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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: Bash

In the 7 days ending Oct 17, 2009:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Orienteering2 2:39:24 3.23 5.2
  Mountain Biking1 2:15:00 25.04(11.1/h) 40.3(17.9/h)
  Power Yoga1 1:00:00
  Running1 36:00
  Total5 6:30:24 28.27 45.5

» now

Saturday Oct 17, 2009 #

Orienteering race (Middle) 36:51 [4] *** 3.1 km (11:53 / km)
shoes: Poison Ice Bugs

Ottawa Fall Festival A Meet Middle Distance - Lac Beauchamp

Beautiful, sunny, cold day running in autumn colours on the Canadian Shield. It doesn't get much better than this! The Ottawa club organizes a great meet, so we started on time, ran interesting courses through fun terrain and enjoyed yummy snacks at the end.

I was orienteering consistently but felt a little sloppy approaching a few of the controls, finding myself a little too far to one side or another. Thanks to the good visibility, my errors wasted seconds, not minutes. After self-destructing at the ROC meet a few weeks ago, I was thrilled to place 1st of 9 racers in my category, winning by 2 minutes. As is typical for me, I only won 3 of 13 splits, even in a race that I won. It made me want to go out and run the course again, only better!!


A few of the Middle Distance highlights...

World Champ Thierry Gueorgiou was the winner. Francois Gonon of France sped into the finish pretty quickly too.

Dog Runner's Mom cleaned up all the burrs in the forest as a public service to the rest of us.

Hammer scared the crap out of the little kids as he ran up to the finish line. Looks like he should have run Trek or Treat this weekend instead!

Turns out he was also performing a public service by trying (unsuccessfully) to remove sharp branches from the forest with his head. Dr. Mike Smith assessed him and suggested that he might want to get a stitch or two in the next 24 hrs.

It's a good look, no?

Orienteering race (Sprint) 17:33 [4] *** 2.1 km (8:21 / km)
shoes: Salomon XA Pros - light blue

Sprint at Carleton University. I love campus sprints and was looking forward to running on this new map. It was loads of fun, although I did lose contact at #4 when I was forced to make a wide detour around a group of people who were taking up a lot of space as they strolled through a complex area of the map. When I got past them, I briefly lost my mind and ran to the train tracks before returning to the control. The fastest split in my category was 49 seconds, and I took 39 seconds more than that - oops. Otherwise, things went fairly smoothly.

I had a moment of panic at the spectator control which was at a multi-level set of stairs that I couldn't see on the map, even with my magnifier glasses. (Not the map's fault - my vision was letting me down.) The control description was "bottom of stairs", but it was necessary to run up a couple of flights to get to the bottom of the correct flight. It was nervewracking when people were watching from above since I was running up there with no clue because I couldn't read the map. Mostly it was a good race, but I felt afterward that I should have pushed to run harder in the "green zone" portions. I finished 2nd of nine, a minute behind the winner and a minute ahead of 3rd place. I tied for the best split to #1, but that was the only win of 13 splits!


The Ottawa Club had arranged for an exciting sprint arena with spectator controls, a long finish chute, and a block of elite runners starting at the end. We cheered loudly for hometown heroine, The Kempster!

And for World Champion, Tero.

Tero seems like a really nice guy. I think he and his French teammates are enjoying their vacation in North America.

I got to hang out with my good buddy, AdventureGirl! :-)

Tero did a presentation afterward. By the time we'd asked all our questions it was 8 p.m., and we hadn't had dinner yet! It was a long day, but well worth it. There are a lot of things that one could take away from Tero's talk, but there are two that I will try to work on:
1) Make your training more like your racing. That way, when you're racing, it will feel as if you've already done it lots of times. In addition to physical training, that could include map study of a particular type of terrain.
2) A lot of orienteers know where they were 30 seconds ago or where they are right now. It's better to be visualizing where you're going to be in 30-60 seconds.

