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Training Log Archive: PG

In the 7 days ending Oct 12, 2008:

activity # timemileskm+ft
  biking3 3:07:29 50.0(3:45) 80.47(2:20) 449
  orienteering1 1:58:55 8.14(14:37) 13.1(9:05) 1135
  trail running3 1:48:59
  nautilus3 1:45:00
  yoga1 1
  Total7 8:40:24 58.14 93.57 1585

» now

Sunday Oct 12, 2008 #

trail running 10:00 [2]
shoes: saloman

Hollis O'Ringen -- a few minutes warm-up before stage 1, just a little before stage 2, none before stages 3 and 4, and a very little before 5.

orienteering 22:28 [4] 2.8 km (8:01 / km) +230ft 7:08 / km
shoes: saloman

Stage 1, Beaver Brook. I'd been here once before, fall of 2005, heavy rain, also the weekend after after I was lucky I didn't smash my skull in a fall at the Monroe Trail race, took 40 stitches to sew me up but otherwise no further damage other than having to live with the name Cyclops until enough time had passed and folks forget. The main thing was no damage to my good looks.... :-)

Anyway, it was tough orienteering then, complicated forest topographically and on the thick side too. Still was today, even though today's course was on the short side because we were running 5 events today, and therefore didn't get over into the really complicated areas. But still needed to pay attention.

Good run, can't say I really missed anything, biggest loss of time was at #4 where in celebration of old-fashioned orienteering day -- my baseplate compass (does anyone else still use them and not thumb compasses?), hanging on a string tied to my wrist, and the punch (does anyone else still use them and not e-punching?) got tangled up and it took all ten of my thumbs a good 15 seconds to untangle things, while Ken Sr was waiting patiently. The rest was pretty good. Legs were not bad, still had to walk any hill of consequence if it wasn't on a trail. And I remember running up the last hill to the finish, and struggling a bit to keep going, and thinking, this is the best you are going to feel all day.

And it was!

Stage 1

orienteering 20:55 [3] 2.4 km (8:43 / km) +230ft 7:36 / km
shoes: saloman

Stage 2, different part of the same map, not such a good run, starting right from the start -- I'd watched Ken Sr start a couple of minutes in front of me, he'd looked at his map a couple of times and headed SW along the edge of the playing field. So I headed that way too, and got 30 or 40 yards in that direction before realizing that I wanted to be heading to the end of the parking lot. Oops. (Turned out Ken had misread things and was heading around the course backwards, though he corrected after he was out of sight.)

1 and 2 were ok, to 3, an unnecessary zigzag route, and executed slowly too. 4 was ok, to 5 I was unplanned and slow, just not thinking ahead enough. Rest was ok. But on a short course like this, 3 shaky legs is about 3 too many.

On the other hand, I did get to see Fly Bait (aka BP, aka my good friend Phil) at his best, or rather worst -- he hustled in to the finish, but coming from a strange direction. Pete Bundschuh asked if he'd been to the last control. Hmm. Off he went to get #7, and it must have been 3 or 4 minutes (or more?) before he returned, despite the fact that the trip over to 7 and back should have taken about a minute and a quarter. Apparently his soaring adrenaline led him to take the direct route to 7, crashing through the thick bushes, missed it, overran it, crashing through more thick bushes, all at good speed I gather, eventually circling around, relocating, and finding the control. And then at least getting back to the finish the way any sane orienteer would.

Legs were still pretty decent.

Stage 2.

orienteering 20:26 [3] 2.1 km (9:44 / km) +118ft 8:58 / km
shoes: saloman

Now onto new maps for the rest of the day, at least for me. Stage 3 was a mile up the road, Hollis Elementary School and surrounding forest.

Not a good run at all. Picked up the map, there's not much on it, scale is 1:3,000, but boy was it hard to read, especially hard to figure out where the course went, hard just to figure out where #1 was. And then generally didn't have a lot of faith in the map, knowing it was made with a USGS base didn't help the confidence.

Slow getting to 1, slow getting to 2, very slow getting to 4, nailed by a single strand of barbed wire hanging from a tree on the way to 5. Somewhat crappy woods so I took a way-around route to 7, lost a few seconds to Ken Sr. 8 and 9 were ok, really had to search the map to locate 10, got there ok but had trouble spotting the control. 11 was ok, but then should have gone left of the school to the finish.

