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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: PG

In the 7 days ending Sep 21, 2009:

activity # timemileskm+ft
  trail running3 2:44:09 3.11 5.0
  orienteering2 2:03:44 9.05(13:40) 14.57(8:30)
  yoga1 45:00
  run/hike1 39:27 3.5(11:16) 5.63(7:00)
  Total5 6:12:20 15.66 25.2
averages - rhr:47 weight:136.5lbs

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Monday Sep 21, 2009 #


Time for a very easy week. Rode the bike a few gentle miles, but it was bothering my hand so that was enough. Will post more about the weekend, but I'm in the homestretch of my Swedish book (quite remarkably, reading long stretches at a time, normally I don't last more than 10 minutes without a break), and first things first.

But I will say one other thing before I forget.

I think we've done the right thing by hiring Glen Schorr as executive director for USOF, and I hope we have the fortitude and the resources to keep him for quite a while. It may be a while before big results are evident, but so what. Far better to be trying.

And in connection with that, I'd say the same about Mike Waddington as team coach -- it may be a while before big results are evident, but so what. Far better to be trying.

It's worth giving a little thought to how each of us can support both of them as they work to move orienteering forward.

Sunday Sep 20, 2009 #


My courses from yesterday -- sprint, middle.

orienteering 1:20:20 [3] 7.7 km (10:26 / km)
shoes: x-talon 212

Ultralong Brown (an oxymoron?). OK, though rather uninspired and uncoordinated effort. Fall down a lot, 20 times perhaps, a few real hard. Found the points OK, but just really had trouble moving through the woods, very much feeling my age. I realize that most people reading this will have no real idea what that last statement means. You may think you do but you don't. Just wait....

Beautiful day. And a really nice weekend too. I've been orienteering at Rochester events a number of times over the years and have always enjoyed it. They just have a knack for it -- good orienteering, of course, but also just a really pleasant vibe. I'd give Rick Worner a lot of credit for that. He's both so relaxed and so together, and it rubs off on the others. You could learn a lot by just watching how he handles himself. Very cool. He'd be the first to say he doesn't do anything, but he sets the tone, and the tone is important. And then add a lot of other folks working very hard (Linda, Will, Rob, Mike, many others), the whole thing just seems to click. Thanks, guys.


I find it interesting and a bit difficult to read (and make sense of) detailed comments about a course, such as a course from today's ultralong champs, but with no map for reference.

So, because (1) I want to create more of a sense of balance on AttackPoint, and (2) it is getting near bedtime and I want knock off a few more pages of Luftslottet som Sprängdes this evening (I'm currently 460 pages in, 240 to go, and moving quickly), here is today's ultralong Brown map with no comments.

Red and Green used much the same area (red had two loops); didn't see the blue course.

Routes and comments tomorrow, perhaps.

Saturday Sep 19, 2009 #

orienteering 16:44 [4] 2.2 km (7:36 / km)
shoes: x-talon 212

Sprint Champs at Mendon Ponds in Rochester. Did great.

At least that is what I decided after a bit of a jog and then a long slow walk, pondering the state of the universe in general and my particular spot specifically. The pondering was about how I wanted to spend the rest of my day, especially what sort of mood I wished to be in, and how spending it pissed off was really something that should be avoided if at all possible. So I determined that I had run great.

And in retrospect, that was clearly the right thing to have done, and a sign of progress.

trail running 15:00 [2]
shoes: x-talon 212

Before and after.

orienteering 26:40 [4] 2.9 mi (9:12 / mi)
shoes: x-talon 212

Middle distance (not a championship), great again!

And this time I even went to all the controls.

trail running 10:00 [2]
shoes: x-talon 212

Before, legs felt OK.


Such a very fine end to the day, dinner with the CSU gang at Alex Jospe's parents, just up the road from Mendon Ponds. Totally first class in all regards (company, food, vibes, ....).

Thursday Sep 17, 2009 #

yoga 45:00 [1]

Made it to yoga class. Hand was just good enough to tolerate all the downward dogs and other stuff, so glad I went.

trail running race 20:54 [4] 5.0 km (4:11 / km)
weight:137lbs shoes: x-talon 212

Holyoke 5K XC just for the hell of it. Ran about what I expected, 20 seconds worse than a couple months ago but still perfectly fine. And the 20 seconds, well, I weigh maybe 3 pounds more than then, and I was talking with a friend after the race and he happened to say that the formula he'd heard was 2 seconds per pound per mile. Which sounds just right if you do the math.

Perfect evening, low 50s, clear. Maybe started a little too fast, the start was a bit later than expected and I'd been standing around for 15 minutes, and then 90 seconds into the race I was breathing way too hard. Backed off just a little, but then ran a good hard pace the rest of the way. Probably could have pushed a little harder, but no need to.

Had Kevin Teschendorf along, he's here a couple of days, ran about 19:30.

trail running 15:00 [3]
shoes: x-talon 212

Before and after.

Wednesday Sep 16, 2009 #

run/hike 39:27 [2] 3.5 mi (11:16 / mi)
weight:135lbs shoes: saloman

Feel quite battered, lots of aches, thought about going out on the bike but it was rather gloomy, so just a short outing up to the power line and back. Walking on the way up, very quick (24:50), running back pretty slow (14:36).

