Once a source of "Not all you want to know about Texas Adventure Racing," but now just some "leisure" adventure through the eyes of "The K-SPoT"

Thursday, March 29, 2007

t6 vs. Smartbelt Comparison

TE of 4!
Very interesting. I paired my Smartbelt with my t6 to see if there would be any data corruption in the transmitted data, but to my delightful surprise, there is virtually no difference in the HR data! The Smartbelt has 2s sampling while the t6 has 10s, so the Smartbelt will occasionally pick out higher max values, but they are minimal. But, of course, the shortcoming of the smartbelt is shown at the bottom of the figure: speed/distance data. But still, Smartbelt is perfect in applications where you need to store large amounts of data (several hours worth)!

BTW, blue is Smartbelt, red is t6.

Monday, March 26, 2007

HART Expedition AR Training Camp Suunto T6 Log

* log stopped after 22hrs due to full memory
** pods not used

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tour de Houston, Seabrook Marathon, and Galveston Bay Paddle

there i am, on the left!I had a really fun-filled training regimen scheduled this past weekend and it did not disappoint. It somewhat started with an hour trail run Friday evening. I haven't done one of these in a long time, so I figured I would try to start that up again. Unfortunately, the trails were still muddy from the recent rains and it was a slogfest! I ran the purple to the backdoor trail that leads to the green trail, but the water at the creek crossing about 2miles in was too high...and I didn't feel like wading in that stuff by myself! So, I backtracked and popped out at the fruit loop, ran back to the parking lot and restarted my trail run, going blue-red-yellow-orange-rocky dip-blue-back to car. It went really well and it was fun! I had the place almost all to myself.

Saturday was the Tour de Houston with the Warship and Sly Fuchs. Since the house was close to downtown, we decided to ride from there to the start, which was about 2miles. We had committed to the 70-miler, so this just meant we would be over-achievers, doing almost 75miles. We got a bit of a late start, but we got to the line just in time. It was a great atmosphere and it was really cool having a ride that started from the heart of Houston. Right away I saw Terry, riding with Pride. After a few minutes of speeches, including one from a fully-supportive Mayor Bill White (he rode that day too), we were off in waves of about 100. We first cruised west on Allen Parkway and then did a U-turn coming back east. We then started weaving our way south east, towards Galveston Road, which would eventually lead us all the way to Clear Lake. Along the way we saw Treacherous Tracy and Thad and my former workmate, John Miller. I had planned to just cruise all the way to the halfway point before stopping at a rest area, but the Warship had to dump excess fluid buildup. So we stopped. I was actually glad we did after the fact because at that rest stop I saw Uchenna and Joyce from The Amazing Race! Sweeet! They won once and were currently back on the show for an all-stars edition. They were training for the MS-150 on a tandem. I looked at them like I knew them from real life and said, "wassup?", then realized they were from TV. Hilarious.

Tour de Houston, here we comeAfter that, we headed back out towards Clear Lake. For the most part, we were able to keep it to just the 3 of us, which is what I had preferred--following the rule, ride in pacelines with people you know. But, as we passed a glob of riders we picked up stragglers. I was pulling at the time, so I didn't realize this until I dropped back to give Tommy a turn. Then, I looked back and there were about 10 people behind him, none of them Weihan! I was like, WTF?!? I eventually saw Weihan when I got to the back of the line and asked him where these people came from. He was expressing his concern because people were apparently darting in and out of the line. Scary. So, at the next stoplight, we just let the big line go, and we went at a slightly slower pace to bring it back down to just the 3 of us. It worked, but Weihan was for some reason trying to do the navigation. We were passing the next rest stop when he thought the turn was for the 70-mile route. I saw the sign for 70-miler ahead, so I was like, "no." So we kept going straight and Weihan had to catch up. Despite the headwind, we were going pretty good, staying around the 20-22mph range.

