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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: PG

In the 30 days ending Jun 30, 2007:

activity # timemileskm+ft
  biking8 10:23:31 176.7(3:32) 284.37(2:12)
  hike9 8:44:04 30.9 49.73
  trail running11 6:19:46 10.7 17.22
  run/hike3 3:50:47 2.6 4.18
  orienteering4 3:29:05 11.2 18.03 1788
  Total25 32:47:13 232.1 373.53 1788
averages - sleep:5.6 rhr:50 weight:130.1lbs

» now

Saturday Jun 30, 2007 #

run/hike (with pack, 7 pounds) 2:26:52 [2]
weight:131lbs shoes: Montrail

Went up to Dubuque SF in Hawley (about 45 minutes NW of home) with Phil for some rogaine training (as opposed to rogaine practice, which involves search and rescue with a little white ball).

I hadn't been there before. I'm not sure if it had anything to do with the fact that I knew the guy the forest was named for, Ken Dubuque, and had a rather low opinion of him. When he died they named this state forest after him. He was the regional director out here for whatever the state department of parks/forests was called at that time, this was in the mid-70s. The reason I met him was that he refused to give permission to hold a local O' meet at one of the state forests in his district. It was something new and he just didn't want to deal with it. Since the meet was already scheduled and the map (black and white) was already made -- yeah, I know it's generally a good idea to get permission first -- this was not good. So I called up the folks at the NEOC central office, those being the days when NEOC had some pizzazz, to see if there were any suggestions as to how to proceed, only to find out that the club had an in with the state director of that very same department, and lo and behold, within a couple of days we had our permission for that meet, and any future ones too!

But I never did change my opinion of Mr. Dubuque....

So anyway, we did a nice tour of the forest (mathematically I think the route is just a figure-8 with a stick on the end, I numbered the order we came to various intersections). All on dirt roads, or crappy dirt roads (chewed up by either logging or horse traffic), or very nice trails, or rather indistinct trails. But real good overall.

Felt crappy to start, no energy, almost a little faint-headed, figured it was probably low blood sugar, so after we turned back uphill at #2, I ate an energy bar (Go-Lean, an excellent name, and the chocolate almond bar is very tasty too) and drank a bunch. And pretty soon felt much better. Until towards the end, when my insides were making more noise than the water sloshing around in my Camelback and one achilles/calf was complaining just a little. So I took my time the last few minutes while Phil went zipping off ahead.

Nice day, not aware of any FDFs even though there were a dozen or so playing dead on the back of my hat. Wouldn't have guessed the thought of FDFs could bring such joy. Maybe the acronym ought to be revised to stand for "Fabulous Deer Flies".... :-)

Friday Jun 29, 2007 #

biking 1:09:15 [3] 20.3 mi (3:25 / mi)

Decided last night that I would go out for an early bike ride -- it's so easy to "decide" things like that well in advance, when you don't actually have to do it for some time -- but this time I actually got out the door by 7 after half a breakfast. Very pleasant, not much traffic, cool enough to need an extra long-sleeve shirt, the only thing missing were the legs. Maybe too much of my blood was hanging out around my stomach working on breakfast? And isn't training just as useful even if the legs aren't lively? I mean, you're still doing the work.

The one really nice thing about going out early is that for the rest of the day you can relax, knowing you've already done the day's training. Or, possibly, you can daydream about what the second training for the day might be....

The G is soaring. Too much pizza last night. Four more days like that and it will be 140. Well, at least that should quiet the comments about scrawny legs and wasting away. :-)

trail running 31:26 [3]
shoes: Montrail

George e Lynn e Rick e Susie e Dave e Barb sono tutto fuori in Italia da funzionare ?nel dei di 5 Giorni Forti," ed io desiderano che Gail ed io stavano andando perché eravamo nella zona tre anni fa per WMOC ed era realmente divertimento, tranne l'intossicazione alimentare?.

Ritenendo, quindi, piuttosto nello spirito italiano, odierna seconda entrata di addestramento sarà in italiano, la cortesia dei traduttori dell'asso a Google --

Fino alla linea elettrica ed alla parte posteriore?. : -)

Realmente, potrebbe scaturire è denominato odierno quarto addestramento, sì, realmente, quarto, se contate una sessione piacevole di pratica di rogaine con Charlie, la N. ricca e Gail alle sporgenze, non neppure guastate (tranne molto temporaneamente) dalla perdita di D1 del relativo senso di senso. O forse il difetto si trova non nel D1s ma in noi stessi?

In modo che siano un tempo esteso sui piedi ed anche un senso che l'azione correttiva era necessaria, in modo da la I dirige alla gamma ed alle sfere martellate fino a che non non cominci comportarsi e tutti hanno andato dove stavo mirando. Il punto in cui, me abbastanza mellow e D1 fumare caldo, I dirigono indietro a casa per ottenere in un a breve scadenza appena prima che oscurità. Poiché devo cominciare fare un certo funzionamento legittimo se progetto fare orienteering affatto decent in qualunque momento in avvenire.

Rapporto di FDF -- appena soltanto critter solo. Li abbiamo puliti tutti fuori? O la parola ha uscito, soggiorno via dalla gente in cappelli blu? Il uno o il altro senso, i legno era bello ed i piedini hanno ritenuto buon grazioso.


OK, so you can't read Italian.... :-)

George and Lynn, and Rick and Susie, and Dave and Barb are all off to Italy to run in the "5 Giorni dei Forti," and I wish Gail and I were going because we were in the area three years ago for WMOC and it was really fun, except for the food poisoning....

Feeling, therefore, somewhat in the Italian spirit, today's second training entry will be in Italian, courtesy of the ace translators at Google --

Up to the power line and back.... :-)

Actually, it might well be called today's fourth training, yes, really, fourth, if you count a pleasant session of rogaine practice with Charlie, Rich N., and Gail at The Ledges, not even spoiled (except very temporarily) by the D1's loss of its sense of direction. Or maybe the fault lies not in the D1s but in ourselves?

So that was an extended time on the feet, and also a sense that remedial action was needed, so I headed to the range and pounded balls until they started behaving and all went where I was aiming. At which point, me quite mellow and the D1 smoking hot, I headed back home to get in a short run just before dark. Since I do have to start doing some legitimate running if I plan to do any decent orienteering anytime in the future.

FDF report -- just only lonely critter. Have we wiped them all out? Or has the word gotten out, Stay away from the people in blue hats? Either way, the woods were lovely and the legs felt pretty good.

Thursday Jun 28, 2007 #


Forgot to add my AOWN moment from yesterday. Coming home mid-afternoon, about a half mile down the street, no other traffic, I sort of notice a squirrel on the grass to the left of the street, and sort of notice a cat, and then the squirrel is doing what squirrels do best, which is to dart out into oncoming traffic, except this squirrel is being chased by the cat. And they are moving very fast, and right into my path. I jam on the brakes -- it is not pleasant to nail a squirrel, despite what you may think of squirrels, and getting a cat is really, really bad -- and all I can think is I'm going to get them both.... :-(

But at the last moment the squireel does an incredibly fast u-turn, and the cat just hangs in there to do the same, though it looked like its claws were just barely getting enough traction on the pavement, and I think I missed them both by about 2 feet.

Were I not an orienteer, and truly At One With Nature, I'm sure I would have nailed them.

Wednesday Jun 27, 2007 #

run/hike (with pack, 7 pounds) 53:04 [2]
slept:6.0 weight:130lbs shoes: Montrail

Much more satisfied with my behavior today. At some point early in the process the phrase, "You are what you are" popped into my mind, and that got me thinking the right way. So I had a nice round, finished up with an all-world up-and-down on the 18th (under the branches, over the junk to a fast green with a big slope going away from me, just don't ask about the shot before...), if you gave me 100 more tries I wouldn't do it again. Had a chance to play with a guy who was really good, he finished 2-2 (par was 4-3). Nice to see how it is supposed to be done.

Miserably hot, so feeling quite wiped, put off the run/hike until after dinner, but then the weather was looking very iffy. Storms all around, moving west to east, made me really glad I wasn't up there in a plane, and not too sure I wanted to be out at all.

