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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: PG

In the 45 days ending Jan 16, 2010:

activity # timemileskm+ft
  trail running16 13:27:20 72.53(11:08) 116.73(6:55) 492
  road running9 8:18:03 59.46(8:23) 95.69(5:12) 1496
  orienteering3 6:35:42 33.16(11:56) 53.37(7:25)
  treadmill8 5:24:15 37.0(8:46) 59.54(5:27) 1585
  yoga4 3:00:00
  speed golf3 2:06:27 12.98(9:45) 20.89(6:03)
  track2 1:12:02 8.95(8:03) 14.4(5:00)
  night running1 49:10 5.25(9:22) 8.45(5:49) 600
  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)
  Total45 41:31:44 232.18 373.66 4173
  [1-5]45 41:30:56
averages - rhr:52 weight:141.9lbs

» now

Saturday Jan 16, 2010 #


Went to see Up in the Air. Didn't have great expectations but thought it would be OK, but it still fell a bit short of that. Win some, lose some.

The last month has been good training, I've run at least half an hour every day for the last 32 days.

Have to keep it up for another 13 days, because 45 days seems to be all I can get AP to chart at one time (Ken says a month is all, but you can push it), whereas at 46 you're clearly over the limit.

The silly ways we get motivation, but whatever works....

9 AM

road running 11:23 intensity: (40 @1) + (4:44 @2) + (5:59 @3) 1.2 mi (9:29 / mi)
ahr:129 max:143 rhr:50 weight:143.5lbs shoes: x-talon 212

Warm-up. Started out with my O' pants on but decided they weren't needed, ditto with gloves.

road running race 21:31 intensity: (7 @1) + (10 @2) + (17 @3) + (20:15 @4) + (42 @5) 3.16 mi (6:49 / mi)
ahr:160 max:170 shoes: x-talon 212

5K at Forest Park in Springfield. Wonderful day for mid-January, sunny, low 40s, hardly any wind, bare pavement. Brought out what they said was a record crowd of about 160 (and they have been running these races every Saturday morning from December through February for 30 years). Felt great running in shorts!

Good hard effort as usual. 50 seconds better than 4 weeks ago, but that was just a week after the Fair Hill marathon so some improvement was to be hoped for. But this was at the better end of expectations -- anything under 22 would have been fine.

Splits: 7:06 (up at start), 6:55, 6:29 (down in middle), 1:03

The course starts out with a sharp little uphill, immediately, so within a minute you feel quite wasted, while at the same time trying to shift up a gear or two at it flattens out. And wondering hw the net 20 minutes of heavy breathing is going to feel.

The legs felt pretty good today, don't think I could have done much better given current conditioning. May not get another chance at the course this winter, but will see if I can manage a weekly track workout to keep a sense of urgency.

road running 12:31 intensity: (44 @2) + (11:47 @3) 1.42 mi (8:50 / mi)
ahr:139 max:145 shoes: x-talon 212

Afterwards, with George and Lyn, struggling to keep up to Lyn, until I got smart and complained and she slowed down. Very pleasant.

Friday Jan 15, 2010 #


Berkshire East, well it's not the Alps or the Rockies, but it is a nice little hill and it does have zip lines in the warmer seasons. An excursion there the day before the Billygoat?


So we have this election coming up next Tuesday here in Massachusetts, and people seem to be getting quite excited or appalled (depending on your point of view) by the prospect of Teddy Kennedy's seat going to the Republicans. The primary was a month or so ago, and the main impact that had on my life was what must have been about 20 robo-calls that arrived here. Did not make me happy.

Well, they're at it again. Got one from Martha Cookley (the Democrat) a couple of days ago, reminded me right away of how much I dislike the calls. So I fired off the following e-mail to her campaign headquarters --

"I am planning to vote for her. But if you call me one more time, I will not. Take me off your list."

And gave my name and phone number. And waited to see if it would make a difference.

No calls since then, until this afternoon when I picked up the phone and I heard, "This is President Obama...."

That was pretty exciting for the nanosecond it took for me to realize it was another robo-call. And then, well, to be honest, I hung up on the Prez.

And considered my promise. Cookley hadn't called me, Obama had, so I guess I can still vote for her. For now.

2 PM

treadmill 35:44 intensity: (6:04 @1) + (29:40 @2) 4.0 mi (8:56 / mi)
ahr:114 max:124 rhr:52 weight:141lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

Used the treadmill because my legs were a little achy after the last couple of days and I wanted to be able to quit if they were bothering me. But they didn't, excellent. Also wanted to have an easy workout, mission accomplished there too. Not sure if I've ever had a workout where my pulse maxed out at 124.

Might go run the 5K in Springfield tomorrow.

Miles: 9:51, 8:43, 8:35, 8:35

And then went off and filed my first returns for the season. It will be another week and a half before things really start hopping.

Thursday Jan 14, 2010 #

1 PM


Time for my annual outing to the ski slopes, so I headed off about noon time to Berkshire East. Very much like last year's outing, other than this time it had only been a year since I had skied and not 25 years. So I think the skills came back quicker, almost immediately.

