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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: PG

In the 7 days ending Apr 26, 2009:

activity # timemileskm+ft
  orienteering5 5:55:42 23.9(14:53) 38.46(9:15) 1066
  run/hike1 47:02 3.5(13:26) 5.63(8:21)
  yoga1 45:00
  Total7 7:27:44 27.4 44.09 1066
averages - rhr:51 weight:2405.1lbs

» now

Sunday Apr 26, 2009 #


To start with the most important event of the day, it was time to investigate reports of a renegade farming operation in Cambridge, because despite its reputation as a liberal and friendly community, well, the Boston Globe reports --

"But not every community is as welcoming to livestock as it is to the vegetable plot. Despite the growing movement to eat locally produced food, neither Boston nor Cambridge allows homeowners to keep chickens or other farm animals."

Now before I go on, let me say that if in fact this operation is illegal, I don't want to be the one to blow the whistle, the one to get folks in trouble with the law (with possible dire consequences to the animals in question), so I will be very careful only to identify one of the possible perps as my rogaine partner, banking on the assumption that this is not close to enough information for the Cambridge powers that be to track her down.

Anyway, we arrived at the scene, accompanied by another of the possible perps, and checked out the operation. The question was -- were they pets or were they farm animals.


1. It didn't really look like a farm -- no tractors, no farmers in overalls, no animals with tags in their ears....

2. Farm animals don't get much in the way of grooming. Notice how clean these fellows were, certainly cleaner than any of us. And they all have names, though Dave hadn't yet figured out which was which.

3. It's pretty clear this operation....

isn't a farm. This is what a real farm looks like --

Much relieved, we headed off to enjoy a bit of the rest of Cambridge. A visit to the MIT Museum -- I got in for half price by claiming to be 65, "museum age" works under the same rules as "orienteering age," right? -- a very little bit of pizza, and then a short look around the MIT campus, obviously the home over the years of some very weird and brilliant people. And then beat a hasty retreat to our comfort zone back in western Mass.

orienteering 1:00:57 [3] 5.6 km (10:53 / km)

Day 2 of the CSU A meet, The Green X course and M60 seemed like it would be about right, though with the warm weather, upper 80s, it would have been a good day for my debut on the Brown course.

Generally uninspired, physically and mentally. Got caught by Bob Lux at #6, he started 2 minutes after me, rather discouraging as, while route to 6 was not good, I hadn't missed at all at any controls. We took different routes to 7, didn't see him there as expected, didn't see him at 8 as expected, didn't see him the whole rest of the way, discovered he is so much into Billygoat preparations that skipping controls just seems to be coming naturally (one Saturday, 2 today when he skipped 7 and 8).

Perhaps the most challenging part of the course was optimizing the time crossing South Border Road, done twice. A control and water stop on each side, your time for those two legs would not be counted up to a max of a minute each way. So the obvious ploy is to punch on the near side as quick as possible, get some water, saunter across, rest a little, drink a little more, plan some routes, and then well-rested, well-hydrated, and well-planned, punch on the far side exactly 60 seconds later.

And how did I do? Like with so many other things, there is a virtue in practice and this was not something I had practiced. On the first time through I was in too much of a hurray and used only 29 seconds. On the second time, determined to do better, I took my time on the far side having a drink and looking at the map before heading off. Except, since I always punch before drinking, I was some 30 yards away when it dawned on me that I hadn't punched. Hustled back. The splits show 61 seconds had passed, so not much of a loss....

Though as I examine my splits, it seems that they subtracted the full 90 seconds (29 plus 61) from my final time. Someone needs to checking their programming.

Hot, thickish, dead tired, but a very, very pleasant weekend.

Saturday Apr 25, 2009 #

orienteering 38:14 [3] 4.3 km (8:53 / km)

CSU A meet, M21, so I had a shorter middle course in the morning and a longer one in the afternoon.

The morning was a bit discouraging. Quite warm (80?), so no zip, and a couple minutes of mistakes, and generally no fighting spirit. Not much to take pleasure in.

Ended up 17th out of 36, about where I belonged.

orienteering 53:00 [3] 5.8 km (9:08 / km)

Afternoon course. Maybe a little warmer. So still no energy, but I actually did a little better. Or maybe others just did worse. 12th this time, about 10 minutes behind. In the morning I was 10 minutes behind on a shorter course.

