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Attackpoint AR - performance and training tools for adventure athletes

Training Log Archive: iansmith

In the 7 days ending May 8, 2010:

activity # timemileskm+mload
  Orienteering4 4:16:44 17.65(14:33) 28.4(9:02) 54510 /26c38%216.3
  Biking3 2:16:00 28.58(12.6/h) 46.0(20.3/h)20.8
  Running3 2:00:48 12.12(9:58) 19.51(6:12)37.6
  Total8 8:33:32 58.35(8:48) 93.91(5:28) 54510 /26c38%274.7

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Saturday May 8, 2010 #

10 AM

Orienteering 46:32 [5] *** 5.8 km (8:01 / km) +190m 6:54 / km
spiked:10/16c shoes: 201004 Inov8 X-Talon 212

The WCOC "The Hatter's Return" A-meet, Day 1 Middle Distance WRE course at the Ansonia Nature Center. I finished 24% back of the winner, Ross, and despite my numerous little mistakes, had a good run. I felt strong physically and coped adequately with the navigational challenges the course presented. Ansonia is a beautiful park with gorgeous woods and challenging navigation. Conditions were cool and rainy, visibility was good, and tights and a short-sleeved shirt were adequate. My many small mistakes cost me an excellent run, but I am nevertheless pleased with my performance.

I started fairly hard, and in general was moving well - my best legs had paces in the neighborhood of 6 minutes per kilometer. I missed slightly left of the line at 1, but found the saddle I was using as my attackpoint ok. At control 2, I checked the large boulder on the line unnecessarily, and lost some seconds to hesitation. I had a thirty second error at control 3; I was following the southern edge of the rock fall, but there were so many boulders of the appropriate size that I was confused. I pushed hard to 4 to try to lose Andrei Logvin, whom I had caught at 2.

I made a significant mistake on the vast, featureless hillside at five. I checked off features adequately in the middle of the route, though I hadn't read well enough to correct. My original plan was to run to the trail bend just east of 5 and attack from there, but I decided instead to go straight. I then missed right by perhaps thirty or forty meters. I started to relocate when Andrei came running by on his way to six, and I doubled back. I did see Ali chugging along while I was faltering down the hillside.

My route to six had a rough start; I inefficiently traveled to the trail above 5 and 6 - which was a good route. I attacked off the big boulder just south of 6 and passed Andrei again. Control 7 looked to be difficult, so I was careful. I decided to go high and clip the edge of the rock features, while straight was probably the best route. I attacked off the big boulder near the trail south of 7, and I lost over a minute on my cautious and slow (if safe) path. I then made another small error by charging straight down the hill from 7 to the trail, rather than going more directly north. My route into the circle and the control were fine. I bobbled 9 when I didn't go quite far enough up the hill and started moving south. I saw the control and doubled back.

Control 10 was an interesting leg; I skirted the top edge of the rocks near 7, and passed the big boulder I had used to attack 7. I ran through the cairns (though I didn't see any) and spiked the control. I think going higher was a better route, both because of the attack off the cliff and because the running was better.

Nick Duca caught up to me just after control 10; he and I took divergent routes to 11, but arrived at the control simultaneously. He took the lead and beat me to 12, but I countered with a hard push to 13 and punched ahead of him; Nick and I were 1 and 2 to control 13. Unfortunately, I then made a small mistake where I was too low in the circle at 14, and lost about ten seconds and the lead. I was slower to 15, and made a 45 second error at the go control when I attacked too far to the left.

Running warm up/down 15:00 [2] 2.0 km (7:30 / km)
shoes: 201004 Inov8 X-Talon 212

1 PM

Orienteering 30:00 [1] *** 3.0 km (10:00 / km)
10c shoes: 201004 Inov8 X-Talon 212

Picking up controls; Boris gave me ten controls that were relatively close by. I got a chance to revisit control 5, which gave me some trouble during the race.

Friday May 7, 2010 #


Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Thursday May 6, 2010 #

Orienteering 1:20:00 [2] 10.0 km (8:00 / km)
shoes: 201004 Inov8 X-Talon 212

I set the fourth Park-O of the 2010 season at Pine Hill south, starting from Medford High School. I chose to set Peter's Hill and Pine Hill this year specifically because I find it very challenging to set courses there.

