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Training Log Archive: Bash

In the 7 days ending Apr 7, 2008:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Orienteering3 3:44:06 9.88(22:41) 15.9(14:06) 300
  Running3 47:00
  Strength & Mobility1 40:00
  XC Skiing1 32:00
  Mountain Biking2 30:00
  Other1 25:00
  Trekking1 15:00
  Total6 6:53:06 9.88 15.9 300

» now

Monday Apr 7, 2008 #


'Bent and I had lunch today with two good friends we haven't seen for over a year and a half since they moved to Tajikistan - Gazelle and Gazette! They are back in Canada for a few months to have their first baby, and they will be living in Bolton. Great to see them!! :-)


A couple of post-Pig notes:

- In case you haven't seen Wil Smith's log, he took some excellent photos at the Pig -

- I found it very instructive to review nav guru PG's routes posted on his log, since he raced the same courses that I did last weekend. I feel a little better after seeing that we both made the same big error on #1 on Sunday. I'm still not happy about it - and I'm sure that he isn't, either - but I feel less silly about it now. However, I still feel really, *really* silly about my monster error on #2!

Trekking (Logged at 50%) 15:00 [1]

ThunderDog and I hiked to and from Crash's place, travelling through a forest that was mostly full of soft snow. My hiking boots weren't even close to high enough to keep the snow out, and I kept punching through.

Strength & Mobility 40:00 [2]

Hard Core DVD with 'Bent. It's only been a week and a half since we last did a Hard Core workout, but I could feel that it was a little harder than usual.

Sunday Apr 6, 2008 #

Orienteering race (Ultra-Long) 2:26:55 intensity: (26:55 @3) + (1:30:00 @4) + (30:00 @5) *** 7.8 km (18:50 / km) +300m 15:48 / km

Flying Pig Ultra-Long - KABOOM!! If there was any risk that I'd go home from this weekend harbouring the delusion that it's possible to stay sharp without serious, regular orienteering competition... well, that balloon burst today! In a nutshell, I blew the 1st control, then I totally disintegrated on the 2nd control, punching it almost an hour into the race. The top woman in our age category took less than 10 minutes for the 2nd leg, and I was close to 35 minutes. I can't think of the last time I got myself so spectacularly misplaced. After that, it was just an exercise in staying motivated and focused enough to finish the event and take advantage of this excellent training opportunity. It seems that the curse on my Long races remains firmly in place.

I've stared at the map a lot, and I still haven't distilled the lessons I want to take away from this race. I started off slowly and calmly - but still managed to screw up by not aiming off enough when I hit the north-south trail. I somehow missed seeing the very obvious best route for the 2nd leg, but that isn't a huge worry - it can happen sometimes. I think maybe my map was folded too much, hiding the route I should have taken. I'm much more disturbed by the very poor execution of my chosen routes on the first two race legs. I think maybe I'm not giving long race legs enough respect - that is, I'm not applying the same care and precision I would use in a shorter race. Also, I know that I really used a shoehorn to make the map fit my surroundings at one crucial point - and I know better than to do that. If I'd believed the terrain, I could have relocated much, much earlier.

Other than the minor detail of a disastrous performance, I had a great time today and felt good physically. I love the East Fork State Park terrain and map, and Cedarcreek had designed a fun race course for us. (All 4 Pig events were high quality as usual.) We had brilliant sunshine and warm, spring termperatures - it was a great day to be out in the forest, and I had a smile on my face most of the time. In fact, my race started off *so* badly, that I was laughing at myself after awhile rather than getting stressed. That helped me to salvage the remainder of the race, which didn't go too badly. I was 3rd of 5 people in my category - a whopping 35 minutes out of 1st.

It was a beautiful day. Here's Tiny running to the finish.

All that deep water pool running paid off - Jon Torrance won by almost 4 minutes!

It was a treat to chat with my QuantiGHO Queen Bee teammate Valerie, who very kindly brought me some Reese's peanut butter chocolate Easter bunnies. Yum!

OCIN put a lot of work into providing a fantastic orienteering weekend for us - thanks so much! :-) Thanks also to my travel companions for a fun weekend - and to Eugene for the great restaurant recommendations.

But of course, the Flying Pig is not the main thing that attracted us to Ohio this weekend - it's the fine dining...

The Waffle House waitress looked with concern at Tiny's arms and asked if he had inflicted all those cuts on himself. Then she noticed that Bender's arms looked exactly the same way, and her eyebrows shot way up. Tiny explained our sport, and she was polite, but indicated that she wouldn't be signing up anytime soon. We enjoyed our much anticipated Pig-out on unhealthy food - yum!


Wil Smith took some great O photos on the weekend. Here's one of me in the campus sprint.