Still a minute or so of errors, mostly at #1. But despite not much energy I ran a smart race, doling out the effort to get the best result I could. And even ran a couple of small hills on the last long leg when I was about to walk and then just swore at myself and then just ran up without much difficult. You just have to have a little will power, and that's true no matter how old you are or what sort of shape you are in. Could have stood to do that a couple more times, could have made the top ten.

As it was, got a scalp (Zhyk). :-) When he didn't come in for quite a while I figured he was hurt, and you don't get a scalp for beating someone who is injured on the course. But I gather he just ran out of gas.

So a positive feeling for the afternoon.

Friday Apr 24, 2009 #

run/hike 47:02 intensity: (30:39 @1) + (16:23 @2) 3.5 mi (13:26 / mi)
rhr:50 weight:136lbs

An easy outing on North Sugarloaf, just across the river. Haven't been there for probably 20 years. Hiked up, but instead of taking the direct route, I turned left after a little bit to explore a trail I remember seeing there. And then turned off it onto a new trail, I assume a mountain bike trail because it very gently snaked its way up the hillside. At some point it seemed like it wasn't going any highed, so I picked up the old trail the rest of the way to the top. Then ran out to the south point, and then back the siredt way to the car.

Route. The first part is just a rough approximation. This was one time it would have been useful to have a GPS, I suppose.

So, 2 blue courses tomorrow (but green on Sunday), and then 3 next week in California. The goal is somewhere, somehow, to get a scalp.

Thursday Apr 23, 2009 #

orienteering 2:00:07 [2] 12.0 km (10:01 / km)

The third and final day of the Western Mass 3-Day and it was, well, different.

First were the crowds, as participation tripled with the addition of Barb and JJ to the starting field. Second was the course, long-distance today, 12 km. Third was the format, mass start. Fourth was the time of day, start at 7 am.

And so how did it go? The course had just two controls, the first a trail/stream junction several kilometers north of the start/finish, and the second a trail junction just a few hundred meters south. The cynic might say, given that the Mid-State Trail runs right through both control points and the start/finish, that this was in fact just a glorified trail run. But I am reminded of a certain feature on the Silvermine map in NY, I can't remember for sure, it's either a "trail, slow running" or "trail, difficult to run." Whichever, that glorified rock field pretending to be a trail is still quicker than what we had today, which if mapped according to IOF standards would have had many many sections of trail with vertical green stripes overlaid, good visibility, lousy running. Because there was no sign of any trail maintenance since the wicked ice storm early this winter, and as Jim Henderson surmised, the woods were a mess.

Lots of downed branches, usually stuff you could step over or around without too much trouble. Hard to find/follow the trail in places. Just generally slow going.

But it actually seemed to suit everyone just fine. A mix of run and walk and bob and weave, and before you knew it we were at the first control (59:26), just happened to be right about an hour. And then back the same way, a little quicker (54:24) since we got lost less and were moving just a little faster, then a little to the south to pick up the second control (2:59) and then the final mad sprint back to the finish (3:18), where, as it turned out, no one could make a decisive move. The official results show we finished in a dead heat.

And then Barb was off to work, and JJ was off to work, and I was off to home (via Dunkin Donuts) with plans for a nap front and center.

A fine way to wrap up a fine event!

Note: Had my rogaine pack on, 6 pounds.


After some serious number crunching, the final results are in. It may not have been clear in the meet invitation, but the scoring this year is the same system used for the Scottish 6-Day -- the winner of each race gets 1000 points, with all other runners scaled lower, and then the worst two results for each runner are thrown out.

Which gives us --

1. Barb Bryant, 1000 points
1. JJ Cote, 1000 points
1. PG, 1000 points

A three-way tie for first, so fine.

Wednesday Apr 22, 2009 #

orienteering 40:06 [4] 5.4 km (7:26 / km) +361ft 6:44 / km

Day 2 of the Western Mass. 3-Day, and a fine day it was. Moved the start up to 1 pm, got out and done just before the rain settled in. The other last-minute change was to go with a chase start, which is normally saved for the last day but just a better fit for today. (And, something I've never heard of happening in a chase, there was absolutely no change in the standings as a result of the day's race.)

