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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: BigWillyStyle

In the 7 days ending Sep 6, 2015:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Orienteering5 3:28:25 21.73(9:35) 34.97(5:58) 54585c
  Cycling2 2:00:00 16.19(8.1/h) 26.06(13.0/h) 175
  Hiking1 21:02 1.1(19:07) 1.77(11:53) 125
  Total8 5:49:27 39.02(8:57) 62.8(5:34) 84585c

» now

Sunday Sep 6, 2015 #


25 Days of SARTember, Day 6

Location: Wandering around some lava fields looking for control 4

I forgot to do a SART update for today (not even a week in and already slipping) so for this one we'll just tell you how you'll feel when you're at SART.
10 AM

Orienteering race 47:26 [4] *** 4.74 mi (10:00 / mi) +130m 9:13 / mi


Daze Day 5 - Dutchman Flats South, "Witch of Many Boulders"

Mappy w/routes and splits. I had my best run of the week in the trickiest terrain of the week :D Had to bail to the trail and relocate at 10, but turned out I was close so only lost about 80s. Tentative on 1, 2, 13, 17 for 10-15s loss each, so total of maybe 2:30 max. Got Eric by four minutes which almost never happens; he had problems with 3, 4, 15. 3-4 was a pretty bananas leg; the whole area around 8-11 was very very technical.

14-15 was maybe the greatest thing I've ever done in my orienteering career. I took a rough bearing to the control knowing there was a giant meadow right behind it, put my head down and ran straight at full speed for 600 meters without looking at the map, and almost impaled myself on the control. Gueorgiou and Hubmann couldn't have executed that ish any better.
3 PM

Cycling 1:00:00 [2] 8.8 mi (8.8 mph) +75m

Some mountain biking/sightseeing, starting from the top of Pilot Butte, an extinct volcano within the Bend city limits rising 150m above the surroundings. Apparently every year they have a race to the top; it appears to be about a mile of distance. The current record is 7:10, which seems pretty impressive.

Saturday Sep 5, 2015 #


25 Days of SARTember - Day 5

Location: Big Obsidian Flow, Newberry Caldera

I'm tired of writing about maps at the moment, so today's SARTember entry will consist of some juicy breaking news I've uncovered: the unveiling of the unofficial SART mascot. SART's fearless leader recently encountered one while mapping the championship venue, as related by this facebook post:

"While mapping this weekend, I came across this cute little animal and thought, 'What the heck is that thing?!?' It was busily trimming strands of ivy and carrying them back to its den.

It looked kinda like a rodent, but it didn't look like any rodent I was familiar with. (It also kinda looked like a small wombat, but that didn't make sense).

Apparently, it's a 'mountain beaver,' which lives in the Pacific Northwest. But it's not actually a beaver; it's in its own family (aplodontia) with its closest relatives being squirrels. But it diverged so long ago that it's considered to be a 'living fossil.'

I'm surprised that I haven't seen one of these out here before, and also surprised that I'd never knew of their existence!"

Though they only live in the great Pacific Northwest, the rest of the world can relate by equating the mountain beaver to a smaller version of this.
10 AM

Orienteering race 43:18 [4] *** 4.67 mi (9:16 / mi) +30m 9:05 / mi


Daze Day 4 - motala @ Lave Butte (based on the storied One Cowboy Relay of Laramie Daze fame)

Another excellent event in the orienteering paradise that is Deschutes NF! Very sprinty-feeling course in flattish open woods bouncing around rock features and small hills/knolls. Some more folks showed up for the weekend (Ali, Rex, Tori), which is awesome although Ali did introduce full CSU regalia into the mix which definitely upped the ante. Eric jogged the course with a friend which means it's back even, 2-2. Not that we're keeping score or anything.
2 PM

Hiking 21:02 [2] 1.1 mi (19:07 / mi) +125m 14:08 / mi

Summitted Lava Butte, elevation 5020'. I think I'll add it to my list of 5000' conquests, which is now at two.

Friday Sep 4, 2015 #


25 Days of SARTember - Day 4

Location: Socked in at Mount Bachelor Ski Lodge, hiding from the thunderstorms.

