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Training Log Archive: BorisGr

In the 31 days ending Mar 31, 2011:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Running10 7:20:26 46.24 74.42 804
  Skiing2 6:47:15 56.34 90.67 906
  Orienteering7 5:29:55 19.32 31.1 83716c
  Biking2 1:43:00
  T.rex training1 5:00
  Total19 21:25:36 121.9 196.18 254716c

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Wednesday Mar 30, 2011 #

5 PM

Running 1:09:38 [2] 7.95 mi (8:45 / mi) +162m 8:14 / mi
shoes: Asics 2011

With Marie, Mattias, and Becky at Maltby Lakes. Nice run, but damned shin started hurting again towards the end. Bah. Becky made me get granny compression socks. We'll see if these work in time for the weekend.

Tuesday Mar 29, 2011 #

8 AM

Running 35:18 [2] 3.54 mi (9:59 / mi) +99m 9:11 / mi
shoes: Asics 2011

Easy morning run at East Rock. There were hawks and deer.
6 PM

Running 57:45 10.04 km (5:45 / km)
shoes: Rob's shoes

Yet another attempt to start doing intervals.
Did 3x1200m on the Wilbur Cross track and felt old and slow. The only positive was that the last interval didn't feel any harder than the first one.

4:15
4:15
4:15

Monday Mar 28, 2011 #

Running 31:11 [2] 5.67 km (5:30 / km)
shoes: Asics 2011

Recovery run in the late afternoon sunshine around East Rock and Prospect Hill.

Sunday Mar 27, 2011 #

Orienteering 40:00 [1]

Hanging controls for the beginner courses at Ansonia in the morning.
11 AM

Orienteering 1:04:19 [3] 9.95 km (6:28 / km) +228m 5:48 / km
ahr:164 max:177 shoes: VJ Supra

New Haven Training Weekend

The mass-start handicap race. I spent a long time thinking about people's relative speeds and looking up results to calibrate course lengths so that most people would take about an hour. From the results, it looks like 30 of the 45 people who ran were within 10 minutes of that, so I have to be pleased. Since Becky wasn't feeling up to running the mass start after having already spent countless hours in the forest, she graciously agreed to take care of registration/finish for a while, so I decided to jump in and run. I took Neil's course, which was 9km - a kilometer shorter than the longest versions (Ross, Sergei, and Jordan).
I felt pretty strong, though not fast, from the start and orienteered pretty well for the first part of the course. Made one mistake together with Balter on the northern end of the map, not paying enough attention to the compass while running downhill. Then, around #13 I started feeling low on energy and by 16, I completely bonked. Just had nothing. Out of 16 I ran off towards 1, then realized it and staggered towards 17. The last few controls were a real struggle, walking mixed with jogging and stumbling, and Glen Tryson smoked me from the last control to the finish. I guess the activity of the last few days caught up with me.

QR: http://www.dxdeluxe.se/linnekartparmen/show_map.ph...

Anyway, I think both the handicap race with individual courses, and the whole weekend was a success, as people seemed happy and excited about the upcoming season. I think we accomplished the goal of kick-starting the spring orienteering season.

Becky was a star in doing pretty much every task imaginable, and managing to keep cool when I began my usual stress-out. Jon Marsden was awesome for helping out at the drop of a hat, despite being a guest, and everyone else stepped in and did small and big things without having to be asked. (Let me see if I can mention everyone who helped: Mike&Marie, Madelene, all the cadets, SGB, Giovanni, Ross, Sam, Ian Webb, Ian Smith, Mattias, Kaspar, Kat, Mary Jo, Ken Sr, George&Lyn, Rick&Susie, and surely others whom I am forgetting.) Thanks to all the wonderful people in orienteering for making weekends like this so much fun!

640/2000

Saturday Mar 26, 2011 #

Orienteering 45:00 [1]

New Haven Training Weekend

Hanging controls at Osbornedale. I think I annoyed Becky and JonM this morning (and the night before, at the print shop) with my stressing out, but once I was out in the woods with a map I felt relaxed and excited to be orienteering again.

