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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: TomN

In the 30 days ending Apr 30, 2015:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Orienteering6 7:49:27 20.75(22:37) 33.4(14:03) 47034c
  Trail Running7 5:20:58 33.0(9:44) 53.11(6:03)
  Road running8 5:19:16 36.59(8:44) 58.88(5:25)
  Map Walk1 2:30:00 2.49(1:00:21) 4.0(37:30)
  Speed work1 45:00 5.5(8:11) 8.85(5:05)
  Total23 21:44:41 98.33(13:16) 158.24(8:15) 47034c

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Thursday Apr 30, 2015 #

Speed work intervals 45:00 [5] 5.5 mi (8:11 / mi)
shoes: Adrenaline 14-2nd

4x800 at the PEA track. I figured a reasonable goal was 3:28. Actuals:
1-lap slow jog in between.

Seems like these 800s are psychologically easier than the 1000s. Last fall I was doing 3x1000 in approx 4:20, and struggling at that. The equivalent pace would have been 4:12 today.

Nice day, partly cloudy, 53 deg, calm.

Wednesday Apr 29, 2015 #

Trail Running 33:00 [3] 3.6 mi (9:10 / mi)
shoes: Adrenaline 14-2nd

Short trail loop.

Tuesday Apr 28, 2015 #

Trail Running 1:08:06 [3] 7.5 mi (9:05 / mi)
shoes: Adrenaline 14-2nd

The usual route around town Pine-Swazey, then into the trails, XC trail out to High St., Drinkwater to black trail and home.


The Spring Azure Complex is on the wing! Three individuals on the dirt road very near each other. I'm guessing Summer Azure (celastrina neglecta) based on the bright blue appearance on top and pale with distinct markings on the underside. Also a Mourning Cloak 2 weeks after seeing the first this year 60 miles south of here. This was a lucky sighting. It was flying high, as they often do, but its shadow passed right in front of me.

Monday Apr 27, 2015 #

Trail Running 43:05 [3] 4.7 mi (9:10 / mi)
shoes: Adrenaline 14-2nd

Cross-country loop + stadium-trail loop.

Sunday Apr 26, 2015 #

Orienteering race 1:34:02 [3] 4.9 km (19:11 / km) +180m 16:13 / km

UNO Bear Brook Green.

Mr. Contour Expert took a look at the map, said "I got this one" and hared off in the general direction of the first control. "Who needs a compass?" said Mr. Contour Expert, "pass two reentrants and up the other side. How hard could it be?" And so, over the next 5 minutes, I got so totally lost that I couldn't even find my way back to the start. At that point I figured north to the river was the safest option. On the way there, I went up a ridge that looked like the one #2 was on, and it was. Backing up from there I finally got to #1, about 30 minutes after punching the start. Hey, I was expecting rocks. Where are the rocks when you need them?

I got another chance to see #1 again, on the way to 4. By that point I was navigating a lot more carefully, but approaching from the NW I picked the left-hand spur, which led me back to #1. The control was on the right-hand spur.

After that, things went really well, if a bit slow. It was Mr. You Don't Know Where You Are Until You Know It Three Different Ways who was in charge, and he was good. We got down into some of the rocky stuff towards the midpoint of the course, which was fun. Now, that's more like it! A moonscape of rock! A solid wall of rock!

So a disappointing result, but a very fine course in difficult terrain, and a great learning opportunity. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Need more of this.

Saturday Apr 25, 2015 #

Orienteering race 1:34:43 [3] 5.8 km (16:20 / km)
shoes: Icebug olx 2nd

NEOC Needham Town Forest, Red course. Shortish course, not a lot of climb, but slow orienteering for me. We were warned not to trust the small trails, so I didn't. As soon as I got off the trail on the way to #1, I found myself surrounded by big rocks with hardly any rocks on the map. Thought about that for a while and plugged on. I began to get the feel of things (as well as wet feet) on the long route to #4, which seemed to involve some wading no matter which way you chose.

