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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: Bash

In the 7 days ending Jun 18, 2007:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Orienteering5 6:54:09 5.47 8.8
  Mountain Biking2 3:07:00 29.2(9.4/h) 47.0(15.1/h)
  Total6 10:01:09 34.67 55.8
averages - sleep:3

» now

Monday Jun 18, 2007 #

(rest day)

There are rumours that Raid The North has a low number of entries, so I sent in a $500 deposit today to prove that our team is sincere. (And if the race doesn't run, that will pay for the Fall Champs.) If anyone else wants to do this race and hasn't registered, please do - and consider sending a deposit as well. It would be really disappointing to go through 2007 without a single overnight adventure race. :-(

Sunday Jun 17, 2007 #

Orienteering race (Long) 1:59:09 [4] *** 8.8 km (13:32 / km)

A hot, sunny day in beautiful Copeland Forest. I had a good night's sleep and an early breakfast with lots to drink. I only had a dozen people to register before the race. So for the only time this weekend, I felt prepared and focused before racing. And that's in spite of the fact that I had to sprint 800 m uphill to the start, arriving 60 seconds before my start time - phew!

I've always felt that Long Distance races should be my forte because I'm an adventure racer, but it's never really turned out that way. Maybe my concentration wavers, or maybe the longer trail runs favour faster runners. Anyway, today went pretty well, for the most part. I still feel rusty running with a map, but not as rusty as I felt 24 hrs ago. I had a bobble at #4 after saying hello to Jon T - who went on to win the race, so clearly HE is able to navigate and talk at the same time. As I left the control, I somehow convinced myself that I was leaving #5 on my way to #6. I tore down the hill to a trail, then glanced at the control description - oops. Luckily, it only took about 30 seconds to fix that. My big mistake was at #10, where I didn't see a narrow spur on the map because there was a trail running along it. So I ended up looking for the control on the wrong side of the hill and got tangled up in some thick stuff before dropping to a trail and running around - and most of the way back up - the hill. Dumb! Looks like a 6-7 minute error. However, I've never run a perfect Long course, and my errors are often more impressive than these, so I was quite pleased. Coming up toward the finish, I glanced at my watch and realized that it was going to be close to 2 hrs, so I sprinted like crazy to see if I could bring it in at 1:59, which sounds so-o-o-o much better. Yay, I did. Looks like I would have won F40+ by 25 minutes, but instead I was 6th/8 in Female Open. If I could have saved just 3.5 minutes at #10, I would have been 4th behind three national team-calibre women, which would have been awesome. So I'm happy with today's outing. But wow, do I ever need more PRACTICE.

Saturday Jun 16, 2007 #


GHO's NavStock weekend was a success once again. We had over 80 participants, some of whom had made a long trip from Manitoba, New Brunswick, or the U.S. Wow! Many of them stayed at the group campsite at Bass Lake and/or attended the Saturday potluck BBQ dinner and NavStock Games, organized by the enthusiastic Waterloo Stars orienteering club, who are just excellent folks (with really good-looking club shirts!) The maps were all new or updated, and the courses, designed by Hammer, were challenging and fun. The poison ivy wasn't too thick anywhere I went, and I only had one encounter with stinging nettles. We didn't lose anyone in the woods permanently (although we were definitely wondering for awhile). We had lots of sun with a brief sprinkle of rain between the Middle Distance and the Sprint event. All in all, a great weekend of orienteering and socializing. Special thanks to the club members who came to this event only to work and not to orienteer - GHOSlow, Mrs. GHOSlow, Backwoods and Grizz.

Orienteering race (Middle Distance) 1:09:00 [4] ***

Between late night registration paperwork, warm temperatures for tent sleeping and a 4:30 a.m. bird symphony, I only got 3 hours of sleep. Crap. This may be the only Sprint/Middle/Long orienteering event that I do in 2007, and I was really hoping to use this weekend to seriously work on my orienteering. It's not that I cared about my ranking that much, but I wanted to work on all aspects of trying to orienteer well, e.g. proper sleep, nutrition, hydration, mental preparation, warm-up, etc. I was off to a bad start, plus I'd managed to dehydate myself along the way.

