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Attackpoint AR - performance and training tools for adventure athletes

Training Log Archive: iansmith

In the 7 days ending May 2, 2010:

activity # timemileskm+mload
  Orienteering5 3:30:45 15.03(14:01) 24.19(8:43) 747262.9
  Running6 3:28:20 22.63(9:12) 36.41(5:43) 16783.3
  Biking3 1:49:00 22.06(12.1/h) 35.5(19.5/h)26.5
  Total12 8:48:05 59.72(8:51) 96.1(5:30) 914372.7
averages - sleep:4.5 weight:84kg

» now

Sunday May 2, 2010 #

8 AM

Orienteering race 1:40:12 [4] 9.6 km (10:26 / km) +355m 8:49 / km
ahr:156 max:178 shoes: 201004 Inov8 X-Talon 212

The West Point Long Distance course. Much like the sprint from yesterday, my run was only acceptable. In general, the navigation was not difficult - much more emphasis was put on route choice than on most other Long courses I have raced. The routes to 2, 8, and 15 were all particularly important and costly if chosen poorly. Obviously execution of the routes, especially on the difficult hillside with 8-14, was very important, and the course was very physical - lots of hills and steep sections.

I chose a good route to 15 - left to the trail, an acceptable route to 2 - north to the road and right of the line, and a poor route to 8 - along the side of the hill. It's particularly unfortunate, since the 7-8 leg was not radically different from 1-2 from last year's middle distance. As with the Middle, the best route was south through the parking lot to the fenced paved protrusion, then up the hill. My route was accurate, but slow; I lost two minutes to Brendan. I then messed up twelve, drifting far to the north into the saddle, at the cost of about four minutes before correcting. I was very slow to thirteen and fourteen, where I took a Gu. Fortunately, I chose wisely on the long leg to 15, and picked up two minutes on Brendan. The last controls were fun and quasi-technical, with emphasis on choosing good attackpoints. I twisted my ankle leaving 16 and hobbled around for a minute or so.

I was clearly fatigued from the races the previous day; I was not moving as well as I had on the middle distance course. While I'm not overly discouraged by this result, it is not a significant improvement over my previous long races; for instance, both my US Champs races in October were superior to this one. It is true that my race performance was superior to last year's West Point long course, but I still am disappointed. In the short term, I will focus my efforts on the WCOC meet; in the longer term, I will go on longer runs.

Also, kudos to Sam, who finished 2-0 against me this weekend. It should also be noted that she out-trained me in April by almost five hours (even counting lame cross training, like biking). I will regroup and then move to challenge her again.
8 PM

Running 48:45 [2] 7.9 km (6:10 / km)
shoes: 201002 Asics T918N

I went on an easy recovery run, and stopped to pick up Presto for his evening excursion, since Lori is in Florida. He only pooped once, though I carried the bag an extra thirty minutes before deciding he was done. I picked up the speed thrice to a rep pace, which he seemed to enjoy. My original pace - about 6 min/km - doesn't seem to be one of Presto's eigengaits; he lagged a bit behind until we started moving faster. It's possible he was perturbed by the heat, or less enthused because I wasn't his person, but the run was pleasant.

Saturday May 1, 2010 #

10 AM

Running warm up/down 15:00 [1] 2.0 km (7:30 / km) +77m 6:17 / km
ahr:135 max:168 shoes: 201004 Inov8 X-Talon 212

Orienteering race 46:18 [5] 4.8 km (9:39 / km) +205m 7:57 / km
ahr:175 max:186 shoes: 201004 Inov8 X-Talon 212

The West Point Middle distance course. Overall, I had a clean run at a respectable pace on a day when almost everyone made big mistakes. My run was not immaculate, but my mistakes were small, and my overall placing quite good. While I'm ecstatic about my result - 7 minutes behind Boris, and 6 behind Ross, I was not satisfied with my fitness and cleanliness of execution. Nevertheless, this is essentially my best result to date, and leaps and bounds better than my result last year.

I will post split comments detailing my routes. I finished 8/31, scalping several much faster orienteers whose made costly mistakes. I also won the finish chute leg by 2 seconds (woooo).

- Started cleanly and conservatively to get into the map and avoid blowups.
- Avoided major mistakes on a treacherous course.
- Maintained a reasonably steady effort throughout the course.
- Had good, if not spectacular flow.
- Recovered from errors well.
- Chose and executed acceptable route choices.

