Orienteering 2:18:30  17.0 km (8:09 / km) +580m 6:58 / km
shoes: 2013 VJ Supra
British Long - Winterfold.
Some days you have to accept that it doesn't happen. This was one of them. I'd been really up for this a few days before and looking forward to the race. As it turned out, legs and brain weren't there from the start.
Surprised to get a long leg first up and took the time along one of the path runs to look at the shape of the course to the map exchange. No real surprises - the big route choice leg was there, in the opposite direction from the 2006 event. For some reason I hadn't considered that option...
Until #7 I was going ok-ish but not hitting any control cleanly, some big wobbles but enough obvious features to stop it escalating. #8 was the first 'proper' miss, stopping early on an indistinct, unmapped earthwall. Didn't execute long leg to 11 quite as intended and fortunate to pop out near the flag. Ate at the drinks point to 12, but then didn't have a good route/attackpoint in and dallied on the slope for an age before realising I hadn't crossed the path yet (2')...
Generally scrappy through the butterflies, glad to be coming back twice to the central control. 90" gone on 19 (no attackpoint), messed up intended route to 21 - this nice downhill slope was the only point the legs felt good, but back uphill after the map exchange everything immediately felt heavy again. 2' gone on a silly parallel error at 24, though it could have been worse. Brain fade got worse picking through the paths on the early part to 25, chose the route to 27 here (non-optimal, as it turned out...) but then faffed hugely coming out of 26, realising I hadn't checked the code then getting car parks confused. Almost confused paths to 28, then it was a bit of a slog home.
It's taken me a bit of time to reflect on this run, and I'm still pretty disappointed with it. But I'm looking for the positives in these races, so here goes:
- I was thinking around 2:15 would have been an ok time for me. I was 3 mins over that with a technically awful race, without ever feeling great physically.
- No feeling of "hitting the wall" while out there, and not that shattered afterwards. No issues with cramp, or tight calves, could manage to run off the tops of hills (after walking up...) even over the last few controls.
- No absolutely huge blunders this week. Relocated fairly swiftly once I'd realised I'd messed up, working it out or bailing to the nearest obvious feature.
- An indicator of progress before the summer.
The things to improve/change:
- Hill/terrain strength. This might have had something to do with the heavy feeling, but don't think it completely explains it. Which links to
- Physical training. Want to try a few new things in the next month, see if they make a difference,
- Technique. Need to have a rethink, go back to basics, work out how to approach things when the brain is having an off day. Time to work out a better routine. Use a few low-key events to try something different, nothing major in the calendar for a while now.