We then eventually turned left into the Clear Lake subdivisions and as we passed another rest stop and went to turn left onto Space Center Blvd, Weihan again tries to take the lead nav position...only problem is that he is riding straight into traffic! For some reason he tries to ride on the left side of the divider--I was thinking, hey, if he wants to hop those cars, cool. But he thinks twice, and circles around the barrier. I was laughing so hard I almost fell off of my bike. Again, he had to catch up to us. We made a loop and came back to the last rest stop and this time we pulled over to refuel--we had about 30miles to go. We were doing well and from what I could tell, feeling great! After refueling and stretching, we headed on the backstretch. It would mostly be a tailwind now, so this is where the real fun began! Again, we started with just the 3 of us, but for some reason, a couple of guys we passed decided to join up. Oh well, they looked competent, so we let them pull. :) Once we got back on Galveston Road, we hammered. We were getting up to 28mph on some stretches, with one of the guys, in a sun & ski jersey, pulling for most of the time!

this is what my back looks like when in a pacelineThings were going great until the other guy, in a blue jersey, decided to be a litter bug. I did not see the incident since he was hugging my wheel at the time, but Tommy was in the perfect position to watch it all unfold. Apparently, the guy, after tearing the top off of a gel pack, tossed the trash out on the road. Thinking that he might have mistakenly done this, Tommy waited and watched. Then the same guy, without remorse, tosses the gel pack itself. Adventure racers have heard the credo "Leave No Trace" enough times to know it makes a lot of sense, so when Tommy saw this, he was compelled to act, especially when it takes little more effort just to stuff the offending trash in you jersey pocket. I then fainlty hear Tommy say something to the effect of, "If you would like to ride in our paceline I would appreciate it if you wouldn't litter." I giggled and said, "here we go!" The blue jersey guy was so taken by suprise that he asked Tommy to repeat what he had said. This must have hurt the guys feelings because shortly after he did disengage from our paceline then sped up to his friend, still pulling the group, and said something to him. They proceeded to pull off and Weihan just continued, pulling the two of us. Hilarious!

Now it was pretty much a series of the blue jersey guy trying to leave us in the dust, but his friend had expended too much energy and couldn't keep his pace, so we just kept passing them since we were just keeping our speed constant. The guy in the sun and ski jersey was still cordial and nice and I don't think he really knew what had happened. Anyway, we just went on our merry way as blue jersey guy pouted. At about this time, we had reached Houston proper and were back to weaving through side streets. Along the way we saw Erin, then Nikki, and then Jeanna. There was one hill on the route (bridge) and it was coming up, so we decided we should sprint up it. Good times, good times. Shortly thereafter, we arrived at the finish. Woohoo! I felt great the whole time, so I was pretty happy about the 70 miles. We stayed shortly for food and drink, then proceeded to ride back to the house. I was now set on getting some rest because we had crazily decided that we should also do the Seabrook Half Marathon AND paddle the bay. Fun!

this is my back when I'm ready to go to sleepTrouble is, its also St. Patrick's Day! Being a Double Domer, I cannot pass this occasion up, so Mo and I go over to the Tipsy Clover for some green beer. It was not as crowded as last year, but that might be because we were in the Village last year, which has a college element to it. We hung out a bit, waiting for people to show. To pass the time, we decide to play some darts. At the same time, my friends from Exxon, Allison and Oleg, arrive, so we all play. Shortly after, Cynthia and Will and then Andrea show. It was a good, laid back time. After about 2-3hrs, people started to leave...it was only 8pm! Sad, but understandable. It was just Mo and I again. We hung out a bit while Mo decides to "liberate" a boa. It was time to go home. LOL. It was a bit late, so I knew I would probably have SOME trouble getting up early next morning.

I get up, feeling pretty good amazingly. But I had somehow slept through my alarm! Somehow meaning my fist "accidentally" fell on the off button. So I was about an hour behind now. I felt bad, so I gave Jackie a call to let her know I would be quite late. As I was getting ready, I notice Yuki is acting all protective of something that looks like one of the play mice we recently bought. No, its a piece of meat! Yuki, being the new bad boy of the family, had jumped up on the kitchen counter and pilfered the meat from a plate we forgot to put away. Nikko knew this was bad, so she just followed and had that look, "ooooh, you're in trouble!" As soon as I realized what was happening, I snapped my shirt at Yuki to scare him, which it did. Unfortunately, it also tripped the glass break sensors of our security system! Wonderful. So I had to turn that off, and for some reason it was registering an error code. That was another 5mins of talking to the customer support person at Brinks. Ugh, finally, I was able to finish up getting all my gear together and head out the door. I cruised out of there and it took about 20mins for me to get to Jackie and Monty's place.

