orienteer race 21:29  *** 2.4 km (8:57 / km)
My goals for the sprints were to keep moving, have clean runs, keep my HR between 155-165. I did a great job on this first loop. I did walk, just a bit, around the 5th control, but otherwise I jogged the whole way. And my time: under 9 min/k !!! Amazing; I've never even done that, even at home, in a city park where I set the course.
It was a weird sensation, though, to orienter at this speed. I certainly wasn't reading my usual level of map detail. Most of the time I just followed a general compass direction. It was all a blur, and a very strange experience. But I loved the course, especially seeing all the people criss-crossing the fields in the middle of the course. Great fun.
I was really thrilled at the finish, when I realized it was my fastest run ever. But then I saw the results. The mind is a very funny thing; I saw my name at the bottom of the list (Maryann walked the course, but had not yet downladed her splits) and I got very bummed. I was so disappointed to still be dead last. I hadn't conciously realized that the actual placing mattered to me, but obviously it did.
But just for a few moments. I got over it, moved on, and prepared for the second sprint.
orienteer race 26:32  *** 2.32 km (11:26 / km)
For me, this was the most important race of the weekend. I really wanted to move onto the B final, not the consolation group. But I was running with Valerie and Clare, and only the winner was guaranteed to advance. The fastest second place finisher of the two heats) would also advance. This was going to be a tough heat, because on any given day, we could each make a mistake, or could each beat the others.
We were together for the first two controls, but then Clare and I took the trail to 3, while Valerie ran straight. Clare got to 4 first, then me, then Valerie. They both beat me to 5. After that, I didn't see Valerie again, and didn't see Clare until I was approaching 8 (and she was leaving 9).
At that point, I knew Clare would beat me, and I wasn't really sure if I was head of Valerie, but I thought I might be. So I really pushed as much as I could, and powered through the finish chute. And it paid off as Peter announced that I had earned the wild card spot for the B final. Hurrah! I was psyched.
I was really pleased with this run, because I moved quickly (for me) through the woods. Navigation was pretty clean (except I ran too far, a very rare occurance, on the way to 8). Again, it felt very weird to be moving this pace, and not really reading the map as usual.
orienteer race 29:00  *** 2.43 km (11:56 / km)
As soon as this race against Gail and Clare started, I could feel how tired I was. I ended up walking a lot of the course, but still tried to move at a steady pace. At the end, I felt that I had a decent race.
Until I downloaded my splits and found out that I had skipped a control, right before the map exchange. I really can't recall what I was thinking at the time; obviously, I wasn't looking at my map. I was particularly bummed to have skipped a control, because I had done it only once before, and swore I would never do it again. Ah well, have to work on this one.
Overall, it was great weekend: lots of fun, good company, fantastic courses. Thanks to all who made it possible.