It's a nice hill, not so big, maybe a little over 1,000' vertical, but reasonably steep. We haven't had much snow this winter but it has been cold enough to make plenty of snow, so the conditions were mostly excellent, just a little ice in a few places and even it wasn't the really hard ice you can't get an edge into. Once again the weird skis, 150 cm I think, but they sure turn easily and hold easily, just don't seem very stable as you get going faster. So, I'm not so stupid sometimes, I didn't get carried away going fast and unlike a normal O' outing, I finished the day with no falls.

The place wasn't crowded, so most of the time I rode up the lift by myself, but one of the times I had company, it was with two farmers. Yup, farmers. Both female. Friends, each had a farm. One of them had some horses, a few cows, a bunch of chickens, and 23 goats. Only milked the goats occasionally to make a little cheese, mainly raised them for the meat ("Much better than lamb"). Minding my manners, I did not inquire if my one bit of information about the care and feeding of goats was correct, namely that, according to Mary Smith (Ross's mom), "A sick goat is a dead goat."

The other farmer had no goats but lots of sheep, but by the time I got around to questioning her we were at the top of the lift and that was that. Of course I also refrained from asking about my one bit of info about the care and feeding of sheep, also courtesy of Mary Smith, "A sick sheep seldom survives."

Though I wonder if Mary's maxims are just ploys by the large animal vet crowd to lower expectations of their clients so much that they are considered miracle workers if even one goat or sheep pulls through.

So it was a fine couple of hours on the slopes. Though I must say I was always a little on guard, not wanting to do something stupid. And the one time I was a bit off balance, coming down through some bumps that suddenly got more severe than I expected and I did an extra hop to make sure my tips cleared a steep little face, and at the same time my mind was automatically flipping back to April 1966 at Cannon Mountain and burying my left tip in the side of a rut and doing major damage to my lower left (which is why that foot always points to the right). And I didn't want to go there again.

Not now, not ever.

3 PM

road running 1:12:27 intensity: (47 @1) + (16:11 @2) + (32:53 @3) + (22:36 @4) 7.66 mi (9:27 / mi) +1247ft 8:12 / mi
ahr:140 max:158 rhr:54 weight:142lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

Finished up with the skiing, turned in my gear, and headed just down the road with just enough time to get a run in before it got really dark. The route was one that I had never done before on foot, but I had done it on a bike as part of the Mt. Greylock Century a few years ago. It's about halfway through that course and I had suffered going up it then.

So for some reason it seemed reasonable to run up it today, and then back down. Am I nuts?

I was tired when I started, plus my quads had been sore since yesterday's intervals, but I really didn't consider bagging the workout. Rather, it was just, start out, go slow, see how far you can get, and don't give up too easily. And I did just that, plugged away, pretty slow, but the kilometers went by and eventually I was at the top. And then turned right around and back down, also a bit unpleasant because it also seemed never to end. But of course it did. And I was pretty much toast.

Good entertainment from This American Life, the most recent edition, the segment about the guy seeking parole from a life sentence especially fine, got me just about all the way up the hill.

41:57 up, 30:30 down.

7 PM

yoga 45:00 [1]

Seemed like a lot of work, quite beat by the end.

Though still quite enjoying the news that the instructor is 3 months pregnant. She are her female partner already have one kid, though I wasn't doing yoga when he was born and I've never asked who the birth mother was, so I'm not sure if this is her first time or second.

Wednesday Jan 13, 2010 #

7 AM

track 12:32 intensity: (19 @1) + (1:32 @2) + (9:56 @3) + (45 @4) 2.4 km (5:13 / km)
ahr:135 max:157 weight:141.5lbs shoes: x-talon 212

Indoor track at Smith. Warm-up. Nice, not crowded, a few walkers in the outside lanes, 3 or 4 runners, including Sidney Letendre, she's probably the best 50+ runner in New England at 5K and Dawn Roberts, her dad is my age and we've raced quite a few times over the years. They were cranking out 3:00 800s and no way I was going to join them, but it was fun to see them.

Did a mile and a half, including a few strides to get the legs moving.

track 22:46 intensity: (8 @1) + (16 @2) + (7:11 @3) + (14:24 @4) + (47 @5) 4.8 km (4:45 / km)
ahr:151 max:168 shoes: x-talon 212

Like last week, the plan was 8x400, though this time I figured it made more sense, and gave more chance of finishing, to do a 200 recovery at an easy jog. Made it through, working hard by the end and the recoveries getting slower, but on the other hand the intervals were a little faster than I expected. So that was a pleasant surprise,

1:39.9, 1:11.8 for the recovery
1:37.1, 1:10.3
1:37.2, 1:13.9
1:36.9, 1:15.1
1:36.9, 1:18.4
1:35.8, 1:15.5
1:35.8, 1:15.6
1:33.3, 1:13.3

Hard to believe from the map (click on the little globe at the end of the first line of this entry) that I was doing laps around a 200-meter track. But the heart rate graph in the upper left looks just right.

track 4:38 intensity: (12 @1) + (1:05 @2) + (3:21 @3) 0.8 km (5:47 / km)
ahr:131 max:138 shoes: x-talon 212

And a slow half-mile after. Had a nice chat with Dawn, who I hardly know, very pleased with myself for taking the initiative.

