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

Training Log Archive: PG

In the 31 days ending Dec 31, 2009:

activity # timemileskm+ft
  trail running9 6:38:37 37.39(10:40) 60.17(6:38) 492
  orienteering2 6:02:03 30.86(11:44) 49.67(7:17)
  treadmill7 4:48:31 33.0(8:45) 53.11(5:26) 1585
  road running5 3:51:30 27.55(8:24) 44.34(5:13) 249
  speed golf3 2:06:27 12.98(9:45) 20.89(6:03)
  night running2 1:22:59 8.85(9:23) 14.24(5:50) 600
  yoga1 45:00
  woods running1 33:34 2.64(12:43) 4.25(7:54)
  rogaine base building1 5:11 0.21(24:41) 0.34(15:20)
  Total27 26:13:52 153.48 247.0 2927
  [1-5]27 26:13:04
averages - rhr:52 weight:141.9lbs

» now

Thursday Dec 31, 2009 #

2 PM

treadmill 52:34 intensity: (32 @0) + (2:11 @1) + (38:40 @2) + (11:11 @3) 6.0 mi (8:46 / mi)
ahr:124 max:132 rhr:53 weight:143lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

At the gym, just an easy pace. Actually quite pleased that it actually seemed easy. Still sweating away, but the heart wasn't working very hard. 9:30, 8:35, 8:35, 8:35, 8:35, 8:35.

This American Life, the theme was Rest Stops. OK but not great.

Or maybe my attention was being drawn away by the football game on the tube between Air Force and Houston. Now I only saw the 4th quarter, and by then Air Force had the game pretty much put away, but I only saw the Houston quarterback complete three passes (out of quite a few more attempts), and all three went right to the receiver, right on target, except in all three cases the receiver had an Air Force uniform on. And was pretty wide open. Meaning there wasn't a Houston receiver anywhere in the vicinity.

I wasn't listening to the announcers, but they had their comments scrolling across the top of the screen, and it seems like, when you considered the game as a whole, these were interceptions #'s 4, 5, and 6 for the Houston quarterback.

I don't pay much attention to college football, other than an occasional glance at how Texas is doing because of family affiliations, and UT does pretty well I think. And so I assumed most other colleges in Texas did pretty well too, because I think they take the sport pretty seriously in that state.

What will happen to this quarterback now? Will he get locked in a small dark closet? I gather that is the Texas way of dealing with under-performing athletes.

Wednesday Dec 30, 2009 #

1 PM

trail running 9:58 [3] 0.77 mi (12:55 / mi)
ahr:123 max:138 rhr:51 weight:142lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

At Mt. Tom, warm-up on the trail around the south side of Lake Bray, a mix a ice and frozen ground, generally quite unpleasant. Felt really crappy.

trail running 26:57 intensity: (9 @1) + (30 @2) + (3:19 @3) + (22:19 @4) + (40 @5) 2.45 mi (11:00 / mi) +492ft 9:15 / mi
ahr:156 max:167 shoes: mudclaw 270

Mt. tom test course, short version (out and back to the NE, then out and back to the SW). About 2/3 bare ground, and what snow there wasn't much of an impediment, soI wasn't surprised the time was a good bit better than a couple of weeks ago.

Of course the other factor is that I warmed up a little. Usually I just park about a hundred yards away, walk up the hill, and start. This time, despite feeling crappy during the warm-up, as soon as I started the legs felt good. Got to remember that.

Still surprised by the good time. If I recall correctly, at some point during the jog back to the car, the thought passed through my mind, "Not bad for an old man." :-)

Though I shouldn't get too pleased with myself until I can do that pace for two laps.

Perfect day, 30F, no wind, sunny.

Looking at the mapped route, seems like I hit my watch a couple of times, because splits 3 and 5 are bogus. Don't remember doing it. And also, perhaps went a few meters too far at the SW end. Usually there's a pine tree I turn at, but didn't recognize it this time until I was past it. I suppose I could go out some time and leave a streamer at each end.

road running 2:31 intensity: (8 @2) + (2:23 @3) 0.27 mi (9:15 / mi)
ahr:136 max:143 shoes: mudclaw 270

And back to the car.

Tuesday Dec 29, 2009 #


So I spent some time last night looking at possible O meets to go to for 2010.

The winter looks pretty simple. Nothing (i.e. I don't have much time, and nothing looks like it will get me on a plane for a quick weekend trip).

The spring also looks pretty simple. Lots, but all in driving distance, so not much planning needed -- West Point A meet (May 1-2), WCOC A meet (May 8-9, I'm sure I'll be helping in one way or another), Team Trials (May 15-16), and Billygoat (May 22-23).

Then it gets more complicated. First is the stuff out west. The US M/L/S Champs are the last weekend of June (26-28) in eastern Washington and the NA M/L/S champs are the first weekend in July (2-4) in southeastern British Columbia, about a 4 or 5 hour drive away. Sure seems like they both should be on the calendar. And I'm pretty sure they will be.

There is more stuff after that, first in Kamloops (Tue-Wed, 6-7), then in Whistler (Fri-Mon, 9-12). I'm sure they would be fun. Been to Kamloops before several times over the last 25 years. Been to Whistler just briefly, and not for orienteering. So this would be a possibility. It's a beautiful part of the world, would also probably bring the clubs and see a few new places, also relatively easy to plan the trip.

Or, there are possibilities heading the other direction. Perhaps WMOC in the French part of Switzerland (Sat July 31 to Fri Aug 6), with perhaps the O'Ringen before, though it's a tight fit, or some other possibilities, and perhaps going to the public events at WOC in Trondheim afterwards (Mon-Sat, Aug 9-14). The planning for this is all a good bit more complicated. But such trips have always been memorable.

Or stay home and explore greater Sunderland....

And then the fall looks simple. The classic champs hosted by EMPO (Oct 16-17).

In the past I've waited until the last minute to plan things. It might be nice to get things organized a little sooner this time, or else the final plan might just be to stay home and explore greater Sunderland.

treadmill 58:46 [3] 6.0 mi (9:48 / mi) +1056ft 8:24 / mi
ahr:140 max:149 rhr:51 weight:142lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

Treadmill again, plan today was to do some hills, well, one hill. Warmed up for a mile then set it at 5% and 6 mph for 4 miles and then a last mile back flat. 9:35, 10:00, 10:00, 10:00, 10:00, 9:11.

Why 4 miles? I figured a thousand-foot hill was a nice round number. Setting the treadmill at 15% and 3 mph would have been quicker and mentally easier, but this was better training.

The 40 minutes did drag a bit but I had my usual companion, today featuring once again This American Life, today's theme (actually from a show about 2 months ago) was infidelity. A very amusing story (pre-possible infidelity, but the infidelity never happened) got me through the last 10 or 15 minutes.

Monday Dec 28, 2009 #

3 PM

treadmill 46:48 intensity: (1:03 @1) + (12:03 @2) + (19:22 @3) + (14:20 @4) 6.0 mi (7:48 / mi)
ahr:141 max:163 rhr:53 weight:142.5lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

An inch of snow, just enough to make various outdoor possibilities less appealing (it had coated all the branches, so off-trail would mean lots of snow in the face, and covered what ice might be on the trails), so I headed off to the gym to use the treadmill. And after lots of slow outings, seemed time to run a little faster. So I did 3 miles at a good effort, 21:07, plus a couple miles before and one after -- 9:00, 8:06, 7:13, 7:04, 6:50, 8:35.

