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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: iansmith

In the 7 days ending Jun 7, 2010:

activity # timemileskm+mload
  Running5 3:34:18 24.82(8:38) 39.94(5:22) 3260.4
  Orienteering2 1:16:24 8.37(9:08) 13.47(5:40) 19238c103.1
  Strength training1 20:0010.0
  Total7 5:10:42 33.19 53.42 22438c173.5
averages - sleep:8

» now

Monday Jun 7, 2010 #

8 PM

Running 18:29 [1] 3.36 km (5:30 / km)
shoes: 201003 Nike Lunarlite

Run to the MIT Track.

Running warm up/down 20:00 [2] 2.5 km (8:00 / km)
shoes: 201003 Nike Lunarlite

Warmup, strides, and drills with the posse.

Running race 18:56 [5] 5.0 km (3:47 / km)
shoes: 201003 Nike Lunarlite

A subset of the CSU posse met at the MIT Track for a 5k time trial; in attendance were Ross, Brendan, Clem, Dasha, Giovanni, Katia, and myself. I ran in running shorts and my track flats; I discarded my sleeveless top after the first mile. I also ran with Podrunner techno - the 172 bpm "Heaven's Gait" track; the techno really helped me keep my focus and keep driving forward. I think that for intensities like a time trial, an even faster cadence would be better - perhaps 176 bpm.

After a 20 minute run to the track, I joined everyone in some quick drills and 1 km of 100m strides/100m rest. I started the 5k about five seconds after everyone because I was struggling to get my headphones in my ears. I thought a reasonable goal was 18:45 - 90 second 400s throughout. I tend to start too fast, so I deliberately set a relaxed pace at the beginning. I ended up sticking to that pace and had considerable stamina at the end.

Brendan and Clem started at a good pace for me. I set about catching up to them, and I was even with them after the first kilometer. After the first mile, Brendan (who was leading) started slowing a bit, so I pulled ahead and tried to sustain my pace. I threw myself into the last 600, running slightly slower than Nate Lyons' recent 800 PR (for comparison).

While I was instantaneously exhausted after the run, in general I feel much better than I did after my 3k efforts. Either the distance is more suitable (unlikely, given that I prefer shorter distances), or I wasn't pushing hard enough. My right calf felt discomforted before the run; on a healthy leg, I'm quite confident I can run under 18:45. I think 18:30 is attainable given my current fitness, and I mean to run under 18:00 before the end of 2010. I plan to run another 5k before the end of June if anyone is interested in joining me.
10 PM

Running 15:23 [1] 2.88 km (5:21 / km)
shoes: 201003 Nike Lunarlite

After the time trial, Brendan and I went to the Desi Dhaba Indian Restaurant near Central Square. A hearty meal was very satisfying; we discussed various projects we're working on, the dynamics of O-club board, mapping circumstances, and IRAs. I then ran home while he biked to lab. I felt a bit out of place in a well furnished restaurant wearing flats, running shorts, and a sleeveless top.

Sunday Jun 6, 2010 #

11 AM

Orienteering 49:40 [4] 7.43 km (6:41 / km) +162m 6:01 / km
shoes: 201004 Inov8 X-Talon 212

NEOC C-meet at Nobscot Reservation, Sudbury MA Red course - 6.1 km advertised. While my run was reasonably quick (8 minutes back of Ross), I was not pleased with the quality of my orienteering. I struggled getting into the map and the beginning, and I relied too heavily on handrails rather than actually thinking like an orienteer. I was happy to break 50 minutes - a goal I set about halfway through the race.

While I am uninjured, my lower legs felt unspectacular and heavy. I think not think through my routes enough, notably at 3 - when I went left and unnecessarily punched through thick green. I failed to read ahead adequately, particularly on a course with few technical challenges. While I was clean and fast to six, I thought the control was set lower, on an unmapped boulder cluster. It was below the stone wall I used to attack.

I floundered on 7-8. I intended to use the stone wall junction just north of 8 as my attackpoint, so I went slightly left of the line, aiming to go up the reentrant and the hillside. However, I was pushed quite far to the left, eventually reaching the junction of the trail and NE-SW stone wall. I was confused for a time before I put things together; I estimate I lost about 90 seconds.

After the race, I was planning on going strawberry picking, but I had a discussion with Bob Dangel about my candidacy for the NEOC Board and the views of swing voters. After I finished, the strawberry posse had already departed. Had transportation not been a factor, I would have stayed and run a second course.

Next time: more visualization and concentration before the race, better planning during the race, and more frequent and better glances at my map.

Sometimes I feel like Lindsey Jacobellis.

