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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: glewis

In the 7 days ending Oct 14, 2019:

activity # timemileskm+ft
  Adventure Racing2 19:45:00
  Road Bike1 2:44:05 47.72(3:26) 76.8(2:08)
  Total3 22:29:05 47.72 76.8

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Sunday Oct 13, 2019 #

5 AM

Adventure Racing 8:00:00 [4]

The morning of day 2 was rather cold. We were happy to be bundled up in sleeping bags (I hadn't slept well but enjoyed the warmth) and were a bit sluggish to start. I grabbed the maps soon after 4, and we got ourselves moving and ready to go in time to leave Stockville just a few minutes after the 5AM start. Both Rebekah and I were feeling it a bit physically. Her feet were in pain from overuse and a blister or two which we had drained but were still flaring up. I had rolled my left ankle during the o-course the previous day, and woke up with it feeling rather sore. We meandered slowly but accurately down a reentrant to Q. My altimeter was off despite being reset moments prior, which led to a few minutes of confusion thinking that I had bottomed out in the reentrant. I adjusted well and hit the CP in the correct spot. From there, we took a bearing towards R but were thrown off by the moon, which kept pulling me west. We emerged from the woods at the quarry from the previous day - whoops. R was an easy find from there, and S was just a reentrant climb from there. We shot a bearing to M9, but took a few minutes to find it once we emerged on the bicycle trail. Turns out that we had hit it exactly, but the flag was hidden by a team surrounding it. We took off down the road and trails towards M10 just as the sun began to rise.

My foot was killing me, but I got some slight relief with our first jog of the day. It was short lived though, as Rebekah's foot pain kept her from moving that fast. Still, we were accurate and on target nailing M10, descending to U, and then taking a trail around to T, where we saw the o-stars moving in a non-traditional direction around the course. We trekked through the woods out towards the road and onward to EE. Brent gave us some encouragement as he drove by; I explained the reasons for our slow moving and strange gait. By this point, I had begun to have some pains in the top of my right foot from overcompensation (still hasn't gone away more than a week later). We had shed some layers too, as the day had begun in the 30s and we had every article of clothing on. Getting into the woods gave us a little spark of energy again, but we struggled with a bushwhack to EE. Retrospectively, I think we just missed it while dodging the brush around the creek. We hit it after some backtracking. Soon thereafter, we ran into the o-stars heading towards W with us. I chose a route by trail, and we lost them - I think we got there quicker and snuck out of the back of the CP.

X was a little finicky as I tried to line up the real life trails with the map. When we got it, we traveled down across the road again to Y, which was on a nice dried out pond. The ascent from there to V was thick, requiring a number of crawls just to make it through. We took another climatization break at the CP while about 4 teams arrived. We moved with 40/50 towards M11, but got pulled a bit off line and gained quite a bit extra elevation before readjusting. When we hit the CP, we did so smoothly, so the attack ended up working out well. I tried to follow a supplemental map trail to Z, but I must have missed a junction, because we dropped way too far north and had to bushwhack over to the main road/trail. Before we left the wrong trail, I again spotted the o-stars going in an opposite direction.

Getting to Z was simple, just through a stream and a steep ascent. The CP itself was my favorite of the race - a beautiful hilltop in the morning light, with a lovely saddle and a rocky spur behind. I wish I could have stayed up there for a bit longer. AA was close to the same road, and it was an easy find in a wet spring. From there we had a large bushwhack out to M12. The descent was simple, but I eventually chose to go over the ridge in front of us. It looked small on the map, but with 20' contours, tt was a real chore to climb up. My feet were holding up well (they preferred the uphills), but Rebekah was still in pain. In fact, she nearly tumbled over backwards because of the steepness. Thankfully, our feet were letting up slightly by the time we hit M12. Here we learned that we were the first full-course team in! We left quickly, and began our climb up the Blueberry trail.

