WCOC A-Meet Day Long Distance
I had an early start and was sandwiched in the middle of a CSU pack - Kenny 3 minutes up and Ross 3 minutes back. I didn't feel great during the warm-up, but got locked into racing pretty quickly after the start. Had good speed and was on top of my navigation for the whole first half of the course, through the beginning of the butterfly. The only time I lost up to that point was a bit of hesitation on the long leg to 12, though I still do not understand what superhuman powers allowed Ross to crush me by 1:43 on that leg and the rest of the field (save bigE, who was running too fast for his own good there) by a full minute. Very impressive!
At the beginning of the butterfly (just about halfway into the course), I am a bit over 2 minutes down on the Ross express. Then I eat a Gu and fall apart. It has happened frequently to me that my brain shuts down right after eating a Gu, and so I try to eat them in sections with easier orienteering. It did not help today. Perhaps I need to eat them gradually, taking only a bit at a time, rather than overloading myself with sugar.
Anyway, I was orienteering out of control on 16, probably losing 45 seconds there, and so I stopped, ate my Gu and drank some water. Was ok but slow to 17 and 18, then picked up the pace to 19 and blew up. I misread the marshes around me after crossing the trails a second time and ended up making a parallel error while running through what is shown as green on the map. Relocated at the out of bounds houses and ran over to 19, angry. About 1:40 lost. Take the safe route to 20, forcing myself to say everything I am going to do out loud, as I can tell that I am having serious trouble focusing. Plus, my butt hurts. Clean to 21, slow to 22, then blow up again to 23. Run to the first trail, stop, check my direction, and still run off nearly 60 degrees off. Correct myself, make it to 23 and 24, then blow up one more time. Down to the trail, up through the saddle with the small ponds in it, then tell myself to just run straight to the trail and run off randomly, weaving through the marsh not sure where I am. Finally hit the trail, stop again, refocus, and manage to get through the rest of the course, but not before leaving another minute out there, for a total of about 5 minutes lost on the course.
This was a great course by Joe, worthy of a WRE, and very physically and mentally intense the whole way. Ross' time of 82 is really good, and I had no shot at that. However, 87 should have been very doable.