Running warm up/down 10:00 [1] 2.0 km (5:00 / km)
shoes: 201004 Inov8 X-Talon 212

Saturday Jun 5, 2010 #

1 AM

Running 1:10:00 [1] 12.6 km (5:33 / km)

We retired from rock climbing for some boggle with Alex and Ed. After an eventful night (and Alex's victory), the T had concluded operations, so I ran home. Unfortunately, I didn't remember the most efficient route, so I traveled an extra 2 km. There was a light drizzle and some heat lightning to the north, which set a striking and powerful backdrop to the run. I ran through several inebriated and frolicking groups on Beacon St, but was fortunately unmolested. A short time after I returned, the heavens opened and a torrential, though brief, downpour struck Cambridge.

Friday Jun 4, 2010 #


Some people propose absolutely insane research projects, and some even crazier people volunteer for them.
8 PM

Strength training 20:00 [3]

Ross, Sam, Boris and Kat graciously invited people to attend their rock climbing plans in Dedham. The facility was about a kilometer from the Readville commuter rail stop. Sam and I lacked belaying experience, so an instructor named Ian gave his rehearsed lesson that reminded me of the tone of voice of flight attendants reciting safety procedures. It was quite amusing, and Sam and I were quickly prepared.

My technique is inefficient; I don't use my legs enough and my arm technique relies too much on brute strength rather than leverage, and I waste valuable strength in awkward positions. I successfully climbed several 5.6 climbs, and tried a few 5.8s. Ian had put Sam and I on a 5.10 to compel us to fall unexpectedly. I was fresh at the start, and made good progress. I think that I might have been able to reach the top, but there were some difficult problems ahead. At the end of the night, I had difficulty lifting my arms over my head, and my forearms were tight from gripping holds. Kat had the greatest stamina and technical skill out of our group. The experience was quite pleasant, and I mean to go climbing again sometime this summer.

Thursday Jun 3, 2010 #

6 PM

Orienteering 13:19 [5] 3.06 km (4:22 / km) +10m 4:17 / km
19c shoes: 201002 Asics T918N

The 8th CSU Park-O at Boston Common, set by Lori. She set an interesting course that made good use of what challenges exist at the Common. There were many changes of direction; while the orienteering is trivial, it's a decent and very conspicuous sprint location.

Conditions were extremely rainy, with a massive cloudburst just as I arrived. Several orienteers including Ali, Kat, and Alex ran during a torrential downpour. By the time I started, the rain had essentially stopped, though I was completely soaked and the ground was waterlogged. Because of the rain, I didn't warm up at all, and felt a bit out of sorts at the beginning. I ran in tights and my running shoes (which are actually trail runners); I think shorts and X-talons would have improved my performance somewhat.

Apart from some hesitation (15s) at control 8 (at which I had to hop over a bike), I had a fairly clean course and a solid run.

Orienteering 13:25 [5] 2.98 km (4:30 / km) +20m 4:21 / km
19c shoes: 201002 Asics T918N

As we waited around for everyone to finish, I decided to run the course again and get somewhat more bang for my buck out of the excursion. I accidentally stopped my watch instead of taking a split at control 17, but I restarted it just before 18. Accounting for this, I was only a few seconds slower on my second run - on which I made fewer errors (8 and 11). A gate SGB pointed out en route to 16 turned out to be locked; maybe he jumped the fence?

After the successful conclusion to the 2010 Park-O season, fifteen of us ordered and ate Taiwanese (Republic of Chinese) food at Alex's office and held a planning meeting for the summer. While I admire the ambition of planning two (or sometimes three) activities in a week, I doubt our hardy group will have the stamina to hold to the schedule. Just thinking about it makes me feel burned out. Nevertheless, we have many quality training sessions to anticipate, and we welcome anyone interested in joining us. During dinner, I secluded myself on a sofa after my chair was usurped twice and inadvertently suggested Brendan's joints don't move. It's good to preface remarks like that with context (e.g. 'do you sleep with contracted joints').

Tuesday Jun 1, 2010 #


I choose to write the following because I want to record my instantaneous thoughts. It is effectively public because I want to be understood and solicit feedback and observations from my friends and colleagues. I think that is one of the advantages of blogging - it enables exposition to a wide audience, even if that audience is small, uninterested, or unknown to the author.

On worldviews:
When I was a teenager, I formulated two axioms about how I wanted to live my life:

1. The primary objective I have in life is to understand the nature of life - a sufficient understanding of reality, an understanding of my relationship to other people, an inquiry into the existence of God (as many posit it) and my relationship to it. There are many questions to answer; I see my objective in life as answering those questions (in addition to living, caring for other people, and so on).

2. Everyone is faced with the challenge from (1). The conclusions we arrive at are personal; we do not have a robust way of identifying truth, and so it is a corollary of an underlying assumption about the value and equality of people that we each respect the conclusions others arrive at.