We've had our intro lessons with the first two SART venues; now onto the third, North Seattle College, where things get real. NSC will be used for the third and fourth races in the SART program; these will have the potential to blow everything up hilariously. The campus area of the NSC map is no less than the most complicated section of sprint terrain this author has encountered. Successful negotiation of the courses will require laser-sharp focus, nerves of steel, abstract spatial reasoning, diligent attention to control descriptions, appropriate caution, and probably some luck too. So, why is it so difficult? Mainly this - NSC features two separate mapped running levels, both of which are extensive, runnable, and complicated. It's like having two sprint maps stacked on each other. We'll attempt to tease out the formidable task of making sense of such a thing with a walk-through below.

Some essential ground rules (basically a rehashing of points explained in the excellent map legend): 1. UPPER level and GROUND level are represented with different colors. 2. The familiar uncrossable black lines always apply to the UPPER level. 3. The unfamiliar dashed black lines, or "passageway" lines, always apply to the GROUND level, and also serve as uncrossable barriers. Here and here we have maps from the venue's inaugural event; here is RG (this is an event where you complete the first map of 12 controls, then exchange for a second map of 12).

Examining the route of yours truly, we see that the first map is fairly gentle, with all but one control, 105, on the ground level. 105 (S side of thicket) is the last control I visited, and it's pretty clearly on the upper level, since it wouldn't make much sense for a thicket to be sitting astride the passageway symbol denoting the edge of the building on the ground level. As luck would have it, there's also a stairway handy for those who don't realize they need to switch levels until late in the leg. This will not always be the case.

Second map explanation tomorrow.
10 AM

Orienteering race 47:03 [4] *** 4.85 mi (9:42 / mi) +155m 8:50 / mi


Daze Day 3, Dutchman Flats. Le map. Far better run for me than Wednesday, physically and mentally. Temp was under 40F at the start, but seemed more tolerable because no wind and less wet. Similar to US champs in Kentucky, actually. I made two mistakes - 5 and 9. Ran into Patrick leaving 4; we've discovered this week that we both make errors whenever we encounter each other. Need to work on focusing when aware that people I know are around. 5 was a super easy leg but I somehow bungled it by veering off left and miscounting the giant meadows. At 9 I just got lazy and drifted down the hill, ending up closer to 10. From 9 onward I was running fast and hammering everything right on and feeling really good about life. Ended up ~2 min behind Eric despite probably 4-5 min of errors.

Thursday Sep 3, 2015 #


25 Days of SARTember - Day 3

Location: 3rd & McKinley, Bend

Woodland Park. Perhaps the oldest mapped venue in the Cascade catalog, Woodland lives on a gently rolling hillside just above Green Lake. It's unique among Seattle-area orienteering venues in that it primarily consists of genuine white forest, the kind even an East Coaster would recognize. In fact, one might liken it to someplace like Boston's Edmands Park, but with less undergrowth. Every seasoned Cascader has been to Woodland Park many times, but the good news is there's not much to know about it that you can't get from looking at the map.

Here we have Route Gadget from a 2014 event. If we examine the route of yours truly, we see that, wait a minute now, holy crap yes, you CAN run in a straight line! Woodland is pretty straightforward navigationally - essentially a vanilla-flavored forest sprint. There are, however, a couple areas of variable undergrowth, dense trails, and a number of small reentrants; these areas can be tricky when encountered at high speeds. For SART, the map is to be redone in ISSOM, and most likely enlarged to 1:4000.
10 AM

Orienteering race 14:46 [4] ** 2.9 km (5:06 / km) +100m 4:21 / km

Deschutes Daze, Day 2 - Sprint @ Central Oregon CC. Mappy. I had a very clean race; the course was not tricky but fairly physical. Got Eric by ~30s.

Lots of exciting stuff in Euro 2016 quals today! The incredible Icelanders beat the Dutch again, this time in Amsterdam. It's now all but certain that they will become the smallest nation ever to qualify for a major tournament; qualification is still far from certain for the team that was third and second in the last two World Cups. Wales also move to the brink of qualification, thanks to yet another Bale winner. The Belgians move closer to safety, while Croatia fail to take 3 points from a trip to Azerbaijan and now face a huge match in Norway with a single point separating the two.
2 PM

Cycling (MTB) 1:00:00 [2] 7.39 mi (7.4 mph) +100m

Some fun mountain biking adventures w/dad.

