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Attackpoint AR - performance and training tools for adventure athletes

Training Log Archive: PG

In the 7 days ending May 1, 2009:

activity # timemileskm+ft
  orienteering3 2:50:42 11.56(14:46) 18.6(9:11) 279
  biking2 1:28:35 24.2(3:40) 38.95(2:16)
  trail running2 50:53
  yoga1 45:00
  Total5 5:55:10 35.76 57.55 279
averages - weight:134.3lbs

» now

Friday May 1, 2009 #

orienteering 18:31 [4] 2.9 km (6:23 / km) +279ft 5:34 / km

Team Trials sprint at Spring Lake in Santa Rosa, CA.

Good run, couldn't have done much better, maybe 15 seconds at most, just don't run near fast enough, but this was a good effort and progress, I think.

Course was about as easy as you could make it, which actually was probably the best way to do it. It's fine terrain for a sprint by North American standards, but not by European standards -- no maze feeling, no abundance of uncrossable features, no sense that you better to hell be sure a route doesn't dead end on you, so the mental stress and the need for continual advance planning weren't there -- but you have to go with what you have. They could have made it harder/slower by burying controls in the rocky/thick areas, but they didn't and I think that was the right decision.

Today's course, more or less (drawn on a copy of the map available in advance, don't know if there were changes for today's version, plus took a photo in not the best light, so it's not real clear, but enough to give a sense of things).

trail running 8:00 [3]

Jog to the start.


So I'm sitting in the little funky cafe in Cobb with a great internet connection. Which is a very pleasant surprise given my first experience in Cobb (a very small place)....

Went to check into the motel. Charlie had made reservations, a room for Gail and me for tonight and tomorrow night, and then two more rooms for his gang just for tomorrow night. Fine, and the folks at the motel had written it down correctly on the reservation slip, but when they transcribed it over to their reservation master sheet for the month of May, things got reversed and we had three rooms for tonight and just one for tomorrow night. Not good.

It took a few minutes to get to the point where the two women (mother and daughter?) understood what the problem was -- and when I say a few minutes, I mean a few minutes, not a few moments -- because, friendly as they were, their IQ seemed to be about 100 if you added them together.

But eventually they understood that Saturday night was the problem, since the motel was fully booked except for one reservation that had been canceled. Clearly, they were going to be one room short.

But this is a perfect example of underestimating the skills of folks who maybe aren't the brightest, but, as they say, everyone is good at something.

Daughter announced that she could figure it out, she just had to move a couple of people from one room to another. And while I settled into a chair to read some tourist brochures, she struggled mightily, working out and then discarding various moves, until after perhaps another 15 minutes of much erasing and rewriting, she suddenly announced with a sense of triumph, "There, I've got it figured out."

And in fact we now had the two rooms needed for Charlie. And for someone else, their reservation just got, as we might have said before "lost in cyberspace" became the common explanation, well, it just got erased.

I called up Charlie to let him know he might want to check in on the early side tomorrow.

And complimented myself on being so totally mellow throughout this whole operation. But then again, they isn't much to do in Cobb.

Wednesday Apr 29, 2009 #


Decided it is time to rest up and tank up.

Goal for the G was 135 by the end of April. The current 133 is a little bogus, but it's nice to be getting back towards the territory where the choice of adjectives is scrawny vs. ripped.

Tuesday Apr 28, 2009 #

yoga 45:00 [1]

Quite sore.

trail running 42:53 [3]

Up Wantastiquet Mt across the river from Brattleboro, climb was 1060'. This is getting harder in each time. Up in 25:10, PW/PR, but that is quite bogus as I lost my willpower and stopped three times, better part of a minute each time, before continuing on. Wandered around a bit on top checking things out, then just as I was about to head down a guy arrived, also having run up, 22 minutes for him, so I ran down with him. Nice chat, he runs up a couple times a week, plus rows, plus has another mountain near where he lives that he runs up once or twice a week too. Must have a good motor, plus he's pretty young, 53. Nice big old peace symbol on the back of his old truck.

17:43 coming down, very relaxed.


