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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: PG

In the 7 days ending Sep 27, 2009:

activity # timemileskm+ft
  trail running1 10:05:40 50.0(12:07) 80.47(7:32) 8501
  run/hike2 1:25:27 7.85(10:53) 12.63(6:46)
  yoga1 45:00
  track1 14:38 1.99(7:20) 3.21(4:34)
  Total4 12:30:45 59.84 96.31 8501
averages - weight:138.5lbs

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Sunday Sep 27, 2009 #

trail running 10:05:40 [3] 50.0 mi (12:07 / mi) +8501ft 10:26 / mi
weight:139lbs shoes: roclite 305

Vermont 50 Mile. Finished, 10:05:40. The weather was actually just right for running, 50s and rain, except for the fact that when you mix a bunch of water with a bunch of dirt and stir vigorously with either bike tires or runners' shoes, you get mud, a lot of mud, a lot of really horrendous mud, especially the last 10 miles after some heavy rain while I was around miles 35-40.

About what I thought I might do, though given the conditions, actually a good bit better. Thought about pushing to get under 10 hours, but the mud at the end was really bad and I just decided to come in at whatever pace felt comfortable. Wise decision.

First really old fart (60-69), for what little that's worth.

And one definite conclusion -- 50 miles is a lot further than it used to be.

Things hurt (feet, quads, especially), but maybe nothing really bad. Thought I had done another finger job, right little finger, reducing usable fingers to 4, but it seems not to have been serious. Bopped the other culprits a couple times, but no significant damage there either.

Actually ran a pretty smart race. There is a virtue to experience, even it is a decade (or two or three) old.

Friday Sep 25, 2009 #


Ultra Tales, part 6 -- You do what you gotta do

Angeles Crest seem to satisfy my ultra needs for a while, and it wasn't until a year later, October of 1987, that I ventured out again, this time a 50-miler along Virginia's Blue Ridge. Nice course, point to point, mix of dirt roads and trails, nice cool day, finished 5th out of 83, no disasters, no strange happenings, no great agony, nothing much worth writing about.... :-)

I must have had a pleasant reaction to that one as I signed up for another before too long, another 50-miler, this time in the vicinity of San Luis Obispo in central California in April of 1988. Similar course, reasonably hilly, mix of dirt roads and trails. Met up with Charlie DeWeese, who had also been doing some of these ultra things.

I don't remember the race director's name. What I do remember about him was that he seemed much more interested in the fact that he was running the race himself than in his duties as race director. His pre-race briefing left you with the feeling that most anything could happen -- the course might be marked well, or not; the aid stations might be there, or not. But that clearly was not his main concern. Wonderful.

It was a hot Saturday in early April, way to early in the spring to have acclimated to any heat, and way too hot for it to do much good if I had. Not so bad early on, but into the low 90s by the time we were doing the last 20 miles.

And, of course, fears were realized. The course was marked sufficiently, but an aid station at about 40 miles just hadn't shown up. Nothing. Blazing sun, not much shade in the rolling California hills, out of water, and starting to overheat quite badly. I remember staggering up one hill, moving slower and slower, than down into the next big gully, just a little bit of shade, and also a bit of a stream, not much water flowing but there was some.

Now understand that this was also a horse race to (or maybe a ride-and-tie, I'm not sure), and I was regularly passing the various signs that horses leave behind. It sure looked like they had stopped here to drink (and pee), and thirsty as I was, there was no way I was going to drink from this little stream.

But I wasn't just dehydrated, I was also overheated, and that I could do something about. Found the deepest spot I could, maybe 8 inches deep. Got down on my back and got most of my body underwater, just my face sticking up, and just lay there for 5 minutes or so enjoying the coolness. I can't remember if anyone else came by, or what they they might have said or thought if they did, but I didn't care. This felt so good.

Eventually I extracted myself, since at some point I still had to do the rest of the course, I couldn't just quit there. Three or four more slow miles (but not nearly as slow as pre-dunk), then the last aid station, which was there, even had some ice, I grabbed a bunch, put it in my hat, and managed the last 5 miles at a decent pace. 8:57, 13th of 88 starters.

Charlie made it around too. We spent the night in town. Slept well, but woke up at about 6 am (still on east coast time), and both very hungry. We headed off to find some breakfast, wondering if anything would be open that early. In the course of searching we passed an Embassy Suites, hmm, I had seen their advertising promising full breakfasts (if you stayed there). Maybe we could pay something and eat there.

Walked in. Nobody at the front desk, but there was a woman who was doing some cleaning, sweeping the floor. Breakfast is right over that way, she said, pointing the way. So off we went.