And all the way the running was getting more of a struggle.

The excitement happened shortly after I finished, I think it was Samantha came running by, someone's hurt, the hill coming down from 8, Dean is with him, he needs help. So Lex (a real doctor) and Charlie (an EMT) and several others head off to help. And the word is it's Erik who is down, Erik Nystrom, the Swedish exchange student staying with Charlie and Rhonda, just a great kid and a real good orienteer too. And the word is he is hurt pretty bad.

Up at the scene Erik is lying on the slope, clearly in pain. Lex checks him out, off with the shoe very carefully, out with the brace, wraps up the ankle good enough to protect it on the trip out, and then a couple of the strong young guys (Ross and ?) carry Erik the 100 yards or so out to the road. And then Erik is on his back and getting iced, and Lex is worried he may have broken his tibia, and then before long Charlie and Rhonda are packing things up to head home and get Erik to an X-ray machine someplace near home.

And Phil and I head off to stage 4, feeling really bad for Erik, and probably each of us also a little glad it wasn't us. Because there are any number of times in this sport that it could be.

Stage 3.

Note: I called up Erik about dinnertime. He seemed to be doing better, certainly in better spirits. No fractures, a bad sprain, but he said someone had told him maybe two weeks and then he could be active again. Which is a lot better than it looked like it would be. And he also said to thank all the folks that helped -- part of the reason he felt so bad at the time was he was just scared, didn't know how bad he had hurt himself.

orienteering 31:49 [2] 3.0 km (10:36 / km) +230ft 9:30 / km
shoes: saloman

Stage 4, another mile up the road, Hollis Town Forest. Getting to be midday, getting warmer. Legs definitely feeling tired, and I hadn't even started yet.

And this run was the worst yet. Missed 2 a little, missed 3, I'm sure something is fishy with the map or the control was in the wrong place, ran up the spur a little less than the distance I thought was needed, then dropped off to the right, no sign of a control. Eventually found it about 40 or 50 meters back. And then 4, nailed the small depression, except no control. Looked back in the bigger depression to the southwest, nothing there, wandered northeast, soon spotted it high on the hillside in a little wrinkle in the slope, by no stretch of the imagination a depression. Oh, well. Actually it would be more accurate to say I was quite pissed, seem to have lost my ability to take bogus controls with a grain of salt....

Onward, and now for probably both mental and physical reasons the legs were totally dead. Got the next few ok, just really slow. Muffed 9 a little, there's an extra small vague spur before the control and I did a careful look around it before heading on to the correct one. And then in and done, and really done.

An hour or so to rest up for the chase, and not looking forward to it at all.

Stage 4.

orienteering 23:17 [3] 2.8 km (8:19 / km) +328ft 7:03 / km
shoes: saloman

And then across the road, Woodmont Orchard and Silver Lake SP, chase start for anyone within 35 minutes of the leader (Ross), I think maybe 9 of us. Another 10 or 15 in the mass start?

Not real eager to go, very tired. But not about to pass....

And a better run than expected, did some walking but also ran a little better than expected. And just one mistake.

Ok to 1, ditto to 2, 3, and 4 although there was a good bit of walking as I angled up the slopes. Nailed 5, except, oops, it turned out to be 6, so then had to try a second time, not so easy in the apple orchard, couldn't see so far, unless you realized, which I didn't, that the special object was the little tower sticking up above the apple trees. But I got it anyway, and then weaved back through to trees to 6. To 7 wasn't fun, but I ran all the way up the hill, and in fact ran all the rest of the way, and nailed them all, or pretty close to that. So a better way to finish up the day.

And won an award, for the oldest finisher. Certainly one I'd prefer not to win.

Don't know why the legs felt better on this one. Even afterwards, didn't feel nearly so beat.

Thanks to Lex and Pete Bundschuh for their great inspiration and execution, also to all their helpers, and also to whoever arranged the perfect weather. A day not to be missed, as predicted.

Stage 5.


Stopped at JJ's on the way home. Actually stopped at DD first to get a couple of bagels, and I was surprised how loose my legs felt. Not that I wasn't tired, but I didn't feel so bent over and sore as usual after a race (or 5).

