I am disappointed with how this race ended up. Charlie and Bill set a really good course, it was my navigating that was disappointing. I have come to the conclusion that I am not doing enough post race analysis. Maybe it is because I don't really know how to do a good post race analysis that I have not been doing it up to this point. But I have decided that I am going to try anyhow.
I thought that I had started out well in the early part of the course, moving at a good pace with few errors. I fell apart by the end. I feel like I spiked controls 1-5. My route choice to 1 was to get just over the top of the hill while on the trail and then turn in and try to follow the terrain and compass into the control. When I got to the stone wall I noted that I needed to change direction and that worked well. On the way to control 2, I knew I needed to go past the first large re-entrant and I followed the hillside into the control. To control 3 I used the trail until I got back around to the mouth of the large re-entrant and then turned in to attack it. I mostly followed the terrain up to 4 and then on to 5 as well. Leaving 5, I thought I might use the trail. I thought I might have come across it, but I dismissed it and then later realized that I had missed it, so I decided to run alongside the marsh. I decided afterward that it had been the better alternative because the running was easy through there. I made a slight mistake in going past where I needed to for 6, but I felt confident once I realized it, and I think I realized it quickly. There was no alternative but the trail around to 7. I used the trail junction as an attack point. On the way to 8, it seemed a bit green in terms of vegetation where I was in the marshy steam bed, so I headed south a bit to get out of it, but then I saw the cliff across the stream bed and I adjusted my heading again. Going into 8 I made a poor choice of attack point as I ran up the trail past the cliff and then to the control. That was where I had seen Pavlina and I knew that she had come straight up the green so it must not have been that bad. She had started after me some time and had already caught me. I decide to get some water at the control, but I maybe I should have only had one cup as I took probably over a minute at that control.
From this point on I started to feel that my navigation got weaker. I don't know if it was that I started to get fatigued, or if it was the psychological effect of getting overtaken so easily. I approached 9 slowly as I struggled to keep contact. But at some point I realized that I was too close to the cliffs and then found the control. Going away from 9 I note that I was moving slowly again. I admit that I had lost contact but I started to rely on my compass more to get to the trail. Maybe I should move more quickly even when I am unsure of my location. My fear is usually that I will get more lost faster! When I finally did get to the trail and came around the corner, I saw the huge cliff on my right and I knew right where I was at that point. I quickly decided that following the other cliffs around would be the best route to finish 10. I briefly lost the trail en route to 11, and then I hunted around for a while to find the flag among all the large chunks of rock that had me confused. I did alright to twelve by following the terrain down until it got flat and then kind of looking for the stream to turn away. However, I left twelve in the wrong direction. I wanted and thought that I was travelling up the re-entrant that ran more south-south-west. The vegetation did not seem that green to me on the way up. This turned into a larger disaster for me. when I got to the trail, I thought I was much further to the west of the control. When I turned off the trail, I was quite confused for a while and again moved slowly. I did somehow manage to figure out where I was and even picked up the smaller trail that led to the control. Control 14 seemed fine by attacking off the trail junction again. 15 was fine. Control 16 was my largest mistake of the whole race and I wish that my watch battery had not died so I could see what I else I had done wrong. But if you look at my route, I made a poor choice of attack point as I did not think to get to the trail junction again, but instead relied on reading the terrain. I did not notice, however, that there was a hill to the east and that was the one I had passed, not the one further west that I really wanted. I don't have the rest of the track, but even after relocating the first time, I did not find the control. I had to relocate a second time and then got it. I don't know why that was so difficult for me, but I really felt like I could not find any contact with the terrain and finally had to use a compass bearing to get to the control. After that, I found 17 without any trouble.
In looking at Quickroute
, I note what seems to be a long time entering and leaving controls. In good cases, on the order of 30 seconds, but sometimes 50 seconds. This seems to indicate a problem with flow. Again with twelve, I did not plan ahead which direction I should be heading out of the control. And it seems as though I did not pay attention to my compass after that. I am going to check for some specific training that can help me to relocate faster as well. If anyone else has suggestions on what I might do to improve with training, I would be glad to hear it.