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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: iansmith

In the 1 days ending Sep 10, 2011:

activity # timemileskm+mload
  Orienteering2 3:24:26 9.71(21:03) 15.63(13:05) 29029c72.5
  Canoeing1 57:32 3.59(16:02) 5.77(9:58) 6113c28.8
  Total3 4:21:58 13.3(19:42) 21.4(12:14) 35142c101.2

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Saturday Sep 10, 2011 #

12 PM

Orienteering race 1:25:24 [3] 8.72 km (9:47 / km) +187m 8:51 / km
15c shoes: 201006 Inov-8 X-talon 212


Day 1 Blue of the 2011 UNO Camping weekend. I felt spry and excited to finally be orienteering. I traveled up to the event with Brendan and Alex, and we ran into Giggly one II and lots of other great O-peeps. The course length was 7.5 km, and I felt it within my capabilities.

I started with a fast first leg on the road (where I ran into Alex), and then a spectacular five minute error en route to 2. I was overconfident, and not reading my map clearly. After absorbing Pawtuckaway's punishment for my hubris, I actually started orienteering. I had a few bobbles after that, but the flaws tended to be with my plans rather than with my execution. I intended to attack 3 high because I thought the boulders above it would make a visible attackpoint, but the vegetation was very thick, and while I knew where I was, getting to the control was costly.

At 4, my route was fine, but I somehow confused the hills within 100 m of the control and lost a minute deciphering the problem. Pt 5 was clean, but trivial. Pts 6-8 were all straightforward. My plan to 9 was fine - run down the spur, hit the hills, go around the vegetation and hit the control from the river bend to the north, but I drifted pretty widely getting around the veg, and I didn't know exactly where I was when I hit the river.

I didn't have a good plan to pt 10; I meant to basically follow the line, but immediately drifted right and hit the marsh. After that, I decided to stay high and try to pick up the saddle. The hillside was indistinct with poor visibility, so I hit the control ok, albeit slowly. Maybe going higher and attacking over the spur would have made more sense. Pt 11 was fine, but I was wary descending the large featureless reentrant. I did read the spurs correctly and spike the control, but I was tentative. I then accidentally started navigating to pt 9, and realized my error about 100m south of 9. I probably would have run faster right of the line and picked up the long reentrant to the river; I was otherwise clean into 12. I meant to go north of the marsh to 13, but I exited 12 at the wrong angle, and hit the marsh much too far to the south. I hit a marsh prematurely at 14, too; it would have been faster to go a bit wide to the north to pick up better running terrain. I didn't have any problems to 15 or the end.

Apart from my noob self-destruction at 2, I had a reasonably clean race. Speed will come. The course did have many easy legs, and the broad contour details on the western part of the map are easier to navigate on then the confusing mess in the middle. My terrain running is slow right now, and that's easy enough to remedy - spend lots of time in the Fells running courses. I need to practice making plans under race conditions. Unfortunately, newly promoted (happy, fun, adorable) nemesis #1 "The Aligator" destroyed me on today's course, and PG beat me (including victories on many of the legs). I will have to redeem myself at the Boulderdash, where I will face Irish nemesis ndobbs.
3 PM

Canoeing race 57:32 [3] 5.77 km (9:58 / km) +61m 9:28 / km
13c shoes: 201104 NB 759

Alex and I went out on the Canoe-O after our runs earlier in the day. The race was a 60 minute score-O, with a penalty rate of 1 control per minute. Our main motivation was to beat Team Ali + Brendan, but we both wanted to get all the controls and win outright. I find it easy to underestimate how long it will take to pick up a control in Canoe-O, so I probably should have realized that picking up all 16 controls was out of our reach. Alex and I debated picking up 13 and 14 (the obvious skips), but when we reached control 16 at minute 20, we decided to go for it. We lost a few minutes looking for 14 (which was missing), but even under the best of conditions, I don't think we could have picked up all 16 without some canoe practice together. At point 8 at minute 40, we agreed that trying to pick up 9-11 risked tardiness, and we bailed. It turned out that while Ali and Brendan picked up 15 controls, they were three minutes overtime, so we narrowly won.

We went out in a clunker boat with long paddles; we would have been somewhat faster with short racing paddles and racing technique. I am more accustomed to racing (e.g. with Keith) with the faster technique, so trying to blend long paddles and racing style was awkward for me. I struggled with steering early on, as my stroke had a bit more power and leverage than Alex's in the bow. In the second half of the race, we got things together with reduced power and negligible loss of speed. You can tell periods when I struggled with steering from the speed fluctuations in the QR. I am somewhat curious how our performance would have differed if Alex had rowed stern and I bow.

