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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: chinghua

In the 7 days ending Dec 4, 2011:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Orienteering4 4:06:33 10.85(22:43) 17.46(14:07) 427
  Climbing3 3:00:00
  Total7 7:06:33 10.85 17.46 427

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Sunday Dec 4, 2011 #

12 PM

Orienteering 54:53 [4] 2.8 mi (19:36 / mi) +81m 17:59 / mi
shoes: Saucony (trail)


1 - Took trail to where it seemed there might be a clump of vegetation, headed uphill and looked for some boulders. Saw the control flag from 'afar'.

2 - Ran straight through the clearing and again saw the control flag from 'afar', but not as soon as I should have had I scanned farther ahead of me.

3 - Went 'straight' uphill from 2, around the left side of the hill and planned on staying 'above' the reentrant and took note of the deep ravine (?) to my left. Hit the trail before I was expecting to and had to climb back uphill a bit to locate the control.

4 - Followed the wavy trail up to trail intersection the left the trail to look for stone wall. Can't seem to re-envision the scene now.

5 - Back to the trail, crossed one stream and looked for the next. I was expecting to see cliffs, but didn't. Saw the flag instead though and the number was right.

6 - Went up and aroudn to find the trail, then turned right. Turned off the trail when it felt 'about right' to. I think I did see the bare rock on the right of the trail, before I turned off the trail to lok for the control.

7 - OK. I headed back on to the trail, and the plan was to stay on the trail till I "see the wall", then follow the wall to the corner. Actually, I'm not sure what exactly happened here but here's what I remember doing: I was running along the trail, and I was expecting to see the wall 'on the right'. Once I see the wall ahead and to the right, I thought, no need to stay on the trail any longer till it intersects, so I left the trail to my right to meet the wall. The wall was too corner in sight, and of course, no flag in sight. Just couldn't figure out what portion of the walls in that section I was at. It was especially frustrating because there were only a few sections, so why couldn't I orient myself? I had even seen the flag at one point but was so throw off that I said "that's not it, leave it be". I had to find the trail again (no mean feat) and tried again. This time I followed the trail until I actually hit the wall, the located the corner and saw that same old flag, right where it should be. I think what happened in the first place is that I went off the trail right at the point where it was turning. I was so focused on the wall ahead that I didn't notice that i was in fact leaving the trail to the left rather than to the right because the trail was turning to the right, probably right at that point. Mystery solved.

8 - Headed up hill at 45 degree angle from the corner of wall at 7 and looked out for reentrant.

9 - Planned to follow contour around the hill, but dropped more than i had planned, and curved around less than i planned, and found myself on the trail before I knew it. hit a trail interesection, and luckily realized which trail I was on. Also, I knew I needed to keep the hill to my left and be on the look out for cliffs on the left. Headed down hill shortly after spying the cliff and looked for boulders.

10 - Took the trail till I spied the wall, and I guess I hadn't learned my lesson from 7 because I left the trail and headed straight for the wall again. Luckily, the trail wasn't doing anything funky here so I followed the contour that the wall was aligned with until I saw the flag.

11 - Sigh. I should have followed the wall to the trail but I thought, trails are for wimps. If I headed in the right direction, I would cross a stream the trail and in the worst case I would hit the wall (literally), so how hard could it be? Well, I crossed the stream pretty soon, though it was pretty dried up. I thought I would see the trail but I didn't, and decided to just keep running ahead. I could hear the road traffic to my left and said I just need to keep running in the same general direction. Relieved when i saw the wall. I hit the wall near the eastern end of it. Looking at the gps I ended up right where the control point was but I didn't know it at the time and I didn't see the control point though I didn't really look. Decided to just start from the tip of the wall and take a 45 degree angle path from it up the hill.

Finish - SIGH. I oriented my map completely incorrectly. Bad compass! Ended up on a trail that didn't make sense at all, actually ended up along side the road...turned back into the park. Thankfully, saw peter and phil sprinting to the finish so I followed them back home.