Visibility plays a big part in Tero's planning. He thinks about what he's going to be able to see from where and uses that information to help plan his routes. He had to learn to simplify maps, and now he has a philosophy of running fast and making fewer mistakes by aiming for something near the control that will be visible. (He never used the word "attackpoint".) He runs fast toward it right from the start of the leg, even though he won't necessarily see it until later. Many people wait until they can see something before they start running quickly toward it, but if they had confidence, they could be running quickly much of the time. Good presentation and lots of food for thought, especially for some of the strong juniors in the room.

Friday Oct 16, 2009 #

Running (Trail) 36:00 [2]
shoes: Salomon XT Wings - Tomato

My running training has been pathetic over the past 4 weeks since I sprained my ankle at the U.S. Orienteering champs, then sprained it again worse a week later. Leanimal has been working it back into shape, and it was nicely on the mend when I caught my Dad's cold last weekend. Hence another week of feeling oogie, and I'm about to catch the train to Ottawa for their big orienteering A meet this weekend - the one that 6-time World Champion Thierry Georgiou is competing in.

Today's run in Palgrave West was just to remind my body of what running feels like, since it seemed like a bad idea to do that during tomorrow's first race. It was a short run on smooth trails, so I left the ankle brace behind to help build strength, but I will certainly be wearing it for the weekend races. Glorious autumn day! When I get home after this cold weekend, a lot of the leaves will be down. BulletDog came with me and had a blast playing in the woods.


Ms. Grumpy reporting in... I didn't want to drive to the Ottawa O meet because I hate the highway to Ottawa, especially on a Friday when the eastern GTA is a parking lot. So I bought a train ticket and was really excited because there would be WiFi onboard, and I had all sorts of things planned that I wanted to do while someone else did the driving. Well, even though I allowed lots of time, the traffic was nasty, and I missed my train from Scarborough by 1 minute. I was running toward the platform when it pulled away - argghh. I got half my money back, but the trip home to Toronto was a special nonrefundable deal. Arggh.

I phoned 'Bent and tried to find a nearby Greyhound bus that he found online, but that proved impossible after 45 minutes of driving around. So after all that, I ended up driving to Ottawa alone - the absolute worst, environmentally nastiest scenario. :-((

When I got there, the magnetic hotel parking card wouldn't swipe when I was parked at a 45 degree angle downhill in a narrow alley in a manual transmission car near midnight. After 6 tries, I exclaimed, "Oh f***!!!" - and apparently that was the magic word to get in. Then I got to the room, and there was no Ethernet cable. I wasn't that thrilled about wired Internet, but at least I expected a wire. When I called Tech Support, they just said I needed a cable, and when I called the Front Desk, they said it was on the desk (duh), and when I said it wasn't, they said they'd send a bellman to show it to me. He agreed it was gone. But then things started to look up. I called the front desk back and used my temporary position of superiority to ask for the passcode to their wireless Internet, which I got. And then I found microwave popcorn in the room. And the room is nicer than the online photos. Yay. Tomorrow will be a better day. (How could it not be?)

Thursday Oct 15, 2009 #


Hosted a Caledon Navigators adventure run training night at Albion Hills. Runners went out in pairs, and their exercise was to discuss each leg with one another, choosing an attackpoint, a route to the attackpoint, and a route from the attackpoint to the control. Most teams spent about half their time on the course in the dark. Phatty was an exception, posting the fastest time. Given that he ran entirely in daylight, it's hard to understand how he returned with so many burrs from head to to toe!! Only Gosling brought back more, including some in her hair. Last, but not least, we had a club bonfire with s'mores, Jiffy Pop and hot drinks.

Wednesday Oct 14, 2009 #

Orienteering (time discounted) 1:45:00 [2] ***
shoes: Salomon XA Pros - light blue

If you go out in the woods today, you're in for a big surprise...!

I went to Albion Hills to hang flags for tomorrow night's adventure run training with the Caledon Navigators. The first control site I visited was in a logged area, and I ended up coated from head to toe with those little round burrs - can't remember their name right now, but ARGGH. So I scouted a different control location.