The cornerstone of the Christian faith is the Bible. The Bible is the set of axioms on which Christianity is built like a logical system. There is no other reliable source of knowledge - our own insights are too vague and weak to support Christianity. If the Bible is not true, it is impossible to assert what is true within the Christian worldview; it becomes nothing more than speculation. As I wrote in 2006:

If it [the Bible] is not true, then we Christians are pretty screwed up and lost. Otherwise, how can we have assurance that Jesus is the only way to God? That our salvation is based on faith in what Jesus did and not on how good we are? What can we know?

The Bible offers a theory to describe reality, much like quantum mechanics is a theory to describe the behavior of matter and energy. As with any theory, it is necessary that the theory be consistent with our own observations. When I was finishing high school, I accepted the Christian worldview for the following four reasons:

1. Much of the Bible's commentary on the human condition was consistent with my own experiences
2. There was corroborating evidence with the Bible - for example, the historical accounts from the Old Testament were consistent with archaeological findings in the Middle East, offering a basis of credibility.
3. The Bible itself seemed to offer much wisdom and insight into who we are. The conclusion and mandate that we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves seemed good to me.
4. The explanation of existence, of God, and of our relationship to it were satisfying.

I always qualified my acceptance of the Bible. For instance, I always concluded that Genesis was metaphorical, because the creationist hypothesis did not seem remotely consistent with what I observed. I also posited that some mandates in the Bible must be qualified as ceremonial or cultural law - for instance, almost everything in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, and many things from the New Testament, particularly with respect to women - as opposed to absolute or moral law. Certainly not every action falls into the domain of a moral choice. But the existence of an absolute morality resonated with me and seemed consistent with my own experience.

Adopting the Christian worldview gave me more questions than answers. I struggled with the notion of Divine Foreknowledge - what is the nature of God's omniscience? Does it have a probabilistic knowledge of the future, i.e. knowing every quantum state? Does it have complete knowledge of all actions and events? Or, in the extreme (Calvinist) view, does it know everything because it designed events to come to pass? I have mused on that question for the past eight years without great insight. I reflected on the problem of pain in the world, and the implication for God's supposed benevolence. I mused on death, the afterlife, the notion of the consequence of God's justice, and the nature of salvation through grace. I reflected on corollaries of moral policy and the legal application of a moral system; I thought about abortion, about the rights of homosexuals, about national policy and the supposition that we are a Christian nation.

I have never held to a particular school of thinking - I accepted that God exists, that we have defied it, that the consequence because of God's character and justice is Death, and that through the grace of Jesus Christ, that consequence might be commuted. On everything else, and even those points, I questioned what I believed.

1 Peter 3:15 says "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." I needed to be able to justify what I believed. That and one other question motivated me: What would I think was true had I grown up somewhere else? After many long years, many discussions with others on what they believed, I found myself unable to convincingly answer the question: why do I believe?

I can no longer see past the inconsistencies I note in the Bible; I can no longer assume that there exists an explanation to the questions I have examined without success. It is not that I think the Christian worldview is false; I simply am unconvinced it is true.

It turns out that this does not significantly change my approach to life. I still adhere to the axioms of my youth - that I must seek out the truth about existence. I don't think it changes how I treat people, because I always sought to corroborate my actions and beliefs with what I observed. Treating other people with compassion, love (agape, e.g.), and benevolence is an excellent way to live. There do exist some behaviors, especially some powerful conclusions, that I would change with my revised thoughts about existence. For those whom I affected in that way, I am sorry for the hurt I caused you. I have always and will continue to enjoy conversing with people about what they believe and what I believe in a free, open exchange of ideas; that is not a corollary of my faith. Proselytizing has ever been abhorrent to me, and a contradiction of my second axiom.

I still have many questions, and I probably will until the day I die. But would be worth living if that were not the case? I welcome feedback and discussion, and I commend the brave among you who have read this far.
7 PM

Running 1:01:30 [1] 11.61 km (5:18 / km) +32m 5:14 / km
shoes: 201002 Asics T918N

After a week long training hiatus to rest from ARDF and my injury with the fence at the Bear Hill Park-O, I decided to forgo the CSU interval workout and test out my legs on an easy run around Fresh Pond. At first, my right calf felt tight, but it loosened up as the run went on. My left quad, which was the site of the impact injury at Bear Hill, was untroubled throughout the run. I tried to relax and adhere to an easy pace, but I did catch myself pushing sometimes, despite my 4/4 breathing rate.

The sun was low in the sky as I was running, and Fresh Pond was absolutely beautiful. The vista and the reassuring calm I felt made me want to write poetry and wax eloquent about the human condition.

It should be noted that apparently Vadim ordered long-sleeved shirts for the US ARDF team. Assuming he ordered me one, I will likely modify it to better suit my ventilation needs. The only US jersey I own is signed by Thierry Gueorgiou among others, and I don't plan to run in it. Does anyone have a US men's medium or large jersey they would be willing to loan or sell me (from any year)?

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