It was probably the best breakfast I have ever had, and I'd guess the same goes for Charlie. A full buffet, plus a guy cooking to order whatever you wanted. Charlie may have been worried that he would only get one trip through the line, so his plate was loaded to the max, to the angle of repose I think it's called. He polished that off without difficulty, went back for a similar refill, polished that off too. And I was equally in pig's heaven.

Eventually we could eat no more and it was time to go. Thanked the cook. Went out by the front desk to see what the bill would be. No one there except the same women, still cleaning.

Did you have a good breakfast?

Oh, yes, it was wonderful.

Well, have a good day.

Whatever ethical dilemma we may have faced -- we should go find someone to pay, but they should be out here, and does it really matter -- was resolved quite easily. Out we walked, big smiles all around.

Our plane wasn't until early afternoon. We went to the beach for a while, killed a little time. It was maybe 11 when Charlie let on that he was getting hungry.

What kind of food are you looking for?

Something just like breakfast would be mighty fine.


Hmm, beautiful today, beautiful tomorrow, Sunday's forecast is for rain and thunder. I guess things are not meant to be easy.

So, got to think positive. Ran the Kettle Moraine 100, bunch of rain early on, about 3 miles of the course flooded ankle deep, still finished well. Did the Laurentian 24 hour rogaine, rain, wet the whole time, managed fine. Lots and lots of orienteering in the rain. Got to think positive.

But damn.

Thursday Sep 24, 2009 #

yoga 45:00 [1]

Managed pretty well to work around the bad fingers.

track 6:38 [4] 1.6 km (4:09 / km)
weight:139lbs shoes: roclite 305

Just a little bit of the track workout. 2x400 in 1:39.2, 1:39.1, and 800 in 3:19.8. Wasn't pushing. Glad I wasn't as the legs felt sluggish. Which is OK, don't want them feeling good today and bad on Sunday.

track 8:00 [3] 1.0 mi (8:00 / mi)
shoes: roclite 305

A couple laps before, a couple after.


Ultra Tales, part 5 -- Well, finishing at the Rose Bowl sounded cool

So Leadville in 1984 showed I could make it 100 miles, and a reasonable person might think that having proved the point, then there was surely no reason to do one again. In defense, all I can say is I never claimed to be a reasonable person....

Not much ultra excitement in 1985, just a 50-mile in the mountains northeast of Phoenix (the Four Peaks Fifty). So 1986 it was time to step up again, with the target this time the Angeles Crest 100 Mile, starting in Wrightwood, CA and ending at the Rose Bowl after a trip up and down a lot of mountains. The course, leaving out lots of turns. (A good bit of the area has been burned in the last month.)

It was probably the nicest collection of trails I have ever run. Long climbs and long descents but always at a moderate grade, hardly any rocks or roots or mud, awesome views. The first 30 miles were tough, but you were fresh so it wasn't too bad. The next 40 miles were easy (relatively speaking, that is, meaning no big climbs and a downhill bias). The challenge really started at 70 miles, coincidentally just as it got dark, also just as you were starting to feel real tired, and sleepy too.

Once again I ran a real good 70 miles, and then ran out of gas. And a few things hurt. I can't remember if I ran any more; if I did, I don't think it was too much. At least I had some company for the last 30, a friend (Walter Goodridge) as a pacer, he'd been concerned about keeping up with me, little did he know how slowly we would be going. We started off with a forever climb up Mt. Wilson, then more up and down and up and down and up and down -- all I remember other than the endlessness were the astonishing views of Los Angeles at night -- until at 96 miles you come down to Pasadena, and then it was just 4 flat paved miles to the Rose Bowl.

Which was not so impressive. We finished just outside it. There had been a football game Saturday afternoon and the grounds were littered with trash. It may hold 100,000 folks, but the crowd at this finish numbered in the single digits. There was a finish line set up on the lawn. I crossed it, just before dawn, decided that was far enough, and lay down, totally wasted, 25:19, 9th out of 59. After a couple of minutes Gail suggested it might be a good idea to go to the motel.

Where was the car?

Over there, maybe 50 yards.

How about going to get it, I'm not sure I can make it that far.

She got the car, she and Walter hauled me in, we decided to stop at a Denny's for some food. She got a parking space right near the front door. I looked things over, contemplating my route and it's difficulty.

How about driving up on the curb....

Wednesday Sep 23, 2009 #

run/hike 46:13 [2] 4.35 mi (10:37 / mi)
weight:138lbs shoes: roclite 305

Regular loop on the other side of Mt. Toby -- run to the start of the power line power climb (6:29), hike up (17:35), run back down the jeep road (22:08). Easy pace. Shoes feel good.

