Register | Login
Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: Cristina

In the 31 days ending Jan 31, 2010:

activity # timemileskm+mload
  Orienteering37 27:49:20 50.45 81.19 84726 /455c5%3610.3
  Running16 3:43:00 3.95 6.36267.0
  Running drills/jumps/plyos2 40:00120.0
  Strength/Core3 40:00100.0
  XC Skiing2 37:0037.0
  Stretching/Yoga2 30:0030.0
  Climbing1 20:0020.0
  Total41 34:19:20 54.4 87.55 84726 /455c5%4184.3
averages - sleep:6.5

» now

Sunday Jan 31, 2010 #


31 Day Challenge Summary

I did it! Yay!

What a cool month. According to my records, I ran (or skied) 37 distinct orienteering sessions for a total of over 27 hours of orienteering. I found approximately 454 controls, either real or map only, and used 21 different maps.

Five of the sessions were in Massachusetts and involved snow, and two of those involved skiing. Two maps were actually aerials from Google Maps and one was a street map with a line drawn on it. One was a ski trails map and one was the map of my front yard in Sudbury. The rest were real O maps, 10 in Tucson, 3 in MA, 2 in California, and 1 in Phoenix. I wore a headlamp for two sessions. I was attacked by a dog once.

I learned a few things. For one, getting on a map every day was easier than I thought it would be. Not easy, but I didn't have to go crazy. Of course, it helped tremendously that for two weeks I had orienteering guests in my house and I took leave from work... But the rest of the time I was generally able to get in some productive sessions around town despite work. I also feel that getting in map time each day gave me better "map feel", as Spike says. I believe that a little bit of O frequently is better than a lot every once in a while.

I learned a little more about the O maps in Tucson, as some of them I'd only been to once or twice, and for a few of those it's been years. I don't anticipate trying to run with a map every single day in February, but I do anticipate doing more than I had been. I also learned that a month is a good period of time for motivating myself. A year is too long and a week is too short.

So, what about a 28 day challenge of some sort for February? My initial thought, and I will try this out, is to change gears and go all of February without drinking any diet drinks (eg, ddp, crystal light, etc). Since I rarely drink calories in liquid form this means basically just drinking water. I don't think this will be all that hard (I like water), and certainly a lot easier than the 31 Day Challenge. Therefore, I need to add an additional task, something more difficult and O related: I will complete at least one course per day on Catching Features. I know, playing a video game every day sounds pretty rough, but hopefully I can handle it. Actually, I think it will be challenging, but that's part of the fun!
10 AM

Running warm up/down (trail) 10:00 [1]
shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

On the AZ trail before tackling the course.

Orienteering 1:33:45 intensity: (8:36 @1) + (1:19:22 @2) + (5:47 @3) **** 8.33 km (11:15 / km)
ahr:161 max:181 8c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

31 Day Challenge - Day 31!

A group of us went to Chimney Rock to run this training course that Max set for the training camp.

I felt fairly peppy and alert before I started, though of course my legs were a bit tired from yesterday. After about 4 controls I had a mental meltdown and it was really just a disaster. Not that the first 4 were great, but after that I really just couldn't concentrate on the map. I'd stare at it and then look up and realize that I hadn't actually read anything. I bungled and hacked my way through the 8th controls, then bailed in the vicinity of 9 to run the road back to the car.

I'm clearly not strong enough yet to do a workout like yesterday's and then expect to be able to orienteer well the next day. That's something I specifically want to work on this year, having the capacity to orienteer/race well on consecutive days. I will purge the weakness.

The last 17 minutes are for the "run" back towards the car. My shuffling was probably comical to those who passed. I was so very relieved to run into Melissa, who was walking back along the road, because that meant that I could walk and have good company.

This is my first use of the special garmin upload thing, which I think is great. It means, however, that I need to use Firefox instead of Chrome when I log things. :-(


Saturday Jan 30, 2010 #


11 AM

Orienteering long 1:46:00 [2] *** 13.2 km (8:02 / km) +565m 6:37 / km
30c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

31 Day Challenge - Day 30

Drew a hilly line to run at Box Canyon. Map. Very good energy today, felt strong all the way through to the end. Of course, I took it easy, and was often very slow going up, as I seem to have a fondness for drawing lines on steep hills. Also sometimes slow going down, because of the rocky ground. But it was a nice terrain run and not boring since I had a line to worry about.

Melissa and I followed this with a visit to the Velvet Elvis Pizza Company in Patagonia, which I've been meaning to do for a long time. It was very tasty. There was an 18:1 Guadalupe:Elvis ratio in the decor.
10 PM

Stretching/Yoga 15:00 [1]

Friday Jan 29, 2010 #

6 PM

Orienteering 30:50 [3] *** 3.6 km (8:34 / km)
ahr:160 max:183 27c shoes: DJ (Asics 2130)

31 Day Challenge - Day 29

At work much longer than planned, so I almost ran out of daylight. Hopped over to U of A to run the course Boris drew last week, only backwards and with enough light that I could read the map without having my cheap headlamp bouncing off of my head. :-)

I parked in the first place I saw, which happened to be a 20 minute "loading only" spot with a serious tow threat. I started from the closest control and ran backwards (running forwards), finally running out of usable light at about the same time as I began to worry about my car. I've always wanted to run through a building in a sprint, so I did. Saved a bit of time. Teehee. Car not towed.

