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Training Log Archive: AliC

In the 7 days ending Aug 3, 2015:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Orienteering5 1:51:39 11.71(9:32) 18.84(5:55) 21414c
  Running7 1:27:38 9.38(9:21) 15.09(5:48) 251
  Drills2 4:55 0.2 0.32
  Total8 3:24:12 21.29 34.26 46514c

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Monday Aug 3, 2015 #

Running 5:00 [1] 0.4 mi (12:30 / mi)

Orienteering race 37:23 [2] 3.8 km (9:50 / km) +140m 8:18 / km
14c

Training day - Strathfarrar

After sorting out an entry to W20S, got to my start far to early, but got to chat with Mary Nixon for a bit to pass the time. Lots of juniors heading out on their courses too. I was doing the course just for a chance to switch it up to thinking in a woods-orienteering manner. Both just what you’re using on the map and the scale is so different from sprinting. But I think if a bit of the sprint mindset may be kept about fiestiness and making sure, easy executable descisions it would be good...


Anyways, here’s thoughts on the course:
1 - A bit confused by the overprinted red fence, which was told to be imaginary in the meet notes. Because there was also a black fence underneath and it was there in reality. Ran low and then up the streamy reentrant to the control. Was lower than I thought I would have been.
2 - First through the mandatory crossing (many were crossing where the fence was low earlier on, tsk tsk), then out into the openess of heathery marshy stuff. Stayed high for a bit, ran the right direction, picked out the hill with actual green marked on it. Wasn’t 100% with my compass, but then picked out the distinct boulder in a saddle and made myself run on the proper bearing and then everything made sense.
3 - Compass to go right direction, yep, there’s a saddle between two hills, pass between them and control was easily visible.
4 - Compass to go right direction, right of first hill, then onto the bigger hill, through little reentrant, between form line hills and dropped into the reentrant.
5 - Went pretty straight, but a bit too far left at the end, should have just climbed that last hill along with the first two. One of the mashes on the way there was pretty tough to get through with the bog heather. Now I notice that it actually has solid marsh lines instead of broken ones.
6 - Used the stream, but maybe should have just gone along it for the first bit and then headed up that reentrant.
7 - A choice of how to go to get to the mandatory crossing. I went through the woods, avoiding climb (rest day!) and starting to check out how the woods were mapped. First dark green was downed trees and would have been very slow to get through. Medium green had a path through it and wasn’t so bad at all. Yellow bits were grassy and distinct. After crossing, went down stream to 7.
8 - Out to trail on diagnol, then off it to pass between the two hills to the N and then compass and pace counting to the cliff. Stopped just short before seeing it. Using edge of the medium green probably possible for this one.
9 - Dense green lines were downed trees here. Could get through, but slowish. Saw the cliff in the middle of them (with a control on it). My control on the top of a hill was very visible.
10 - Hmph, lots of green woods on the way, I didn’t feel like fighting uphill through it, so I took the trail to a white ride, then contoured through medium green (not too bad), until another white ride, which I followed down pretty much to the control. Slight issue of being at the top of the cliff when the control was at the bottom.
11 - On bearing, went straight through the dark green - just dense pines, not impossible to go through. Faster than downed tree dark green. Came out in yellow, followed that, then on a N bearing. Hesitated at some earlier cliff-like things.
12 - Hadn’t read ahead what to do next, but then saw the white ride and opted for that. Was quite easy to follow once you knew it was there and were looking for it, but not so much otherwise. Slight hesitation since control was to side of spur and not right on it, like I’m more used to.
13 - Through the mandatory crossing, and then probably should have just followed the tracks immediately into the bracken, but I stayed on the path for a slightly longer but braken-less route.
14 - Easy last control at end of the tape in the field.

Sunday Aug 2, 2015 #

Running 7:30 [1] 0.8 mi (9:23 / mi)

Drills 2:30 [1]

Running 5:00 [1] 0.8 km (6:15 / km)

Orienteering race 15:17 [5] 3.8 km (4:01 / km) +25m 3:54 / km

Sprint Final, Forres East

Wahoo, a good sprint final!!! =) Not perfect by any means - I've now seen the splits (thanks Ian W!) and I know a messed up and lost 20s to #2. After that, I knew I didn’t have anything to lose, so just ran all out, at the limit of the map making any sense at all. Looking at the map now, interesting to consider the route choices I didn’t take to 7 and to 8, but neither look hugely different to me. My splits are 15th and 10th to those controls, so not bad, perhaps I even had the better route choice, especially to 8.

