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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: PG

In the 7 days ending Oct 19, 2008:

activity # timemileskm+ft
  trail running3 5:43:17
  orienteering1 2:12:13 6.52 10.5 771
  nautilus3 1:50:00
  biking2 1:36:30 27.9(3:28) 44.9(2:09)
  yoga1 1
  Total7 11:22:01 34.42 55.4 771
  [1-5]7 11:22:00
averages - weight:138lbs

» now

Sunday Oct 19, 2008 #

orienteering 1:14:13 [3] 7.1 km (10:27 / km) +771ft 8:58 / km
shoes: saloman

A long day, though not without its pleasures....

First stop, well actual first stop was filling up the gas tank, 2.89/gallon at the local pumps, nice short-term relief compared to 3 months ago, but not what we need in the long term to break our addiction.

But the real first stop was Sessions Woods for a WCOC local meet. Got a chance to re-run the Red course from the A meet in 2002. I suppose I did better, because at least I finished this time, whereas 6 years ago I skipped a control (#7). But in all other respects it was worse, 61 minutes last time, add a couple minutes if I'd gone to #7, maybe 63-64, still a lot better than this time.

It seemed that today's plan must have been to mimic the chicken running around with its head cut off, keep moving, just not much idea where I was going. I'm sure I was running slower than 6 years ago; I'm also sure I was orienteering worse.

#1. Bad general plan, bad route, bad execution, otherwise excellent.... Lost a couple minutes.
#2. Very inefficient on the first half of the leg, and then didn't spot the control for a while. Lost a minute or two.
#13. Simple leg, bad execution, too far right, not reading the map well, not registering in my mind what my eyes were seeing in the terrain. Pulled up on a broad knoll, expected to see the control on the south side. Nothing. Probably stood there for a minute figuring things out -- I don't really like to go rushing off to some distant big feature if I can help it -- then went and got it. Lost two or three minutes.
#14. Clearly didn't learn my lesson, just took off heading more or less southeast, but never took a good enough look at the map to understand what I was supposed to be seeing in the terrain. Finally located myself at a stone wall, too far left. Maybe that taught me, rest of the leg was fast and in control. Lost a minute.

Not a pretty race. I should know better.

My routes, compared with 6 years ago.

orienteering 38:00 [3] 3.4 km (11:11 / km)
shoes: saloman

Stuck around a while because I didn't want to be in Litchfield until later in the afternoon. So after a bit to eat, went out to pick up the first 6 controls on Green and first 4 on Red (9 in all, one was common). Orienteering was much sharper -- except I missed #1 again -- put out a good effort, ran up the hills. 47 minutes, minus a minute/control for untying and stuffing it in the bag, bag got heavier as I went, very careful not to lose any e-boxes.

My route.

orienteering 20:00 [3]
shoes: saloman

And then since it seemed like there were a few more controls to pick up, and I was still in no rush to go, I picked up the last 6 controls on the Yellow course. Another good effort, ran all the hills again.

And then sat around a bit enjoying the nice afternoon. Made possible by Jim Henderson and Rich Nietupski.

My route.


And then off to Litchfield to visit Mom.

After incidents the last two weeks in the city, there have been discussions with my siblings about the possibility of curtailing or restricting or chaperoning her weekly trips to the Big Apple. So I thought I would stop in and see if I could talk to her about it. Which I figured would certainly not be easy, might well be totally non-productive, and was certainly not something I looked forward to doing.

But it was in fact a good visit. I suppose the first good sign was that she remembered I was coming, the phone call 20 minutes earlier hadn't been completely forgotten.... :-)

So we started in with the usual stuff, like what was I doing, and how was Gail, and did we have any trips planned. And it felt like the movie Groundhog Day, where Bill Murray gets to repeat the same day over and over, each time varying his responses based on what he learned in an earlier version. In this case, when the question was repeated 5 or 10 minutes later, I thought back to my first answer, recalled how she seemed to react to it, and then changed my response accordingly. Made it quite interesting instead of quite annoying.