This American Life, all about Penn State and its alcohol-based culture.

Next week the Smith indoor track opens up to outside use, as long as you are using it between 6 and 8 am. I think I'll make an effort to get there weekly as it's a nice place in the winter to do a little faster running.

We'll see if I actually do it.

Sunday Dec 27, 2009 #

trail running 41:37 intensity: (52 @1) + (6:57 @2) + (32:37 @3) + (1:11 @4) 4.22 mi (9:52 / mi)
ahr:135 max:150 shoes: mudclaw 270

In Litchfield for a quick family visit, or a least part of it. Just enough time in the morning for short run at Five Ponds.

Some bare ground, a little bit of snow, mainly a bunch of ice, but all rotten so the footing was perfectly fine, just wet. Warmer than I expected. Halfway, down by Beaver Pond so with some uphills ahead of me, I was feeling quite feeble and sweating profusely. Stopped and shed my long-sleeve shirt. Felt much better with just a soaked t-shirt on.

Though that didn't mean my mind was all there. At some point on the return trip I looked down and saw a footprint in a little patch of snow. Wow, I thought, there's someone else out here with MudCalws on, I never would have expected that. It took about 15 seconds before it dawned on me that it was my own print from the outbound trip.

It will only get worse.... :-)


Just the first course at a Ratlum Mountain feast. Gail is giving Charlie's mom some instruction as to how to dismember the beast....

And in Litchfield, time for a partial family portrait (my sister and her husband were missing). Note that if you pick the right people to stand next too, anyone, even me, can appear quite tall. Now if I just cropped Daniel out of the picture....

Saturday Dec 26, 2009 #

trail running 53:48 intensity: (1:20 @1) + (26:13 @2) + (25:24 @3) + (51 @4) 4.39 mi (12:15 / mi)
ahr:129 max:149 shoes: mudclaw 270

With Charlie in Peoples State Forest. Maybe an inch of new snow, a little bit of rain near the end. Slow pace, but all I was up for. At least got out and did it. Plus a chance to see a new area, that's always a pleasure.

No studs, no falls. I had a map, Charlie had been there before, and between us we managed to find our way back to the car, though not without some uncertainly.

Friday Dec 25, 2009 #

11 AM

trail running 1:05:09 intensity: (1:55 @1) + (12:47 @2) + (50:23 @3) + (4 @4) 6.33 mi (10:18 / mi)
ahr:134 max:153 shoes: mudclaw 270

Went over to run in McLeans Game Refuge, regular training ground for George and Lyn. Pretty nice conditions, mostly snow-covered, but almost no ice, and not enough snow to make the running significantly slower. Stunningly pretty, and much to my amazement, I did not see another soul the whole time I was out.

Blue trail, then purple trail, then main trail, then horse trail. Pace was easy, but the legs were feeling dead anyway.

And then stopped for a short visit with G and L. Very pleasant. And got me thinking that it is time to start making plans for next summer's travels, rather than waiting until May/June as is my usual habit, thereby ensuring that tickets and accommodations are harder to find.

Seems like there is a bunch of stuff in the Northwest in late June and early July. And of course some European possibilities.

We'll see if I actually make any progress on this. Would be nice.

Thursday Dec 24, 2009 #

11 AM

road running 55:19 intensity: (56 @1) + (1:40 @2) + (32:09 @3) + (20:34 @4) 6.78 mi (8:10 / mi)
ahr:144 max:165 rhr:51 weight:142lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

Threshold intervals? 4 x 1000, with 1000 between. Reasonably hard effort.

4:52 (first one is always the slowest, plus a slight headwind)
4:57 (uphill)
4:14 (first 100 downhill, slight tailwind)
4:13 (last 200 uphill, slight tailwind)

Interesting exercise, both physically and mentally. Will have to try variations. But it is obviously possible to do something like this reasonably precisely, even though there are still more variables than the track (elevation, wind, accuracy of distance).

Quite pleasant out, 35F, light northerly breeze.

Off to Ratlum Mountain this afternoon with the pies.

Wednesday Dec 23, 2009 #

trail running 41:01 intensity: (51 @1) + (10:03 @2) + (30:07 @3) 3.95 mi (10:23 / mi)
ahr:132 max:146 rhr:51 weight:142lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

Up to the power line and back via Claybrook. Pretty bad. Lots of ice, including big sheets in places. Fortunately it was fine off the trail, a few inches of snow, so I took refuge there a number of times. Still went down a couple of times, plus three or four near falls, just catching myself. Kepp my fingers crossed that my back is OK.

I guess i know not to go up there again for a while.

The run itself -- actually just trying to go slow, keep the heart rate as low as possible despite going uphill, have an easy day. Felt really slow.


The holidays are here so it must be pie time! Note that I only provide the brute force (peeling, coring, slicing and dicing), while Gail provides all the skill.

Tuesday Dec 22, 2009 #

rhr:52 weight:142lbs

One year anniversary. All systems are working amazingly well.

A review of my training in the year since then shows 349 hours of training, almost an hour a day (though some of it is a little bogus), all managed while sleeping 24.1 hours a day and weighing an average of 233.6 pounds. It's amazing what the body is capable of.... :-)

On a more serious note, when I had my initial consultation with the surgeon, and he is originally from East Germany, he picked up immediately on my last name (which happens rarely in this country but often in Europe), with the standard question if I was related to Yuri. No, I said, but then I said, Let me tell you a story.

And the story was from 1967, my brother and I took a trip to East Germany and Czechoslovakia, about a week in each. Leipzig, Dresden, some other places in East Germany, most of the time in Czechoslovakia in Prague. We were crossing the border into Czechoslovakia, the guard took our passports back into the small building, and then he came back a few minutes later and asked us to come with him.

Bear in mind that this was all behind the Iron Curtain, and there was always some concern about possible bad things that might happen if you just got unlucky.

So we followed the guard into the building, it was small, just an entry room and an office. In the office was his boss, holding our passports. Of all the possible scenarios playing out in my head, all bad, the one that actually happened never occurred to me --

"Excuse me," the boss said, "if it's not too much trouble, would it be possible to get your autographs?"

So I told this story to the surgeon, and we laughed.

And then we talked some about sports, because I knew he had been an Olympic-level decathlete.

And then we moved on to talk about what he might do about my prostate. But I had already accomplished most of what I wanted out of the meeting, which was to get him to remember me, to think of me as a specific individual and not just another faceless patient.

Because I'm pretty sure you get better care that way. I read something once that said that if a surgeon looked at a picture of his patient just before surgery, then s/he did a better job, somehow cared more, because there was more a sense of a real person on the table. I think there's some truth to that. And I think it's also true if you are at a much lower level in the medical hierarchy, like getting PT for example. Where, if they know you, you will also get better care. It certainly can't hurt to try.

road running 1:04:42 intensity: (28 @1) + (3:51 @2) + (33:42 @3) + (26:41 @4) 7.71 mi (8:24 / mi)
ahr:144 max:160 rhr:52 weight:142lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

Back roads in Leverett, reasonably hilly, seemed like hard work, also seemed cold, at least the last mile and a half into the wind.

This American Life about mind games. A little scary, have to be careful that jokes don't become at someone else's expense.

Monday Dec 21, 2009 #


First things first. I learned today what "loose Californians" are. No, they're not Californians who are especially flexible, or mellow, or of questionable moral standards (one could argue that all of those are just part of being a Californian).