My thigh wound hurts when I run, but whatever. It's just a flesh wound.


Thursday Jan 28, 2010 #


Three days left on the 31 Day Challenge. I didn't really think I could do it, but now that I'm so close I feel like I do when all you have left on a course is a trivial Go control and the run-in. Smooth sailing. Three more maps sessions, with Sat and Sun already planned:

Sat: long hilly map run on a Rt 83 map, probably Box Canyon. Anyone want to design a vicious hill route for me?

Sun: a bunch of us are going up to Chimney Rock to run the training camp course from last Friday that was more or less stormed-out.

All that leaves is to plan something for tomorrow. Has to be after work, but I'm not sure what I'll do yet. It'll probably be something quite boring, like picking up the streamers from the track-o... but I'll take suggestions for something more interesting. :-)
5 PM

Running warm up/down (trail) 22:30 [1]
shoes: Paul (inov8 Mudclaw 270)

~13 min warmup, ~9:30 warm down.

Orienteering tempo 27:30 [3] *** 3.6 km (7:38 / km)
17c slept:5.0 shoes: Paul (inov8 Mudclaw 270)

31 Day Challenge - Day 28

Poor sleep last night after flying. The rain (yes, it's raining again! one of the wettest Januaries ever!) woke me up early. I ran after work at Greasewood Park on a course I drew for myself using the permanent markers. Ran hard. No compass. A few goofs resulting from leaving the control at too rough a direction.

More energy today. In fact, feeling pretty good. But I had a few booboos. I hurt my thumb (pushed it back further than it's meant to, heard a pop, hurt like heck) at work while setting up a giant tent. Then, while orienteering, I tripped on a rock while running quite hard and face planted. Opened a gash in my other hand, landed funny on the thumb I'd already hurt, and did something unknown to my left thigh (I can feel the swelling but haven't taken off my pants yet to investigate...). And I kicked a cactus and got needles stuck in my toes, but that's just normal for out here. I'm glad I am feeling more peppy, otherwise this would probably make me grumpy.


Wednesday Jan 27, 2010 #

9 AM

Running warm up/down (trail) 17:00 [1] *
ahr:153 max:173 shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

Orienteering 43:00 [2] ***
ahr:165 max:184 9c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

31 Day Challenge - Day 27

More energy than yesterday, but not enough. I had a good plan to do some uphill runs/downhill O intervals at Catalina, but I am not as clever as I thought. Also, lots of water flowing put kinks in my plan. This place is a bit scruffy for intervals, and I didn't pick features that were as obvious as I thought I had...


Tuesday Jan 26, 2010 #


Time to take it a bit easier for a few days.
Aha! I realized a potential explanation for my perplexing level of fatigue: I got the H1N1 flu shot yesterday. That might not be it, but it's something.
8 AM

Orienteering 26:00 [1] **
9c shoes: Needs a name (2140)

31 Day Challenge - Day 26

I set a simple course for myself at Lincoln Park for a pre-work outing. Very easy run, mostly on trails. Could hardly have trotted more slowly, but neither did I feel that I could move much faster. Legs are a bit dead.


Monday Jan 25, 2010 #

3 PM

Strength/Core 10:00 [2]
shoes: Needs a name (2140)

Squadron PT calisthenics/strength.

Running warm up/down (road) 15:00 [1] 1.55 mi (9:40 / mi)
shoes: Needs a name (2140)

A lap around the twisty track to warm up for the running drills and plyos.

Running drills/jumps/plyos 15:00 [3]
shoes: Needs a name (2140)

Running drills followed by what I hope was a moderate amount of jumping.

Stretching/Yoga 15:00 [1]

6 PM

Orienteering 50:00 [1] * 4.0 mi (12:30 / mi)
shoes: Needs a name (2140)

31 Day Challenge - Day 25

Like several other of my Mon/Fri sessions, this one is really Psued-O. Melissa and I went to the Meet Me at Maynards run downtown, and I ran with the map, ignoring the street names and keeping us on course. They've changed the route since the last time we ran, so I did actually have to do some navigating. I'd call this an urban line-o.

Sunday Jan 24, 2010 #

12 AM


Two race reports so far from last night's Team fundraiser Chase the Sun Trail Run:


Sounds like they really had fun (that's also what it seemed like at the race :-) and that we should totally do it again.

And now, the blog post.
10 AM

Running warm up/down 5:00 [1]
shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

Orienteering race 1:00:01 [3] *** 6.4 km (9:23 / km)
16c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

31 Day Challenge - Day 24

Ironwood 2-day - Day 2 Red.