I get there, and the only one there to greet me is Petey...he is not as happy to see me as I am to see him. I call both Weihan and Jackie, but no answer. I then notice their bikes are gone--did they go ahead without me?! Just as I was contemplating this possibility, I see Monty, Jackie, Weihan, and Tracie rolling up on their bikes--they had gone for a tour of the neighborhood. After some ribbing about me being late, we suited up and started our ride to Seabrook. This of course would include a leg-busting ride over the Kemah bridge...now that's a warmup! Plus, we couldn't fully enjoy the max speed on the other side, because we had to make an immediate sharp right at the bottom of the bridge...grrr. The wind was bad as could be expected near the coast, so we just took it easy. We arrived at Meador Park and the Marathon had already started. We locked up the bikes and proceeded to run the trail.

It started off nicely, keeping a slow, manageable pace. People were definitely sore from the previous day's training and along the way Monty had to drop off and stretch a little. Along the way we saw a few other HART members--Janet, Eric, Becca...it was great to see them out there! The weather was perfect and this trail was awesome to run. We had completed one lap, which was a little over 6miles and decided to stretch out a bit. When we started up again we saw Monty again and he was going to cut training a bit short so as not to cause injury, so he biked back home and would wait for us to come back before starting the paddle. A little further along the run, Tracie was experiencing some knee pain. We decided to intermittently walk so as to not aggravate her knee, but when we went to run again, he knee buckled in an odd-looking way. That's when we decided that this run was not worth Tracie getting injured, so we walked the rest of the way. We got in about 9miles running and then another 2-3 miles walking. Not bad for back-to-back long training days! But wait, we weren't done yet!

We got back to the bikes, saddled up as I groaned since my butt was still sore from the 70 miler the day before, and rode back to the house. The bridge was a lot more of a bear this time as we had a headwind to add to the climb! Nice. We made it back safely and before we went for the paddle, we decided to get something to eat since it was around lunchtime now. We drove down to the entrance of Clear Lake Shores to a burger place. That hit the spot! Before the food coma could set in, we decided to head back to the house and get the boats onto the water. It would be Jackie and I in their fast yellow boat, Tracie and Weihan in his fast yellow boat, and Monty in my very fast green machine. A disclamer always comes with the boat, it being a little more tippier than we are accustomed to (see blog on Turnbull's experience at the Texas Dare :)). But Monty took up the challenge with excitement and he was doing really well while we were circling the island for a warmup. He kept up with us most of the time and he did confirm that it is a fast solo.

the bay was a bit more rough than thisNow came the real test--the bay! We paddled along, past the Kemah Boardwalk and then as we got to the mouth of to the bay, cross currents and waves were abound. Still Monty was keeping control of his vessel and was cruising along! It was crazy enough crashing through waves in our boat--it must have been very interesting on the Eliminator! We decided to paddle off to the Texas Corinthian Yacht Clubs boat slips and back...it turned out to be a bit over 7 miles total, including the loop around the island. It was really fun on the way back, as we were cruising at 5mph without really paddling at all. The traffic back into Clear Lake had increased for some reason and we had to maneuver our way through boats just to get back in. This is where Monty had his first (and only) capsize. No prob--he just hopped back on to the sit on top and was ready to go. That's the other beauty of the boat--no need for a bilge pump. So we weaved our way back to the boat ramp and in no time we were done. I felt great the whole weekend and was so happy that we did the 2-day.

Now, off of the heels of this past weekend's training we have the HART 48hr Training Camp this weekend. Wow, talk about the need to rest up! It sounds like its gonna be a lot of fun...almost like a backpack trip, except more painful. :) Anyway, I'll have a blog ready for yall after we come out of the other end of the weekend.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Stumbling Through Stubblefield...Again: Day 2

clues are there for a reasonDay 2:

It was a new day and I had a new plan of attack for the Stubblefield. I went back to basics and kept two techniques in mind at all times: (1) pacecounting...duh; and (2) aiming off. I must say these two simple but important skills made my life a lot easier for day 2!