Orienteering 15:00 [2]

Things were going smoothly, so I snuck out to do the compass course. By now, I know Osbornedale well enough that it's tough to get much out of it with a regular orienteering course, but the compass exercise was great. I was sloppy on the first couple, underestimating the distance and being off on the bearing, but started focusing better after that and hit the rest of them pretty well. Nice to be forced to think about particular techniques while orienteering. Exercises like this are great.

Running 20:00 [2]

Running from our place to Becky's and back, plus a few minutes showing a couple of Yale friends how orienteering works. They seemed excited and got the hang of it pretty quickly. The Yale map is a great way to introduce people to the sport!
5 PM

Orienteering 32:02 [4] 7.05 km (4:33 / km) +56m 4:22 / km
ahr:153 max:153 shoes: Rob's shoes

New Haven Training Weekend

The Yale campus sprint. This was the debut of Becky's brand-new sprint map of the Yale campus, and it was awesome. I had already run most of the course on Thursday, so I just wanted to see if I could improve my time and make fewer mistakes. Certainly, having actual controls out there made me focus better and be more careful in the control circle, as well as made me pay more attention to the control descriptions. I don't think I made any obvious mistakes except for not spotting the tape right away a couple of times. Improved my time from Thursday by over 3 minutes despite being pretty tired already. Great course, great map, great fun!

Dinner and socializing at M&M's afterwards was wonderful too, especially after Ross' attempt to burn down our house was foiled. Great to see so many people, everyone smiling and friendly. A few newcomers too, who hopefully were made to feel welcome. Just a great day.

Thursday Mar 24, 2011 #

12 PM

Orienteering 38:23 [2] 2.63 km (14:36 / km) +128m 11:44 / km
16c shoes: Asics 2011

After picking up meet equipment at George and Lyn's, I drove over to Penwood and ran around on George's map in progress, drawing myself a course. The terrain was a bit thick underfoot and rocky, but there were some nice woods there too. It was really beautiful out, and the views from the top of the ridge were really great. Scared up a turkey and had a close encounter with some kind of a hawk.

571/2000

Running 33:29 [2] 2.99 mi (11:12 / mi) +136m 9:49 / mi

After doing a control-picking course on George's map, i did a trail loop on the same map to check out more of the area. (This track also includes jogging from home to Becky's house in the afternoon.)
6 PM

Orienteering 35:15 [3] 4.33 km (8:08 / km) +62m 7:36 / km
shoes: Asics 2011

Pre-running Becky's sprint course. Really fun, and the map is great!!

603/2000

Wednesday Mar 23, 2011 #

6 PM

Running 1:19:40 [2] 8.67 mi (9:11 / mi) +205m 8:34 / mi
shoes: Asics 2011

Evening run, first at East Rock in the hail, then with Becky on the brand-new Yale sprint map in the wet snow. Weird weather, but really fun running around and finding controls!
Map is looking good. Becky has put in a tremendous amount of work into it, and I am excited to see the map unveiled this weekend!

555/2000

Tuesday Mar 22, 2011 #

8 AM

Running 45:46 [2] 5.28 mi (8:40 / mi) +116m 8:06 / mi
shoes: Asics 2011

Morning run at East Rock. There were no deer.

Monday Mar 21, 2011 #

7 PM

Running 45:09 [2] 4.93 mi (9:09 / mi) +86m 8:41 / mi

With Becky at East Rock in the dark. Deer were there.

Saturday Mar 19, 2011 #

Running 22:30 [2] 5.0 km (4:30 / km)
shoes: Asics 2011

Finally woke up with the shin pain-free so tested it out by going for a run. My dad came too, and did some running. He looked good! It made me happy. Shin felt ok, and still feels ok the day after. Will start running again now.

Saturday Mar 12, 2011 #

11 AM

Orienteering 59:56 [3] 7.14 km (8:24 / km) +363m 6:42 / km
shoes: VJ Supra

HVO local event at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.

