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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: PG

In the 31 days ending Oct 31, 2007:

activity # timemileskm+ft
  orienteering4 8:32:03 9.69 15.6 89
  trail running9 7:02:52
  road running4 3:01:19 20.25 32.59
  track5 1:39:30 15.57(6:23) 25.07(3:58)
  run/hike1 39:42
  Total20 20:55:26 45.52 73.26 89
averages - weight:137.7lbs

» now

Wednesday Oct 31, 2007 #


Thinking back to the first day of the A meet in Chicago a week and a half ago, and to all the comments about how flat it was, I thought I would look in the archives for maps of a couple of places that I've orienteered that were definitely flatter.

Found one of them so far, day 1 of the Austrian 5-Day in 1996. The contour interval was 5 meters, though all I can find on the map is a couple of very short form lines. But because of all the other stuff on the map, the orienteering was quite cool. And it did get hillier towards the end, I think we had to cross a couple of low earth walls....

The other place was on the island of Gotland off the east coast of Sweden. Definitely not fun, not at all. Maybe I destroyed the maps?

Tuesday Oct 30, 2007 #

track 9:26 [5] 2.4 km (3:56 / km)
weight:138lbs shoes: Montrail

Back to the track for a short session (I've been staying off the trails to cut the risk of zapping my ankle) -- was maybe supposed to be 4 x 800 @3:10, but I wasn't totally committed to that, and after I did the third one a little too quick, doing the fourth just didn't have any appeal. I believe I said to myself, Good workout, that's enough, quit while you are ahead.

3:11.9, 3:08.8, 3:04.9, 4-minute cycle so not much rest. Interesting in that the third one felt harder at the end, but my legs also felt looser.

I'm psyched about trying to get my 5K time back down close to 20. Sometimes you just need a goal.

track 1:58 [3] 2.4 km (49 / km)
shoes: Montrail

A mile before, a half-mile after.

Monday Oct 29, 2007 #

road running 53:42 [3] 6.8 mi (7:54 / mi)
weight:138lbs shoes: Montrail

A late afternoon run up along the river, beautiful out although verging on chilly (had our first frost of the season last night), just kept a steady pace and felt not so bad. Town line 17:50, 2-silo loop 18:40, back from the town line 17:12.

As usual the absolute hardest part was getting out the door. But very pleased for having done it.

Toying with the idea of running the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day.

Sunday Oct 28, 2007 #

track 5:44 [5] 1.6 km (3:35 / km)
weight:137.5lbs shoes: Montrail

Legs didn't feel too bad after yesterday's time in the woods, so after a very pleasant round of rogaine practice I stopped at the track on the way home. The plan was something short and quick to work on just getting the legs moving faster. The first thought was 4 x 400, but as I got near the track various other possibilities were considered, all consisting of some mix of 400s and/or 800s, not too many, a decent rest, but by the time I was at the track, I was back to the original idea, 4 x 400 with a good rest, going on a 3-minute cycle, 85-90 seconds each. Which is just what I did.

87.8, 85.8, 86.2, 83.7. Last one was hard work, and all were quicker than any running I've been doing recently. It helped a lot psychologically that a very short workout was planned. But still, good satisfaction, did just what I wanted.

(It's funny how doing a track workout on your own is hard for a couple of reasons -- no one for company and distraction from the pain, and also total freedom to do exactly what you want, no one announcing what the workout will be. Freedom is great, but sometimes life is easier if someone just says, Do this.)

track 11:55 [3] 2.4 km (4:58 / km)
shoes: Montrail

A mile before, half a mile after.

Saturday Oct 27, 2007 #

orienteering 21:02 [3]
weight:138lbs shoes: integrators 2006

WCOC sprint at Huntington SP in Redding, CT, orchestrated by Joe B (with help from Pavlina), added on to part 3 of his Du-O series (4-hour score-Os, half foot-O, half MTB O), all team fundraisers!

Sprint map.

Rain all day, heavy at times. I was planning to drive down with Phil, which was just as good because otherwise I might not have gone, and it turned out to be a fine day, perhaps with exception of my post-orienteering diet which consisted of a quart of chocolate milk, a bag of chips, and one of my special bacon double cheeseburgers on whole wheat bread (hold the bacon, hold the cheese, hold the burger), so that by the time I got back to Sunderland I was still feeling a bit bloated.

By a fine day, I don't mean that my orienteering was sharp, just that a couple of hours of orienteering in the rain turned out to be very pleasant, a sense that the elements were conspiring against me -- rain, wind, lots of puddles, slippery -- but as long as I did no damage to myself, it was a lot better than spending the day inside. And I don't think I did any damage, no bad spills, no ankle rolling. So a fine day.

But my orienteering certainly was not sharp. I seemed to have trouble reading the map on the run, though I think that was because the ground was on the rocky side and I was being careful not to roll my ankle. And my legs seemed to not have much zip either. So it was a very pedestrian trip around the course. Oh, well....

orienteering 1:39:44 [3]
shoes: integrators 2006

The Du-O, a nice trip around Huntington.


I'll add some more comments later, but there's an interesting show on the tube (last week's Masterpiece Theater, we never watch anything live, so no ads, not that there are any on MT anyway) and a cold beer in the frig that needs my attention.