This time, I was the first of the 3 of us to start. The guy at the starting grid joked with me about the really long leg on day 1, from CP3 to 4...ha ha, very funny. Anyway, I kept it loose and relaxed and as soon as I was out of the gate, I just jogged/walked, making sure I knew where I was going. For CP1, I simply followed a major gully going southwest that should lead me to a minor gully where the CP was...and there it was! CP2 was a nasty bushwack through the dark-green stuff, so I decided to try my aiming-off technique. It worked as I hit the gully, but I must have walked pass the gully intersection I was looking for. I did hit CP3 first and had to backtrack to CP2. But this was simple. At the same time, international racer, Robbie Paddock leaped and bounded pass me like he was a gazelle...note that he had a later start than me. Nice. It was cool to see him in action, though--he seemed to run straight to the CPs!

Anyway, after CPs 2 and 3, I headed for CP4, which was at a dreaded rootstock! Ugh. Okay, no aiming off here, but there was a trail right before the rootstock that I could use. I used a bend in the trail as a point of attack then shot a bearing to the rootstock. I almost missed it...thankfully I looked to my right as a slowly paced my way to it! CP5 looked like fun as there were trails and a definite water feature (pond) that I could use. I followed the motorbike trail and kept going southeast when it went west to pick up another trail. The brush was thick here, so it took me a few minutes to fight through it and I never did find that trail. But I did use my bearing and hit the eastern portion of the pond, so I just had to go around to the NW side of it. Got it! CP6 wasn't too bad either as I shot for a gully intersection. I did forget that the clue said the CP was on a finger--I assumed it was in one of the gullies. When I looked down the gully and saw nothing, I looked at the clue again and remembered it--I looked back from where I came and there it was!

The next leg to CP7 was another long bushwhack...and this time rather than be cute, I blasted through the crap. It was slow going, but my waypoints along the way assured me I was on the right track. I aimed-off to the left as I hit the major gully and then headed right to find the minor gully CP7 was supposed to be in...punched! CP8 was at a trail/gully intersection--I just aimed off for the trail and then followed it to the intersection. Done. CP9 was a straight shot north, but I decided to play it safe and use gullies as my rails. It worked to perfection as I ran right into it. CP10 was another straight shot north, and again I aimed off to the left to avoid some of the green, thick stuff on the map. I aimed off a little more than I had wanted and had to follow the catch (gully) a bit longer than expected. But there it was, in a side gully. CP11, I had planned to aim off a little to the right, but to my suprise as I got within 150m of the CP, it was right there, clear as day! I was so skeptical, that I checked the control number twice...it was the right one! Sweeet!

CP12, again, north. I aimed off right to find a trail, which I did. What I didn't realize is that I was on a different part of the trail than I thought I was. I wasted a little time here as I went from gully to gully, a bit confused, but I then realized what was going on. I popped back out onto the trail, followed it west a bit more, then popped into the gully system and there it was! CP13 was at a rootstock, but this was right next to a gully, so it should be easier...at it was. After waiting for a slow poke racer on the brown course to finally punch her card, I punched and charged down the road to CP14, another rootstock. I slowed down once I got to the marshy area where the CP was supposed to be, and there it was on my left. Of course, the whole race I was able to keep my feet dry, but they placed this point such that you had no choice but to trudge through water. Jerks! LOL. Anyway, got it and speeded down to the final CP15, same place as the last CP on day 1. I then sprinted into the finish line, a lot happier with that day's performance!

I think I had finished 3rd for that day, but I had not erased enough of my previous day's mistakes to make the podium...I missed it by 5-7mins! That sucked a little, but I couldn't do anything about it--I had a really bad Day 1 and I suffered for it. Still, it was a really great experience and I again learned a lot from it! I think the problem is that there are so litte orienteering meets during the year that once one comes around again, I have forgotten the lessons learned from the previous meet. Well, at least now I have this race report to refer back to! :) Both Jackie and Monty had better days too, with Jackie jumping a spot to claim 2nd in her division! Way to go, HART!

Friday, March 16, 2007

UFC is Contagious at Our House

Nikko gets side control on Yuki! Now its some of her classic ground and pound...

Okay, yes, Stubblefield Day 2 is coming...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Stumbling Through Stubblefield...Again: Day 1

mending the kitty scratches on my legsSo, I suppose its about time that I do my race report for the 2 day Stubblefield O...you think I would have enough of this place after my first encounter with it the weekend before, but NOOOO! After losing a ton of gear last time I decided to tempt fate and give it another go. This time, I would be doing an orienteering meet put on by the Houston Orienteering Club...and for the first time ever I would be doing a Red course. I knew it would be tough, but man...