I went in with the mantra of being totally sure to #1 again, but also wanted to bring more speed than I felt like I did to the quali. Went fine to #1 and then lost contact for a split second to #2, which made me unsure which passaged I’d gone down and then wasn’t prepared for wall choice when I arrived to the open courtyard area where both 2 and 5 were. Stopped, was confused, went to 5, saw what number it was, went back to 2. Too much time to lose on a sprint!

I knew I had to make up time after that, and next was heading to an area I’d scouted out using Google Streetview in the morning - just makes it comfy-er to know what the funny shaped buildings will look like (apartment buildings). Then did well back to 5, and made ok choices to 6-7-8, although I really would like to know if mine were optimal.

To 10 I took a route that I knew I could take more full speed, not having to count little passages off the high street - instead I took the road and a staircase into the behind-high-street open area. To 11 I saw I could continue straight and again not need to choose and off-of-high street passage, but instead needed to go through a gate that was definitely private on a normal day. Saw the shorter route to 12 and then did one fake out going left around the school before realizing where the gate was mean I should go right, so a second or two lost there.

Then, the garden bit. A bit lower speed into the sunken garden, I had misplaced myself on the map slightly heading in, hence timidness. (I though I was further north already along the sunken garden when I was actually next to the bowling green when I went over the fence.

Then time to be speedy and run fast through the open! I could hear the announcer saying that Rahel Freiderich, who started behind me had the currently fastest time. I could tell she had gained on me from seeing her now and again, so I figured that’s not bad if I’m within a minute of the leader, time to push hard and not let her catch me! So did that. Probably lost some time on the 18-19 leg, not picking a good way around some of the barrier features.

So, totally totally happy with the result of 15th. My and the USA’s best individual result at WOC. Skipping that mistake at 2 would have been wonderful, but in this sport there are always what-ifs. Motivating to keep training and trying to be better at this sprinting stuff!!

Wonderful to have a crowd cheering around the course and at the end! Especially having a good race when my parents are here spectating is nice.

Saturday Aug 1, 2015 #

4 PM

Running 3:40 [1] 0.38 mi (9:39 / mi) +3m 9:25 / mi

Orienteering 16:06 [3] 2.05 mi (7:51 / mi)

Sprint Training at Elgin

I missed out that Forres wasn’t totally embargoed - you apparently could walk around it without a map and not running the days leading up to WOC. We as a team should remember that this sort of more open embargo might be in operation for future WOCs!

Anyways, to try to get as familiar as possible with picking out the narrow passageways that are likely to be in operation tomorrow, I headed to the nearby town of Elgin. Elgin is the next town after Forres on the A96 and has a similar high street and lucikly Alison Campbell ran the British Test Sprint there on 12 July and had a map. So Sandra drove me out for this little training. Really nice to have gotten in!

1) Saw immediately that I needed second set of passageways, opted for the second so fewer turns to take.
2) Had to count to the 3rd small passage after the wider open passage with a hedge alongside it.
3) Ug, first mistake! Was trying to read too far ahead, and missed the first turn into the parking lot to get to 3. Looked up, confused about the parking lot, when really it was *exactly* what I was looking for. Need to look ahead, but really only when safe.
4) Awkward punching where a lady with her shopping exactly was, this won’t be a feature tomorrow at least.
5) Bah! Went left on the first road, but then was surprised when it T’d out - had started reading that I was going from 3->2 instead of 4->5. Maybe 3 seconds to figure out, slowed the pace down quite a bit. Easy to find the passage to 5 with my route though.
6) Easy, alongside the big church in the open - part of the map flip over.
7) A bit strange because I didn’t realize the start wasn’t the same as control 6 on the other side for a little bit. Then I realized it was on a statue and went down second passage on the left. Correctly read control outside of the fence.
8) Went left, I think choices right and left about equal. But didn’t have my exit well past.
9) Should have left and gone on W side of fence, went around E instead. Had to look a second time when I encountered the first building nook (control was on the second.)
10) Didn’t plan in advance, should have gone around first W and done a route fully left of the line, because that was the only good access to 10. I exited to the S and then needed to zig north of the line anyways. At least 10s route choice error. On long routes, if I haven’t planned ahead, may just need to stop for a second or two.
11) Good, picked passage using relation to yellow on other side of road.
12-13) Easy on trees.
14) Good passage selection, based on building on the other side of the road. But then looked too early for the control, when the passage widened the first time instead of the second.
15) Picking way out to the road, then went to the outside, seemed faster. Quite hard to read the map around 16, was trying to read ahead.
16) Was super confused coming into the circle where the wall would be exactly (very tiny bit of wall!), but then it was there and clear and went to the proper side of it.
17) Easy, just to set up for bridge
18) Trees, easy based on fence of construction.
19) Saw that I needed to be inside the hedge, that was the major challenge.
20) Easy.
21) Easy once I was there.