But the plan called for exercise. Biking seemed unwise, as did a trip to the top of Toby, so I drove over to the gate and did repeats to the top of the ridge and back, walking up, running back. That way i figured I was never more than 5 minutes from the car if the boomers started in earnest.

Planned 5 repeats. Quite dark even on the first one, pulled out the headlamp for the trip down (just holding it in my hand, had version 2a on the head and it is not yet headlamp compatible), still tweaked my right ankle once. Back up again, lots of rumbles of thunder but nothing close, saw a bunch of fireflies but virtually no FDF action. Back down, no light this time, tweaked the ankle twice. Not good.

Back up for the third time, more thunder rolls, still just one FDF kill, back down, ankle ok. Back up for th fourth time, still darker, starting to rain as I got to the top of the ridge, hustled down as the rain got a little stronger. Better stop know, I thought, be safe, so I headed for the little parking lot, though I did notice the rain was easing up. And on the way home, the sky was lightening. Somehow the storm had gone from my west to my east without actually bothering me at all.....

Good fortune, maybe because I behaved myself today?

Version 2a report -- 3 strips of duct tape from side to side across the top and back. Not much FDF activity, 2 kills, not bothered by them at all, once again.... :-) Will save tape and sticky stuff for next outing.

lap 1: 8:27 up, 4:56 down
lap 2: 8:28, 4:54
lap 3: 8:23, 4:48
lap 4: 8:25, 4:44

Tuesday Jun 26, 2007 #

hike (with pack, 7 pounds) 1:00:43 [2] 4.1 mi (14:49 / mi)
slept:6.0 shoes: Montrail

I was quite unappy with myself after today, and after yesterday too, more specifially unhappy with my behavior, despite the fact that it was wicked hot, and I've head a headache for 36 hours. But no excuses, it was time for penance. So I headed out the door after dinner for another trip up Toby, this time up the long route and back the short way. A good quick pace all the way, trying to break an hour, didn't quite do that, but got just over 4 mph if Phil's distance measuemnt of 4.1 is to be believed. The steep sections are shorter this way so I don't think the pulse got much over 150, but it is still good exercise.

trail running (with pack, 7 pounds) 21:07 [3] 2.6 mi (8:07 / mi)
shoes: Montrail

And then back down the direct way, more aggressively down the first steep, rocky part (650' drop in 5:38), then keeping up a good pace the rest of the way home. Pulse at the end about 165. Totally soaked in sweat.

Up via pink and blue, down via pink.



Blue Caps Version 2 Even Better!

Crushes FDFs 65-0

The view from the front doesn't show much action....

... but it was at the back of the cap that the real carnage was taking place....

The details --

Blue duct tape applied to the top of a cap. Sticky stuff (Tangle-Trap) applied to the duct tape. And then head out into the heart of FDF country.

A quick look after 5 minutes showed about 10 kills. After 30 minutes the number looked to be about 40. A careful count afterwards put the final toll at 65. And it was a pure shut-out, no bites on me, no landings, just an occasional buzzing noise.

And think about it -- it's hot, it's humid, I'm sweating away, and the FDFs are putting me in a great mood!

I do have a couple moments of concern. One is when it occurs to me that there might be a subsidiary of PETA, PETFDF perhaps, people for the ethical treatment of fucking deer flies, and I might be in deep doo-doo with them over version 2, but a Google search shows nothing to be worried about. And then, thinking back to the days of big protest marches on Washington, when one side would say there were 500,000 people there and the other side would say 20,000, I wondered how I would handle the counting problems as the body count got higher and higher. Sample a square inch and extrapolate from there? But how many square inches of duct tape does it take to cover the top of my head? Get JJ to come up with some software that can extract the data from the photos? Could he, or would he? For now, brute force will have to do.

But what will we do when the count goes up, as it is sure to do when Phil, Mr. Deer Fly Bait himself, comes along?

Which reminds me, version 2 is quite acceptable headgear for meeting one's dean.

Monday Jun 25, 2007 #

slept:3.5 weight:130.5lbs

I forgot, in the entry about the trip to visit mom, that there was more family there, namely my sister and her husband. Both are shorter than me, my sister by quite a lot, and I would guess (conservatively) that both would hit the scales at a minimum of 2G. I have no expectation of either ever doing anything remotely close to orienteering....

Continuing my rogaine training by getting up at 2:30 am. Not planned, but if you're awake....

Sunday Jun 24, 2007 #

biking 1:29:33 [3] 24.8 mi (3:37 / mi)

Back home, bike ride to Whately and Conway, quite breezy, wind always in my face or so it seemed. Not much zip in the legs, surprised me as I was definitely well rested.


And then a fast round of rogaine practice, 2 hours 15 minutes, walking very briskly. This is actually useful training, especially when there is also other training done before or after, but it still isn't getting logged. Unless I start running between shots....

Saturday Jun 23, 2007 #

orienteering 30:06 [2]
slept:5.5 shoes: integrators 2006

Sprint A at the WCOC local meet at the DeWeese estate.

I think this is the first time I've ever logged orienteering (and certainly for the first time for a sprint) as intensity 2, and even that is being a bit generous. But that is better than the alternative, which was doing no training at all.

Was in Litchfield at Mom's, though she wasn't there, well, I mean she was there physically, but other than that she really wasn't there, not much activity between the ears these days. Sort of sad. Would be much sadder if I cared more, but she has been absent for so long, basically my whole life, that it's not like there is some strong bond that I see slowly fading away. Never was much, so the loss is not so much either. But there are obligations to be taken care of, so I do what I need to do.

And my brother came up from Austin, that was the reason for the visit, and his son Daniel from D.C. where he is spending the summer working for the Public Defender office, and his daughter Alex from New York City, where she as part of the Teach America program has been teaching 7th grade in a public school that is 90% kids from the Dominican Republic. So both kids are doing very admirable things, and my brother is rightfully proud of them. (Family photo, including my sister-in-law Donna, an architect, who was swamped at work and couldn't come.)

So anyway, I hadn't been expecting to be able to sneak away to Charlie's for a little orienteering, but I raised the subject in the morning and Alex was interested in going, and nobody was vetoing the idea. So we went, though first of course we had to go shopping for blue duct tape and more Tangle-Trap to rig up some blue caps, version 2. And then after lunch we headed off.

Alex had been orienteering once, maybe a decade ago at Mt. Tom. She is a very good athlete, even more competitive than I am, but with no sense of direction, according to her dad. Charlie suggested that she do the yellow course, which looked quite easy and user-friendly, but I had in mind that she would do one of the sprints, figuring all she had to do was finish and she'd get about 25 points, plus there was e-punching for the sprints only, and I thought she'd like that. So I really gave her no choice, signed her up for sprint B, took about 5 minutes to show her where she was on the map, explained what yellow and green meant, and sent her off. No compass, no legend on the map, no instruction in what contour lines meant. She's tough, I figured, she'll figure it out.

And then I got myself set to go on sprint A. No O' gear with me, so just running shorts, t-shirt, and sneakers, also no compass, no contacts. And the woods at Charlie's are, to be polite, challenging. Unless you love mountain laurel and lush ferns, in which case the woods are wonderful.

So I staggered around the course at a pedestrian pace, wanting neither to hurt myself nor to lose too much blood as the result of my minimal body cover. Missed a little here and there, not too bad, finally picked up the pace in the last 3 minutes to see if I could get in in under 30 minutes, which I couldn't. Oh, well. No injuries and not much blood lost, so a positive experience.

Sprint A map (the one I did).

And then stood around to wait for Alex, and waited, and then thought I'd walk out and see if I could find her, but didn't, and came back and she wasn't in yet, and waited, and was getting quite concerned, and wondering what the hell had happened to my judgment and why I hadn't been happy to send her out on the yellow course. And to avoid just standing there and freaking out even more, I headed out again, but this time I only got a couple hunded meters before there she was, coming in, no worse for wear, just a little pissed she hadn't been able to find #6 despite looking for it for a long, long time.

Overall she was in quite a good mood, seemed like she'd enjoyed it. When we got back to Mom's, she wanted to know how I would have done it, so we pulled the map out and went over it, and talked about what contours show, and so on, and she seemed to understand that pretty quickly, and also seemed to want to go again sometime. Which is very cool. Very, very cool. Would be a great way to connect better. Now we just have to make it happen.

