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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: Rosstopher

In the 31 days ending Jul 31, 2008:

activity # timemileskm+m
  biking8 11:09:00 138.0(4:51) 222.09(3:01)
  orienteering6 4:47:21 14.23 22.9 42013 /21c61%
  Road run4 3:19:51 25.7(7:47) 41.36(4:50)
  Canoe-o1 1:00:00
  Track1 52:00
  Trail run1 34:00
  Total17 21:42:12 177.93 286.35 42013 /21c61%

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Thursday Jul 31, 2008 #

biking 2:20:00 [3] 30.0 mi (4:40 / mi)

a lot of biking today. To work, from work to CSU training, from training to home. On the way home I was really thirsty so I stopped at a CVS and got a liter of chocolate milk. then I was worried that it would explode inside my pack so I had to drink the whole thing. This was fine with me :)

legs feel pretty tired... hard to spend all day on my feet and then go exercise. sometimes I day dream about quitting my job and training 100% but I'm pretty sure that would only be fun for like a week before I got bored.

orienteering 48:00 [3] *** 3.0 km (16:00 / km)

Not the best training that I've ever done. Alexei planned the course to be easy, wanting us to focus on being very clean [read: have a perfect race] and specifically to have a good plan for leaving each control before we got there.

positives first. I was able to plan my exit from each control very well, and executed each plan very well. I was also quite happy to be out in the woods, and had fun.

negatives. I was feeling very sluggish running, had a hard time pushing myself, and was sweating so much that it felt more like swimming than running. My map was disintegrating in my hand and wasn't getting a quick turnover even on downhills.

from the very start I ran 180 degrees the wrong way, partly because the map had no numbers or north arrows to orient by and partly because I just assumed the course would start the same direction as last time I was up at the Sheepfold. I realized by mistake quickly, but it was a harbinger of bad times. I was doing okay up until I was running to the 4th control, when I started running down the wrong trail, I realized it pretty quickly and corrected, but it was a frustrating kind of mistake. Next I headed off my attackpoint towards the control and couldn't find anything except a boulder which was a bit north of where I wanted to be, I kept on trying to find my feature in the green and was having a hard time getting things to match, I did eventually stumble onto it but I never ended up getting that little section of the woods to make sense. On the way to 5 I headed out of the control, crossed a field and then inexplicably somehow turned my map upside down and started running the wrong way. none of the trails were making sense, I couldn't get the junctions to match anywhere on the map ( because the map was upside down) I knew I was on a large trail, and I could hear the road nearby, but until it dawned on me that I was being an idiot I couldn't do anything.

Alexei had some interesting things to say afterwards. One thing that seems interesting to me is he said the kinds of mistakes that I made today are typical for thinking too much about attackpoints. When you rely on attackpoints overmuch you basically relinquish navigational control between the control and your attackpoint and that's when you get lost. It's better to always focus on where you are, and what you are doing. I guess that it is true that I tend towards "run hard, relocate later" school of orienteering but I hadn't thought about over-training an orienteering technique and having it cause trouble.

Anyways a pretty blah day for orienteering. This weekend is going to be much better. A few CSU folks are headed up to Patuckaway for some training. two courses saturday followed by a Night-o and then a long course on Sunday. should be stellar. people are welcome to join us for part or all of these trainings, we just don't have much (or any really) extra space in our campsite(s).

Wednesday Jul 30, 2008 #

biking 1:00:00 [3] 12.5 mi (4:48 / mi)

to work, and back with a quick stop at REI to replace my watch. The band on my old one ripped, and I had "fixed" this problem with a bent paper clip. However, no one could invent a paper clip stronger than the Swedish Swamp. When the swamp gets hungry and decides to have a snack, it's best to just go quietly with some dignity. Ashes to Ashes and swamp to swamp ... [translated] as the old Swedish proverb says.

the new watch seems okay, it's a bit funny looking, and is ostensibly a woman's version, but it was cheaper and I have very effeminate wrists anyways; hirsute, supple, very womanly.

Tuesday Jul 29, 2008 #


pasta pizza

Finally I sat down and actually made my pizza chicken carbonara. Delicious.

Chicken, Bacon, diced Cherry peppers, walnuts, cheese, and sundried tomato alfredo sauce from a bottle, all work in perfect concert with the bowtie pasta and the thin pizza crust.

biking 1:05:00 [3] 13.0 mi (5:00 / mi)

to work and home. time is estimated again. Only difference on this route is that I stopped past the library on the way to work to drop off some books-on-CD that I have had out for awhile.