Got to JJ's, Phil had 45 minutes or so of work to do with him on the Mt. Tom map for the A meet in two weeks, so I, and this may be hard to believe, pulled out the yoga mat from the car and retreated to an empty room and had a very pleasant 20 or 30 minutes of a variety of loosening and stretching and posturing, though no attempts at balancing, and all with the added benefit of no one watching. Felt great. :-)

Saturday Oct 11, 2008 #

biking 54:51 [3] 15.3 mi (3:35 / mi)

Leverett loop. Such a nice late afternoon I couldn't not go out, and couldn't also put out a little more effort than I intended to, even though I have 5 O' races planned for tomorrow. But have to take advantage of today, never know what tomorrow will bring.

Pumped up the tires, felt better.

Friday Oct 10, 2008 #

biking 1:14:01 [3] 20.3 mi (3:39 / mi)

River road - Old Deerfield loop. One of those days when it felt like the wind was always in my face. Although I think I need to put a little more air in the tires and that might have something to do with it.

Went by the entrance to Sugarloaf, everything is blocked off.

Yesterday: 5/6 (ygoec), all the maps for 2007 are now organized, progress little by little.

nautilus 35:00 [1]


Then to the gym, stretching, then the Stop & Shop for a couple of things, including a book to read, figured it was time, Dreams from My Father.

And I also had a chance to evaluate the effects of the current carnage on Wall Street on the local population. At the office they were all talking about it, the statement I remember was, "I haven't lost much because I didn't have much." And at the Stop & Shop, well, they may be selling everything on Wall Street but here they are still buying, loading up on the only "investment" they ever make, lottery tickets.

And then finally back home, where Lena has called. Lena takes care of my mom, and my mom has had a bit of a tough week. Her "boyfriend" came to pick her up for dinner Tuesday evening in New York, no answer, finally he went downstairs to get someone to open the door to her apartment, she was on her knees hanging onto a small table a few feet from the door. So they got her off to the local hospital and got a hold of my sister, who lives in the city, and mom ended up spending the night in the hospital, they finally concluded there was a urinary infection that can throw things out of whack. And through all this my sister was much more together than what I expected in helping to take care of things. For which, in our several phone calls, I gave her many compliments, trying to reinforce good behavior.

Got mom back to Litchfield, Lena spent the night, at some point mom said, "I'm a very difficult woman," but Lena is very together and has things under control. For now.


Today, so far: 2/6 (yl), where the "l" is learning how to cook salmon on the grill. At some point I will have to try cooking dinner, maybe soon, as Gail seems to be coming down with the cold that I only had a light brush with.... :-(

Thursday Oct 9, 2008 #

trail running 1:08:36 [3]
shoes: Asics trail

Bridle loop on Mt. Toby, late afternoon. Beautiful afternoon, almost a little on the warm side, but run was a struggle, muscles just seemed to ache. Contemplated various short-cuts or deviations but eventually did what I set out to do. I suppose there is some virtue in that. But given the pleasant conditions, run should have been more enjoyable.


Saw Frozen River last night, got Gail to come along (sprung it on her about 2 minutes before we had to leave, she didn't have time to say no). I really liked it, I think she mostly liked it. Nice to see a film where the budget for special effects and gratuitous violence and a dumb script is pretty close to zero. Almost had the really small theater (capacity maybe 40) to ourselves, just 3 other women.

Yesterday: 3/6 (yec), the problem if I don't put the score down until the following day is that I can't really remember what happened.

So, initial reading for today: 4/6 (ygec), with plans for some organizing this evening, maybe. Managed to put together the Team's budget, at least a tentative version.

Oh, and I got my flu shot yesterday. :-)

Wednesday Oct 8, 2008 #

nautilus 35:00 [1]

Plus 5 minutes on the bike to loosen up.

trail running 30:23 [3]
shoes: Asics trail

Poet's Seat ridge to Mountain Road and back, out white trail, back red one. I had in mind to do the full loop, 55-60 minutes, but had enough soreness stlll to convince myself 30 minutes was enough. Did manage to run the last few minutes reasonably hard.

And then a blissful 15 minutes in the sauna, careful stretching. Walked out of the gym feeling great.

