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Training Log: Swampfox

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Friday Aug 18 #

Note

Just got back from the grocery store (Safeway), and very odd, it was totally packed, like I've never seen it before. Even more odd was most of the license plates of the cars and RVs were from out of state. It was almost like something weird was going on, like a big wild horse round-up or something.

Note

Some days it is hard to figure out what the highlight was--either because there were too many, or, more commonly, because there were none.

Not today! The highlight was easy to pick out: biking on two blocks of brand new, freshly paved street right here in town. In some typical large metro area that is growing, perhaps there are new streets to ride on every week or so, or maybe even more often than that. But in a small town like Laramie, this only happens rarely--maybe every decade or so. When you think about it, it's actually a lot rarer than even a solar eclipse.

I ran trails at the end of the day. In contrast to the conditions for the mountain bike race on Tuesday--when the trails were damp and without even the slightest hint of any dust--by today the trails were bone dry again. I must have run harder than I thought because when I got back home, I drank lots of water and soaked it in like a sponge. My legs did feel good, so who knows.

Thursday Aug 17 #

Note

Did an easy run out at Diamond Bay to round up some stray beer cans I had spotted out there earlier in the year. I came back with a full grocery bag of cans, all of which will end up in Ford 150s, which makes me feel so good.

Lots of cattle were out and about, so the run had a real western feel, from start to finish.

Gathering hordes of eclipse viewers were staging (for their final assault further north) in large numbers in campsites in the National Forest, and at dusk you could look around and see little plumes of smoke from campfires all around. Wyoming will probably never see anything the equal of this again--at least not until the super volcano "blows its top", ZZ Top style.

Wednesday Aug 16 #

Note

Ran the Daze 1 course at Telephone Song, checking streamers (re-streamering where necessary) and making sure one more time I was happy with the course.

It won't be everyone's favorite course/area (it may not be anyone's!) but it has its plusses, and I like it. It's of course very different from all our granite areas, this being on limestone/sandstone, and consisting basically of a uniform west facing slope dissected by several large ravines/valleys. The running varies widely from areas of medium deep sage to limber pine forest that can get thickish to the point where visibility goes down and you may have to push through areas of younger trees to wide open grassy and limestone pavement areas. Many of the terrain features that get used for controls can be small and contour features can be subtle. It requires a very different technique at times. The area is hilly, and hilly enough that whether you have fresh legs or not makes a big difference.

My own feeling is that no course is complete without some decent hills, though others may disagree. ; ) In my case, my views are undoubtedly shaped by the fact I got started orienteering at West Point, where the only flat areas are to be avoided (the Plains, the Area, the two mile run course by the always pleasant smelling sewage treatment plant, etc.) and hills were simply the norm every time we went out to train.

At any rate, this course features some nice climbs and two very fine descents!

And, as a bonus, probably one of the most spectacular views available to orienteering this year.

Scotland was a lot of fun, but both that trip and coming back home and running on home terrain reaffirms for me that I am very lucky to have this very fine terrain right here to run in!!!

Tuesday Aug 15 #

Note

Had planned to run at Telephone Song, but by late afternoon unsettled weather and strong wind convinced me to change plans at run at Happy Jack instead. Part of the time I was running along the race course (running against traffic and off trail) during the season finale of the summer mountain biking series. Legs were more like Sunday again, and not so energetic.

After the bikers had moved on through, I came across a young cow moose along one section of the race course. She didn't have a race number and was munching on aspen leaves. The moose--like most moose up top these days--didn't seem at all alarmed by someone running by on the trail.

Monday Aug 14 #

Note

Some light rain at the end of the day while I was running, and cloudy most of the day; if it's like this a week form now, a lot of people are going to be disappointed!

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