And, as always, such a feeling of satisfaction when the workout is over.

Tuesday Jan 12, 2010 #

7 AM

yoga 45:00 [1]

12 PM

trail running 2:52 intensity: (45 @1) + (2:07 @2) 0.29 mi (10:02 / mi)
ahr:115 max:123 weight:141.5lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

According to Phil the trails at Mt. Tom were excellent so I thought I'd go give them a try. First, a very short loosening of the legs, also to check if this section was actually OK, which it was. Last time I'd been over here it had been a lot more ice.

trail running 58:38 intensity: (13 @1) + (1:12 @2) + (28:11 @3) + (29:02 @4) 4.55 mi (12:53 / mi)
ahr:146 max:161 shoes: mudclaw 270

Then did his loop. Felt pretty feeble, physically and mentally. Did a lot of walking on the climbs up the shoulder of Goat Peak and up Whiting Peak. And as far as mentally, hit the wrong button on the 305 on Goat Peak, so when about 3 minutes later I looked to see what my time was, hmmm, still the same. So the 55:24 on my watch at the end was about 3 minutes short.

The trails were pretty good. Hardly any ice, though I was a little cautious on the steeper downhills, also some sections with signs of frost holes, but I never really went in one. And in some places the snow filled in the gaps between the rocks so the running was maybe even a little better than summertime.

But I still didn't have it any time the trail turned up. A lot of work needs to be done.

Splits: 18:05 top of Goat, estimated 4:30 to road, (22:35), 14:30 to turn after Whiting Peak (37:05), 21:33 to end (58:38).

trail running 10:56 intensity: (15 @1) + (29 @2) + (10:12 @3) 0.81 mi (13:30 / mi)
ahr:137 max:146 shoes: mudclaw 270

So I was feeling quite annoyed at myself for screwing up the time-keeping and distance-measuring, so the obvious thing to do was to remedy that by going back up and redoing the section. Drove up the road and parked where the trail comes out. Ran back the gentle part and then walked up the hill to the top of Goat (6:39), then ran back to the car the way I was going earlier (4:17), probably a little faster than earlier because I knew there were no bad icy spots.

So now enough data. And glad I had done it.

Monday Jan 11, 2010 #


Here are the maps from Saturday -- course A, which Gail ran flawlessly, and course B, which I botched, especially #3, the exit on the way to 4, and #8.

Results/splits are here.

2 PM

trail running 33:23 intensity: (44 @1) + (7:37 @2) + (22:27 @3) + (2:35 @4) 3.19 mi (10:27 / mi)
ahr:135 max:153 rhr:52 weight:141lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

In Greenfield, a short outing on Poet's Seat ridge from the gym. Everything is still snow-covered, but packed pretty nicely, so the running is just fine.

Legs were feeling yesterday's long run, so I didn't see any need to go any longer or faster. Pleasant out except for 3 yapping dogs and the usual owner with no control of them. I suppose that's the one downside of running where there are enough walkers to pack out the trails.

Also more time at the office than I expected, installing new software, dealing with the inevitable issues. No crises so far. Also have a new person there, a fourth lady, this one quite young and quite gorgeous, among her duties as the newest person on the block is handling all my appointments, so I suppose I will have to interact with her reasonably often. Life is hard....

Sunday Jan 10, 2010 #

10 AM

road running 2:24 intensity: (19 @1) + (49 @2) + (1:16 @3) 0.26 mi (9:04 / mi)
ahr:123 max:135 rhr:52 weight:141lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

Heading over to the start of the 10-mile course.

road running 1:22:25 intensity: (14 @2) + (21:30 @3) + (1:00:41 @4) 10.02 mi (8:14 / mi)
ahr:151 max:164 shoes: mudclaw 270

Ten-mile course in Amherst. A classic course, site next month of the New England 10K Champs, run it many times, both racing and training. Would be flat for an orienteering course, but hilly for a road race, especially the long hills at mile 3 and mile 9. Certified course, nice to see the distance checks out just right.

Ran with Dave, real nice to have company. Cold morning, about 12F, but sunny and hardly any wind so exceedingly pleasant. Except for the hills, though I croaked less than I feared, especially on the last one, hung in well even though by that point the legs were getting tired. This is a long run for me these days.

So overall, great, was figuring something between 85 and 90.

By the way, my record at the 10-miler:
1980 (age 35): 65:11
1982 (37): 63:56
1984 (39): 66:32
1985 (40): 66:36
1987 (42): 63:25
1988 (43): 62:27
1997 (52): 66:20
1998 (53): 63:57
2002 (57): 72:50
2004 (59): 71:16
2005 (60): 70:21
2008 (63): 78:31

Best was 1988, best age-adjusted was probably 1998. Was in charge of the results many years between 1988 and 1997, a good excuse not to run.

road running 7:24 intensity: (3:06 @3) + (4:18 @4) 0.86 mi (8:39 / mi)
ahr:148 max:152 shoes: mudclaw 270

And then back to the cars at the Amherst Women's Club. Legs were dead.