A sloppy day. Physical fatigue ---> mental fatigue ---> loss of concentration ---> sloppy orienteering. There are two ways to combat this: 1) get stronger physically and be well rested before the times when it really matters, and b) recognize the fatigue and learn to change the strategy when I need to.

The course today took us through the flat stuff like yesterday's course, then a bit through the rocky hills, then again in the flat stuff. That meant that you had to change gears twice. I failed. All it would take, I think, is to take a few breaths, look at the leg and what it requires (rather than "just go straight"), and then go. Not so hard to do, just have to do it. The last section I managed to change appropriately, but by that point I had turned off my brain. I consider myself lucky to have made it through the last loop without any "oh shit, where am I?" moments.

I also had more cholla run-ins than ever before on an orienteering course. In fact, I think I was cholla'd more times today than on all previous orienteering courses combined. I lost count. It was awesome.

Despite all this, I did have fun. Today's course was a nice change from yesterday, and I really like how Leif mixed up the flat stuff and the hills.

Saturday Jan 23, 2010 #

10 AM

Running warm up/down 10:00 [1]
shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

Orienteering 1:04:49 [3] *** 7.7 km (8:25 / km)
ahr:170 max:187 15c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

31 Day Challenge - Day 23

Ironwood 2-Day, Day 1.

Good mental warmup, focus on concentration. A good start, high concentration from the get-go, and solid for most of the course. Biggest lapse at 6 where I kept track of where I was, expected the trail next, never saw it, and ran much further than I should have allowed myself to do. I had a few smaller missteps, but a good run overall.

4 PM


In the afternoon we hosted the first annual Chase the Sun Trail Run. Same place as the O, so the logistics were simple. Also, we only had 13 runners (including Valerie) so it was hardly a madhouse. It was, however, a success, in that everyone seemed to enjoy themselves very much, and we earned a little cash for the team.

Friday Jan 22, 2010 #

4 PM

Orienteering 15:00 [1] ***
1c (rest day) shoes: Luke (inov8 Terroc 308)

31 Day Challenge - Day 22

Perhaps against better judgement we made the drive up Redington Road and out to Chimney Rock. Max had set a course out there for day/night use, but the storm ("the worst in 17 years") scared away most people and caused Max to nix the night portion. A good call, as you wouldn't want to get stuck on that map in the sleet/snow and then find yourself stuck on the road behind a flooded wash trying to get back into Tucson...

Went out with Melissa, Boris, and Kat for a very easy walk on the map. A rest day and a chance to see some neat rocks. Didn't get as far as Chimney Rock, though.

Thursday Jan 21, 2010 #

9 AM

Orienteering 1:27:36 intensity: (17:36 @1) + (30:00 @2) + (25:00 @3) + (15:00 @4) ***
16c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

31 Day Challenge - Day 21

Otervalls at Catalina State Park, designed by Raffi. Four controls on 1:10 with an line-o rest, then 4 at 1:5, repeat.

A bit stormy out but only a little rain (and a lot of wind). Did these with Boris, who gave me a head start (1-2 minutes) on each set of 4 controls. It was good training for me, not just for the intervals, but because it helped me calibrate how fast I could go and still orienteer successfully. A few times, trying hard just to go fast and stay ahead of him, I was definitely outrunning my navigation. But on the last one (for instance) when I was more careful and let my nav dictate my speed (as I should), I managed to stay ahead.

Tough map for otervalls - pretty scruffy terrain with lots of rocks underfoot.
3 PM

Orienteering 40:00 [3] *** 4.8 km (8:20 / km)
14c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

Training race at Arthur Pack. Still no torrential rain, though still windy.

It's so great to run here when things click, which they did for most of the course. I lost ~2 min on one leg when I mistook a small trail-ish thing for a mapped trail. Really should have used more than just 'cross the trail' for distance. Most of the course I was very successfully looking ahead to each feature I needed to run to. It was awesome! Lots of fun.

Wednesday Jan 20, 2010 #

10 AM

Running warm up/down 5:00 [1]
shoes: Luke (inov8 Terroc 308)

Warming up a tiny bit before the training at Kentucky Camp.

Orienteering 1:02:00 [3] *** 7.4 km (8:23 / km) +200m 7:23 / km
spiked:9/11c shoes: Luke (inov8 Terroc 308)

31 Day Challenge - Day 20

Relay training at Kentucky Camp, set by Boris. This was a forked, mass-start training course. Unfortunately, because of the weather forecast, we had a small showing. There was still a bit of interaction for those of us who were there. A very nice course by Boris, advertised as 5km/1:10000, roads and trails removed from the map. When I finished I commented that it was the longest 5km I'd done in a very long time. Eric finished shortly thereafter (he started many minutes back) and said basically the same thing. At that point we all agreed that it was actually 7.5km/1:15000. I felt much better about myself after that. Boris managed to get me to run hard for a longer course than I would have had he actually told us about the length ahead of time. ;-)

2 PM

Orienteering 47:00 [2] ***
5c shoes: Luke (inov8 Terroc 308)

Route choice exercise at Box Canyon.