Swelling slowly going down in my left hand, now it just hurts. At least I haven't taken any falls the last couple of days.


Ultra Tales part 4 -- Not a whole lot of oxygen

The DNF at Wasatch didn't seem to curb my interest in ultras, though I wasn't in a rush to start another right away, and things had to be worked around the orienteering schedule.

Next came a very short ultra in February 1983 called the Tanque Verde Loop, 28.5 miles, in the hills just east of Tucson. Don't remember much about it except that it got real hot towards the end. That was all for 1983. And then in May 1984 I showed up for the Ice Age 50 Mile in southern Wisconsin, remember even less about it other than I had a good run, 13th of 148 in 7:47.

I do remember a lot more about the next one 3 months later -- Leadville.

This was the second year for Leadville, and it had already gotten a reputation. To have any chance of finishing you had to live at altitude. The first year only 10 of 44 starters had finished, and all 10 lived higher than 5,200'. If you were a "flatlander," forget it.

The reason, of course, was that Leadville's low point was about 9,000' and it's high point was 12,600' Hope Pass (aka No-Hope Pass). It was an out-and-back course so you got to go over Hope Pass twice.

So there were trails, and hills, and the long night, and no air. I remember standing on the start line with 50 other starters at 4 am feeling quite apprehensive.

I had done my best to get acclimated. The race marked the end of a three-week trip out West. The first week was in California where I was controller for the California 5-Day (how many know that ever happened?), with a quick trip to the top of Mt. Whitney squeezed in the middle.

Then a drive to Colorado Springs, staying there with Bob Ellis at nearly 9,000'. Saturday Bob did the Pikes Peak ascent, we drove our rental car to the top to pick him up, almost killing the car in the process and getting a good altitude headache. Up (and down) Pikes Peak again the next day, this time on foot, as I was running the marathon, maybe not the best tapering program 6 days before Leadville, but even back then life was short.

Then spent the next 3 days with a friend in Aspen, 9,500', by Thursday my quads no longer hurt. And then the last couple of days in Leadville, 10,200', checking out the course. All of this didn't add up to anything close to living out there, but it was a whole lot better than just flying out the day before.

So the race started. It got light in an hour or two. The course went up, the course went down. By midday I was heading up Hope Pass for the first time, walking of course, but also breathing as hard as possible just to get enough oxygen.

I had also discovered just prior to that I was in third place, despite having had at least 10 folks in front of me earlier in the race. I found out later that once again not all ultrarunners are good at staying on the course, and a group of guys had missed a turn and blindly followed each other a long long ways off course. I really was in third.

Down Hope Pass, the turnaround at 50 miles was not long after, I got there in 10:38. Stop for a minute, get weighed, and head back. The goal still was just to finish, the time limit was 30 hours, with buckles given to anyone under 25.

Over Hope Pass again, lucky that the thunderstorms kept their distance. On the way down I remember several times feeling really faint, and then I realized that I hadn't been breathing enough. Several deep breaths made an immediate difference.

Back through Twin Lakes, then a long trail section on the eastern slopes of Mt. Elbert, the day was getting on and I hustled along as fast as I could, wanting to get off that section before dark. Which I did, 70 miles done in 15+ hours, 30 miles to go, I was ecstatic. And after having been so psyched to get through that last section as fast as possible, I crashed, big-time. Left the aid station, now on a gently sloping downhill dirt road at 10,000', time to start running again, but my feet hurt and my legs hurt and my energy was low. And my psyche, well, it crashed too. Think about it -- it feels like you've been going forever, and now if you can't run here, the easiest possible place, you're not going to be doing any more running, so you've got 30 miles to walk. Including up and over Sugarloaf Pass. Realistically 3 mph. Do the math. 10 more hours to go. Depressing, isn't it?

Nothing else to do, I just kept walking, fast as I could though it wasn't very fast. At some point, maybe 80 miles, I happened to see a light behind me, and it closed pretty quickly, the guy was running. At this point I was still in third, and both guys in front of me, way in front, were from altitude. The guy came by.

How you doing? I asked

OK. You?

Real tired. Where you from?


Way to go....

I had heard all I wanted to hear. I was still the first flatlander. But I still had hours to go.

Headed up Sugarloaf Pass. Real tired, sleepy, too. Long climb. Passed a boulder just the right height to sit on. I sat. Really sleepy, but still thinking. Turn off your flashlight, save the battery. Now sitting there in the dark. And a little voice said, if you don't get up right now, you'll fall asleep here. And I reluctantly flicked the light back on and trudged onward.

Over the pass, Gail and the car were parked on the other side at a road crossing. Maybe 2 am. She was asleep, I woke up up for about a minute of assistance, then onward again, endlessly it seemed. 3 am, 4 am, 95 miles done, finishing was certain now, just the doing was left, and then with two miles to go a light way behind in the distance. I sent Gail back to find out where he was from. Chicago. Shit. Picked up the pace. The last long hill up into Leadville, sky starting to lighten for the second dawn, 25:42. First flatlander by 15 minutes. You take pleasure where you can.