Friday Oct 26, 2007 #


Finally finished the Einstein biography, all 550 pages, though I passed on the 100+ pages of notes. Reasonably interesting, Wanting to give it a ranking, but under the binary system, 0 seems too low and 1 too high. (And why is the binary system from 0 to 1, and not from 1 to 10, which would at least make it look just like the decimal system?)

Took it back to the library, 2 weeks overdue, but no fines on overdue books as long as they are not an inter-library loan. Got 3 more books, a couple of easy-reading ones and a book of stories by Katha Pollitt, "Learning to Drive," think it might be interesting if I can get through it. Also had a nice chat with the librarian, her mom just died, lived just down the street, a stalwart in town, I should have gone to the funeral but forgot.

No training today though the legs felt ok despite yesterday at the track. Sprint plus Du-O at Huntington tomorrow, hosted by Joe, rain expected. With any luck I will move into the lead in the 2008 Sprint Series!

Thursday Oct 25, 2007 #

track race 20:46 [5] 5.0 km (4:09 / km)
weight:138lbs shoes: Montrail

5K time trial at the Eaglebrook track, all by myself. Hoping for 21:00, did 20:46.

I had in mind to do this for several days. The Thursday track group sessions are over for the year, but I wanted to keep trying to go to the track once a week. And I want to see if I can get down to 20 minutes one last time. Which also ties in with getting my weight back under control. And if I can manage both of these, than better orienteering will follow. So several motivations which are all connected, and maybe makes success a little more likely.

Though I must say that actually getting on the track today was a challenge. Eaglebrook is a private school, has a very nice track. The group would meet at 5:30 pm -- and we had permission -- by that time any school activities were over. But I had a board meeting in Greenfield at 5:30. I had been planning to head to the track about 3, but then something came up that had to be attended to, one of my very much least favorite things to deal with, yup, uniforms, so I had to spend a while dealing with customs brokers and shipping agents and re-arranging delivery and hoping it will all work out, and by then it was too late to get to the track, run, get home and shower, and still get to Greenfield by 5:30. So I went with plan B, which skipped the return home and the shower.

So I got to the track about 4:30, and there was a soccer game going on, and a few spectators, some of them on the track, and of course I had no permission to run there. Bummer. Give it a little time, I thought, so I went off to warm up a little in the nearby forest, and just as I came back I heard a long whistle and the game appeared to be over. And people started to leave, ever so slowly, and I didn't really want to get out on the track until everyone was gone, so I was sort of lingering in the woods just above the track, sort of like one of those creepy old men who apparently are quite common, especially in DVOA land.

Eventually it was safe, and I zipped out there, a couple hundred yards on the track as a last little loosening up, and then off, really only time to do two miles, which is what I thought I might settle for. The plan/hope was to run 6:45 miles (well, 1600s), and the first one went by in 6:40, a little too quick I figured, well, if I could hold on and do 6:45 and then 6:50 that would be OK. And then the next 1600 went by in 6:42, and it looked like 21 minutes would be possible, and I must say at this point I had forgotten about the board meeting, totally focussed on the task at hand. And then the third 1600 went by in 6:38, and then the last 200 and I was done. And the wonderful transition in just 20 minutes from total dread of what was to come to total satisfaction. I believe the appropriate phrase is, so fine!

Straight to the car, and only 5 minutes late for the board meeting.

400 splits:
1:40.6 (6:39.7)
1:40.0 (6:42.0)
1:38.8 (6:38.1)

trail running 12:00 [3]
shoes: Montrail


Wednesday Oct 24, 2007 #



The diet is awesome. Or maybe it was using the lippo attachment on the vacuum cleaner last night....

trail running 1:09:03 [3]
weight:138lbs shoes: Montrail

With Phil, power line, towards the gate, bridle path loop, and back. Ankle was still feeling fragile, so taped it up a bit (used some of my fine blue duct tape) and took it very carefully on all downhills, including not landing on my heels, since that is when I have been hurting it. Made it through without any damage. So the run was a combination of a good effort on all the ups and super relaxed on all the downs. Which is ok.

Then some lunch, read an item about whether the elderly have a harder time sleeping well because they are old or because they have lots of things wrong with them, article seemed to say that it wasn't being old that caused problems, just the various ailments or pain or medications.

Then went upstairs and took a long nap....

The rain and wind of the last couple of days has brought down a lot of leaves (and covered over most of the rocks), all of a sudden it is looking like November, though we still haven't had a frost here. The latter is fine by me. I'm in no hurry to see snow and ice.

Think I'll go to Huntington on Saturday for Joe's Du-O' and sprint, team fundraiser. Trying to make an early move in the Sprint Series.... :-)

Tuesday Oct 23, 2007 #


Time for a New Year's Resolution.

Whereas the current state of the G, which today checked in at


is an absolute disaster,

Whereas my pants are getting snugger, and

Whereas remedial action is required ASAP,

It is resolved that

The Diet starts tonight.