And then I switched to things I knew her memory could still recall, questions about her life as a kid, what schools were like, etc. Things 70 years ago seem quite fresh and brought quite a few smiles. And a few questions about me, including did I ski any more, Nope, not for 30 years or so, Why not, you were so good, Well, I broke both legs at different points, the second one quite badly, I was a month in the hospital. And did you have a cast on it? 4 months. Oh, that's a long time. And I really wanted to ask if she remembered why she never bothered to come see me in the hospital, just a couple of hours away, but that question won't be asked, or answered, in this lifetime....

And then we got to more current stuff -- was she happy (yes, definitely, had had a very good life, no point in complaining anyway, it doesn't do any good), did she like Litchfield or NYC better (liked them both, liked going to the city each week, exciting, looks forward to it, also really likes Litchfield), was she worried that she was alone in the city with no one checking on her (so what, she said, unlike many elders she doesn't seem to live in fear of bad things happening), why was she still walking to this place she went for dinner, 15-20 minutes, why not take a cab (oh, it's not very far). And so on.

Overall, a very long and very interesting conversation, it just seemed to happen.

And at some point, after maybe an hour and a quarter, it was time to go, enough was enough. And I headed off.

And on the way home I was thinking about what I thought about her trips to the city, and figured it might be worth a stop at the Ratlum Mountain Day Spa and Psychotherapy Clinic to help sort my thoughts out.

Charlie and Rhonda were, there, also Zach, the new film star, also Erik. The big news was that Erik's ankle is healing, he's hoping to run in the state XC champs Saturday, though running at Mt. Tomon Sunday is less likely. The really big news is that he's cut his gorgeous hair. Not totally shaved, but close. Seems like a XC team decision. I thought when you've got it, you're supposed to flaunt it.

And then a bit of therapy. I filled C and R in on the latest, and said my inclination was that the various bad things that might happen to Mom in the city would only hurt Mom, and not anyone else (as opposed to when we took her car away, since then she could have done serious damage to someone else). And if she enjoyed her weekly trips, why keep her from doing them.

Got total support from Rhonda. Also from Charlie, although he thought I was also laying the groundwork for my own requests at age 90 to be able to keep rogaining.

A very very nice visit, as usual it seems on Ratlum Mountain.

And now I have to see where I stand with my sister and brother, and what we will or won't do.

PS. Today's count -- 6 falls for PG, 0 falls for Mom. But I did get in a little yoga part way though the visit.... :-)

Saturday Oct 18, 2008 #

nautilus 35:00 [1]

Was thinking of going for a run too, but not too eager so I skipped it. Plus I've been out over 1:50 four times in the last week.

Think I need to come up with some sort of event for November, other than just the regular O' events, something to get nervous/excited about. The legs are hanging in there pretty good, so it must be time to trash them again. Signing up for the Blue course at Mt. Tom, which I just did, since they don't seem to need help, doesn't quite fit the bill for the psyche, though I'm sure it will trash the lags.... :-)

Yesterday: 4/6 (ylec), including showing Gail how to transfer photos from the camera to the computer, so maybe she'll take a few more!

Friday Oct 17, 2008 #


Saw Man on Wire. Excellent. Even got Gail to go and the movie wasn't on until 10 pm.

Yesterday: 3/6 (yec), pretty much caught up on e-mails going back 3 weeks, feels so good....

trail running 2:00:35 [3]

So I got my mountain climbing in today, or at least as much of a "mountain" as Massachusetts has.

Started at the bottom of the Cheshire Harbor Trail, up to the top of Greylock via the CH trail, Old Adams "Road," and the AT, back down the direct way, AT and all the CH trail. A good effort, 88 minutes up, ran most of it, walked what I figured was about 12 minutes in bits and pieces when it got too steep, mostly the last part going up to Saddle Ball Mountain. And then 32+ coming down. Route without all the twists and turns.

The footing was both better and worse than it might have been. Better because the trail was reasonably dry, which mattered most any time it was above about 3,000' and the forest changed to spruce and the trail degenerated to rocks, roots, and little bits of bog in between, but the little bits of bog, while still a little wet, were firm enough that you didn't have to try and avoid them. And worse because enough leaves have come down in the last couple of weeks to do a good job of covering up some of the rocks and all of the roots whenever the trail was below 3,000'. It still was reasonably runnable, but the descent down Cheshire Harbor trail was a lot slower and more cautious than it would have been otherwise.