Vermont in 4 days. It's been 12 years since I've run something this long (rogaines excluded, they are a different species), so my confidence level is not that high. Ran this race 13 years ago, 8:26. The course is different now though probably similar. Ought to be able to someplace between 10 and 11 hours, though there's a reasonably good chance some system will fail and I won't finish. Sort of curious to see what happens.

Course profile, supposed to have about 8,500' climb.


The run/hike was fine, no falls, nothing hurt, so under the theory that every day should have a little pain, I went off to the golf course, though only after hitting a couple wedge shots in the back yard to determine that it was possible to swing and make contact without actually passing out.

Joined a couple of friends, thought I might play a hole or two. An interesting experience. On some shots just the left hand hurt, on some just the right hand, on lots of them both, and on some neither actually hurt, thought those were all short putts. I decided early on that I would quit when the hands were still hurting from one shot and it was time to hit the next one. But that never really happened, within a minute or two after each shot I could stop moaning.

Played 10 holes. 4 pars, 4 bogeys, 2 others. Life was good. Looks like my round with Mike Fritz next week may be possible.


Finally getting around to routes/comments from last weekend....

Sprint. Skipped #4 completely. Which was just a result of mental laziness throughout the run.

What I mean by mental laziness is that I wasn't taking advantage of the times when the running was easy to look ahead, and to look ahead both on the map and in the terrain. So there were many times when I was not prepared as I should have been. And for orienteering that was basically very easy....


-- Plenty of time on the way to 1 to look at the 2-3-4 loop, but never got past looking at the general direction to leave 1.
-- Somehow on the way to 2 I thought I was on the line and heading for the saddle just right of the line, having forgotten I'd displaced myself to the north. Totally surprised to see the big trail through the saddle I went through.
-- Recovered quickly, but no idea which way 3 was when I punched 2 other than vaguely north. And so leaving 3, still no advance planning, a quick look at the map, didn't see 4, that was that.
-- Though of course I didn't know it at the time. 5 was OK, but left 5, out to the trails, was about to leave trail to attack control when I realized I was looking at 10. Quick correction, but missed the shorter route to the left to 6.
-- 7 and 8 OK, but on way to 9 made plans to take the north route to 10 but didn't bother to check the woods along the way to see if cutting the first corner made sense.
-- On the way to 10, looked at route to 11 just a little, nothing beyond that, so 11-12-13 were all more a struggle than needed, and each one a few seconds slower than they should have been..

None of these are big things, but they probably add up to at least a minute. And that's not the way to run a sprint.


Tried to be a little more disciplined in the afternoon, but still somewhat dissatisfied. 1-4 were fine, knew what I was doing. A little shaky approaching 5, not comfortable with the contours, so as a result I wasn't ready for the departure from 5, slow/sloppy. 6 was OK, also 7 and 8. Then overran 9, right by it, didn't think I'd gone far enough. And then 10 and 11, both just winging it, not just finding a simple to execute route and doing it. The damage wasn't much, but you don't want to encourage bad habits. The rest was easy.

Not a bad run, just a little disappointing.

On the other hand, totally pleased with how I dealt with the morning's DQ. Didn't spend more than a few minutes pissed, decided that I could choose between being pissed and miserable all the rest of the day/weekend or not, and it was just up to me. And when I put it that way, the choice was easy. Ending up having a very pleasant afternoon and evening, lots of good conversations, subjects ranging from Team stuff to interest rate swaps to pediatric endocrinology, in over my head on most of them, but fun anyway.... :-)


Navigating was excellent, physically not so bad, just had a lot of times when I was tripping/stumbling/falling. And most of the time when off-trail had a very hard time reading the map without stopping. So time was a little slower than I hoped (I thought 70-75 was doable for me, ended up doing 80). But still a decent run.

