Running warm up/down 3:16 0.59 km (5:32 / km) +27m4:30 / km ahr:153 max:164 shoes: VJ iRock 2016
Orienteering race (Blue) 57:36*** 7.53 km (7:39 / km) +217m6:41 / km ahr:168 max:178 spiked:18/18c shoes: VJ iRock 2016
For today, I figured I should get there early, and run both the Brown and the Blue courses as a training exercise. Yes, I am using these events as training opportunities, not as target races. Next weekend is the Concorde Chase where I will run Black, and that will be a race that I treat with higher significance than this weeks Galoppen – I will try and push all the way and see how my fitness holds up through that long distance. But as preparation, I wanted to run Brown as a race and then just jog through the Blue with 70% effort but use the terrain as much as possible. As I got there they weren’t sure if they will have enough Brown maps, so I had to reverse the plan and run Blue first – this meant that it had to be the competitive one. Most of the Blue course was OK. I did wonder a lot of places why there were such a lot of undergrowth not mapped – in hindsight, looking at the Routegadget, I realised a lot more green on the map than during running. I have looked at the map hard now and realised that they were there, but hte green print was very faint, so I did not see a lot of it during the run. This effected my route choices and pretty sure even that underestimated the vegetation in places, especially between 11-12 where I was seriously stuck in brambles and what should have been dark green on the map. I have lost about 2 minutes there, running around on the track would have been much faster. My other bigger mistake was 4-5 where I have decided to run over the hilltop, again not realising that the open field on the other side would be full of brambles stopping me from just running down there. Running around on the track would have been again about 2 minute faster. Besides this I had smaller mistakes to 1 and 14 and a few seconds here and there, which means I legitimately lost 5 minutes – the remaining 4 minutes that I was behind the winner was purely running speed most likely.
Running warm up/down 3:22 0.57 km (5:55 / km) +25m4:52 / km ahr:154 max:163 shoes: VJ iRock 2016
Orienteering long 1:40:10**** 10.52 km (9:31 / km) +379m8:04 / km ahr:152 max:166 spiked:26/26c shoes: VJ iRock 2016
By the time I got back they had plenty of Brown maps left but only 2 minutes before the start window closed, so I jogged around the Brown course, completing both as the training plan dictated, even though I was pretty exhausted by the middle of the Brown course.
I wasn’t pushing the running at all so no expectation of any result and no use comparing times. However, I wanted to have a clean run at least, which unfortunately wasn’t the case. The first wobble came on leg 7, where I initially wanted to run out to the tarmac road, but a combination of seeing the (not really mapped) drop to and with of the stream, and my initial plan to use the course as a terrain running training convinced me to turn back and go more or less straight. That was a decent plan, but then very poorly executed. I ended up way too high and on the road, climbing 10m more than I needed, and not used the small paths as well as I should have. I then messed up 9 which was strange because I had that control on the Blue course where I had no problems, but the whole leg here was executed like a mess, more a hope and pray than a proper plan with attackpoint. I paid the price! Which as usually the case, lead to messing up 10 as well (though not as much). I messed up my pace counting probably because I started to look for the control too early and then veered right thinking I wasn’t on the right bearing. I did then turn back before it became an even bigger mess and luckily saw the control. I suspect leg 11 in a real race situation would have been faster running up on the track – the forest was full of brashings so it was a slog to contouring round. I even ended up above the control and almost overran by one spur but again luckily I spotted the control and ran back for it. Luckily this ended the streak of badly executed controls and the next few were quite precise, although I did actually take it very carefully in the tricky bits around 14-17. The only control where I made a slight mistake was 15 – learning from my mistakes yesterday I di have a good plan to run down the path and then the spine of the spur, unfortunately the complex terrain meant that I first came across a different reentrant than mine. I quickly corrected though. Leg 18 was another slog where the hillside that was supposed to be white was full of brashings and brambles and I would have been better off running around, at least in a race situation. At this point though I was quite tired and out of gels, so I really broke down to walking up there into 18 and out of 18 up to the crest of the hill. Luckily from this point there weren’t many climbs and neither did I make any more notable mistakes (though I did take one or two quite safe but longer route choices).
