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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: PG

In the 7 days ending May 3, 2009:

activity # timemileskm+ft
  orienteering3 3:35:19 11.74(18:20) 18.9(11:24) 2247
  biking2 1:28:35 24.2(3:40) 38.95(2:16)
  trail running2 50:53
  yoga1 45:00
  run/hike1 20:00
  Total5 6:59:47 35.94 57.85 2247
averages - weight:133.8lbs

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Sunday May 3, 2009 #

orienteering 2:19:10 [3] 11.0 km (12:39 / km) +1969ft 9:56 / km

Team Trials, day 3.

Another slog, just longer this time. Slower than ever.

But the weather cleared during the run (started in the rain) and had a couple of very pleasant hours standing around afterwards, the karma was very good. So no complaints.

Saturday May 2, 2009 #

orienteering 57:38 [3] 5.0 km (11:32 / km)

Middle distance at the Trials.

Cool and rainy. Some steep terrain but a real nice course. Orienteered mostly OK, at most a couple minutes lost, but had no legs. What can you do.

On the other hand, just getting around reasonably clean was good for a scalp, Mr. Velichko's. Take your victories where you can.

Here's the men's course. Ignore the beige bands, just bad lighting and a map not lying flat, also the first part is out of focus. But gives you an idea of things.

run/hike 20:00 [1]

Out to the start, a little running, mostly brisk walking, mostly uphill.


So we happened to go for dinner at a little pizza lace that, because of the rain, the BAOC folks had moved to for a meeting on plans to possibly bid to host JWOC in 2013. So I listened in a bit. And was struck by a few things.

1. I think it's great that they are seriously exploring this. We've had two championships in the country, WOC in 1993 and WMOC in 1997, plus several World Cup events. All have been a lot of work, all have had aspects that were near disaster, but all added excitement and energy and something special to O' in this country, and all were worth doing, even if you would be very hard pressed to identify any significant positive impact on orienteering from any of them.

2. I don't know most of the BAOC folks on their exploratory committee, but I hope they know what they might be getting into. It is a ton of work.

3. They listed their four primary areas of concern -- land use permission, volunteers, early money, and marketing. Without land use permission, obviously the venture dies. They think they can access early money. They think they can access volunteers, both within BAOC and from other clubs. And they think marketing will be a tough one because they have no skills there.

I think that marketing needs to be paid pros, and if you can raise the money, then this is one of the first places it needs to be spent.

I also think that the whole volunteer question is a tough one. They expressed concerns about people willing to work for nothing while others are getting paid. I'd be more concerned about people who are willing to volunteer, and take on major responsibility, without having the ability to really do the job. There were certainly cases of this in both WOC-93 and WMOC-97 -- great, someone volunteered to do something, but no ability to do it. You have to spend some effort to make sure that your volunteers are matched well to what they are expected to do.

4. And then there was a lovely exchange, a hint of the kind of thing that happens in all sorts of things, BAOC had forgotten to include in its proposed schedule -- BAOC decision by September, submission of a bid to the IOF by January, decision by next summer -- that USOF has to approve the bid and submit it. Whoops. And so what would USOF's schedule be? Well, they have a Board meeting set for October and they would need to have information well before that so it could properly be evaluated, and so on.

How nice it would have been at that point to hear something like -- this is a big thing BAOC is looking at, we (USOF) need to approve it but we'll do what we can to make the process move smoothly, and if we need to schedule another Board meeting just for this, no problem, we'll do it. Oh, well.

5. Will it happen? It might. BAOC has a lot of resources. But it needs really strong and forceful leadership, and from what I saw this evening, I'm not sure it has that sufficiently. At least not yet.

Friday May 1, 2009 #

orienteering 18:31 [4] 2.9 km (6:23 / km) +279ft 5:34 / km

Team Trials sprint at Spring Lake in Santa Rosa, CA.

Good run, couldn't have done much better, maybe 15 seconds at most, just don't run near fast enough, but this was a good effort and progress, I think.

Course was about as easy as you could make it, which actually was probably the best way to do it. It's fine terrain for a sprint by North American standards, but not by European standards -- no maze feeling, no abundance of uncrossable features, no sense that you better to hell be sure a route doesn't dead end on you, so the mental stress and the need for continual advance planning weren't there -- but you have to go with what you have. They could have made it harder/slower by burying controls in the rocky/thick areas, but they didn't and I think that was the right decision.

Today's course, more or less (drawn on a copy of the map available in advance, don't know if there were changes for today's version, plus took a photo in not the best light, so it's not real clear, but enough to give a sense of things).

trail running 8:00 [3]

Jog to the start.


So I'm sitting in the little funky cafe in Cobb with a great internet connection. Which is a very pleasant surprise given my first experience in Cobb (a very small place)....

Went to check into the motel. Charlie had made reservations, a room for Gail and me for tonight and tomorrow night, and then two more rooms for his gang just for tomorrow night. Fine, and the folks at the motel had written it down correctly on the reservation slip, but when they transcribed it over to their reservation master sheet for the month of May, things got reversed and we had three rooms for tonight and just one for tomorrow night. Not good.

It took a few minutes to get to the point where the two women (mother and daughter?) understood what the problem was -- and when I say a few minutes, I mean a few minutes, not a few moments -- because, friendly as they were, their IQ seemed to be about 100 if you added them together.

