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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: Rosstopher

In the 7 days ending May 16, 2010:

activity # timemileskm+m
  orienteering4 3:22:39 13.27 21.36 850
  biking2 2:40:00 32.75(4:53) 52.7(3:02)
  Road run2 1:48:09 11.51(9:24) 18.52(5:50)
  Track1 44:44 6.07(7:22) 9.77(4:35)
  Total7 8:35:32 63.6 102.36 850

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Sunday May 16, 2010 #

10 AM

orienteering race 2:03:55 [5] 12.7 km (9:45 / km) +650m 7:46 / km

I generally love long races, and was looking forward to getting a good result on this race, clinching my spot and having a blast. Also racing against Mr. Pithers, since I don't always get a chance to compare myself to him.

Long map.

This was a long race, and I don't want to dwell on the bad parts. Suffice it to say that I was doing okay except for those few times when I wasn't.

Having a mistake early on in the race just makes you tired for the rest of the course. And I was pushing really hard so I was tired and angry and making mistakes.

started out quite well, found the corridor of white on the way up to 1, fought thru some green on the way to the rocky reentrant on 2. Saw Sam and Corinne on 3 and blazed down the hill to 4. Then here is where I really blew it, I discarded the rightmost route choice on 5 because the green looked awful, and instead thought that over the top or left would work better. Left had more white woods and I didn't have to find the beginning of the windy trail so I cruised left, and hopped off the trail at the veg edge. I was starting to worry that I had chosen the wrong route choice (too far from the line) and I was eager to regain the top of the ridge and the trail and then come down the spur directly to the control. I thought I was at one bend in the trail and cut into the woods, was reassured to catch Jordan and Brendan but then could not find the cliff or the flag or anything.

time passes

I finally do manage to reset my brain and come down the trial and off the proper cliff to find the flag.

6 I was careful on my line, and 7 I read very carefully across the plateaus. on 8 I thought I was on a good line but missed to the right, saw the boulder in the clearing, just past the reentrant, then did a loop back to try to find the top of the reentrant. Down the hill to 9, drifting right. See Sergei hiding behind a tree, but don't lose too much time finding the boulder. Never looked far enough off the line on this route choice. Saw a corridor of white that I wanted to follow, didn't think the hill at the end would be too bad. Missed the corridor of white which did not improve my mood and came up over the hill. Running really hard as I come down the other side. Read the two massive boulders and as I near the circle the two parallel cliffs. Still get mixed up and drop too far to the boulder at the stream, this is where Patrick catches me. I push ahead to 11, reading things just fine, slow up the hill to 12, but not pulled off my plan when Patrick goes right of the green on the way to the bare rock. Feeling exhausted pushing against Patrick at this point, decide that he is too far left on 13, but really I am too far right. See Joe leaving the flag. I stop to tie my shoe and let Patrick leave so that I can run on my own, worried about what will happen if I thrown myself at each control like that last one... sloppy sloppy.

I drifted way high on 14 according to the Garmin. Which would explain my slow time. Not aware during the race how bad it was. (I'd already been out for 70 minutes and was showing signs of being tired) I had a good plan and good route to 15, though there was a wobble at the end in the circle. My butterfly puts me out in a dogleg north and then over to a hilltop, I catch and pass Nikolai here, I liked that big reentrant so I follow it to 17 too, go to a reentrant just past the flag because I had oversimplified so that I was only looking for the farthest reentrant and this little guy wasn't really mapped. 18 and back to the butterfly. then on 20 I drift too far left but realize it, and on the way to 21 I stop and retie the shoe again (my tape was ripped off several times over as I played in the green). 22 i'm feeling slow and back to the butterfly. I stand there quite a while, drinking and finishing off my Gu as I gather strength to climb back up the hill. spike 24, but then get very messed up on 25. I cross the main trail at a stream crossing which should have saved me but instead I thought I was too far to the left and so I cut right up the hill until I hit the trail past 14. Figure it out quickly (depressed enough to believe I'd made such a big mistake this time) and climb up the cliffs to the flag. Road to 26 is the only thing that makes sense, and then carefully up to 27, and down through the campground to 28 and the finish.

Many lessons to be learned. I should learn to avoid the hard route choices (to 5 and to 10 I took routes that only would reward strong legs and fast running with quite a lot of risk) and instead work on really killing an easy route. Plenty more not to be said about the debacle around 5 too. I am happy to believe that it was a fluke ( a horrendous fluke, but that's it) and move on to the next workout, the next training, the next race.

Saturday May 15, 2010 #

11 AM

orienteering 37:03 [5] 4.8 km (7:43 / km) +200m 6:23 / km

So, I had high expectations for myself going into this race. I raced hard, but this course and this terrain were hard for me. This type of low visibility low runnability racing really tests my skills.

Middle map. Garmin had discharged fully somehow so route is just drawn in.