12 PM


And then SMAC's (Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club) annual meeting. I've been a member of the club for over 30 years. It's added a lot of enjoyment to my running training and racing, a nice complement to orienteering though always taking second place.

And even got the club's "Most Outstanding Runner" award for 2009. Nice surprise.

Saturday Jan 9, 2010 #

3 PM

orienteering 33:39 intensity: (30 @1) + (3:45 @2) + (13:44 @3) + (15:40 @4) 2.3 mi (14:38 / mi)
ahr:143 max:165 rhr:50 weight:141lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

WCOC winter meeting at the DeWitts, include cell-phone O' in the woods behind their house. Two different courses, said to be yellow in difficulty, I think the B course was a little longer/harder. I teamed up with Gail, first with her out in the woods with phone and compass and e-punch and me inside with phone and the map of course A giving directions, and then reversed roles for course B.

Very interesting and fun, both sides of the game. When you're giving directions, the challenge is to make things as clear and easy as possible while at the same time trying to keep track of (or figure out) where your runner is. When you're the runner, the challenge is to interpret the directions you're getting, plus actually hearing them clearly can be hard when you're running, plus conveying enough information back about where you are.

And people think differently and communicate differently.

We got Gail around course A pretty well, no real problems. We got me around course B with difficulty, botching a couple of points, one quite badly, despite the fact that I had had plenty of time looking at the map (of course A) and Gail knew what it was like out in the terrain.

My guess is that with a little practice you could improve quite a bit as you figure out what things make the communication better.

I also think doing this would a good opportunity of analysis of how we orienteer, because you are forced to verbalize what you are thinking, and therefore it can be very clear after the fact what you have done, and why. Reminds me of the time long ago Damon hooked me up with a tape recorder and I tried to verbalize everything I was thinking while doing a red course at Northfield.

As far as my running when I was out -- not bad, decent effort, trails were well packed, woods had 4-6" dry snow, perfectly OK, just a little harder going.

5 PM


And then the club winter meeting. George and Lyn were stepping down as co-presidents after 11 years at the helm, many thanks to them for all their work. Rick DeWitt is the new Prez, with Boris as vice-Prez in charge of fun. A schedule was put together for the spring, and plans for the A meet in May were reviewed. And then there was a lot of food (and drink).

Note that we are applying for both days (middle at Ansonia and classic at Huntington) to be WREs. Both are great terrain.

Friday Jan 8, 2010 #

1 PM

trail running 50:12 intensity: (55 @1) + (6:09 @2) + (38:30 @3) + (4:38 @4) 3.74 mi (13:25 / mi)
ahr:138 max:152 rhr:51 weight:141lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

Bike trails on the south side of Norwottuck. Enough snow to be a bit of a nuisance, or more likely my legs were just tired. In any case, I didn't seem to be moving very quickly even though I was running the whole time. Just one set of human footprints to follow, and they were old, from before the inch of snow today, but still useful in following the windy trail. Lots and lots of animal trails, though none fresh. I assume a bunch of them were deer.

I would like to be able to claim that the 305 was underestimating the distance because the trail doubles back on itself more than the track seems to show, but doing that will just get me a bunch of crap from the usual suspect(s). But perhaps I will do the route again with the thing set on recording every second to see if it makes a difference.

Snowing lightly, about 25F, perfectly pleasant out. Another day where getting out the door seemed remarkably easy.

This American Life, included a fine story about United States v. Reynolds regarding the state secrets privilege, regarding which I quote the following from Wkipedia. Quite amazing....

The privilege was first officially recognized by the Supreme Court of the United States in the 1953 decision United States v. Reynolds (345 U.S. 1). A military airplane, a B-29 Superfortress bomber, crashed. The widows of three civilian crew members sought accident reports on the crash but were told that to release such details would threaten national security by revealing the bomber's top-secret mission. The court held that only the government can claim or waive the privilege, and it “is not to be lightly invoked”, and last there “must be a formal claim of privilege, lodged by the head of the department which has control over the matter, after actual personal consideration by that officer.” The court stressed that the decision to withhold evidence is to be made by the presiding judge and not the executive.

As a footnote to the founding case establishing the privilege, in 2000, the accident reports were declassified and released, and it was found that the assertion that they contained secret information was fraudulent. The reports did, however, contain information about the poor condition of the aircraft itself, which would have been very compromising to the Air Force's case. Many commentators have alleged government misuse of secrecy in this landmark case."

Thursday Jan 7, 2010 #


It's that time of year again and I've been spending more than a few hours educating myself about the various changes to that absurd collection of legal jargon that we call the Tax Code. Though I shouldn't complain too much, for it's these annual shenanigans that make business so good for folks like me.

And this year there seems to be, once again, mostly good news for folks on the part of the income scale that I deal with, mostly lower middle class and middle class, with just a few lower or higher. Better education credits for kids at the undergraduate level, more extensive energy efficiency credits, an expanded earned income credit under certain circumstances (almost everything in the tax code is applicable only under certain circumstances), credits for buying homes, slightly different and possibly favorable rules for selling homes, credits for working folks (though most of this was passed out via lower withholding), credits for folks getting Social Security (though most of them have already got it), credits for folks getting government pensions other than Social Security, new possibilities for Roth IRAs, oh, the list goes on and on....