Saturday Apr 5, 2008 #

Running warm up/down 12:00 [1]

Orienteering race (Sprint) 17:53 [5] *** 2.3 km (7:47 / km)

Flying Pig Sprint #1. We'd been told that the navigational difficulty would be low, and the course would be flat - so we were advised to go fast. Oh, and they also suggested that we devise a strategy for crossing fences made of heavy chains hanging between small posts. I went out on the model map to get used to the sprint mapping symbols, which I haven't seen in awhile. I also got a feel for when I needed to go over the fences with a scissors jump and when I could go under them and fling them out of the way like a low branch. The latter was *much* faster.

I'm normally not a good sprinter, but I had a good race today - probably my best-ever sprint performance, even though I came 2nd in my category. Right from the start, I remembered to try to go fast because it was a race - something that slipped my mind yesterday! The nav went well, and I tried to read ahead one control at all times - which I seldom have the cycles to do, even though I know I should. It only backfired once when I was leaving a control and it took me a few seconds to realize that I was mistakenly thinking about the way I would leave the *next* control. But overall, I'm very happy. I don't think there is any way I could have gained the extra 46 seconds I would have needed to win - not unless I start working really hard on speed intervals!

Orienteering race (Sprint) 17:54 [5] *** 2.1 km (8:31 / km)

Flying Pig Sprint #2 - a totally different beast, and equally fun. This sprint was a mix of fields, trails, bush and mud - a little slower and more navigationally complex than this morning's event. I don't usually push all that hard in races, but I could feel that I'd pushed hard this morning, and there wasn't any extra oomph available at times when I might have liked to call on it. But things went fairly well in this sprint too.

In comparing notes with Sid, who beat me by about 50 seconds, I realized that I could have saved time on two legs that went out and back through the same patch of thick vegetation. We'd been warned that there were evil trolls out there who would steal precious seconds in this section of the race course (I'm quoting from the course setter's notes!), so I ran around the nastiest green vegetation on trails, rather than making my way through it. So my main weakness in this race was that Bash was too chicken to bash. But in the end, I was only 1 second slower than this morning, and I was quite pleased with that. This was enough to win my category for Sprint #2 and for the overall event, which combined the times for today's two sprints. I don't usually think of myself as a sprinter, so I'm a very happy camper! :-)


We tried to represent Canada well today - each in our own way. Bender was stopped by 3 students on the main street of Oxford - a university town. They were doing a scavenger hunt, and they needed a photo of themselves doing a high five with a man in tights. Things were looking a little grim for them until Bender showed up, dressed in his finery for lunch at a nice restaurant.

Other Canadians made a good impression by running fast, as Wil Smith did.

Other Canadians made fashion statements.

But most of us just hung out and chatted in the sunshine, went for a yummy lunch, and enjoyed a couple of great orienteering courses!

Friday Apr 4, 2008 #


Road trip to Flying Pig.

Orienteering race (Middle) 41:24 [4] *** 3.7 km (11:11 / km)

Flying Pig Middle Distance - It's been a long time since I've done a competitive traditional O race, and it's one of those things that goes more smoothly with practice. Not so much the navigation practice, which I've been doing lately - but racing practice. Mental skills like staying calm enough to read the map more carefully, taking a couple of seconds longer to come up with a strategy that could save me more than a couple of seconds in the execution. Given my lack of recent O racing practice, things actually went fine overall, but I felt like I did "pretty well" on most controls, and seldom did "really well". And of course, there were a couple of sloppy controls, which is to be expected in a 19-control race when I'm out of practice. It wasn't until the end of the race that I remembered to try to go fast - not that I'll ever be one of the speediest runners, but I can go faster if I'm feeling more confident about my route.

Anyway, it was a fun race. I enjoy the excellent Flying Pig maps and the interesting terrain. Lots of mud is guaranteed here, and we had heavy rain for 18 hrs before the race. I was tempted to use snowshoes, since it's been so long since I've orienteered any other way!

Sid and I started close together, and ended up running from #3 to #4 together. In one of my sillier moves, I decided on principle to leave #4 in a different direction from Sid, since I knew we are close enough in ability that we could spend the whole race together, which wouldn't be interesting for either of us. This is one of the times when if I'd looked at my map more closely, I would have seen the nice trails and clearings leading to the next control - instead of bashing through tangled bush and a slick gully just because I wanted to be independent. Oh well... Sid and I had a good chuckle about it afterward.

I won my age category by 10 minutes (with Peggy, Barb and Kissy not here, amongst others), but only won 11 of 20 splits, which backs up my theory that I could use more racing practice! In most cases, I was within a few seconds, but there were two controls where my time was 50% higher than the best split. Oops. There wasn't any mystery - I knew I'd flubbed those ones! Oh well, it's all a great learning experience.

Sudden was the top GHO racer, finishing an impressive 4th in the WRE while suffering from a cold.

I think it's because he had the biggest cheering section. (And that doesn't even count his brother Per, visiting from Sweden.)

