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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: Swampfox

In the 7 days ending Sep 10, 2017:

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Sunday Sep 10, 2017 #


Tried to finish up a small section of mapping I've been working on for some time this now in little bits of time (not very efficient!), and almost got done--but rain chased me off with perhaps another hour of work or so left.

Ran dirt roads afterwards. The only wildlife I saw all day long was a buggy racing off with 3 bow hunters, that at the very end of the day.

Saturday Sep 9, 2017 #


Most days when you do the usual things, you also see and experience the usual things. But some days are odder.

Today I headed up to do some mapping, and driving by the Tie City parking lot, I noticed the far end was completely filled edge-to-edge with large pickups and even larger flatbed trailers. I had never seen anything like that up there before. It looked like a construction site, except there was no construction activity visible anywhere, nor any construction equipment, survey marking, or workers.

A few miles further along, and now on dirt roads, I understood what was up. I passed a considerable number of smaller, older tractors, all going in the opposite direction (headed back to the parking lot, no doubt), and all festooned in the Stars and Bars and garlands and such. I've never seen a tractor ride before--I suppose that what it was--and it seemed very strange, all those tractors, puttering along at about 5 mph. One might have guessed that it could have something to do with festivities around the home opener Wyoming football game, except the game was already just underway at that time, and being played down in the stadium, and not up on the Forest Service roads. But maybe it's no stranger than a bunch of people getting together up there over the prior weekend to run orienteering, at least not in the eyes of folks who know nothing about orienteering.

Then, a little later, as I was pulling off to park, I noticed just a little further up ahead a number of vehicles were clustered together, some off the road, some in the road. Lights were flashing. There was a tow truck and something that looked like an ambulance. Most of the other vehicles were law enforcement, and quite a few officers seemed to be standing around. Right after I parked, one of the officers closed off the road from my direction with with pylons and tape. It looked like whatever had happened had taken place long enough ago for all these vehicles to have responded, but still probably not all that long ago. In the middle of the road and right in the center of where all the vehicles were, there was something on the ground. It was far enough away from me that I couldn't see it well enough to be sure, but I had the feeling it may have been a body.

I went off to map. When I returned, some of the vehicles and law enforcement people were still there, but the pylons and tape were gone. They were all in the process of leaving then, and by the time I was ready to leave, they were all gone.

I checked the news when I got home, but couldn't turn up anything.

Friday Sep 8, 2017 #


Ran the final loop from the One Cowboy Relay twice back-to-back, first going in reverse order, and then in the order the runners ran it. I really enjoyed it. I ran at a good pace and my legs felt strong. I had a sore spot in the ball of one of my feet--I must have stepped on a small stone and got bruised there running yesterday, even though I didn't notice anything memorable while I was running then.

Another very, very hazy day, though it did seem to lessen somewhat at the very end of the day.

While not deliberately part of the course planning, the course divides into 5 sections as the terrain and vegetation transition. The purple lines across the course show the rough areas of transition:

From the start through #5, the course goes through a highly detailed area where the visibility varies and much of the detail looks vaguely similar--and a lot of it is small. It's easy to miss in this section. Lots of area is covered in sage and bitterbush, making the running more difficult and adding to the overall navigational difficulty.

At #5 (the boulder) it is already possible to look ahead and see the break in the aspen where you want to cross over a small section of rough open marsh, and you can also see a glimpse of the open ground just beyond. From here right up to #7 the navigation is very easy and the running is very fast. Here, speed is what counts.

Right after #7 and through until #9, the navigational difficulty increases again, as the map becomes quite detailed again, and the running is again more difficult as the sage returns. It is easy to come off the line on the way to #8 if you aren't careful (the key is to see the bare rock knoll right on the beeline about 100m before the control.)

From #9 through #11 the navigation gets easier again and you only need to see a few bigger detail to keep you going right. Hitting the break in the second patch of aspen on the way to #10 should be the obvious goal and from there it is hard to miss the control. If you can keep to a straight line to #11, then the linear knoll the control is sited on is quite visible as you near it.

From #11 the remaining navigation is trivial and the running is very fast across the open ground.

Even though the map here is only a small part of Pelican Bay, it gives a good idea of the look and feel of the area, and how a typical course will go through quite varied areas of vegetation and detail.

Thursday Sep 7, 2017 #


Haze maybe a tad less than the past few days, but still quite hazy; at times it was possible to see dim outlines of a few of the hills on the west side of the valley.

Opted to run dusty trails at Happy Jack (wore several layers of handkerchiefs over my mouth and nose to keep the dust out, which mostly worked.) My legs felt good, which surprised me given what I did yesterday.

I saw absolutely no moose.

Wednesday Sep 6, 2017 #


Ran intervals, legs felt quite good.

It remains quite hazy outside.

Tuesday Sep 5, 2017 #


People who were at Labor Daze this weekend would be astounded to know that Laramie has a frost advisory for tonight. That's quite a presto chango kind of thing.

It actually started getting cooler in the early afternoon yesterday. I could feel the first wisps of cooler air coming in just as I was setting out to get Goat controls.

Biked and ran today, and mostly I enjoyed not having to rush through breakfast at a too early hour (for me) so that I could be out at the day's race site in time.

Monday Sep 4, 2017 #


Labor Daze concluded with the Rocky Mountain Goat, which in turn concluded with no MIA, wounded, or KIA, a very tight finish, and all controls where they were supposed to be.

All's hazy that ends hazy, and it was sure as crackfire really hazy all four days.


Happy that everything went so well for this long weekend (4 days) of Labor Daze.

It's a fair bit of work leading up to it, and the last week is always busy with maybe a little too much to do and always feeling like I'm having to get up too early to feel fully rested from the prior day. By the end of one of these things, I get pretty worn out physically (I have no idea if it shows or not.) But totally worth it when the folks that come have such a good time. I'll take the next few days quite easy, and by then I will be refreshed and ready to tackle bear, stare down moose, and run down antelope again!

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