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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: RLShadow

In the 7 days ending Aug 8, 2011:

activity # timemileskm+ft
  Orienteering8 5:57:03 19.21(18:35) 30.92(11:33) 2022122 /129c94%
  Course setting1 51:57 2.08(24:55) 3.36(15:29) 191
  Running2 38:00 4.26(8:55) 6.86(5:32) 142
  Total9 7:27:00 25.56(17:29) 41.14(10:52) 2355122 /129c94%

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Monday Aug 8, 2011 #

7 PM

Running 31:15 [3] 3.57 mi (8:45 / mi) +83ft 8:34 / mi
shoes: Saucony Progrid Guide 3

First run I've done, other than orienteering, and warmup for orienteering, in about a week, I think.

Evening run in the Park / East Ave. area. Started pretty slow but then sped up a bit as the run went on.

Sunday Aug 7, 2011 #


I thought most of the areas mapped as light green could easily have been mapped as white. Not that I was running through them, but I really didn't sense much difference in openness of the woods between light green and white.

Also, I would rather have 2 m be the cutoff of mapping rootstocks. Some were mapped that were more like 1 m (in fact, two 1-meter rootstocks were used as controls on Green Y). Given that rootstocks deteriorate with time, it seems like mapping a 1-meter rootstock is pretty much guaranteeing it will be less than that and therefore hardly visible by the next orienteering season.

One other observation, there were a couple of places where I noticed a shelter near the road that had a short but fairly distinct gravel road heading back to it, where the road wasn't mapped as such, but just shown as open land. I was a bit confused (although not in any major way) when I was going along a road, seeing a short side road to a shelter, and not seeing anything that looking like a road on the map.

Other than those few minor quibbles, I though the map was quite nice. I certainly can't blame any of my problems on it, that's for sure.
9 AM

Orienteering 1:35:51 [4] *** 5.19 mi (18:28 / mi) +766ft 16:12 / mi
spiked:14/17c shoes: Asics Gel Kahana 2 Aug 2008

Long course, Green Y, Chestnut Ridge, south of Buffalo. For once, I didn't have any big disasters; worst was #9 where I probably lost 4-5 minutes (4:50 per AP split analysis). But lots of smaller mistakes, and just generally slow moving. So I was 15th out of the 27 people on my course, and definitely in the bottom 25% of the people in my age group.

AP say 9:10 of errors, which seems about right. The rest of the slowness was just from moving slowly.

My course:

#1: I was running very late due to a necessary stop at Wal-Mart in Batavia to pick up a key item of clothing I forgot to bring (some running-type shorts). I got to the start line a minute before my name was called. That's my excuse for being somewhat discombobulated when I punched the start and looked at my map. The first leg could hardly have been easier, but I bet I stood there for something like 45 seconds before I could gather my bearings and figure out which way to go.

#2: The choice was the go longer and take a bridge over the gully, or attack the gully and save a moderate amount of distance. I chose the gully, and I regretted it, because it exhausted me, something like 3 minutes into the race. My time on this leg was decent but I don't think it was worth it. Maybe partly because of the struggle down and then up the gully, I didn't have much pep to do a lot of running later on, even on good trails and roads.

#3 and 4: No issues. These depended to a large part on following compass bearings which I'm usually pretty bad at, but I seemed to do OK.

#5: Took a fairly long but pretty safe route, and nailed the control (not that it was hard).

#6: Another compass bearing, which worked. Maybe I'm actually getting a bit better at this skill, which I should have learned decades ago.

#7: I pondered a longer route that would cross the gully on a bridge, but decided it was too much longer, so I reluctantly attacked the gully. Had a scare going down a short but very steep embankment; I grabbed onto a small tree to slow myself down, as I usually do, but the tree was dead and immediately broke off, which led to me falling down the embankment. Fortunately, no damage was done other than getting very dirty, but I had 2-3 anxious seconds after the tree broke and before I landed and realized I was OK.

#8: No real issues, basically a compass bearing.

#9: Issues!! I worried about this one when I saw it (actually I was worried about it from the last 2-3 controls, as I studied it during times when I didn't need to focus too hard on navigation during those controls. It involved climbing a very steep and fairly high hill, coming out on a trail. The problem was going to be, I realized, figuring out exactly where on that trail I was when I hit it.

When I got to the trail, I thought I knew where I was, from two streams that intersected almost at the trail, but I misread the terrain, and I was actually one stream down (maybe about 50 m).

I took a bearing (from what I thought was my position), and came out on a real impressive rootstock, about 4 m high. The problem was, the clue said 2.5 m rootstock. I still looked, being optimistic, but that wasn't it. The next problem is that I didn't know where I was in relation to the right rootstock, which would up being only 30 m east of the wrong one I was at. I guessed (wrongly) that I was east of the right rootstock, and headed west for about 100 m, until I hit a stream in a shallow reentrant. The shallow reentrant gave me a clue as to where I was, and once I realized that, I backtracked, past the 4 m rootstock, and found the right one. Time lost, according to AP: 4:50

#10: Compass bearing, going slow because I didn't want to mess this one up.

