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Training Log Archive: Swampfox

In the 7 days ending Mar 4:

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Sunday Mar 4 #


O' at Remarkable Flats, 11.5 kms, 33 controls, sunny, mild (50F), windy, mostly dry bare ground w/ scattered areas of drifted snow.

When it's windy and you want to feel it, you can do worse than Remarkable Flats. But I only saw one downed green tree, so it wasn't as windy as it can get.

First time out orienteering in this new O' season. Supposedly a storm is on the way in, and gathering clouds off to the west and south by the time I was finishing up made it look that way. Sharply colder by late afternoon.

No cows, and no fat cat businessmen with diamond encrusted stick pins.

Saturday Mar 3 #


Very mild, very sunny, and decent wind, so out on the bike again, today heading south of town into "ranchetteville". Saw several trains heading in different directions, and even saw, off in the distance several mountains.

Ski trails were pretty trashed out and I just went out long enough to get a feel for how much had melted away.

Then headed out to run. Just a few minutes in, I was hailed down by a guy and a girl--probably a couple, but something about them left me unsure--who were looking for their lost dog, and were wondering if I had seen it. I told them I would keep my eyes open and that I would do my best to catch it if I saw it. But inside, I was thinking that if the dog had run off from them and wouldn't come back, the chances I would be able to call it to me were pretty small. They gave me some dog treats that might help in luring the dog to me, if I saw it. I told them that the treats looked delicious and that I was sure I would enjoy them. And then I changed my planned route based on what they had told me, to hopefully increase the odds of a dog sighting. I never did see the dog, but the dog treats were as delicious as you would expect.

When I got back to the trail head, the parking lot was empty save for my truck. As I got into my truck, I noticed something on my windshield that had the right size and shape to be a traffic ticket, and for the life of me I couldn't figure out what I might have done. I was parked legally and had a parking pass for the area correctly displayed, sooo.....???

So I might as well find out what I had done, I thought, and reached around to grab the ticket. Which proved to me be not a ticket. Rather, it was a note from the dog people, thanking me for all my help, and letting me know they had got their dog back. Even though I had effectively done nothing at all, I was still glad to find out they had recovered their dog. I've always thought that Happy Jack at night, in the winter, must be a frightening place for a lost dog to be, and at least a couple of dogs go missing up there each winter.

Friday Mar 2 #


I read an article today from the NY TImes: "Do You Have What It Takes to Be an Olympian", which featured Marit Bjorgen. It was interesting, though it may be that was because I was struck by how much we have in common, and it only starts with the fact we both have names beginning with the letter "M".

Of course, amidst the many similarities, there are some differences as well. Bjorgen is a female Norwegian national team member, and I am not. Bjorgen has competed in several Olympics while I have only been to several Olympic venues. Bjorgen has biceps of steel that don't need to be photoshopped to look impressive, and nobody would consider my spaghetti biceps even remotely worthy of photoshopping. Bjorgen has won 15 Olympic medals and I once got a diploma from kindergarten for spelling, which is odd, because I can't spell worth a darn today.

But then there is the evolution of her basic training method over time, which became a model of very high volume done mostly at light intensity with relatively small amounts of high intensity training. The article didn't break the respective volumes down by percentage figures. That is about the same way I have trained almost the whole time I have been orienteering: at high or quite high volume, with a very high percentage of that at an easy or very easy intensity, and some regular amounts of high intensity training--typically 1-3 times a week (much dialed back during winter.) The main difference over time from when I was starting out was an improvement in the quality of the higher intensity training. I didn't start with much knowledge of how to train, and it took time to learn, or at least to learn what worked for me.

Nowadays I don't consider what I do so much as training as exercise, but I continue to exercise at volumes that most people would consider quite high. In part it's a lifestyle choice and a choice to be fit, but also in large part it's because I simply enjoy being outside and exercising. If I didn't enjoy it, I imagine I would spend much less time at it.

But today I out and enjoying the outdoors for quite a while. It was sunny and mild and very windy, so I started out by biking and testing the wind strength, which was formidable. For that reason I didn't dare take the Curtis St overpass (over the interstate), which is always busy, very narrow, and has guard rails only a few feet high. If you got bumped, you would end up down below on the interstate, and that probably wouldn't be good.

Then I headed up to ski. Given that it had been sunny all day and temps went into the lower 50s, I expected spring skiing conditions, and was not disappointed. When spring conditions set in, I usually just take a quick ski around, mostly to see who else might be out and to check to see how the trails are holding up.

Then I ran snow trails, south facing portions of which are now becoming ice trails, with more attention needed for foot placement. Trail markers were out for what I presume was a bike race, but either it took place earlier or was going to take place later, or else I just totally missed the bikers as they came through, because I didn't see any bikers.

All in all, a very nice early spring day.

Thursday Mar 1 #


Nice enough to get out for some biking, and enough breeze to keep the air fresh and flowing.

Of course, when it's nice enough for biking (without armoring up in multiple layers of clothes), then it's also nice enough to change skiing conditions to kind of "springish". Some spots were getting thin, and if the snow gods don't cooperate soon, then perhaps the man gods with shovels will.

A wide variety of malefactors and evil doers were out and about, and almost all of them were wearing skis and wielding poles. Pretty fine stuff, and anyone's guess as to how long the skiing will last at Happy Jack now that March is at hand.

Tuesday Feb 27 #


It was nice enough out and streets had melted out enough to get out for some biking in the early afternoon. tt's been weeks since I was out riding, long enough so that the neighborhood dogs weren't sure whether they should wag their tails or bark.

With the sun and added degrees, I had guessed the snow on the ski trails might have been impacted, but in fact the snow was dry and there weren't any places with even hints at melting or glazing. I linked up with Tyler (fresh back from the Birkie) for a quick Tour de Happy Jack, and then ran some after that. There were droves of snow bikers out.

Monday Feb 26 #


Mercy--temps back up over 32F, if briefly. Had to pull on a couple of headbands while I was skiing to keep the sweat from pouring into my eyes. The moose were all hanging out in deep thickets of firs in vain attempts to find some cooling vapors. Pretty nice day for all that.

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