Maps and a few comments from last weekend --

Middle distance (Red course)

1. Just went right at it. Think I was about right but didn't see it (I went out later to take another look....). Clue was a fallen tree, turned out the fallen tree was hung up, trunk was at about 45 degrees, control was on the south side. At that point I was semi-screwed, didn't know where I was. Checked out the next knoll to the east, and beyond it was a control in a low area, though not mine. Still didn't know where I was. Turned back to the west and lucked into my control. Lost 2 or 3 minutes, a lot of time standing around.
2. Time to get moving. Thick where I hit the low area, didn't see the flag, turned left, hit the trail, turned back. Another minute gone.
3. Really time to get moving. Barely picked up the intermittent trail, was navigating mainly by the open are off to my left. But the reentrant SE of the control was quite distinct. Turned there, spotted the control.
4. Never saw the trail, navigated by the marsh.
5. Out of control. Just running NW, not in touch, confused by thicker stuff, not sure if I was right or left. Out to field to check. Another couple minutes gone.
6. Past the end of the field, crossed another trail without seeing it, but followed compass and left side of shallow spur.
7. Trail, compass, read the contours, very distinct, easy.
8. Through the crap, along field, down the trail a ways, turned in, surprised that I had already gone too far.
9. Compass, aiming for marsh.
10. Out of control again, no plan, quite confused until I crossed the bike path, just before it turned my ankle, hobbling all the way to control. Good part was I was starting to understand what the marshes looked like.
11. North to the bike trail, then in.
12 and 13. No problem, ankle getting better.
Finish. Missed the trail, got hung up in thorns at the edge of the field. Overall, ran hard, got tired, way too much out of control orienteering, but some ok too.


Much better, though it was also much easier. Got tired towards the end.
1-5. Out to the open as much as possible. Maybe not always the fastest, but safe.
6. A little left of west, then a little right, control popped up right in front of me.
7. On compass, stopped short, thought a bit, went a little farther, very happy to see it.
8-Finish. No problems, was doing better at looking ahead, spotting controls from a distance.

Classic distance (Red course)

A surprising day. Woods were supposed to be quite thick, but thanks to a good course, we saw only the best parts and could run around most of the crap. So speed (8 min/km) was much better than expected.
1. Trail, past the marsh, nice woods.
2. Compass and contours, scattered barberry (lots of little thorns), could avoid most of it.
3. Checking off reentrants, turned left when I was supposed to.
4. Woods weren't bad, just trying to find the line of least resistance to the field.
6. First sloppiness. Got the control ok, but was meandering a bit on the way.
7. Had first thought to go east to main trail, then north, but on reflection (while I was going to 5), it seemed the road was better. Which I'm sure it was. Zapped my ankle again on the little trail through the dark green. Limping badly to 7, eased up a lot shortly thereafter.
8. Lucky to spot the trail through the green south of the marsh. But then blew control, totally mindless -- was heading up the wrong reentrant when I saw Karl Ahlswede cutting across my route (he had just left 8). Boy he must be lost was my reaction. Nope.
9. Got helped into 9 by Karl and a couple others coming out.
10. Caught Karl.
11. Ok execution. Control was easy, but getting past the junk 3/4 of the way was a little tricky.
12. Another road run, my specialty.
13 and finish. Getting tired, but still working hard. Pleased with the run, good way to finish the weekend on a positive note.

Monday Oct 22, 2007 #


How you go Sox!

Sunday Oct 21, 2007 #


Day 1 results and link to maps (on Route Gadget) are here.

trail running 10:00 [2]
shoes: integrators 2006

Warm-up, felt sluggish.

orienteering 1:05:58 [4] 8.3 km (7:57 / km)
shoes: integrators 2006

Day 2, longer course, thicker woods, but my orienteering was much better. And another good effort physically.

The woods were advertised/rumored to be quite thick, with a variety of thorny plants including barberry and greenbrier. Which they were. But we had what I thought was a great course, used the best parts of the forest and gave options to avoid most of the bad parts. I've run courses where the course setter has felt that the advanced courses, in order to be "advanced" courses, couldn't allow any running on trails, that made things too easy. And you get a series of 500-meter legs, all trails crossed perpendicularly, and a course that may be difficult but is not particularly interesting. And if the woods are thick, is definitely not fun. But this course was definitely fun.

Was much sharper today, though not without problems, once at a control (a minute?), once on a route (half a minute?), in both cases not paying enough attention to what I was doing. But that's not so bad. Other problem was getting my ankle, again. It felt fine, no problems (and no vitamin I this morning!), but about halfway I landed badly running down a rutted trail, really hurt, all I could do to hobble along, barely running and some just walking, for the next three or four minutes, and then it slowly got better, so after about 15 minutes it was just a mild annoyance. Sore afterwards but not terrible. Don't know what is going on.

Despite that, my running was better. Feeling tired much of the time, but that's because I was trying to keep up a decent pace. Maybe getting in a little better shape? In any case, my time per kilometer was just barely slower then yesterday. Of course, it helps to not have screwed up so much.


A really nice event by CAOC. Interesting terrain, fine courses, a very non-stressed, competent, and friendly organization, great weather. And they even made the sprint a team fundraiser! Absolutely worth going there.

A nice weekend socially too. I got back on my program of trying to connect more in depth with other orienteers who I may have been acquainted with for a long time, but no more. And you find some people doing very interesting things, things that have nothing to do with orienteering ability, and that process of discovery is really fun. And also helps keep the mind focused on what is important, and what isn't.

