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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: iansmith

In the 7 days ending Nov 27, 2011:

activity # timemileskm+mload
  Orienteering6 7:36:57 32.92(13:53) 52.97(8:38) 121882c361.0
  Running5 2:03:28 13.98(8:50) 22.49(5:29) 21572.5
  Unspecified1 10.0
  Total9 9:40:26 46.89 75.47 143382c433.4
  [1-5]9 9:39:53
averages - sleep:4

» now

Sunday Nov 27, 2011 #

8 AM

Orienteering 1:00:00 [1] 6.0 km (10:00 / km)
shoes: 201110 Inov-8 X-Talon 212

I arrived at Harold Parker at 8 AM, and Mika and I directed our little army of three boy scouts and two leaders to divide up the controls. The leaders and one scout went to set the white course, Mika took remote advanced controls, and I led two scouts on an intrepid expedition to set six flags. The woods were thick in places, and I left them briefly to bust across a knee-deep stream and set one flag.

After the first loop, I set out alone to set a further 8 yellow and orange controls, and finished up at 9:45.
12 PM

Running 5:46 [1] 0.93 km (6:12 / km) +2m 6:08 / km
shoes: 201110 Inov-8 X-Talon 212

Warmup; it was slightly longer than this, but not much.

Orienteering 58:32 intensity: (15 @0) + (2 @1) + (8 @2) + (6:18 @3) + (51:44 @4) + (5 @5) 8.89 km (6:35 / km) +69m 6:20 / km
ahr:161 max:183 14c slept:4.0 shoes: 201110 Inov-8 X-Talon 212

Quickroute. I didn't run off the map, but I dropped my red course during control pickup, and only cropped copies were left.

I put Harold Parker on the schedule when I was planning the fall calendar primarily because the map looked interesting and I wanted to run there. I expected that on November 27, there would be snow on the ground, temperatures would be 30 F, and thirty people would come.

Instead, the high temperature today was about 60 F, and orienteering was heavily publicized over the past week with a story on NPR and an article in the globe. A total of 193 competitors came out today, many of whom were beginners. Fortunately, a crew of boy scouts had contacted me about three weeks ago expressing interest in volunteering at a meet to help earn their orienteering merit badges. One of the scouts, Dan O'Leary, has run green and red courses at past meets. Their assistance was indispensible today, and everyone worked hard to keep the crowd flowing and people heading out.

Mika Latva-Kokko set fun courses, and while the map vegetation and trails are substantially outdated, I found the contours and rock features pretty accurate. The map is interesting, though the runnability varies; the vegetation and bike trails should be updated, but the terrain is technical and challenging.

After working registration and mingling with the crowd, I set out on red. I had set controls 1, 2, 13, and 14, but I started out navigating very poorly through 3. There were a few long legs - 4, 5, and 13 - on which I gained a bit of time. I struggled with green near the circle at 13, and 14 was a challenge. I'm disappointed with how few splits I won, but I put a solid effort. I'm pleased to see 4 minute kms charging up the road en route to 13; I had a little bit of spunk left in my legs after the weekend.

Yikes - ernst really killed it on the finish split; I also was bgallup'd. Apparently I need to raise my game.

Update - after some analysis, I'm less displeased with my performance. I finished first or second on all but three splits, each of which was an error - 3, 4, and 7. I'm upset that I navigated 1-3 so badly, but particularly given that I had a hard weekend, my performance is satisfactory. I was 3:17 behind superman. I can't help but think that Ross would have run sub 50.

Orienteering 31:02 intensity: (8 @0) + (4:29 @1) + (14:11 @2) + (12:07 @3) + (7 @4) 2.95 km (10:30 / km) +32m 9:58 / km
ahr:130 max:156 8c shoes: 201110 Inov-8 X-Talon 212

Picking up the loop of 8 yellow and orange controls I set earlier. I was really tired near the end. It turns out I had banged my right shin on a rock or tree pretty hard, and I have a bruise. My bones seem to be intact, though.

I was told today that I have strong physical resemblance to teen heartthrob Justin Long.