And then lots of little things.

And some of this stuff is good only for 2009. Though they may be renewed. Or good only for 2009 and 2010. Though they may be renewed. Or good indefinitely. Though they may be repealed.

And if a health bill passed, it's got more tax changes in it. And who knows what else folks will come up with by this time next year, even stuff possibly retroactive to the beginning of this year. Like an estate tax, since it just disappeared, temporarily.

Don't we have a wonderful system?

Just thinking about it, well, I may have to raise my rates....

1 PM

trail running 54:21 intensity: (32 @1) + (3:17 @2) + (39:51 @3) + (10:41 @4) 5.27 mi (10:19 / mi)
ahr:141 max:156 rhr:51 weight:141lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

Same as Tuesday, Mill River to Jugglar Meadow and back. A couple minutes faster, which I assume is just that the conditions were probably a little better (snow a little more packed), because I don't think the effort was any more. Another nice day, and looks like it will be more of the same for the next week with the exception of a little bit of snow tomorrow. If nothing else, the sunshine is good for one's mood.

Training continues to progress, and I am being a little more reasonable about my food intake. Anyone of a speculative nature would be advised to buy puts on the G. Anyone who has been feeling smug about their own relationship to the G may have to re-evaluate a bit in coming months. Just a warning.... :-)

6 PM

yoga 45:00 [1]

Quite vigorous as usual, the instructor isn't big on mumbo-jumbo and sitting around chanting Om. In the rest of her life she has a horse farm, works in the unemployment office, and runs mountain races. She tends not to waste much time.

The Thursday class has shifted from early morning to evening. I may not be able to make it much this winter, but hopefully I'll keep going to the Tuesday morning class.

Wednesday Jan 6, 2010 #

12 PM

trail running 1:02:27 intensity: (50 @1) + (9:27 @2) + (32:35 @3) + (19:35 @4) 5.86 mi (10:39 / mi)
ahr:140 max:163 rhr:51 weight:141.5lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

Poet's Seat ridge, same as Sunday though the loops in different order. The snow is getting packed out more (the area gets a mix of walkers, a few runners, though not many this time of year, and snowshoers, so it doesn't take long after a storm to be runnable again. Whereas the other favorite place for winter running, snowmobile trails, have seen little use so far, not quite enough snow, so I haven't ventured out on them yet.

About 3 to 4 minutes faster than Sunday because of the better conditions.

Quite pleasant out, sunny and 25F and a moderate NW wind, but only really bothered by that for about 5 minutes. Most of the time had the hat and gloves off as I was getting too warm.

This American Life about various bad things that some people have to deal with when all they want to do is sleep.

Various horror stories, all of which made my various anxiety dreams over the years pale in comparison, with the story that sticks in my mind being one about a woman who lived in an apartment in a roach-infested building, and there were always roaches crawling around, that she had more or less gotten used to, except for the one that crawled into her ear one night while she was sleeping, and she had to go to the emergency room to have it extracted.

I have seen various critters in our house in Sunderland but I don't believe any of them were roaches. I did live in New York City one summer when roaches in the apartment were not uncommon, especially if you surprised them by turning on the kitchen light late at night. But they were all of very modest size compared to the one I saw in Texas, in fact the only one I have ever seen in Texas, and to protect the innocent I won't say where I saw it, though some may know that I do have a brother that lives in Austin.

Anyway, this roach was immense, my recollection is the size of a mouse with wings to match. It freaked me out, so I beat a hasty retreat and fetched my brother, who just happened to be nearby (note that I'm not saying we were in Austin, though I'm also not saying we weren't), and he just took one look at it and bopped it with his shoe, and then carried on with whatever he had been doing, while I stood there quite amazed and impressed, both at the size of the now deceased roach and at my brother's up to now unknown, at least to me, sang-froid in such matters.

All this gives me a reason, also up to know unknown, to continue using earplugs at night, above and beyond the fact that I sleep just great with them.

Tuesday Jan 5, 2010 #


Nice to see the latest draft of the strategic plan available, and especially nice to see Glenn responding to various comments. Makes for a much better process.

It's seems important to remember that when this process is finished, it is our plan, not just Glenn's plan.

7 AM

yoga 45:00 [1]

Time to get back to this.

11 AM

trail running 56:22 intensity: (41 @1) + (3:32 @2) + (36:57 @3) + (15:12 @4) 5.36 mi (10:31 / mi)
ahr:142 max:156 weight:141.5lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

Nothing too exciting, just another day doing a few miles, hopefully after enough of these somewhat stronger.

Robert Frost trail, from Mill River to Juggler Meadow and back (one of Phil's regular routes). Decent conditions -- packed nice and firm to Puffers, mix of bare ground and a little ice, but fine, around Puffers, then packed a little, skied on a little, all a little loose, all taking some effort to move not so fast the rest of the way. And then back.