Saturday Oct 20, 2007 #

trail running 10:00 [2]
shoes: integrators 2006


orienteering 39:34 [4] 5.1 km (7:45 / km) +59ft 7:37 / km
shoes: integrators 2006

Big Blues Ramble, middle distance, M45 (Red). Put out a good effort but not much to show for it as my orienteering was woefully deficient, mistakes on 1, 2, 5, 8, and 10 (out of 13 controls), probably 7 minutes total. Plus rolled my right ankle again on the way to 10, hurt a lot, but just kept moving and it slowly mellowed out and at the end, maybe 7-8 minutes later, it wasn't bad at all.

Good forest, quite flat, got the better of me.

I'll post maps when I get home.

trail running 5:00 [3]
shoes: integrators 2006

Had something to eat and drink, took 800 mg Vitamin I, and after a bit it was time for the sprint. Warm-up/test -- ankle felt a little twingy, not bad at all.

orienteering 13:28 [4] 2.2 km (6:07 / km) +30ft 6:00 / km
shoes: integrators 2006

Big Blues Ramble sprint, fundraiser for the team (thanks, Joe!!) and opening event in the 2008 Sprint Series. Another good effort, acceptable result given my current form, best was Will Hawkins in 10:20.

Beautiful day, very pleasant meet site, good vibes, glad I came.

Thursday Oct 18, 2007 #

track 12:47 [4] 2.0 mi (6:23 / mi)
weight:138lbs shoes: Montrail

Thursday evening track group, last one of the year, getting rather dark. Whatever good legs I had yesterday didn't show up today. So given the choice of staying close to my planned times and running out of gas early, or slowing down and doing the whole workout, I opted for the former.

1200, 800, 800, 400, not much rest (cycle was equivalent to 8-minute pace), 4:55, 3:13, 3:12, 86.8. Plan was 4:50, 3:10, 3:10, 90, and then repeat, but something had to give. Ran the 400 faster and then wisely quit.

Now I'll have to try to keep doing this on my own.

track 8:28 [2] 1.0 mi (8:28 / mi)
shoes: Montrail


Wednesday Oct 17, 2007 #

trail running 1:09:32 [3]
weight:138lbs shoes: Montrail #2

With Phil, from Mill River to Depot Road and back. Relaxed pace, legs felt good, especially for an ice-cream inhaling sextagenarian! Even though I have been living more on cake than ice cream the last couple of days. Maybe that's the secret.

Very pleasant afternoon. One garter snake, three deer, one hunter, no falls. Working hard enough to feel like it was an effort, but also always felt I could have gone quicker. Very nice.

Spent part of the run thinking about a couple of e-mails that annoyed me, Got that out of my system, figured out what to do on the way home. As usual, the response I really want to make is not the one that will be made. I thought I had reached the age where I could say exactly what I felt like saying, anyone else be damned, but apparently I'm not quite there yet. Maybe 64?

Tuesday Oct 16, 2007 #

trail running 56:30 [3]
weight:137lbs shoes: Montrail #2

I was out in the NW corner of the state and just before I left I grabbed an old guide booklet for the Taconic Crest Trail, hoping I might manage to get a run in on a trail I had always intended to check out but had never actually managed to do. My map showed a rolling trail along or just off the crest, and about 3 miles to the north, on a little side trail, something called the "Snow Hole," supposedly still containing snow late in the summer or even year round.

So mid-afternoon I drove up to Petersburg Pass, where Rt. 2 crosses into New York state, and headed north on the trail, taking the map/booklet with me. First stop was a couple hundred yards up the trail, display board with a map of Hopkins Forest (owned by Williams College), that rang a bell, someone, Platt or Dunlavey I thought, had made an O' map of Hopkins Forest once. But the map posted here didn't give credit to either of them.

Onward. A nice trail, and a nice run, over to where a side trail heads off in what seems to be the right spot to find the Snow Hole. And I head off down it and in what seems like just the right distance I come to a couple of not very impressive rocky depressions. Definitely no snow in them. The trail keeps going, down rather steeply, which does not reflect what is on my map, so I go no further, but I search around a little (there are some paths here and there), and I come upon a hole....

It's not very big, but it goes down 6 or 8 feet, and though it's quite dark down towards the bottom, I'm quite sure there is no snow in there.

Well, that's interesting, I thought, just think if Al Gore knew about this, a famous Snow Hole and there's no snow to be seen. And I headed back, amusing myself with thoughts about how Al might have gotten the Nobel all by himself if he'd known about the Snow Hole, and about how long it would be before the Queen makes him a knight and we have to call him Sir Albert, and whatever. And it was a very pleasant run.

So I got home, and I did a little research. And the first thing I checked is Hopkins Forest, and the O' map is even on line. My route is starting in the lower left corner, going to the upper left corner and back. The field work seems to have been done mostly by Mikell, the cartography by Pat. And the question is -- Is it really an O' map if it has never been used for orienteering? Because I think Williams decided, after the map was done, that it didn't want to open the area up for orienteering. And has this ever happened anywhere else?

And then my next research was about the snow hole. And I found this page and this photo....

Hmm, seems like I was in the wrong place. Guess I need to go back.

Monday Oct 15, 2007 #

road running 47:20 [3] 5.2 mi (9:06 / mi)
weight:138lbs shoes: Montrail #2

With Dave, to the top of South Sugarloaf (25:24) and back (21:56). Not so bad going up the hill, 9:13, better than last time I think. Back still sore, and glad I wasn't doing anything longer.