Things were a little more fun after that. It's interesting terrain, with a mapping style that deemphasizes the ubiquitous rock and plays up the contour complexity. The map was at 1:7500, and it's hard to imagine trying to condense it any further.

I had a disaster on 13, there was a straightforward route around the marsh, through the rocks, and straight in, which I finally did after my original stupid idea utterly failed. Fairly consistent other than that, mostly walking near the controls and working on visualization.

Friday Apr 24, 2015 #

Road running 35:00 [3] 4.0 mi (8:45 / mi)
shoes: Adrenaline 14-2nd

Pine-Front-Railroad-Park-Swazey-Gilman. Cool and breezy.

Thursday Apr 23, 2015 #

Trail Running 41:12 [3] 4.7 mi (8:46 / mi)
shoes: Adrenaline 14-2nd

Same trails as yesterday, but in a more sensible order. It unexpectedly started to rain half way through, and then, even more unexpectedly, changed to ice pellets.

Wednesday Apr 22, 2015 #

Trail Running 41:35 [3] 4.7 mi (8:51 / mi)
shoes: Adrenaline 14-2nd

Various loops around the cross country trails.

Tuesday Apr 21, 2015 #

Road running 55:33 [3] 6.3 mi (8:49 / mi)
shoes: Adrenaline 14-2nd

Crazy rain last night mit donner und blitzen, but it all went away by mid-morning and the temperature shot up. There was some standing water on the trails. It's the change of the season, I'm sweating a lot more runnng in the mid-50s than I was a couple of weeks ago.

Monday Apr 20, 2015 #

Trail Running 30:00 [3] 3.3 mi (9:05 / mi)
shoes: Adrenaline 14-2nd

Easy run mostly on the trails. Got back just as the rain started. Looks like rain for the next few days.

Sunday Apr 19, 2015 #

Orienteering race 1:42:51 [4] 7.0 km (14:42 / km)
shoes: Icebug olx 2nd

NEOC Breakheart Reservation Red. I sneaked a peek at some maps online, and I was pretty nervous about the navigation. Lots of fiddly little contour detail, some green, some indistinct trails, all peppered with the usual New England rock.

But it turned out o.k., I needn't have worried. It was pretty high quality terrain, and a good map, not unduly cluttered. The course featured short legs with direction changes, and that's no surprise because the roads and trails make it hard to get any distance cross country. But there were some unfortunate in-and-out legs. On the other hand, the "indistinct" trails were distinctly visible (unlike last week at Prospect Hill), which helped a lot.

My major problems were at #1 (didn't go high enough, lost a couple minutes going back and forth below the control on about a 20-meter leg), #12 (lost track of where I should leave the trail, got hung up in nasty thick vegetation), #13 (still flustered from 12, went the wrong way on the road, then attacked too early and couldn't find the cliff, thought it was going to be easy), and #15 (no brain at all, must have been oxygen deprivation, couldn't even locate myself on the road).

In contrast, I had an easy time with #10 which others had trouble on, but would have been faster if I'd headed straight down and across the marsh instead of following the trail along the ridge. Also good on #19, went all the way along the lake to the little bridge at the neck.

Better at the controls this time, picked out the boulders pretty well, but the maze-like cliffs at different elevations gave me a lot of trouble.


Spotted a little blue butterfly on one of the wide trails. This time of year, it was either a Summer Azure (celastrina neglecta) or a Spring Azure (c. ladon) and the likely candidate, oddly enough, is the Summer Azure (spring form) which usually emerges earlier. At least, that's the way it is in the Mid-Atlantic.

Saturday Apr 18, 2015 #

Map Walk 2:30:00 [1] 4.0 km (37:30 / km)
shoes: Icebug olx 2nd

Wandering around in Pawtuckaway at a slow walk. Lovely day, mid-50s and an increasing number of hikers as the morning went on. No snow in the woods or on the trails, a little along the roadside. Water pretty much confined to its designated locations. I was shaky on the single-contour detail, o.k. in the rocks, with some guesswork. Terrible at relocating unless there was some giant feature nearby.