Add to the list of things that happen when Gail's away....

Got back from Vermont (plus yoga and two stops at the office), first trip up the stairs from the garage was to bring up the groceries. I was beat and in need of nourishment, so the second trip to get wet clothes would have to wait. Of course, lazy as I am, all doors were left open, the garage door, the door between the garage and the stairs, and the door at the top of the stairs right by the kitchen.

And I'm sitting having something to eat and I hear a strange noise, not very loud, from the direction of the stairs. And then a few seconds later, more noise, a little louder. So I get up to have a look, and there's a woodchuck halfway up the stairs, making steady progress!

And then basic animal instincts take over for both of us, fight or flight. I opt for fight, well, not exactly, but I do start yelling at it, and it chooses flight, turns around and runs back down. I'm in hot pursuit, just in time to see it exiting the garage, and then just in time to see it disappear in the bushes by the front door, where despite a bunch more yelling on my part it seems to have settled down. Which would be too bad.

On the other hand, I am very glad it wasn't a skunk.

biking 50:54 [3] 13.6 mi (3:45 / mi)

Hot and breezy, not pushing it, which resulted in the pace being just right -- not so fast to be miserable and not so slow as to be worthless. And kept me from having another meal before dinner.

Monday Apr 27, 2009 #



Courses/routes from the weekend --

Saturday morning, M21 semi-final.
Problems: #9, route was shaky, then didn't hook left enough at the last bit and was 30-40 right of the flag. #11, don't know why I had too check out another flag higher up then mine. At least I knew where it was for the afternoon.

Saturday afternoon, M21 final.
Problems: #1, overran it, just too low, went 40-50 meters too far. #16, shaky at the very start, getting the right line out of 15.

Sunday morning, M60.
Problems: #6, route turned out to be slow, not sure if it was inferior or just all the walking/stopping I was doing. #8, 30-45 seconds in the area, could make the cliffs match the map. #12, should have gone straight leaving 11, then took wrong trail for a little bit. #16, off on my line after passing the first marsh.

Overall, nothing big either day.


So, a question -- were any of the control sites questionable? And I don't mean, were they wrong. Everything seemed right, and the map was exceptional.

What I'm referring to is the following from the USOF course setting guidelines (not that anyone reads them): "Vision is a major problem for the older orienteer. Try to keep controls out of areas that have much fine detail on the map. This tends to become a large blur and therefore promotes luck instead of skill."

The courses I ran Saturday were both M21, so this is not a concern. But look at this section of Sunday's M60 course....

I'd say that controls 6, 7, and 11 are really pushing the envelope for folks with eyesight that is not perfect, and may be quite a ways from perfect. Compare to 8, 9, and 10, all also in complicated terrain, but at each of them it is a lot clearer what you are looking for.

I'm not trying to dumb down the orienteering, especially as many of us have been orienteering a long time and like a good challenge. But still....

I always figured one good test was that you ought to be able to write the control description so there was no doubt which feature the control was on. But the clue for 6 is "upper cliff" (but there's one higher), for 7 "upper cliff" (but there's one at the same height), for 8 just "cliff" (and there are 4 in the circle), for 9 just "cliff" (and there are 5 in the circle), and for 11 "middle cliff" (and there are about 10 in the circle).

Just wondering.

biking 37:41 [3] 10.6 mi (3:33 / mi)

Another hot day, and no desire for a run, and not for more than a short bike ride. Route.

And out for some rogaine practice early in the morning, chasing the little while ball, first round this season. Not a total disaster, have to start someplace, and at least the change was in the right direction (never finished the first hole, birdied the last).

Sunday Apr 26, 2009 #


To start with the most important event of the day, it was time to investigate reports of a renegade farming operation in Cambridge, because despite its reputation as a liberal and friendly community, well, the Boston Globe reports --

"But not every community is as welcoming to livestock as it is to the vegetable plot. Despite the growing movement to eat locally produced food, neither Boston nor Cambridge allows homeowners to keep chickens or other farm animals."