Still did a couple of face plants, though that bothers me less now that I realize it's in my genes. Like mother like son? :-)

Absolutely gorgeous day driving out the back roads, the sugar maples are in their last days of glory for the year, brilliant oranges and reds and yellows, all highlighted by the sun as it gets lower and lower in the sky. Would have been worth the trip just for that.

And I had enough time and inclination to search out a non-chain place afterwards for a little sustenance, an excellent bowl of soup at the Daily Grind. Felt like an old hippie place. And of the 5 people in there -- me, two workers, two other customers -- I was certainly the only male and pretty certainly the only straight. Good vibes, will stop in again next time I am up there for a trail race.

Thursday Oct 16, 2008 #

biking 53:26 [3] 15.4 mi (3:28 / mi)

Whately - Hatfield (route), got done just before the rain came, just as good as I am definitely a fair weather rider. Just getting out on a day in the upper 50s and gloomy was already quite an accomplishment.


Latest update in the Mom Chronicles (a joint production by George and me and who knows who else) -- last night she fell on the way to dinner in NYC, a gash on the forehead. How long before we put a stop to what little independence she still has? A very hard question, and one where the solution can't be reached by reasoning with her as she is long past being capable of that. Do we wait for something really serious, letting her go on as is for (quite) a while longer? Or put a stop to it now? Which will take a lot of backbone. We shall see....


So I wrote the following two weeks ago --

Totally totally bummed, temporarily I hope. Got a call, the hot-shot urologist I was supposed to see in a couple of weeks at the Lahey Clinic is packing his bags for elsewhere. Can't see me. So I have to find someone else. There are other possibilities there, probably just fine possibilities, but still. Need to do more looking/calling/asking. A real pain in the ass....

And in the last couple of weeks I'd made an appointment with another guy at Lahey, though I wasn't totally sure if I was happy with that, needed to do more checking, just not happy with things at all.

So what's the opposite of totally totally bummed?

This afternoon the phone rings, it's Dr. Türk himself, the guy I'd wanted to see, expert in the field. He is now affiliated with a Boston hospital, he'll be doing his same procedure, they have the same equipment, and do I still want to see him? And we talked a little, and then I called up the hospital and made an appointment, a month from now, surgery probably in early December if that's the decision, and I'd say the odds are good that it will be.

There is still the great uncertainty of not knowing what is the best thing to do. The is still the fact that the whole situation sucks. But it feels much better being back in the queue to see someone that is supposed to be the best. And then, when the time comes, you just hope he has a good day.

And in the meantime enjoy the fall, the best time of the year here, as much as possible. And do a little better at getting 6/6 every day.

Wednesday Oct 15, 2008 #

trail running 1:52:27 [3]
weight:138lbs shoes: Asics trail

The first thought was to celebrate the birthday by going off and climbing a mountain someplace, since it was a beautiful day, and Stratton came to mind, but it seemed a little far to drive. So I settled for a loop in Pisgah SP, just across the border in NH, a wonderful place to run, also possibly a wonderful place to orienteer if a map was ever made (even though there isn't much in the way of facilities, so actually putting on a meet might be difficult).

And checking back on runs I'd done there (the "search log" tool is very handy), I figured why not do what I did a couple years ago, the route of the 23K race without the first and last parts that are on roads. Did the loop then in 1:43:58, though (1) I was substantially younger, (2) I weighed one 5-pound bag of sugar less, and (3) my notes say my legs felt great, and I ran up every hill. So I figured maybe 1:50 this time.

I actually started at a different place, the Kilburn Pond parking area, because my previous start point was a mile or so in on a dirt road and I was low enough on gas that an extra couple of miles was not trivial. And after no more than 5 minutes on the trail, and probably less, I revised the 1:50 up to 2 hours, as the legs definitely did not feel great.