Loose Californians are carrots, a high grade of carrots. If you are buying carrots and you don't want to pay the premium price that loose Californians will cost you, then you can always downgrade to loose Canadians. Seriously.

I didn't find out if there was anything lower than loose Canadians....

trail running 52:57 intensity: (10 @0) + (40 @1) + (11:44 @2) + (30:04 @3) + (10:19 @4) 4.62 mi (11:28 / mi)
ahr:137 max:159 rhr:52 weight:141.5lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

Up n Poet's Seat ridge again, nice place to run when the winds are out of the northwest, the normal direction on cold days in winter, because most of the trails are on the lee side of the ridge. Trails slowly getting more icy but still no problem without spikes. Though they would be if we had gotten any snow over the weekend, because then you wouldn't be able to see where the ice is. Got to count your blessings.

Thoroughly entertained once again by This American Life. Wonderful stories, you hate for them to end.

Otherwise, just another day of putting in a few miles, very slow but the conditions (and my condition) aren't conducive to any faster.

Sunday Dec 20, 2009 #

rhr:52 weight:142lbs

Two or three days ago there was talk of a storm, but it was expected to stay to the south of us. By yesterday morning that was revised and we were supposed to get 1 to 3 inches. By yesterday evening that was revised some more and we were supposed to get 4 to 8 inches overnight.

Woke up this morning, not a new flake in sight.... :-)


Garmin Training Center sure shows me running some interesting routes...

trail running 53:57 intensity: (6 @0) + (38 @1) + (1:24 @2) + (35:33 @3) + (16:16 @4) 4.96 mi (10:53 / mi)
ahr:143 max:155 shoes: mudclaw 270

On Poet's Seat ridge, out to Sachem Head and back. Footing was a mix of mostly packed bumpy snow, ice, and a few rocks, so I was not inclined to try moving quickly. But fine for just getting a workout, which was what I wanted. Perfectly comfortable (mentally) without spikes, actually makes it a little more interesting.

Entertained by This American Life, I think the show was from about a month ago, called "Starting from Scratch." Three very fine stories: one about a guy's attempt to create a cable channel just about puppies, the second about a gambler who has made and lost fortunes, and the third from a guy who rewrites stories from the Bible, this was about Adam and Eve and the snake, and a great improvement on the original. Had me chuckling a lot, not a bad thing.


Off to the movies again, and another fine one, An Education, enjoyed by both of us.

I seem to enjoy films in the theater a lot more than at home on the tube. My attention span isn't great, and at home pretty soon I'm wandering off. Even though last night I watched Pulp Fiction again, made it all the way through (helped that there were no commercials). Of course, it is such a good movie....

Saturday Dec 19, 2009 #

road running race 22:21 intensity: (14 @1) + (10 @2) + (26 @3) + (18:38 @4) + (2:53 @5) 3.14 mi (7:07 / mi)
ahr:161 max:173 rhr:53 weight:141lbs shoes: x-talon 212

Went down to Springfield to run the 5K in Forest Park. I didn't have any great expectations, although when they say Go, it is very hard for me to run other than as fast as possible. But given my perceived current state of fitness, I figured 23 minutes would be a reasonable number.

And in fact I did 22:20, nice surprise, especially given the 29 miles a week ago. I had pulled the X-talons out of the closet, first time since early this fall, and they felt wonderful, and maybe therefore the legs not so bad either. Ran a good steady pace, working hard all the way, very nice. Weather was pretty benign, 17F, very little wind, bare pavement.

Perhaps I owe an apology to Phil and George for disparaging comments in recent years about their toys they've been wearing around their wrists. The 305 is quite nice. I entertained myself a good bit observing my heart rate, very slowly but steadily climbing throughout, except for a dip on the downhill at about 2.5 miles. Peaked at 173 at the finish, which is probably a pretty good estimate of my current max, since I was not holding back and the last couple hundred meters are up a slight hill. There might be a couple more beats per minute of potential, but not many.

And I'd guess my threshold now is about 162-164. I was in that range for a good bit in the middle and it seemed like something I could hold for 20 minutes, whereas 165+ felt like it would croak me much sooner.

Both numbers are similar to what I think I was capable of several years ago, meaning not much deterioration, so I take that as a good sign. Though I don't really know what the science would say.

My best time on the course was 18:20, 15 years ago when I was 50. My splits this time according to the 305 were 7:20 (uphill to start), 7:10, 6:49 (one downhill section), and 0:59. As George and Phil have both said, the course is long. Maybe now I'll believe them, seems like 15 seconds is a reasonable guesstimate of the surplus.

So, as I said, a pleasant surprise. Maybe there is some hope for next year. Just have to keep at it, and get the weight down. Both will take some work.


And then went a got a swine flu shot. I had pretty much figured I wouldn't bother (I got the regular flu shot a couple of months ago), but Gail suggested that it would be a good idea....

road running 13:00 [2] 1.3 mi (10:00 / mi)
shoes: mudclaw 270

Ten minutes warm-up before the race, and then jogging back to the car afterwards.

Friday Dec 18, 2009 #


To the movies again, other end of the spectrum, a documentary about the Paris Opera Ballet. Quite wonderful, except a little too long.

On the way home we discussed the possibility of some ballet moves of our own when we got home, and neither could stop laughing at the ridiculousness of the thought. The dancers are quite amazing, and we, clearly, are not.... :-)

Three trailers: Broken Embraces, Me and Orson Wells, and The Young Victoria, all looked like films we could happily see. Such a different world that the multi-plex.

rhr:51 weight:141.5lbs

On Tuesday morning the G was 144 and the resting pulse was 56, total of 200. Not good on both regards. 180 seems like a good goal for a few months from now. As an intermediate step, I've at least cut down on the evening eating, though not yet eliminated it.

The point being that I really do feel better when I'm lighter. The trade-off is that I like to eat....

1 PM

speed golf 34:35 intensity: (11 @1) + (3:57 @2) + (29:27 @3) + (1:00 @4) 3.46 mi (10:00 / mi)
ahr:137 max:152 shoes: mudclaw 270

Still reasonably cold, 20F, but not windy, decided to go run on the Greenfield course. Not fun at all. Crust was solid enough to hold sometimes, not solid enough most of the time, so very tiring and quite annoying.

So I changed plans. For some reason they have plowed some cart paths (perhaps for legitimate reasons, perhaps not), so I checked out all of them. And that got me back to the car in a respectable amount of time (I was shooting for 30-45 minutes). Running was real slow, but still seemed like enough.

Headed over to the gym for a shower....

2 PM

trail running 21:59 intensity: (20 @1) + (2:55 @2) + (15:55 @3) + (2:49 @4) 1.99 mi (11:01 / mi)
ahr:138 max:161 shoes: mudclaw 270

But right by the gym is the trail network that runs along the Poet's Seat ridge in Greenfield, where I often run in the winter, so I took a small detour to check out the trail conditions. The trails get a fair bit of traffic, mainly walkers, so they are usually packed out.

And in fact they were packed out, though they also looked very bumpy and a bit icy.

And the next thing I knew I was off for another run, purely to see what the trails were like. And they were just like the little bit I could see from the road, very bumpy and a bit icy. But totally runnable, if a little stressful on the ankles, and I needed to be a little nimble on the sidehill cants because I wasn't wearing any studs. But still, totally runnable. Good to know.