Day 1: It started off nicely, getting to Stubblefield early to register. Jackie and Monty were doing the race too--I think this was Jackie's 2nd ever O-meet and this would be Monty's inaugural baptism. Ross would be there too with his girlfriend, just doing a map hike. After waiting in line for a LONG time at the registration table, we finally got registered and received our start times...now this is what I had forgotten--the staggered starts are sometimes tremendously spaced, which was the case for us. We didn't start until over 2 hours after the first runner started! Man, we just decided to go for breakfast since we had so much time. I think this little delay made me lose focus as I would have trouble from the start.

I would be the last of the 3 of us to start--Monty, Jackie, and then me. The usual ROTC groups were there. Frank was there too, but we didn't know he would be racing until we saw him walking down the road to the staging area. My time was coming up, so I stepped my way through the grid, minute by minute. First, cluesheet. Second, plastic bag, third map and stapling. Then I was off! CP1 was on a minor hill and I had first planned to follow a trail close to it, but it seemed to disappear right away, so I decided to just follow the ridge instead. This worked flawlessly and as I approached the control, so did Jackie. She said she got a bit turned around, but no prob. CP2 was southwest and I planned to dead reckon to the control and hit the gully it was in. I ran across a trail which told me it should be coming up really soon. And there was a gully. I did a quick search but didn't find anything. This is where I screwed up and went against my instincts--I reread the clue and it said "middle gully", so I figured this might be the "first" gully. I ran to the next one and that's where I saw Jackie again. We searched and searched and searched! I started to scramble around in panic and then saw an orange glimmer in the corner of my eye...I thought, "got it!" Nope, it was one of Talamini's old CPs. Grrrrr. Then I headed back north then noticed that I was heading more west than north along the gully. That's when I knew I was in the wrong gully and the first one I was in was the right one! Sonofa...and as I was heading that way I saw Jackie leaving the gully, confirming my dreadful conclusion. And there it was. Unbelievable.

So, I really wasn't able to shake that gaff off as I had spent way too much time on it...and it turned out to cost me a podium. But I'm jumping too far ahead. CP3 looked simple enough as there was a trail that pretty much lead straight to it. About 200m away from the control, I ran into Jackie again as she decided to take the road. Punched. Now was the really fun leg--CP4 was 1500m away, through some thick brush and with no real distinct path to it. Jackie jokingly says, "I'll see you there." In the way was a big thick blob of dark green, which means "fight", meaning it would be very slow going. So I decided to be cute and go around it using gullies and trails. I figured even if it was a longer route, it might not be as slow. Unfortunately, that whole area was pretty much overgrown, so even portions I thought should be clear were a tangled mess. After abandoning that plan, I went back to a dead reckon, which was a risky plan since the control was at a rootstock in the middle of nowhere. That's when I heard some crunching behind me...it was Jackie AGAIN! It was like she was stalking me. She then says she didn't really think she would see me again. LOL. So that confirmed that my "clever" terrain navigation was fruitless as she pretty much deadreckoned the whole way and got there at the same time. Nice. This one was a tough one, so both of us slowed to a crawl looking for this rootstock. Jackie spots a CP, but it is CP5 not CP4...which was good anyway since now we had a known point to shoot from. And from there we found it almost instantly. We had walked right past it because it was on the northern side of the rootstock, hidden from our vision! These bastards are cruel!

OK, now, with CPs 4 and 5 punched, it was off to 6, which was right off of a trail. This thankfully for once was no problem at all--I just followed a trail to a reentrant and there it was. But of course I would relapse. CP7 took me a long time yet again. I tried following a trail down to it and then following a gully, but no dice. I was all over that place, wasting time. Finally, I noticed there were two sets of parallel trails! I was on the wrong one! I went back to known point and took the other trail. It ended abruptly, but after some searching I finally found it. Ugh. I hate Red course. CP8, simple--followed trail to gully and followed that gully right to the point. CP9 was another one that was behind a barrier of green stuff, but this time I decided to go and take the fight to the green blob. The green blob won--this time it was true! That stuff poked me in every cranny possible! I finally emerged on the other side, and guess what--there's Jackie! I thought I saw the CP, but Jackie tells me that its not the right one. We follow the gully east and finally come up on it. I really wasn't in a hurry now, as I knew Jackie would just creep up on me again. :) CP10 wasn't too bad as it was in a gully as well.