I was busy at the campsite checking people in and helping some first-time orienteers until shortly before my start time, and when I got to the race site, the list and waivers that I'd sent earlier with a participant hadn't been delivered to the registration area yet, so a number of people went into the woods without waivers signed. Argggh - it's impossible to be two places at once, but I still felt like I'd messed up.

And so I headed into the woods for the Middle Distance with minimal warm-up and my brain on a different planet from the race map. Too bad, because this is usually my best distance. I had to check out several rock piles in the dark green at #3, but I wasn't the only one. Then on the way to #4, I bushwhacked across to the 2nd trail when I should have gone to the 3rd trail. By the time I figured it out, I had gone well down the trail, made a turn, and was finally wondering why it was going the direction it was. Luckily, I saw my error and managed to relocate quickly - but I was a lo-o-ong way from where I wanted to be. Then when I got in the right area, things started to look wrong again, so I retraced my steps briefly, then decided to push on to meet a major trail. Phew - a flag suddenly appeared on a spur. It felt like a 25-minute split, but it was only 15:30. Looking at the results, it was probably a 6-7 minute error, even though it felt like much more. Fortunately, things went fine after that - plus or minus a few minor details - like running right past the 2nd last control to the finish, because I thought a control at a trail junction must be on the kids' course (no, I hadn't looked at my control description yet!)

I'd entered the Female Open category because I thought there would be a longer race course, and I never got around to moving back to my age category after finding out that we would all be running the same distances. So I would have won F40+, but instead I ended up getting my butt kicked by most of the young ladies - and rightly so.

Orienteering race (Sprint) 23:00 [4] ***

Sprint around Bass Lake Campground. This is a really fun map for a sprint, with lots of variety and a surprising amount of climb and bushwhacking for a campground sprint. It was a busy afternoon, and I wasn't at the start line yet when I heard my name called with a minute to go - yikes, that got the adrenaline flowing!! I felt happier with this race than the one this morning, but actually, my relative results were slightly worse. I guess I just don't have the speed for a 3K race - oh well, I can live with that.

Friday Jun 15, 2007 #

Event: Nav-Stock

Orienteering race (Night) 1:18:00 [3] ***

NavStock Night-O on a new and very hilly map! Perfect location for a night-O, with a good trail system to keep people from getting too lost in the dark. After a hot, smoggy, stressful day trying to get other things accomplished, followed by nasty traffic on the drive north which made us late, it was nice to just get into the woods and breathe in the cool air. Most of the time, I just went at the speed that I would go in a standard training run on trails by myself. I wasn't in race mode mentally or physically, since I'd just dashed over from the campsite where I'd been signing people in, then there was some confusion over camping and event registrations awaiting me at the race. I need a clone!

In hindsight, I should have used more channels to promote tonight's Night-O and Sunday's Long-O to adventure racers. Several of them came out anyway, but I think that lots of ARers would have enjoyed one or both events. Speaking of which... a tip of the hat goes to Slice and Leanimal for coming in 4th in a field of experienced orienteers tonight!

Thursday Jun 14, 2007 #

Orienteering 50:00 [2] ***

Easy run around tonight's orienteering training course to ensure that all of my hot pink flagging tape was still in place. It looked as if the wind hadn't so much as ruffled it over the past two days. I knew the route, so it's debatable whether this was orienteering, but I did practise the orienteering skill of running with my head up so I could make better micro-route choices in the woods.

Wildlife Watch: One deer who didn't run away because she thought I hadn't seen her - yay. One wolf in the middle of the forest while I was bushwhacking. Oh, wait that can't be right, because there ARE no wolves in Palgrave, and if there were, they wouldn't be wearing dog tags and being called by their owners. But that didn't prevent me from being very startled.

