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Training Log Archive: Bash

In the 7 days ending Dec 3, 2012:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Orienteering3 5:56:19 21.29(16:44) 34.26(10:24) 892
  XC Skiing - Classic1 1:20:00 6.74(5.1/h) 10.85(8.1/h) 159
  XC Skiing - Skate1 58:38 6.34(6.5/h) 10.21(10.4/h) 158
  Power Yoga1 23:00
  Total6 8:37:57 34.37 55.31 1209

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Monday Dec 3, 2012 #

Power Yoga 23:00 [1]

Rodney Yee power yoga for flexibility. Much needed after an 11-hour drive home (including 90 minutes at the border) following a 4-hour race.
12 PM


For those who are interested in orienteering, I've finished my report and GPS tracks for the U.S. Night, Relay and UltraLong Orienteering Championships on Friday to Sunday.

Sunday Dec 2, 2012 #

9 AM

Orienteering race (UltraLong) 3:44:57 [3] 21.3 km (10:34 / km) +397m 9:40 / km
shoes: Salomon S-LAB FellCross

U.S. UltraLong Orienteering Champs
East Fork State Park, Batavia, OH

The Ultralong race was the main reason for my trip; I was excited about this rare opportunity to do a multi-hour technical navigation race solo on a good map. In the regular Long orienteering race format, we usually get one or two long legs that go much of the way across the map offering a ton of route choice. I love those legs! In the UltraLong format, there is a continual ebb and flow of shorter legs and long legs. So much fun! Adding to the interest, three of us who normally compete in our age group - Peggy, Barb B and I - agreed to compete on the Female Elite course for our own imaginary masters podium. This was great since we all enjoy racing longer courses than our age group allows, and I knew it wouldn't be very informative to compare splits with Alex and Ali. It would definitely be fun to compare with women I normally race against in age group competition.

I felt sorry for the organizers when heavy rain started pelting down in the morning. I'm sure some people elected not to start. I've done a fair bit of racing in similar conditions, e.g. this year's Logs Rocks and Steel, so I knew I'd survive even though it made things tougher. After my warm-up, I changed my layers twice since I was getting hypothermic before I started. Fortunately, it seems that I made the right choice and didn't need to adjust anything during the race.

Like many orienteers, I need glasses to read fine details on the map, and they can get foggy on super rainy days. Lots of us had this problem today, *however*, I was the only idiot racer who was so bleary-eyed that I read my map upside down at the start. In my defence, the race began with a mass start on a park road, and as the crowd began running, I was alarmed to note that I had neither compass nor SI card. I remembered that in my many layer changes, I'd stuffed them into a jacket pocket. So as we ran down the road, I was pulling out my gear and not looking at my map.

When we reached the start triangle, I was totally confused because it was clear that I needed to head backward to get to the first control but everyone else was going forward. I ran back a short distance. Strange that nobody else was going back with me... Maybe that wasn't really the start triangle; I asked some nearby volunteers and they assured me it was. OK, I went back and looked for my indistinct trail into the woods but things just didn't seem right. I took off the glasses and wiped them well, then had a better look at the map. Oh crap, I had the road oriented backwards. So much for the mass start helping me! Even once I'd headed the correct direction, I needlessly crossed a deep gully, then wiped my glasses again and realized I needed to scramble all the way back. It seemed that I wasted an eternity getting to #1 but it looks like I only lost 7 minutes compared to Raymond.

I ran most of the race alone after that with occasional glimpses of Barb B and Dave Y from #5-9, a quick hello to Raymond around #12, and Mintore sightings at regular intervals over the second half of the course.

It rained hard for the first 45 minutes of the race, complete with a few lightning flashes. In addition to my trouble reading the map details, I wasn't spotting flags until I got close. I ran right past #6, believing I was in the right place but not spotting the flag. It took another 5 minutes of wandering until I saw the road and returned to the ditch for another look. I'm thinking that a brimmed hat would be the best solution for using glasses in heavy rain. I'm usually OK in moderate rain but this was a crazy storm.

On the bright side, it was a great day for people who aren't deterred by the elements. It was so wet that it could be hard to distinguish between trails and creeks. Many of the trails are used by horses so there was goopy mud in addition to the puddles. East Fork State Park is full of steep-sided ditches and ravines, and it took some upper body strength and tenuous balance to haul myself up muddy slopes while clutching at saplings. I did a few major bum slides to get down hills. Jon Torrance talked about making choices about where to climb slopes, and how he'd sometimes climb them two or three times because it was easy to slide down a long way if we lost our footing. I got thinking about artificial mud runs and how much more challenging it is to do the real thing. I'm probably crazy but to me, it was like an adult fun park.