Sprint B map (the one Alex did). Note that the "indistinct trails" are very indistinct.

Friday Jun 22, 2007 #

slept:6.0 weight:131lbs

Off to Litchfield for the weekend. Feel reasonably crappy. Is the contemplation of the former causing the latter?

Thursday Jun 21, 2007 #

slept:5.5 weight:129.5lbs

Warning -- the following has absolutely nothing to do with orienteering or training, but it's my log and I can write what I want to.... :-)

A wonderful day, one that I had been looking forward to for a long time. Went down to New Haven with Charlie to play a round at Yale, a place I played several times 45 years ago and have fond memories of. It is a fabulous course (a review), bold and adventurous and stunning in both its beauty and its demands on the golfer. And with my new swing, my new D1, and especially my new positive attitude about most everything, I had just a great day.

We get joined at the start by a retired doctor named Mel, a very pleasant guy who's only complaint seemed to be that he couldn't hit the ball as far as he used to be able to. (That's sort of a male thing, can't do whatever as well as I used to. He even wanted to try my phallic symbol, the D1, because it was bigger than his driver, but even that was to no avail....)

And then on the third tee we were joined by Joel, a student at the Yale Divinity School. So I guess we have to watch what we say, I said, but he said anything was all right with him, and he was a very pleasant fellow with a good game. But not such a good game that he doesn't hit his share of bad shots, and it's clear pretty soon that the divinity school training has not yet given him the serenity to deal with it. Outwardly, of course, the worst he will mutter are a few "Gosh dang its," but the pressure is clearly building up between the ears, and it's quite good fun to watch because I've been there so many times.

And the course is amazing, each hole wild, each hole you have to think a lot how you want to play it. Amd I'm doing pretty good. And enjoying it a lot.

One of the holes you can't forget is the 9th....

.... from a high tee across the water to a huge green 64 yards deep with a huge swale about 1/3 of the way back. Plays anywhere form 170 to 225. The pin was front right corner, a little bit of a tail wind, hit a nice 6 iron, heading to the right edge of the green, lost it in the glare but no splash, walked up to the green a couple of minutes later and there it was 20' from the pin. The putt stopped on the rim, but a par is a par, and when a hole has been in your mind for 45 years, and then you play it just right, it is very sweet....

The back nine is one more stunning hole after another. Mel is hanging in there, Joel is outwardly pleasant but the pressure inside is clearly building, Charlie is trying to master the five new things he was told in a recent golf lesson and the result is distressingly close to pure chaos, and I'm have a great time no matter what.

On the 16th, a par 5 and probably the easiest hole on the course, Charlie rolls in a curling 25-footer for a lovely birdie, then Mel knocks one in from about 15' for his birdie. In the meantime Joel has just 4-putted for an 8, and while I'm getting ready to putt I can't help hearing Joel's putter being jammed back into his bag, and then it sounds like the bag has been kicked a couple of times, and I'm laughing to myself so hard that I leave my 7' birdie putt a foot short, but I don't care because I'm having such a good time, even if my game has been quite shaky at times.

And then the fnal hole, a long par 5 up and over a substantial hill, and my chip from just off the green rolls up 6" from the hole, and one last par and an 82 and pretty much heaven.

So we say good-bye to Mel and Joel, and Charlie and I get a quick bite to eat, and then it's time for the rest of my day, first have to get back to Greenfield to sign some more papers for the $1.3 million loan we (the non-profit I'm treasurer of) are getting to rehab an appartment building. And the terms are really good -- no interest, no monthly payments, and the principle is due in 59 years, as long as the property is always used for low-income housing. And in 59 years, well the state will probably roll it over again, but as the lawyer says, by then both of us will be long gone and it won't be our problem if they don't.

And I'm due there by 4:30 so they can get the papers overnight to Boston by tomorrow, because we really need the money, construction been going for two months, but by Hartford I'm starting to yawn, and by Springfield I can barely stay awake, and finally I pull off at a Friendly's in Holyoke to see what I can get to revive me. The problem being that a good shot of caffeine would do the trick, but I'm trying to keep caffeine to a minimum. So I get something called an Orange Slammer (sherbert and soda water and who knows what else), and I'm back on the road and it's cold enough that it really does wake me up, and I get there right at 4:30.

Next to the tax office, I've got an appointment at 5:00, couple married last year that didn't get the expected $3,700 refund back from the IRS because it turned out he hadn't filed in 2001, 2002, and 2004. And he's got the info on what the IRS thinks he earned, which I determine is only part of the picture but that's not fo me to worry about, and then we create three nice works of semi-fiction, well they could be non-fiction I suppose. And got it all done in an hour and a half, and they were delighted, like many of my clients, who leave feeling like they've just had the root canal they've been dreading and it wasn't so bad after all.

And I'm back struggling to stay awake and in comes my 6:30 appointment, and he's a smart guy, makes well over 100K a year, but he hasn't filed since 2003, or maybe 2002, he's not sure. And he has a box of papers with him but his filing system is pure chaos, but after an hour and a half we have a sense of how bad the damage is and a list for him of what he still needs to find. And even though we aren't done, he also walks out looking like he's survived a root canal too.

I close up and head home. It's been raining, it's just about dark. I think about training. Screw it.

Wednesday Jun 20, 2007 #



Blue Caps Crush FDFs

Double Shut-out: 13-0 and 10-0

run/hike 30:51 [3] 2.6 mi (11:52 / mi)
rhr:50 slept:5.0 weight:129.5lbs shoes: Montrail

Phil came over around 5 and we rigged up a blue cap for him and then set off on the same route I've been doing, a hike up Toby and then a run back down a more round-about way. Except not wearing a pack (which felt great!), and also running the first section up to the power line.

Now Phil has not quite bought into the idea that the blue caps are a cool fashion statement, something good for one's self-esteem, and certainly not something to feel self-conscious about, even if one were to run into one's dean along the way.

So when we passed a guy and 3 boys playing by a stream, and the guy looked at us and then said something like, "Interesting headgear," I could tell Phil was feeling a little stressed.

Whereas I had figured out exactly what the kids were thinking, "Boy, if our dad wasn't such a dork, we could have cool hats like that too!"

So on we went, a little disappointed that there didn't seem to be any FDFs around, was this going to be Monadnock, part 2, when I think it was Phil looking at my cup and suddenly, Hey, you got a couple!

Was that good for morale!

We reached the power line, then switched to a power walk, still hard work on the last steep part but faster without a pack, 10:45 for the last 650' vertically, that's getting better. And at the top, check the blue cups while we gasp for air, and there are more kills.

And we haven't even noticed any FDFs bothering us at all. It really seems to be working....

trail running 36:05 [3] 4.1 mi (8:48 / mi)
shoes: Montrail

And then run back, beautiful late afternoon, the air has dried out, past the hairpin, down the S curves, down the power line with long views to the northwest and not a house in sight, then back down North Mountain to the house. And just once do I feel an FDF brush my cheek, but then it's gone. At no time am I bothered, at no time do I swat at one, at no time am I pissed. It is truly fantastic. And when we reach the house and total up the final results, I have 13 kills and Phil has 10 and we haven't had to do anything. Pure magic!


A little history of the FDFs....

Tuesday Jun 19, 2007 #

hike 1:07:22 [3] 20.3 mi (3:19 / mi)
rhr:50 slept:6.0 weight:129.5lbs

Was feeling very depleted today so by mid-afternoon, after a fine though financially unrewarding 77, it was time to call in a favorite threesome with powers of recuperation -- first lunch, then a nap, then dinner. At which point I felt remarkably good, and since there was still an hour and a half of daylight left, it seemed silly not to go ahead and do the planned bike ride that I had a few hours earlier written off as impossible.

So I headed off, usual Old Deerfield / River Road loop, with the intention of making it a relaxed ride. Wind was out of the south, so once I got across the river and turned north, it was easy going. And I actually didn't push it. Just enjoyed the evening, especially the lack of traffic even on the couple of miles out on main highways. The rest of the way cars are few and far between, and always courteous, pretty close to cycling heaven I'd say.

