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Training Log Archive: iansmith

In the 7 days ending May 10, 2009:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Orienteering2 2:09:13 8.51(15:11) 13.7(9:26) 30523c
  Running2 1:16:34 8.64(8:52) 13.9(5:31) 240
  Total3 3:25:47 17.15(12:00) 27.6(7:27) 54523c

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Sunday May 10, 2009 #

Event: Billygoat

Orienteering 1:48:08 [3] *** 10.8 km (10:01 / km) +305m 8:46 / km
23c shoes: 200811 NB MT800

Billygoat. Commentary and analysis to come.

I finished 24th out of the 78 who finished in under the 3.5 hour limit. The winning time (essentially all by Erik Nystrom, Will Hawkins, and Jon Torrance) was 80:19, which puts my run at around 75 points. While I am not displeased, I am disappointed that I did not have a better run; twenty fourth is not acceptable, even given the competitiveness of the field.

Positive observations: I was able to hold a steady though hardly aggressive pace throughout the run without assistance from energy gels or food. I have benefited from energy gels on all my previous long races (Blue Hills Traverse, any A-meet Long). I navigated essentially alone for most of the race (6-10, 13 to the end); while my plan was to shamelessly follow the Saegers the entire way, I'm pleased that I was able to navigate without major difficulties.

I was reading ahead on the way to 1 and 2; I followed Alexei to 1 and Joe Brautigam (who was following Will) to 2. I started reading en route to 3, and elected to run to the left of the marsh en route to 4. While running to 4, I was passed by Sergei Zhyk, Eric Nystrom, and Clem McGrath; I stuck with Clem to four, but lost him immediately afterwards. I decided not to actively try to stay with any of them. I didn't actually notice the fork, so I ran to the right control 5 through relatively unpleasant and impenetrable vegetation before the trail; Andrew Childs passed me in the vegetation just after the stream.

I traveled solo to 6 to the north of the swamp. In hindsight, traveling south of the swamp was a better route. I heard the Saegers leaving 6 as I approached, and though I frantically tried to punch and catch them, I didn't catch sight of them again. I had elected to skip 7 en route to 4, so I booked it to 8 alone. My plan to get to 9 was to go due south and hit the small trail, follow it to the road, and so on, but I had difficulty finding the trail. I probably lost a full minute meandering through vegetation with poor contact, though it was a safe route sticking to my compass.

Andrew Childs and Nate Lyons caught me on the way to eleven, and I followed them (also with David Onkst, I think) to 12, where I ran into Clem (who seemed surprised to see me). I set out from 12 before Clem did, and I failed to see him again - I'm curious how he got to 13 without me seeing him at all. I took what I considered a good, though somewhat unplanned route to 13; I went south of the northern uncrossable swamp, south of the long marsh, connected to the trail, then cut northeast until I linked up with the trail that hit the eastern edge of the rough open. I caught up to Andrew Childs on the trail, and moved parallel and behind him to 13 and 14. It was clear he was skipping 15, so I moved almost due north up the reentrant to 15.

I ran into Tim Parson and David Onkst at the powerlines on my way to 15. I led the way to 16 and 17, fell back on the way to 18, and led again to 19. I made another (:30) mistake to 20, and Tim Parson seized the opportunity to break away. I led to 21 (on which both David and I made a mistake) and 22. My instinct was to sprint to the end (and I may have been able to catch Audun, whom I saw while I was coming to 23), but I decided to wait for David to finish together, though he encouraged me to sprint to the finish at the go control.


A group of orienteers went to see Star Trek at Boston Common Sunday night; our discussion afterward flitted among a wide range of subjects, and we witnessed the clutch conclusion to game 4 of the Celtics-Magic series. Our efforts to persuade Jon Torrance to become a lifetime member of CSU were unsuccessful.

On Star Trek,

Thursday May 7, 2009 #

Running 44:27 [2] 8.5 km (5:14 / km)
shoes: 200811 NB Absorb EX 12

A late night run with Brendan after the CSU A-meet review meeting near Tufts. The distance is a guess based on 5:15/km; I wasn't paying enough attention to our route to measure it on the gmaps pedometer.

We talked a lot about future plans for CSU including the annual meeting, C-meets in the fall, parks to consider remapping, ways to generate/use income, and NOT purchasing a set of e-punch boxes. Hopefully we'll run more often together; it's refreshing to have a training partner.

Friday is V-E Day; woot. I was planning on having a long run tomorrow, but I already had a 75 minute run on Sunday, and my actions Friday can at best not hurt me on the Billygoat. More precisely, there is no immediate training benefit to a long run tomorrow. Brendan and I also discussed Billygoat strategy: I'm debating attaching myself to Ian Finlayson's posse or Peter Gagarin's posse. I'm not terribly familiar with the segment of the field that I can feasibly follow.

Tuesday May 5, 2009 #

Orienteering 21:05 [4] 2.9 km (7:16 / km)
shoes: 200811 NB Absorb EX 12

Pia Kivisakk's Peter's Hill Park-O at the Arnold Arboretum. I had a good race, except for my MP of the first control. I checked the code (as I always do), and noted that the '27' seemed incongruous, when usually the codes for Park-Os are the index of the control. The control (which was for the beginner course) was about 30 meters short of mine, on a cliff instead of a knoll. I blame my poor decision making on not being in the right mindset for the race. In any case, I noted the probably incorrect code, punched, and cheerfully went on my way.

Ross had a time of around 18 minutes; Clem, Brendan, and Sam were in the 20 range. I lost about a minute physically grabbing the punch and punching my map, and probably 1-2 minutes planning routes slowly at the control. Sprints are my relative forte, and I'm hopeful the next few Park-Os will bear that out.

I encountered Michael Commons twice, the first time, I was flying down a hill to control 2, but on the second, I was moving on a trail passing him going in the opposite direction, so I couldn't perfectly dodge his impulse to socialize. If I remember correctly, he said something relatively nonsensical, like "here you are again;" I surprisingly placated him by bending my right wrist in a rough approximation of a wave before we passed.

Running (Hills) 32:07 5.4 km (5:57 / km) +240m 4:52 / km
shoes: 200811 NB Absorb EX 12

After the Park-O, Clem invited Brendan and me to join him running hill intervals up Peter's Hill. The path we chose was about 175 meters long with about 30 meters of climb. I ran the first three intervals as goat and ran way too hard; I dropped back after that and was seriously considering quitting after the fifth. Brendan passed me on the fifth hill and kept encouraging me to keep going, which was helpful. Also at Brendan's suggestion, we had a long (500 meter) recovery on a paved trail with a steady grade, which also kept me going - it was much easier to decide to run another hill after that three minute cooldown.

Times (up/rest):
52.2 / 2:21.3
1:02.7 / 2:37.5
59.8 / 2:41.0
1:11.0 / 2:41.8
1:12.2 / 3:19.8
1:16.6 / 2:44.6
1:22.2 / 3:00.5
1:15.6 / 3:28.1

I guess the biggest lesson is to run what feels to be ludicrously conservative at the start of long sessions (e.g. the Billygoat, or really any non-sprint course). I have the same problem running mile time trials. I speculate that I have a relatively high proportion of fast twitch muscles relative to most orienteers (that could be completely bogus); alternatively, I just really suck at pacing.

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