There were some terrific route choice legs, including five legs > 1km, most of them in the second half of the course. The slippery slopes and the evil thorns in some areas made it desirable to avoid both climb and heavy vegetation so I used roads and trails more often than I might have. As a result, I ran almost 7 km longer than the published length of the course! That's 4 km farther than Jon Marsden, one of the top racers today.

The steep hills were a strength workout in these conditions but I finished the race with lots of energy so obviously I should have run harder. My gimpy foot didn't give me any particular trouble but my good foot was sore for a few minutes mid-race. My ankle brace chafed the top of my foot for the first time; it may be time to leave it off and allow my ankle its full range of motion for orienteering.

There was some nasty, thorny honeysuckle, and I pulled down a vine with my face. As I ran for the next 15 minutes, I was pulling thorn pieces out of my face and using water from my Camelbak to wash away the blood periodically. I'm not going to look very good for Christmas party season!

I look forward to using the various tools to review splits and route choices. The big news is that our little "Red Masters" group had a good day. Peggy took the silver medal in F-Elite, and Barb B took the bronze - yay! I finished between them but am not eligible for the U.S. Champs. I'm proud to report that I won exactly one split over Alex, the champion. She bet me that I would get her on #17, which turned out to be my best split. She took a more aggressive route choice through bland terrain and arrived at the wrong gully system, which took 6 minutes longer to sort out. I spent 30 seconds fully stopped to plan that long leg, which is a good lesson for me to remember.

Thanks to OCIN - particularly Mike Minium and Cedarcreek - for a well-organized, challenging, fun weekend of orienteering. Thanks to a slow border crossing on the way home, it took 11 hours to get to Palgrave but I'm still really glad I went. It was great to see the orienteering crowd so soon after NAOC. Lots of good vibes.

Saturday Dec 1, 2012 #

10 AM

Orienteering race (Relay) 30:45 [4] 3.96 km (7:46 / km) +103m 6:52 / km
shoes: Salomon S-LAB FellCross

U.S Relay Orienteering Championships
McFarlan Woods, Cincinnati

1st leg relay runner on Team Canada, followed by Raymond, CJRoss and JTorrance. I think this was only my second orienteering relay, and I was surprised to find myself stressed, given that our team was ineligible for the U.S. championships so we were just running for fun. The map near the start/finish was very busy, and it took me about 30 seconds to sort it out. The trail to #2 seemed to be going too far so I turned off early on the wrong indistinct trail but after that, things went OK. The feeling that any error or imprecision would affect my team's result was always in my thoughts, which is weird since I am accustomed to being in that situation in adventure racing. I'm sure that it would (mostly) vanish if I'd done more than two relays in ten years of orienteering. We finished 4th of fourteen 8-point relay teams. Great runs by my teammates, two of whom have represented Canada at numerous international competitions!

Afterward, Barb B chaired a very pleasant OUSA Rogaine Committee meeting sitting on the grass in the sunshine. We communicate regularly by e-mail but it is nice - and very different - to chat in person. Other attendees were Tundra/Desert, EBone and Nikolay.

At a restaurant later, I saw deep-fried avocado on the appetizer menu - perfect for those people who find that regular avocados just don't have enough calories.

Friday Nov 30, 2012 #

7 PM

Orienteering race (Night) 1:40:37 intensity: (1:10:37 @3) + (30:00 @4) 9.0 km (11:11 / km) +392m 9:11 / km
shoes: Salomon S-LAB FellCross

U. S. Night-O Champs
Mt. Airy Park
Cincinnati, Ohio

The Canadians only have 3 national orienteering championships but the Americans have a whole bunch including some really cool ones like Night-O and UltraLong. Even though it meant a 9-hour drive just a day after returning from B.C. and its different time zone, I wanted to make the trip.

The pain was eased somewhat by picking up my new Outback during my 24 hours in Ontario. After a weekend of driving it, the reviews are mostly positive:
- Fuel economy is considerably better than my old car.
- Feels good to drive - smooth, quiet, good handling, comfortable driver's seat, etc.
- Bluetooth for podcasting and phone calls is awesome.
- Love the colour - I smile every time I see it. :)

- I really, really don't like driving an automatic.
- Cupholders were designed by people who have never used a cup in a vehicle in their lives.

Obviously, the positives outweigh the negatives!