Many thanks to Bill Pullman and Alex Jospe who set and retrieved the beginner course respectively. Also thanks to Ross Smith and Eric Benson, who retrieved part of the advanced course. I must also thank everyone who refrained from killing me in the aftermath of control 12, which I set near a dense thicket of green briar.

I'm generally happy with the course; Pine Hill south is not a kind place to orienteer. I like Ian, but Control 12 should have been perhaps 100 meters farther north where the vegetation was passable, and I would have set control 6 elsewhere had I vetted because the reentrant for control 6 was vague.

Ross and Eric set out to retrieve seven controls after Michael Commons returned. When they took longer coming back than I expected, I set out with a flashlight to run a trail loop and see if I could find them and lend aid if needed. This was foolhardy because even if they were in distress, I was unlikely to accomplish anything. A piecemeal search effort does little but provide a vague sense of purpose. They returned a few minutes after I left, and all was well. The time from this exercise was that which I spent setting and retrieving controls and running around looking for Ross and Eric.

Biking (Commute) 48:00 [2] 16.0 km (20.0 kph)

To and from Medford HS.

Wednesday May 5, 2010 #


It looks very likely that I will not attend Day 2 of the US Team Trials on 16 May because I am performing part of the Brahms horn trio with a Harvard Medical School chamber group that afternoon. I am unlikely to make the team this year (and if I did, I would probably decline), and the loss of utility from the stress of trying to accomplish both the race and the concert to the best of my ability exceeds the gain from running the long.

This decision is ironic, because when I learned of the date of the Team Trials in the fall, I canceled my commitment to play with my large ensemble - the Metropolitan Wind Symphony - who is also performing a concert on 16 May.

If anyone from the Boston area is interested in attending Day 1 of the team trials (probably leaving early Saturday morning and returning Saturday evening), please let me know.

Biking (Commute) 40:00 [1] 14.0 km (21.0 kph)
(rest day) shoes: Trek 7.1 FX

To and from work. My right hamstring and calf are somewhat irritated, though not enough to be considered an injury. In the interest of expedited recovery and getting everything done at work, I chose to take a rest day.

Tuesday May 4, 2010 #

7 PM

Running intervals 37:03 intensity: (19:18 @1) + (17:45 @4) 6.41 km (5:47 / km)
shoes: 201003 Nike Lunarlite

CSU running interval session at Harvard Square track. I took the Green Line (as the Red line was experiencing delays) and arrived just as they started the first interval, which I consequently skipped. I donned my new sleeveless running shirt. The session was 2x (1600 on, 400 off) + 4x (800 on, 200 off).

Interval: time on/time off
1600 m: 602 / 306
800 m: 259 / 149
800 m: 255 / 214
800 m: 254 / 211
800 m: 255

I then went on a gentle cool down run. I met Terry, Mark, and Jonathan, all of whom are very friendly and encouraging. Brendan, Simon and I ran together most of the time; we are about the same speed.

Afterward, Brendan and I had burritos at Felipe's (which is an Anna's clone) and discussed organizing a North American version of Tiomila.

Running warm up/down 20:00 [1] 3.2 km (6:15 / km)
shoes: 201003 Nike Lunarlite

The Garmin track is from the cool down only, but I had a ginger warmup en route.

Monday May 3, 2010 #

6 PM

Biking 48:00 [1] 16.0 km (20.0 kph)
(rest day) shoes: Trek 7.1 FX

To and from Brahms Trio rehearsal. Our concert is in fourteen days, and Sherman Jia, a very talented violinist whom I met in college, came by to listen and critique our performance. It was very constructive; he's an insightful coach.

I do take a measure of pride in my ability as a horn player; being able to do something well is edifying. I have had the privilege of playing with many excellent musicians, and that the French horn is in higher demand than other, more common instruments gives me more opportunities than perhaps I deserve. I certainly have room to improve, but I enjoy playing, and I'm comfortable with the amount of effort and time I currently invest.

Perhaps most valuably, music performance gives me an avenue to meet many wonderful people and is a catalyst for building meaningful friendships.

Brendan took Presto out for a run, so I elected to focus on my work tonight in lieu of training. A full rest day before intervals tomorrow would be good anyway.

I'm planning on getting some quick dinner in Harvard Square - Qdoba or Chipotle (e.g.) if haste is necessary, or Border Cafe if time warrants - tomorrow night after intervals if anyone is interested.


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.

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