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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: wilsmith

In the 7 days ending Aug 27, 2006:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Running5 3:17:00
  Orienteering2 2:39:22 12.32(12:56) 19.83(8:02) 63058 /73c79%
  Total5 5:56:22 12.32 19.83 63058 /73c79%
averages - sleep:4.8

» now

Sunday Aug 27, 2006 #

Orienteering race 1:35:34 [4] *** 11.77 km (8:07 / km) +305m 7:11 / km
spiked:26/30c slept:6.0

COC Classic.

Again, an improvement compared to the low water mark of the middle distance.

To be sure, it was not without its problems again. Once more, the start was delayed, this time by an hour. How can we manage to screw up the scheduling twice in a row? Did we not learn anything from yesterday? Could it be possible that controls on the advanced courses were still being set on race day?

There were map issues as well, though nothing nearly as bad as the middle. Something definitely incorrect at our #9 control (several top navigators, including both Ted de St Croix and Katta, reported missing time there) - missed a minute maybe? The "yellow" areas en route to numbers 12, 15, 17, 18, and 20 were all very, very rough in spots, and quite inconsistent it seemed. Other people have noted elsewhere that it might have been a disadvantage to start early due to this. Well, I started about 70% into the field and I didn't encounter any elephant track either, so I don't think there was as much of an advantage for the last starters as suspected.

Two significant control mis-descriptions - notably the first control was on the northern end of a fence, not a cliff. And the 12th control was in a re-entrant, not on a spur (interestingly, same issue as #12 in the middle...).

Before the race, Mike S and I discussed whether we would carry water with us. We decided we wouldn't trust the organizers to have water out in adequate quantities at appropriate intervals, and carried our own with us. It was a good move, as it turns out - of the 3 water stops, only the second had water when I came through. The first was a dubious-looking "fountain" on the edge of a marsh/pond - several runners elected not to drink here. And the third was out of water when I passed. This probably affected some of the guys who hit the wall in this race.

Anyway, I carried on and had a usual "steady" race. Miss at #9, another at #11, and lost some time sorting out the extra unmapped cliffs at #19. No huge blow-outs though.

Annoyingly, the control descriptions covered up what I would have considered to be an optimal route to the last control and I had some problems on this leg too. Katta's map showed the area and it contained an open area and a nice trail - I'd have gone that way if I had known. The is no reason to cover an optimal route choice with control descriptions - they could have been placed differently onto the map (in two columns) so that we could see the optimal routes!

Will be interesting to see the splits to see where I dropped out of 2nd place - I was about 35 seconds behind Brent, for the bronze. Surprised at how the other guys died, but I guess the lack of water was important. And nice to know that my fitness is up there with the rest of them, even on the longer races - couldn't say that last year!

Running warm up/down 25:00 [1]

For the above...

Saturday Aug 26, 2006 #

Orienteering race 47:48 [4] *** 5.21 km (9:10 / km) +230m 7:31 / km
spiked:13/22c slept:6.0

Sigh. Where to even begin to comment about this....???

In my mind, this was categorically NOT a championship race - how in the heck could we, in good conscience, contemplate handing out medals based on this competition? The race was rife with problems, right from the get-go, and clearly the effects of the problems A) were of significant proportion to distort the final results of the race, and B) were clearly unequal for all athletes participating, through no fault of their own - given the map and control placement, it was not possible to cleanly locate all the controls.

Whatever. Call yourself a medallist in the short distance if you want, but there will always be an asterix beside the result in my mind.

As described elsewhere, the race was a disaster, a fiasco, or one of many other descriptors. The start was delayed, initially by 30 minutes, then by an hour. And then it was delayed by a further hour (though I had no way of knowing this, since I was stuck in the car with Mia, given the inaccessibility of the start/finish areas for easy spectating). Katta had to move up her start to "0" and go without any warmup, just to make it back in time to feed a hungry and screaming baby. And even then I barely made it to my own start, despite running hard from the parking area.

On the way to the first control already it was clear that the map was going to be very dodgy at best. There was one large unmarked re-entrant (and a couple of other smaller ones that would also have been marked by all but the most careless of mappers) - I initially thought they might have drawn the start triangle in the wrong area, as I had just left the start and the terrain matched the map so poorly....

The white/green in the beginning of the course was not correct (what season was this map rechecked, if ever?), and there were clear errors in the contours on the way to #4. I lost no time there, but Katta lost 2+ minutes because of this (she's used to accurate maps, and dealing with a map with this "accuracy" is not something that is routinely practiced by the Swedish national team, for some strange reason). Control #7 was clearly not hung in the right spot and wasn't even in the circle - leading to a further mistake on #8 since the "small" reentrants mapped along the way are actually larger than mapped and our starting point was well off. Number 9 also a bit dodgy mapping, and then the area on the way to #11 definitely did not appear as mapped - certainly did not have 2 small hills as mapped, with a shallow re-entrant. Number 12 was also mis-hung, as the description and control circle indicated the top of a spur but the flag was in the reentrant beside it.....