Monday Jan 4, 2010 #


So I wore the 305 to be able to watch my heart rate and record splits, but obviously no satellite coverage indoors. Download the data in the usual fashion. The splits show up fine on Garmin Connect, but not on my download to AP. And while Garmin Connect accurately says there is no map data, when I click the little globe by each training entry, I find out I've been running in Menlo Park, California. Wow!

Also, just for future reference, seemed fine with no food/drink before running.

7 AM

track 12:47 intensity: (37 @1) + (3:26 @2) + (8:44 @3) 2.4 km (5:20 / km)
ahr:130 max:142 weight:142.5lbs shoes: x-talon 212

At the Smith indoor track -- it is now open to the public, just only from 6 to 8 am, so you have to get there by about 7. Real nice 200-meter track, not banked but wide curves and a pretty soft rubberized surface. Just a few walkers and a couple other runners and the walkers stay in the outside lanes.

A mile and a half warm-up

track 9:18 intensity: (9 @1) + (19 @2) + (3:41 @3) + (5:09 @4) 2.0 km (4:39 / km)
ahr:147 max:154 shoes: x-talon 212

So the plan was to do some running at about 7-minute pace (just under my current 5K pace), and to do it at a decent effort but not any more than that. For some reason I decided that that would be manageable doing 8 400s with just a 100 recovery jog.

After 4 of those with the times getting slower each time and the effort greater I decided a short break was needed, so I walked a lap....

400s (and 100s): 1:41, 35, 1:43, 35, 1:43, 36, 1:46, 34.

track 5:43 intensity: (9 @1) + (16 @2) + (3:08 @3) + (2:10 @4) 1.2 km (4:46 / km)
ahr:143 max:154 shoes: x-talon 212

And then changed the rest of the program to 200s, also with a 100 jog between, which felt much less stressful, but still achieved the purpose, which was just to get the legs turning a little faster.

50, 36, 50, 36, 50, 35, 48, 34

track 4:18 intensity: (7 @1) + (37 @2) + (3:34 @3) 0.8 km (5:22 / km)
ahr:134 max:140 shoes: x-talon 212

And a half-mile cool-down.

Sunday Jan 3, 2010 #


Wondering if anyone has any experience with this --

I just gave my Mac a shower. Not on purpose of course, just a glass of 80% water and 20% OJ, almost full, that dumped itself, I swear I hardly touched it, right in the direction of my Mac, mostly right across the keyboard.

Figuring plain water was better than sugared water, I rinsed it off under the faucet. Turning it on its side to let the water run out, I noticed water coming out of the not just the keyboard but also the various holes on the left side to plug things in.

About this time the screen went dark.

Several minutes later, after more clean-up and doing my best to extract any remaining water (gentle but firm shaking), I tried to get it going, no luck.

About 15 minutes later, the screen flashed a couple of times. A couple minutes later, same thing. A couple minutes later it came back on. And seems to be working.

Questions -- Have I done any damage? Should I take it in to the local Apple store to have them check it out. Or do I just carry on? The fan has just come on. Is it trying to dry itself out? Now the fan is off. Is it happy?

This -- my ability to wreck things -- is why I've never been a fan of fancy toys.

Anyone have a clue?

11 AM

trail running 1:06:11 [3] 5.91 mi (11:12 / mi)
ahr:143 max:158 rhr:51 weight:142.5lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

Colder and windier, back to the same trails as yesterday. Pretty much the same conditions, except not so many low-hanging snow-packed branches waiting to bop me in the face. Traction so-so, not icy, just there is enough snow so that the shoes often don't really grab, like running in soft sand.

Three laps this time: middle/lower then upper/middle then lower/upper. The only part exposed to the wind was about 5 minutes of each of the times on the upper trail and then it got cold real quickly (18F, wind 20-30 mph). It would have taken a bit more gumption to spend the whole hour out in the open. The rest of the time it was quite pleasant.

This American Life, Going Big, the first segment was very interesting.

Just in case you haven't noticed, winter is almost over. I always figure that by mid-February things are getting pretty balmy, and that is only six weeks away. And the sun is already setting a lot later, 12 minutes later than in early December. And I don't think winters are as cold as they used to be -- I remember a day when I first moved up here when the high was -7F (and the low about -25F). Days like today are really quite toasty.

Saturday Jan 2, 2010 #


Time for a few numbers for 2009:

-- 47 O' races (40 in 2008, 29 in 2007, 68 in 2006), included 1 DNF (injury) and 1 DQ (Rochester sprint, skipped a control). It occurs to me that while I have been DQ'd about 4 times for skipping a control, I don't think I have ever, in 37 years of orienteering, been DQ'd for punching the wrong control.
-- 11 sprints (14, 11, 13), two of them at a walk.
-- 14 middle (5, 1, 11), most in Europe
-- 14 classic (13, 13, 34), though a classic varied a lot depending on what class I was running.
-- 2 long (2, 0, 1)
-- 2 goats (3, 2, 2), Billygoat and Traverse.
-- 1 O' marathon (0, 1, 0)
-- 0 cross/farsta (0, 0, 2)
-- 0 relay (2, 0, 3), wow, no relays.
-- 2 night (1, 1, 2), Pawtuckaway and Ratlum Mountain, both instant classics
-- 0 trail-O (0, 0, 0)
plus 1 rogaine (3, 2, 0), Arizona (with Barb and Cristina)