Saturday Nov 26, 2011 #

10 AM

Running 15:20 intensity: (47 @1) + (3:51 @2) + (7:27 @3) + (3:15 @4) 2.01 km (7:37 / km) +64m 6:34 / km
ahr:144 max:164 shoes: 201110 Inov-8 X-Talon 212

Orienteering 33:00 intensity: (3 @0) + (17 @1) + (54 @2) + (6:09 @3) + (25:37 @4) 4.1 km (8:03 / km) +107m 7:08 / km
ahr:160 max:173 19c shoes: 201110 Inov-8 X-Talon 212


We reran the 2010 Team Trials Red Middle at Rockhouse. I started first, and had some trouble choosing intelligent routes through the green. I messed up six by focusing too much on the (extra) marsh south of the mapped marsh and not paying enough attention to the contours. Brendan, who started three or four minutes behind me, passed me before 6. I picked up speed to 7, then took a different route to 8. I had a safe attack, but when I saw him below me, I aborted and followed him; apparently we then went to a location that was quite far from 8. Yay navigation. Nine was confusing because we had come from not 8, so we spent a bit of time standing around trying to make sense of things. I took the lead leaving 10, and held it until I chose a suboptimal route to 13. Brendan put on some speed leaving 13, and was almost out of sight when I hit 16. I didn't see him after that until the finish.

Orienteering 11:51 [1] *** 1.58 km (7:31 / km)
ahr:143 max:163 2c shoes: 201110 Inov-8 X-Talon 212

After the run, I revisited controls 7 and 8 with Neil.
2 PM

Running 11:55 intensity: (4 @0) + (3 @1) + (44 @2) + (4:30 @3) + (6:34 @4) 1.82 km (6:33 / km) +59m 5:38 / km
ahr:155 max:171 shoes: 201110 Inov-8 X-Talon 212

Orienteering (Line-O) 28:06 intensity: (39 @1) + (11:41 @2) + (13:28 @3) + (2:18 @4) 2.24 km (12:33 / km) +27m 11:50 / km
ahr:139 max:171 shoes: 201110 Inov-8 X-Talon 212

Orienteering 1:03:52 [2] *** 6.28 km (10:11 / km) +243m 8:32 / km
ahr:146 max:172 6c shoes: 201110 Inov-8 X-Talon 212


I designed the afternoon's exercise at Surebridge. I have always found the terrain difficult, so I started with a line-O to really pay attention to technical details. I drew the line-O by hand, so everyone's was slightly different.

The second part of the exercise was supposed to be a set of short/long pairs of legs. The idea was to plan your route for the long leg while running the short leg, then concentrate on clean execution of that route. With the substantial technical detail of Surebridge, and the dumbness and difficulty of some of the short legs I set, it would have been better to plan routes in advance. The exercise wasn't actually about route choice so much as it was about executing long, tricky legs well. I need to think about ways of refining this exercise.

I ran ahead to hang streamers, and it turns out that I was in the wrong spot for 2. Oops. Leg 3-4 was unquestionably the highlight of this outing; that ridge is gorgeous. We parked up at Tiorati Circle, so we bailed after 6.

Friday Nov 25, 2011 #


"It struck him that in moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external enemy, but always against one's own body." - 1984

After some deliberation, I have concluded that I am unhappy.
10 AM

Orienteering 1:01:40 intensity: (3 @0) + (17 @1) + (2:47 @2) + (8:21 @3) + (32:28 @4) + (17:44 @5) 6.49 km (9:30 / km) +214m 8:09 / km
ahr:166 max:189 12c shoes: 201110 Inov-8 X-Talon 212


Jagge very kindly designed an exercise on Blue Mountain with contours only - form lines and dot knolls had been deleted - and an area in front of each control blanked out. The idea was to navigate with contours alone and then pinpoint the feature based on the terrain behind it. It was an extension of an exercise I have seem where you broaden the control (like Thierry's simplification) to make it easier to find at full speed.

Apparently I rely heavily on the information in front of the control, because I was off by a reentrant at 1, had some difficulty at 5 (largely due to the big hill south of the line from 5-6 not existing on the map), and self-destructed at 12. It was an interesting exercise - I certainly enjoyed the contour only part, but I found the control broadening very challenging. I will have to attempt similar exercises another time, preferably with streamers.