1. Very hard time reading the trail and the contours on the map, even when running on the trail or in the field.
2. Was on an unmapped trail just coming into 1, thought it might continue through the green afterwards. It stopped within 50 meters. Nasty getting back to the trail. Ran all the way up the hill, then took the control pretty well from the corner of the field -- compass, pace, past the top of the first reentrant complex, then a little slower past the next one making sure I was at the correct height, then the final knoll was right in front of me. Nice.
3. Easier than it looked. Compass just left of north, past the two wet spots which were very distinct, then up the spur and along the marsh. Simple.
4. Careful compass from the pond, aiming off just a little to the right and then dropping down.
5. Silly me, I thought it had been field-checked and would be fast running and good visibility, just stay on the high ground and go right to the control. Lots of downed trees, very annoying. Got up to the high ground, careful compass, pulled up just right of the control, guessed correctly.
6. Figured by the time I got out to the road I would have been most of the way there on the straight route, so straight it was. Compass, plus pace to know when I should expect the cross trail. Past the marsh, didn't see the little trail, but placed myself correctly on the big one, rest was easy. Only problem was falling down a bunch of times, plus twice within 100 meters getting my contact knocked off-center, but fortunately not out of my eye. So a very slow time for spiking the control.
7. Interesting leg. A mix of techniques, using handrails when I could, but the terrain and visibility meant that it wasn't so easy to tell how far along you were and when it was time to flip to the next handrail. But generally in control the whole way, map and compass and pace. Last approach was very careful, not much to go by, spiked it.
8. Across the grain, trying to keep good control on direction, combination of map and compass, distance was easy. Spiked it.
9. Simple, just getting there. Took the big trail because I could run most of it.
10 and F. Simple. Actually running quite hard, had plenty of energy left.

So very pleased with finding the controls, just unhappy that I am getting less and less coordinated in the woods. But that's the way it is.

And overall a very nice weekend.

Tuesday Sep 22, 2009 #


Not off to a good start. On the way to yoga class, the garage door opener wasn't working, reached up to close the door, the tips of two fingers (middle and ring) of the right hand got hold of the end of a panel and as the door straightened out, there was no room for the fingers. I suppose it's like getting fingers in the wrong place when a car door shuts.

It's been a long while since something has hurt so bad.

I don't think there's any serious damage, though I will probably lose a couple of fingernails.

On the positive side, I'm not sitting here berating myself for doing something stupid. Though perhaps I will when I stop moaning.... :-)


Left hand is still hurting and now this, feels like the skin on the ring finger is about to pop, it's so swollen. And I have a date for a round of golf next week....

Plus a visit to the dentist, did something to a tooth last week, it didn't hurt, but the gum felt like it was being speared every time I tried to eat on that side of my mouth. Turned out a piece had broken off and wedged itself between teeth, and yes, I was getting speared. Got that removed, have to go back on Friday for a filling. Whoopee. The reason the tooth didn't hurt is I had a root canal there some years ago, never thought that would be a good thing.

And then finally got the cable guys to come by, got a new modem, checked the wires. Speed now seems to be 18 MB rather than 5 for downloads, 3.5 rather than 1 for uploads. And maybe will even work all the time.

run/hike 39:14 [2] 3.5 mi (11:13 / mi)
weight:138lbs shoes: roclite 305

I've been thinking I needed some different shoes for the Vermont 50 this weekend -- the 212 X-talons offer not quite enough padding, I was worried about the heel counter in the Mudclaws over that distance, and the Salomons are both on the heavy side and getting quite beaten down. So I went shopping, nice little running store in Northampton. Nice fellow there, he saw my Mt Toby Trail Run shirt on and asked if I was looking for a trail shoe, and a bit later I asked if he'd run any trail races, and he said "Seven Sisters" (which is one of the nastiest meanest races around). So that was a good sign, plus he seemed to know what he was talking about. Ended up with a pair Roclite 305s.

I like to shop locally if I can. So I hadn't even looked on the web, like at Zappos. But I just did. And the shoes are on sale for $85. So I got to shop locally and even paid less, $81, after the 10% standard discount to the local running club. And got to try them on, and run around some, outside OK. Nice, and the shoes felt good too.

A short outing with them today, power line and back, walking very briskly on the way up (24:99), running back easily (14:15). Shoes felt good, enough padding, not too heavy, good traction, and seemed to fit well. Will put a few more miles on them before Sunday just to break them in, but not too many.

No falls, thank goodness, as neither hand is much good. Though sometimes you just have to laugh -- driving over to the dentist, right hand with both the middle and ring fingers sticking out straight, I think I tuned the wipers on about 3 or 4 times when I turned the wheel to the right. Cars aren't designed for drivers in such conditions.

Monday Sep 21, 2009 #


Time for a very easy week. Rode the bike a few gentle miles, but it was bothering my hand so that was enough. Will post more about the weekend, but I'm in the homestretch of my Swedish book (quite remarkably, reading long stretches at a time, normally I don't last more than 10 minutes without a break), and first things first.

But I will say one other thing before I forget.

I think we've done the right thing by hiring Glen Schorr as executive director for USOF, and I hope we have the fortitude and the resources to keep him for quite a while. It may be a while before big results are evident, but so what. Far better to be trying.

And in connection with that, I'd say the same about Mike Waddington as team coach -- it may be a while before big results are evident, but so what. Far better to be trying.

It's worth giving a little thought to how each of us can support both of them as they work to move orienteering forward.

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