The sun was hot, the hill was very steep, and Rebekah was exhausted. Still, I pushed the pace as much as possible - hearing that we might be in the overall lead was energizing. I took her pack for the end of the climb. Fortunately, she got a second wind at the top. I didn't think the trails lined up perfectly on the ridge. However, I had a good control on our location and was able to bushwhack through the blueberry plants towards the CP. We found the trail afterwards and began moving towards CC. I was only 400 meters from the trail, but I found it to be some of the toughest bushwhacking I've ever been through. Extremely dense mountain laurel and blueberry, with very little respite. I eventually found the flag, but it was an exhausting stretch, with both of us taking turns getting completely stuck in the brush. Remarkable considering that there were very few thorns. My planned attack to DD was again through the brush, but fortunately we found a trail along the creek below. After a false start on the wrong spur, we ascended the correct one but struggled to find the flag. After 10+ minutes of searching I suggested looking higher, where I found the CP. My altimeter had been off all day despite constant resets, and I had just forgotten about that in that moment. From DD, it was a small bushwhack and a push back on the road. We gave it our all, running into the finish line at exactly 1PM - the first team in for the day! Brent let us know that the o-stars left M12 about 45 minutes back from us, and that they may have taken a strange route home. Our excitement was short lived though - they came sprinting into the finish line at 1:11.

We finished only 36ish minutes behind them, which is a remarkable result considering our plans for the weekend. We had a wonderful time, but were truly exhausted, having done around 45 miles on foot in 2 days. We limped around for a while before heading home after the awards. Rebekah was extremely happy with the result, and was a wonderful partner for this (as she is with most things). No complaints, just happy to chug along.

Saturday Oct 12, 2019 #

8 AM

Adventure Racing race 11:45:00 [3]

Stockville with Rebekah as "GOALS Weekend Getaway". Rebekah wanted to do this for our anniversary, so the plan was to take it casual and do our best but not go nuts. Things changed quickly...

Cool morning, but perfect temps for a t-shirt and shorts. The maps looked pretty accessible, with a small set of optionals at the beginning, a few spread out at the end, and a massive chunk in the obvious crux of the race in the middle. These were spread across 3 topo maps, and we were given a supplemental trail map as well. I actually considered dropping the first 3 points (A, B, C) but decided that the easier drops were at the end of the day (O, P) if needed.

The race began at 8, and we took off with a pack of teams headed towards C along a rather indistinct ridge, eventually meeting up with some trails to weave our way out to the point, which we punched just before the o-stars. We descended down to B and weaved our way through the brush, and then climbed over a ridge and back down to A before heading out on the AT towards M1. After we punched we made our way out to a road right behind Joe and Corinne, impressed that we were making great time despite moving at a conservative pace. We weaved on roads to an attackpoint for D, but really struggled with the indistinct nature of the spur. Joe and Corinne entered the area with us, but I later found out that they located it as they left to reattack. We probably spent 15+ minutes hunting before finding it with a group of Navy teams. I then tried a bushwhack to M2, but bailed back to the road due to some think undergrowth. The brush must have thinned soon after we gave up, because all of the bushwhacking teams moved much faster than we did over that section. On the out and back from M2 we passed KDD.

I had spent much of the opening leg trying to decide how to attack the next section, with 9 optionals and a mandatory. The supplemental gave me a good idea with a few non-topo trails. I decided to take the inner three CPs as an initial loop to avoid unnecessary elevation gains - Rebekah enjoyed this decision. We did H as an out and back (It took a few minutes longer than expected to find, as I was pulled off line by some game trails) before heading to J and M by trail. I was passed by the o-stars at J; I figured they had about 1 hr on us. The bushwhack to K was rough but surreal, as the woods have been burnt out pretty well in a number of spots. Leaving K was even rougher. We really struggled through the undergrowth and the thick limbs of rhododendron. The terrain may have produced some of the roughest bushwhacking that I've ever experienced (until Sunday...). Thick plants with little give; my legs were really beat up from the experience. We popped out onto a road to attack G, which we hit rather cleanly. This was followed up with nailing E, which featured the only horribly nasty section of thorns on the whole weekend. From there, we had the toughest CP of the day. F was only a 400-500 climb away, but it was on an indistinct spur that had to be hit cleanly. We did just that, followed a strong bearing and using the altimeter well (a wonderful tool for the weekend) and readjusting to contours as needed. Past Prime were our shadows for this section. We dropped down into I, and then rode around on trails towards L (after a slight misdirection on the first road. From there, the trip into M3 was tough, but thankfully the path had been cleared by previous teams. We also got a good view of the other teams on this out and back. From there, we turned around and headed back uphill to M4 after a short bushwhack. I was really happy with this section. It could have been a little cleaner, but I liked our order of CPs quite a bit. If doing it again, I would do nothing but reverse my order for JMK (doing KMJ instead).