Orienteering 14:56 intensity: (1:02 @2) + (5:39 @3) + (7:22 @4) + (53 @5) 1.49 km (10:01 / km) +31m 9:04 / km
ahr:157 max:180 2c shoes: 201110 Inov-8 X-Talon 212

Dissatisfied with my performance at 12, I ran out past 1 to reattack and figured out what I had done wrong.
2 PM

Orienteering 1:33:58 intensity: (7 @1) + (8 @2) + (8 @3) + (40:44 @4) + (52:51 @5) 12.96 km (7:15 / km) +495m 6:05 / km
ahr:177 max:191 19c shoes: 201110 Inov-8 X-Talon 212

Quickroute. We reran the 2002 Billygoat. I skipped control 16. Course distance: 11.2 km.

One area of my orienteering I want to particularly develop is long races. I had been looking forward to the rerun of the Billygoat for over a week, and I rested my legs on Wednesday and Thursday, both because I was concerned I had injured myself and to be fresh for the Billygoat. Sergei and Greg graciously hung streamers in the morning, which substantially improved our experience. We left Neil's sluggishly after our morning training, and Neil, Anna, Ali, Brendan and I mass-started at about 3 PM. I decided early to run aggressively and exploded out of the start to the front of the pack. I decided to get creative, and didn't execute my route to 1 very well. I saw Brendan approaching as I tagged the streamer.

I was in the lead for the entire race; Brendan and Ali were perhaps 0:15 - 1:00 behind me for the first three controls, then Brendan fell back. I was intermittently in sight of Ali for four and five, and I lost her busting up the hill to six. I took a somewhat suboptimal route to 7 and was sluggish climbing the hill, and we caught sight of each other converging on the control. I was perhaps 0:20-0:30 ahead of her at 7, and I ran hard on the downhill into 8 and exited quickly to try to lose her. I made a 1 minute error to 10, and she apparently saw me at the circle, but we didn't see each after that until the end of the course.

The race was exhilarating. My heart rate was above 180 for the first thirty minutes, and didn't start to fall off substantially until 54 minutes in. I reached 11 at about 4:00, and the sun was setting. Since I felt confident I could navigate back even in the dark, I pressed on, and finishing before it grew completely dark was my main motivation. I didn't realize Ali was still running behind me, though I didn't have much stamina left in reserve. The last loop had about 4.7 km of running, but with the skip at 16, 15 to the finish was essentially all trail running.

While I started faster than I probably should have, I strong physically for most of the run. It would have been helpful to have water during the course and more light, but the forest was very runnable. I'm disappointed I didn't have more stamina to sustain an hr of 180 for longer, and that my performance climbing hills was so deplorable. My legs felt fantastic despite my concerns, and I'm optimistic that I will be able to build on my performance. The mass start was great fun, and having Ali appear at various times on the course was tremendously motivating. Had I run this time in 2002, I would have finished in sixth, eight minutes behind ken.

Tuesday Nov 22, 2011 #


Recorded a HR of 51 min-1 while sitting at my desk. I don't usually have a heart rate that low; perhaps my fitness is improving. My body feels surprisingly good right now, though I am well aware of how quickly that can change. I have resumed my calcium + vitamin D3 supplements.

Plan for the week:
- Tuesday: 50-60 minute easy run with some 85-90 sec 400 meter track laps for speed calibration
- Wednesday: rest or 25-30 minute easy run
- Thursday: 3k. My old mile PR is 5:20; 3k PR is 11:13. I'm hoping to run sub 10:45, but no speedwork recently suggests 11:00 would be good.
- Friday: Billygoat and Blue Mountain Training
- Saturday: Harriman training
- Sunday: Harold Parker local meet
6 PM

Running 57:12 intensity: (33 @1) + (51 @2) + (41:54 @3) + (13:54 @4) 11.35 km (5:02 / km) +40m 4:57 / km
ahr:150 max:165 shoes: 201108 Asics GT-2150

Easy run around the streets of Cambridge. It was cold and windy, so I avoided the river. In a break with my typical pattern, motivated by hunger, I stopped for a burrito immediately before my run. My lower legs started hurting near the end of the run, and I stopped to stretch my calves. Based on the sensations in my leg, I eschewed running 400s tonight. My right achilles (?) in particular is tight and discomforted.