Back to the Night-O... I'd hoped for a nap before the race since my alarm had gone off at 2 a.m. B.C. time before the long drive so I was exhausted. However, I ended up in a long tech support phone call with the hotel's wi-fi provider. In the end, they were unable to get the wi-fi to work during the weekend, which was tough for a hotel full of Attackpointers.

So... I was already tired when Tundra/Desert and I headed for Mt. Airy. It would have been better to do a longer warm-up since I went out overdressed, and that took some time to fix during the race. At the last minute, I remembered that for night nav (which I obviously don't do often enough), I use a tiny map light attached to my big headlamp. I can't use the big headlamp to look at the map because when I point it down, I'm no longer looking through the magnifier portion of my eye protection glasses so I can't read the map.

I quickly dug out my back-up headlamp from my pack and put it on pointed downward - a much larger light than I would normally use for map reading. Now it felt like I had a refrigerator on my forehead! Between wearing the wrong layers and the awkward light set-up, the percentage of my attention focused on the map was not as high as it should have been. I didn't always feel precise in my navigation nor did I make the best route choices but I didn't have any major trouble other than one place where the vegetation pushed me off my bearing - but I knew what had happened and was able to relocate after wasting some time.

There was a good amount of climbing on and off-trail, and some patches of difficult vegetation. Overall, it was loads of fun running around in the dark with lots of other headlamps bobbing around going in different directions. I'd chosen the elite women's course so the only goal was to have a fun, challenging workout. I had a respectable result under the circumstances, about 2 minutes behind the U.S. bronze medalist.

Forgot to turn my GPS on right away so I'm missing the first part of the route, and I've updated the time/distance. [Edit: The awesome Cedarcreek has modified my GPX so that the controls after I turned on the Garmin now appear in the right place on the GPS track - yahoo!] Other than the first bit, I'm able to compare my routes to Alex and Ali in a race for the first time. All I can say is "Yikes!"

Thursday Nov 29, 2012 #


Here's 'Bent's action movie trailer for our ski trip. We didn't get the GoPro out with our friends around because it can be intrusive, but it would have been nice to see them in the movie. Next time!

12 PM


Successful Christmas shopping trip to Toronto. Got a South St. Burger, a latte and a Subaru. :)

Wednesday Nov 28, 2012 #


Birthday Boy spent his special day in transit, poor guy! We're back in Palgrave with a fire burning, two Labs cuddled in our laps, and a dusting of snow on the ground. Silverstar was great but home is the best.

Tuesday Nov 27, 2012 #

10 AM

XC Skiing - Classic 1:20:00 [2] 10.85 km (8.1 kph) +159m

Last day of 'Bent's birthday trip. We did a relaxed classic tour of the lower Silverstar trails with some GoPro filming. I accidentally left the Garmin off for awhile after one of our photo shoots so had to update the distance using previous GPS tracks. This is the 5th sunny day in a row, so some of the trails had rough patches or debris. Still, any day spent playing in the snow is a good one.

I may not be able to ski with good technique but I am getting better at seeing our flaws when I look at photos. I hope that can lead to some improvement because the photos of me have already given me a *long* list of things to work on.

Charm and AZ are here for this week's ski clinic so we stopped by the Bulldog Cafe to say hello and catch up quickly. Their coach is none other than Marie-Cat; it had been so long since I'd seen her that I got chatty and totally forgot to take her photo.

Then we had a terrific lunch at The Den - one of the few restaurants open here when the downhill skiers aren't around. As 'Bent says, their logo is "a bear with a footprint problem".

2 PM

XC Skiing - Skate 58:38 intensity: (48:38 @3) + (10:00 @5) 10.21 km (10.4 kph) +158m

We finished off with a short skate ski before packing up. Mostly we toured the same trails as this morning but right at the end, just as we were approaching our condo, 'Bent wanted to try the Silver Streak trail. "It's only 500 meters long!" Sure, I can do that. It turned out to be a big climb. Halfway up, we met Tarno and Almageddon who told us the trails to take when we reached the top. Those trails climbed too. Hmm. When we finally popped out at a place we recognized, we were near the top of a ski lift - and our condo was at the bottom! Luckily, they'd groomed the hill in preparation for the downhill ski opening on Thursday. The last 10 minutes provided the toughest challenge of the day but it made a great finish to a fun holiday.

On our way to Kelowna, we checked out the Stussi Sport cross-country ski shop in Vernon where we had a 10% discount. Let's just say that we saved a *lot* of money there. :) 'Bent has been spared some trouble since he was able to buy me a few great Christmas gifts in advance, including new Salomon classic boots. :)

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