I put this on Charlie's log, but then thought i might as well add it here -- Here is the 1989 version of the O map, with the blue course for the 2nd day of the US Champs.


And here's the last picture in the series, only one I have that could be of the 40s (though it might be 1950)....

Click on the photo for a bigger version with brothers and sister.

Sunday Oct 14, 2007 #

trail running 1:06:51 [3]
weight:137.5lbs shoes: Montrail #2

Bridle path loop on Mt. Toby. Beautiful morning, low 50s, dewpoint 35, though still had a hard time getting out the door. At which point it seemed prudent to make a bargain -- just get out, no need to run hard. So I took it relatively easy for the first part up to the power line, then a little quicker the rest of the way. Felt ok, though lower back muscles are still tight.

Was thinking about my time for the not quite 5K yesterday, and thinking of course how some more training might lower it. But then it occurred to me that conditions were perfect -- cool (almost cold), low humidity, and my legs seem to have some life. In other words, don't get my hopes up about any great improvement. Though that's no reason not to try.

And also wondering about the course length, measured 3.05 in Gmaps Pedometer -- I assume it measures just horizontally and doesn't take into consideration the extra distance when you go up and down hills -- so how long was it really?


Back to the 50s, and it's slim pickings. The only photo I can find (without making a visit to Litchfield, where I'm sure there are quite a few in old family albums) is from 1954, my Little League team, the "Dodgers" (in those days, the real Dodgers still played in Brooklyn). Though for me and others on the team who were on the small side (midget size?), our apparent team name was the "Odger," as the first D was lost under my right armpit and the S spent its time under my left one.

I played second base. At the plate I think I got a lot of walks because of a very small strike zone.

The other thing I remember is that in those days parents, or at least my parents, never came to games. I got there and back on my bike. Parents, one assumes, had better things to do, and certainly didn't worry that if we were out of sight, then we were sure to be kidnapped, or worse. Times have changed....

(click on photo for a larger version)

Tomorrow, last stop, the 40s (and my birthday). Dave is coming by for a run at 8:30, so I will have the rest of the day to eat cake. :-)

Saturday Oct 13, 2007 #

road running race 21:30 [4] 3.05 mi (7:03 / mi)
weight:138lbs shoes: Montrail #2

5K race right here in Sunderland, part of the "Fall Festival," which I hope they get better attendance at than they did for the race. Maybe 20 starters. Finished 4th, 21:30. But that was ok, got a good hard workout, just what i wanted, and time was not terrible. First road race of the year and only second running race of any kind, almost forgot how to do it....


road running 11:00 [2]
shoes: Montrail #2

A little before, a little after.

Lower back has been very sore last couple of days, a couple of tight muscles. But it seems ok once I get warmed up. Sitting is not so good. Hopefully this will pass....

Looking for the military-era photos -- can't seem to find them!


A fine afternoon, sunny, breezy, just what fall is supposed to be. First played a few holes of mellow golf with a very interesting fellow, on the board of the local YMCA, we had a good talk about non-profits, and then more about the problems of the local schools (his wife is on the School Committee). He was #41, meaning 41st new person I've played with this year. Original goal was 25. A very good project, met a lot of interesting people.

And then home to mow the "lawn" for the second (and last) time this year. Hardly needed mowing -- the moss is looking very healthy and has made great strides this year towards it eventual complete takeover -- but it will make it easier to round up the leaves over the next month.

And then I looked in the Wall Street Journal and found the following --

"Long unpopular with gardeners and careful tenders of grassy lawns, moss has new cachet as a trendy ground and outdoor wall cover. It's also used in small, desktop rock gardens and as a base in Japanese bonsai-tree kits. Gardening Web sites and TV shows advocate its low-maintenance growing potential, the cushiony feel of walking barefoot on it, and even the plant's supposedly stress-reducing green color."

Once again I seem to be ahead of the times without even knowing it.

Definitely a fine afternoon.


Damn, I hadn't lost the military photos after all.... :-)

So, going backwards in time as usual -- what would Einstein say about this whole operation (other than "great hair")? -- here is the most recent beardless photo I can find, last day of work at the Pentagon, where I was a civilian for the last few months but still in a military environment....

And then earlier, getting promoted to first lieutenant....

And then earlier, getting an award for being first in my class at Finance Officer Basic School (and this was really important, because it got me assigned to Washington for two years instead of to Vietnam), location Ft. Benjamin Harrison near Indianapolis, affectionately called Uncle Ben's Rest Home for the easy pace of life, classes every morning, golf every afternoon....

And then earlier, getting commissioned as a second lieutenant (second louie = basically worthless), but this was also as first in my class (and this was really important because it got me commissioned in the Finance Corps instead of as a Combat Engineer). That's my mom on the right....

And then earlier, I spent a couple of months at Ft. Knox in Kentucky learning all about M48 tanks. They were fun to drive....

Now, of course, the military wasn't all hard work. This photo, in which I recognize only myself and the colonel at the far right (but not the 3-star general standing next to me), seems to portray several of us holding what seem to be golf trophies! I do recall at some point a week-long all-expenses paid trip to Louisville for the First Army Golf Tournament....

And, of course, there was a lot more to the 60s, though my photo files are almost totally barren. All I can come up with is....

Tomorrow, the 50s, but a very meager photo supply.