You get the picture. By this time all interest in racing in such a farce was gone. Call me a prima donna if you like, but if the map is crap AND the controls are mis-hung, well, is it really a championship event?

Glaring mapping omissions around #15 (advertised as a subtle reentrant in a yellowish area, which in reality contained not only another mappable reentrant but also several distinct copses) iced the cake for me and it was time to go home. Of course I finished the race as per my standing policy of never DNF/DSQ in a race I started intending to finish, but this one was over long before the finish. There were allegedly other mis-hung controls that I simply didn't notice because I stumbled onto the control and punched without incident....

I had briefly considered protesting the race, and maybe someone should have.

Pretty sad, folks.

In retrospect it would have been better to skip this race entirely and save a bit more energy for the sprint later in the day and the classic the following day....

Running warm up/down 35:00 [3]

For the above....

Orienteering race 16:00 [5] *** 2.85 km (5:37 / km) +95m 4:49 / km

COC Sprint.

This one can more closely be referred to as a championship race.

Brilliant course, map was quite good (no issues that I noticed with respect to field checking). Probably the print quality of the trails in the ISSOM symbology was a bit lacking (either the symbol came out too thin or unclear) - this is common in forest sprints, as demonstrated in discussions about the WOC2005 sprint map elsewhere.

Anyway, it was fun to race.

Start delayed by 90 minutes or so, but expected due to the late finish of the middle distance.

Unfortunately, there were SI problems - not all units were activated at the beginning of the race, but were for the later starters - definitely unfair. And not being able to generate a results list (it's already 3 days later and still no results up) is a bit of a problem.

With the splits provided, however, you could tell who was ahead of whom since the printout included a listing of your actual time plus some sort of constant (about 5 hours and 10 minutes).

My own race was decent, solid. Small losses on #3 and #14, plus small route choice loss on #9. Caught and passed both Will Hawkins and Brian Graham, and finished hard.

Based on the splits, Mike S beat me by about 30 sec, and Brent was about 15 seconds ahead of me. John F was somewhere in and around Mike's time. I didn't get to compare splits with the other guys, but it should be possible for the organizers to un-f$%k the results enough to post something soon.

However, infinitely more enjoyable than the middle distance. And kudos to Nick Duca for setting a great race.

Running warm up/down 26:00 [3]

For the above...

Friday Aug 25, 2006 #

Running 35:00 [2]

Travel day (North Bay - Toronto).

Easy little run to keep the blood flowing.

Thursday Aug 24, 2006 #

Running 31:00 [3]

Out scouting a possible route for a terrain test loop. Really a running test loop, since it doesn't actually go off-trail. Looking to include as much climb as possible (this is a very flat area), and minimize paved surface running (not only to avoid injury, but also because a cursory examination of orienteering races over the past few years suggests very little running on paved surfaces is involved - even in sprints if you look at a large cross-section of courses and average them out).

The loop I ran today looks to be in the 30-min range at steady pace, so I guess I'll be shooting for mid-20's in a "race". Holger could do it in around 20, perhaps?

Terrible sleep preparation prior to COCs, but that's how the cookie crumbles. Would that I could only work exactly when and how I want to, and turn the pager off at night.... Still, this is a great job and I did manage to take 5 weeks off this summer, plus a couple of other 1-2 week blocks earlier in the year, plus at least 2 more 1+ week periods coming up. So I probably shouldn't quibble about a few hours of sleep anyway.

Wednesday Aug 23, 2006 #

slept:4.0 (rest day)

Unplanned rest day - stuck in the ER for just a bit too long, and only got home after midnight.

I did get home briefly in the afternoon but took care of Mia while Katta went for a run. The plan was that I would run next, but of course the pager came to life again and that was that. At least Katta got most of her run in.

She seems to be feeling well enough to give it a go this weekend at the COCs. Definitely not as fast as pre-Mia, but she's probably got the most sharp and consistent technical skills of anyone in the race, and that should count for a lot.

Tuesday Aug 22, 2006 #

Running intervals 12:00 [4]

A little bit of speedwork - just some shorter (<400m) intervals to get the legs moving. Even considered going for longer run again later, but with the COCs this weekend and 3 races in 2 days, the sensible thing was to be conservative instead.

Running 33:00 [2]

Warm up and cool down and just plain old running, related to the above.

Monday Aug 21, 2006 #

slept:2.0 (rest day)

Unplanned rest day. Oh, the hopes I held for running outdoors today. All went by the wayside after a bad night in the ER, after a patient needed to be flown south for a vascular emergency jammed the department for some time, plus an 0500 call-in for abdominal pain.

Anyway, all turned out well enough in the end. But rest seemed better than training today. I can function on just a few hours per night for short stretches of time, but with races this weekend it would be suboptimal to burn the candle at both ends just now....

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