And then I turned back south into the wind, and the fact that I'd been cooling it for 30 minutes meant that I was fresh, and warmed up, and I just slowly and steadily put out a little more effort, and it felt good all the way home. Sweet ride, done with 15 minutes of light to spare.

And only because of Gail's comment on my return, Are you wasting away, well, Sugarloaf Frostee, here we come....


Well, Spike is out mowing his lawn, and he's probably an expert at that, because he does it pretty often. But I thought I might share a couple of things that I do to maintain the impeccable lawn we have --

1. Cut it often enough. We've found that when it reaches 18", that's about the optimum time to pull out the mower. A little taller and it gets hard to cut, a little shorter and, well, if you can put off lawnmowing for another week, go for it.

2. The goal, of course, is to have it never reach 18", and then you never have to cut it. The secret here is to focus on growing moss rather than grass, and to do that you have to remember two things -- don't use any fertilizer, and don't use any lime. I know that's tough, but if you concentrate, you can do it. The moss will slowly grown in, the grass will slowly die off, and then you're all set. It also helps if a generation ago, before you owned the land, someone stripped off all the topsoil....

Here you can see another part of the "lawn," hasn't been cut for 6 weeks. Good lawn!

Monday Jun 18, 2007 #

hike (with pack, 17 pounds) 51:00 [3]
slept:4.0 weight:129lbs

So I get an e-mail from Barb last Thursday, the start of an exchange of very short messages over the next three days:

Monadnock hike -- Any interest in joining me for a hike up the white dot trail Monday morning starting at 5:40 a.m.?


Cool. Do you have any of that sticky spray yet, and blue cups?

Are you thinking we should try out the blue cups Monday morning? If so, then I certainly hope you bring your camera.

Yes, that is what I am thinking.

Is there any reason to expect there will actually be any FDFs out and about? And why exactly 5:40 am?

No reason to expect FDFs. If I start the hike at 5:40, then I can make it to work at 10:00. So maybe we should meet at 5:30 to deal with the cups. If you can handle it.


So I'm up at 3:15, a nice big breakfast (4 pieces of toast and jam, an apple, two scrambled aggs, a glass of OJ, cup of decaf, glass of water, vitamin pills...). And head off just as the sky is starting to lighten. I've already assembled the key ingrediants over the weekend, the bright blue cups, the sticky stuff, and a way of mounting them to the caps. And as long as there are two of us coneheads, well, I don't feel self-conscious at all.

Meet at 5:30. Apply the sticky stuff, on with caps. Not a soul around to laugh at us. Nor are there any FDFs around. As I've said, I think they've heard the rumors.

A very pleasant hike, hard work on the way up keeping up to Barb since I've 17 pounds in the pack (including a pair of ankle weights, headlamp, 3 liters of water, extra clothing, food, a few ibuprofen), you just never know what you might need. A very thorough and well-presented explanation of the whole range of vertical pacing concepts presented by PG, not sure how much of it registered, though I am pretty sure that more of it registered than was the case at 6 am at the rogaine, when I asked Barb to bring me up to speed on genes, DNA, chromosomes, and various other very small things I keep reading about, and she explained a lot and I, well, let's just say I'm not yet ready to take a multiple=choice quiz on the the subject.

And various other topics of conversation, including how long it takes to get to the top, and she didn't know, which really surprised me, but she guessed maybe an hour and 20 minutes up, an hour down.

So we reached the top in 51 minutes. And I was feeling it. Time for photos. And also to check the blue cups for kills. So far I had snagged one lonely mosquito and little bits of leaves and twigs from not ducking enough under a branch. But the cups sure were stylish.

A couple ibuprofen for her complaining knees. And back down at a very mellow pace, about an hour. Talking, among other things, about her kid's school and how cool the education model is, and Barb's plans for O' outings in the fall, when she's planning some new adventures for the kids that she hopes will include me and Jeff Saeger and other "O' gurus." Hmmm.

And then we're down. And she went off to inspect JJ's strawberry patch, and I headed a mile down the road to play a round at Shattuck....


.... where it took me longer than expected to play, because my game was, let's say, shaky, and I had to hit the little white thing quite a few more times than I hoped, and also had to attempt a number of search and rescue operations in the woods, not all of which were successful.

And all the time I'm rewarded with such nice views of Monadnock, and I start thinking, you know, I paid 3 bucks for a trail permit and it's good all day, and it would be possible to knock the cost per round-trip down to a buck fifty....

hike 46:11 [3]
shoes: Montrail

.... so I head back to the state park, and head up again, this time no pack, and I'm sure quite dehydrated even though I polish off a couple of bottles of water. Zip up to the top (about 1800' net climb, with a couple dips along the way, and very, very rocky) as quick as I can.

Get up there and note that the population at the top has changed substantially from the earlier trip -- was 2 people with an average age of 53, now probably 200 with an average age of maybe 15. Just as glad I don't have my blue hat on now.... :-)

trail running 32:05 [1]
shoes: Montrail

And then back down at a very careful jog, really trying to be careful, and even so within about 200 meters of the top my right foot catches a crack in the sloping rock slab and the ankle rolls more than it wants, and Damn, that hurts, and I'm hopping on the left foot for a few steps.

It's not so bad that I stop, but it twinges on every step, and I'm not happy, and I'm even less happy thinking how far I've got to go down. But this has happened before, and it seems like it's worse than I might wish, but also not so bad as it might be, probably in the category of slowly fading away over the next 10 minutes and then hurting quite a bit the next day. So I keep going, very careful and very nervous now, especially on all the drops, and it slowly gets better as expected, and I don't roll it again, and by the bottom I'm moving pretty well, quite aggressively actually.

But for a moment I thought, it's going to be a long way down hopping on one foot.

Pretty beat by the end, on my feet for 7 hours, but the quads felt good on the downhill. Stopped for a quart of chocolate milk on the way home, yummy, then barely made it back without dozing off.

A fine day....

And, Phil, the blue cups are ready.


Forgot one other thing. On the first trip up and down, Barb was in front setting the pace, me behind. And so I wasn't paying much attention to where we were, or where we were going, just enjoying the company (and trying not to fall over backwards when I lost my footing). All of a sudden we were at the top. And then somewhat later, oh, here we are at the bottom. Almost no recollection of the trail, the terrain, etc.

On the second trip, the powers of observation/concentration were back on, and it felt like I hadn't been there before. And from this trip I have very distinct recollections of the trail, the terrain, etc.

Amazing the difference.

But both very enjoyable trips.

Sunday Jun 17, 2007 #

orienteering 1:12:45 [3] 6.4 km (11:22 / km) +1033ft 9:07 / km
slept:5.0 weight:130lbs shoes: integrators 2006

WCOC local meet at Paugusst. Red course, very fine design by Dave Webber, always interesting. Warm (upper 80s), quite humid, summer orienteering.

Had an ok run. The first priority once again was not to hurt the hamstring, which meant just be more careful, less crashing through stuff, much more cautious on downhills, especially where it was rocky. Mission accomplished in this regard.

Certainly didn't have much energy. Partly the heat, I was sweating like crazy. Partly I wasn't rested. And partly, and surely the bigger reason, was I'm still out of shape. Though making a little progress.

My O' skills were ok at times, a little shaky at others. Got into it sometimes, reading the map nicely as I ran along. At other times that just wasn't happening. Maybe 3 minutes of assorted minor errors.

But still a great pleasure to be out doing it.

Today's map.


Left Paugusset right after running to head down to Cranbury Park in Norwalk, site of the Sprint Finals in September. Spent a while walking around with Joe (the course setter) talking about the general layout of the courses. Looks like it will work really well. Even have parking, a pavillion, power for the e-punch crew and the loudspeaker, and good spots for the starts and finish, all within about 50-100 meters.

Plan is for the 2 sanctioned sprints, each also 100-pointers for the Sprint Series -- and the point scale may be something like 100, 95, 90, 85, 80, 78, 76, 74, 72, 70, 69, 68, etc., still not decided. So someone a ways behind can still advance quite a bit.