Friday Apr 17, 2015 #

Road running 36:30 [3] 4.0 mi (9:08 / mi)
shoes: Adrenaline 14-2nd

The road portion of yesterday's run. It had been raining this morning, and it was very humid. Which made me notice that it has been low humidity since I got here, even on the warm days.

Thursday Apr 16, 2015 #

Road running 53:12 [3] 6.3 mi (8:27 / mi)
shoes: Adrenaline 14-2nd

Pine-Railroad-Park-Swazey-String Bridge-Gilman Ln-Stadium-Drinkwater-Cross Country-Gilman St. This is a pretty nice route. About half of it is along the river, and a third is on trails. Pace was faster than I expected.

Wednesday Apr 15, 2015 #

Road running race 14:15 [5] 3.2 km (4:27 / km)
shoes: Adrenaline 14-2nd

If I were home today, I would have run in the Goddard Spring 2-mile "fun" run. As far as I'm concerned, a 2-mile race is about as un-"fun" as it gets. But in solidarity, I ran a 2-mile time trial on the track (actually 3200m). Conditions were sunny, 65 deg., light wind noticeable on the home stretch. My goal was 14:00, and I'm not really surprised I missed it. I think I've only had about 3 lifetime 2-mile times over 14 minutes, but there's a whole lifetime left. Splits:

Adding another 4.9 seconds makes the 2-mile equivalent 14:19.

Road running 20:00 [3] 2.2 mi (9:05 / mi)
shoes: Adrenaline 14-2nd

Warm-up jog, 3 strides, a half-mile at race pace. Cool-down jog back home. The track is about a third of a mile from my apartment.

Tuesday Apr 14, 2015 #

Trail Running 1:04:00 [2] 4.5 mi (14:13 / mi)
shoes: Adrenaline 14-2nd

Exploring the Exeter Trails. The main problem was most of the trails are not in condition yet. Lots of standing water and ice dams. Some of it I could run around cross-country but I plowed through some ankle-deep sections. A secondary problem is that aside from the "main" trail, the system isn't very well-used or well-maintained. Some of the signposts are missing, and some of the trails and junctions are hard to see. I turned back during one water-avoidance move because I was genuinely concerned that if I went any further I wouldn't be able to find the trail again.

I figured out the map. The trails aren't numbered, the signposts are numbered. The trails are unnamed, but some of them have colored designations. The symbol I took to mean "gate" is actually a bridge. But the dumbest thing about the map is the distances. The "red" trail is marked as 2.37 miles, but you have to run on an unmarked connecting loop to do the whole trail. The "green" trail is marked as 1.5 miles, but it has 5 branches, all of which dead-end. How can you do the 1.5 miles? Teleport? The "black" trail, which consists of 6 disjoint segments connecting various other trails, has a total distance, which is worthless without, again, a teleporter. This is evidently the work of someone who doesn't exactly understand how people use trails.


I saw a Mourning Cloak today. Confined to woodlands, they're often the first butterflies of spring. But they're faking it, because they hibernate as adults and it only takes a couple of warm days to wake them up. I also saw 2 of them last Sunday at Prospect Hill. The Mourning Cloaks started flying about 2 weeks ago in Maryland.

Monday Apr 13, 2015 #

Road running 35:45 [3] 4.0 mi (8:56 / mi)
shoes: Adrenaline 14-2nd

Exeter Trails - Drinkwater Road.

Sunday Apr 12, 2015 #

Orienteering race 1:25:40 [4] *** 6.6 km (12:59 / km) +240m 10:59 / km
21c shoes: Icebug olx 2nd

NEOC Prospect Hill Red course. Wow, a 2-O-day weekend. The park sits right up against an office park just off of I-95, with tons of parking on a weekend. It's pretty rugged for its size, with a couple of 50m hills, and a fair amount of rock features (16 out of 21 controls on boulders or cliffs), plus roads and trails you'd expect in a suburban park.