I partnered up with Mike M. and Kevin T. It was often surprising how similar or different the route choices were, as opposed to how we had thought they'd be. Took one ridiculous route choice at the end because it just looked like fun running. And it was, until I had to run uphill, at which point I realized that being tired makes running uphill less fun.

Another very nice day of orienteering. If you're not here, you're missing out!
8 PM

Climbing 20:00 [1]

Climbing at Rocks and Ropes with Boris, Kat, and Linda. Managed a few easy routes before I was ready for bed. :-) Long day!

Tuesday Jan 19, 2010 #

9 AM

Orienteering 35:00 [1] ***
24c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

Jogging around the Track-O at Sweetwater.
2 PM

Running warm up/down 5:00 [1]
shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

Orienteering 54:00 [2] ***
16c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

31 Day Challenge - Day 19

Window-O at Arthur Pack. Rain stayed away, for the most part, but tomorrow is likely to be a different story.

Monday Jan 18, 2010 #

Orienteering 34:30 intensity: (15:00 @1) + (19:30 @2) ***
28c shoes: Needs a name (2140)

31 Day Challenge - Day 18

Night-O control-picky sprint type course on the U of A map, drawn by Boris. We jogged the course in the evening and followed it up with dinner on University.

We came back a day early from Anza-Borrego, arriving in Tucson very late last night. No regrets, though I'm sure the Borrego/Lamb would have been fun.

Sunday Jan 17, 2010 #

10 AM

Running warm up/down 10:00 [2]
shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

Warm up for Day 2. I felt better today, especially in the liquids department.

Orienteering race 1:01:03 [3] ***
11c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

31 Day Challenge - Day 17
Anza-Borrego Day 2.

Started off just great today, reading the map well, felt pretty good running. Then I got to where I was absolutely sure the third control should be and it wasn't. Searched for a few minutes, then made my way back to the location and saw Brooke. I said that I didn't think the control was out (Boris had mentioned that there were some missing when we passed each other earlier) and she said, "yeah, have you seen the post?" and pointed out a control stand, with no control or epunch, right where the control should have been. I was not amused, but that was enough for me to continue on the course. The rest of the course, with one exception, went just as well as the first part - I was on the ball. I did have one inexcusable parallel error that cost me ~3 minutes on a later control, but other than that this went pretty well. It was also easier orienteering, physically and technically.

It turns out that my missing control was actually out there, on another control stand, several hundred meters misplaced, but placed accurately in relation to the misplaced control from the blue course. The green was missing a control towards the end of the course, as were the orange and brown (same control). Basically, it was a rough day.
2 PM

Orienteering 30:00 [1] *****
3c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

I walked and scrambled around to three controls on the Maze-O with Viktoria and Melissa. It was not as scary as I remember, though the wind was starting to howl as we made our way in, making for some spooky knife-ridge walking. I was also better able to actually interpret the map and actually navigate compared to previous attempts.

Saturday Jan 16, 2010 #

11 AM

Running warm up/down 15:00 [1]
shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

Before A-B Day 1.

Orienteering race 1:15:00 [2] ****
6c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

31 Day Challenge - Day 16

Anza-Borrego Day 1.

I was not having fun (I don't like heights and I don't enjoy the canyon stuff) and I was being a bad orienteer. Then I got really confused and went to 7 before 6. My first instinct was to go back to 6, of course, but I looked at the map with dread and realized that all I was doing was making myself miserable and reinforcing bad habits. I couldn't imagine prolonging the experience, so I just called it a day and ran in. Not a day to be happy with.

In other news, it was another 7 hours before I had to pee, for just the second time that day, and I wonder if today's disaster was just a lack of any kind of ability to make myself focus or if it was also a bit of dehydration.

3 PM

Orienteering (string) 1:11 [3] * 0.18 km (6:43 / km) +2m 6:22 / km
spiked:17/20c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

Team Fundrasier String-O

We set a very intense String-O course and invited people to try their best to beat Marc or Daniel. We originally were going to have a three-legged option, but everyone had so much fun with the two-legged version that we stuck with that. The 176m/20 control course involved some serious punching challenges, including sharp turns, creosote bush, and ocotillo. My 1:11 was second to Viktoria amongst the women, with 1:07, and the best time was achieved by Daniel Hubmann on his 4th or 5th attempt, 49 seconds. I think the best American came in at 58 or 59 seconds, and I don't remember now if that was Eric or Biggins... I will have to dig up the splits printouts to report the results.

This was a lot of fun, with most of the people who just came by to watch eventually caving and giving it a try themselves. It's also a nice little exercise in efficient punching and was a successful fund raiser, with $181 raised for the team.