I think that for all intents and purposes I'm over jet-lag, any sleepiness now is probably just my own fault for not sleeping enough. this morning I didn't get out of bed until 7:30, tomorrow I will try to do the same, but I suspect that it will be closer to 8 am and my regular schedule.

Monday Jul 28, 2008 #


perhaps foolishly, I have purchased plane tickets for the US champs. I will be arriving in Denver ~ 10:35 pm on Friday night, and I will be flying out 3:30pm on Sunday ( not ideal, but that's what you get for putting off such a decision).

jet lag is less than ideal. only thoughts of patuckaway this weekend and US champs next weekend keep my morale high.

Road run 48:00 [3] 6.0 mi (8:00 / mi)

currently I don't have a watch so the time above is an estimate. I felt quite slow, but pleased that I managed to cajole myself out of work and onto the streets. legs are good, just overall the energy levels were at basement readings.

Sunday Jul 27, 2008 #


got bumped from my flight on the way home to boston for a round trip ticket. this should make getting to US team trials next year a little more bearable.

Saturday Jul 26, 2008 #

Trail run 34:00 [3]

running with Kat, Greg, and Sam around the Uppsala compound. was convinced that Kat was trying to lead us to our doom as she blithely took turn after turn knowing that we'd have no way of returning once she managed to shake us. good to go for a run after a long travel day. Longer travel day for tomorrow though.

Wednesday Jul 16, 2008 #

orienteering 34:41 [3] *** 4.9 km (7:05 / km)

WOC spectator races- P8 open race

half the team went to the middle model map, and the rest of us headed to the spectator races to run some courses. WOC runners get to run for free in the open races, and so all we needed to do was show up at the start with our ID tag.

Sam, Hill and I ran the P8 class which is basically like open-Red in the US. There were a lot of other WOC runners too, so the competition was quite tough. The map and the terrain were gorgeous, and it was a great day to run. Apart from the 200 extra meters that we needed to run up the trail to get to the start triangle, I loved this course.

I had a mistake on control 5, where I crossed the road in a different spot, farther right than I expected, and headed up into the woods on the other side. It took me a little bit to recover my senses and swing back. I was clearly running too fast on the way to 3 and 4 to make such a silly mistake.

felt really fast and really clean for the most part.

good to see some of the other US and Canadian runners hanging out in the finish arena.

Tuesday Jul 15, 2008 #

orienteering 1:22:14 [3] 10.9 km (7:33 / km) +420m 6:20 / km

WOC Men B Qualifier Long Distance--

Great day for orienteering, felt great warming up, very happy to be racing at WOC. Started near the end of the middle start bloc which was pretty ideal for me. I had a pretty good race, had one big mistake, the kind where I really should know better, but the rest of the course I kept on the rails. Not bad for my freshman effort. I haven't really checked splits but maybe 4-5 minutes lost because I wasn't paying enough attention and running behind another runner in the woods.

first 6 controls were in a very hilly area. I was a bit off on the first control, I was reading the map well, but the other two runners that I started with had controls higher on the hill, which made me lose confidence and I had to drop a couple of contours to get to my knoll. the string of cliffs from 3-5 were tricky but I was feeling okay because I was spiking the controls even if contouring around the hills seemed slow. the 9th control was my big mistake, I left the control at the same time as a Finnish woman, and I was running hard to keep with her through the slash. when I got to her control (#59) I was well aware that it wasn't mine and that I was too far to the right. I started running off to my left, and forced myself to bail out to the big field, and come back in again. I lost a bunch of time by not running straight and then trying to relocate off some of the rides as I was bailing to the field. My route to 10 was also kinda crappy ( down 2 minutes though fairly well executed) I should have swung left below the green. The rest of the course was really quite good for me. Not as fast as the elite runners passing me in the forest, but I have no trouble letting Mattias Merz run away from me, he's pretty much a god. The last loop 16-20 were really tricky and i was happy that I didn't have any big mistakes, a bit off on 20. The finish chute seemed long and I was just happy to be done.

Afterwards my legs still felt great, I was pretty happy ( except control 9) and proud of some of the other results that my fellow athletes posted.

Friday Jul 11, 2008 #

orienteering 1:00:00 [3]

Training in Relay and Middle relevant terrain in Nemcice. Sandra had planned forked relay loops and Joe and Leif went out to hang streamer tape at the control locations. For the warm up Sandra marked out a series of 8 control locations from the car parking to the start of the orienteering training. Eddie and I did these warm up controls by alternating leading between each one.