But eventually they understood that Saturday night was the problem, since the motel was fully booked except for one reservation that had been canceled. Clearly, they were going to be one room short.

But this is a perfect example of underestimating the skills of folks who maybe aren't the brightest, but, as they say, everyone is good at something.

Daughter announced that she could figure it out, she just had to move a couple of people from one room to another. And while I settled into a chair to read some tourist brochures, she struggled mightily, working out and then discarding various moves, until after perhaps another 15 minutes of much erasing and rewriting, she suddenly announced with a sense of triumph, "There, I've got it figured out."

And in fact we now had the two rooms needed for Charlie. And for someone else, their reservation just got, as we might have said before "lost in cyberspace" became the common explanation, well, it just got erased.

I called up Charlie to let him know he might want to check in on the early side tomorrow.

And complimented myself on being so totally mellow throughout this whole operation. But then again, they isn't much to do in Cobb.

Wednesday Apr 29, 2009 #


Decided it is time to rest up and tank up.

Goal for the G was 135 by the end of April. The current 133 is a little bogus, but it's nice to be getting back towards the territory where the choice of adjectives is scrawny vs. ripped.

Tuesday Apr 28, 2009 #

yoga 45:00 [1]

Quite sore.

trail running 42:53 [3]

Up Wantastiquet Mt across the river from Brattleboro, climb was 1060'. This is getting harder in each time. Up in 25:10, PW/PR, but that is quite bogus as I lost my willpower and stopped three times, better part of a minute each time, before continuing on. Wandered around a bit on top checking things out, then just as I was about to head down a guy arrived, also having run up, 22 minutes for him, so I ran down with him. Nice chat, he runs up a couple times a week, plus rows, plus has another mountain near where he lives that he runs up once or twice a week too. Must have a good motor, plus he's pretty young, 53. Nice big old peace symbol on the back of his old truck.

17:43 coming down, very relaxed.


Add to the list of things that happen when Gail's away....

Got back from Vermont (plus yoga and two stops at the office), first trip up the stairs from the garage was to bring up the groceries. I was beat and in need of nourishment, so the second trip to get wet clothes would have to wait. Of course, lazy as I am, all doors were left open, the garage door, the door between the garage and the stairs, and the door at the top of the stairs right by the kitchen.

And I'm sitting having something to eat and I hear a strange noise, not very loud, from the direction of the stairs. And then a few seconds later, more noise, a little louder. So I get up to have a look, and there's a woodchuck halfway up the stairs, making steady progress!

And then basic animal instincts take over for both of us, fight or flight. I opt for fight, well, not exactly, but I do start yelling at it, and it chooses flight, turns around and runs back down. I'm in hot pursuit, just in time to see it exiting the garage, and then just in time to see it disappear in the bushes by the front door, where despite a bunch more yelling on my part it seems to have settled down. Which would be too bad.

On the other hand, I am very glad it wasn't a skunk.

biking 50:54 [3] 13.6 mi (3:45 / mi)

Hot and breezy, not pushing it, which resulted in the pace being just right -- not so fast to be miserable and not so slow as to be worthless. And kept me from having another meal before dinner.

Monday Apr 27, 2009 #



Courses/routes from the weekend --

Saturday morning, M21 semi-final.
Problems: #9, route was shaky, then didn't hook left enough at the last bit and was 30-40 right of the flag. #11, don't know why I had too check out another flag higher up then mine. At least I knew where it was for the afternoon.

Saturday afternoon, M21 final.
Problems: #1, overran it, just too low, went 40-50 meters too far. #16, shaky at the very start, getting the right line out of 15.

Sunday morning, M60.
Problems: #6, route turned out to be slow, not sure if it was inferior or just all the walking/stopping I was doing. #8, 30-45 seconds in the area, could make the cliffs match the map. #12, should have gone straight leaving 11, then took wrong trail for a little bit. #16, off on my line after passing the first marsh.

Overall, nothing big either day.


So, a question -- were any of the control sites questionable? And I don't mean, were they wrong. Everything seemed right, and the map was exceptional.

What I'm referring to is the following from the USOF course setting guidelines (not that anyone reads them): "Vision is a major problem for the older orienteer. Try to keep controls out of areas that have much fine detail on the map. This tends to become a large blur and therefore promotes luck instead of skill."

The courses I ran Saturday were both M21, so this is not a concern. But look at this section of Sunday's M60 course....

I'd say that controls 6, 7, and 11 are really pushing the envelope for folks with eyesight that is not perfect, and may be quite a ways from perfect. Compare to 8, 9, and 10, all also in complicated terrain, but at each of them it is a lot clearer what you are looking for.

I'm not trying to dumb down the orienteering, especially as many of us have been orienteering a long time and like a good challenge. But still....

I always figured one good test was that you ought to be able to write the control description so there was no doubt which feature the control was on. But the clue for 6 is "upper cliff" (but there's one higher), for 7 "upper cliff" (but there's one at the same height), for 8 just "cliff" (and there are 4 in the circle), for 9 just "cliff" (and there are 5 in the circle), and for 11 "middle cliff" (and there are about 10 in the circle).

Just wondering.

biking 37:41 [3] 10.6 mi (3:33 / mi)

Another hot day, and no desire for a run, and not for more than a short bike ride. Route.

And out for some rogaine practice early in the morning, chasing the little while ball, first round this season. Not a total disaster, have to start someplace, and at least the change was in the right direction (never finished the first hole, birdied the last).

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