- Fitness was inadequate, particularly for uphill legs (2, 6, 9, 11, 12).
- I was too slow to be competitive.
- My race had a few small bobbles and hesitations, e.g. at 2, 4, 8, and 10.
- While the conservative start set a good tone for a clean course, I lost a lot of time at the beginning. I was 3.5 minutes behind Ross at control 4.
- I had not thoroughly decided how I was going to attack the (n+1)th control before reaching control n.
1 PM

Orienteering race 18:30 [5] 2.8 km (6:36 / km) +88m 5:43 / km
ahr:181 max:189 shoes: 201004 Inov8 X-Talon 212

For whatever reason, I tend to suffer comparatively more on the second race of a day than much of the competition. Note that my heart rate averaged 181 for the course, but I was still four minutes behind Ross with only a 0:20 error at control six.

In general, I had acceptable flow. I was reading ahead well up until the end of the course. With the exception of my error at six, my splits were all between 15 and 50% back of the leader. I had poor choices at 1 and 7, and a hesitation at 14, which accounted for all my 40%+ split deficits.

Ultimately, my problem was that I was not moving very fast. A comparison of my splits with Sam is instructive, because the ratio is generally constant. Kudos to Ross, who crushed the rest of us like the British crushed the French at Trafalgar, and to Sam, who has fired the first shot of our conflict.

Friday Apr 30, 2010 #


Life is full of so many possibilities, many of which emerge as consequences of decisions - some of which are not our own. Within each possibility, our actions must be reasonable, ethical, and justifiable. Indeed, perhaps it is the variation of our behavior in the ensemble of possibilities that defines who we are. It is not our behavior and actions when all is well that reveals the axioms of our lives, but the behavior and actions under stress, crisis, and adversity.


SGB and I met up to exchange the tent and book I left in his Zipcar coming back from the CSU Training Camp. It turns out that he, Eric, and I all have offices downtown that are within a few hundred meters of each other. At the end of the day, this is uninformative, since we're all so busy that we can't do much besides have lunch. Nevertheless, it's a bit cool.

This summer, I hope to recruit some CSU posses and go hiking in the Whites. With so many runners, mountain running might be feasible, though with so many different speeds, I think the social aspect might be lacking.

Thursday Apr 29, 2010 #


Is anyone in the Boston area interested in taking a climbing class at BU? I am considering taking a five-week, 1 day/week course called Intro to Rock Climbing. It's targeted at beginners, costs $90 for people without BU affiliation for all sessions, and should be all around good fun.
5 PM

Orienteering 25:19 [3] 3.41 km (7:26 / km) +33m 7:05 / km
ahr:158 max:184 slept:4.5 shoes: 201004 Inov8 X-Talon 212

I took the commuter rail to Cat Rock Park (which is not insurmountably inconvenient for the return trip). I arrived an hour early to pick up streamers from the training session I set in February. I had meant to do it a long time ago, but my schedule was prohibitive. In any case, it was a good warmup, and it dramatically improved the orienteering efficiency (time spent orienteering/total time) of this trip.
6 PM

Orienteering 20:26 [4] 3.58 km (5:42 / km) +66m 5:13 / km
ahr:177 max:185 shoes: 201004 Inov8 X-Talon 212

The 3.2 km Cat Rock Park-O, set by Ross. I ran fairly well, but my fitness is not what it needs to be. Ross set a challenging course, starting with a leg straight up the hill. I started very strongly, as the heart rate data shows, passing several people in the first few controls, including Jeff Saeger and Katia.

Apparently, after control 11 (on the foot of a cliff), I had trouble keeping my heart rate up . Because so many of the usual suspects were not competing - Ross, Brendan, Giovanni, and so on - I had a shot at victory, but Sam edged me by 8 seconds. I enjoyed the race despite my weakness; while competition isn't my only goal, it is an important one.
8 PM

Running 20:00 [1] 3.6 km (5:33 / km)
shoes: 201002 Asics T918N

After the Park-O, Dave Yee graciously gave Katia and me a ride to Central Square. She and I then ran to Porter, taking a somewhat inefficient route through Harvard yard, but having a very pleasant conversation about the European education system, about Italy, and about life and its meaning. Pleasant, meaningful conversation can be an excellent remedy for many ills.

