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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: maprunner

In the 7 days ending Aug 11, 2013:

activity # timemileskm+mload
  hike1 5:00:00 8.63(34:47) 13.88(21:37) 679300.0
  orienteer2 1:31:38 4.43(20:41) 7.13(12:51) 219225.6
  run/walk1 10:57 0.84(13:02) 1.35(8:06) 224.4
  sprint drills1 10:0023.0
  stretch 4 4
  Total5 6:52:39 13.9 22.36 900573.0
  [1-5]5 6:52:35

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Sunday Aug 11, 2013 #

Note

About to board the plane from JNB to ATL. Tired legs after running a long O race in Joburg today. Fun course. Fantastic hospitality from the RACO club, especially Paul and Tania Wimberley. So sorry to see this vacation end. I'll update my log with details tomorrow.
9 AM

stretch 1 [0]

orienteer 1:21:50 intensity: (18:38 @1) + (13:24 @2) + (48:25 @3) + (1:23 @4) 6.0 km (13:38 / km) +215m 11:34 / km
ahr:154 max:181

Orienteering at a local Rand Orienteering Club event in Krugersdorp. This was the long champs, and we were at 5500+ feet, so I knew this was not going to be an all-out race for me. The terrain was very similar to Laramie, with wide open spaces, and rock covered hills. Sometimes I was able to look up in the distance and see exactly where I needed to go. Other times, I had to pick my way carefully around the rocks. I had a hard time understanding how the rock was mapped (a usual problem for me when I go to a new area) so my mistakes were all in the rocks. Got tired near the end (should have carried water) and was very slow and hesitant on 12 and 13.

But overall it was a fun course, and very fun to orienteer in a new country and meet new folks. The orienteers were all great, very helpful and friendly. I met a lot of folks I had been following on AP. The only bummer of the day was that my borrowed emit card (my first time with emit) was a bit wonky and they couldn't download my splits. And I tried so hard on the run in :) route

Then back to the Wimberley's place for a shower and delicious lunch (leftovers from last night) before heading off to the airport. A perfect way to end the trip. Thanks to all the Wimberleys!

Saturday Aug 10, 2013 #

9 AM

stretch 1 [0]

orienteer 9:48 [3] 1.13 km (8:41 / km) +4m 8:32 / km

Mike is so good to me. I have a 2.5+ year streak of orienteering at least once a week, and it was in danger of coming to an end today. My criteria for logging "orienteering" is 1) find at least one point on 2) a map made for orienteering. So Mike made a little map of the B&B property, and drew a course for me. And I went orienteering this week! route

Then we had a leisurely drive up to Joburg, on good roads for a change, to visit Paul and Tania Wimberley. They are two orienteers that we emailed about the local event, and they very kindly offered to put us up for the night. We didn't know what other treat was waiting for us: a gourmet meal prepared by their daughters, Heather (age 12) and Sarah (age 10). It was delicious, and well presented. Sarah even set the table with place names telling us where to sit! It was a great evening, filled with lots of good conversation.

Friday Aug 9, 2013 #

9 AM

hike 5:00:00 [1] 13.88 km (21:37 / km) +679m 17:22 / km
ahr:96 max:139

Hiking at Monk's Cowl. I was looking forward to hiking in the beautiful Drakensberg mountains. Unfortunately, we had the only rainy days of the trip while we were in this area, and the mountains were hidden in the clouds! But we still enjoyed hiking around one park, seeing waterfalls and baboons. This was a beautiful area, and the scenery kept changing, so it always seemed new. The low clouds and fog also added to the beauty of the trip.

We did two long loops, then came back to the car, ate some food, and started out again. Unfortunately, this route was all up hill, and my body could only do so much after two weeks of sitting. I asked Mike if we could turn around before reaching our destination (the Sphinx) and he very nicely agreed. All in all, a very nice day.

We headed back to the B&B for a nice dinner and a relaxing evening. It was good to spend these days out of the car. Added some real relaxation to our trip.

Thursday Aug 8, 2013 #

stretch 1 [0]

sprint drills 10:00 intensity: (8:00 @2) + (1:00 @3) + (1:00 @4)

Another long travel day, as we headed towards the Drakensburg mountains. We drove across Swaziland, which was quite pretty. We were stopped by the police, which turned out to be a seat belt check point.

We crossed the border back into South Africa, and things changed immediately. We turned a corner,and suddenly the road was a complete mess, with major potholes. I had to slam on the brakes and move slowly through the obstacle course. And then we were stopped by the police again, this time to check for contraband. Later, we found out that police corruption is rampant, and that they were probably looking for bribes.

We arrived at our B&B, which was on a really nice property. We walked around and explored (accompanied by their two beagles) and I was inspired to do a few sprint drills.

Wednesday Aug 7, 2013 #

Note

Up early again for one last game drive. We saw the first cheetah from yesterday, and this time he had a fresh kill! We parked 10 feet away and watched him eat. (Interesting fact: cheetahs only eat fresh meat, so they have to eat their kills in one day). Also saw a beautiful male lion, just hanging out in the shade. Finished with giraffe, zebra, kudu. And impala, which I also found to be very beautiful.