8 PM

Orienteering (Night-O) 1:59:02 [2] 6.91 km (17:14 / km) +103m 16:02 / km
14c shoes: 201006 Inov-8 X-talon 212

I was much more confident on this, my second WHNO. In 2009, I ran two or three controls alone, but running alone in Pawtuckaway in the dark terrified me. I ran into Brendan, Boris, and Kat at a control, and followed them for much of the course. It should be noted that my Garmin didn't start recording until around pt 3.

This year, while the course was much easier, I was alone for much of the time, and found it generally within my abilities. Brendan led the charge out of the start, and I followed. I glanced at my map, but I didn't have a great plan - I meant to run left of the marsh and run on the line I eventually took, but I completely overlooked the trail. When Brendan intrepidly charged into the swamp, I stayed with him, though apparently everyone was deterred by our plunk-plunking through the water. Will remarked to Alex and Ali during the first leg about our idiotic route choice.

By the time I reached the first control, the leaders had passed far ahead. I started picking off the people in front of me and caught up with Phil Bricker and PG at control 2. I was still adjusting to navigating at night for control 3, and stayed with them. Control 4 was through the "here be dragons" zone, and I didn't have a better plan than to go straight. If I had been alone, I might have tried to bounce off the water features right of the control or the stone wall left of it, but I just followed PG and Phil, and Phil led me right to it after PG got too far ahead of us.

Phil and I parted company at 4, and I ran solo until 7, where I caught up to Ernst and Alar Ruutopold. I was somewhat lucky at 5, but I reasoned that the stone walls would catch me if I missed; I ran using the contours and trying to avoid climbing too much after passing over the hill. Pt 8 was a bit tricky, and I slowed to make sure I hit the boulder cluster. I ran with Ernst and Alar to 9 and punched just ahead of them. I tried to break away on the trivial linear navigation to 10, but the marsh density was much higher before the trail than the map indicates, and I was confused. I led after the trail, but I overshot the boulder and Ernst found it first. We diverged slightly en route to 11, but we converged in the huge reentrant and I punched a few seconds ahead of the two of them. We deviated on the way to 12, and I didn't see them again.

I'm not happy with my route to 12, and I wasn't happy when I made the plan, but I stuck with it. The idea was simple - run along the trail, follow the cliff/marsh line to the eastern tip of Incredible Pond, then stay south of the water features into the control. I ran into the sea of huge boulders on the tip of the Incredible, and drifted south to get around them. I ran into Alex going to 13 at the choke point south of Incredible, but then confused the hilltops and drifted NW. At the boulders N of 12, I beheld a spectacular sight: Will, navigating solo, with a headlamp no brighter than a few candles - perhaps 3-5 lumens. It was remarkable; he ignored me entirely and charged off toward 12. After I relocated on the boulders, I followed him, and punched 15-20 seconds behind him.

I had a confusing adventure leaving 12; I wasn't quite sure where I was until I almost fell off the cliff at the choke point south of Incredible (probably a 5-10 meter fall). I didn't have difficult en route to 13, and I ran with cautious confidence knowing that the stone walls would catch me. I hit the wall junction and went into the control. On the leg to 14, I was feeling very comfortable with Pawtuckaway and navigating respectably. I aimed for the northern tip of the long marsh, missed by perhaps 25-50 meters, and attacked between the two ponds. I passed three or four others who were exploring the edge of the long marsh.

Running from 14, I hit the northern edge of the marsh just south of the control and saw Will. I pushed hard to try to get away from him, and I'm pretty sure I reached the road first. Unfortunately, I stupidly chose to go straight rather than running around on the parking lot, and (de facto blind) Will beat me by about 30 seconds. I was slow - about 30 minutes behind the Childs and Ali, but my race was a big improvement over my past experience in Pawtuckaway at night. I'm also very happy that I was able to push through 4.5 hours of activity in a single day, even though fatigue undoubtedly contributed to my sluggishness during this race. Finishing the Night-O uninjured, even given its numerous easy controls, is itself a victory. My GPS track corresponds to my drawn track pretty well. A hallmark of Pawtuckaway's high map quality is that very few QR points are needed to make the track conform to the map.


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