O Log - Older Archives
[30-Jul-02] 

    Back from 5 weeks of orienteering in the Yukon, APOC, and RM 1000 day. The highlights were winning the gold in the APOC 8 point reley championship, and a near perfect run in the APOC classic championship. The lowlights were a 5 minute error in the crystal relay, and being sick for the US Long O championships. Hopefully I'll have time to write about some of my experiences over the next few days.

[17-Jun-02] 

    5.5 min/k at the club relay picnic. Not bad, tho the course was faster and easier than that. Of course, I'm not that fast in the first place, so I guess that means I'm back, more or less. The whole speed vs technique training thing is rather interesting. I know in my experience, I oscillated. In the beginning, when I was totally out of shape, I outnavigated my speed, then started training and outran my navigation, then got better at navigating at that speed and trained more on speed and again outran my navigation and so on. It seemed like the two kept oscillating then converging, until they finally converged to a point where the only thing it made sense to work on was technique -- micro optimizations, technical maps, and poor maps -- the three weakest areas for me. Then I got injured and had to concentrate 100% on the physical. My technique suffered. Hopefully I'm past that now.

    So I would vote for technique training, at least for me. It seems that if I can physically orienteer at 5.5min/k, even on an easy course, that I have capacity to orienteer at a decent speed on an advanced course. I dunno about these things, but I'm generally ecstatic with 7.5min/k. (I'm a little worried about Laramie, tho, which I think is more physical than technical -- I have trouble with the altitude -- I would have liked to have put more miles in the past few weeks).

    I think what it may come down to sometimes is that it is easier to put in miles or go to the track -- you just have a work hard attitude and you go do it. But how to you even do technique training? I do know its not the sort of thing I can do three times a week -- the park is a half hour away, I need to plan it, put gear on, and so on. Excuses yes, but it does take three times as long to do 10K on FC as opposed to a 10K trail run on Mt. Misery just due to logistics. We can't just walk out our backdoor and do O training. Perhaps I should quit my job. That is the best idea I've had in a while. And French Creek isn't appropriate for many places I compete. The closest "technical" terrain is 2 hours away. Therein lies the problems with this, at least for me. So, when we have an hour or two, we run. Its not enough time to even get on a map ... tho I try to make the most of it ... since I'm going to put so many hours of work a year for the club anyway, I try to make them course setting hours. That is good technical training.

    Sergei, or club champion, was talking about some interesting training. Sort of like a reverse line O. Someone streamers a route thru the woods and hangs bags along the route. Runners follow the route, and when they come to a bag, they punch a hole in the map where they think the bag is. I think the scoring is 3 points for hitting the exact feature, and 1 point for being within 50m. I'm not sure about the scoring, it seems like some sort of combination of speed thru the route and points makes sense, somehow balanced so that walking or running blindly both pay off less than running as fast as possible yet getting them all correct.

    This will be my last entry for a while. I won't have internet access until about the time of the Hickory Run Rogaine in early August.

[11-Jun-02] 

    So I had this craving for Thai food the last few days, and I had curried duck for dinner. About an hour after dinner, I felt no symptoms in my knee. Coincidence? I did a google of "curry" and "anti-inflammatory". 1800 hits. Mostly "herbal supplement" kind of web sites claiming curry as the preventative for Alzheimer's, MS, cancer, and so on. Apparently, some clinical work has been done in these areas, at least on mice. Anyway, the claim is that it is also a strong anti-inflammatory (traditional anti-inflammatory drugs have also been linked to preventing these diseases); as strong as a steroid injection. Further, the claim is that it induces steroid production (whereas I believe traditional anti-inflammatory drugs work by inhibiting certain enzyme(s)). Traditional anti-inflammatory drugs haven't helped me.

    I don't really know much about all this, and have never taken to new age herbal hocus pocus (not that there's anything wrong with it, just never had the time), but I can't deny there was an observable effect I wasn't looking for. Probably coincidence, but the next time I have a sports injury, I'll eat lots of curries. I guess it can't hurt. And they are tasty.

[10-Jun-02] 

    I'm told that my O log is missed. I guess the reason I'm not writing much is that I write what I'm thinking about, and don't feel like writing about what I've been thinking about anymore. I've also been real busy preparing for APOC and Hickory Run.

    My last two races have been sloppy. Much more lost time than normal. Both maps were out of date maps large trails missing. Day 1 I wasn't warned, and day 2 I was. Being warned allowed me to prepare for it mentally, and it wasn't a factor. On day 1, however, when I came across the unmapped trails, I lost confidence. I assumed I had lost contact. So I lost alot of time. I used to be a run-to-the-collecting-feature kinda guy. But since I had improved recently, I have found the value of constant contact. But I wasn't doing that, and got burned by the unmapped trails. It stems from having to work harder to attempt to maintain the old pace, I think.

    I'm pretty good about mentally preparing myself for what to expect, and how to deal with it. I had no way of preparing for day 1, as an older map was used without warning. It just goes to show the value of mental preparation and expectation management.

    My mental game plan has also involved concentrating on the running, rather than the navigation. That is intentional, and I think the right thing to do for now, but it hurts time wise. It hurts particularly from the attack point in to the flag, which is where I've been losing tons of time. I think I have less "extra" capacity right now. I think I'm worried that I'll never return to the same physical shape, and am obsessing about it too much. I'm probably just a week or so from being back, but I'm a worrywart.

    I'm using something called a "Trufit" knee support with patella pad. It is about a foot long neoprene sleeve that slides up the leg. It flexes pretty well, but gets hot. I think it slows me down, but not much. I don't notice it when I'm not thinking about it. It eliminates the pain when I run, but I think it makes the condition worse. The theory is that it spreads out the fluid, but I think the pressure on the area is causing more inflammation. I wouldn't wear it, except that I am wearing it to protect the area against another fall. I won't wear it at APOC, unless the terrain is unexpectedly rocky.

[06-Jun-02] 

    Not much to say. Ran 7.5 min/k at Mount Joy, should have been 6.75, so I'm getting back. Had 2 minutes of booms and it was kinda hot, so perhaps I'm almost back. Hurts when I run, tho.

    This weekend will be Rocky Ridge and Iron hill, both pretty rocky places. I'm going to wear kneepads, or at least one kneepad and see how it goes. The biggest thing to overcome will be fear of running in rock. The way to do that is to realise that almost every race around here is in rock, and I train and trail run on rock, and am actually a pretty good rock runner ...

    Better yet, lets go somewhere where rock isn't a factor, like Alberta, or Laramie.

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