This was the end of the safari part of our trip, and we headed back on the road. Once again we had to drive through the crowds of people walking along the pothole-filled roads. Mike had the worst driving stretch today. He even saw a man riding a shopping cart down the middle of the road!

We made our way to Mbabane, Swaziland. It happened to be half way to our next destination, and I'm not adverse to adding a new country :)

It was surprisingly different than South Africa. Everything looked more prosperous and organized. The road signs were certainly much better!

Tuesday Aug 6, 2013 #

6 AM

Note

A quick note, now that I have wifi access again. Trip has been beyond amazing so far. Saw elephants, zebra, giraffe, lions, leopards, etc. Hyennas eating a dead hippo; baboons playing in the trees; lions mating. All from the safety of our car.

It's a bit tough to sit all day. I have managed to Orienteer at the botanical gardens( on a real O map) and two short sprints around the camps using park maps. Plus a few ranger- led walks in the bush.

Check out spike's log for a short video of the lions we saw today.
6 PM

Note

A full day at the Arathusa Lodge, in the Sabi Sands private reserve. Your schedule is not your own here, but they certainly take care of you. Wake up call at 5:30. Tea and coffee before getting on the truck. Dawn game drive. Stop for tea and coffee during the drive (they pull out a small table and table cloth, really!). Then back to camp for breakfast. Followed by a guided walk. Then a few hours rest before lunch at 2. Followed by tea and cakes at 3, and leave at 3:30 for the evening drive. Stop for a "sundowner" drink out on the drive (tablecloth again) before returning to the lodge for dinner. The food was delicious and the service was great. But it's more than we're used to (someone carrying our bags; offering us hot towels when we return from the drive; making up the bed several times a day; etc.) I'm glad we tried it, but I won't do this again.

But there is a really good reason to stay at a private reserve like this: access. When we saw the lions in Kruger, we could park close to them, and watch them cross the road, but once they moved into the bush, we couldn't follow, and we moved on. Not here. The trucks followed the lions, through the bush. Off road. Knocking away obnoxious vegetation (we were in an open truck, no sides or cover) as we bumped along. At first I thought it was a bit much, but then we tracked a group of 7 lions as they searched for prey. Fascinating to see how they worked together. And we were just feet away from them the whole time.

Also, there are many other lodges in this reserve, with guided drives all out at the same time, communicating by radio. When we saw the lions, we alerted the others. And when they saw some leopards, we rushed off to join them.

They were a mating pair (leopards are usually solitary). Again, we were able to follow them for ~15 minutes, just watching them move and mate, from 10 feet away. This was a first; we hadn't seen leopards in Kruger (although it's possible to see them there). Short video of the leopards mating.

The evening drive was just as amazing. First we were alerted to a cheetah sighting, and we rushed off. It was just lying there in the shade, not doing anything, but it was still so amazing to see. They are very rare (only about 250 in the area) and we had not seen one in Kruger. We eventually moved on to see elephants, warthogs, zebra, buffalo and rhinos. And then we got another call.

We rushed off to see a second cheetah! This one was moving, so we got to see how truly beautiful they are in motion.

What a fabulous day!

Monday Aug 5, 2013 #

8 AM

stretch 1 [0]

run/walk 10:57 intensity: (3:29 @1) + (1:29 @2) + (5:59 @3) 1.35 km (8:06 / km) +2m 8:02 / km
ahr:152 max:169

Had time for a quick run around Lataba before we left Kruger Park this morning. Saw bushbok again. route

I am so glad we did Kruger on our own, and I highly recommend it to others. We thought we would have to pay a fortune for a group safari, but then we discovered the option of doing it this way. It was easy to plan and execute, and pretty inexpensive. Compared to Europe, the food and housing costs are much lower. Gas was expensive, but we paid only $300 for a rental car for 14 days. I encourage anyone who thought they couldn't afford a trip like this to reconsider (admittedly, though, the airfare is a big hurdle).

Having said that, I admit I was curious about the "typical" American safari experience, i.e. attending an expensive, all-inclusive private resort. So we booked two nights at the cheapest place we could find (which was still outrageous).

But first we had to get there. You would think that two intelligent orienteers would have planned and mapped out the route to their next destination, but we didn't. To be fair, Mike probably thought I had printed out the maps (I'm the trip organizer). Instead, all we had were vague written directions from the website, which included helpful things such as "in about 10K, turn left onto a gravel road".

There are no road signs here. Needless to say, we got lost. We were deep in rural South Africa. With no map, no cell coverage and no GPS. We had to stop and ask for directions a few times. We met some very nice, but very poor, folks, some of whom did not speak English. It was fascinating to go into their shops, which were bare wood shelves with just a few items. One place had a phone, that we could use, if we paid by the minute. We tried to connect with the lodge, but we lost the phone connection.

Mike tried hard to get good directions and to draw a sketch map, but it was difficult. We'd get vague instructions again, like drive "past the hardware store". No one could give us distances. The knew the names of the villages we would pass, and that was their only frame of reference. However, I will stress that everyone was very nice and tried to be helpful.

By now we were both pretty stressed, because we don't like being lost, and it was getting close to sundown. You don't want to be driving around lost in the dark in South Africa.

Finally we talked to some folks who assured us we were pretty close to the road we wanted, and they were right. We made it to the lodge just as the sun was going down. And just in time for a drink, which I needed badly!

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