358 hours training (369 in 2008, 303 in 2007, 256 in 2006), including:
-- 64 orienteering (45, 38, 75), better than the last couple of years, perhaps the same distance, just going slower?
-- 158 other running (118, 123, 181), injured less, training more seriously at times.
-- 9 biking (32, 43, 0)
-- 19 rogaining (63, 47, 0)
-- 21 run/hikes (22, 37, 0), mostly rogaine training
-- 13 nautilus (86, 15, 0), seemed to fade away, in favor of...
-- 30 yoga
-- 58 rounds of golf (all walking, none logged), almost all between early October and early December when regular training was taking a break.

Seems like it was the best year since 2006. Lots of injury problems in 2007 and 2008.

Also ran 18 foot races, up from 5 the year before:
-- 8 of the local low-key 5K XC races, got the age-64 records in all 4.
-- 3 on the roads, all short, 2 5K and a mile.
-- 6 trail races (Northern Nipmuck, Northfield, Greylock, LoonMt., Mt. Ascutney, and Wapack, first 60+ at all but Ascutney).
-- and 1 ultra, Vermont 50 Mile, first 60+.

Lots of hard efforts and satisfying results.

Other thoughts --
1. Orienteering highlight of the year was the trip to Europe (plus the preparation leading up to it). Met all my goals competitively, plus just a really fun trip.

2. Much less involved in O' stuff otherwise, no longer running the Team or the Sprint Series. Quite a nice break, though it's also good to stay involved in one way or another, benefits in a variety of ways.

3. Just one rogaine this year, in Arizona with Barb and Cristina. Will have to get something planned for 2010 as they are fun, especially the night.

4. Missed my frequent training companion Phil, as I was laid up for the first part of the year and he for most of the rest. Hard to believe we survived without giving each other the regular doses of crap in one form or another. :-)

5. Weight once again held steady at 1G all year long, though the G itself had a nice decline through the spring before rebounded distressingly vigorously in the fall. Would be nice to keep it under 140, would be wonderful to keep it at 135. If I have any ambitions for the coming year, it needs to be at (preferably under) the latter.

6. Topping the list of totally meaningless numbers, so far there have been 132,200 times that someone has stopped doing something useful to come look at my training log (85, 396 at the end of 2008, 54,103 at the end of 2007, 27,034 at the end of 2006, 6,908 at the end of 2005). I quite enjoy writing stuff on my log, even if a good bit of it has nothing to do with training or orienteering. And fortunately Ken doesn't charge rent based on the number of words generated.

7. I'm pretty sure it was a good year for personal growth. Much better at dealing with adversity (though there were the occasional lapses). There were certainly times that I was confronted by lemons and made lemonade. And that was not trivial.

8. My mind continues to disappear, as well as agility, flexibility, strength, endurance, speed, eyesight. I am quite sure these are trends, not anomalies. Much more adversity lies ahead, that is sure, just the timing and the form is yet to be determined. And for how long it is possible to make lemonade.

9. Worked really hard all winter. Best year ever professionally.

10. And of little importance, but fun, got two new toys, the Telsa and the 305. Both are great.

For 2010?

Here is what I wrote a year ago --

"For 2009? Well, another year older means the downward slope just gets steeper. I can move into M65. Have to see what I can do, can't stop trying, but my expectation is that Father Time will pull even harder in the opposite direction from wherever I am trying to go. I suspect it will be a good year to learn patience and to try to take pleasure from the doing more than from the result."

If 2010 could be even close to as good as 2009, then that would be excellent.

11 AM

trail running 44:35 intensity: (44 @1) + (9:15 @2) + (31:48 @3) + (2:48 @4) 3.87 mi (11:32 / mi)
ahr:135 max:151 rhr:53 weight:143lbs shoes: mudclaw 270

A struggle. On the trails in Greenfield, nice because they are sheltered from the wind. New snow ranged from an inch or two in the hemlocks to 4 or 5 in the hardwoods. Not so much and it was pretty light, but my legs were taking the day off.

Out the middle trail, back the lower trail, and I just about quit then, but after a minute or two thinking about it continued on, out the upper road/trail and back the middle trail. Most the footing was fine, though there were a few downhill sidehill sections where the traction was so-so at best (and at the same time you're doing a bit of a bob and weave to avoid the low-hanging hemlock branches that are just packed with snow). But no falls.

And also no thought at all to another lap after I finished the second one. Enough was enough.

Car Talk. Amusing but forgettable, as usual, except one thing stuck in my mind this time. A female caller, had moved from Madison to Austin, no, she wasn't connected with the university, her field was "art therapy." The expected "What the hell is that?" from either Click or Clack. And then she gave the perfect "elevator speech." Meaning, you've got 30 seconds or less, the time you might spend on an elevator with someone, to explain what it is you do, or what it is your organization does. Upbeat, informative, succinct, well-spoken.