A possible plan for the weekend under the general theory that life is short, squeeze in all you can -- Joe's Du-O on Saturday and the Hollis O'Ringen on Sunday. Wonder who I can get to carpool.


Yesterday: 3/6 (yge), first e (for answering e-mail) in a few days :-( but kept at it for a while, made a lot of progress.

Tuesday Oct 7, 2008 #

yoga 1 [3]

The regular instructor was back in town. Surprisingly strenuous. Plus my balance is abysmal. But still good to go.

Monday 4/6 (yglc), including jointly installing a new light fixture in the bathroom without any disasters (either relationship or electrical).

biking 49:46 [3] 13.6 mi (3:40 / mi)

Whately - South Deerfield loop, not as relaxed (i.e. slow) as Saturday, but still not pushing it. Sore places felt reasonably OK, quite encouraging. Perfect day, sunny, low 60s.

biking 8:51 [3] 0.8 mi (11:04 / mi) +449ft 7:13 / mi

And a side trip just before the end up to the top of South Sugarloaf to check on the progress of the movie set. Was in my very lowest gear and breathing pretty hard by the last part, and it was only just over a 10% grade. Much more and I wouldn't have made it.

A little quicker than running up, 9:19 last week with Dave.

As far as the movie set, well it looks pretty strange....

The little wooden structure that's usually there is sort of visible on the left, with the new stuff added wrapping around it and way out to the right. I chatted up an electrician, all the stuff above is to be used for lighting. Strange. It's supposed to be a mountain top retreat and a missile silo in the movie. Mel is still hanging out in Northampton. They don't move up here until Thursday.

The electrician is in a movie union, gets $32 an hour base pay plus hotel room and food (he's from eastern Mass.), seemed quite happy. I passed on trying to interest him in orienteering....

Nice view from up there. This is looking south, Connecticut River, southern part of Sunderland on the left, Holyoke Range (and O' map of Mt. Norwottuck) in the distance....


Valerie posted the new USOF rankings and I went and had a look and I saw I'd run 17 Green courses in the last 12 months, and then I thought I'd look a little closer to remember which those were, and it was pretty easy because Valerie has all the info right there. And I found the following events, and my ranking points for each one:

US Champs, Quatico, sprint -- 93.28
US Champs, Quatico 1 -- 113.51
US Champs, Quatico 2 -- 100.73
Flying Pig, middle -- 85.11
Flying Pig, sprint 1 -- 76.45
Flying Pig, sprint 2 -- 77.95
Flying Pig, long -- 95.29
ROC, middle -- 91.60
West Point, middle -- 105.53
West Point, sprint -- 89.83
West Point, classic -- 98.96
US Champs, Laramie, 1 -- 98.00
US Champs, Laramie, 2 -- 91.20
NAOC Sprint 1 -- 76.83
NAOC Sprint 2 -- 73.39
NAOC Middle -- 103.63
NAOC Long -- 104.40

Now, I would venture to say that I am one of the more consistent orienteers around. Maybe the difference between a real good day and a real bad day is about 10%. But my ranking for individual events range from 73 to 113. WTF, you might say (or certainly I would say it). But the rankings are not a measure of how well you did in an absolute sense, but how well you did in a relative sense, relative to everyone else on the course. If you do rather poorly, but everyone does terribly, then you get avery good ranking.

The other factor at play is the course difficulty. And here there is a clear pattern. The simpler the orienteering, the worse my ranking, because lots of other folks do well. See, for example, all the sprints. And for the longer events, those held in easier terrain.

If I cared, or if it mattered, I'd be well advised to notify Valerie before every sprint, and maybe before every trip to the Mid-West or West, and tell her to not include my result in the rankings. But I don't care (well, maybe just a little) and it doesn't matter (well, maybe just a little, the ego and all that...).

But if I was running in M21 and running in the Team Trials and wanting to make the WOC team, then I would be very well advised to do exactly that because one of the four things used for scoring is your ranking.

I wonder if anyone is doing this. Or maybe just avoiding events where they suspect they may get a bad ranking.

Not that there is anything wrong with that, sort of....

Monday Oct 6, 2008 #


Here's the first part of the Highlander, legs 1-6 with my routes.