And then a third sprint, a women's course for the top 6 women in the Series, ditto for the men, then both courses open to anyone else (mass start) who wants to see if they can do better. Lots of loops, three-winged butterflies, who knows what else we will dream up....

And then home, stopping to buy a quart of chocolate milk, which Dr. Mark (Hammer's nutritional guru) says is about the perfect post-workout nutrition. It was all gone within a few miles.... :-)

Saturday Jun 16, 2007 #

rhr:50 slept:4.0 weight:130lbs

Getting lots of things done today -- mow the "lawn," change the oil in the car, laundry, grocery shopping (where I check my blood pressure, 117/70, good), continued upgrading my rogaine gear (new and bigger Camelback, new shoes to try), plus drinking/eating lots, but it's dinnertime and so far no training as the thunderstorms have been rolling through all afternoon.

Maybe after dinner....

hike (with pack, 8 pounds) 39:55 [2]
shoes: Montrail

Usual hike up to the top, right after dinner (grilled salmon, red potatos, salad), feeling very full. Thought I might take it easy. Didn't.

trail running (with pack, 8 pounds) 35:28 [3]
shoes: Montrail

Back the round-about route. Again, didn't take it easy, full belly and all. Like ultra training I used to do, get used to running on a full stomach. Sweating a whole lot.

Looking gloomy when I left, thought I might have to pull out the headlamp, but it had cleared up by the time I reached the top and there was still enough light at the end.

Still not an FDF to be seen. Perhaps they have heard the rumors....

Friday Jun 15, 2007 #

biking 1:04:57 [4] 20.2 mi (3:13 / mi)

Bike ride just before dinner, beautiful late afternoon ride, Old Deerfield / River Road. Working hard the whole way.

It ocurred to me after I was done that I hadn't been daydreaming at all, but completely focused on riding -- the pavement, the grade, the gears, the traffic, the wind, and how much my legs and lungs were complaining (and they were complaining for sure, but also felt pretty strong). Which was sort of a nice feeling, means you're putting some effort into it and not just cruising.

Reminds me of the complaint often lodged against running races (as opposed to orienteering), that they are just so boring. Wheras I almost always have found my mind totally occupied by thoughts similar to today's on the bike -- pace, form, running surface, grade (up/down), monitoring one's vital signs (by feel), all the above just focused on yourself, and then there was the competition. Never found the races boring. But maybe I'm easily entertained. There are some much smarter folks on AP and in orienteering, and they may have higher standards.

Also a very early round of rogaine practice before driving home from Wolfeboro after a very nice visit.

Thursday Jun 14, 2007 #


Got to bed by 9:30, excellent, out cold right away, but then awake at 4:30 again. That's more sleep anyway.

More rogaine practice, really awesome today, beautiful course and weather, very hilly walking.

Now have to get out the door for another run....

trail running 49:00 [3]
shoes: Air Max Trail 09/05

On the woods roads in Wolfeboro, slightly different section, very pleasant. Get a gold star for getting out both days.

For those with some interest in rogaine practice, hit possibly my longest drive ever, about 285-290, on the 16th at Owl's Nest. Downhill, tailwind. Power rating of about 2.2. (And John Goodwin, age 17, hit his about 340-350, power rating off the charts.) Had a really fun day.

Wednesday Jun 13, 2007 #

trail running 51:57 [3]
shoes: Air Max Trail 09/05

Up at 4:30, way to early. Off to Wolfeboro, NH, visiting Peter Goodwin and family. Not much internet access. Rogaine practice first, cool, gray, occasional rain, then quite a ways out on the lake in these one-person strange pedal kayaks, then finally got out for a run before dinner. Hoped to go for 30 minutes, but found some nice woods roads and went longer.

No pack, no hiking, just running. Still feels weird, like the muscles need an injection of suppleness. But ok overall.

Tuesday Jun 12, 2007 #

slept:6.0 weight:129lbs

Had an early morning date on the golf course, first-round match in the club's match play championship. Not sure why I signed up for it, since I found a few years ago that I didn't enjoy golf when it got too serious. I think this time it was part of my effort to meet some new people this year.

So, anyway, I'm driving up to the course and I'm feeling nervous. And I'm feeling stupid for feeling nervous, I mean it's just a round of golf, so I spend the 20-minute drive thinking about nervousness and what it does to you and how to deal with. And trying to come up with something that will calm me down. (Of course a little nervousness is often a good thing, shows you care, but this was a bit much.)

So I think back to times I've been nervous before sports events. Most of those have been before O' events, but the problem certainly declined over the years, run enough events and pretty soon A meets are no big deal, and then national championships are no reason to panic. But international events can still fire up the nerves. And I still haven't found a way to deal with it, other than to keep competing so that eventually even the main events become somewhat routine.

But this was just a little local club match, and my stomach was still rumbling.

And then I thought back to the Western States 100 Mile in June, 1993. First time at the event, the grand-daddy of the 100-milers, across the Sierra from Squaw Vally to Auburn, CA. It wasn't my first 100-miler, I'd finished four others out West that were just as hard, but I remember as we were driving east on I-80 up into the mountains and I got a sense of the scale of what lay ahead, I was literally shaking. Nervousness, anxiety, a healthy dose of fear.

And I remember at some point I said to myself, Would you rather be coming up here to run tomorrow, or coming up here to crew for someone else who was going to run?

And the answer, quite immediately, was that I wanted to run. And so the next question was, Well, if you are doing what you want to be doing, why are you nervous?

And somehow that settled me right down.

And I thought about the golf match, and I asked myself, Why are you doing this? Is it for some form of hoped-for athletic accomplishment?

And the answer was, No, I see it as a nice way to meet someone I wouldn't otherwise meet.

And the conclusion from that was, And that's making you nervous?

I calmed right down, and a little while later the drive off the first tee was dead center. And the company was good, very nice guy. And as fate would have it, he had lived in the Tahoe area for many years, working building ski lifts, had worked at Squaw Valley a bunch, had even watched the start of Western States most years, certainly the couple times I'd been there. A small world...

hike (with pack, 8 pounds) 39:52 [2]
shoes: Air Max Trail 09/05

Out just before dinner, direct route to the top of Toby, same as last Thursday but didn't have the willpower to put the extra 5 pounds in the pack. So a little quicker, heart rate a touch lower at the top (170).

trail running 35:58 [3]
shoes: Air Max Trail 09/05

Then ran back the round-about way, striding out more, back to more normal pace, feeling reasonably good except for the pack bouncing around a bt more than I cared for.

More pleasant day-dreaming, including thinking back to Sunday and the trip over to Clint's fine meet at Crandalls, and how if Phil had gone and we'd driven together, then we surely would have stopped on the way home for a nutritional break, something similar I'm sure to our stop after the Billygoat, when he got a large bag of something he claimed were "health food chips," I mean, I think they had a little bit of whole grain in them though they were mainly fat and salt, and I got a rather large container of some delicious ice cream, all packed full of beneficial calcium and protein.

And I thought about this for a while and decided that tonight might be desert time again, have to follow Wyatt's advice and not get the weight too low (and it was 126.5 after the run).

So that got me most of the way home, reality intruding just a bit towards the end in the way of little aches and just general tiredness.

And then I get home and see that Phil had been laid low by food poisoning on Sunday evening, which is something you shouldn't wish on anybody, and I'm thinking, damn, he should have come to Crandalls, at least he would have had a good base of health food chips to fall back upon.

Off to Sugarloaf Frostee.... :-) :-)

Monday Jun 11, 2007 #

biking 1:06:33 [4] 20.3 mi (3:17 / mi)
rhr:47 slept:5.5 weight:130lbs

Was about to go out in the early afternoon, though feeling neither inspired nor energetic, but the radar showed storms moving this way and a little too close. So I lay down for a moment.

Woke up an hour or so later, storm had passed and the sun was out, had a little food , dug a few holes for some plants Gail was putting in, and then headed out. And felt much better.

Old Deerfield / River Road loop, hardly any wind, pavement almost totally dry, and for the first time this year had some zip in the legs. I'm not a good cyclist and everything is relative, but it felt like there was a little power in the quads, something that might at least register a positive number on one of JJ's power meters, if I had one. And it felt great!