I will take a rest day tomorrow in anticipation of a tough few days ahead.

Monday Nov 21, 2011 #

(rest day)

The 2011 Blue Hills Traverse is done, and the event was largely a success. The weather was fantastic - even warm, with a high temperature of 66 F and an average of 58; the average wind speed was 15 mph.

I designed the course with the intent of making it differ from last year's course. My objective last year was to minimize time spent on trails; I wanted the optimal route to be through the woods. The density of trails in the Blue Hills puts a soft upper bound on the length of a leg given the trail minimization criterion, so the distribution of leg lengths was very narrow. While I was happy with my design, I was disappointed to find that there was very little route choice on the course; the route gadget data and glancing at people's gps tracks revealed that everyone generally took the same routes. (E.g. Neil's route; basically straight on every leg. Boring.)

So, I decided to expand the leg length distribution and incorporate more route choice, even at the expense of trail running. My assessment is that the result is a much more interesting course, with considerably more variety. While there is more unavoidable trail running than I would have liked (especially on the competitors' loop, which I think is silly), there are many more possibilities. Controls 8, 10 and 15 were the most interesting choices, with minor decisions at 2, 9, 22, and 24. While there exist possible Traverses that are more interesting, I'm satisfied with my effort. I interspersed control pick-esque technical sections with the longer legs, and I experimented with loops.

Leg length distributions (lengths are convolved with a gaussian)
2010 vs 2011 - note the cluster of legs from 2010 with mean 450 meters
Comparison of 2010-2011 (Ian) with 2008-2009 (set by Ross)

YearAvg Leg LengthStdev of Leg Lengths
2011513 m368 m

I began planning the course in earnest in October - later than I had intended, primarily due to the stresses of the CSU A-meet. I designed three drafts for each map (west and east). While the west drafts used similar areas of the map, the east designs were widely varied. I spent a few days vetting in November, and based on that discarded some of my drafts and refined the legs and control locations further. Alex Jospe kindly agreed to design the recreational courses, so I was able to focus entirely on the Traverse. I solicited Ross and Neil for course critiques, and Jeff made some changes (including the addition of the 'competitors loop' - controls 12 and 13).

The course was basically completed on Friday 11 Nov - later than I had hoped, but with some margin for error. Jeff and I discussed a few other modifications, and I sent the final courses to Ed on Tuesday. He sent the data to the printers the next day, and we picked up the maps on Friday.

My familiarity with the Blue Hills after setting the event last year greatly simplified the work this year. While I would have preferred to be done at least two weeks in advance, everything was prepared with time to spare. Jeff and I set the Traverse controls on Saturday afternoon, which had all been streamered in the preceding weeks. I had hoped to run the Traverse early on Sunday to wake up controls and experience the course, but I needed to set a few rec controls and be at Houghton's Pond at 9 AM to deliver the cache of equipment I was carrying. With a little more foresight, it would have been achievable.

Unspecified (German) 1 [1]

I haven't been very consistent about logging this, but I suppose inconsistent measurements are more informative than none at all. Read about cases - accusative and dative in particular. Currently on Level 1, Unit 2, Lesson 2.
8 PM

Running 33:15 intensity: (3 @1) + (1:19 @2) + (24:56 @3) + (6:57 @4) 6.38 km (5:13 / km) +50m 5:01 / km
ahr:148 max:170 shoes: 201104 Mizuno Waverider 14

While I had planned to take a rest day, I felt restless, so I went out on an easy recovery run this evening. Something in my lower right calf - possibly the Achilles tendon - hurt yesterday, though I don't recall any trauma. It still feels tight as I rotate my ankle, but it felt fine while I was running. The temperature was 5 C, and I ran in long sleeves and shorts.

I pondered social contracts as I ran in silence, as I have completed all the audiobooks I was reading. I considered the problem of social contracts that interact - instances of three or more people entering into a contract. My proposition is that all interactions can be modeled as contracts between two parties - two individuals, or an individual and a group entity (e.g. an individual and society). Conflicting social contracts resolve almost trivially; one contract must supercede another, and that hierarchy must be codified. Coupled social contracts are somewhat more complicated, but I still think pairwise modeling is possible - sort of an Ising model of society.

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