I started off quite well moving very quickly and with great confidence. Sailed through to 4. Getting very huffy about how the green was impeding progress the entire way but not quite losing my cool or focus. On the way to 5 I broke out through the green on to the trail and ran with the intention of taking a left onto the indistinct trail and from there into the control. As I pounded up the trail I lost faith that I would be able to see the indistinct trail, then I started to worry that maybe I'd already passed it. At quick as blinking I decided to cut into the woods and run along the reentrant thus hedging by bets... If I was still too early I'd be able to run up the reentrant and head to the small hilltop... if just past then I would need to relocate off the swamp. I was too early, but happily heading towards the feature when I saw a big swamp that I didn't expect (I guess it's actually on the map, just obscured by the circle). I hesitated quite a bit, not wanting to approach the swamp (thinking it the swamp farther on) but not knowing how to procede. after several seconds I notice the indistinct trail and finally pressed on the rest of the way. Shaken but not too perturbed actually.

I see that 6 is the kind of control that I love to make mistakes on, so I intentionally aim high, so that I can read stuff along the top of the hill and make my way down. come basically right through control 12, but still miss the cliff to the left. Drop a few contours too low, but correct quickly. Now I'm definitely flustered and I go and compound my troubles by not climbing high enough on 7 and hitting a lower boulder near the stream and having to bounce back. 8 went okay but then on 9, I again read the swamps wrong and was checking the west side of a swamp that wasn't mapped. All the controls were so well hidden that I spend a really long time combing the side of the swamp to make sure that I wasn't just overlooking it. 10 I stayed low (to me it looked just like the control on the West Point Middle distance race that I bombed and I wasn't going to do that again). On 11 I was really picking up speed in the nice runnable woods and cornered the swamp with my eyes searching for the closest boulder cluster. The boulders I was looking for were behind a little hill though so I instead ran to the set farther on. Did a poor job of anticipating the contours on that one.

12 I did well, having been there already, on 13 I was perhaps too cautious swinging way right to stay in the reentrant. The control was at the very end of the cliff and I was starting to get worried when I didn't see a flag as I ran the entire length. For 14 I climbed early (going right) because I wanted a chance to recover after doing the hard climb. I figured that I would be stupid with oxygen deprivation when I got to the top but that I could figure things out as I approached the contol if I went from the right. This worked out okay, though I did overshoot just a tiny bit. I was running faster in the white woods again, and 15 - 18 seemed to go okay. I was blazing down the stony ground towards 19 but then hadn't been reading enough on the way in to be confident about which boulder the flag was behind. I thought I was at the one closest to the swamp, but didn't see a flag. Just then I saw Angelica way off to my right appear from behind a boulder. I sprint over thinking that it must be my control, only to discover that there wasn't anything there. I relocate then quite easily and finished the rest of the course.

Too many mistakes to be truly satisfied, but I think I had plenty of company in that regard. Impressed that Eric was able to stay cool and run a mostly clean race. Nate also ran really well. It was a really tough course and even with other people out there in the woods at the same time, racing at that speed is a good indication of what he's going to accomplish this summer at JWOC and in the years to come.
3 PM

orienteering race 11:41 [5] 2.4 mi (4:52 / mi)

Second race of the day, and I had a late start so I had lots of time to scope out the venue. Ended up giving me some trouble, actually, makes me wish that I hadn't bothered with the spectating.

Sprint map.

Felt great out of the gate, spiked 1, quite good to 2, clean to 3... now I had seen all the rest of the runners punch 4 and I kind of expected to recognize the bare rock cliff as I ran at it from the top. I didn't recognize it though, and then I was momentarily lost trying to figure out where in the field I was. I knew I had to drop down to parking lot level so I plunged over the edge and then had to hack through green to get to the flag. oops, should have been an easy control, but I didn't navigate....

5 you could see from the parking lot. on 6 I lost a few seconds when I came around the boulder and didn't immediately see the flag. I started to cast around looking for another huge rock, but then finally saw the flag just sitting there. trail to 7 and I finally calmed down again. a little shaky to 8, getting too far right. Then overly cautious to 9 (you could see it from a long ways away). I stayed high on 10 which I was pleased with, and then came down past the green to 11. 12 I was a little to the right on, but corrected when I realized that I was too far from the building. I caught Andrew at 13 and he was going straight to 14 which made it seem like a good idea. I cruised along behind him (momentarily worried by the missing stone wall) and crossed the road then the line of vegetation and then down to the tree. Lost a few seconds on some wonkily mapped green in the circle at 15. Saw a control down by the lake but assumed it was the women's flag. Didn't see mine though so I went to investigate and it turned out to be mine. up to the trail to 16, around the hill to 17 (Andrew still ahead, moving really well) I went a bit straighter to 18 just following the fence. Then was moving too fast so I shot right past the opening in the fence down to the beach. This was another place where I had thought I knew where the course was going to go. I had seen Sam finishing by cutting left around the fence. By the time I saw the proper route I was well past, which cost me another 15 seconds or so.

Very impressed with Mr. Pithers on this one, he was very clean and quite fast. about 2 seconds faster per split. I'd like to get to that level in my sprints.

Friday May 14, 2010 #


No running today. Instead I took the shuttle to work.