Now before I go on, let me say that if in fact this operation is illegal, I don't want to be the one to blow the whistle, the one to get folks in trouble with the law (with possible dire consequences to the animals in question), so I will be very careful only to identify one of the possible perps as my rogaine partner, banking on the assumption that this is not close to enough information for the Cambridge powers that be to track her down.

Anyway, we arrived at the scene, accompanied by another of the possible perps, and checked out the operation. The question was -- were they pets or were they farm animals.


1. It didn't really look like a farm -- no tractors, no farmers in overalls, no animals with tags in their ears....

2. Farm animals don't get much in the way of grooming. Notice how clean these fellows were, certainly cleaner than any of us. And they all have names, though Dave hadn't yet figured out which was which.

3. It's pretty clear this operation....

isn't a farm. This is what a real farm looks like --

Much relieved, we headed off to enjoy a bit of the rest of Cambridge. A visit to the MIT Museum -- I got in for half price by claiming to be 65, "museum age" works under the same rules as "orienteering age," right? -- a very little bit of pizza, and then a short look around the MIT campus, obviously the home over the years of some very weird and brilliant people. And then beat a hasty retreat to our comfort zone back in western Mass.

orienteering 1:00:57 [3] 5.6 km (10:53 / km)

Day 2 of the CSU A meet, The Green X course and M60 seemed like it would be about right, though with the warm weather, upper 80s, it would have been a good day for my debut on the Brown course.

Generally uninspired, physically and mentally. Got caught by Bob Lux at #6, he started 2 minutes after me, rather discouraging as, while route to 6 was not good, I hadn't missed at all at any controls. We took different routes to 7, didn't see him there as expected, didn't see him at 8 as expected, didn't see him the whole rest of the way, discovered he is so much into Billygoat preparations that skipping controls just seems to be coming naturally (one Saturday, 2 today when he skipped 7 and 8).

Perhaps the most challenging part of the course was optimizing the time crossing South Border Road, done twice. A control and water stop on each side, your time for those two legs would not be counted up to a max of a minute each way. So the obvious ploy is to punch on the near side as quick as possible, get some water, saunter across, rest a little, drink a little more, plan some routes, and then well-rested, well-hydrated, and well-planned, punch on the far side exactly 60 seconds later.

And how did I do? Like with so many other things, there is a virtue in practice and this was not something I had practiced. On the first time through I was in too much of a hurray and used only 29 seconds. On the second time, determined to do better, I took my time on the far side having a drink and looking at the map before heading off. Except, since I always punch before drinking, I was some 30 yards away when it dawned on me that I hadn't punched. Hustled back. The splits show 61 seconds had passed, so not much of a loss....

Though as I examine my splits, it seems that they subtracted the full 90 seconds (29 plus 61) from my final time. Someone needs to checking their programming.

Hot, thickish, dead tired, but a very, very pleasant weekend.

Saturday Apr 25, 2009 #

orienteering 38:14 [3] 4.3 km (8:53 / km)

CSU A meet, M21, so I had a shorter middle course in the morning and a longer one in the afternoon.

The morning was a bit discouraging. Quite warm (80?), so no zip, and a couple minutes of mistakes, and generally no fighting spirit. Not much to take pleasure in.

Ended up 17th out of 36, about where I belonged.

orienteering 53:00 [3] 5.8 km (9:08 / km)

Afternoon course. Maybe a little warmer. So still no energy, but I actually did a little better. Or maybe others just did worse. 12th this time, about 10 minutes behind. In the morning I was 10 minutes behind on a shorter course.

Still a minute or so of errors, mostly at #1. But despite not much energy I ran a smart race, doling out the effort to get the best result I could. And even ran a couple of small hills on the last long leg when I was about to walk and then just swore at myself and then just ran up without much difficult. You just have to have a little will power, and that's true no matter how old you are or what sort of shape you are in. Could have stood to do that a couple more times, could have made the top ten.

As it was, got a scalp (Zhyk). :-) When he didn't come in for quite a while I figured he was hurt, and you don't get a scalp for beating someone who is injured on the course. But I gather he just ran out of gas.

So a positive feeling for the afternoon.

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