And then, feeling quite virtuous, off to a sauna and shower. And even a few crunches, because I sure need them.

Thursday Dec 17, 2009 #

woods running 33:34 intensity: (11 @1) + (2:07 @2) + (10:00 @3) + (21:16 @4) 2.64 mi (12:43 / mi)
ahr:148 max:164 rhr:51 weight:143lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

Colder today, about 20F and windy (though this will be nothing special in a month), went to Mt. Tom to see how the woods were for running.

It certainly wasn't a problem keeping warm, except for my feet, where something more than a thin pair of socks would have been smarter. Snow varied from a couple inches to 6 or 8, crusty/crunchy, always sinking in an inch or two, so running uphill was hard work even at a very slow pace, and even when choosing microroutes that resembled switchbacks so as to make the incline as gradual as possible. Made it up all but the end of the last hill, stop there about 30 seconds, heartrate dropped about 20, and then went on.

Time was very slow. Normally I would find that depressing, but what I am doing now is just getting started, and sometimes a lousy performance is just what's needed in the way of longer-term motivation. The clock doesn't lie. And neither does the bathroom scale. Lots of work to be done.

As far as toys go, got the 305 data to load into AP, no problem. The display is quite nice, especially being able to change to both USGS and aerial photo views (that will be nice for running off-road where there is no O' map), also can see a variety of splits. Though I'm not sure what the point is of the graph in the upper left corner. Speed vs. HR, I think, but so?


Went to a movie last night for the first time in months, Clint Eastwood's Invictus. Very much enjoyed it, may need to get a book about Mandela. The only lousy part was having to sit through 4 trailers, all convinced me almost immediately that I didn't wish to see the movie. That's the downside of going to the multi-plex instead of the art house.

Plan is to try the art house tonight.

Separate subject -- news out of DC seems more and more depressing. This seems to sum it up. Not that I've been that hopeful all along....

Wednesday Dec 16, 2009 #

speed golf 48:58 [3] 4.79 mi (10:13 / mi)
ahr:136 max:153 rhr:52 weight:143lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

Had a hard time figuring out where to run today. About 30F outside and a brisk wind out of the NW. I didn't want to run on the treadmill because I figured it was time I started getting used to running outside when it was a little cold but still not bad. And there's some snow on the ground, looks reasonably unpleasant to run on. I had to go to Hadley anyway (next town south), so I thought I'd go check the trails on the south side of the Holyoke Range, maybe they would be mostly bare.

But they weren't, still a bunch of snow/ice, also a bunch of footprints which reminded me it was still hunting season. So I went to plan B, a round at a nearby golf course. No hunters there, though there were lots of deer tracks.

Cold, windy, especially windy since I was mostly out in the open. But it's really not bad, you get used to it pretty quickly, and then it almost is better, makes you feel virtuous for getting out. Maybe 3 or 4 inches of crusty snow, the footing was good and bad, good in the sense that you sank in an inch or two and sure weren't going to slip, bad in the sense that you sank in an inch or two and it was harder work and slower. But harder work is probably what I need.

So a useful session. And no complaining from various body parts that were complaining a couple of days ago. Route.


Time to start some serious studying for the upcoming season. Lots of new laws, as usual it seems in recent years. Some old ones expired. Some old expired ones have come back. Hard to believe all this is put together by supposedly intelligent human beings.

But it is what it is. And some of the changes may be particularly nice to folks with kids in college, or folks making their homes more energy efficient, or low-income folks, or folks buying electric vehicles, just to name a few examples.

I wonder if I will ever own an electric vehicle. And I don't mean a golf cart. Are they really more energy efficient and/or better for the environment?

Tuesday Dec 15, 2009 #

treadmill 18:57 [2] 2.0 mi (9:28 / mi)
shoes: roclite 305

A little very easy time on the treadmill. Legs a little fragile but no worse as a result of this. 10:13, 8:44.


Regarding the story that just keeps on giving, here's an update I saw on the web today --


Here's a rundown of Tiger Woods' sponsors and their reaction to the scandal facing the golfer:

Accenture: Dumped Woods on Sunday, saying Woods is "no longer the right representative" after the "circumstances of the last two weeks." One of the Accenture ads slogans: "Go on. Be a Tiger."

AT&T: Phone titan is "evaluating" its "ongoing relationship" with Woods, according to a story in USA Today.

EA Sports: The video-game company has a lot of lose if Woods doesn't return. Games featuring Woods are some of EA Sports biggest sellers. So, EA is standing behind its man.

Gatorade: The sports-drink company said last week it is dumping the Tiger Focus line because of sagging sales. Gatorade said a dip of 34 percent in sales during the first 10 months of 2009 was the reason for the move, not the Woods scandal.

Gillette: Phasing out its marketing of Woods. Stopped running commercials featuring Woods in November.

Golf Digest: Likely to continue as a playing editor for the magazine.

Netjets: Backing Woods.

Nike: Woods' biggest sponsor is sticking with Woods. Nike chairman Phil Knight told Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal on Monday Woods will overcome the scandal "I think he's been really great," Knight said. "When his career is over, you'll look back on these indiscretions as a minor blip, but the media is making a big deal out of it right now."

Tag Heuer: The Swiss watchmaker will re-evaluate its relationship with Woods over the next few weeks because of his absence from the PGA Tour.

Tatweer: The Tiger Woods Dubai: Part of a private residential community and resort surrounding Woods' first golf course design, this venture is likely to continue. The money crisis in Dubai could have a bigger effect on this venture than the Woods scandal.

TLC Laser Eye Centers: Still using Woods' voice on its Web site.

Upper Deck: Much like EA Sports, but on a smaller scale, so unlikely to change.


So what's the correct response to all this (other than ignoring it all)?

I find the whole thing appalling -- his behavior, not the coverage. And I don't have much sympathy for the sponsors who are standing by him. So I assume my actions ought to be the following:

Don't buy any video games from EA Sports or Upper Deck.
Don't use NetJets.
Don't buy a Swiss watch.
Don't buy any property in Dubai.
Don't get my eyes lasered.

Those are the easy ones.

Don't buy anything from Nike. Also pretty easy, I can manage that.

But there is one really tough decision. What do I do about my subscription to Golf Digest? I like the magazine, mostly. Am I willing to stand on principles even if it means personal sacrifice?

Not yet decided....

Monday Dec 14, 2009 #


Much much more than usual about one of my pastimes....

Up early this morning, wanted to be the first one out on the course so I wouldn't have any traffic. I've been to the place before, when Gail and I were in the area a couple of years ago, and it had the best greens of the courses we played, so I figured I'd go back for what was most likely my last round of the year (though you never know...), even if it was a half hour in the wrong direction (toward Cape May).

Got there at 8:30, checked in and paid the fee, hit a few balls at the range and then headed off to see what sort of game I had today.

And got the answer pretty quickly: not much! Hit my drive in the trees on the right. Hit a provisional -- one way golf and O' are different, no provisionals in O' -- deep in the woods on the left. Hit a second provisional deep in the woods on the left. Hit a third provisional in the trees on the right. Decided that a change in tactics was in order, pulled out my 5-wood and hit a fourth provisional right down the middle. Normally at this point my mind would be totally fried, but I was quite mellow, partly because it was a really beautiful morning and I had a beautiful course to myself, but mainly because I figured the odds were pretty good I would find the first ball, and therefore would not be using my fifth ball and already lying 9.