Really beautiful, sunny spring day, and no snow in the forest. I did the red course with the understanding that I would take it easy and cut it short if my shin hurt a lot. I didn't feel it at all at first, but it became painful after about 15 minutes, though never very painful. Still, I did the short version of the red course, cutting out two controls. I felt very sluggish and slow running, and the navigation wasn't superb either, though I didn't really make any mistakes except for overrunning #4 a bit. It felt great to be orienteering again. Feels like it's been ages.

534/2000

Friday Mar 11, 2011 #

Biking 48:00

Intervals on the stationary bike at PWG. Not too much fun, but seems to be the only thing that my shin can handle without pain at the moment. Did 8x3 minutes, increasing the resistance each time.

T.rex training 5:00 [1]

T.rex. training for Vasaloppet 2012 has begun.

Tuesday Mar 8, 2011 #

Biking 55:00

Spinning at Friskis and Svettis. Biking seems to be the one thing that doesn't make the shin worse.

Sunday Mar 6, 2011 #

8 AM

Skiing race 6:07:15 [3] 90.67 km (4:03 / km) +906m 3:51 / km

Vasaloppet 2011

3:45am (-4:15) Alarm goes off. I am already awake. The whole hostel is stirring. Bara, Martin and I are sharing it with a busload of skiers from Vårgårda, and everyone is too nervous to sleep. I eat breakfast (a huge bowl of oatmeal and a few sandwiches) and get everything ready. Clothes: wind briefs, tights (with a quick duct-tape repair job), two pairs of socks, polypro, USA o-top, Linné jacket, Kat's red hat, my brand-new LillSport gloves, tape on toes and thumbs. Supplies: refreshment belt, water bottle filled with hot (for now) sports drink, 7 GUs, 1 kex, 1 Corny bar, 1 Enervit bar, 1 Geisha (!!), 3 Enervit tablets, 1 Swix VR 60 wax, 1 cork, thin roll of Leukotape.

5:00am (-3:00) Skis and boots are packed, as is the change of clothes that I'll send to the finish. We get in the car and drive to Sälen. In the car, I realize I am nervous. I also realize that I've missed the feeling of being nervous before a race - that I've missed having races I care about.

5:45am (-2:15) Bara drops us off, and we each head towards the queue to get into our start waves, wave 6 for me, wave 2 for Martin. The scene is ridiculous. Everything is still dark, and thousands of people are forming long, winding lines outside the gates for their start waves. Everyone is standing there holding their skis and poles like weapons, preparing for a massive bloody battle, silently awaiting their fate and praying to their private gods that they protect them from cramping and their poles from being stepped on in the start melee.

6:00am (-2:00) Put my skis down in wave 6, eight rows back of the front of the wave, in the 13th track from the right (of 60 or so total.) Try very hard to remember where I put down the skis so I can find them again. Then: bathroom, event center to get warm and repack everything I need.

7:00am (-1:00) I go back out into the cold. The sun is up now, and everything is starting to look like there will actually be a ski race here soon. I drop off my bag at one of the massive color-coded trucks preparing to take thousands of bags to Mora. Eat one last banana and a few bites of chocolate and then get into the start field.

7:45am (-0:15) Some brave ladies from Friskis & Svettis up on podiums throughout the field are leading a warm-up session. I am just standing around and soaking in the atmosphere. People and skis everywhere, in every direction. Simply incredible! Just then, the sun comes up over the top of the hill to my right and everything just lights up.

