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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: iansmith

In the 7 days ending Nov 30, 2013:

activity # timemileskm+mload
  Orienteering5 6:08:24 27.68(13:19) 44.54(8:16) 75488c185.5
  Running7 3:00:37 20.06(9:00) 32.29(5:36) 41620.1
  Strength training1 3:001.5
  Total8 9:12:01 47.74 76.83 117088c207.0

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Saturday Nov 30, 2013 #

11 AM

Running 14:30 [1] 2.59 km (5:36 / km) +62m 5:00 / km
shoes: 201304 Inov-8 Oroc 280s

Warmup at Ansonia; trying to wake up.

Orienteering 47:02 [3] 6.34 km (7:25 / km) +159m 6:35 / km
16c shoes: 201304 Inov-8 Oroc 280s

For my Thanksgiving weekend, I decided to go on an O-expedition to Connecticut and New York. The barely organized chaos that is my life postponed my expedition a few hours, and I didn't get to Ansonia on Friday until nightfall. I had planned to Night-O, but a combination of the cold, fatigue, and a poor Night-O configuration frustrated my plans. Instead, I went for an easy run in West Rock; a poor substitute for Ansonia.

This morning, after a sluggish start, I set off to rerun the Blue Middle from the Mad Hatter's Revenge 2010 A-meet. Running or rerunning courses isn't quite ideal, but I decided this was much better than doing nothing at all.

My focus for this course was on precise - not necessarily fast - orienteering. I wanted to intelligently use my compass, check off features, and solidly execute all my plans. I vaguely recalled a few errors from my run in 2010, but I didn't refresh my memory of the splits because I figured that would be an unnecessary distraction. Somewhat detrimentally, I had drawn my route on the map I was running with.

Controls 1-4 were fine and a good way to get back into the terrain. I have no idea if I was on the correct boulder for 3, but I was definitely close (also a little uncertain about 4). I decided to throw caution to the wind and take a different route choice to 6. I was right the first time. On 7, my zone of uncertainty grew larger than I had planned halfway through the leg, but that was sort of ok given my plan.

I was pleased with 8-11, though I started to get a bit tired on my approach to 11. I completely botched 12 when I didn't understand the orientation of the cliffs, even though given my exit from 11 and the surrounding terrain, I was fairly confident I was in the circle. Maybe if I there had been a flag, I wouldn't have hesitated so much. I couldn't find the knoll at 15. Dunno.

On maps like Ansonia and Harriman, one of the challenges with matching the map to the terrain is deciphering the orientation of small cliffy guys, e.g. in the circle at 12. At 12 (map to come), two cliffs are stacked above each other facing NW; I thought there were two cliffs facing each other with a narrow corridor. This is a good skill to practice in rocky New England terrain with subtle contour features.

Running 5:00 [3] 0.8 km (6:15 / km)
shoes: 201304 Inov-8 Oroc 280s

Quick cool down before devouring some recovery pizza.
2 PM

Running 2:12 [1] 0.27 km (8:07 / km) +18m 6:06 / km
shoes: 201304 Inov-8 Oroc 280s

Jog to the start at Blue Mountain. I had to pause at the triangle because I wasn't sure if my Garmin was running. Yay obscured screens.

Orienteering 1:59:12 intensity: (1:29:12 @1) + (30:00 @3) 14.59 km (8:10 / km) +447m 7:05 / km
22c shoes: 201304 Inov-8 Oroc 280s

Blue Mountain 2011 Team Trials Blue Long course. I started this course at the meet, but aborted after control 8 or 9 due to shin pain (stress fracture).

Continuing my theme of rerunning old courses, I set about running this one with the objective of keeping my race focus and mental concentration throughout the race. To make it easier, I decided to run a leg at easy pace, then run hard for three legs. It turns out that I made a mental mistake by taking control 8 easy instead of 9, though I corrected at 13.

My run wasn't terrible, but it certainly looks weak compared to the field. At the spectator control (13) 7 km in, I was about 7 minutes behind Ross (and 12 behind Anders!). I'm content with my split at 11, though my execution left something to be desired in my push over the hill on the first third of the leg (QR to come).

After 15, my goose was cooked, and it was a battle to the end. I noticed that things I usually do out of habit - e.g. anticipating features to my sides - were much harder. My left arch just behind my ball has been intermittently acting up; I need to do some preventative PF exercises.

The session may not have been as constructive as deliberate technical exercises, but getting out in the woods with a map was still excellent.

Friday Nov 29, 2013 #

4 PM

Running 15:12 [1] 2.26 km (6:43 / km) +44m 6:07 / km
shoes: 201304 NB 860

7 PM

Running 54:24 [1] 9.29 km (5:51 / km) +189m 5:19 / km
shoes: 201304 NB 860

Strength training 3:00 [3]

Thursday Nov 28, 2013 #

3 PM

Running warm up/down 5:00 [1] 1.0 km (5:00 / km)
shoes: 201304 Inov-8 Oroc 280s

Jogged around the field by Marjam to warmup. Conditions were chill (1 C, breezy), but manageable with LS, tights, and gloves.

Orienteering 47:17 [3] 6.61 km (7:09 / km) +148m 6:26 / km
17c shoes: 201304 Inov-8 Oroc 280s

I decided to rerun the blue final middle distance course from the CSU 2009 A-meet. I had forgotten that I did this once before, in February of this year. That seems like an eternity in the past.

