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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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,