Orienteering 11:07 [1] 1.03 mi (10:51 / mi)

Friday Jul 31, 2015 #

10 AM

Running 2:36 [1] 0.27 mi (9:40 / mi) +3m 9:20 / mi

Orienteering 18:06 [2] 1.8 mi (10:04 / mi) +39m 9:26 / mi

5 PM

Running 7:29 [1] 0.97 mi (7:41 / mi) +3m 7:37 / mi

Drills 2:25 [1] 0.2 mi (12:09 / mi)

6 PM

Orienteering race 13:40 [4] 3.4 km (4:01 / km) +10m 3:58 / km

Sprint Quali @ Forres West

Woo, 6th! So made it through. But nearly a minute behind the leader of my heat, so room for improvement for sure.

I ran how I wanted to. Fully focused, keeping contact with the map. The course basically was two different zones of detailed housing estates where you really needed to stay in contact, but there weren't many traps, so little punishment for not planning ahead. To be honest, I wasn't great at planning ahead, mostly seeing the direction I needed to leave so I could flow through controls (SI Air!).

In between the two zones of housing estates was a big route choice with a left-middle-right route choice. The middle route choice featured temporary hay bale stair cases over otherwise uncrossable walls. I saw the left choice and the right choice, but not the middle. So I started on the right choice, but then I saw other women going over the hay bales, panicked, turned around to go back to them and then executed the middle choice. Not fast. I definitely lost time on that turn-around maneouver and it turns out the right hand choice was course-setters preference anyways. Will have to look at splits to see how much it cost!

Sprint Quali Play-by-Play

To the start with Portugal and Switzerland. No extreme nerves, didn’t have that over-anxious twitchiness. Noted that we’d be heading S to the start triangle from the release, so was ready to look for start in SE corner of map and then orient immediately.

1) Calm, just cruising behind Portugal and Switzerland until they went ways I didn’t want to go. Comparing with Greg, he had a slightly smoother more southerly arc than I did.
2) A choice to use the passages to the left of the line or the wider opening to the right. I chose the passages because it looked a little more direct and I could flow through 2 to 3 easily. A car nestled very close to a wall impeded progress at one point.
3) Easy, planned to flow through.
4) Left route to correct passage to series of open awkward courtyards. Used the same way as I left them to #1, because I recognized it and it helped flow through 4.
5) Went left and then ducked in first passage to sweep by it and leave by the other. Greg again had a better arc heading right into the car park that the control was in.
6) Easy, flowed through.
7) Picked my way out of the housing estate and found the right passage (an earlier one I glanced at didn’t go through, happy to know it didn’t).
8) Route choice! I was definitely affected by seeing other runners coming at me as I went into 7. It made it easier to make the choice to go wide right, which I saw definitely went through. I was executing that route when eep! I saw other runners in a field. Look at map again- oh! There are hay bales, yep you can go that way. Does it look ok? Yes. Change mind turn around, lose time. Bah. Still don’t have splits, so unsure how much it cost me.
9) Chasing down Niamh, helpful.
10) Passage-road-passage, made the call to turn around and go the way I came to 11. (Gotta make these decisions early with SI Air!)
11) Retraced, cut right and through 11.
12) Right of the line, diagnoling through fields and parking lots as much as possible. Saw the next route choice to 13, liked the look of going left and it let be flow through 12.
13) Ooh, heading into spectatorness! Told myself to just keep reading the map as much as I needed to, ignore how it looks. Read the fences just fine for a good route to 13.
14) Right of fence route.
15) Just heading in, checked the code anyways to make totally sure.
Finish) Strong, but not a level that would cook my legs, I felt like I’d had a good enough race to make it without contesting every last second. Luckily was true!

Wednesday Jul 29, 2015 #

8 AM

Running 26:21 [1] 2.81 mi (9:23 / mi) +118m 8:18 / mi

And another little get-used-to-this-timezone joggeroo with Tom. The other direction on the road this time. Found a more minor road after a mile this time, but no loop. =(

Legs feel not fast yet, but not terrible either. Getting there. Yesterday we kayaked and visited a castle. So fun to see all these people and hang out after many years!

Tuesday Jul 28, 2015 #

11 AM

Running 30:02 [1] 3.25 mi (9:15 / mi) +124m 8:16 / mi

Made it to England! Arrived, picked up by one of my astrophysics PhD buddies, whisked away to Devon where it was another astrophysicist's extended Hen Do week. Devon has crazy hedges.

Tom and I woke up late, but still earlier than most (we declined to head out to the club after dinner) and had a nice cooked breakfast before heading out for a jog around the countryside. Happy to find a footpath up a hill to get off of the narrow road with traffic! Tom was a bit perturbed when the footpath went through a field being actively grazed by cows and sheep.

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