Everything hurt, of course. But if you had asked me at any time, from right after I finished to now, if I was glad I did it, the answer, of course, would have been "Absolutely."

Tuesday Sep 15, 2009 #


So, the maps and a few comments from Pawtuckaway --

First, the horror show, and this was during the daytime.

1. I don't like making excuses, but the map is flaky here, the boulder is a good bit south of where mapped in relation to the end of the spur, and it's all thick woods with low visibility. Spent a couple of minutes....
2. The clue was depression, of course I didn't look at it. Perfect to the boulder, did a full loop around it, no control, a loop around another small boulder nearby, and then looked in the middle of the depression and there it was in plain view.
3. OK
4. Dropped down to the flats, didn't see the boulder in the young pines, circled, eventually ventured a little farther in the right direction.
5. OK
6. Hmm, the plan was to go to the right of the marsh partway, nice compass work. And nice compass work on the final approach too.
7. OK, caught Alexei here, he'd started a minute ahead of me, wonder what fun he'd been having.
8. OK
9. Meant to go left of the pond/marsh, more nice compass work.
10. OK, very thick, caught Alexei again.
11. OK
12. OK until the end, more nice compass work from the pond. What was I doing?
13. OK, Alexei on the way out when I was on the way in.
14. OK
15. Off line at start, but OK. Caught Alexei again, last I was to see of him.
16. Off line again at the start, too far left. Then sailed right past the control, visibility not so good.
17. Somehow I thought I was right on the line, so I turned left when I saw the water. Oops.
18. Just about gave up here, quite disgusted with myself. Just sort of mentally sauntered the last bit from the hilltop, so when no control showed up in front of me, I wasn't sure which way I was off. Back up to the knolls on top, figured it out, rest was easy.
19. OK, even though my line at the start was off.
20. OK, except I crashed halfway and did bad things to my left hand.
21. Just didn't read the terrain right, don't know what I was thinking.
22. Spiked it!
F. Spiked it too!

I guess the whole run was a mental saunter. Unreal, mistakes on 11 controls/legs. Don't think I've ever missed that many on a course, even at JJ's mega.


And now the easy stuff, JJ's Wicked Hard Night O'. The rules were simple, mass start, get as many as you want in whatever order you want. Results based on the most and then the fastest.

No reason not to go for all of them, even though I was going to be walking almost all of it (I fell down enough as it was, just walking, running would just be insane, don't have the balance and coordination any more).

2. It seemed like every one had disappeared out front by the time I got there, though I guess there were some behind me too. Got to the second marsh, looked and there was the control (reflector tape on a dowel) lit up like a full moon. My new headlamp is nice.... :-)
1. In touch all the way. Almost all alone, saw Jim Arsenault briefly but we drifted apart.
3. A little shaky on the approach, never saw the big boulder, but guessed correctly where I was.
4. Tough approach because the visibility was very low, but read the boulders right. A couple lights off to the left.
6. A bit to the right going up the hill but read the big boulder and thickets right. Fredrickson (he lives!) and Andrew Childs arrived just after me, they may have been the lights at 4.
5. A little farther left initially than I meant, so was left of the marsh instead of between it and pond. But hit the east tip of the next pond just right, then the marsh, then up to the control, John and Andrew coming up from behind (I'd seen them part way, running the wrong was on the bike trail). A crowd there including Phil and Charlie, checked the knoll on the left first, not there, then the one on the right.
7. Down to the marsh, then east, don't know why I stayed on the hillside when I needed to be up top. Went too far, hit the steeper downhill, turned back. Alone again.
10. Nice, no problems.
14. Also no problems, except almost totally submerged in the marsh,
15. No problems, in this marsh only waist deep. Barb and Dave at the control when I got there.
11. Barb said it was time to follow me and watch how I did, so the pressure was on. Picked up the pace (very fast walking). Spiked it nicely.
8. Picked up Charlie and Phil for the train. Spiked it nicely.
9. Really trying to drop them, but it's hard when you're just walking. But at least spiked it nicely once again.
12. Spiked it nicely.
F. And pleased to be done in 2 hours and a few seconds, I'd been expecting a little longer. Maybe 5 minutes lost, not bad. And would gladly have had a longer course, I was really enjoying it, very little of my normal high anxiety at night. Nothing like a really good light.

trail running 1:43:15 [3]
rhr:47 weight:137lbs shoes: x-talon 212

Tuesday Mt. Toby run with Dave, Donna, and Sarah. Couldn't decide between this and the Northampton 5K XC. My legs were sluggish, so the XC would probably have been not so satisfying, though this choice meant I got to enjoy sluggish legs for an hour and three-quarters. The hope is that a very easy week next week will have me fully loaded for the 50.

Getting dark the last 20 minutes. Just took a small light, but in a couple of weeks it will be worth taking the big guy.

Gate - 3:12
Power line - 25:20 (22:08)
End of Muck - 32:20 (7:00)
Bottom - 45:09 (12:49)
South Mt. pass - 59:33 (14:24)
Hairpin - 1:23:55 (24:22)
End - 1:43:15 (19:20)

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