Running warm up/down 4:34  0.94 km (4:51 / km) +2m4:48 / km shoes: Haglofs Gram XC 2016
Running tempo (Parkrun) 20:00  5.02 km (3:59 / km) +12m3:56 / km shoes: Haglofs Gram XC 2016
Going out after 4 days away from exercise and hectic timings with the UK Open and work during the week meant I wasn't sure how my legs would cope. I knew I wasn't going to be tired, and my toes would have had some more time to heal though, so I put on some proper running (but not racing) shoes finally.
I was going to only do this as a shakeout session, but I felt good after the first km, so kept going with it at about 80% effort. When the third km was 4:05 and I was still on target to be under 20min I committed myself to try and make it, despite not having this as my original target at all. I still wasn't pushing 100% but was trying, unfortunately at around 3.5km my left ankles started to seize up a bit, that was clearly due to lack of recent exercise and movements as the muscles tensed up. I was also developing a stitch and was on the verge of just giving up. Fortunately at around the 4km point they were gone and the incline in the road became the priority to focus on, which wiped out the stitch and ankle issues, I just had to deal with the familiar sensation of oxygen dept there. This was just enough for me to steadily run to the finish (being overtaken by 3 men sprinting a the finish line but I wasn't bothered too much as this wasn't a race for position). And when I stopped my watch it had shown 19:59:9 which I will argue means another 5k just under the 20m mark which was the target for most of my parkruns this year, so pretty happy with it, especially given the circumstances and my effort invested.
Running warm up/down 13:14  2.52 km (5:15 / km) +5m5:11 / km shoes: Haglofs Gram XC 2016
Orienteering tempo 49:32*** 7.16 km (6:55 / km) +43m6:43 / km ahr:167 max:178 spiked:28/29c shoes: VJ Supra
Avon Heath informal 45 minutes score
First time since I have destroyed my toe that I tried a proper O-shoe in terrain. Planned therefore to run this cautiously and as a training session more than a race.
From the perspective of my toes, the event was OK and should hopefully hold up better tomorrow in a proper race situation. In the running sense, I wasn't pushing very much so not that surprised that I wasn't making it in the 45 minutes allowed, knowing that I was going to be over time I opted for collecting all controls and a longer training session instead.
From an overall performance perspective not very happy however. I am fairly sure that I did not have the best strategy (although not catastrophic). However, I messed up in that I missed one of the controls (160) in the middle of the map that I was supposed to pick that up towards the end loop. I have also made several navigational mistakes that I really should not have, especially with the lower tempo, and lost time on: 157 - I was careful and whilst the vegetation wasn't mapped particularly well, I wasn't following the contours as well as I should have - knowingly "cheated" not going to the top of the spur to attack it but risked going around underneath hoping to be faster - ended up confusing the contours and taking 2 minutes longer than I should have. 131 - coming from 203, similar to the mistake above I tried to go more straight and come up to the control from underneath, which was a major tactical error. As this was a ditch control on the spur, I never should have attacked it from below but rather follow the curve of the spur on top to have a good line of sight. This mistake meant that I ran past the control underneath (the 7500 map distances were all too short for my routine so it was easy to overestimate the distances), bounced back from the path and had to fight through the rough open heather twice. Cost me almost 2 minutes as well. 201 - Not sure if the two standalone trees were properly mapped in relation to the ditch - ran past the ditch first. The vegetation here is definitely not mapped well, it is a lot more dense than mapped. Cost maybe 30 sec, but also getting out on the road to 202 was quite a fight and I suspect I lost another minute or so there. 200 - again, not path as mapped but the time I lost was more a directional error so taking more a curved approach than I should have. 30s 205 - The mapped depression is in fact in the middle of quite dense undergrowth so ended up running past first but only slightly, seeing a few features around I put together what happened and looped around the bushes to find it. Still, 30s or so lost. 163 - slightly disorientated out of 164 and had to really push myself to believe the compass. Ran on bearing which I suspect was not the optimal route choice, in hindsight running left on the path and then through the open field would have been quicker by 30s. Finish - carelessly just ran on bearing out of 165 not noticing the impassable fence, to be honest had to fight through unmapped dense green too before. Then I was just pissed off and climbed the fence anyway, but going around would have been faster.
Lost way too much time navigationally then, I suspect that my "just training" approach meant that I wasn't focusing well enough, and strangely enough the 70% effort I mentally had on running also spilled over to mean 70% concentration on navigation. That is not a very good result, but something that is good to know about myself and maybe think about next time.