Wednesday Apr 28, 2010 #

11 PM

Running 39:47 [3] 8.91 km (4:28 / km)
ahr:168 max:198 shoes: 201002 Asics T918N

I decided that I needed to go for a run, and I ran much more aggressively than I planned. Conditions were clear, 5 C, and fairly pleasant. While at 11 PM, there were still some people out on the streets, the density was sufficiently low that they were no inconvenience. I ran in a long-sleeved shirt, a short-sleeved shirt, tights, and gloves. I believe the heart rate spike near the beginning of my run was a recording anomaly.

I had much on my mind. Suppose we define happiness as some utility function on the space of possibilities available to us. I mused on the time dependence of those utility functions. We consider our immediate utility, e.g. when preventing ourselves from falling, or conforming to rigorous sleep and food schedules. Immediate discomfort has lower utility than immediate comfort. However, we also consider longer time scales - we maintain our bodies, we plan for the future, and we reflect on the long time scale ramifications of our decisions.

There exists a complex tradeoff between the different time scales. In college, e.g., the short term discomfort of sacrifice of sleep and the opportunity cost of time was an acceptable exchange for the longer term utility of completing assignments in pursuit of a degree. Conversely, short term comfort can outweigh long term utility, e.g. when someone reneges on a diet or chooses a break in lieu of work.

However, I cannot reconcile the following: any solution to an optimization will cease to be optimal because the utility function has parameters which fluctuate in time, particularly when longer time-scale components factor so heavily into our utility function. There is an underlying assumption that the rate of change of our utility function is slow, though I cannot now state this more precisely. I suppose both the short-term end and long-term ends of the time scales are stable utility regimes. That is, our fundamental short term requirements are unlikely to change, and our long term goals should be similarly stable, up to major paradigm shifts or life identity crises. Perhaps someone with more economic experience who has mused on these matters might comment?

Running 7:31 [1] 1.17 km (6:26 / km)
ahr:143 max:147

Cool down run.

Tuesday Apr 27, 2010 #

10 AM

Biking (Commute) 20:00 [1] 7.0 km (21.0 kph)
shoes: Trek 7.1 FX

6 PM

Running 26:56 intensity: (16:36 @1) + (10:20 @5) 4.24 km (6:22 / km)

Tuesday night CSU interval session. I arrived late and missed the first two intervals - 1600m and 1200m. After a short warmup, I tucked in behind Brendan for the rest of the session, and ended with a short cool down. The total session was 2800m of intervals at 6:00/mile pace or 3:40/km.

800m: 3:00 / 2:02 rest
1000m: 3:43 / 1:46 rest
600m: 2:14 / 1:44 rest
400m: 1:20

My right calf was discomforted after the session, though the cold conditions may have exacerbated the situation.

I have much on my mind; many things are uncertain. My usual approach has proven unable to effectively address present circumstances.

Biking (Commute) 39:00 [3] 13.0 km (20.0 kph)
shoes: Trek 7.1 FX

Biking to the interval session from work in cold and rainy conditions. The temperature was 8 C, there was a strong breeze, a light rain was falling, and I had dressed without considering today's weather conditions - in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. Needless to say, I was displeased, and briefly considered going home instead of attending the workout.

Afterward, while still cold, I biked on a most inefficient route to Anna's to reconstitute my strength with a burrito.

Monday Apr 26, 2010 #

6 PM

Biking (Commute) 50:00 [1] 15.5 km (18.6 kph)
shoes: Trek 7.1 FX

To and from Brahms Trio rehearsal at Harvard Medical School. Spent much time waiting at lights.
9 PM

Running hills 50:21 intensity: (40:01 @1) + (10:20 @5) 8.6 km (5:51 / km) +90m 5:34 / km
ahr:143 max:178 weight:84kg shoes: 201002 Asics T918N

Brendan contacted me at 8:45 PM and suggested we go do a hill workout; I had planned to go for an easy run after dinner, so I happily obliged. We warmed up for 17 minutes, then ran 6x up Lowell St, down Craigie St. My Garmin, which I have not charged in some time, gave out during the fourth hill. It turns out that the Lowell-Craigie loop is about 1 km, with an uphill length of about 400m.

The three splits I recorded were:
137 / 342
144 / 356
147 / 356
From Brendan:

I felt strong, and ramping my breathing rate up and pumping arms provided ample power. I last ran this workout on 20 November 2009, and I seem to have gotten faster since then. My result from 16 October is closer to my current performance, though I was much more fatigued then (with shorter breaks).

Brendan and I commented that we have considerable progress to make before we attain Ross-like hill performance, but we're working on it.

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