The last 4 points seem really straightforward, so I figured I would be able to run the rest of the way. And for the first time that day I was right. CP11 was close to a trail intersection. I overshot it but knew a creek would be my catch, so I backtracked and saw it on the way back. CP12, reentrant close to a gully, got it. CP13, depression, shot a bearing from a trail intersection, got it. CP14, south side of building, got it. Finally, it was the taped section to the finish. I sprinted and waited looked around for Monty, then looked back as I figured Jackie would be there right behind me as usual. But no Monty and no Jackie. Mo was there to console me and I decided to call Monty to see if he was already at the car cleaning himself up. Since we didn't see him at all during the course, I figured he had kicked ass, but with the phone call came disturbing news. He was still out there and had apparently got turned around. Just being out there, I knew what he meant. Minutes later, Jackie came in and we waited a few more minutes for Monty. When we did see him coming in, he wasn't running, so we tried to urge him on...then he said, "what's the point?!" LOL. He had to abandon the rest of the course. Good times...good times had by all.

So after that spectacular display of navigational prowess, why did we even consider coming back for day 2? Because Stubblefield had stolen yet something else: our pride! I was determined to come back and rip the Stub off of Stubblefield's smiley face! Stay tuned for a happy ending...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Our AR Family Just Got More Nimble

"[Mo] is a nice woman who came into BARC looking for a cat that didn't have lots of hair loss issues and would, for her [K-SPoT], be on the lower side of allergic-to-humans spectrum. She had researched on the internet before coming to BARC so was well equipped to make a cat-choice that would prove successful in her household (they already live with one cat, but wanted to make sure their second one was a good fit). She was looking for a Siamese and .....Look who she found! Another happy ending for all."

Say hi to Yuki (you-key)!

Please go to the City of Houston's animal shelter, BARC, and save some of these unfortunate animals.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Stubblefield O: Day 2 Suunto T6 Log

* pods not used due to racers discretion
** stopwatch start delayed by approximately 40mins

Stubblefield O: Day 1 Suunto T6 Log

* pods not used due to racer's discretion
** altitudes approximately 300ft lower than actual
*** stopwatch start delayed by approximately 20mins

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Talm-O Rogaine Recap

my map
Another weekend, another race. This time it was the opposite of the HART Challenge Solo--this one was all navigation. We still had to run, but at least the nav would slow everyone down a bit...even me it turns out. It was another weekend of great weather! Mo decided to sleep in this time as she for sure had nothing to do during the race. Our Spread Your Wings team decided to split up into two two-person teams for the rogaine: Weihan and I, Jackie and Tracie. It was a simple, no frills production, as is usual for Talamini's events. Shortly after Weihan arrived, we gathered together for a short pre-race meeting. Since we were all pretty much ready to go right then, Bob gave a us a few more minutes to get ready and then he started the race 15min early.

After handing us the maps, we were off. Most of the points were already plotted like a classic orienteering meet, but there were still 4 that had to be plotted. I plotted them and then we checked out at the timing table. After telling Talamini our intended first two points, CPs 1 and 14, we jogged out of TA. We were the first ones out, but quickly the Sly Fuchs and David Ferley sped past us. I knew we would need to pace ourselves, so I didn't try to keep up with them. The attack point for CP1 was a road intersection. From there I took a bearing towards the hilltop where it was supposed to be. It seemed to take a while to get there, but we eventually did, a minute or two behind Fuchs and Ferley. Next was CP 14, which didn't have any visible catching features, so I tried dead reckoning. For some reason this one gave me heartburn. I knew F and F had already picked it off because they were nowhere in sight. After wasting at least 20mins on the point, I decided to let it go since it was only a 1 pointer (each CP had different point values, from 1 to 3).

We headed back to the main road and proceeded west of the intersection we used for our first attack point. Next would be CP13, which was in a draw. This one was pretty simple and in no time we found it. We kept heading west towards CP 5, on top of a hill. After hitting my attack point and heading almost straight north, the Warship spots it. On to CP 2. I would mainly use draws to get to this one. It was a bit confusing at times since there were many offshoot draws that weren't on the map, but this was to be expected. I just had to rely more on Warship's pacecount. After hitting two draw intersections, we headed north and picked off CP5. The next CPs would now have the highest point values, and for good reason.

