Running warm up/down (Foot) 6:26  0.65 mi (9:54 / mi) +31m8:37 / mi slept:8.0 weight:177.5lbs
Fountainhead Regional Park, VA. Warm-up from the parking lot to the Start of QOC's event with one false start--I had to go back to the car part way to the Start to get my glasses.
Orienteering race (Foot) 1:29:35 8.6 km (10:25 / km) +280m8:57 / km spiked:15/18c
QOC: Fountainhead Regional Park, VA. Nice terrain on the southeast side of the park--we hadn't been there in a long while so I was happy that course setter Victor Lin took us there. The reason we hadn't been there in a long time was that the map is far out of date. The coutours were not sharp, the new biking trails weren't on the map, and the vegetation mapping wasn't representative. I started off going down the trail to #1 and that was probably a good thing. I probably should have done it going to #2 too. I didn't make an error going there more directly but stopped a few times along the way being unsure which reentrant/ditch I was at. It went like this for several controls. I figured I'd go slower and not make any errors. I went direct toward #10 instead of backing up and using a trail route. When I finally did hit the trail, it wasn't what I expected--instead of being in a clearing, it was intermittant under forest. I turned incorrectly, stopped watching my compass and went down the wrong side of the big ridge/spur. I actually recovered from this pretty well but the damage was done. I lost about 6 minutes. I was a little off going to #11--off to the right. I went directly from a "trail" intersection toward #13. Crossing the many ridges, it was really evident that not enough was on the map. I passed Kathleen Lennon who was looking around one ridge short. After popping over into the right area, I didn't see the control but saw someone in orange running up the reentrant. I figured she was leaving the control but after going down that direction and not seeing it, I ran back up. Still not seeing it, I ran back down again but further and found it. Soon after the person in Orange showed-up and it turned out to be Peggy. I ran through the rest of the course fairly well. I was just over from the control on the other side of an unmapped reentrant but saw #14. I crossed the ridge at the saddle going to #17 and almost got sucked down one reentrant too soon. I wasn't running that fast for much of the race, being somewhat tired from other workouts but I was finishing strongly, passing two others in the last 4 controls which were common to most advanced courses. I felt that I was getting more used to the increased running and recovering some speed that's been lacking lately.
Running (Trail) 42:55  4.6 mi (9:19 / mi) +222m8:06 / mi slept:7.5 weight:177lbs
Rock Creek Park, DC. From the Nature Center off of Millitary Rd., I went down the Western Ridge Trail to Blagden Ave., then up the Theodore Roosevelt Trail to the Valley Trail, then onto an unammed trail just past Pulpit Rock out of the valley on the east side to the tennis courts west of 17th St. From there I went left and back down to the Valley Trail on a different unammed trail which came out just south of Rapids Bridge. I caught another unammed trail going out of the valley for the second time popping out near the Tennis Stadium. I followed the edge of the field to Morrow Dr. back into the valley near Military Rd. For the 3rd climb out of the valley, I went up past the horse center, back to the Nature Center parking lot. For intending to do a flatish run when I left the house, I failed. This was a quite hilly route. I enjoyed the Western Ridge Trail as always. They'd improved some of the surface by laying more gravel and dirt over the gullied areas. The Valley Trail was as difficult with footing as alwasy. There were also a lot of people walking along it. It was fun checking out some of these trails that I'd seen many times before but never ran. The weather was in the low 50s F. The downside was that I lost my van key on this run. I'd never lost a key while running before. I didn't have a pocket this time and just don't know what happened. I had started off with it, came back after 100m to drop my sweat bottoms and am unsure what happpened to it next.
Running1:35:41  10.76 mi (8:54 / mi) +311m8:10 / mi slept:4.5
I ran the Seneca Greenway Trail between Rte. 355, and Huntsman Rd. It was 43 F starting out with rain on the way. I ran in tights, a long sleeve t-shirt, and light gloves and that was perfect. Before going, I felt pretty tired from lack of sleep and being daunted by the distance (not a distance I've done lately). However, I really wanted to get one decent run in for this week that I've been off of work. I started feeling okay but was wondering if I should just turn around at the first road crossing, only 2.7 miles up. The greenway was just lovely today and that helped me continue the process of pulling myself up by my britches--I was motivated to push through and calmed by the scenery. On my run along Difficult Run last Tuesday, I had to sort of calm myself down 2 minutes into the run and stop myself from wondering how long I could keep up the pace and distance. I've been in the position of this infirm confidence before. There are physical aspects (what's making me slow lately) but I know that a large component of this fear is mental. To enjoy these kind of runs I just have to keep making them a priority and do them more often. I have to do them and not let work get in the way--that's my wisdom re-learned from being off work for a week. I'll probably have to re-learn it again.