On my way to the next control, I did a double take when I realized that the trail up ahead was blocked by a... cube van with living room furniture in the back. Huh??? Then I saw a whole row of trucks, vans and cones, and realized that they were making a movie again - but this time, they were well into the woods. For the next 10 minutes as I ran along double track, I would be passed by vans, trucks and cars just driving through the conservation area at close to regular traffic speed - yikes. I feel sorry for any mountain bikers who came around the corners too fast. For locals, the south edge of the new Albion car rally circuit is the beach parking lot, and it extends into the area north and east of there and continues almost to that little downhill connector trail with the concrete/rock steps that takes you down near the main road.

Having survived that, I loved every minute of navigating to the next controls. What a ridiculously perfect autumn day! Then it was time to place a control near the hilltop east of the donation forest. I saw the body of a man stretched out on a tarp with his head covered with something white and his arms crossed on his chest. It was 2 p.m. - a strange time to be sleeping in bright sunshine - but he was wearing a big shiny watch, which I thought might have been removed if he had met with foul play. It was really hard to tell if he was OK, but I sure as heck wasn't going to find out for myself. I was about 20 m away and decided to back away slowly, hightail it for the road and report it to park staff. Oh yeah, and I moved our last control a lot closer to the finish line - don't want anyone running into that guy in the dark tomorrow!

As I was approaching my car, I met a man with a dog. I told him about the movie vehicles on the trails, and the subject of the strange man came up. His ears perked up. Turns out he's Terry Fast from the Caledon Police Advisory Committee, and about 18 months ago, they had a guy who was coming to Albion Hills in broad daylight and lying down across the trails. He would cover his head and cross his arms on his chest, and he wouldn't respond if you spoke to him or even if a dog licked his face. Terry wasn't sure if they'd ever caught the man in the act, but it sounds like he may be back.

So... if you go out in the woods today... :-)

Tuesday Oct 13, 2009 #

Power Yoga 1:00:00 [1]

Tried my new Rodney Yee Power Yoga DVD. Mostly it's the same stuff that Rodney does on his shorter DVDs, except you do more of it. That's OK though - I like it. I also like that he describes everything he is doing, making it possible to do almost the entire DVD for the first time without looking at the TV screen. (Although it seems a shame not to sneak a peek at Rodney once in awhile, given that he went to all the trouble of wearing that form-fitting ensemble.)

There are a couple of poses that I'm not great at - bow pose and camel pose, both of which require backbending ability that I don't have much of - and it doesn't feel good for me when I try it. Things will improve with practice, though I'll never be a pro. But I will never, ever, EVER be able to do upward bow. Oh well.


"Dear Grand Canyon Enthusiast:

We are pleased to inform you that your efforts at obtaining a Backcountry Permit have been successful."

Wow, does that *ever* sound like a letter written by a bureaucrat! But anyway, good news. 'Bent and I don't have to hike out of the canyon after dinner, then come back down for 7 a.m. breakfast at Phantom Ranch!

Monday Oct 12, 2009 #

Mountain Biking (Trails & Road) 2:15:00 intensity: (2:00:00 @3) + (15:00 @5) 40.3 km (17.9 kph)

'Bent and I parked at Mountainview Road and rode the rail trail to Inglewood to pick up Knobless. Since it was Thanksgiving Monday, and the autumn colours were beautiful, lots of families and pooches were out on the trail. We took McLaughlin to the Grange, then did my first-ever bottom-to-top ride of the Grange hill. Wow, that hill goes on forEVER, and the grade is ridiculously steep in places. The road goes almost straight up the entire Niagara Escarpment. If I could do that a few times every week, I'd become an awesome rider! But since that'll never happen, I was just grateful that I was carrying my Health Card!

We rode trails to Belfountain where we met Gorgeous at the very-crowded-during-autumn-leaf-season Shed Coffee Bar.

As often happens, a young man asked 'Bent a few questions about his bike. His face looked slightly familiar, and he was obviously *very* fit, so I asked his name. It turned out to be elite triathlete Nat Faulkner who, among other accomplishments was the 2nd Canadian at last year's Ironman World Champs in Hawaii. Because we both train with C3, we know some of the same people. He was super-friendly and stuck around chatting and admiring Knobless' and Gorgeous' dogs for quite awhile.

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