Wednesday Sep 2, 2015 #


25 Days of SARTember - Day 2

Location: The frozen wastelands of Dutchman Flats, in or around Bend.

Preface: In the best interests of fair play, I feel it my solemn duty to elucidate certain aspects of the SART venues for those who have not had previous experience with same, and who may be interested in neutralizing to some degree the clear advantage now enjoyed by many Cascadians. In view of the current situation I believe that my action will enrich, rather than corrupt, the competitive quality of the event. Finally, as SART is not a "national event," and as the old maps are freely available via the website, I'm confident that my motives will not arouse disapprobation from any official quarter.

So, let's talk about the first of our four SART venues, Green Lake Park (current map here - our understanding is that the map has been/will be extensively overhauled).

Some necessary background - Green Lake is a blobular body of water in north Seattle that's roughly the shape of a human heart, or West Virginia without those weird panhandles and the guys from the movie Wrong Turn. It is encircled by a horribly popular paved path; path users will get mad at you if you ride a bike the wrong way at high speeds because how should you know if it's counterclockwise on Tuesdays. The complete circuit is about 3.2 miles, which would make it great for 5k practice if there weren't seventeen hundred people everywhere. There's also (or at least used to be) a guy who will teach you Spanish if you give him a couple bucks. All of this information that I am telling you right now will help you when you are running your course.

As the erudite reader by now suspects, Green Lake Park is merely the lightly forested parkland which encompasses the path all the way round the lake, and serves as a precarious membrane between it and surrounding urbanity. The majority of the park is either open grass or true white (AKA not "Northwest White" [TM]) woods, offering high visibility and little to hinder running at top speeds, with relatively few buildings, fences or other impassable obstacles to bamboozle incautious orienteers - although you never know what these course setters will come up with. To the best of our knowledge, Green Lake Park has never been the site of an official Cascade event - certainly not in recent years.

Green Lake Park is to be used for the first race, the Time Trial, the purpose of which is to provide initial bracket seeding. All indications point to this race being quite short and fast; our intel allows us to hazard a guess at a length of 1-1.5km, with winning time perhaps 5-7 min and very few, if any, competitors taking longer than 12-15 min. There will be little excuse not to run as fast as you can the whole time, unless you're feeling very strategic and want to risk getting stuck in the Heat of Death with Norway, Sweden and New Zealand.

Tomorrow's preview: Woodland Park - or, "The Eric Bone House of Pain."
10 AM

Orienteering race 55:52 [4] *** 5.67 mi (9:51 / mi) +130m 9:12 / mi


Deschutes Daze, Day 1 - Stratovolcano View. Mappy. Temp at the start was in the low-mid 40s F, and nary a stratovolcano was viewable. I had a good run through 10, then decided to go straight on 11 which was dumb and way overshot. Should have gone down and around. Then took a bad bearing to 12, took a bad bearing to 13, then went back to 12 thinking it was 13, then couldn't find 13 once more. It's frustrating to me how predictable it is how and when my errors happen; I can see them coming but yet am unable to avoid them. I was thoroughly trounced by Eric but would like to compare splits up to 10. Also had to get up at 4:30 this morning, which didn't help. Beautiful alpine terrain!

Tuesday Sep 1, 2015 #


25 Days of SARTember - Day 1

Location: Lost in a Daze somewhere between Kirkland, WA and Bend, OR.

As a wise man once said, "Begin at the beginning." So where's the beginning? The SART website, of course. First of all, how many orienteering events have their own website? WOC, I assume Jukola, Tiomila, etc. NAOC usually. Not too many others, I'll warrant - especially in North America. Most impressive.

And what's the best part of the website? Why, the bracket - a true masterpiece in the underappreciated genre of orienteering-themed art. The beauty of the bracket is such that it swiftly organizes the madness into an intuitively comprehensible whole that's accessible to even the novice observer.

The bracket is sure to rapidly overcome March Madness as the most popular bracket throughout American society. In fact, the bracket is so cutting-edge that other sporting organizations have already begun aping it for their own purposes.

What we can take away: Royal blue (coincidence?) = :) Orange = :(

That's all for today. Tomorrow: let's talk about maps.

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