Friday Jan 15, 2010 #

5 PM

Orienteering 30:00 [1] ***
5c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

31 Day Challenge - Day 15

Anza-Borrego model event.

The Sandra-Marc-Daniel-Annette crew departed my driveway in their 31-foot luxury RV promptly at the scheduled departure time of 9:00am. Must be easy to do when you don't have to pack anything, and you're all Swiss and efficient and stuff. The Cristina-Melissa-Boris-Kat car didn't make it out until 10:30. The beautiful thing is that we caught up to the Swissies with about a mile to go on the trip to Anza-Borrego. It was perfect, and I got to use my horn a lot.

We had left early so as to arrive in time for the model event, which was scheduled to end at 4pm. There were no maps or controls out for the model when we arrived, just before 4, but the maps did appear with about 20 minutes of daylight remaining. Eric was kind enough to put streamers out for everyone. So, Melissa and I trotted out there with headlamps (which we did need to get back to the car) and checked out the map.

Thursday Jan 14, 2010 #

8 AM

Running warm up/down (Road) 20:00 [1]
shoes: Needs a name (2140)

To and from the Randolph gym with the Swiss contingent.

Running drills/jumps/plyos 25:00 [3]
shoes: Needs a name (2140)

We were defeated in our attempt to use the weight room (you have to be 'certified' even though there are no free weights...) but we finally managed to score the use of two mats and the basketball gym. I followed the boys and Sandra around the gym for the warmups and some running drills + plyometrics. Some of them were familiar, some definitely were not, and I was quite uncoordinated on the new ones. I made sure to jump much less than the others, but I was still sore in the evening.

I have been thinking that I need to incorporate jumping into my schedule, and I think this is the perfect solution to the uselessness and boredom of Monday afternoon squadron PT.

Strength/Core 20:00 [3]

We did a little circuit training afterwards, one minute per 'station', improvised core work and jump roping.
4 PM

Orienteering 1:00:00 [2] ***
11c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

31 Day Challenge - Day 14
At Catalina State Park, running the O-intervals course for next Thursday set by Raffi. I ran about half of the course and did not run them as intervals. It was good! I used a compass today and worked on forming a good picture.

Also, we invited Jaxon to come along and Marc offered to do some partner training with him. I think it was quite a successful afternoon. And probably one to remember - it's not often you get one of the best orienteers in the world to orienteer with you for an hour.

Wednesday Jan 13, 2010 #

2 PM

Orienteering 1:00:00 intensity: (15:00 @1) + (35:00 @2) + (10:00 @3) ***
10c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

31 Day Challenge - Day 13

At Arthur Pack with Sandra. We had one map of an old course and one blank map and we alternated legs, with the blank map person following along. Then we ran it backwards, with the leader memorizing her leg. It was a very nice day (of course) and it was so nice to actually have someone to train with!

In the meantime, I am very impressed with the volume of training the Swiss boys do.

Tuesday Jan 12, 2010 #

4 PM

Running warm up/down (trail) 25:00 [1] *
shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

Orienteering 37:00 intensity: (20:00 @1) + (17:00 @3) ***
8c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

31 Day Challenge - Day 12

At Ironwood, running a part of a course from last year, alternating hard/easy effort for each leg.

Tucson has been invaded by Swisscheeses.

Monday Jan 11, 2010 #

3 PM

Running warm up/down (road) 17:30 [1]
shoes: DJ (Asics 2130)

Afternoon PT - running over there and then a lap around the twisty track.

Strength/Core 10:00 [2]

Fun calisthenics.

Orienteering 15:00 [2] *
12c shoes: DJ (Asics 2130)

31 Day Challenge - Day 11

An almost bogus session today, GoogleMap-O around the southern part of the base. I have to remind myself that the O value of this kind of thing is in practicing good flow and concentration. And it does take both to be flawless with an aerial, even if it's not that hard.

I also discovered that the raquetball facility is right next to the twisty track. I had no idea! And I stopped to use a restroom that I didn't know existed. Today's training was clearly valuable in more ways than one.

Sunday Jan 10, 2010 #

Orienteering 59:00 intensity: (30:00 @1) + (29:00 @2) *** 4.7 km (12:33 / km)
18c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

31 Day Challenge - Day 10

Headed over to Sweetwater in the afternoon for some (physically) easy training. I set a course for myself on the half of the map that I had not been to, which also happens to be the half that looked like more fun. Hadn't been off trail here yet at all and it's too bad that we're probably not going to get permission to hold a meet there off-trail. It's neat.

This was quite different from yesterday in many ways. For one, the ground is rocky almost everywhere, with really big rocks where it is marked as stony ground. There is also a lot more cactus. And a lot more detail on the map. The running is more physical and it's hard to read on the run because of the footing. In other words, good practice!