#11: A non-optimum route down the hill, then attacked from the road just east of the stream. I was off a bit on my bearing, but I pace counted and realized when I should be getting to the control, and when I didn't see it when I should have, I quickly realized I had gone a little to the right.

#12: Long and slow out to the road (non-optimum route for sure), then took the road to the easiest trail, even though it was slightly longer.

#13: Compass bearing, and I was heading correctly, but once I saw the ridge that the control was on, I aimed off to the right to make sure I'd hit the ridge before the control. It worked but I really should have just kept going on my bearing. It wouldn't have been a disaster if I had missed slightly to the left, as it would have been obvious.

#14: More or less a compass bearing to the trail, but trying to aim off to the left. But once I crossed the stream, I headed back to the right because I sensed I had drifted too far to the left. Came out on the trail almost right at the control, although I headed into the vegetation a little (like 15 m) to the right, causing me to deal with some fairly thick stuff (although only briefly).

#15: Headed N to the indistinct trail (which was actually quite distinct), then out to the road, N on the road, cut in a little too early but no major lost time.

Saturday Aug 6, 2011 #

10 AM

Orienteering 1:01:13 [4] *** 3.28 mi (18:41 / mi) +411ft 16:42 / mi
spiked:11/14c shoes: Montrail Mt Masochist Mar 2011

Green Y Middle at Sprague Brook Park. As seems to be my usual, I had two bad controls, although bad controls at this venue are nowhere near as bad as bad controls at Happy Valley. I think I lost 3 minutes on #5 and 5 minutes on #10. Lost a little bit on #9 from a non-optimum "micro" route choice (I knew where to go, I just went further left than I needed to).

On #10, I knew I had to descend a very steep bank, and for some reason, I headed straight down the bank, instead of angling on a compass bearing right for the control, which both Stina and Peter D. assured me was a moderately easy way down. To make it worse, after going down the steep bank, grabbing for any little tree I could to prevent a free-fall, I attempted to re-group and figure out where to go next. I realized I didn't have the map in my possession! I looked back, and I saw that I had dropped it at the very top of the embankment. D'oh!! So I got to climb the nice steep 4-contour line slope, and have the adventure of descending again. By that time, I really didn't have a good idea where I was, and I went the wrong direction, finally got straightened out, but it still took a while to navigate to the control.

I think I finished around the middle of everyone doing Green Y, but near the bottom of my age group.
2 PM

Running warm up/down 6:45 [1] 0.69 mi (9:44 / mi) +59ft 9:00 / mi
shoes: Asics GT-2130 Trail

Warmup before the Sprint.

Orienteering 15:38 [5] ** 1.54 mi (10:09 / mi) +65ft 9:46 / mi
spiked:17/17c shoes: Asics GT-2130 Trail

Sprint 2 at Sprague Brook. For once, I didn't mess up, but the orienteering was pretty easy. I had a few micro-route choice bobbles that might have cost 5-10 seconds each, but the AP split analysis said I had no lost time, which is certainly a first. I was running pretty hard the whole way, except I backed off just a bit on some of the middle controls (3, 5, 6, 8) that, while not particular hard, were potential screw-ups if I was paying no attention at all.

If I were to re-run the course, I don't think I could do more than 30 seconds or so faster, in my current state of conditioning, anyway.

I think I may have won my age group, which is another first. I was something like 16th out of 70 people on the course.

Still, I was a good 3 minutes behind PG. On the one hand, that's the closest I've ever been to him percentage wise, so that's good (but having very easy orienteering sure helps). On the other hand, it was humbling to run a clean race, and push about as hard as I could, but be about 25% slower than him. Still, I'm pretty happy with the result.

Friday Aug 5, 2011 #

3 PM

Orienteering (Map puzzle gaming) 1:25:30 [1] 2.68 mi (31:51 / mi) +271ft 29:04 / mi

Tried the rec trail-O course at Highland Park. What can I say except I suck as bad at trail-O as I do at real orienteering! 17 controls; 6 correct answers. Not much better than I'd expect by chance alone.

Orienteering (Map puzzle gaming) 26:55 [1] 1.03 mi (26:09 / mi) +46ft 25:06 / mi

Checking out just a few of the many controls that I got wrong in the trail-O rec course, to see if I could see the error of my ways. In a few cases, I did, but only from an (illegal during competition) off-trail examination of the flags. Speaking of which, I spotted a couple of people, one of whom is a real mainstay in our club, blatantly violating the no-off-trail-travel rule. I won't mentioned any names, but they know who they are ... :) (Note that they were also in the rec division and not the US championship division, so the import of those rule violations is non-existent.)