Three minutes faster than any other time on the loop this year, and within a couple of minutes of times from a couple years ago when I was doing more biking. Excellent. Good for morale, the psychological equivalent of an extra-large chocolate milkshake.... :-)

Weight was 127 afterwards. Which is not to be confused with the G, which is only measured in the morning. Need to drink up.


So I went to Eastern Mountain Sports to start looking into things that might may a rogane more enjoyable -- better socks, better shoes, other blister prevention/treatment stuff, a little bit bigger Camelback.

At some point some sales guy comes over, do I need help.

Well, it depends, do you know you stuff, I ask.

Well, it depends, he says, if you want to know the chemical composition of the glue that holds the shoes together, then I'm in trouble, but I know a thing or two.

Now I'm hopeless when it comes to gear, just never have paid attention, but we talked for the better part of an hour (the store was not busy, very stormy out), and he was pretty cool. Even to the point of, when he goes to get me a pair of Montrail Hardrock shoes to try on, he gets a pair in his size too and puts them on, just so he remind himself of how they feel.

So I didn't get any shoes, got to do some more research first. Did get a couple different kinds of socks. And did, in my best imitation of Barb, though not nearly as well, spend a bit of time proselytizing about the joys of orienteering.

Nathen, nice guy. I'll be back.

Oh, and I passed on Sugarloaf Frostee on the way out, on the way back it was closed up tight. Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday Jun 10, 2007 #

trail running 5:00 [2]

Warm-up, legs ok, just no energy.

orienteering 20:38 [3] 2.51 km (8:13 / km)
rhr:54 slept:5.0 weight:129.5lbs shoes: integrators 2006

Woke up too early again, but once the mind warms it, it's clear sleep is done for so might as well get up.

Went to a WCOC meet at Crandall's in Tolland, CT. First of two sprints. New "map in progress" by Clint Morse. Very fine area. No, make that very, very fine. Clint suggested it was ok to run in shorts, and I thought, great, it's warm, I'll put on shorts, most of the course will be on trails or through open areas.

So it turned out most of the course was just through the woods, but I have hardly a scratch on my legs. I wasn't running aggressively, but still, that's quite something for summertime in New England. It's not like the forest was totally clean, but it sure was clean enough to make running a pleasure.

I think I was feeling the recent lack of sleep, especially on the brain. (I was feeling real drowsy on the drive over, if it had been another 15 minutes I think I would have had to pull over for a nap.) A couple of dumb mistakes (wrong turn going to #2, what's this big open area..., then only off about 45 degrees on the approach to 5), both at least corrected quickly, plus several times not spotting the control right away. plus running cautiously, but it still felt pretty good. No, I can do better than that, it felt great!

Legs were tired, fell once, stumbled a couple of times, but hamstring seemed fine.

Sprint A map.

orienteering 24:49 [3] 2.62 km (9:28 / km)
shoes: integrators 2006

Took about a 10-minute break, and then headed off on sprint B. The brain was apparently still in another time zone, and the legs checked out on me energy-wise towards the end, but still, no injuries. Excellent.

Forest again nice, I was still in shorts, still no scratches. I've marked on the map (short dark blue cross lines on my route) places where I stopped, not knowing for sure where I was, probably stood for 10-15 seconds each time, then got going again whether I'd figured out anything or not. I count about 6 times, including once about 15' from the flag at #6, just didn't see it. Yikes. So the time was pretty slow. But that's fine, the main thing was the legs were still ok.

Sprint B map.

hike 36:30 [1]
shoes: integrators 2006

I wanted to take a look at the upper part of the map, but didn't have the energy to run the green course (plus there was a strong feeling to quit while i was ahead). So I just headed off on a brisk stroll, checking out the terrain. Really fine! And there's a lot more terrain Clint hasn't started mapping yet.

Then drove home, drowsy again towards the end, and took a much-needed nap....

Rest of map.

Saturday Jun 9, 2007 #

rhr:51 slept:5.0 weight:129lbs

Feeling depleted and sleepy, so two breakfasts and a nap before we head off to visit with Charlie and Rhonda for the day.

Got my tent back, thanks to Jerry Rhodes of CROC. And pad, and sleeping bag, and pillow, and towel, and pants. :-)

And said farewell to one toenail, and most of the skin around it (that's enough details).

Ooooh, and the really big coup -- I happened to look at the date as I was about to post this and it was June 9th. June 9th? Yeah, June 9th! Anniversary #34. And the big deal is we've both been up a while and I was the first to remember, usually Gail's the one. So I go find her and give her a big hug and we laugh.

I think one year it was quite late in the day before either remembered.

We got married the day Secretariat won the Triple Crown at Belmont. Pulled out the TV during the reception, much to Gail's grandmother's dismay, because everyone wanted to watch. So now when I see something in the papers talking about it being time for the Belmont Stakes again, it reminds me that another anniversary is coming....

Friday Jun 8, 2007 #

rhr:52 slept:5.5 weight:129lbs

Up too early, as usual. And 129? Feeling very dehydrated, sweated off 4 pounds on yesterday evening's outing and obviously didn't replace it all.

Direct route to the top is pink, round-about route back via the S curves is blue (where different).

Hamstring not too bad. And the evening outings are fun. At least for now. Not looking forward to the arrival of the first FDFs....

biking 53:32 [3] 15.2 mi (3:31 / mi)

Leverett loop, clockwise. Was going to be an intensity 2 ride, if that, I was feeling beat after a round of rogaine practice on a hot and steamy day. So I started out a little slower than usual, and felt lousy, but after about 15 minutes and a few hills the legs seem to get a little life, and I kept up a decent pace and effort the rest of the way. Pleasant surprise, although not totally unexpected, as today had already been dubbed "Feeling Young, Feeling Good Day."

"Feeling Young" because at some point out on the links it occurred to me that there were a whole lot of other men out there who either were old, or sure looked old (and fat, too), and compared to them, I was looking pretty young. And I was certainly looking as young as I am ever going to look again, barring some major cosmetic surgery. So I decided that I ought to enjoy being young, and today ought to be "Feeling Young Day." And it is quite possible that this is also "Feeling Young Week," and though I don't want to look too far ahead, quite possible "Feeling Young Month," as well.

So that was part 1. And part 2 was when we were standing on the 17th tee and I had the honor but we were still waiting to hit, and one of the guys looks in my direction says something like, "Well, the guy with the funny shaped head is up." Well, I didn't hesitate a moment before I responded, "Which one of us 4 guys with funny shaped heads are you talking about?" and a third guy says, "Boy you sure got that right," and we're all laughing. And there have been many times, given that I have in fact had a funny shaped head all my life, that such a comment would have been hard to swallow. I think I'm making progress. Therefore "Feeling Good Day" and let's hope at least "Feeling Good Week."

So anyway, one thing is sure -- after another of Gail's fine dinners that I am about to sit down to (fish, snow peas, big salad), I am then planning to venture out to a local establishment called Sugarloaf Frostee for one, or possibly two, chocolate milkshakes. Or something equally good. All in celebration of FYFG Day.


Ooooh, just one, but it was good.

Thursday Jun 7, 2007 #

rhr:50 slept:6.0 weight:131lbs

Decided it was time to make some progress on my course setting duties for the US Relay Champs, so I headed down to Osbournedale to take a look around. I had a few vague ideas for the courses, but nothing even close to specific, just mainly wanted to see what it was like when the vegatation was up, and also to look at the possibilities for course flow (how to route courses out, in, and through the start/finish area).

So I walked around a while, partly just looking at the possibilities, partly doing some field corrections that were minor in scope but significant in terms of course setting -- like where you have a band of thick stuff on the edge between field and good forest, you have to get the gaps mapped right. trying to do what they did so well at Fair Hill down in DVOA-land. I won't come close to there precision, the goal is to come close enough to make the orienteering fair.

And then I sat for a while and drew up some possibilities, again just flow in and out of the S/F area, and then I walked a bunch more doing some more corrections, seeing if some possible legs made sense.

And finally more sitting, perched on a low wall where an announcer might be, checking the sight lines to various possible spectator controls, thinking about where people would be and how they would be moving, trying to visualize how it would look on the day. And I quite liked what I had come up with.