My first time on the maps out here, and I initially was getting easily confused by the contours. started to feel more confident as we were out there more. The woods today were pretty awesome, pretty clear and with high visibility. They tell me that these are the best woods so far. The relay loops were also fun. I started at the same time as Clem and Eddie, and was within sight of Clem for most of the 2 k loop. we drifted left on the first control, and then I was too far right on the 2nd. I hope the orienteering flags will be easier to see than tiny blue streamer tape :) Clem had a hard time finding the tapes at 4, so I passed him there but then I missed the tapes at 5 and he got ahead and stayed ahead.

the second loop was just Clem and I, and again we were together most of the way. I had the shorter ( just a little) forking so I had the advantage coming into the finish :) and even though I had some trouble finding the last pit I was able to stay in front of him this time.

A hot sweaty day. Very good to be orienteering with friends in pretty woods.

Thursday Jul 10, 2008 #


The brautigams managed to pack all of the luggage into their tiny car and the six of us arrived at the event center without too much hassle. I feel much closer with the team already, especially Clem and Viktoria with whom I shared the backseat.

unpacking and dinner in the food court, AOWN saw some canadians also eating in the food court. Then a team meeting and time for bed.

Wednesday Jul 9, 2008 #

orienteering 24:26 [3] 4.1 km (5:58 / km)

CSU training, Menotomy rocks - set by Ian Smith. apart from me showing up 30 minutes late this was an ideal training. lots of points, so criss-crossing all over the map. Brendan cheered me on like six separate occasions in the forest. I was in sneakers which made some of the climb a bit more challenging.

after the sprint, there was a lot of chatting to be done, and a quick cool-down run with Alex, Alexei and Brendan to the water fountain and around the trails. Then Alex waded into the lake and it looked too good to refuse.


Travel day- met Clem at the Airport no problems with security. Someone drove a staircar into the side of our plane and that delayed us for 30 mins or so until everything was cleared and checked for possible disaster status.

short stop in Munich before we continued on to Vienna. Pavi and her friend met us at the airport and then it was off to Czech republic.

Tuesday Jul 8, 2008 #

biking 1:50:00 [3] 21.5 mi (5:07 / mi)

biking to work, biking from work to CSU training ( already behind schedule), biking from watertown square where Alex dropped me off (thanks Alex) to the Arsenal mall, and then from the mall home.

wore pants on the way home, because I didn't want to change after shopping at old navy and radio shack. Man is it way to hot to bike in Carhartts!

Monday Jul 7, 2008 #

biking 58:00 [3] 12.0 mi (4:50 / mi)

Sigh, super busy today at work, so the track workout just wasn't in the cards. maybe I should be thinking about tapering anyway. There really isn't enough time to finish all the stuff I want to get done at work before I leave.... then there is the question of whether I will finish all the stuff that my boss(es) want me to finish before I leave :) ha.

anyway, the lights flip off in the mouse facility at just past 7, which cut short my evening of work, and then I hit up my bike at about 8:30 arriving home at 9pm. I got passed by another biker while I waited at a red light. This other guy was going slower than I was, but was running red lights so I wasn't able to get back ahead of him until cleveland circle. Then he stayed right behind me for awhile ( couple of feet), which was incentive enough for me to really work on the hill so that I could drop him.

Starting to pack. I leave on Wednesday.l

Sunday Jul 6, 2008 #

Road run 48:51 [3] 6.5 mi (7:31 / mi)

Went to a party at a co-workers house on the T, but stayed well past when the T stops running. Of course, I never stop running ( wow, that metaphor alone is enough to knock my socks off) so after the party I just ran home. I had my shuffle for company and it was quite nice. Roads were pleasantly empty, temperature was pleasantly cool, and ross was pleasantly inebriated at 3 am this morning.

Canoe-o 1:00:00 [3]

Spent 3 hours out on the Charles River in rented Canoes this afternoon. It was a friend's birthday so we had a picnic with strawberries, cherries, beer bread and whipped cream chocolate wafer cake. then we paddled up the river a ways, past the Weston golf course/ski track before working our way back to the rental place.