1. Just following the crowd.
2. More folks seemed to be staying high/left. First of a number of times I went my own way in relation to those right in front of me. A little out of touch with where I was for a while, but a couple of folks up ahead, including JJ who set the course 15 years ago, so I just kept moving, figured out where I was.
3. Again, largely a feeling I was on my own despite quite a few people around. The direct line to the main trail involved a couple of serious drops down cliffs. After the main trail, up the hill, saw the Saeger train (Sam, Hilly, about half a dozen West Point groupies) just ahead on the little trail, that was nice, these days they are usually way ahead of me. They all went more right on the approach, I swung a little left, picked up the nice big reentrant, and then over the spur to the control. Got there just the same time.
4. Up the hill, the train ahead of me went a little left, I went straight, right on. Same time at the control. Another triumph, since they were moving faster. :-)
5. The high parts of the Surebridge terrain can be very slow going (it's a gamble, stuff has grown up a lot since the map was made), so I took the right route. Very easy to execute, picked up about 100 meters on the train.
6. A little tricky but no problem.

So far doing well, almost certainly running too hard, most definitely not a "lazy Highlander." But I was trying to stay relaxed.

Here's the next part, just leg 7.

7. A bit of a strange route, but I was trying to avoid the crap in the last kilometer of the leg on a more direct route. Back the way I'd gone to 5, saw a few familiar faces, I remember at this point I had just fallen twice, which seemed quite remarkable. Out to the main trail, I looked over my shoulder and there was the train, about 10 folks, so I just stopped, let them go by, didn't want them to see where I was going, then cut to the right north of Surebridge Swamp. Got a good line, only company was Stephan Slutsky, he went left of the next swamp, I went right. Still good woods up the hill to the saddle after the swamp but then the last 400 meters were pretty bad, despite the white on the map. Got to the last 200 meters and there was the train coming in from back left, now over an hour into the course and I was still with the WOC stars!

Here's the next part, legs 8-15.

8. At 7 I was punching in in the middle of the crowd, and for once, as I looked out over a sea of high ferns, I used some common sense and let them all go first. Had a nice beaten path, across the narrow swamp, a bit of trail, another trail to a junction, where there seemed to be short pause to consult, which let me catch up. And then I lost my common sense, got a little impatient, tried to zip by several cadets going down the steep hill, took a tumble, crunched my right quad pretty good on a fallen log, and fromall around calls seem to come, "Are you alright, sir?" Felt like an idiot, and was hurting pretty good too.

Took me a bit to pull myself together, and when I got over to the area of the point it was clear that no one had found it yet. I got pulled a little right by the crowd, saw the steeper sharper reentrant, back to the left and saw the control. Less than a minute lost.

Apparently Eric Nystrom was here at the same time and was quite bummed to see me (and therefore know how bad he was doing). Wish I had seen him, I would have been delighted.

9. Across the steeper sharper reentrant and the train was heading higher and a little right, whereas I was planning a left swing, in the company, more or less, of Pavlina, Dan Schaublin, Mike Lyons. Good route, executed it OK even though for a good stretch in the middle I couldn't have told you exactly where I was, but I was going the right direction, and the big amounts of laurel were off to the right. In control the last 300 meters, and delighted to get the word from Paul Bennett at the aid station that so far there was no sign of the Saeger sisters.

10. Except, just as I was leaving, he called out, "There they come." Oh, well, keep trying, doing good. #10 was slow and a little tricky at the control, Pavlina into it just ahead of me.

11. Down the hill, Daniel out in front, spiked it, moving well.

12. Took the straight route, only bad route choice of the day, never even noticed the trail route to the left. Not that my route wasn't fun. Daniel said something about getting tired of people following him, said in a very mild way, but partway along I figured I need to show I wasn't following him, so I went ahead. Perfect execution, but there were a lot of downed hemlocks and rather slow going and at the control, there was the train.

13. Decision time. The train went right to get to trail, which didn't look so great to me, a ways to get to it and then it didn't help that much, so I went more or less straight, just looking for the most passable going (couldn't trust the map for the vegetation, a lot thicker than shown). Got through the first half OK, then tried to stay on the bare rock as much as possible, then perfect approach and nailed the control, even (much out of character) gave a yell to Pavlina who was 40 meters to the right.