I had a good run, when I left I still had the lead. The map was made in 1978 for the 1979 Team Trials. The were a few updates in 1982, and since then nothing. But it is still quite decent, especially where I was today. The only bogus point was #1, where a bunch of young white pines have appeared, pretty much obscuring the stone wall. But the rest is nice open woods, mostly with a clean forest floor, a few spots of knee-high stuff, but no laurel, no brambles. There had been some logging in a few spots but they had done a good job with the slash and it was perfectly runnable. Overall quite wonderful running.

The goal again was just to keep running, done, though there was a little O' tossed in this time and that was fun. I put a little tape on the ankle and it behaved itself. On the other hand, it seems like the faucet was back to wide open. Oh, well, not the worst thing.

Plans for Day 3 are not quite finalized, but it looks like it may be just north of Rt. 2 between Gardner and Fitchburg, very early mass start (just after dawn), quite a long course with very few controls, just the USGS map. I'll post an update later.

Day 2 course and splits.


It is going to be hot this weekend.


OK, so the meeting place for Day 3 (Thursday) is here, mass start at 7 am so you might want to arrive by 6:55. Expected winning time is 2 hours. If you are interested, let me know and I will send further details.


Went to see Sin Nombre, very much enjoyed it, partly just for the look at a different culture.

Tuesday Apr 21, 2009 #

yoga 45:00 [1]

Seemed like hard work.


So here's the tentative plan for day 2 of the Western Mass. 3-Day in case anyone wants to join me. Tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon, meet/start at 2 pm, Quabbin Hill map. Meeting place is here. Here's part of the map.

A course, obvious features (stone wall ends, for example), but no actual controls. maybe 5 km, who knows. Point is get in some woods running. If anyone is interested, let me know and I'll bring another map.

Bad weather may cancel. Time may change a little (but no earlier than 1 or later than 3). Map is old and assumed to be inaccurate.

Monday Apr 20, 2009 #

rhr:51 weight:137lbs

My maps/routes from the weekend, M-60, Green-Y --

Saturday middle distance
Sunday long

Just a small thing, but one route Sunday done just right -- 8 to 9, stayed up top, past the little bumps, then just waited for the little dip and did a left hook, dropped right on the control. Good running and easy navigation. Got to remember that.


The Storm King Museum was wonderful. Lots of space, big sculptures, some excellent, some awful, just my opinion. Rolling land, some open, also bits of forest....

Of course, most of works had an orienteering connection, though they perhaps aren't aware of it. For example, the coolest stone wall I have ever seen. Saw it first from quite a distance, thought it was just a well-made wall, didn't realize it was "art" until I got a little closer....

And think of the possibilities for a culvert crawl....

And then a group of 7 boulders, largest about 1.5 meters high, smallest about 0.5. How would you map it? Yes, I know, in Kansas you'd map all seven, with at least 3 and maybe all 7 as large boulders....

orienteering 43:18 [3] 5.36 km (8:05 / km) +705ft 6:44 / km

Day 1 of the Western Mass. 3-Day. Yes, I know it was originally scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday, but when an event isn't sanctioned (on purpose) and the field is by invitation only, then you can make last-minute changes in order to take into consideration the most important thing in organizing a big event -- the weather.

Meaning, the forecast is for showers tomorrow, so Day 1 was moved up to today.

Just one course, didn't seem like more were necessary given the size of the field. It did have a butterfly loop, but again, given the size of the field, it was only a one-winged butterfly, and a very narrow wing at that. And that turned out to be sufficient to prevent any packs from forming.

And my run? Well, that's the key word, run. Ran every step, that was the plan, so what if the pace was slow and the route searched out the gentler inclines. Breathing hard on all the ups. Mission accomplished, and a clear win to boot.

Only downside was slightly tweaking my right ankle. Felt like what I was doing to it a couple of years ago, could be a nuisance. But still, excellent to get out.

Day 1 course.

Keeping with the high quality of the event, e-punching was used. Splits --
6:10, 6:00 (passing by the S/F), 11:05, 8:41 (passing by the S/F again), 5:46, 5:37.

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