So off I went. The legs weren't so bad and I figured a good walk would do them a lot of good.

Got to the area where my first and fourth balls had gone and there they both were, excellent. Also in the area were a couple of guys from the maintenance crew, and one of them came over to me, a cell phone in hand, and asked what I was doing out there.

I said I'd checked in, and hit a few balls, and was now just playing the course.

Well, he said, I just called the pro shop and the guy said no one has been in. And furthermore, there's a frost delay.

Say what? So I recount my conversation in the pro shop, and there was clearly no mention of a frost delay, and in the process I'm feeling quite insulted, my honesty is being questioned, but I stay pretty mellow, just recounting my version, and as a clincher, pulling out the receipt I got when I paid.

So he calls the pro shop again. I can't hear the conversation but it only lasts about 15 seconds, and then the guy is back, apologizing, some story about how he (and this guy is actually the course superintendent, in charge of the course, so he's got some authority) has caught the pro shop guy lying a bunch of times.

So I'm in his good graces now, and we finish up with a friendly chat about the course, the frost delay is forgotten about, and I'm off. And very glad I was mellow, because the situation -- two guys, one questioning the honesty of the other -- could have fairly quickly degenerated into a serious spitting match. Which would not have been a good thing no matter how it turned out.

But it was still a very weird five minutes.

So anyway, I continue on, my driver occasionally behaving, more often totally wild, hitting provisionals on many holes but somehow always finding the initial drive. With the rest of the clubs it was the usual mix, some brilliant, some terrible (the way some folks orienteer), though more in the direction of terrible than usual. 48 on the first nine, could have been much worse except I never actually lost a ball, so no penalty strokes. But hardly pissed at all, the weather was fine, and slow as I was playing (2 hours for the 9, so much time spent looking for balls, and hitting and retrieving provisionals), it was still just fine to be out there.

And things even got better, more brilliant shots on the back nine, fewer terrible ones. Some pars, some bogies, came to the 18th needing a bogey to break 90 (playing the course at about 6400 yards, no roll, so a little bit long for me), submitting myself to both the curse and the challenge of round numbers. 390-yard par 4. Drive into the trees, of course, the provisional was perfect, but once again I found the first. Unfortunately the plan for the second shot (slice a 5-wood around a couple of trees, hopefully on or just short of the green) was much better then the execution (hit it real fat, still in the trees). The plan for the third shot -- what can I possibly do now to get a 5? -- 130 yards to the green, only possible shot was a low running 5-iron, keep it under the branches and between the couple of tree trunks, try to find the gap between the traps. And the execution? Exactly the same this time, what a strange game.

Pin was in the far right corner, I had maybe 65 feet, the first putt was good but still ended up about 4' away. And I looked at it and thought how I was going to be pissed when I missed it, so I said to myself, forget about the result, think about the process, keep your head still and put a good stroke on it, and when I looked up the ball was rolling dead center into the cup. So 48-41=89 it was, and I packed away the clubs with an extra good smile on the face, blew off any thoughts I might have had of stopping in the pro shop to give the guy a piece of my mind, and headed home.

Just as with the O' marathon, a nice end to the season.

And nice to be home.


Sunday Dec 13, 2009 #


Lots of mild soreness -- mainly quads and tendons inside of left knee (these got croaked at the end of Valley Forge two years ago) -- but nothing terrible, which is a pleasant surprise. Hopefully this will disappear in short order.

So this allows a little thinking ahead. I have no idea what my 2010 schedule will be, but I think the first order of business is just getting in some regular but not too stressful training. Like running very regularly, if only for 30-45 minutes at a time. Need to start back getting a base, which will need a lot more than 30-45 minutes a day, but you have to start slowly.

And while the G will need some significant downward movement, there is no reason to rush into it. Though it would be nice not to get any fatter in the meantime.

Still quite pleased with yesterday, even though the time seems slow, almost 30 minutes slower than the same distance at Valley Forge. But I think this was a slower course (for me), more across the fields, which were not easy running, more hills, not good for me, and much much less pavement (which I do relatively better on). So maybe the time is about right.

Finally, the most revealing numbers from yesterday. First number is time from 21-22, second is from 45-46, third is the difference --

Ross 2:24, 2:44, 20 seconds slower
Clem 2:25, 2:49, 24 seconds slower
Samantha 2:50, 2:30, 20 seconds faster <-----
Jim Rayburn 2:35, 2:29, 6 seconds faster
PG 3:28, 3:35, 7 seconds slower
David Onkst 2:47, 3:41, 54 seconds slower
Ben Ahlswede 3:14, 3:30, 16 seconds slower
Joe B 3:18, 3:50 32 seconds slower
Jeff Saeger 3:29, 3:53, 24 seconds slower
Pavlina 3:53, 4:22, 29 seconds slower

Of course these were the same leg, right at the end of each loop, gently uphill across a field.

At the end, Sam was clearly motivated and feeling strong. I was, well, faster than Joe.... :-)


And I was also very pleased yesterday on my longer-term project, this time an interesting chat with David Onkst about our demons (anger and moodiness), and how to deal with them, even if it seems like you are hard-wired from birth to suffer them.

There are still choices that can be made, and one of the choices is to just refuse to go down that well-traveled road. It is a hard choice to stick to, but it can be done. It would have been nice to start figuring that out a little sooner in life, but better late than never.


Still in the Mid-Atlantic region, but at least north of the Mason-Dixon line. Bad weather, no rush to drive north. But mainly, the forecast is for good weather tomorrow and I have my clubs with me, so heading north won't happen until Monday evening.

Took a short tour of Newark, Delaware, where Gail's mom lived, went by the old house, then headed off towards Atlantic City, since it seems like that is where the weather will be warmest tomorrow. Took a less-traveled route, Rt. 49, about as far SW in Jersey as you can go. Totally depressing area, flat, dreary, the woods were all dark green, raining steadily, but it was my first time there and that always makes a place interesting. Stopped in a tiny diner for a real breakfast at midday, I seem to crave such after a race of sufficient length. The diner and its inhabitants (workers and customers) were also dreary, but the food and service were good, I got called "Sir," and there were multiple thank-yous after I left a $2 tip on a $6 order.

Drove on the AC, raining harder. I'd reserved a room on the outskirts, $35 and it wasn't a dive, it is fun to travel in the off-season. Spent the afternoon napping and watching the tube, then decided at about 6:30 that I should get my act together and head out, both for some dinner and also to pay a short visit to a casino. Hey, I'm traveling solo, got to take advantage of the opportunities. :-)

Drove into the city, past an area of motels that I would assume were dives, $16 was the lowest rate I saw and I'm pretty sure that was the nightly rate, not an hourly one. Parked, walked a bit, eventually headed for the nearest casino, the Tropicana.

Quite a place. I haven't been in a casino for a long time, so maybe this was pretty low-class (actually, I pretty sure it was quite low class, I mean I didn't feel out of place). Slot machines as far as the eye could see, plus a bunch of tables for the various other games. Not so many customers. The machines all looked very complicated, took a while to figure out how they worked, even longer to see where the money went in. Watched three ladies working on two machines, they claimed they were hot, and perhaps they were, but in 5 minutes their credit was down to zero and they moved on.

Well, I thought, I suppose I should try this. I didn't have any pre-set limit I was willing to lose, but I wasn't keen on investing one of my 20s, and all I had beside them was a couple of 5s. So I fed a 5 into a machine and within a couple of minutes it all belonged to the casino.