Friday Oct 12, 2007 #


Back to the 70s, when I started orienteering, and I've found this fine shot of me and Sharon Crawford -- yes, she was actually young once, too! -- at the 1978 O'Ringen, though I'm not sure where the fine hats came from....

Though it was not my only fine hat, there was a blue-and-white model made by Gail -- though you'll have to take my word for the color, as the National Park Service was only using black-and-white film when they covered the croquet tournament on the Eclipse south of the White House, an event sponsored by the British Embassy, in which I won my first two 4-person matches to advance to the final....

Where I got trounced by a guy smoking a pipe, no less.

And then there seems to be a fine multi-colored hat, also by Gail, early 70s, back-country skiing above Taos, though there doesn't appear to be an excess of snow....

Found a photo of another "sport" -- coed touch football, though I'm not sure if any plays were called for the dog....

Through all of this, the younger, the more hair....

And then finally, I can't possibly go zipping back through the 70s without a quick visit to June 9, 1973, day we tied the knot....

Up next, the military era, and maybe a little more from the 60s, planned for a Saturday when hopefully there will be no visitors.

Thursday Oct 11, 2007 #

track 19:44 [4] 3.0 mi (6:35 / mi)
weight:138lbs shoes: Montrail #2

Legs a little sore from yesterday's run, but not bad. I think my regular early morning walks help.

Very gloomy at the track, getting dark, rain imminent, increasing breeze. Just 6 of us. I didn't like the planned workout (1 minute hard, then 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, all with a minute easy between), because there would be no sense of how much or how fast you ran, and so no comparability to other workouts. But Dave Stoddard was planning on doing 3 x 1 mile, so I joined him, 8 minute cycle, 6:38, 6:35, 6:33. Felt like stopping after each one although I was running at a reasonable pace (no gasping after each one, recovered pretty quickly), obviously could have gone faster but haven't yet relearned how to suffer.

As usual, the absolute best part is being done.

Caught just a few sprinkles in the last couple of minutes. A mile down the road on my way home it was raining pretty hard and quite dark. Good timing.

track 8:42 [2] 1.0 mi (8:42 / mi)
shoes: Montrail #2

Easy warmup.


Now back to the early 80s, younger still, when it seems I could look very debonair (here at Steve Tarry's wedding)....

and still end up in Sweden speaking quite excellent Swedish....

What range, what talent, what hair!

Tomorrow -- back to the 70s, and some cutting edge fashions....

Wednesday Oct 10, 2007 #

trail running 51:39 [4]
weight:139lbs shoes: Montrail

With Phil, somewhat, from Mill River up to Atkins Reservoir (27:30) and back 24:09). Felt really crappy at the start, I'd had a headache much of the day, took some medicine in the early afternoon which sometimes fixes things, sometimes doesn't, but almost always makes me very drowsy for a couple hours, as it did this time. Woke up, went off to run, after a minute of flat and easy running I was breathing hard and falling behind. So I told Phil if he wanted to go any faster he was on his own, because I couldn't.

So he took off, getting maybe a "4" for effort but a "1" for sociability, at some point yelling back to me, "I'll wait for you at Flat Hills Road." When I got there, no Phil. Hmm, maybe he had a good time going and wanted to keep going right to the reservoir, I thought, so I kept going. Got to the turn-around at the reservoir, no Phil, hmm.

The one good thing was that I'd be slowly feeling better, slowly picking up the pace, thinking maybe at least he wasn't getting any further ahead.

So I headed back, and after 2 or 3 minutes, here comes Phil. And as we run back together, he gets a "5" for making excuses, and a "0" for navigation (he's only done this run a hundred times), and then he picks up the pace for the last 15 minutes and gets a "5" for being a pain in the ass, but I keep up with him, so that's ok, I end up getting a pretty good workout.

And then we have a nice chat for 10 minutes afterwards, so he gets restored back to the usual "5" for sociability. But his navigation is still, well, erratic.... :-)

And if it rains enough late tomorrow and I bag the track workout, at least I've had one faster effort for the week.

It was interesting, during the last 15 minutes when he was feeling spry, and I decided I was going to stay with him. A number of times he'd get 10 or 15 yards ahead, and I'd say to myself, close the gap, right now, don't let him get away. And I'd really pay attention to my stride and my turnover and I would close it right back up. Felt like a race, and quite fun.


More photos, moving back in to late 80s, getting younger all the time. First, finish at the French 5-Day in 1989 in the foothills of the Pyrenees, a little more spring to the step and a little more hair, well, at least it's browner....

Also in 1989, about 30 or 40 miles into the Angeles Crest 100 Mile in California, ran strong for about 70 miles, then croaked, but finished, 23+ hours....

And finally, probably in 1986, and definitely younger, just 41, postmortom at the Nipmuck Trail Marathon. One would think I had developed even then my talent for falling down, but I'm pretty sure this was the year I lost a shoe in a mudhole about a mile from the finish. I would have been happy to abandon the shoe, but not the orthotic inside, so I spent a couple of minutes on my hands and knees looking for it. Had a heart monitor on, so I could tell just how long it took....

Tomorrow -- younger still, and properly dressed!

Tuesday Oct 9, 2007 #


For today we are actually spending one more day in the 21st century, marking the two-year anniversary (to the day!) of the Cyclops incident.