Saturday Dec 3, 2011 #

10 AM


WOW. My first weekend of "real" orienteering! This weekend was like a "who's who" of AP. So nice to be able to match people to aliases. The activities of this weekend in the outdoor environs has limned the fact that remaining lissome entails significant glistening (ok, someone else do a better job of this).

Thanks to everyone for being so welcoming and friendly and for potluck contributions. To Phil and Ali for setting courses, Ali for planning and coordinating the social agenda, Phil for hosting lunch (Alex for ordering it), Peter and Gail for hosting dinner and providing a warm and cozy place to stay. Alex for the cornmeal pancakes, Dean for the coffee. Neil for the ride and the freebies. Ian, for the map!

I wish this wasn't the end of the season, and that I'd be around for the spring. But I do hope to make a couple of events next year when I'm in the country.

11 AM

Orienteering 1:05:48 [4] 2.99 mi (22:00 / mi) +104m 19:52 / mi
shoes: Saucony (trail)


1 - Was thrown off by the scale of the map and couldn't tell if which reentrant I was looking for.

2 - Fine

3 - Route shows me going back and forth because the slope was so slippery with leaves! Well, also, I was heading back down to the trail before I realized I needed to head up to the next control.

4,5,6 - Pretty straightforward.

7 - Very strange, but I think i know what I did. I thought that when I left control 6 and landed on the trail that I had hit the part of the trail running north west (i.e., left of the control). My bearings were really off. I think I figured the "cliff" and the water were to the left. However, the edge of the cliff curves to the right. This is a similar mistake to what I did in Sessions because I only read small sections of the map at a time. So I hit the trail and kept running, expecting to see trail intersections further ahead. Before I knew it, I hit the wall. I figured out where I was eventually but I had no idea how I got to where I was. I'm sure the map scale was also part of the reason I messed this up. I guess there is less room for error because things change faster than usual.

8 - 14 : I did ok, I guess.

15 - The way I did it seems so long. Wonder if i could have gone from below. I got thrown in this clearing though. First, the map looked very odd and I didn't know how to link what I was seeing to the map. I thought I was in the thin strip of pale orange instead of in the brown. For a moment (longer than I care to admit) I thought I was on a golf course and the green patches were the shapes of the holes. I just didn't know what I was looking at. I guess it's the terrain has a very different pattern to what I'd seen before. I also didn't know that the brown 'x' was one of those rubber pads and that the black circles were the disc golf things. So here I think the biggest problem was that I was unfamiliar with the map symbols. Also, i am still not used to thinking of brown/orange as open space. To me, white 'feels' more open. And I refused to really move until I got my bearings. If I had just decided to forge ahead a bit I would have seen the flag. I actually could have seen it the minute I entered the clearing but I just didn't look far enough around me. Too tunnel visioned.

16 - Need to see what the most efficient route was here.

17 - fine

18 - totally missed it and had to turn back around to find it.
1 PM

Orienteering 1:00:10 [4] 3.21 mi (18:45 / mi) +86m 17:18 / mi
shoes: Saucony (trail)

This one started out really fun.

1 - Fine. Tough climb back up to trail.

2 - My first real lesson in the green here. Instead of leaving the trail at white, I went past it because the control was further down and I wanted to leave the trail perpendicularly (don't as me why). Then I got stuck in the thorns and had to climb back out to the trail. Took the white down to the tree stump. Marek had beat me to it but then he was stopped there, looking at the map.

3 - Marek and I ran together along the stream. I think we were both expecting the control to be along the stream but when we reached the appropriate bend in the stream, there was clearly nothing there. Looks like we kept running on hoping to see it but after a certain point it was clear we should have seen it by then. I looked more closely at the map and saw that the control was actually on the edge of the clearing. Without a word to Marek I ran up and grabbed the flag first. In hindsight, I should have never even been down there with the stream. Should have approached from the clearing.

4 - Was too anxious to get across the water that I rammed myself into shoulder high thorns. Branch got in my left eye and contact popped out. I cannot believe that I actually saw where it hit the ground. I really really hoped it was where I thought it was and reached down through the thorns to grab it. Licked it cleaner and popped it in my eye. Marek was nice enough to wait for me to say I was all right before racing on ahead. That was the last I saw of him on the course. Once I extricated myself several minutes later, I ran to 4 no problem.