Hmm, not so good, time to move on. And I walked around some more and settled on another machine and figured out more or less how it worked, and then fed in my other 5. That gave me 20 "credits," worth 25 cents each, and I started off by betting one credit a spin. And so my balance went down 1 each spin, because I was winning nothing. And after a few spins I changed to betting 2 credits a spin, and therefore my balance was going down twice as fast, because I was still winning nothing. And pretty soon I was down to 3 credits, so I bet all 3 on my last spin, 75 cents, and what to you know, a bunch of 7s came up and by the time the machine stopped flashing I had a credit balance of $61.25.

It took me about 5 seconds to push the "Cash out now" button. :-)

A coupon emerged, good for my $61.25. I wandered off to try and cash it. Found a friendly black female employee. "Right over there, babe," she said. I was clearly no longer in the land where people called you Sir.

Got my cash, so a net profit of $51.25. Everything was right with the world. Wandered around a little more, checked out the gaming tables, had no interest in that. Checked out the eating places, including a Hooters, never been to one of them, didn't go to this one either. Eventually walked back to my car, drove back out of down, found an Italian place for a beer and a plate of spaghetti, tasted just right, and the waitress there, she too, kept calling me babe.

And so a day of doing virtually nothing still brings quite a few smiles. :-)

Saturday Dec 12, 2009 #

orienteering 5:15:56 [3] 29.0 mi (10:54 / mi)
shoes: mudclaw 270

Fair Hill O' Marathon (course distance as the crow flies was 26.2 miles). Good (probably real good given age/weight/training) run, some aches and pains but nothing really bad, no blisters, no chafing. No mistakes, nada, not even 50 meters. And totally in control mentally the whole way.

Finished 5th. Ross first about 4:05, then Clem maybe 4:20 or so, then Samantha maybe 4:50 or so, then Jim Rayburn several minutes in front of me. And after was David Onkst maybe 5:25. Joe maybe 5:45, Jeff Saeger maybe 5:50, Pavlina a little under 6. No sign yet of Fred when I left.

Smartest thing I did was getting a cheap room nearby instead of trying to drive home.... :-)

I'll put the map up in a little bit.

rogaine base building 5:11 [1] 0.21 mi (24:41 / mi)

Time for an active recovery, so a couple of widely spaced intervals, 2x170 with dinner in between. Hey, normally I would have driven. Route. Included over a couple of curbs. No falls.


Here's the best I can do with the map right now, lots of pieces --



A few more comments about Fair Hill....

First, a big thanks to Tom Overbaugh, meet director and course setter, for a brilliant job, everything right, even the weather. I think he had a few helpers. The ones that impressed me most were those out at the remote aid stations, they must have been out there quite a long time on a chilly day.

Fair Hill is an amazing place. At one point I was going through a particularly pretty spot ("pretty" to an orienteer's eye meaning interesting topography and nice open woods), and it occurred to me that most anyplace else this nice would be part of some big private estate and totally off limits. But at Fair Hill they seem happy to have us.

It is also unusual in that, with the exception of a city sprint, it's the only place I can recall where you could put out (and later retrieve) virtually all the controls by car, as long as you had a car that was happy driving across fields. The park managers didn't seem to mind.

The course distance was 26.2 miles (42.2 km) measured the traditional way, minimum possible distance. My 305 says I went 28.95 miles. I think Ross and Sam both went about 29.5. The fellow who finished just ahead of me, Jim Rayburn, very good runner, not so good navigating, said he did 31 miles. It was quite nice wearing the 305, a little bell ringing every mile. I was figuring on 30 miles (and hoping for 5 and a half hours). Hit the first half in 14.6 and 2:31, the second half was 14.4 and 2:44. Yes, the legs were going. Glad the race wasn't 2 laps, even though if it had been, you never know, I might have won.... :-)

The first and second halves felt quite different. Not so much the orienteering, even though the second half was easier (on purpose). More in that I had company almost the entire time on the first half, always people in sight ahead of me. Whereas on the second half I was by myself almost the entire time. And it was very nice to plod my way up at the end and not have to worry about anyone coming up from behind.

Weather was perfect. Wore gloves and a second shirt to start, but left them at the first aid station, the rest of the way with just a long-sleeve shirt and no gloves. And the MudClaws were great, very solid on the very uneven fields.

Not sure if/when the next O' marathon will be. If it's another 2 years from now, well, hopefully I will still be firing on all cylinders above the neck, but I'd expect the legs to be even more feeble. But hopefully I will still make it to the starting line.

Friday Dec 11, 2009 #


Heading south in advance of Fair Hill tomorrow. Sandy is kind enough to offer beds to me and the Saeger clan, so the first stop is Philadelphia. And since I could leave early, it seemed sensible to figure out a little something else to do other than just drive a bunch of miles. And though I have my clubs with me, there was no way they were getting used today as it was about 30F and very windy.

We'd been to Philadelphia last year this time and seen some of the historic part (Liberty Bell, Congress Hall), and driven past the art museum, but it was too late to go in. I took a look at their web site last night, and they were having an exhibit of an artist I'd never heard of, Arshile Gorky, and it looked interesting enough, so I figured why not.

I took a course in "modern" art in college, maybe the best course I took, the other candidate would be "game theory" (an economics course). And modern meant 20th century, well, 20th century up until the '60s because at that time that's all there was. I'd never heard of Gorky, but the little blurb listed a bunch of influences on him and they were mostly familiar names.

So I got to the museum about 3:15, got my ticket, asked where the exhibit was, and then the guy asked me if I was going to watch the explosion.


Yeah, serious, 4:15, outside the front entrance, explosion art, this one called "Falling Petals" by a Chinese guy named Cai Guo-Qiang.

Why not?

So I went through the Gorky tour, got the audio tape to make it more interesting, quite nice, that got me done about 4, so I figured I better head out, didn't want to be late, also didn't know what the viewing arrangement would be, whether getting there earlier would mean a better view.

Did I say it was cold? Did I say it was windy?

Got outside and around to the front of the museum, the side you see if you're Rocky running up the steps, and there superimposed on the facade was this really big "flower," or at least the outline of a flower with lots of petals, the whole thing maybe 40-60 feet high and equally wide, all held up by some scaffolding behind it.

4:05. Lots of people out there. Lots and lots of cameras and video equipment. No problem with the view because it was all up above us. More and more people arriving (I'd guess there were at least a couple thousand there).

4:10. Five more minutes. Is this thing just going to explode without warning? I have no idea. I look around for a friendly face, everyone is quite bundled up but I manage to chat up a fellow, very friendly, knows a lot about the museum, knows about the "artist," knows that the artist was involved in the opening and closing ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics and is also supposed to be blowing something up when they open the world's tallest building in Dubai, but he doesn't know what's going to happen here and now.

4:15. And just when I think it's about to blow, a guy appears in front of the crowd with a microphone and and via a very good sound system introduces himself as the director of the museum. And talks a little about the project we are about to witness. And then he hands the microphone off to a women who has been responsible for making it happen, and she talks a bit, and it's all interesting enough, but the sky is starting to darken and jesus it's cold and how about hurrying up.

4:20. And by now the artist himself has been introduced, and he talks some, with a young woman translating very efficiently into English, and he is quite charming and funny.