My friends at work had a planned/surprise pot luck lunch for me today. We all brought food, but the surprise was that they had asked Sam what my favorite foods were, and so they all brought things that were specifically designed for me. Chocolate Soy Milk, avocado salad, chicken coconut green curry, pistachios, curried lamb, buffalo wings and maple bacon cupcakes. Also Liz got me some Pain de Yuca, which reminded me very strongly of traveling in Galapagos and HuiJuan got me some truly decadent chocolate.

Feeling very loved right now :) Good vibes prepping for the weekend.

Thursday May 13, 2010 #

biking 20:00 [2] 4.0 mi (5:00 / mi)

I had designed the park-o already when I got home on Wednesday night, but then I needed to wrestle with OCAD still a bit in the morning to get the maps sorted. stopped at Kinko's on the way in and today they were able to print them for me right away. Score :) Kinko's has nice prints that are pretty cheap and, unlike my own printer, they give me a receipt so that I can be reimbursed.

biking 20:00 [2] 4.0 mi (5:00 / mi)

Biking down to Franklin Park. I always get lost going there. Luckily I remembered getting lost last time, and so I was able to reorient myself quickly.

orienteering 30:00 [2]

Split the flags with Sam and I set the west side, bulky enough that I took two trips for my nine controls. Then Sam and I went out to double check a couple of spots where the map was really shaky (and we did our best, but the area has changed since it was mapped).

Then I went out on the beginner course with Vadim's daughter, Marina. Marina is in 11th grade and a ballroom dancer turned track sprinter. She wasn't used to running for 2.3 k all at once, but she was pretty positive the whole time considering the fact that I bet Vadim twisted her arm to get her to try it at all!

Since it was her first course and I was picking up vibes that she wasn't all that into it ( at least at first) I made sure that we didn't have any mistakes and I made all of the navigation choices very simple. I'm not sure this is the best strategy for getting someone to learn the sport, but empirically I think that she got more and more into it as we proceeded and I don't think she would have been as happy if I'd waited and watched as she made a lot of mistakes.

Afterward, I eyed the pretty new Inov8 shoes (demos only of the oRocs, the left foot of the 280s look sweet though) and think that I'm going to buy a pair of F lites as my everyday running shoe.

Finally, went and picked up the east section of flags and then the center section.

Wednesday May 12, 2010 #

biking 55:00 [2] 12.0 mi (4:35 / mi)

Sigh, best laid plans of mice and men. I biked over to Sam's school to drop off a missing shoe and then in to work. Running very late by the time I got to the lab.

biking 25:00 [3] 4.75 mi (5:16 / mi)

biking from work over to Dan and Anna's new apartment. Stayed late at work so arrived unfashionably ages past when I should have. Very grown up looking house though :)

Then they fed me and we played a card game called Flinch that Dan had salvaged from his Grandmother's house. Sam says it's basically the same as Skip-bo.

biking 40:00 [2] 8.0 mi (5:00 / mi)

Biking home. Anna decided it was bedtime. I stopped on one further errand on the way home and returned a scarf that had been left at our house.

Tuesday May 11, 2010 #

6 PM

Road run 21:31 [2] 1.94 mi (11:05 / mi)

heading over to the track after a long day at work. stopped by a bike shop to get some more patches and a spare tube.

Track 44:44 intensity: (23:33 @2) + (21:11 @5) 6.07 mi (7:22 / mi)

Track workout was a "modified death spiral" which is to say 1600 @8k, 1200 @8k, 800 @5k, 1200@5k, 1600@5k. with 400 recovery after the first mile and 200 after the other pieces.

felt really tired going in.... need to sleep more. Hit my 8k pace for the mile and 1200 easily this week when running with other people, and was close to my 5k pace for the 800 too. It was getting windy and I was fading pretty hard so my 5k pace never really showed up.

nice workout, great group of runners.


Road run 36:00 [2] 4.37 mi (8:14 / mi)

heading home. Stopped to chat with a friend from work, then to get quarters as I passed a laundromat, then finally at the grocery store to buy 6 boxes of cereal and a gallon of skim milk. mmmm. :) ironic considering Mindsweeper's thread about me skipping breakfast in the morning. nope, for me cereal is an anytime food, but I don't like running after just eating. I also don't like waking up early enough to eat and then wait before running. I have thus developed a habit of not eating in the morning, and so I'm usually not really hungry until about noon.

Monday May 10, 2010 #

6 PM

Road run (Hills) 50:38 intensity: (37:48 @2) + (12:50 @5) 5.2 mi (9:44 / mi)

A busy day in the lab, which meant that I got out the door for my hills just before 7pm. Feeling a bit tired and hungry, but as I was running over to the bottom of the hill my legs felt great. I thought that I would have speedy splits today for sure. However, on the climb, things were much harder... didn't have a quick turn-over and the intervals just felt like a chug chug chug up the hill. Didn't let it get me down, as it is likely a result of a tough run on Sunday.

Only did six because it was late and I was tired and cold and I didn't want to trash myself completely before tomorrow's track workout. Came home and Sam had already made dinner. Excellent.


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