5 - I ran across the clearing into the woods but entered the woods at the wrong place and had to head back out to the trail to get my bearings. Went back and forth a bit there before finding the right entry point into the woods. not sure why I had such a hard time with this one...Probably too impatient.

6 - Seemed to be right on the "trail"

7 - Kept running ahead and peering back and below to see if I would see the flag and rootstock.

8 - Ran across the clearing, through a bit of green and up the hill to find the water. From the looks of it, I don't think I'm good at running in a consistent direction.

9 - It looks like for this one, I almost tried one of my "leave the trail perpendicularly" strategies. Then I looked at the green and said "not again" and backtracked to the trail leading to the reentrant.

10 - Was fine cause I'd been down this way earlier.

11 - Was even finer because I saw this control earlier.

12 - Easy peasy lemon squeezy

13 - Control from hell. I spent 17 minutes on this sucker. I tried so many things I can't remember the sequence so I'm relying on gps data. I decided to approach from the "left". I was actually headed in the right direction at first, but I got thrown off by the two larger streams below me. Thinking they were the two smaller "streams" where the control was. I followed the left of the two larger streams eagerly up to the top. No flag. But there was a huge trail. I don't think it occurred to me at all out there that I might have followed the stream I did. I saw that I was clearly at a big trail, but couldn't believe it. Apparently I took the trail anyway out towards the clearing and it looks like I tried to crash through the green but it was really thick and i wasn't confident I was in the right place.

Incredibly, instead of taking the clearing back down to the lower clearing, I backtracked the way I came (completely missing a trail that would have taken me right to the control), back down to the lower level clearing where 11 and 12 were. This time I decided to start towards 13 from the right side. It's hilarious to see now that I tried twice to hack through an enormous amount of green then gave up and went around to the intermediate level clearing by way of some much lighter green. Finally found my way there. Thank god the flag was still there or I might still be out there.

14 - Was uneventful after 13. I wonder if I could have approached it from the clearing looks like there was a fence there. Maybe one of those barbed wire ones?

15 -Made it there fine. Saw Dean heading off with the flag in the distance. Yelled out but he didn't hear me. Went on to 16, thinking that it and 17 were probably taken down now too.

16 - I didn't know where this one was supposed to be. Looks like I entered the circle but not sure if I would have seen it.

17 - I thought the control was at the disc golf goal, but apparently it was at some kind of building right next to it, that I was completely oblivious to. Just wanted to get back.

Amazingly, Marek finished after I did. He went through his own little hell at control 4. Poor Marek.
6 PM

Orienteering 1:05:42 [4] 1.85 mi (35:31 / mi) +156m 28:09 / mi
shoes: Saucony (trail)

First time doing Night-O! Teamed up with Marek and Peter. So glad we did it together. Course set up by Ali using really cool reflective control flags that you can spot from as far away as your headlight's beam will carry. Lots of fun. But very hard.

It was relatively easy to stay on trails, but very hard to know when you've intersected one. I seem to have a lot of trouble with intersecting trails and walls. I should practice orienting myself at them more.

Looking at quickroute, I have no idea what was going on at 2. At all. I think that we had thought we were on the "higher" trail but we were actually at the lower one, so we traveled up the stream much longer than we expected to find the control. We saw Anna coming back down as we were heading up and I asked her if the control was up there. She said it was. Marek said "now we've cheated".

Finding 3 was really hard and at one point I was completely flipped around, and thought the lake was in front of me rather than behind me. Peter said "I was counting on you to get us around tonight."

Turns out we hadn't gone far enough along on the trail to hit the bend. Marek found the flag with his beam from on the trail. Later on, as we were heading back in, Dean said it's always a good idea to actually reach the bend then back track, rather than assume its up ahead without actually verifying.

We took the trail towards 4 . I could see no signs of a reentrant. But we kept heading uphill and eventually Marek shone his lamp in the right direction and we were blinded by the control flag.

