. Most people with whom I do not interact regularly or at great length in the orienteering community do not know my name; that's not terribly surprising, but I mean to change that over the next year.

Sunday May 25, 2008 #

Orienteering race 1:23:26 [4] 4.83 km (17:16 / km)
slept:7.0 shoes: 200803 NB MT800

The DVOA Chasing the Star Middle Distance Course. The ground was very technical - more than I expected. I went into the course with the clear idea of staying in contact with the map the whole way, but that didn't identically happen.

I didn't see any great attackpoints to control one (except a nearby pit), so I took my time traveling from the start to one, and spiked it. On control two, I overshot, but there was a stream catching feature about fifty meters from the control, so I caught myself. I went slower than I could have because I wanted to hit objects on the way, but that didn't seem to help. On control three, I changed my course crossing a stream too much and overshot to the north. It took a little wandering and hitting a marsh for me to correct. Four was solid; on five, I was in contact the whole way, but went too far north on the target reentrant and had to double back.

Six was an interesting error; I hit a rootstock as I intended on the way, but somehow veered too far to the west and encountered a catching rootstock. I misjudged which of two rootstocks this was, and lost another minute or so recorrecting. Near both five and six, I ran into a kid with a German accent who seemed to be lost. He kept asking me which course I was on and how to get to "number two" (he was running green). I courteously said I had to run my race and wished him luck. I also saw my conversational buddy on the long, where he asked me what course I was on, how many controls I hit, if I was ok, and what my favorite color was (just kidding about the color).

My big error was on nine; I drifted far to the north and east, and mistook the steep westward slope at 11 for that at 9. I found the road (gasp) and wandered back through 11 and 10 to 9. Probably eight-ten minutes slower than a route choice I could have hit if I had paid more attention.

On 12, I took a longer but safer route. The last controls were reliable, if slow.

I regret that I took the course as slowly as I did in an effort to avoid navigational errors, yet still made substantial mistakes. I need to learn when to pay attention and when to run all out once I've settled on a particular route. All things considered, apart from twenty to twenty-five minutes of error, I don't think I could have navigated this course that much faster; the terrain was too technical for my current skill level.

While I would have liked to finish faster, I did enjoy the course.

Saturday May 24, 2008 #

Orienteering race 24:33 [5] *** 3.5 km (7:01 / km)
spiked:20/22c slept:8.0 shoes: 200803 NB MT800

The DVOA Chasing the Star Sprint, which is also a WRE event (and my first such). The course was on a hillside urban campus of Lehigh University; because it started so high on the mountain, the streets initially are approximately contoured, changing only at the very bottom to the usual grid. Given the street complex and the many stairwells, runnable foresty sections, parking lots, and so on, there were plenty of route choices.

I was initially astonished by the sheer number of ways to disqualify yourself, including:
- Running through a garden marked olive green on the map
- Crossing an uncrossable wall
- Crossing an uncrossable hedge
- Looking askance at a marshal watching an uncrossable feature

Ok, so I made up the last one, but there were many olive gardens and uncrossable walls, and not much time to think about them.

I was pleased with my performance on the Sprint; because the buildings are unmistakable details (and typically were sufficiently unique that it was hard to confuse them), I was always in contact with the map. My typical problem on a sprint is not adequately understanding the features quickly enough; I might debate whether a particular object is a mapped rootstock, e.g. I took a route different from my intended route only on the way to control two, and corrected within about fifteen seconds. I would have liked to run faster, but I was near my threshold limit for map reading and navigating.

My route choices were in general fairly good; I took the low road to eleven, and while there was discussion about the low and high, I'm comfortable that the lower road was relatively faster for me. I didn't travel as linearly as would be desired on 13, I made a major (15-20 second) error en route to 19, and I made a poor route choice decision to 20, increasing my distance on that leg by about 1.5.

I encountered Eric Bone between controls six and nine, but lost him on the way to eleven. I passed Dylan Thies, who started a minute before me, and finished just before Jeff Schapiro, who started two minutes before me. Also, I beat Peter Gagarin (by a trivial :14) for what is the first and may be the last time. While I wasn't quite in the top half (28/52), I'm nevertheless pleased with my performance.

Running warm up/down 15:00 [2] 2.0 km (7:30 / km)
shoes: 200803 NB MT800

Run/walk up to the start with Jeff Schapiro and some warm up running at the start. I'm glad the course was downhill; I'm much faster (relative to the pack) on downhill than on uphill.

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