Which should serve as reminder that if you want to keep your good looks well into your senior years, it's best not to put yourself in situations where the outcome resembles what might happen if someone took a full swing at your head with a baseball bat. And didn't miss.

I still feel very fortunate not to have bashed in my eye socket, or fractured my skull, or broken my neck, or just packed it in for good right there.

To keep this site from losing it's PG rating, I will only post links to the pictures, and not the pictures themselves.

8 minutes after the crash, the race not quite over.
24 hours later
48 hours later
96 hours later
5 days later, stitches out, almost human.

And a related discussion thread from the archives.

Tomorrow we head back to the 20th century.


Oh, and training? Training? Training?

No but lots of rogaine practice. The season is winding down and have to take advantage of the good days.

If I really needed to train, Phil would have dragged me out.

Monday Oct 8, 2007 #


Ok, so it's time to start a week-long birthday celebration, #63, culminating next Monday, and what better way to do it than eating lots of ice cream (that's already done) and posting some old photos. Using as a theme the theory that as you get older, you revert to childhood, the photos will get older and older, and me younger and younger, as the week goes on.

And, yes, at some point we will pass through the really hairy years, and then at some point through the military era (definitely not very hairy), and then, well, let's not spoil everything.

But for today, nothing too exciting, just setting a baseline, and hey, I'm definitely looking better, faster, fitter, and hairier than I ever will again.

At the 2007 Boulder Dash, photo by Eddie.

I should also point out that old age is not all bad. You get to hang out with other good-looking old guys....

... and also with the Hollywood starlets....

... well, actually Gail's sister, but she lives in LA....

Sunday Oct 7, 2007 #

orienteering 4:32:17 [3]
shoes: integrators 2006

Hudson Highlander. Not so bad despite a terrible start, parallel error on the approach to #1, witnessed by Peggy, Susie, Torie, probably cost 3-4 minutes. So I didn't get to see if it was a good route or not (most people went left of the line, up the big valley).

By myself to #2, ok until the trail was no longer helpful. For some reason I thought it might be better running down along the edge of the marsh at the end, but it was basically terrible. Got to 2 just after Phil and three or four others, that raised morale a bit as I thought I might be dead last....

By the time I got to the vicinity of 3, there were at least 8-10 folks spread out over the slope, all a little too low and too far left, it seemed. Nailed the control, didn't think others saw me and I wasn't going to yell - I didn't really want to run in a pack and this seemed a chance to get away. Though I did give Phil a heads-up on the way by.

The rest of map 1 was ok, company on and off from a couple of adventure runners that I'm sure I was helping.

Then the trail run. Got my right ankle again about 1/3 of the way, hurt pretty good for quite a while, then calmed down some, but I was favoring it the rest of the way, especially taking it careful on any downhills. Not quite sure what I keep doing to it. I'm landing on it awkwardly, the ankle rolls, sharp pain mostly under the front of the heel (almost as if I'm getting plantar faschitis), but later in the day there is no swelling and hardly any pain just walking around. So anyway, the trail run was a little slower than it might have been, plus I was getting tired.

Then map 3, No good route to #11, so I went pretty straight and got lucky, the couple of trail segments were connected in reality and I made excellent time through the green. Passed JJ and Joe here without seeing either of them. The rest of Pole Brook was straightforward, just dealing with a sore ankle and tiredness. Started this section in 19th, finished in 11th, never was aware of passing anyone, by myself the whole time.

Finally map 4, looked like just hard work. Just kept plugging away, mostly walking, running when flat or down as long as footing wasn't too bad. No mistakes. By myself here too.

Reasonably satisfied afterwards. Main complaint was some chafing on the inner thighs, not feeling bad when on the course but very sore afterwards. But it will heal in a day or two.

Tough course, or so it seemed, even though the best got around pretty quickly. Guess I'm just out of shape, fat, and old. But I already knew that.

Reminder to self -- plan is to celebrate my 63rd on the 15th by dredging out some old photos in the week leading up to it. I've not hesitated to make fun of others, time to laugh at myself a bit.

Highlander map 1.
Highlander map 2.
Highlander map 3.
Highlander map 4.

Saturday Oct 6, 2007 #


Lots more progress on various O' related stuff. If I could just keep this up for a few more days....

Watch the first 15 minutes of the TV coverage of the World Cup in Switzerland. Terminally boring. And I'm trying to be positive about it.

When will they learn to stop trying to cover O' live and instead put together a really interesting show a week or two later?

Friday Oct 5, 2007 #

run/hike 39:42 [2]
shoes: Montrail #2

Warm afternoon, not feeling energetic, but felt like I needed a last speed workout before the Highlander on Sunday, to fine-tune the motor so to speak, 40 minutes at race pace.

Up to the power line (25:59), brisk walk, felt wiped. Had intended to go to the top but thought better of it. Ran back (13:43), felt sluggish to start but somewhat better by the time I got home.

Not sure why I was so tired, though I suppose it was the heat. Felt spry out on the course this morning, but that was early and it was cool.

Perhaps it was the frenzy of the latest workout craze sweeping AP -- bulb planting. I dug, Gail planted, it will be awesome this spring (if the chipmunks or the moles don't get them first). But three workouts a day is a bit much.