8:00am (0:00) The announcer was talking up to the very last moment, presumably to lulls us into a false sense of complacency and prevent chaos from breaking out at the start. This, of course, failed. At 8:00am, the announcer suddenly said "Vasaloppet 2011 has now started." I am sure that at the front of the pack, this meant immediate sprinting and scrambling for position. Back in wave 6, this meant that we simply kept standing like we had been before the start. After 1 minute, we moved. The pace was glacial. After every two or three double-poles, I had to brake hard to avoid ramming into the person in front of me. Clearly, some people did not manage this, as throughout the start field I had to avoid massive pile-ups of people, with tangled limbs, skis, and poles everywhere. Crossing the road and coming up to the bottom of the hill, I remembered TyrTom's advice about being patient here and watching out for my poles. At the bottom of the hill, progress ground to a halt. I looked around and memorized a couple of bib numbers, to see how I would move up the hill compared to their owners. Mostly, we moved up at a shuffle. Whenever a bit of snow opened up in front of me, I moved up and then stopped immediately, trying to keep my poles as close to me as possible, while holding on hard to avoid sliding back down the hill. Usually, I could not see any snow in front of me, just skis. Very gradually, this mass of people made its way up, occasionally passing fragments of poles lying in the snow and avoiding people who tripped over someone's skis and were now helplessly flailing in an attempt to get back up.

8:34am (+0:34) As we walked past the 3km mark (also the highest point in the course), I looked at my watch. 34 minutes had gone by. I should note that sometime between getting into the car in the morning and actually starting, my mental approach to Vasaloppet changed from one of surviving an adventure to one of racing as well as I can. This was partly brought on by the comments made the night before by one of my clubmates, who suggested that the goals I set for myself were an overestimation of my ability. Nothing works better to motivate me than others' low expectations! And so, when we crested the hill, and a little bit of space opened up in the tracks, I was in racing mode.

8:58am (+0:58) The first few kilometers flew by. The going was easy, and I was pretty much always out of the tracks, double poling past people and annoying them by hitting their poles with mine in the process. It seemed like everyone around me was going too slowly, and I was desperate to get ahead, to a point where I had some space to ski in. I decided that I would aim for 45 minutes per 10km, and was dismayed when the first 10km mark was reached in 58 minutes. Soon after, I passed the first food stop, Smågan, but did not stop to eat or drink anything.

9:44am (+1:44) The second section of the course was much like the first, quite flat and rolling along through wide open marshes and bits of forest. All along the tracks there were clumps of people cheering, some snowmobiles going along with the racers and filling our nostrils with the smell of gasoline, and skiers, skiers, skiers. Between Smågan and Mångsbodarna I passed 500 people and was happy to see that my second 10km took just under 36 minutes.

10:21am (+2:21) The section between Mångsbodarna and Risberg featured some downhills, and I realized that my skis were great. I was gliding past people with ease and feeling really good. Over and over in my mind, I thanked Martin for helping me wax! Looking at my watch at the 30km, I realized that the last 10km took just under 30 minutes, and I was well caught up to my 4.5 min/km plan. Soon after that came the first real climb of the course, a long, but not very steep, slog up to Risberg. My kick was fine, but it was impossible to get a good rhythm, as the tracks were full of people skiing slower than me. I kept going in and out of the tracks, running up the hill, taking a few strides in the tracks, then jumping outside again, and passing, passing, passing. To Risberg I picked up another 400 places. Getting to the aid station here, I realized that I'd been skiing for over two hours without having eaten anything, so I had one of my bars here, along with a Gu and some water.

11:12am (+3:12) Risberg to Evertsberg felt tough. A lot of ups and downs, still lots of people around, still mostly going slower than I wanted to. The difference was that now it started taking me longer to pass them. For one thing, they were moving faster than those I had passed earlier. For another, I was starting to get tired, so it was always easier to ski behind them for a bit rather than make the effort to get around them. I gained 270 places here, but it felt very hard mentally. I started counting down kilometers to important events: round numbers so I could look at my watch (it took a bit over 40 minutes to ski my fourth 10km) and the next aid station. At Evertsberg, which is located at the 48km mark of the course, I stopped for another Gu and some sports drink, and realized that I had skied more than I had ever done in a single session. And I had a full marathon left to go.

