Showing posts from February, 2007

Ultra Difficult Ulpha Park

After a decent night at Hawkshead Youth Hostel we put the skills we learnt yesterday to real use at a District Event held by LOC at Ulpha Park. Well the skills would have been put to use but a number of Chasers cars took the wrong turning (much to our amusement) and took ages to arrive... (Shall I name names?!). I went for the Brown course which was 6.8k with 300m of climb. The first control involved running back through the start and finding a stream with the control just beyond. Unfortunately I undershot the control as I found a stream which I later found out was unmarked (perhaps due to the recent heavy rain) so lost 4 mins just to begin with. After that the second control was on the other side of a very large hill so decided to contour round, but made a total dogs dinner of it and ended up far too close to the boundary walls - the best option for me would have just been to go direct so lost another 4 mins . The next control was fine, although I lost 20 secs overshooting it, but

Chasers Training at Black Beck

On Saturday I went to the Chasers Club Training which was held at Black Beck in the Lake District. I woke up at 6am and picked up Dave Brown and Simon Griffiths for a long drive up the M6 for a 10am start. There were a variety of different courses. I started off with a follow the line course which was quite difficult and ended up straying off the line several times. I then tried the compass and pacing course which looked like one of the most difficult courses as there were only small sections of the map with the remainder blank. I found the first three controls without any problem, but then got a little lost and it started to rain heavily so that was that. I then retired to the club tent and had an early lunch as it literally bucketed it down. Once the heaviest rain had moved on I decided to do the long legs course which was quite straight forward and finally had a go at the simplification where I managed to complete half of the course before being unable to find number 4 so retired b

Lickey Hills West Mids League 2

Went to the second West Mids League event today at the Lickey Hills. As I was arriving the place looked vaguely familiar to me - I think it was where I did some practice navigation for a D of E award back in 1997. Did the brown course which was 7.1k with 300m climb so it was going to be a tough one. Quite early on my legs felt really heavy and quite tired. I think I hadn't recovered sufficiently from going to the gym on Friday. I made one of the biggest mistakes for a long time at number 2 and lost over 5 mins - I overshot the control, retraced a little bit but was still too far ahead. I did find some blue tape in a nearby re-entrant so eventually considered the control had gone walkies and was going to move on, but decided to look one last time and eventually found it. Overall I had a really scrappy run, lost a lot of time and don't think I ran anywhere near full speed in any part of the course. I completed in 65 mins (9.2m/km), whilst at the point I left the lead

Chasers Sherbrook Badge Event

This week was back to the orienteering, this time a Chasers badge (regional) event. As always I entered M21S which although short was still 8.4km with 210m of climb. Although my start time was 12:52 I set off a bit early as I had offered to collect controls in later on. From the start I made a fairly big cock up and lost a minute - there was a path to cross then a second path just after the control to act as a catching feature. I came to the first path and for some reason assumed I had gone too far which resulted in me looking for the control west of the first path crossing. Eventually I realised, then found a different control (earth bank) which wasn't mine before hitting the second path. At this point I knew I had gone too far and eventually managed to find the control. Over the next four controls I managed to get three fastest splits by around 8-15 secs. I didn't do anything brilliantly here so only assume my leg speed and decision making was a bit faster. It was at this s

Alsager 5

Today I went to the Alsager 5 (the 5 being the number of miles) road race. This was only my second race since deciding to return to the road. The course conditions were as near to perfect as you'll ever see - sunny, no breeze and cool (about 10 degrees). The course was as near to flat as possible over five miles - a couple of very gentle gradients that didn't really have any affect on leg speed, so overall the times here were going faster than usual. At my first road race at Telford in December I really struggled with bad blistering under the arches of my feet and have had similar problems when at the gym. Last Friday I decided to experiment at the gym with some elastoplast over the affected areas which turned out to make no different whatsoever. Yesterday I went to Boots and bought some blister plasters which are similar to compeed (Sort of translucent sticky outer with the middle having a plastic/gel layer). They were pretty expensive at £3.50 for only 5 plasters (2 of

Planning ahead...

Got my race number for this weekend's event. I've never done a five miler so this is new for me. If I run 30.34 then this should be equal to my current 10k pace of 38mins. If I do 29.46 then i'll be equal to 37mins and if I do 28.58 then I'll be equal to 36min 10k pace (and one of my 2007 targets). I've now bought a new pair of trainers becuase of blistering (the running shop did video analysis before recomending a shoe), and yup the new pair give me blisters as bad as before! I'm off to Boots tomorrow to find some tape to reduce the problem. I'm in one of my 'feeling disenchanted with orienteering' phases, or at least I hope it is still a phase. The problem is that everytime I hit one of these phases it feels just that little bit worse than the last one. I've had a couple of grotty courses recently which has annoyed me, but then the Robin Hood Trophy course was pretty good, but I still felt unhappy at the end. I tend to be hyper-critical