I kept up a steady pace, no major errors, but the usual problems close to the control. In a couple of cases the controls were in difficult technical areas, and I didn't read the map accurately enough. In other cases, it was more a matter of not visualizing the terrain from the mapped detail. For example, I almost never went straight to the right rock. I don't really understand the rock mapping -- it seemed like I saw big boulders that weren't mapped, and little boulders with controls on them.

There were some good route choice problems, and I can see now that I didn't make the best choices. From 7 to 8 I went all the way around on the trail, I don't know why I didn't go over the hill like I did to #4. From 9 to 10, I took the roads around to the right, when the left was straighter and shorter. From 16 to 17 I climbed the big ridge to the two water tanks, then followed the stone wall to the control. More hill climb then necessary, but in addition the stone wall segment was slow going. I'm pretty sure following the base of the hill on the right would have been better, maybe even going all the way around past 18-19.

On the plus side, I looked ahead on practically every control so I knew which way to go coming out. Definitely improved flow.

Saturday Apr 11, 2015 #

Orienteering race 52:56 [4] *** 5.4 km (9:48 / km)
13c shoes: Icebug olx 2nd

UNO Mine Falls, Red course. It's a small park, about one-third forested and the rest school fields and office buildings. Split by a major highway (U.S. 3) with one pedestrian underpass. The forested area is long and narrow with uncrossable rivers on both sides. So the course setting is pretty constrained.

The course was like a long sprint, all but one control in the woods but there were some legs through open areas. The course made good use of the available area. Navigation was sprint-like, easy but need to stay in contact, and the controls were on interesting features. Lots of depressions, large and small.

I had trouble getting into the map right off the start -- I had some idea it was at sprint scale (maybe because the circles and numbers were printed way too big), and wasted a lot of time going up and down on a trail along the water before realizing it was the wrong feature and I was quite a ways short of the right one. Probably 4 minutes lost on the first control.

After that, things started to click, and I made only small errors close to a couple of controls. All would have been fine if I had read the map and descriptions more carefully.

Still not fully recovered from the cold I've had for the past 2 weeks. First time running since last week. Some congestion but it seems like I may have blown a lot of it out. Good.

Monday Apr 6, 2015 #


Not getting better. Did a hike in Assabet woods in Sudbury with some friends. Woods looked nice from the trail, but they seemed to think there's unexploded ordnance in there.

Saturday Apr 4, 2015 #

Orienteering race 39:15 [3] 3.7 km (10:36 / km) +50m 9:56 / km
shoes: Icebug olx 2nd

NEOC Menotomy Rocks Sprint. A tiny urban park with one big hill and some surrounding knobs, capped by cliffs, and a few scattered rocks. Some bare rock, some open spots, some stream valleys, a pretty good terrain sampler in an area the size of a suburban shopping mall.

The sprint was 3 loops with a map exchange. There was an option to do it as a memory-O. No, thanks, maybe next time. The control-finding was easy, but I had trouble looking ahead and as a result was often hesitant and reactive. I really ought to be faster at this.

The meet drew a fair number of beginner-intermediates, including lots of parent-child combos. Enjoyed talking to TP, who was probably only there because he agreed to help out.

Friday Apr 3, 2015 #


Feeling sniffly since Monday afternoon, sore throat and fevery last night. No run today despite temps in the 60s, too bad. Florence had it first, but left it behind with me and Mei-An when she skipped town.

Thursday Apr 2, 2015 #

Road running 34:00 [3] 3.8 mi (8:57 / mi)
shoes: Adrenaline 14-2nd

More exploration of the Exeter Trails. I have trouble making sense of the map boards they put up at various points, but I think I went out Stadium Rd. and back on Trail 1. It feels like the rough consolidated snow is good ankle exercise.

Wednesday Apr 1, 2015 #

Road running 35:01 [3] 4.0 mi (8:45 / mi)
shoes: Adrenaline 14-2nd

Pine-Railroad-Swazey-Gilman-gym. Another sunny day, light breeze, about 40 degrees. Fine day to be out running.

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