Heading to 5 is where we really messed up. Marek and I wanted to do different things. I wanted to follow the contour to hit the bigger trail running uphill/downhill. Marek wanted to head uphill to hit the smaller trail that would intersect the bigger trail. Marek said "Fine, let's just do something." So we did it my way. Except we tried to do it my way and unknowlngly did it his way. We figured based on the way the trail was winding and from the slope, that we were on Marek's trail, but we couldn't figure out where and I guess some part of us thought we might be on the big trail. So we went uphill until it became obvious we were on Marek's trail and then we went back down hill and prayed we'd hit the bigger trail. Which we did. Maybe there is a god.

We then kept shining our lights towards the right hoping we'd catch a reflection. Marek caught it. When I got to it I said, "oh I guess that's the cliff". Marek was like "what cliff?" I shined my light on it, just 10 feet back from the control, but invisible in the dark if you're not looking. Since the orienteering was going so sucky, I was starting to really miss climbing. Marek climbed the cliff to verify that it was not man-made (it looked like concrete in the dark...but silly for us to even think it was fake). i tried climbing it but grabbed on to a loose handhold. Lucky Peter was spotting.

Looking at the time and seeing that 6 was going to be easy, we decided to go "get" 6 and then head back. 6 was indeed easy. We met up with Dean on the way back and had a brisk but easy stroll back to the car (except for the part where we ran uphill from the bridge). Then I "raced" Marek downhill and that's when i really started feeling it in my right knee.

A great night!

Friday Dec 2, 2011 #


Headlamp has arrived! Seems to work all right. Comes with outstanding product manual and warranty.

Thursday Dec 1, 2011 #

6 PM

Climbing 1:00:00 [3]
shoes: Mythos

Tonight this feels like trying to remember how many shots I've taken on the golf course. Let's just say I climbed around 8 routes, and attempted 3 bouldering problems (none solved). Didn't push very hard tonight at all. I was disappointed to see that they took away the 5.12 I was playing on just a few days ago that I was hoping to hop back on (and I thought it was brand new too!).

I was happy for Peter and Neil that they finished a 5.9-!

Wednesday Nov 30, 2011 #


Right now, I think I might actually enjoy AP more than I enjoy orienteering. I certainly spend more time on the former, and I laugh more.

Tuesday Nov 29, 2011 #

6 PM

Climbing 1:00:00 [3]
shoes: Mythos

Did the "tricky" 5.9-. It wasn't so tricky though, cause I did it first thing so I had strength on my side.

Pink 5.12, PJ. What fun. The start seemed impossible yesterday but today I tried something different by staying to the right (I think Neil suggested it...he had lots of great suggestions on this route). Tried so many new moves and was so surprised my body could handle them. Had to cheat past the crux on the first mini-roof, but the rest was all me (fell twice or thrice, I think, at the second roof).

5.12-, 5.9. (the 12- was...overrated)
5.11 and 5.6 crux (that crux is like a 5.8+)!
V3 (incomplete...need to improve my climbing vocab so that I can describe the move needed. It calls for a move that is one of my weakest...a muscle move off the left arm, with high right leg, and body hanging low on the left arm. Need to reach up and to the right with the right hand to grab a left pull.)

Papadum! My favorite....well, I like it a lot.

Monday Nov 28, 2011 #

6 PM

Climbing 1:00:00 [4]
shoes: Mythos

Started out in "Todd's" shoes. SOOOO PAINFUL. I'm thinking of selling them.

5.9 (painful, blame the shoes for the fall)
5.10 (that was upgraded to 5.11 just this evening, but I think its a 10, really)
5.10, 5.7+
5.10+, 5.9
Two v2s

Marek said "You're wasting your time orienteering..." :-)

Mike was surprised when I told him the problems at the gym in Ann Arbor were harder than the ones over here. He said that everyone always seems to say that it's the other way around. But, I think that the ratings in Ann Arbor were more consistent with the chart in the gym that says that V2 is equivalent to a 5.11.

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