And, he says, here is what's going to happen. First there's going to be a bunch of explosions that's going to light up the whole outline, and that will take 4 seconds. And then the whole thing will be on fire, with white sparkles falling down, and that will take 50 seconds. And then there will be a bunch of really big booms, like thunder, and that will take 2 seconds.

Big anticipation now, also big applause.

4:25. And the last thing he says is that it will happen at 4:30.

It is still not getting warmer. But, considering the fact that so far nothing has happened, it is still really exciting. More people than ever, the sky is getting dark, everyone is checking their cameras.

4:29:30 (on my watch). Another announcement -- "2 minutes." And then "1 minute 30 seconds." And then counting down every ten seconds until we get to 10-9-8.... and the whole crowd is counting down together.

And then wow! Booms and flashes and fire and smoke and more booms and more flashes and more fire and more smoke, and the whole thing is now burning. And that was just 4 seconds.

Lots of oohs and aahs from the crowd. Lots of fire, lots of smoke rising up into the sky. Slowly the fires mellow a little, and mellow a little more, and then, I suppose it's probably right about 50 seconds, the fires are just about out, and then suddenly, and really really loud....

BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM (I think there were 5 of them, sure am glad I knew they were coming or I might have peed my pants).

More oohs and aahs and then a huge round of applause. And then we all rushed back into the warm museum just as fast as we could.

Art was never like this when I was growing up.

Wednesday Dec 9, 2009 #

treadmill 34:25 [3] 4.0 mi (8:36 / mi)
ahr:124 max:131 weight:142lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

About 6" of snow followed by rain, so back to the treadmill, nothing special, just warm-up and then set it at 8:30 pace. Marathon pace? CarTalk on the ipod.

Also 20 minutes of shoveling plus maybe 45 seconds of crunch-type stuff. Will probably feel the former in my forearms tomorrow.


If occurred to me that I were a bit younger, the obvious and virtually irresistible plan for the coming weekend would have been to follow the Fair Hill Marathon with a quick flight to Kansas City for the Possum Trot on Sunday.

Just 15 years ago a similar situation, two appealing events on the same weekend and a time zone apart, a 12 hour rogaine at Mammoth Cave NP in Kentucky on Saturday and the Billygoat on Sunday at Townsend, Mass. Fred and I did the double, it was memorable even if we sleep ran through the Billygoat.

Hard to believe no one is doing it this time.

(Before the moved the date of the Trot a week later, the first half of the double would have been the Trail-O' champs in California. Yes, I know, not quite the same sense of macho....)

Tuesday Dec 8, 2009 #


Just went to vote, not that it matters. U.S. Senate primary, choice on the Democratic side was a lawyer who isn't too exciting, or a politician who might be effective but is really annoying, or a businessman who seems to have no qualifications, or the guy I voted for, Alan Khazei, who has done lots of good stuff but has no chance of winning.

Or maybe I voted for him based on a decision not to vote for anyone whom I got robo-calls from, although eventually that would have disqualified all of them, but since I only got one from Khazei, it seemed only right to give him the nod.

Seems like the attorney will win.

treadmill 37:04 [3] 4.0 mi (9:16 / mi) +528ft 8:14 / mi
ahr:139 max:163 weight:142lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

Thought I had time to run before dark, but it didn't happen. Ans since I didn't have my light with me, went on the treadmill. Included 2 x 1/2 mile (10% @ 5.4 mph), the rest about 8:20 pace after I got warmed up.

Got the heart going. I wonder what my max rate is these days, I'd guess about 170 or so. Will have to test it at some point.

Monday Dec 7, 2009 #


I've been doing a little cleaning/organizing (in the hope of once again being able to see the floor in my "office") and I came upon a brief report from a study I was a guinea pig for. It gives the following numbers for me --

Weight: 142.6 pounds
Height: 66.3 inches
% fat: 7.1
Lean weight: 132.5 pounds
VO2max: 71.9

I think this was in 1988 (possibly 1987), when Swampfox and I offered to be subjects for a UMass grad student's research into something or other. Obviously all we cared about were the numbers we would get, though it was hard not to notice at the time that she was very cute.

The body fat was determined by underwater weighing. She'd lower you under, tell you to breathe out, yell at you to breathe out more, bring you up just when you were ready to croak, then say you can do better and send you down again. Took about 4 times until she was satisfied that we were really trying. I'm pretty sure I had a lower % fat than SF.

The VO2max was from a treadmill test. I think she set the treadmill at a reasonable incline and then jacked up the speed every 2 or 3 minutes. That was a painful exercise. I'm pretty sure I had a lower VO2max than SF.

And then I think the only other thing she did was take a blood sample. Only one of us passed out, and it wasn't me.

I think 71.9 is about right for a journeyman runner in his mid-40s. 7.1% isn't bad, though I am curious what it would have been when the G bottomed out around 131-132 a couple times in the last several years and I was really ripped.

The only other time I got tested was a few years before that, in the early 80s, on a bike. Have to see if I can dig out those numbers.

speed golf 42:54 [3] 4.73 mi (9:04 / mi)
ahr:136 max:148 weight:142.5lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

Once around the Greenfield course, an inch of somewhat crusty snow, low 30s. Probably about the temperature we'll have on Saturday. Reasonably pleasant. A lot of crows.

Tried out the heart monitor. It seemed to work pretty well, just a couple wacky points. What totally surprised me is that they make it virtually impossible to read the number on the run, at least for my eyes. It's there on the screen, upper right corner, but just insanely small. And no option that I could find to make it display any larger. Strange. You still get all the information, but it makes it hard to see the data in real time, whether you want it for training purposes or entertainment.

Run. Note that I ran around all the greens and traps, despite what the map shows....


I should make a note about yesterday morning just as a reminder.

Rhonda's morning class at Ratlum Mountain, a quite vigorous mix of yoga and pilates, I think. Quite a few people there -- Charlie, Mike and Marie, Jeff and Judy, Ross and Sam, Kissy, Barb and Dave -- displaying various degrees of coordination and/or uncoordination, all seemed to be very much into it, working hard, and having a very good time.

Except me. I just couldn't get with the program. I don't think it was because I feared looking foolish (I dealt with that at my first few yoga classes by just taking my glasses off, under the theory that if I couldn't see the others, then they couldn't see me, I know, silly, but it helped, and pretty soon I didn't give a damn).

I think things went downhill when we started the 10 minutes or so of abs work. And I was pretty sure that I was capable of at most a minute or two of abs work, and that if I was smart I would do even less, because why did I want to spend the next few days with sore abs. So I stopped pretty quick and just lay there and waited for the next body part to get assaulted.

And then did just a little of that, and lay around some more, really wondering what I was doing there, and feeling quite pathetic at the same time.

And then just a little of whatever the next section was.

Eventually I got up my gumption and walked over and grabbed my clothes and headed out. And had a nice little walk, took a few pictures, and felt much better.

To be remembered --
1. If you are feeling miserable, do something about it, otherwise it will only get worse.
2. You might try doing a little core work on a regular basis. It wouldn't hurt.
3. You are not supposed to be able to keep up with the young ones. Deal with it.


Splits from the Ratlum Mt. night-O.

Sunday Dec 6, 2009 #


Photo's from yesterday evening's night-O' --

Nicest were the trails...

Worst was probably going through hemlocks as they unloaded on you....

Of course the mountain laurel wasn't so great either....

Matter of fact, the white woods were a little scruffy too....