Now I'll put it away for a couple of days, then take another look and probably make a lot of changes.

A bunch more trips needed, but at least I got started, and felt like i made progress.

Beautiful day, nice drive down thinking of past glories/failures in a variety of running events, thinking of meet notes for the relay on the way back, interupted by a short visit to the Tradition in Windsor for a pleasant 9.

hike (with pack, 13 pounds) 40:35 [3]

Another good dinner, finish watching the usual depressing news, then on with the pack again, except this time I added one of Gail's 5-pound ankle weights. Oof. And of again vowing not to push it, but then of course I did as it got steeper, even a little quicker than last time, why is this necessary? But still very enjoyable. And sweating away and huffing and puffing at the top. Oof, again. Pulse 175+.

trail running (with pack, 13 pounds) 40:03 [3]

And somewhere on the way up I decide I really ought to run back the round-about way, because the hamstring is doing better so I might as well test it again.

As I start out on the way down I think back to the spring of 1981, 6 months after I had the plastic joint put in my big toe, and I was still struggling with the recovery, still wondering if I'd done the right thing, and one day out on a lengthy trail run I kicked a rock head on, and the toe, oh, it hurt, and I thought, there goes another month to recover from this, but 2 or 3 days later it was much better, and then a couple weeks later I kicked another rock real bad, and this time it was better in a day, and it was the first time I allowed myself to think, it's going to be ok.

So the hamstring seemd sore yesterday, good today, so maybe it's really on the mend. And about when I was thinking this I clipped a rock and went sprawling, oof, but no damage done. Though i did trip a bunch more times, whether it was the growing darkness or just picking my feet up less with the pack, who knows, but I think I may well be sore again in the morning. But hopefully not too bad, nor for too long.

And in the meantime, a pretty good workout for the feet, and the shoulders, and the back, and even the legs and the lungs. Only other complainer was the toenail on the little toe of my right foot, which is in the process of declaring independence from the rest of the foot.

Wednesday Jun 6, 2007 #

biking 1:10:38 [3] 20.3 mi (3:29 / mi)
slept:5.5 weight:130lbs

Got out late in the afternoon for a bike ride after several hours of quite skilled rogaine practice, not even spoiled by the fact that I was giving so many strokes, one a hole to one of the guys, that the day turned out slightly on the negative side financially.

Which reminds me, the guy getting 18 strokes is 89 years old, still plays ok if he can keep from choking towards the end, but is also getting pretty down about how frail he is getting and how his game is slowly fading. And the other guy I play with often, Bob, about my age, very friendly, real nice person to play with, and he makes a point every so often of giving the old guy a little pep talk, as opposed to the mindless harrassing chatter you normally hear. Now we are all playing against each other, and yet Bob's helping the guy. And every time I see that I'm in admiration of his generosity. Something to work on for myself....

Anyway, no thunderstorms to run from today, just very windy, as it was on the bike. Swirling, gusty, one moment you're floating, the next moment it feels like your pedaling in mud. Good exercise, I suppose, also just general good practice for dealing with adversity. And that's good practice to have, because Mother Nature isn't always always benign.

The ride was one of my usual loops, up River Road just across the river, a few hills, then back via Old Deerfield, pretty flat. Old Deerfield is were Deerfield Academy is and they were setting up for either graduation or alumni weekend. That's where Phil's daughter goes, 11th grade, next year she'll be graduating. Like her dad, she's very smart.


A poignant and very sweet day on the personal side, some very nice e-mail traffic.

And, people, it looks like I may have totally SCORED on the rogaine partner front.


And finally, just in case Boris does a Swampfox and blows up his own training log, I want to save a comment I put there a couple of days ago:

Hey, no fair, that was what I was going to write. Well, sort of....

I agree, it's really cool, thank you, Kenny. I've been afraid that the various added clusters would somehow make it less useful or appealing, but that hasn't happened. And with any luck, Kenny's Google payments are larger every month, and pretty soon will be large enough that he can quit work, hire a nanny for Samantha, do some good training, and have a chance once again to excel at O' events that don't involve beer.

I use it for several reasons: to keep in touch with friends, to motivate myself to train, to have fun, and, and Barb says, to keep a diary about more than just training, or just orienteering. The latter is quite weird. I think diaries are supposed to be private, though maybe that is an old-fashioned concept. Much of what I write is not of a particularly personal nature, but some is. And sometimes it's a bit scary just putting stuff out there, opening yourself up to who knows might come reading.

But then it's there, in black and white (well, maybe white and black) and there are two great joys -- one is the various feedback you get, sometimes flippant, sometimes hilarious, sometimes serious and thought-provoking, always supportive. The other is the chance to go back in time, to see what I was thinking and doing, sometimes just to see specifically how I prepared for an event, sometimes to see more generally what I was doing and thinking. And that is the greatest pleasure. And the more I have written, and the more openly I have written about what I am thinking and doing and feeling, the greater the pleasure it is. And as I get older and remember even less, that will be even more true.

Tuesday Jun 5, 2007 #

rhr:51 slept:6.0 weight:130.5lbs

Definitely a step backward for the hamstring, some soreness, not terrible, but damn. At least that's damn with a small d for now.

Lay in bed awake for a long time, much too early, feeling very melancholy. A couple of tax clients died this week, both guys in their early 70s, not close friends at all but I knew enough about them to know they were good people, both leave widows behind. What was striking in both cases was the change in the last year or two, as if in a short period of time they had aged a decade or more. One of them knew he was dying soon when I saw him a couple of months ago, we had a long talk, tried to take care of some things so his wife wouldn't have to next year, all just very sad.

And that got me thinking about my own family, and my own parents, and all the issues that were never resolved with my dad, nor ever will be with my mother, and the choices you make at various times in your life, and never knowing if they are the right ones, and always thinking I could have or should have done things differently.

Nothing resolved of course, but it's not really so bad to do the thinking, because there are still many choices ahead, choices to try and get right. Though I will still always be unsure about everything, it's just the way I am. (As opposed to my dad, who was absolutely sure that whatever he did or said was right -- boy, that must make things easy! -- or my mom, well, I've never known what she was really thinking and never will, after my dad died and I was asking her about him and all I could get from her was a totally non-emotional, "He had a good life and it was time to go." Said with the implicit message, this is making me very uncomfortable, I don't want to talk about this, or anything else of substance.)

Well, eventually I get up, maybe about 5:30, and go and pee and then weigh myself, and now it's Damn with a big D because the G is heading back up. Well, not really Damn, half a pound won't kill me. Mainly I just laugh and think how many smiles the G (and its various appearances in various places on AP) has brought me since it was discoverd about a year and a half ago by MW, the musician formerly known as Swampfox.


Well. it turned out to be a fine day after all.

Actually got some work done this morning, then headed out for some rogaine practice but had to beat a hasty retreat after 12 holes when a thunderstorm got way too close. So I went over to the office to take care of a couple of loose ends, only to find out that one of my newly-minted widows had called in a state of panic.

So I rang her up. She was really in a tizzy, understand now that she really loved her husband and he had been dead about 3 days (cancer, hospice, they knew it was coming), but now almost the first thing out of her mouth was, "I am so mad at him!" Wow....

Because, and I sort of knew this, he kept all the books, took care of everything to do with finances, not just their investments, but also the numbers from her business (selling wigs, mostly to cancer patients). So she had no idea what was going on with the numbers. And there were various dates circled on the calendar with "pay taxes" scrawled by them. And she had no idea what to do.

So we talk. And I am good at this. Do this, forget that, keep this, throw that out, here's a list of exactly what I need from your business, here's a list of everything else you need to save for me. And one of my ladies will find someone to do a little very part-time bookkeeping for her. And after 15 or 20 minutes she was almost mellow.