'Bent was Last Out First In - good for him. Smash really took my map memory exercise to heart, setting off from one control while thinking he was at another one. He got into some thick, nasty, swampy bits, and made it most of the way to Yellowknife before he broke down and looked at his map a second time. He made it back to unlock his vehicle and share some oh-so-yummy L-D cookies with the rest of us. (BTW Smash, you do have the right to choose your own Attackpoint name, but only if you sign up. Otherwise, it's our call. :-) )

Mountain Biking (Trail) 1:06:00 [3] 16.5 km (15.0 kph)

Dusk and night ride at Albion Hills with Guitar Man and his back-up band of Alan, Crash, Smash, Bash and 'Bent. (Our AP names may sound harmonious, but this was actually our first gig all together.) I LOVE riding in the cool night air after a hot smoggy day. Unfortunately, I'd had no time to change to my knobby tires, so there were a few places where I had to be cautious. Mostly I felt great. At one point, I smashed my helmet into a low-hanging tree branch and knocked my light off so that it pointed toward the ground - oops! Poor 'Bent lost his favourite bike multi-tool after fixing my wobbly seat. Saving me from sitting down hard on a bare seat post while riding bumpy single track was such a chivalrous act that I will go shopping on his behalf.


Things on my to-do list over the past couple of days:
1) Run an orienteering club training night.
2) Mad final preparations and communications in my role as registrar for 80 people coming to the NavStock orienteering weekend, run by my OTHER orienteering club.
3) Book a hotel room in Venice. (Took TWO hours to find something appropriate. The first hotel Expedia listed cost $739/night.)
4) Do my corporate year-end.
5) Line up or take photos for 3 upcoming articles
6) Debate via e-mail the agenda and refreshments for the Caledon Community Map Launch (an environmental project, not an orienteering one)
7) Charge and test mountain bike lights for 24-hr bike relay
8) Provide estimate on updating the Town's greenhouse gas inventory and local action plan on climate change.

Yawn... I'm exhausted, but at least I guess I haven't fallen into a rut!

Wednesday Jun 13, 2007 #

Mountain Biking (Trails) 2:01:00 [3] 30.5 km (15.1 kph)

3rd edition of the Wed. morning group ride, with perfect weather once again. (Although it became a scorcher by mid-day, so I'm glad we got out when we did.) We had 6 people out today, three of whom I didn't know two weeks ago, which is very cool. The riders were 'Bent, Guitar Man, Ross, Stan, Crash and me. It was great to be back on the trails biking with Crash again. Now that she's a regular on the O Cup Expert category podium, she's even more awesome to watch in the technical sections, and she has a great bunny hop too. In Smash's absence, Crash was polite enough to do some videography for 'Bent. He is working feverishly to create a YouTube video of the Wed. morning group, including a few choice shots of his recumbent bike on single track.

Tuesday Jun 12, 2007 #

Orienteering (2 hrs 30 min) 1:15:00 [1] ***

I braved the heat, insects and stinging nettles (and apparently Crash's mountain bike too - although I didn't see her) to hang flags for Thursday's Caledon Navigators training night in Palgrave. Unfortunately, the course I'd designed so carefully on paper just didn't work when I started looking at the terrain. I've tried to design it so that the early controls are suitable for kids and families, then there are a few more challenging controls at the end. Unfortunately, some of the kids' portion included trails that were nearly invisible in deep grass, huge clumps of knee-deep poison ivy, and a few storm-felled trees hovering over the ground. So I did a quick redesign and did some extra running around as a result.

The plan is that the adults will do the training as a memory O exercise as much as possible, which is intended to compensate for some of the controls being easier than usual.

Wildlife Watch: Many, many mosquitoes. That's OK - I'm working on building up my immunity to West Nile. A white-tailed deer bounded away at one point. Most interesting was a female wild turkey that was crouching flat to the ground, definitely hoping that I wouldn't notice her. She was just lying in dry pine needles, and there was no evidence of a nest, but for her sake, I hope that's what was going on, because she didn't look very well. I had a control hung about 15 m away, so I had to find a new location for it, just in case she is still around on Thursday night. I don't want to traumatize her!


K/O, in case you're out there... I am doing some ankle exercises at odd times, e.g. while standing in line-ups or watching TV. I should be spending a solid block of time on it each day, but I wanted you to know that I am not ignoring my girlie ankle!

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