Rebekah was feeling exhausted on the approach to M4. She expressed disbelief that I ever did this for four days, and was dying for a break from her feet. We took about 5 minutes at the manned CP with a lovely view, but left quickly after learning that we were only the second full course team in. Again, with only some light shuffling, we had moved efficiently enough to surpass everyone except for the now-distant o-stars (about 1 hr ahead).

From here, we dropped down into N, being very careful to flow into the correct reentrant to hit N directly. I was expected it on the stream at 1305', and when we arrived my altimeter read 1314'. I didn't see it , and proceeded to drop down the stream. Stupidly, we kept going until I was more than 50' below the CP, where we ran into Chasing Bigfoot doing the same thing. I knew we had messed up, and we decided to head back upstream in the water to avoid a miss. We ran into Joe and Corinne again on the same misdirection, and ended up finding the flag only 20-30 meters from where we dropped into the stream, just hidden behind a few trees. A very frustrating 45 minutes lost on this simple CP.

We ascended out to the road and back down the hill to M5 with Joe and Corinne, almost all on trail. From M5, I took a trail found only on the supplemental to M6, arriving before the other teams near us at M5. M6 was a mini-o at Camp Michaux. We were elated to drop our packs and head out for a quick job around the old camp. I struggled slightly with a few of these: I didn't see the ruins for 11, I couldn't read the words to answer the clue for 15, and I searched like an idiot for 4. We probably spent 10 minutes on 4, wandering off of the map and looking at a bunch of fence posts before finding the correct one on an overgrown trail.

It had become rather apparent that we would be able to finish the whole course somewhere around M4, which meant that we had a climb up to O next. However, the supplemental map showed a different route for the AT than the topo, and we were actually lead on trail rather closely to it. The climb was simpler than I expected as well, as the map had 10' contours instead of 20', which meant that the hills were less severe than I thought before the race. We hit O smoothly before dropping back down to a road surrounded by cabins on our way to M7; there were also a bunch of teams all around us at this time. After finding M7 we took the advice of the race briefing and filled up on water in a stream before beginning our ascent to Stockville. I was surprised to learn that we had somehow past Past Prime on the last short section, and we headed up towards M8 with them following at a distance. We needed headlamps by the time we arrived at the quarry.

The CP required a long, steep scramble up some sketchy rocks. As we returned to the road, we made the decision to attack P as an out and back from Stockville. A bushwhack up seemed plausible, but we had no daylight with which to make the decision about the thickness of the woods. Our choice seemed correct however, as we headed uphill fast enough and didn't have too much trouble finding the CP off of the "Bicycle Trail", hidden just behind some rocks that seemed too good for Brent to pass up. We arrived in Stockville around 7:45, the second full course team in, and only 47 minutes behind the o-stars. We set up the tent quickly and began to cook a nice hot dinner of vegan/gluten free mac and cheese for rebekah, and some chicken and ramen for me. Afterwards, we enjoyed some s'mores, grilled cheese (for me), and hot chocolate and tea by the fire before heading to bed. The temps were shooting down pretty quickly, and we were excited to be tucked into our warm sleeping bags with plenty of time before our 4AM alarm.

Wednesday Oct 9, 2019 #

1 PM

Road Bike 2:44:05 [3] 47.72 mi (3:26 / mi)

Ride from home to Oaks and back. Didn't have as much life in my legs as I expected. Chilly, but I overdressed.

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