Thursday Aug 4, 2011 #

12 PM

Course setting 51:57 [2] 2.08 mi (24:55 / mi) +191ft 22:56 / mi
shoes: Montrail Mt Masochist Mar 2011

Setting out controls for the Webster sprint and training exercises. A bit of confusion/issues which led to running a bit closer to deadline than we would have liked, but we got them all out, on time, and correctly, thanks to help from Stina, Linda, Rob S., and Bob B.

Orienteering 8:26 [5] 0.91 mi (9:14 / mi) +53ft 8:45 / mi
shoes: Montrail Mt Masochist Mar 2011

Mass start drill #1. I think I had map A1. While the orienteering was pretty easy, thus it wasn't that hard to not be too distracted by orienteers all over the place going in every which direction, I still thought the drill was useful. Hopefully when the navigation is a little tougher, I'll be less flustered from having people around me, having shown it's possible to stay focused in a pretty big crowd of people.

Plus it seemed like decent general Sprint training -- it was short enough that I could actually run pretty hard (note that in my case, running hard doesn't mean running all that fast) for the whole course, and could read the map and navigate on the run due to the fairly easy part of the park we were in.

Also, the head to head nature of the drill encouraged me to push myself a lot harder than when I'm running on my own. I was going back and forth a bit with Soupbone (a few years younger than I am, from Wisconsin), and knowing he was right behind me the last couple of controls gave me motivation to push pretty hard.

Orienteering 8:31 [5] 0.89 mi (9:34 / mi) +93ft 8:43 / mi
shoes: Montrail Mt Masochist Mar 2011

Mass start drill #2. Really feeling the effects of having run hard in the previous drill. Wound up, again, on the same course as Soupbone, but this time, he was ahead of me all the way and I could tell I wasn't going to catch him. He beat me by around 15 seconds. There was a long run in across the field from the footbridge, and I absolutely had no kick left in me.

Orienteering 8:28 [5] 0.87 mi (9:43 / mi) +52ft 9:12 / mi
shoes: Montrail Mt Masochist Mar 2011

Mass Start drill #3. Felt slower still. But still good practice.

Wednesday Aug 3, 2011 #

Orienteering (Control retrieval) 20:00 [3] ** 0.8 mi (25:01 / mi)

Picking up controls from Stina's O course that she set from Stewart Lodge at Mendon. Congratulations to trailsnail for winning the event!

Tuesday Aug 2, 2011 #

3 PM

Orienteering (Sprint) 22:39 [4] 1.8 mi (12:35 / mi) +264ft 11:03 / mi
spiked:10/11c shoes: New Balance MT461GO

Sprint at Durand. No major bobbles; speed mostly limited by lack of good endurance. Finished 19th out of 58 (wish I could have done remotely that well at the US championships at Happy Valley this past weekend .... Guess the difference is that I do OK at relatively easy orienteering but I kind of fall apart when it becomes technical!).

My one non-spiked control was, of all things, the finish control. For some reason, I was expecting it to be on the east side of the shelter, since that's the direction that we were approaching the shelter from. In spite of the map showing clearly that it was on the north side of the shelter. Probably lost 10 seconds in my confusion.

Orienteering (Speed string-O) 2:03 [5] * 0.11 mi (18:38 / mi) +1ft 18:29 / mi
spiked:30/30c shoes: New Balance MT461GO

String-O. 30 controls in about 180 meters.

The GPS track is one I did while walking the course at the end. The distance is from Stina's GPS, as she had hers reading every second and is presumably more accurate than mine (on smart read or something like that). See Stina's log for a much better track (done while we were both walking the course at the same time); she hit "lap" at each control, so you can better see where the controls were placed.

This was my first run was 2:03, which was pretty poor (bottom third of the standings; way behind the leader who did it in 1:22).

Despite the short time and distance, it was actually a very intense workout.
4 PM

Orienteering (Speed string-O) 1:49 [5] * 0.11 mi (16:31 / mi)
spiked:30/30c shoes: New Balance MT461GO

My second run of the string-O. I took 14 seconds off of my time, nearly a half a second per control. I was still pretty far down in the standings, but slightly more respectable (maybe almost to the middle of the pack).

My biggest improvements were on the following controls:

2: 4 seconds vs 6 seconds (33% improvement!)
3: 1 second vs 2 seconds (50% improvement!)
12: 3 seconds vs 5 seconds (40% improvement)
16: 2 seconds vs 3 seconds
21: 4 seconds vs 6 seconds

On the other hand, there were a couple of controls where I was a second slower on the second run -- not sure what the excuse is for those.

I was a bit disappointed that I wasn't able to shave any time off of the long leg of the course, control 25 (7 seconds each run). I guess I need to work more on my endurance.

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