On the list from a couple of days ago --

Several irons in the fire right now --

-- Finalize Sprint Series rules for 2008.
-- Finalize Sprint Series staff and responsibilities for 2008.
-- Try and get a coach hired for the Team (may be tough).
-- Finish review of Team at WOC 2007.
-- Start annual review of Team Selection procedures for WOC.
-- Prepare for Team meeting at the US Champs in Virginia next month.

#1 is mostly done, though I need to add a #7: Figure out what to do for the Sprint finals.
Good progress on #2.
Some progress on #3, a couple of expressions of interest!
Got to get going on 4, 5, and 6.

But not bad....

Thursday Oct 4, 2007 #


Let me say that it was with some trepidation that I headed off for rogaine practice early this morning, as I had seen the following in the police log in the morning paper --

Greenfield, Oct. 1, 12:29 pm -- Animal problem at the Greenfield Country Club; caller reports a sick-acting fox in the sand trap at the 11th hole, ACO [Animal Control Officer] notified.

Well, that sounded not so good, had the ACO already dispatched my friend to fox heaven?

And then this --

Montague, Oct. 2, 7:15 am -- Animal problem on Millers Falls Road, called reports a dead dog; officer sent, found it to be a dead fox, ACO notified.

Things seemed like they might be quite grim. And at the course there was no sign of Freddy (as others have taken to calling him), at least until the 15th, when he suddenly appeared, trotted around a bit, and checked us out. And appeared to be quite alive and enjoying himself.


Got my ticket to go to the Big Blues Ramble. The Commissioner can't miss the opening of the 2008 Sprint Series, that's for sure.

Hmmm, I suppose, in this day and age, that we should have a logo for the Sprint Series. I'll have our art department get right on it.

Wednesday Oct 3, 2007 #

road running 47:47 [2] 5.2 mi (9:11 / mi)
weight:135lbs shoes: Montrail #2

Over to and up South Sugarloaf (25:45), and back (22:02). Legs felt dead, at least for the first 26 minutes....

Getting up a long hill is always easier if you have something else to occupy the mind, especially if that something else is something that pisses you off. So I suppose I should be grateful for a couple of e-mails received this afternoon, nothing major, not from anyone that I can imagine reads this log. Aggravated the hell out of me. Would love to respond in kind, but that rarely is productive. So I will just get over it.

Several irons in the fire right now --

-- Finalize Sprint Series rules for 2008.
-- Finalize Sprint Series staff and responsibilities for 2008.
-- Try and get a coach hired for the Team (may be tough).
-- Finish review of Team at WOC 2007.
-- Start annual review of Team Selection procedures for WOC.
-- Prepare for Team meeting at the US Champs in Virginia next month.

Would be nice to make progress on a lot of this this month.

And wouldn't it be nice if the powers that be made some progress on finding organizers for the 2008 Classic Champs, Middle Champs, and Relay Champs. And also deciding whether or not the proposed San Diego
A meet in the desert in January can apply for sanctioning or not. By all appearances, they don't care enough to do anything. But one can always hope.

Tuesday Oct 2, 2007 #

trail running 1:12:17 [3]
weight:137lbs shoes: Montrail #2

Real nice run with Phil, Robert Frost trail from Mill River to Depot Road and back, aka the Dean's trail. No sighting of any deans.

Legs were not too lively, but fortunately the pace was relaxed for most of the way, giving the opportunity for practicing the art of conversation, in particular practice at stretching a 5-minute story into one of 15 or 20 minutes, and in doing so, getting over a few hills without really noticing them.

Just after we turned back we could hear train whistles in the distance, and then a minute or two later train whistles somewhat closer. And since we had a track crossing coming up shortly, we picked up the pace, and made it across with what seemed like plenty of room to spare -- I was up the next slope, maybe a 20-second effort, when the Amtrack train came whipping past the crossing, but it sent a shiver down my back, thinking of the consequences of a fall while crossing -- the engineer having time only to think, "Oh, shit," as the train rounded the corner and he spotted someone on the tracks, and me being permanently AOWN.

Phil got a little antsy with what he claimed was my slow pace up the last hill, so of course I had to pass him back going down the other side, and then the pace just stayed high the last ten minutes. Such male foolishness.

38:07 out (8:56, 9:58, 7:18, 11:55), 34:10 back (11:06, 7:02, 8:59, 7:02).

Monday Oct 1, 2007 #


Not feeling too bad after the Boulder Dash -- very few scratches, no real soreness, hamstring is fine, no sticks in the eye, and O' skills are still intact, only complaint is I keep tweeking my right ankle, would be nice if it went away but it seems not to be, been bothering me on and off for about four months.

But no real reason not to sign up for the Highlander.

Lots of people had a hard time at the Boulder Dash. I don't think it was because of the accuracy of the map. I'd guess the main factors were the visibility in the terrain and the legibility of the map.

The visibility in the terrain was variable, but generally rather low, sometimes very low. The shakier your O' skills are and the less your confidence, the more this makes a difference.

And for some people, i think they just couldn't read the details on the map. So when the controls were in detailed areas, they just weren't getting an accurate sense of the lay of the land in the vicinity of the control.

As far as O' skills, and perhaps the lack thereof, I'd suggest giving some thought to what Spike put on his blog today, see the second part of his entry for October 1. If your control is on a boulder, and all you are looking for is a boulder (and not tuned in to the features around the boulder), you're just asking for trouble.

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