I don't especially care for orienteering in the Fells. The map is fine (though confusing in some places), but the experience often is mediocre or unpleasant. There are many places I would rather go, but it was nonetheless very satisfying to get out and run. I was stabbed and poked by rocks a few times, but it was not overwhelming. I ran with my original map copy (I think), which apparently has seen a good bit of use. I suppose this particular course goes through a few garbagy areas compared to the 2010 A-meet or even the qualifying middle course.

Running 26:28 [1] 4.66 km (5:40 / km) +100m 5:08 / km
shoes: 201304 Inov-8 Oroc 280s

A quick easy run before packing it in. Adding a run like this after all training exercises would probably be beneficial.

Tuesday Nov 26, 2013 #

5 PM

Running 52:51 [1] 10.41 km (5:05 / km) +3m 5:04 / km
shoes: 201210 Inov-8 Road X 255

Easy jaunt around the river.

Sunday Nov 24, 2013 #

8 AM

Orienteering 45:00 [1] *** 4.0 km (11:15 / km)
14c shoes: 201304 Inov-8 Oroc 280s

Hanging the green and orange controls for the rec courses. I stumbled upon one Traverse control (#13), as Jeff and I hadn't managed to sync up our controls. I think any advantage I received was getting into the woods and seeing them - which anyone could have done, but that was more than compensated by loss of energy, even though I wasn't running all that fast.
11 AM

Running 5:00 [1] 1.0 km (5:00 / km)
shoes: 201304 Inov-8 Oroc 280s

Running from parking to the start, including getting lost and wandering around for a bit. I'm surprised I've managed to put 363 km on my Orocs, especially since they are still structurally sound.

Orienteering 1:49:53 [4] *** 13.0 km (8:27 / km)
19c shoes: 201304 Inov-8 Oroc 280s

2013 Blue Hills Traverse. After some urging, I persuaded Giacomo to come to the race, and drove to Harvard to pick him up at 10 AM. Despite the absurdly cold weather, the field was solid with 42 starters; top contenders included Giacomo, Ethan, special HVO guest Andis, Dave Donaldson, Jean-Charles, and others.

The Traverse is the poorer relation of the Billygoat chiefly because it is always held in the Blue Hills. The variety of the Billygoat (and the novelty of the skip) makes it a much more popular and widely attended event. If the Traverse were in a more convenient location (e.g. Blue Mountain), perhaps the field would be deeper. I regretted the absence of feet and Andrew. I think of the Traverse as my race even though I've never actually won it; because I've set it twice (and actually only contended in 2012 and 2013), I am intimately familiar with the terrain.

I started very strong: Giacomo and I were running together out of start, but I took a better route on the long leg. I also broke away from him exiting, punching through some green to pull out of sight on the trail run. I really wanted to avoid getting stuck on a trail run with Ethan or Giacomo; I figured my best shot was to get away from them early. Despite a 30s hesitation in the circle at 2, I was a minute in the lead. I lost a minute at 3 getting stuck among the rocks, and was only up 15s on blueman Andis, and we took the road run to 4 nearly together.

A major trail that I was planning on using to attack 5 had been deleted recently by DCR, so I bashed through green slash on the hill summit. There are lots of smallish boulders near 5, and I wandered around asking "are you my boulder?" before finally spotting it; Ethan, Giacomo and Dave all caught up. Furious, I bashed down to 6, which we all punched simultaneously, and tried to pick up some distance on the short legs 7-10. At control 10, Giacomo, Ethan, Andis, and I were all together. This was precisely the situation I wanted to avoid, with maybe 5-6 km of medium trail legs left.

We all took the same route right to 11, and Andis fell a little behind. As we merry three were running down the trail to 12, I made the decision of the course: I tried to be tricky and take a more direct route through the woods rather than the trail route I expected them to take. I executed my route adequately, though with a small loss, but entered the circle at 12 to find Giacomo and Ethan together leaving it about a minute up on me. I took the left trail route to 14 and lost 30s on route, 30s in the circle to G/E. At this point, the race was already lost. To add insult to injury, despite nailing my attackpoint (end of higher stone wall), I somehow failed to move 80m up the hill to 15, managing to hit about three other clearings before finally finding the control when Andis came into the circle. I have never been angrier during a race than I was at that moment - overwhelmingly frustrated with my inability to find the control. I seriously considered quitting the race in my rage.

Andis and I blasted down the hill to 16, and I foolishly decided to take 17 straight rather than than bouncing off the left trail. I pulled ahead at 18, but threw away my small lead by botching 19, and Andis beat me for the irrelevant 3rd place. Misc: Dressed for speed: Axis blue O-pants, long sleeve, CSU top, gloves. I drank a monster and a medium DD coffee 3 and 1.5 hours in advance, and only consumed half of a fig newton and a cup of gatorade during the race. No Gu.

What lessons can be learned? Had I been alone at 11, I would have taken a less risky route to 12, but I felt I had to gamble. Perhaps in a three way run to the finish with little route choice, there isn't a way to decisively win, but it is possible to decisively lose. My fitness can improve, but I wasn't exhausted or broken by the end. I did walk some short steep trail uphills, e.g. to 5 and 11. I need to practice the psychology of trying to chase someone down, especially someone who is as fast as I am. Most importantly, I need to take gasoline to the hill around 15 and burn that entire swath of forest to the ground.

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