CP 3 looked to be on a draw shooting off of a larger one. The terrain was subtle around here, making it a bit complex at the same time. We didn't seem to be hitting the draw at the right pace count so I took a eastern bearing to hit the larger one...and there it was. We then followed it north and as I started to see the junction I looked west and there it was. Of course, Warship decides to tell me that he saw it earlier. Nice. Time was starting to be crucial, especially since these points were far away from TA--there was a 4hr firm cutoff, with a point penalty for every minute you were late. With uncanny timing, this is when I decide to lose my footpod for the second time (first time was at the Webster O-meet)! Despite being strapped down and covered by my gaiters, it had somehow found a way out. I was so distraught, but I couldn't waste too much time. After a fruitless quick survey of the area I said screw it. Apparently I was destined to lose that thing.

For CP 8, we followed a couple draws west and I tried to make a bearing to the spur that it was on. We couldn't find it right away and it turned out that I was a little too far east. But we found it when we scooted a bit west and headed back up the hill. CP7 looked to be a bit easier as it was next to a pond. It was, but we had to trek a ways to it, uphill. Hitting the pipeline/road intersection, I took a bearing straight to the pond and there it was, on the southern tip.

This is where I started to worry about time--we had two more CPs I still wanted to visit before we headed back, but they were far apart. Still, we tried to double-time it to CP4, which was at the intersection of the pipeline and a draw. This one again wasn't too hard, it was just that we had to trek quite a ways to get to it. One last CP, CP 6. There didn't seem to be any easy routes straight to the next CP, so I decided that we needed to bushwhack east to forest road 208. It slowed us down a bit, but we eventually hit clearing and onto the road. We had about 30mins left at this point and I knew I was pushing it. We followed the road to the intersection where CP6 was supposed to be, and there it was. We took it out and started the most painful part of the rogaine. Weihan had lost his legs somewhere along the way, so I had to try and tow. I wasn't feeling to fresh either at the time, but we had to push if we wanted to make it back in time. So we would run the flats/downhills and walk the uphills. But even then, we were in jeopardy of being late, so we pushed up the hills too. By the time we got to the 216/215 intersection, I knew we would be late, but I was hoping we would only have 1 point deducted. We got to the bridge and that bridge seemed to be a bit longer than I remembered it. After crossing it, we went for one last push and we got to the overflow camping, but we still had to run to the northernmost tip of it, and by that time we had lost another minute.

As we checked in at the timing table, we realized that it was a close race. F and F I believe had the most points at 22, but they came in later than us, so they lost more points. We had 21pts, but lost the two from being late by a couple of minutes. So while we won the male division, Bobby and Helena got the overall win with 20pts and no penalties. Jackie and Tracie captured 1st for the ladies. It was a well-designed race and showed the importance of not wasting time at any point during the race. I loved it so much that I'm doing a two-day orienteering meet at the same location this weekend! LOL. Actually, I've done this meet before as a map hike and only one day, so this will be the first time doing it competetively. Should be fun!

So, after the race, we decided that we hadn't had enough fun yet, so we decided to go paddling from "Lake Stubblefield" (looks like a creek to me) to Lake Conroe. We had enough boats for three sets, so it was Weihan and Tommy, Jackie and I, and Helena and Bobby. It was a good paddle to the 1375 bridge and back, about 7.5 miles. As usual it was windy, but thankfully the water was higher than it was before--we didn't have to get out in the middle of the lake and push our boats off of a sandbar (yes, it was that low before: See "Paddling and Road Racing Around the 4th"). Of course, since it was such an uneventful paddle, I decided to spice it up a bit. After going the whole paddle with barely getting a splash on me (Jackie got most of it when the winds picked up), I decided to "practice" a wet exit at the boat put it. I misjudged the water depth and basically just jumped out into the deep water. I'm sure the fishermen on the bridge got a good laugh out of it--Jackie sure did. :) The real sad part was that in the embarassment of it all, I had forgotten to put my pfd and bilge pump back in the car after loading up the kayak. So I'm projecting that some fisherman has a really nice, expensive life jacket and watergun. Geez, this rogaine was a lot more costly than I thought it would be...

A-MO-ZING RACE!And oh yes, there was a race that Mo participated on during V-Day...we are all waiting ofr that report! :)