And after a while I'm done with the other stuff and I head home, and get my bike shorts on and am about to head out when I see there are more thunderstorms building, so I think, fine, I'll take the day off, and I get a little more done, and take careof some MW business, and read a little more from this book about bicycling across Siberia, which I first read many years ago, and then it's time for dinner, another delicious production by Gail, and then I actually....

hike (with pack, 8 pounds) 41:05 [3] 2.5 mi (16:26 / mi)

... decide that I'm going for a mellow hike after dinner, something I've never done (who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?). Grab the pack, take the headlamp just in case, and I'm off, full stomach and all, direct route to the top of Toby. And it's a nice fast stroll up to the power line, and then straight up the direct trail, and I get into it and I'm going quick as I can even though I'm still walking, and partway up I check my pulse and it's 150, and then it gets still steeper and I'm really working, staggering a bit right at the top, and when I touch the fence around the tower on top and check my pulse it is now 175-180, almost on the verge of too fast to count. Excellent. The last 650' vertically in 12:20, excellent.

hike (with pack, 8 pounds) 37:12 [1]

The trip back down, very pleasant except for rolling my right ankle near the bottom of the first steep pitch, neither trivial (you forget about it within 100 meters) nor serious, but it took a few minutes to calm down so it will probably bother me for a few days. Getting quite dark at the end, especially in our patch of hemlocks just up the hill. Lots of birds, geese overhead, no big scary creatures. And a lot of good thinking going on.

Monday Jun 4, 2007 #

rhr:49 slept:6.5 weight:130lbs

Just a touch of soreness in the hamstring this morning. So I have a mix of pleasure at how things survived yesterday and anxiety that there are still problems ahead. We shall see.

Looks like rain all day. A zillion things to get done, I've been slacking off recently. It would be nice to make some significant progress. And maybe get out for a hike.

hike (with pack, 7 pounds) 1:03:39 [2] 4.0 mi (15:55 / mi)

So Wyatt says get out and hike, so I get out and hike, within 10 minutes I'm out the door. It also helps that there is a lull in the rain. (Was Wyatt a drill sergeant in an earlier life, the type that when he says, "Jump," all you can answer is, "How High?" And in some future life will he have enough pain tolerance that a mile in under 5 minutes is not a big deal?)

Figuring that at some point I will again go rogaining, I pulled out the Camelback, filled it up with water to get at least a little weight, and headed out, after a few minutes to get into it I was walking as fast as I could. And certainly breathing hard on the uphills. Long route up to the top of Toby, I remember it taking right about an hour when I used to do this for training for 100-milers, so this was an ok time.

And very pleasant mentally, daydreaming away, lots of old memories being resurrected.

trail running 41:37 [2] 4.0 mi (10:24 / mi)

And then jogging back the same way, very carefully, not so bad a cadence but a short stride. Rain picked up and it was coming down pretty hard towards the end, but it didn't seem to bother me at all. In fact I was thinking, need to do this more often, an outing just like this on the days when it's wet, when golf or biking are pretty unappealing. Just grab a pack for a little extra weight, a little extra clothing if you get cold, and head out for a while. I was feeling quite mellow.

Except for the last 100 meters, when I scared up a deer which had been lying right by the little path that connects the trails on the mountain to our house. It jumpd up with a start, no more than 20 meters from me, I shrieked, it snorted a few times (I didn't) and then went tearing back and forth and then out of sight over a little rise in the woods. And then a moment later as I reached the corner of the house, there it was dashing across the driveway. Pretty cool.

Except I'm pretty sure this is the guy that's been eating Gail's flowers.... :-(

Sunday Jun 3, 2007 #

orienteering 1:00:47 [3] 6.5 km (9:21 / km) +755ft 7:57 / km
slept:6.0 weight:130lbs shoes: integrators 2006

Awesome day.

Woke up obviously quite dehydrated as the G was down to a modern era low (and very close to the all-time post-college low of 129, achieved by dropping 23 pounds in the first 6 weeks at Officer Candidate School in 1968).

I had decided late yesterday that I wanted to go orienteering today, and by orienteering I was thinking running and navigating, not just walking and navigating. My hamstring had survived the Billygoat and the rogaine without any complaints, so it was time to see where things stood. But I didn't really want to drive by myself, so I called up Phil. He was out, I left a message, but heard nothing last night. So no idea if I was going, nor where, since there were meets in the Boston area (Nobscot), east of Hartford (Gay City), and southwestern Connecticut (Trout Brook Valley) to choose from. Just hoping I would go.

8:40 this morning he calls up, just got my message. I was at his place in 30 minutes, headed to Nobscot as it turned out. Just fine, had been there several times, nice area, but my last visit was probably in the late 70s.

Drive over, tape up the one remaining bad blister, warm up for a few minutes, the legs feel dead but pain free. Then out on the course. Total screw up to the first control, no idea what I'm doing, but I'm running, in the woods too, not fast, but it feels ok. And I slowly remember how to orienteer, and slowly start to run a little faster, and grit my teeth and run up a few hills, and then even towards the end start to run a little faster. And I'm sweating away, and getting tired. And it feels so good just to be moving through the forest at least moderately well, because it's been so long. And I run a little harder still in from the last control, taking a bit of a risk, and the legs still feel fine. Yippee!

It may not last. I may screw things up tomorrow. But when you go for a long time enjoying something and sort of taking it for granted that you'll always be able to do it, and then you can't, and the months drag on, then getting it back even just for a day is so sweet.

Three fine weekends in a row -- the Billygoat, gone to just at the last moment thanks to some prodding from JJ here on AP, a wonderful mix of the social and the competitive even if I was not competitive, certainly an event I should never again think of skipping; the rogaine, a wonderful weekend with a new team, thanks again to Barb for prodding me to do it, doing better and having more fun than could be imagined; and now this, a good trip over and back with my good friend Phil, and then feeling great in the woods. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Of course I will no have no excuse now not to do some training. But it is nice to have that option.

Oh, and I took two scalps (scalpettes?), the WOC stars Sam and Hilly. Excellent.... :-)


Today's map.


First time at a local non-sprint meet in a while, and with a 3-hour registration period, the old feeling of ships passing in the night, various people you knew might be there, but who knows if you would see them.

Did see all the Saeger/Karpinski's, most running multiple courses, I believe Hillary was heading out on her third course when I saw her.

Also Cristina's mom, looking very stylish in her USA top.


Finally got around to doing the numbers on last weeks rogaine --

Did 66 km as the crow flies, maybe 75 km actual distance?
Climb was 12,700 feet.
Away from the hash house the whole time, I consumed 2,500 calories, had about 600 left over in my pack, always felt like I had enough to eat and good energy.
Still working on removing grass seeds from my shoes and socks, total number estimated in the billions....

And tried out new and thicker socks today, felt good. Got to go investigae shoe options.

Saturday Jun 2, 2007 #

biking 1:48:57 [3] 28.6 mi (3:49 / mi)
slept:6.5 weight:131lbs

Biking through Amherst down to Bay Road, back through Hadley. Was planning to go farther but didn't have much zip so cut it short, and glad I did. Warm day, dewpoint 65, I was sweating profusely.

And I am in such bad shape. Not for going at an easy pace, that's ok, but anything quicker becomes a real struggle, real quickly. Just have to take things day by day, or even hill by hill.

I hope to start running this coming week. The hamstring seemed to survive the rogaine (and the Billygoat) just fine, and I've been getting very little butt pain when sitting. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday Jun 1, 2007 #

biking 1:40:06 [3] 27.0 mi (3:42 / mi)
slept:7.0 weight:132lbs

Tiime for some exerise. Tried on the bike shoes and they didn't seem to bother my blisters, so took a nice ride out 47, up to Lake Wyola, and then to the top of the hill in Wendell. Wind more or less helping on the way out/up (57:27), more or less in the face on the way back/down (43:29). Sweating away on a warmish day, but good to get out. And I feel inspired to see if I can start getting back into shape, a least a little bit -- been looking at the rogaine calendar.... :-)

The G is pretty much at an all-time low, I think. If it was possible to invest in the G, it would be a good time to buy, because the potential for any further downside movement seems pretty limited.

Even though you never know. At Charlie's on Monday his mom, who is a piece of work in her own right, looked at me and said, you look thinner, and I said I'd lost a little weight, and she said yeah, you used to look sort of chunky, yes, chunky, I believe that was the word she used.

But maybe she was just being polite, and the fact is I still look rather chunky. Should I be shooting for sub-130?

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