I set the first two legs and the last leg to just be warm up/down legs on trails. Looks like some of the trails have been reworked, so this new map is already in need of updating. I tried to pick obvious point features for my controls, including several green dots. I assumed that a green dot was a prominent mature saguaro, but that's clearly not the case. I was stumped by the first two because there were easily a half dozen prominent mature saguaros in the area of the control. Same with the third, and that's when I read the legend, which said that the green dots were "special cactus". In this case there was a lone ocotillo suspiciously close to the center of my circle, so I guess that was it. It wasn't very obvious, though. So, I spent a bit of time trying to figure that out. The next one appears to have be a crested saguaro, which stood out to my eyes but I'm not sure it would to others. Otherwise, a fun little jaunt. Tough to switch gears from yesterday.


Saturday Jan 9, 2010 #

11 AM

Running warm up/down (dirt) 20:00 [2]
shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

Warm up (10 min) before running the red course, then warm down (10 min) after running the red course.

Orienteering race 1:00:05 [4] *** 7.7 km (7:48 / km) +80m 7:25 / km
ahr:187 max:195 12c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

31 Day Challenge - Day 9

GPHXO local meet at Robbins Butte. Red course.

First time at this area, and looking forward to it since it sounded like a friendly place to run. And it is - mostly packed ground with scattered creosote bush, so you can really fly. Exhibits A + B: HR and min/km. Occasional rocky sections. The map is typical Phoenix, as in mildly improved USGS. The map was 1:15 with 20' contours, and the contours weren't terrible. On the flatter sections there is certainly a chance for 'dead running', but it is tricky to figure out exactly where you are as you near the circle because there's so little on the map. A place where being able to run in a straight line is a very good skill to have.

It was nice out, not too warm (60's but breezy) and I felt really great. I think the pretty good fall training period and the following break really did me some good. And all the map time recently, even though not all of it was high quality, seems to have made me feel "with it" right from the start. I like it.

Not a clean run, but lots of good things going on. The basic strategy was to go pretty much straight and aim off just a bit on the flat stuff, and that worked well. Except for number 7, which was the first control near a significant contour feature and I made a parallel error and climbed too much, until I realized I was way too high for 20' contours, slapped my forehead, and headed down to the control. About 3 minutes lost there, and another 1.5 at the next control, where I probably should have stayed lower the whole way. Certainly I wasn't perfect everywhere else, but it was generally a quite satisfactory execution.

It was fun to catch and pass people, and it was nice that Raffael started far enough behind (and made enough mistakes) that I didn't see him until the end. He ran ~44, but with perhaps 10 minutes of mistakes.

Good times, notwithstanding the very long drive.

12 PM

Orienteering (retrieval) 20:00 [1] ***
ahr:152 max:173 4c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

Picking up 4 controls.

Friday Jan 8, 2010 #

Orienteering 13:00 intensity: (12:00 @1) + (1:00 @5) *
ahr:157 max:180 17c (rest day) shoes: Needs a name (2140)

31 Day Challenge - Day 8

I like Fridays to be easy or rest days, so today I squeezed in a very short GoogleMap-O in a very small local park. Melissa drew the course and my goal was to run easily but smoothly - no stopping, no matter how slowly I had to go, but no mistakes or bobbles. This should have been super trivial, but it was a bit more difficult because many of the trees (which were most of the control locations) had been removed. And I would have succeeded in being smooth had I not been attacked by a dog at the 10th control.

I don't know what it is about me that makes me such a target for dogs, but it's really not funny any more. I'm lucky that this was a very small dog, because he got in a good four bites before his owner managed to grab him and take him back home. The dog seemed really pissed, and all I was doing was being my charming self. I didn't even see the guy before he leapt at my groin region. Yes, there, and just one more reason I'm glad that I was made without the help of a Y chromosome.

I never feel like I react with the appropriate level of anger in these situations. His owner seemed pretty shocked, too, and ran off to put the dog away, so I didn't say much. My leg was barely bleeding in just one place, so after I was done being shocked I finished my course and ran home. But I really feel like I should have said something about leashes, or controlling your dog, or something. I guess I just felt that she'd keep the dog under better control from now on, but maybe that's wishful thinking. Dogs are not my friends.

Thursday Jan 7, 2010 #

Orienteering 24:00 intensity: (12:00 @1) + (12:00 @2) *** 2.55 km (9:25 / km)
ahr:164 max:182 13c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

31 Day Challenge - Day 7
Morning run at Greasewood Park, much easier pace than yesterday, on a course drawn using the permanent controls. No compass - trying to build those good habits. I wanted it to be a terrain run with navigation.

I'd forgotten how nice the running was here. Also, with 4 ft contours the details in the terrain are well represented. I was not very impressed with myself at 32, but quite impressed with myself with the leg to 31. Felt nice to be out. Sunny, about 50.

Here's the QR map.

Running warm up/down (trail) 14:00 [2] 1.3 mi (10:46 / mi)
ahr:165 max:180 shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

A little more running to get in full workout.