There's a need for a good elevator speech pretty often, including one situation that I'd guess all of us have experienced, namely when confronted with the question, "What's orienteering?" Accompanied usually by a quite dubious look on the questioner's face, implying it can't be of much significance if they've never heard of it before.

And I wonder how good our responses are. Or even what a good response should be. Though I've come to think recently that if it just starts out with "Oh, it's great, it is so much fun...," then that's a big step in the right direction. Sort of like my elevator speech when I get asked how I how I like my cleanly shaved look, and I start with, "I look fabulous...." :-)

12 PM


It seems like Ken's new widget is also a nice way of showing other folk's training too, like 2009 WOC team members (though some are all dark right now, either temporarily or because they don't log training on AP). When comparing, make note that the vertical scale can vary.

Ross and Clem

Eddie and Wyatt

Eric and Samantha

Sandra and Cristina

Viktoria and Pavlina

Friday Jan 1, 2010 #


Interesting wildlife encounter on the way to the race. I was going past a little farm, they have some sheep, I'm not sure what else if anything, and right out in front of the house and on the road was a small flock of turkeys, eight of them, 2 big toms and 6 others either females or young males. And they seemed to be quite happy with where they were, because they sure didn't want to move.

So I slowly nosed myself towards them, figuring they would scatter, but they didn't. And pretty soon I'm looking out my side window and 6 of them are right there, within 5 feet of me, and the other two are right in front of the car.

I really don't want to run over them. I'm not sure what was going on in their pea-brains, but they seemed quite content to stay put. So I'd move forward a few inches at a time, and then, since I couldn't see them if they were right up against the front bumper, wait a few seconds until a head popped up, and then move a few more inches.

Eventually got past them with no carnage. Very strange. And no sight of them when I came by an hour later in the race.


Went to see Precious this afternoon. Wonderful movie. Especially based upon my own personal movie rating systems:

-- Despite really wanting a nap, and yawning in the car both on the way there and the way back, not a single yawn during the movie.

-- Didn't look at my watch a single time.

-- Didn't fidget at all.

Just entranced the whole time.

And certainly a whole lot fewer casualties and less mayhem than two flicks I've seen on the tube this week, No Country for Old Men and Kill Bill, Vol. 1. Actually, despite the carnage, quite enjoyed both of them.

9 AM

road running 6:05 intensity: (8 @1) + (1:33 @2) + (4:24 @3) 0.66 mi (9:13 / mi)
ahr:134 max:147 rhr:55 weight:143lbs shoes: x-talon 212

Warm-up, also testing footing to see what shoes I wanted to wear. The X=talons seemed fine. Running a little late so a little less warm-up than planned. Time includes a pit stop, though I can pee really fast these days, so not a long stop.... :-)

road running race 45:48 intensity: (5 @1) + (19 @2) + (3:27 @3) + (41:29 @4) + (28 @5) 6.21 mi (7:23 / mi)
ahr:157 max:169 shoes: x-talon 212

Sawmill River 10K in Montague. Figured I might as well start off the new year with a good effort, even though I wasn't committed to running until after I took a look at enough of the course to see that the traction would be OK (had a couple inches of snow yesterday.

Pretty good race, I think. Felt not so spry the first mile, which is downhill, figured it was going to get worse, but didn't. It got slower thereafter, of course, because it was no longer downhill, but I kept up a good effort and got up the hills after mile 4 without as much suffering as expected. It helped that I passed 3 or 4 people there, that always makes it easier.

Ran the whole way with Graham Warder, an old friend, very nice fellow, age 49, much faster. Maybe half a mile from the finish I asked him what he could run a 10K in these days, and he said he'd run one a couple months ago in 39. But he had a couple of leg issues and didn't want to run hard, so was quite happy using me as a governor. So we had a bit of a chat along the route, though I suspect he was chatting a little more than I was, especially going up the hills.

Splits: 7:02 (down), 7:27, 7:20, 7:38 (starting up), 7:47 (up), 7:13, 1:21. Pure chance, the bell for 10K rang exactly as I crossed the line.

Weather was benign, 32F, almost calm, overcast.

Time was OK. Probably a little better than expected (between 46 and 48). I will need to do a lot better as the year goes on, but then I will also have to lose some weight.

road running 4:35 intensity: (1 @1) + (1:06 @2) + (3:28 @3) 0.46 mi (9:58 / mi)
ahr:133 max:140 shoes: x-talon 212

Just around the block, after I realized I had just stopped dead after the finish and stood there for about 5 minutes chatting, probably not the best thing after a hard effort.

Then changed, went inside, saw a couple other old friends, including Rich Larson who ran 38-39 at age 58, plus the race director who is a client of mine. Plus had a double-strength hot chocolate and a couple of cookies. And then went home to enjoy the rest of the day. Which hopefully will include some more thinking about summer plans, entered the North Americans last night, that was easy, the hard things are trying to find good (i.e. nice, but not too expensive) accommodations for places we might go in Europe. Takes a lot of looking around.

Also am launching into a new responsibility, publicity flack for the 2010 Sprint Series. :-)

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.)

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