Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Monday, January 19, 2009

Some of yesterday's legs with the new version of QuickRoute


The map shows my "direction deviation" from the second leg yesterday. Direction deviation is one of the new features of the latest version of QuickRoute. The shading indicates the difference between the direction I was moving and the location of the 2nd control. Where the track is white, I was heading directly toward the 2nd control. Where the track is a red shade, I was heading about 45 degrees (or more) away from the 2nd.

I think direction deviation might be an interesting measure to play with. On this particular leg it gives you the story of a miss that cost me about a minute. I left the first control well - the track is mostly white. I saw the big reentrant ahead of me through the mist and decided to skirt the top of the reentrant to save a little bit of effort (my legs were a bit shot from the climb to 1). That was not a good idea, of course. Rounding features like the tops of reentrants or broad knolls is tricky - it is easy to get off your intended line without realizing it. I was looking ahead as far as possible, trying to see the very top of the subtle reentrant that the control feature was in. What caught my eye was the very subtle reentrant the is south of where I wanted to go. My direction deviation track is pretty consistent...but it is heading to the wrong reentrant!

As I ran down the wrong reentrant I hesitated. I thought that the reentrant shape seemed wrong. But the hills are quite rounded in this terrain and I wasn't sure it was wrong. I ignored the first alarm bells. Paying attention wouldn't have avoided the miss, but it might have save 30 seconds or so.

Here is another leg with the direction deviation shown.

I left the 5th control cleanly. The deviation direction track is white/yellow, indicating I was heading fairly straight toward the 6th control. Near the middle of the leg, I got a bit off the straight line. That was planned. I was on an old road (you can see some of it on the map). Note that my track doesn't quite match the trail shown on the map. I think my track is correct and that the trail was mapped a bit off.

Below is the same leg but the track shows my pace. Red and yellow are slow, green is fast.

You can see that I was moving fairly slowly as I left the 5th control. Then my pace picks up, but there are three spots where I slowed. First, the track goes red near the middle of the leg. That's where I stopped to adjust my shoe. When the rain began (which was a leg or two earlier) my foot started to move a bit in my shoe. I stopped to tighten the laces - hence the red bit of my track. The rain caused another problem. I couldn't see the map very clearly through the rain on my glasses (and I need the magnification of the glasses to read the map well). So, I had to come to short stops to really see the map. The two stops show up distinctly in the track. I probably could have (and should have) gotten to the control without having to stop twice to look at the map.

Here is another leg with the track showing my heart rate.

Red shows a race effort (heart rate of 165-170). The green is a heart rate about 120 and lower. The change from red to green was where I turned my ankle. The data show that I didn't move for a bit over a minute. After about a minute, my h.r. had dropped and I was able to get moving again.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 3:56 PM


On leg 1, you mention that the shape of the reentrant seemed wrong. Can you and other elite NA orienteers distinguish this level of contour difference (the shapes of the two reentrants) pretty easily? Is that the kind of contour reading ability it takes to get to the top in the US?
I don't know what other people would see. I took a pretty careful look at the control circle and the area just around it, so I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. Notice that the control reentrant is a good bit sharper.

I wish I'd put as much effort into looking at the big reentrant half way along the route. Then I wouldn't have missed the control.

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