Wednesday Jan 6, 2010 #

Running warm up/down (trail) 12:00 [1] 1.1 mi (10:55 / mi)
ahr:156 max:172 shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

Warming up on the trails at Lincoln Park after work. I got in quite late last night and "slept" terribly, haunted by all that I have to do. By the afternoon I was useless at work and my head hurt. It still hurt when I started to run but I hoped the orienteering would make it go away.

Orienteering 39:30 intensity: (29:30 @3) + (10:00 @4) ** 4.6 km (8:35 / km)
ahr:179 max:189 15c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

31 Day Challenge - Day 6
Today I went to Lincoln Park and ran a course drawn by Melissa. The park is very close to work and thus easy to sneak in at the end of the day before dark. It's also quite small, with lots of trails, and the map is at 1:3500. I thought I'd end up with a 15 or 20 minute course, but she really had me running all around that place. It was fun! And my head didn't hurt at all, proving once again that orienteering is a great cure for common ailments.

No compass again, though this was mostly on trails and not exactly the most technically challenging. For the most part I did well at keeping a good flow, which is something good to shoot for when moving fast. It was also fun to be running in shorts and a t-shirt (mid 60s) as well as comfy shoes again.

Here's the map, though I guess the split/control locations don't show up. Hm.

Tuesday Jan 5, 2010 #


Jan at WoO seems to think that the Knock-out Sprint format being used in the World Cup this year is based on something they do in the XC skiing world. I rather think they've been inspired by the SS finals all these years, and am just waiting for them to announce that the quarter final heats will be referred to as Hares, Impalas, Jaguars and Kangaroos.

Orienteering 48:00 [2] ***
ahr:166 max:189 6c shoes: Integrators (silver)

31 Day Challenge - Day 5
Morning run at Nobscot on an old orange course. No compass, practicing frequent map glances and looking ahead. About the same conditions as yesterday. It took me a few minutes to get to the start but then a lot longer to get the first five controls than I thought it would - a combination of the snow and my uncertainty that I was in the right place at a few of the controls. So, I had to cut it short and head back after little more than half.

I did slightly better than usual at reading frequently and looking up (though that still needs work) but I wasn't always forming a good picture of the terrain in my head. Once I arrived at a control location and stopped "running" and had a good stare at the map I sometimes noticed some rather helpful and significant details that I had missed while running.

A few months ago I tried a little exercise where I would look at a control circle on a map for a few seconds and then take a few seconds to draw a sketch from memory of the important features. I don't know if such a drill would help me, but it seems worth trying again. I need to do something targeted at pulling information from the map quickly while running. I think even more helpful is to re-run legs/courses to practice at speed, but that's more difficult logistically.

Monday Jan 4, 2010 #


FlowingData presents the Resolution Cycle, covering the path of New Year's resolutions:

Orienteering (snow) 59:30 [2] ***
ahr:164 max:182 17c shoes: Integrators (silver)

31 Day Challenge - Day 4
A little bit of afternoon shoe-Orienteering at Hammond Pond in the snow. I heard from Ross that there were streamers still out from some training and that Brendan would have a map. Brendan is currently geographically separated from his map but did his best to remember many of the locations. What I ended up with was a map with arrows pointing to locations he was reasonably sure of and circles around areas he was less certain about. (like this) I decided to use the map as it was because that seemed like a perfectly reasonable way to run around.

A nice day, mostly sunny, just below freezing. There was generally a little over 6" of snow out, which I thought would make the running too difficult to be enjoyable, but I was completely wrong. It was actually very fun, though the fact that I wasn't concerned with my speed probably had a lot to do with it. I'd never been to Hammond Pond before and I was was pleasantly surprised - it's a very neat little area. Too bad it's not at least... three times bigger!

The actual orienteering was fun, though there were several streamers that seem to have been disappeared. The scale threw me for a loop, in the woods with 1:5000 meant that objects were way closer than they appeared. By the second half of the controls I was a bit more used to the scale and reading things ahead better. I would call this a 'getting on your feet' kind of training. I did try to look up, since you can almost always see some kind of obvious rock feature.

Sunday Jan 3, 2010 #

XC Skiing 30:00 [1]

At Great Brook Farm, a little before the "ski-o" to warm up and a bunch after with Melissa.

Orienteering (ski) 1:00:00 intensity: (15:00 @1) + (30:00 @2) + (15:00 @3) *
ahr:162 max:189 8c

31 Day Challenge - Day 3
Today's orienteering session was a course I drew for myself at Great Brook Farm on their trail map. I had wanted to use the actual O map of the park, but upon comparison I realized that there were many groomed trails that weren't on the O map (on fields) and too many mapped trails that weren't groomed. It would take a little bit of annotating to use the real map, though it would perhaps be interesting to try without the annotations...

