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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: danfoster

In the 7 days ending Mar 20:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Mountain Biking1 3:02:00 20.7(8:48) 33.31(5:28)
  Paddling2 2:32:00 7.2(21:07) 11.59(13:07)
  Hiking1 2:00:00 3.67(32:44) 5.9(20:20)
  Fat Biking1 1:07:00 7.1(9:26) 11.43(5:52)
  Total5 8:41:00 38.67(13:28) 62.23(8:22)

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Saturday Mar 20 #

Hiking 2:00:00 [1] 5.9 km (20:20 / km)

Hike and bushwhack at Quabbin with Jori in search of porcupines (skunked, once again) and to retrieve one of my wildlife cameras, which I placed in March 2017 and haven't visited since! Strava reports 27 minutes of motion in our 3.5 hour trip, which tells you everything you need to know about our pace. I started our bushwhack off the powerlines about 1KM to early, partially because I haven't been there in 4 years, partially because nothing is actually on the map, and partially because there was an official-looking vehicle parked up ahead, and why disturb his lunch? It was a long bushwhack down to an unmarked trail, and eventually to the main road system. Found lots of porcupine scat in the "porcupipes", but no animals. Found some fresh moose scat, and heard two ruffed grouse doing their muted lawnmower drumming log display off in the distance. That was really cool to hear.

Amazingly, my camera was right where I'd left it 47 months ago, looking no worse for the wear. Batteries were dead, obviously. Had a sumptuous picnic lunch on a flat rock inches above a broken mill dam, and then did the road walk back to the car. Sometime in the last 4 years, they did a selective logging cut on most of our return path, which ruined some of the wilderness feel of the trip.

Finished the day with a maple sugar shack and farm brewery in Rutland.

Camera results, once I got home: the very first set of videos was a fully-camo clad wildlife photographer (toting some serious lens glass) walking right up to the camera in April 2017, photographing my calling card, and then returning several more times over the course of the month. He may have even emailed me that he found the camera now that I think back on that year. After that, it was 10 months of buck deer photos. I swear you could see their racks growing as the season progressed. A solitary juvenile bear and a moose passed through in the fall, some snow fell, and then the batteries died. And the whole thing sat there waiting another 3 years for me to come back for it. There's a space for it waiting with the other cameras in a bin in the garage.

Friday Mar 19 #

Paddling 1:00:00 [3] 2.0 mi (30:00 / mi)

If adventure racing is all about paddling canoes with kayak paddles, this was the opposite. I wanted to try using our open cockpit tandem rec kayak as a "canoe-like vessel" for some potential canoe tripping weekends this summer. Bundled up in the drysuit, rolled it down the street, and was immediately greeted by a cold north wind blowing 10-15mph. Did I mention it was 32 degrees out? Anyways, hopped in to the kayak with the seat positioned in the center, and poked out into the wind with my trusty $12 Cabela's "economy wood canoe paddle". Much pirouetting ensued. Managed to get into a sheltered bay by switching sides every other stroke, but the shallow bay meant I couldn't paddle vertically, so I continued spinning. Neoprene-clad fingers were already going numb in the wind.

Switched to the kayak paddle and fought my way up-wind, knowing I'd find some deeper, sheltered water there. Hauled out on a muskrat platform, and switched to the stern seat. Started hunting for logs to use as ballast up-front. Things got much better behaved once I stuffed a heavy 6ft pine branch as far up into the bow as I could.

Tried kneeling, a la canoeist. Had to straddle the crotch-height pine branch. Couldn't get back any further because my feet were up against the stern seat. Very tippy, and I was forward of the center point. Hard to go straight in this configuration. Got up some speed and ran into a hidden sub-surface stump, which lifted the bow and nearly dumped me. Back to sitting.

Practiced steering courses cross-wind for landmarks on either side of the pond. Having a strong cross-wind actually helped - I could use it to counteract the natural tendency to turn. Goon stroke much more effective than the J-stroke.