And no sign of the train, never saw them again. I gather they got to the trail, went the wrong way for quite a while....

14. Down the hill, picked a really bad line and got caught up in some ferns and bad rocks, when I looked up Pavlina was 100 meters ahead. Rest was easy.

15. Easy, still more or less with Dan, Mike, and Pavlina (all nice company).

Here's the next part, legs 16-19, plus it shows the route of most of the trail run back to the parking area just west of Kanawaukee Circle.

16. Four of us, walking up the hill, slight different lines, basically together.

17. Tough leg, got off too far left just at the end, saw the others, corrected, maybe 15 seconds behind, definitely helped.

18. Caught back up, leg was easy.

19. Across the rocks. and then out in the field to where the WOC '93 finish was, though, just to be picky, it was in a slightly different place. Time for the course was 2:37:21, winning time in 1993 was about 1:27. Better than my first goal of 3 hours, better then my second goal of twice the winners time. The forest is slower (underbrush growing up after some fires, also a lot of downed hemlocks as they are dying), but no way of knowing how much difference that makes. Regardless, very pleased with the time, but also wondering a little bit what I could have done 15 years ago.

Also found out here, no sign yet of the Saegers....

Here's the next part, the trail run.

We got a Xerox of the original 1:15,000 map, hard to read, but the route was streamered. I was a little quicker out of the aid station, but then Mike went by me, then Daniel caught up and we ran the last part together. Very benign trail run, good footing, pretty flat. I wasn't complaining.

And here's the final part, legs 21-28 on the Pole Brook Mountain map, used for the WOC '93 short final.

Still no sign of the Saeger sisters as I started on this loop, 3:00 into the race. Six hours was in the bag, and a quick look at the rest of the course gave the impression that under 5 hours was definitely possible. And they had speculated that the winning time might be 4:15 to 4:30. Excellent.

21. Heavy underbrush on the approach, 2-3' high. Just 20 yards into it got a serious cramp on the muscle on the inside of my left thigh. Never had that happen. Suddenly the rest of the course seemed like it might take a whole lot longer. But fortunately it subsided by the time I reached the control and never flared up again. Missed maybe 15 seconds at the control. There with Daniel, Mike just in sight behind (he had stopped to change shoes), no sign any more of Pavlina.

22. Out to the road, jogged up it, then just a long approach to 22. In control almost all the way, walking the ups, trying to run as much as possible on the flats and downs.

23. Didn't use the road, probably should have punched out to it half way, might have been a little quicker, hard to say. In control all the way.

24. Easy.

25. Headed for the road. Mike had caught back up, so me, Daniel, and him together, except I was fading, had to walk as the road tilted up just a little. Decided if I was going to walk I might as well take a straighter route (they were going around via the trail). So I cut it, found a reasonably OK route through the marsh, got to the control about 30 seconds after them, better than I would have done going around.

26. Caught up to Mike dropping down the hill, Daniel had gone further right. Found the white woods, across the marsh, not bad, though it would have help if my legs and back had been loosed and I could have bent over more easily to duck under stuff. Through a little more laurel, hook up with Daniel again, the rest is easy.

27. Pretty easy. And then, after a long time by ourselves, there are lots of people around, several on their way to 22 including Phil and Charlie, and 3 on the way to 28 just ahead of us, turns out they were two cadets and a fellow from SVO, James Rayburn. Daniel sped up to try and catch them (he couldn't), I didn't even try. Together with Mike at the control.

Finish. And then on the way in I told him to go ahead, not wait for me, but he was a real gentleman. Jogged all the way in, but definitely not fast. 4:27, much better than expected. Not dead yet.

Scalp report!

After a very long dry spell, took some scalps today (where taking a scalp means beating a member of the men's standing team or the women's WOC team). Actually, I haven't had many opportunities as I've been just running the Green course this year.

Tentative count for yesterday is 4 -- Sam, Hilly, Pavlina, Jonathan Campbell. :-)

And here are the winner's route back in 1993.

nautilus 35:00 [1]

Plus a few minutes on the stationary bike to loosen up the legs.

The only annoying ailment is the left knee. Not real bad, but.... Need to get out the ice a few times.

And then a long stretching and balancing session in the sauna.

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