12:05pm (+4:05) The most merciful thing about the Vasaloppet course is the downhill that comes right after Evertsberg. Just when you are distraught over having an entire marathon left after three hours of skiing, here comes the nice long rolling downhill that goes for 7km. Here I had my fastest km of the whole race: 2:18!, and the stretch 50-60 went by in a healthy 35 minutes. I also noticed that after tucking for several minutes in a row, my quads began cramping. Oops. I tried shaking them out with my hands a bit, which led to me stabbing one of the people I was passing with my pole. Luckily, I was by him too quickly before he could get revenge. Oxberg came soon, and I broke out the Geisha chocolates here, the prized snack I'd been saving to cheer myself up. I managed to climb another 200 places to Oxberg, but the rate of gaining was clearly slowing.

12:46pm (+4:46) Before the race, I told myself that if I made it to Oxberg, then I would definitely be able to will myself the final 28km to the finish. Well, it seems like this is where the race really began. The part to Hökberg is mostly rolling, with a couple of longish, steep hills along the way. These hills were obviously draining me and everyone else around me. I still had pretty good kick, but was also very tired. As long as I had an empty track in front of me, I could keep up a good pace striding up, but as soon as I had to get out of the tracks to pass someone, I lost momentum and had to force myself to keep going again. With some relief, I saw a number of people stopping on the side of the tracks to rewax, and I was glad I didn't have to do that myself. I was also glad not to have to follow the unfortunate few who walked off the tracks into the deep snow for a pee break. During the part to Hökberg, I began noticing more and more the aid stations prepared by different clubs, towns, or regions of Sweden for their clubmates and friends who were racing. There would usually be a flat area of roughly 5x5 meters dug out in the snow, with pine branches thrown inside for better traction. Inside, on folding chairs, would typically sit a few older, larger gentlemen holding beers and grilling hot dogs, while a few older ladies would stir the giant cauldrons of blueberry soup and coffee and heat up homemade kanelbullar. Whenever one of their racers would come by, they would be greeted with great cheers, jokes, pats on the back and, of course, nourishment! The sheer number of these private aid stations made the race a lot more fun and a lot less lonely, and more than once I had the temptation to stop and ask for some of their kanelbullar. I got through km 60-70 in 41 minutes, and only gained 90 more places to Hökberg.

13:29 (+5:29) Eldris is the last aid station before Mora, and from there it is just 9km left to the finish. On the way from Hökberg to Eldris, however, the kilometers seemed to be getting longer and longer. Here, every tiny uphill seemed like a wall, and many of the hills had very soft, chewed up snow which reduced me and the others to energy-sapping herringboning. Psychologically, this was also tough, as part of the course here goes along a straight powerline, where you can see all the ups and downs for 2-3km in front of you. Besides the pain in my left shin, which had been present since step one and had gradually been getting worse until reaching a certain plateau, I was now getting very sharp pain in my elbows. This is something I'd experienced when skiing before, and knew that it could rapidly become too painful very quickly. Luckily, it only became too painful when I had to run up the steepest bits, and that was usually over in a few seconds so I could cope. My back was also unsurprisingly becoming sore, but never actually cramping up, so I could just keep on double-poling. The 10km from 70 to 80 was my slowest (44 minutes), and I picked up just 56 more places.

14:07 (+6:07) The last few kilometers before entering Mora were excruciatingly long. At this point, you see people in all sorts of states of exhaustion, from those who suddenly decide to start sprinting with 7km to go and whom you pass again a km later, to those who are shuffling along on the rightmost side of the tracks, just trying to get themselves across the finish line. Around every bend for the first few km I kept hoping for the next kilometer marker, and they seemed to never come. At some point there was a mini-aid station, where a saintly volunteer shoved a sugar tablet into my mouth. Very small things crushed my spirits, such as tiny, but seemingly unsurmountable, hills, and very small things lifted them, too, such as the sugar tablet, or some random spectator yelling "Go Linne" as I passed by. Instead of looking at the clock every 10km, I was now checking the time after every 2km, just to give myself something to look forward to. With a few km left, I realized that I had a shot at my "diamond goal" - the 6:07:14 that Dan Hörnell bragged about a year ago. Past the "4km to go" sign, I started trying to push myself, double poling as hard as I could, finally seeing the Mora church steeple and hearing the crowds from the finish line. The final 10km went by in 41 minutes, and I picked up 34 more places before "sprinting" across the finish line in 6:07:15, exactly 1 second slower than my Diamond Goal.