But I got around. And at some point revised the ETA to 1:55, and then made it a couple minutes quicker than that, though still a lot slower than 2 years ago. What else is new....

Ran almost all the hills. Fell only once, a modest gash on one elbow. Two turkeys, two ruffed grouse. Two guys either stealing firewood, or working on the trail (for snowmobile season), or probably both. Two bikers, one hiker. And a lot of fine trails and beautiful woods. And I don't mind seeing the occasional other humans, even if they have big machines with them. Makes me feel that there is a little more hope for survival if I fall and really hurt myself.

Left hip/butt/hamstring (someplace in there) quite sore afterwards.

My route, more or less.

nautilus 40:00 [1]

Stopped on the way home at the gym, an effort doing the usual, had to interrupt things about 4 times to go get more to drink. And then a stretching session.


And then a nice birthday dinner, a place called the Green Street Cafe in Northampton, hadn't been there for 15 or 20 years, don't know why other than the fact that we also never go out other than birthdays and anniversary. Fine meal, including a fine chocolate dessert, shared.

And then a stop in the center of town, at a place that sells Italian pastries and desserts, for a second dessert, some gelato, also shared. Excellent. And chatted up a guy sitting at the next table with a camera with a huge lens and a bird book, done most of his photography in Hawaii. He gave me a web address, went and had a look when I got home, found this shot of Volcanoes National Park, ran a "trail" marathon there in 1985, don't know if they still run the race but it was an amazing experience....

Tuesday Oct 14, 2008 #

yoga 1 [0]

Hanging in there. Class is hard work, but it gives motivation to keep it up (in moderation) the rest of the week. Didn't get corrected all the time this morning. :-)

Yesterday: 3/6 (yge)

A little sore from last night's run, but not too bad. Here's the route, more or less.


The big question for tomorrow (the 15th) for Gail --

biking 43:04 [3] 12.5 mi (3:27 / mi)

Totally flat, a little ways south and back. Stiff breeze from the south, so coming back was a lot more fun. Working quite hard.

Today (so far) 3/6 (yge), plus fixed the toilet, mowed the "lawn" for the second and final time this year, did some vacuuming, laundry, a very domestic day. Don't expect an encore anytime soon.

Separate subject -- haven't entered the Mount Tom A meet next weekend since I figured I'd be helping, but Phil seems to have things under control. So maybe I should run. What course? Hmm, depends on what my pain threshold is these days....

Monday Oct 13, 2008 #

nautilus 35:00 [1]

Yesterday: 1/6 (y)


I was thinking back to the Route 128 O'Ringen that NEOC put on many years ago. A quick search in my now pretty well organized map files turned up the maps, June 6, 1992, same format as Hollis yesterday, in this case 5 maps all within a short distance of Route 128, Boston's beltway. And here they are, from 16+ years ago.

Stage 1: Regis College, 1980 version of map.
Stage 2: Prospect Hill Park, 1985 version.
Stage 3: Mount Misery, 1989 version.
Stage 4: Estabrook Woods, 1987 version.
And stage 5: Menotomy Rocks, 1991 version. This stage was pretty special -- didn't have to use master maps (on the clock). And I seem not to have drawn in my route.

It too was a fine event.

trail running 1:50:15 [3]
shoes: Asics trail

With Donna and Rob, from the Cushman general store, up to Atkins Reservoir then south to Mount Orient and back. Started about 5:30, had the lights on for the last hour.

Legs not too bad after yesterday, it helped a lot that Donna was claiming to be tired, she'd run a 100-miler with 27,000' of climb (and ditto drop) 9 days ago in a little over 23 hours, so the pace was just a little bit slower than it might have been otherwise. But not much slower, might have been 1:45 otherwise.

Most amazing thing to report -- I didn't fall once. Maybe it was due to the fact that I've now been out at night 5 times in the last 5 weeks, or maybe I learned that if I hold my light real steady I can see the rocks and roots better, or maybe it was the yoga (as Gail suggested), or maybe I was just lucky.

I'll vote for the last one.

Oh, and Phil suggested on the way home yesterday that I ought to be tired because I wasn't doing any training. Yeah, right.

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