My travel companions were smiling at the finish line too. Bender looks happier about his race than he actually was. What do you think, folks - should he keep the beard for his wedding?

Meanwhile, Tiny got into the spirit by dressing up as Captain America.


We played a challenging game today called, "Find the Hampton Inn". The way you do it is by getting Bender to make hotel reservations, but leave the hotel info and confirmation number at home. Then, once you get to Ohio and it's only 1 hour till you need to go to the race starting line, you start phoning Hampton Inns at random (there's one at every freeway interchange, I think) until you are lucky enough to find one who has heard of Bender. Then you drive there as fast as you can, change clothes in 8 minutes and dash back to the race site. Adds some spice to your day!

Running warm up/down 10:00 [2]

Thursday Apr 3, 2008 #


Because I totally ignored my 2007 New Year's training resolutions, I'm going to give myself a quarterly report card this year. I was sick for about 10 days in January, which might mess things up a bit, but here goes...

1) Strength training - min. 1 hr/week. Leg, core, upper body.
*** 11.25 hrs for 13 weeks. Not bad, given the sick time.
2) Improve training quality, including speed work.
*** Could do more of this, but am making progress. Leanimal and I have started hill intervals, and I've been doing some speed intervals on treadmill and bike trainer.
3) Improve technical orienteering skills.
*** I've done a lot of orienteering this winter, but not many races. I did some coaching, which is a good way to improve. Tomorrow I'm off to the Flying Pig, which will be my first major traditional orienteering competition since the 2006 North Am Champs.
4) 500 hrs total annual training
*** A little behind on this - down to 474 hrs for the past 12 months, largely because of the reduced number of adventure racing hrs. My sick time in January didn't help either. I need to get out for some long runs and bike rides when the snow melts.
5) Get weight down to target - and stay there.
*** I've lost about half the weight that I was trying to lose. Need to work harder to get rid of the rest of it.
6) Continue to schedule training at specific times - C3, arranging to meet other people, etc. This is the most reliable way to ensure that I get out on busy days.
*** This is going pretty well, and I'm always looking for new ideas here.

Wednesday Apr 2, 2008 #

XC Skiing (Classic) 32:00 [2]

Yes, I skied in April. From our back door, even! This was actually two ski outings. I went out for 20 minutes in the morning with the pooches, and it was really tough because the snow was crusty and hard as a rock. Where there were footprints or melted bits, it was bumpy. But hey, it was skiing in April! I'd incorrectly assumed that it would be better early in the day when the temperature was lower, but I went out for another short loop in the afternoon when the snow was softer in above-freezing temperatures, and it was much better. In fact, I've left my skis leaning against the house in hopes of another short ski tomorrow morning before the Flying Pig.

Mountain Biking (Trainer) 20:00 intensity: (10:00 @3) + (10:00 @4)

I didn't feel like driving to Bolton today, but I'd left my shoes in the Wellness Centre changeroom yesterday during our evacuation due to a power outage. (My bad luck with electricity continued, as 'Bent and I had no power from dinnertime to bedtime. Earth Hour was easy for us because it happens in the country all the time!)

Anyway... I decided to do a Wellness Centre workout, since that would allow me to look for my shoes. That meant 15 minutes of preparation and half an hour of driving for the return trip. Unbelievably, there was yellow tape across the door, and it was still closed 26 hrs after the original power failure! Argggh.

So I came home and watched the Colbert Report on the trainer - picked up the pace during the commercials. (Boy, I never noticed how many there are!)

Tuesday Apr 1, 2008 #

Mountain Biking (Indoor) 10:00 [2]

Warming up on the recumbent bike. I could see Slowrunner in the corner training a fit-looking young woman who was doing what looked like an "explosive power" workout.

Other (Pilates) 25:00 [1]

I'm trying out the different things offered at the Wellness Centre, so I headed into a Pilates class today. I know a couple of people fitter than I am who have said that Pilates is a tough workout, so I can only assume that this was a beginner class that wasn't marked as such. Compared to our Thursday Hard Core and Yoga classes, it was a cakewalk - the only challenges were choreography-related, not fitness-related. Maybe it would have become tougher later in the class, but the power went out after 25 minutes, and we were asked to evacuate the Wellness Centre. I'm not sure I'll give it another try, unless I get a recommendation from someone for a particular class.

I ran into Luscious who was evacuating the Centre with Molly. We agreed that we should meet for some strength training before my 1-month membership is over.

Running (Treadmill) 25:00 [3]

Back at home, while watching The Daily Show. I meant to go longer, but I turned the speed up too high and accidentally pulled out the safety cord clipped to my shirt, which cancelled my program. It wasn't a good day for me and electricity! My show was just ending, and I was too bored to start the treadmill up again... I'd intended to go skiing today, but the wind is so strong and gusty that I wouldn't want to go into the forest, which means I would just ski back and forth in our yard. I'm hoping for one final ski tomorrow morning though!

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