Pretty decent day, mid-20s and a bit windy. Plenty of snow to ski on. I started off by pinning the map to my glove, and that seemed to work okay until it was ripped free and blown into the woods and I had to chase it. After that I pinned it to front of my jacket. I got all kinds of goofy looks, but I guess that's one way to make skiing more like orienteering.

Bumped into Jeff and Judy when we got there, and then again a bit later with Hillary and her roommate. Jeff decided then to follow me around my course, which would have created all kinds of absurd pressure, except that he had no map and no idea where my 'controls' were.

I think I would normally log this as 'skiing with a map', but under my 31 day challenge rules, that I am making up as I go along, it is orienteering.

Saturday Jan 2, 2010 #

XC Skiing warm up/down 7:00 [1]

It's only day 2 and I'm already taking desperate measures. Because of all of the snow and a tight schedule of prior engagements, today's O session was a short ski-o around my house on the La Casa Luigi map. It was dark out and this was my first time on skis this winter, but I felt good while scootering around the top of the driveway and testing out the snow on the grass (plenty, and nice) and on the driveway (variable - it had been plowed a couple of times).

Orienteering (ski) 10:00 [2] **
ahr:159 max:181 8c

31 Day Challenge - Day 2
So yes, desperation. I didn't have much time, so I dug up the tiny map that I made a few years ago of the area in front of my parents' house and set a very short course on it. I tried to make it something that would be skiable. The course was only about 350m but took a lot longer to get around than you would think from the map. I'm not exactly a great skier, but it was fun to try to do it anyway.

Here's the map with course.

I have some issues that I need to take up with the mapper and course setter. For one thing, my original route to the first control (left around the house) was foiled because of a cable between a tree and the house, holding the tree upright. Not on the map. Combined with a large snowbank there was no way to go around. Then there was the issue of the recent addition of a screened-in porch on the far side of the house, making passage around that way a little hairy. Hello, mapper? Please update the map before you use it next time.

Going down the driveway to 2 wasn't nearly as much fun as I expected it to be, mostly because half of it was bare from being sanded. I tried to go down on the deeper snow off to the side but ended up faceplanting several times. Three was no problem, but 4 was a little tough to get to because the trees around there are bigger now. It's really medium green instead of white. Five was almost inaccessible, but six and seven were fine. The map is totally bogus around 8, because it's not a little hedge, it's several medium trees, so I had no idea what the course setter meant by the corner of the hedge. Ridiculous.

But really, this was silly and fun and it was nice to get outside in the snow and play for a few minutes. Plenty of days left for real orienteering.


My new favorite Scandinavian word is snøfnugg.

Friday Jan 1, 2010 #

Orienteering 30:00 [2] ***
5c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)

31 Day Challenge - Day 1
As is becoming a NYE tradition, spent the evening in Northampton for the First Night celebrations. Crashed at Ali's, and Mt Tom is on the way home, and I just so happened to have a map in the car. So, a little bit of New Years O at Mt Tom. Lauren and Melissa went for a walk. It was a beautiful day, about 30 and sunny, just a little bit of powdery snow on the ground that made things a bit more adventurous. Not enough snow to consider this to be toughness training for squishy Norwegian marshes, though.

Went to a few of the controls from the 11-29 meet. Went much better than back then, even without a compass and in the snow. Amazing what focus and a clear head can do for you.

I am tempted to attempt this 31 day challenge, but I wouldn't want such a thing to get in the way of smart training. I think it is easy to incorporate some kind of orienteering into most workouts, as long as you have a loose definition of orienteering and use a bit of creativity.


It's time to review 2009.

First, some numbers:

Total Hrs...320.........311.........332
O Hrs.......124...........76.........111
Run Hrs....113..........129........105

I didn't have well-defined goals this year. A year ago I was in Djibouti and working hard on my short term goal to get a t-shirt for swimming some silly number of meters, so I guess I didn't articulate any long term goals. I will do that this year.

The training numbers look pretty good, especially given January (back from DJ) and July (recovering from ankle). But I should and could be training more - not just running and orienteering, but also the ancillary stuff for strength, balance, and flexibility.

My ranking continues to improve, but not by much. Sam has stayed steady around 93-94, though I feel she has improved. My four best rankings results this year were:

1. TT Middle
2. TT Sprint
3. TT Long
4. Vasquez Rocks Sprint

The common denominator for all of these is that I thought they were very important races and really had good preparation. Of course, I also thought the LAOC Middle was important and that didn't go well. Clearly my WOC races were important but they went quite poorly. So, I'm capable of running well when I have a good head and good rest, so I have to figure out how to do that consistently.

I don't have any idea about average % error or anything like that, so I can't evaluate it just yet. But I'll take a look. And then try to put together some goals and training objectives. Any suggestions?

I do have some idea of what's up for the short term. This fall I focused on running speed and getting my 5k time down. That went fairly well and I am certainly faster, though still not fast enough. This spring, with Tom's prodding, I'm going to work on building endurance for May, with an emphasis on badassedness and toughness. :-)

« Earlier | Later »