Ended up down in the land of 1000 stumps. Spent a while playing stump slalom, weaving in and out of obstacles. This was incredibly fun, and I worked up a good sweat trying to swing the boat around while keeping up speed.

Thursday Mar 18 #

Paddling 1:32:00 [3] 5.2 mi (17:41 / mi)

Jess and I hauled the tandem kayak out for the first paddle of the year today. 39 degrees and overcast, with rain and snow coming in by 2PM. We had to detour around the remaining fingers of ice on the pond to get out to the main channel. Water temp couldn't be much more than 33, as I quickly confirmed when we started portaging around beaver blockages, and hauling the kayak up and over the road to bypass the new box culvert. They ignored my feedback during the public comment period, and actually made it harder to portage around when they reconstructed it last year. Thanks!

Attempted the easy portage around the big beaver dam, but the upstream impoundment was solid ice on that side, so Jess stayed ashore and I re-launched and dragged the boat right up the dam, using her leash for assistance. Canoodled about in the tussocks and marsh, and landed at Apple Point at 11:30, just in time for it to start raining. With a full drysuit and lots of heavy insulation, the rain wasn't an issue, but my toes were still a bit chilly from traipsing in and out of icy water.

Decided to run the nearly 2-foot drop off of the beaver dam, rather than portage it. Had to drop the paddle and use both hands to pull on the cattails and beaver sticks to get us over the edge, which meant I didn't have any way to brace as we careened and splashed down on the outflow side. We ALMOST bit it hard. Maybe it was a lucky hip snap, or just the boat doing what boats are designed to do, but we were rolling to the left and at the last second we were back upright. Jess got lots of treats for surviving the ride, and at that point I realized my phone was just tucked into my PFD pocket, and not actually clipped in. Would have been an unfortunate swim.

We tried running the box culvert, but there's no way up and over the concrete lip that sets the pond height of the upper basin. Back over the road we went. Ran the beaver stick impoundment right below, which is going to keep me from packrafting there this season. Finished up along the far shoreline, with some shore leave for Jess.

Lots of bird activity: red-winged blackbirds in the cattails, herons starting to rebuild their rookery, swans and geese already claiming nests. Wood ducks, goldeneyes, mallards on the wing. A nice day to be on the water.

Wednesday Mar 17 #

Fat Biking 1:07:00 [3] 7.1 mi (9:26 / mi)

Swapped back to the non-studded fatbike tires last night, which probably means we're due for another ice age. Did a St Fatrick's Day spin this morning with Jess, stopping for a thermos of hot tea in our favorite sunny spot. Ticks were also enjoying the sun. I'm not sure how I've picked up two and Jess still has none, given her love for the underbrush, but I might just happen to spill some of her K9 Advantix on myself if this keeps happening.

Sunday Mar 14 #

Mountain Biking 3:02:00 [3] 20.7 mi (8:48 / mi)

After yesterday's orienteering training, J and S invited me to join them at Massasoit State Park to take advantage of dry trail riding close to the Cape. Every rider on facebook had been saying the Cape was the place to be this weekend, and when I pulled into the park, there were pickups lining the entrance road on both sides. Everyone, indeed!

It turned out there was a kids MTB race/training event going on, as we ended up entering one trail system a minute or two before (and with permission from the adults) a pack of about a hundred riders launched off. Luckily we ended up on a parallel trail, because they would have ridden us into the dirt.

After our group ride, I relaxed in the sun beside a cranberry bog, finished the rest of my food, called home, and decided on a short cool-down ride before the hour-long drive home. And then I just kept going. Two hours later, out of water and somehow managing to ride the last three miles with the last 3% of battery in my phone, I made it back to the car. Saved the ride, dialed home, it rang three times, and the battery died. Luckily there was a charger in the car.

Drove home into whiteout conditions, with the temp plunging from 48 to 33 in the last 20 miles. A great day on the bike.

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