My speed starting out was about 8:36/mile. It's slow and feeling like I was, I figured it'd get slower. I did slow but only when the trail got hillier. I surprised myself hitting the same 8:36 pace several times along the way. The trail conditions were just about optimal. There was not much mud to worry about like the Fairfax Cross County Trail had on Tuesday. This stretch of the Seneca Greenway Trail stayed on the hillsides most of the way--the houses bordering it were much further away from the creek. With the forest so open, I kept getting great views of Seneca Creek below and the land above. I'll have to checkout some of the wider parts (North Germantown Special Park) for mapping some day. When I got on the ridge past the first road crossing, I took a detour that I'd been meaning to checkout that rounds the spur--it was hillier than just crossing the ridge alone on the main trail. It also had less secure footing. On the wide flood plain before Brink Rd., the views were grand. I could see off far enough away that it looked like the Earth's horizon. There wasn't much mud and the tall grasses had been flattened. I saw only about 3 people and 3 dogs during the whole run (except for road crossing). I surprised a King Fisher and some kind of nuthatch. It was lot's of nice solace.
I timed things well. I had a few sprinkles along the way but the first significant rain came 5 minutes after finishing. Later I saw The Hobbitt (an Un-expected Journey); good being dehydrated for an almost 3 hour movie. I generally like Ang Lee movies (Peggy pointed out on 1/12 that I was confusing Directors--Ang Lee directed The Life of Pi which I loved and Peter Jackson directed The Hobbitt.) and loved the book reading it for the first time in 8th grade. It seemed like they tried too hard to embelish parts of the movie with humor that didn't work very well. They seemed to deviate from the book too. I think they just picked the wrong script but I am not panning it altogether. Dinner with Peggy and Max at a popular pizza place we hadn't been to yet, came later--a great day altogether that will give me something to shoot for in the busy work days ahead.
Wheaton Regiona Park, MD. Having gotten my drafting from yesterday done, I went back for more field work. I went over a detailed section from yesterday, then made faster work of the eastern parts of the map. Most things were falling into place as expected. I made some slight adjustments to point features that one just can't be sure about after the contour update without seeing them in person. I converted some old unused trails to ditches and got a lot of vegetation updates. There's no way for me to update all of the vegatation in time for the next meet.
Wheaton Regional Park. I got some time in the forest to check various updates I've been making and to cover some other ground/new updates. It was a slow day.
I got into an area we've not used much since most of the forest tends to be rather nasty, and it was not mapped in much detail earlier. It probably changed a lot due to man-made changes too. It was very difficult to map. To make it worse, features on the existing map were out of alignment after having made contour changes. To top it off, it rained lightly a few times just long enough to get my paper wet. If I get it right, it'll add something to well used map that some consider skipping meets for since they've done it so often.
I got into another area and tried to take a track of some rough open. As the rough open changed to low vegetation in open, I kept going. It was much larger than I thought and unfortunately really really slow to get through. The only saving grace was that there were few thorns there. I found more than enough elsewhere.
When I had tracked trails earlier, it had gotten dark and I missed an intersection. It turned-out that an old trail had been moved but was still mapable as a ride. I tracked it and tried to update nearby ditches and point features. They hadn't been moved yet so again, seeing them on the map was confusing me. I hope I have enough time to checkout the other areas where contours were pretty different.
I got a good start on mapping some impenatrable deadfall that clutters what was the one really nice hill in the park. That deadfall had been on the ground for at least 4 years and often messed up my line to controls. Maybe I'll do better next time I race there.
Running (Trail) 53:42  6.19 mi (8:41 / mi) +60m8:25 / mi slept:4.9 weight:180.5lbs
Fairfax County, VA. I ran a section of the Fairfax County Cross County Trail between Rte. 7 and Georgetown Pike. I started from a telephone utility building parking lot near Rte. 7. I hadn't run this section in several years and it had changed a bunch. At first, there was a lot more of a gravel maintenance road. After crossing the creek on concrete blocks near Browns Mill Rd., there was an upland section. It kept me out of some mud. There were muddy sections and rocky sections. When the two combined, that was just uncalled for... Sometimes it was hard to tell what would be slippery. A grassy part in an open field was more slippery than some obviously muddy parts--horse hooves seemed to have something to do with that. The mud got worse in the middle section. It wasn't deep, just slick on the surface. After crossing the creek again on some big stone boulders placed there, the trail became mostly a maintenance road again. I was running short on time and needed a bathroom so I turned around at Georgetown Pike rather than go to the river. Going back and slightly uphill, I found that I could pick the the better fork to avoid the mud. I felt much better climbing some small hills where the trail was dry, than the flatter muddy parts. It was 53 F and I ran in shorts and a t-shirt!