Great Falls National Park, MD. Starting from the intersection of Falls Rd. and MacArthur Blvd. I moved into the park and worked on updating the map in some areas where courses will pass through for a planned QOC meet in December. I took a lot of GPS tracks. One was for a trail but most of the others were to update the vegetation. Many areas that were mapped as light green or green on the previous master map have opened-up quite a bit. Clumps of saplings and small trees form navigable features in the park and in some cases there are clear corridors for faster running that just didn't show up before. I got a late start and will need to go back to update other areas. I ran quite a lot of the time as I moved around the groups of trees. It was fun to be mapping again and I felt pretty good.
Bicycling (Commute) 27:30 5.52 mi (4:59 / mi) weight:169lbs
From Northfield Rd. to Wisconsin Ave. at Elm St. to see a late movie, then I wandered a bit on the way back, stopping to pickup a snack. I was riding around in the dark enjoying the kind of solace in the cooler air and quiet steets.
From Northfield Rd., Custer Rd. to Wilson Ln., to Maiden Ln. to Whittier Blvd. to Woodhaven Blvd. to Bradley Blvd. to Valley Rd. to Ridge Rd. to McKinley St. to Garfield St. to Roosevelt St. to Jefferson St. to Northfield Rd. I would have cycled to work today had the forecast not been calling for more rain--once again it never came. The first time and last time I did this route was on 3/2/2009 when I was about 9 pounds heavier and there was some snow and ice on the ground. I was about 3 1/2 minutes faster today. I did have to slow in some spots today where I couldn't see the dark unfamiliar sidewalks or trails very well. Once again I got started running at 10pm. It's not a good habit to have to run this late since usually by that time I'm too tired and often other needs take priority. The continued nice cool and sea breezy weather from the SE sure did make it easier though there were a lot more hills this evening. I do like running on suburban streets at night as I did for much of this run. The streets were rather quiet. Street running like this lets me get a good stride going and reminds me of summers long ago when I did a lot of running at night.
From Northfield Rd., to Roosevelt St. via the trail at Charlcote Rd. to Garfield St. to McKinley St. to Hartsdale Ave. to Folkstone Rd. to Bradmore Dr. to the trail along the school to Bulls Run Pkwy., to Singleton Dr. to Beech Dr. to Old Georgetown Rd. to Greenwich Park, to Northfield Rd. I left work late. I started running at 10pm after having had dinner at 7:30pm. The weather was breezy and nice but humid. It reminded me of sea breezes which is probably accurate too--we've been getting some rather unusual winds from the east. I saw several people outside and walking about.
From the Friendship Heights Metro Station (at Maza Gallerie), Western Ave. to Friendship Blvd. to Willard Ave., to N. Park Ave. to Fallstone Ave. to Warwick Pl. to Dorset Ave. to the Little Falls Trail to Little Falls Pkwy. via Bethesda Pool, to the Capital Crescent Trail (CCT), to Woodmont Ave. to the Bethesda Metro Station at Edgemoor Ln. I left work late and got delayed on the Red Line. By the time I got to run, there wasn't much time left so I did this shortish run. It was downhill starting out, then had good hill in the middle. To finish I had a more gentle railroad grade but overall there was a modest net gain in elevation. On the CCT I moved well and had to work to pass a guy.
Running warm up/down (Trail) 12:48  2.3 km (5:34 / km) slept:8.0 weight:172lbs
Great Falls, MD. From near the intersection of Falls Rd. and MacArthur Blvd. I ran parts of the Gold Mine Loop Trail to the Tavern area. This was to be a warm-up and a way to get me to the start of where QOC plans to have a meet in December that I'm course setting for. Along the way and at the bottom, I've discovered a few things to update the map with including a new bathroom building that sits right where there was a parking lot previously. Rains were light starting off but got steady and heavier as I descended. I still managed to warm-up, aided by the high humidity.
Orienteering (Foot) 1:31:32**** 8.6 km (10:39 / km) spiked:13/20c
Great Falls, MD. For training and to checkout a course I made, I ran what will be callled the Advanced-Long course for the QOC meet to be held here in December. Standard color names are not going to be used since we're only submitting 4 courses for the park to review. The date for the QOC event is subject to change since several of us want to also run the A-meet at Vasquez Rocks that is currently conflicting.
As I started out, the rains were really picking up a lot. Visibility was poor with some areas being foggy and much of everything being dark. I got started around 4:30pm so even without raining clouds, the woods with full leaves would have been darkening. This was good training for me in several ways. First, I was out running for a good while. Despite setting out the streamers for controls earlier, navigations in many of the control areas is always challenging. I also ran at what one might consider a tempo pace; a bit short of racing. It helped my confidence that I felt I could run through most of the hills and ground debris. I hadn't really been lifting my knees high as this for a while. The course alternates through various legs emphasizing either physical or technical skills. A mix of green and open woods were used (green in this park is never that bad but it does make it harder). I have yet to calculate a climb. I made a lot of mistakes and they totaled to 13:12 minutes :( I bailed-out to relocate on one control which I had done fine with when I set it a few weeks back. I think the darkness and rain did contribute to the reason for my error on that one. On another control a streamer had fallen down but I didn't count the little extra time it took me to find it as an error since I had come to it pretty well. I also screwed-up one control near the end which I should have nailed. The darkness and some needed trail updates on the map contributed to that. On this run I actually found two areas needing trail updates as well as a pair of sizeable cairns not on the map (I didn't stop to make map corrections and in the rush to get out to the park I'd forgotten to take my GPS with me too. I hope to fix the things I saw though the vegetation is off in so many places that I doubt I'd have time to make significant updates for that).
Unless the park approves it, the course I set may never get officially run as a club event (I set it specifically trying to avoid sensitive areas so it's a bit different than I otherwise would have done). There's also a new potential issue with the park charging onerous fees too. The club will need to make a decision on what to do about that if the park insists on still charging it.
I didn't get to running a race pace in the places where the woods opened up. Fear of tripping or slipping on wet fallen branches as well as not feeling all that strong kept me from doing that. My left knee, the one I had surgery on, was also bothering me on hillsides and sometimes when going downhill.
Running warm up/down (Trail) 19:12  2.5 km (7:41 / km)
Great Falls, MD. After finishing my test run, I walked over to check a control location for a beginner course. I hadn't been to it before and I'm glad I went. The trails had changed significanctly. I'll have to come back and fix the map in this area if the control is to be used. I started my warm-down run back to the car from near the control location and I used a different route.
Going back, I passed two yahoos that I'd seen earlier when I was finishing up my course. They were on a little used trail, not far from a lot of people and they had started a small controlled fire in the rain. They were probably in their 40s and 50s which seems far too old to find facination in being able to light a fire in these conditions--it's not that hard and I told them so. I told them it was illegal on my first encounter and seeing them still there upon returning, I emphasized the point on my second pass. One of them tried to make light of it even after I pointed out that the fire was at the base of a tree--he said the fire needed shelter. I didn't have my cell phone when I reached my van (I need to replace it so those who can shouldn't try to call me on it for a while) so I couldn't tell the park service. I figured they'd be gone by the time I was home since it was dark by then.
From Northfield Rd. to Woodmont Ave. at Bethesda Ave., and back. Peggy, Max (on his Trail-a-Bike), and I rode into downtown Bethesda to see Ponyo at the Landmark Theatre. We also had dinner there. The movie was quite refreshing. Max's one-liner for the night stated during the movie in all seriousness was something like "That's one serious mom." I had intended to run today too and felt motivated. The day got away from me with much of it spent cleaning and waterproofing our deck.