Here is me crossing the finish line, all the way on the ride side of the tracks in the red hat and jacket, at 07:17 into the clip: http://svtplay.se/v/2348432/vasaloppet/14_00-15_00

After the race, everything went with flawless Swedish organization. We get a drink, then get escorted to the ski drop-off, where you get a ticket sort of like at a coat check. Then onto the bus to the local school (two Russians got on the bus right behind me and started cursing up a storm - at least every second word must have been a curse word), where a race worker comes over bringing my bag and warm clothes. Then, a quick hot shower (after a long struggle to undress - my back was pretty stiff at this point!), a plate of beef stew, and a long, sleepy ride home with Tomas and Johan.

My results: http://www.resultat.vasaloppet.se/vasa/result?oid=...

Vasaloppet was an amazing experience for me, both as an awesome event that I loved being a part of, and as a race where I had to push myself really hard mentally and physically. It was also made much more fun by having Bara and Martin there to help with virtually everything before the race, and to have Tomas and the other Linne guys to trade war stories with afterwards.

Sign up for Vasaloppet 2012 opened this week. I think I will go buy a start place.

Oh, and here is the start video, worth watching for sure (actual starts at about 30:00 into the clip): http://svtplay.se/v/2348453/vasaloppet/vasaloppet_...

Saturday Mar 5, 2011 #

Skiing 40:00 [2]

Easy skiing from the Vasaloppet start with Martin. Looks very different with all the snow and countless tracks than it did as the finish area of days 1 and 2 of O-Ringen 2008. Very windy in the start area - slow going. We climbed up to the top of the first hill and then skied back down. Skiing felt ok, but the shin hurt. Lots of people around everywhere, especially at the event center, where I picked up my number (6549) and did the name change. Afternoon was spent waxing and inhaling toxic fumes. Dinner time now - start in 13 hours.

Friday Mar 4, 2011 #

Note
(injured) (rest day)

Shin feels much better today. Less swelling but only a little painful when I walk. Should be good to go for the weekend, though I hate taking four days off in a row, especially in Uppsala, where there is not much more to do other than train.

Note

Vasaloppet is on Sunday. It is a 90km mass start classic skiing race with 15000 participants that goes from Mora to Sälen.

As far as I know, I will be starting in group 6, which will probably mean about a 20 minute delay at the start trying to get up the first hill with the massive crowds. Here are some goals I've come up with:

1) Finish and survive without breaking myself further.

2) Have fun and enjoy the experience.

3) Time goals:
a) the Australian standard (Sebba): 8:11
b) the Irish standard (Andrew): 7:40
c) the Czech standard (Bara): 7:10
d) the real Czech standard (what Bara thinks she should be able to do): 6:40
Dream goal:
e) the Swedish standard (Dan Hörnell): 6:07

4) Place goals: unsure.... top 5000 men / top 200 women?

Anyway, we are off to Sälen in an hour. Should be an adventure!

Thursday Mar 3, 2011 #

Note
(injured) (rest day)

Ok, shin significantly better today. Definitely still hurts, but I can walk and the swelling is down a bit. I think Vasaloppet is still a Go, though now my support team has gotten sick. Hm.

Wednesday Mar 2, 2011 #

Note
(injured) (rest day)

Good day today. I think I've set a personal record for number of people I've pissed off in one day. Plus, I was called a moron in a public forum. Bonus.

Tuesday Mar 1, 2011 #

Note
(injured) (rest day)

Resting the shin today. Really hurts. Ugh.

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