I have forgotten how to effectively J-stroke but I remember how much fun it is to spend all afternoon on the river :)

Saturday Jul 5, 2008 #

Road run 51:00 [3] 7.2 mi (7:05 / mi)

Run around town. I was feeling lazy, but forced myself to go for a run. My left foot had been hurting a little bit since just about dinner time last night, and for the first 5 minutes of today's run it was sore still. But then it disappeared and it felt great. started out at a pretty relaxed pace but by the end I was pushing a bit harder because it felt so very good to be running. I guess the endorphins kicked in. I tagged on a lap of crystal lake at the end to make the run a bit longer.

Friday Jul 4, 2008 #

Track 52:00 [3]

Track workout with Hill and Jeff. drove to dedham and jogged over to the track talking about the Juniors over in Sweden and the Masters over in Portugal and the upcoming WOC.... lots of orienteering related stuff to discuss...

my plan was 8 x 400 with 2 mins rest between. Jeff had sent this article earlier this week and so I'm feeling inspired to really work on these 400s but will try to work my way up to this level. I think that I'm probably giving myself too much rest between each 400.

anyways, splits were:

1) 69
2) 70
3) 68
4) 70
5) 69
6) 71
7) 71
8) 67

Jeff cheered me on from the 200 and 300 mark on the last one, which helped a whole lot. I think my legs are strong and that mentally I need to push a bit harder. I think I can run these a bit faster, but it's been sort of a long week for me already and not a really typical time of day for me to run. I think I'd like to get one more set of 400s in before flying out next week. Monday I guess.

Thursday Jul 3, 2008 #

biking 58:00 [3] 12.0 mi (4:50 / mi)

biking to work and home. The home version was harder because I ate an exceedingly large quantity of food at dinner. I was hungry when I ordered, but then all the other people at dinner couldn't finish their meals either, so I ate their food and most of my food, and still had a whole order of chicken wings that I brought home with me.

I weighed myself after work just because I was curious, 152 lb and then again after dinner on the same scale 154 lb. that's a successful meal in my estimation :)

Road run 52:00 [3] 6.0 mi (8:40 / mi)

Running with Jared from work. headed south from the Joslin along the famed emerald necklace, and did a couple laps of jamaica pond, before heading back home. got caught by the storm in the last 5 minutes. a fun run, with a lot of talking going on. good way to end the work week.

Wednesday Jul 2, 2008 #

biking 58:00 [3] 12.0 mi (4:50 / mi)

To and Fro. legs feel kinda heavy today, probably an indication that I need to sleep more. body can't recover unless I get a few more z's every night.

The disappointing part of the day was that Wall-e was sold out before we could get tickets. We settled on seeing Iron Man instead. I will likely need to wait until after WOC and Oringen to see Wall-e now. I'm not generally a patient man, sigh.

On the plus side chicken sandwiches were half price at the restaurant where I had dinner ( made it easy to rationalize eating two) and the positive peer pressure is already working! instead of taking the T home ( which would have been convenient for a sleepy ross) I hopped off at Longwood to get my bike for the commute home. roads are pleasantly empty at 11pm.

Tuesday Jul 1, 2008 #

biking 2:00:00 [3] 25.0 mi (4:48 / mi)

Biking in to work (6) --- late late late, not getting to sleep early enough these nights. makes waking up in time hard. luckily it doesn't really matter when I get in to work... honestly no one cares as long as I'm there by about 10ish and get enough done.

Then biking from work to CSU training at Pine Hill (7) --- brought a tail-light today having read in Brendan's log about the bike cops

Finally biking home to Newton (12) --- knew sort of how I wanted to go... got lost though. I wanted to take common st down to watertown, but the map shows common street and not the names of Leonard and Concord streets the two streets that connect from 60 to common st. I remembered that something was funny with this intersection, but messed it up anyways. enjoyed exploring Watertown on the way home, will need to go back and check out the charles river swimming pool in watertown, I saw a sign and was intrigued

orienteering 38:00 [3]

CSU training-- Pine Hill-- Line o set by Brendan. Best turnout so far I think!

Brendan, Sanne, Matt, Peter, Ian, Alexei, Lori, Dave, Alex, Audrun, Ross, and 3 adventure racers. Line o was set in a really enjoyable way, such that there were sections of trail where one could stretch out and run, and sections of trickier navigation where you had to stay on the line or risk missing one of the streamers Brendan had hung out in the woods. 13 streamers in total, I actually only saw 11 of them. I missed one at a trail junction that I'm sure I ran through and one in a reentrant near the end when it was getting dark, I coulda been off line on that one, but not by very much.

I guess I don't hate line-o as much as I remember loathing it

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