But the controls were all there. This one, 20 meters off the trail, was totally visible this morning, but last night I could not see it or the reflector from the trail. I think it got a lot more visible after I knocked a bunch of snow off the reflector.... :-)

treadmill 39:57 [3] 5.0 mi (7:59 / mi)
shoes: mudclaw 270

Somehow I wanted to get in a run, but didn't want to run outside, even though it was perfectly pleasant (35F, breezy, an inch of snow on the ground, in other words conditions a month from now that would be considered unbelievably fine). So off to the gym, where I wanted to run 5 miles, got there at 3:10, it closes at 4 pm, just made it, changed, ran, showered, dressed, out the door at exactly 4 pm, brought back memories of Army days when you learned to move with a sense of urgency.

It did mean that I ran a little faster than I might have otherwise, but that is not such a bad thing. I've thought for a long time that the key for maintaining some running ability as you get older is to (1) keep your weight down,and (2) do some faster running on a regular basis. I supposed a mild effort toward the latter is still better than striking out on both things, which is where I've been since late summer.

9:02, 8:00, 8:00, 7:30, 7:25.

Was also testing shoes, the Mudclaws seemed reasonably comfortable, perhaps a little more so that the Roclite's have been, so I think I will wear them at Fair Hill.


Anyone who ran the Ratlum night-O' should enter their splits!


My routes from last night.

The only ones I saw from more than 10 meters away were 5 and 12. All the early ones I was the first one there and the reflector was totally covered in snow. Made it quite interesting, and a bit surprising sometimes to get so close before I saw either flag or reflector.

A totally fun outing.

And then a great dinner and fine company.

Saturday Dec 5, 2009 #

road running 1:13:37 [3] 8.35 mi (8:49 / mi) +249ft 8:34 / mi
rhr:52 weight:141.5lbs shoes: roclite 305

A night-O' at Ratlum Mountain is on the agenda for this evening, but snow is also on the agenda, so I'm not sure how much night-O' I will do, or how vigorously. Therefore a run this morning seemed called for, around North and South Sugarloaf, what used to be a modest distance, now definitely a long run. Route.

Slower and slower. In the old days one episode of CarTalk would get me around the loop, today I was well into the second episode, the only benefit was getting the answer to the Puzzler. Felt like the marathon at Fair Hill is going to be a very long ways. Also going to need some better gloves if it is cold, as my hands would have been very unhappy today if I had been staying out much longer.

orienteering 46:07 [2] 3.0 km (15:22 / km)
shoes: mudclaw 270

Ended up doing the Ratlum Mountain night-O' anyway, and very much enjoyed it. 3 to 4' of new snow made things quite special.

Actually one of those times when you look outside and it all looks very cold and wet and it's a bit of a battle to get out the door. But within a couple of minutes it was clear that it was a fine night to be out orienteering. Still snowing, and all the branches were coated with an inch or two of snow. Didn't make the orienteering easy (especially going first, the reflectors weren't reflecting much, found a bunch of the controls without seeing the reflector at all), but it was more fun than I would have imagined.

And, big bonus, beat Ross on 3 splits. Scalpettes, one might say, since getting a full scalp from him is no longer within the realm of possibilities.

Just a couple of mistakes, maybe a couple minutes. And legs felt much less sore than this morning, maybe because my mind had other things to think about.

Friday Dec 4, 2009 #


In the interests of learning more about how to use my new toy, I strapped it on for a trip to the links.

I was mainly interested in checking its accuracy. I already knew from my run yesterday that its accuracy as far as elevation sucks. But I figured that would be the case. But ti seemed to do a pretty good job of tracking where I went, with a couple of obvious (but small) errors.

So today, after getting back and downloading it to Garmin Connect, I compared my route shown with the aerial photo (i.e. satellite view). Bear in mind that I know exactly where I went (my mind is good for only a few things, but this is one of them), and could draw it quite precisely on the photo if I cared to.

I was surprised by both the accuracy and the inaccuracy of the 305. In a general sense it was accurate, my route was correct within perhaps 10-20 meters, good enough. What was inaccurate, and disappointing, was how much was missing.

I don't know what the minimum threshold is to record a change in position. I know I had the thing set to record every second.

What was missing was times when I would move 10 or 15 or 20 meters in one direction, then come back, and this doesn't show up at all.

Now that I look at the combined map and chart on GC, it seems like it is recording only every 48 seconds.

I assume (hope?) I am doing something wrong?

Hmm, looked a little more. The above was for a route that took 3.25 hours. For a separate route that took only 17 minutes, it seemed to record my position every 4 seconds.

I was sort of hoping/thinking that if you set it to record every second, then it would record every second until it ran out of memory.

Thursday Dec 3, 2009 #

night running 49:10 [3] 5.25 mi (9:22 / mi) +600ft 8:27 / mi
rhr:52 weight:141lbs shoes: roclite 305

Over to and up South Sugarloaf and back. Remarkably warm evening for early December, don't know why I had a long-sleeve shirt one. At least I didn't add long pants.

16:15 over, 10:04 up, 7:12 down, 15:39 back. Legs not great, not awful. At least I'm getting out regularly, maybe it will help make Fair Hill doable, or a little less painful.

Got a new toy. Now I have to figure out how to use it. One thing I don't get right off the bat -- Phil used to come over here to run from time to time when he wasn't laid up (or I wasn't laid up), and we'd be all ready to start, but first he'd have to take his toy outside and wait a while, what seemed like a minute or so, until it locked on to the required number of satellites.

Well, I turned mine on sitting here at the dining room table. And from what I can tell, it locked on in about 10 seconds, no need to go outside. I put it on my wrist, went out, pressed the right button to turn on the timer, and it seemed to work just fine.

So does Phil have a Stone Age model? Or is it something to do with a full moon? Or do I just have a natural talent for making such toys work? (Note: Of those three possibilities, the third one is clearly the least likely.)

Wednesday Dec 2, 2009 #

night running 33:49 [3] 3.6 mi (9:24 / mi)
rhr:52 weight:141lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

No one was up for the Mt Toby Wednesday evening run, so I went by myself, though a much shorter version, just up to the power line (18:35) and back (15:12). Very peaceful, no falls. It occurred to me at some point that this time of year -- shotgun season in Massachusetts -- it is probably safer running in the dark. There were signs that quite a few vehicles had been on the jeep road, hunters, but by 5:30 pm they were all gone.

The bright light is really great. I can see the footing so much better, and it does a good job dispelling any anxiety I might have about being out at night. Very cool.


Don't know if anyone has noticed this. I guess I may be shopping next spring.


I've seen a lot of maps, including a lot with someone's route drawn on it, but never one quite like this.

Tuesday Dec 1, 2009 #

yoga 45:00 [1]


I know that several folks I know have been complaining about butt problems, and Boris has even gone so far as to consider surgery, or maybr I have that wrong, others have suggested it for him.

Boris, be careful. It can go terribly wrong.

TMZ, by the way, is the best source I've found to keep up with all the disinformation coming out of Windermere, Florida. Such a good story, and you sure won't find out what's happening by reading the NY Times or watching the network news.

trail running 31:14 [3] 3.7 mi (8:26 / mi)
shoes: roclite 305

A loop around Whiting Reservoir in Holyoke. Very gently rolling, though all the ups, and they were very small, felt significant. Just one of those days. Just got done before dark. Had thought about doing two laps, but legs were complaining sufficiently that that idea was quickly abandoned.

« Earlier | Later »