Orienteering (night)39:06  6.0 km (6:31 / km) shoes: Icebug
Ham Lands night race
Nice run out. The warren of paths in amongst the green was tricky to navigate, so pleased to only really go wrong at #7. Also missed the shortcut at #9 - should have read the cut through more carefully as I ended up blocked.
Poor choice of footwear!
Off-road running warm up/down 12:30  2.5 km (5:00 / km) shoes: Icebug
Orienteering race 1:05:00 8.5 km (7:39 / km) +120m7:09 / km shoes: Icebug
Southern Championships - Star Posts
Retired at #11 feeling tired, cold but mainly despondent at how I was running.
On reflection though there was nothing surprising about what happened. It went badly wrong at #1, where between leaving the start box and stumbling on the control I really didn't know where I was at any point. It took a good 6 minutes for me to get there (par = couple of minutes max) - but really I was lucky to find it that quickly since I was on my way back to the track to relocate when I happened upon it. Honestly it was like I'd woken up in the morning and completely forgotten everything about how to orienteer. The next few controls weren't much better and I was really struggling technically.
Once I got back home, I had a think about what I'd done before starting. I realised that as I crossed the line I had:
- no idea what direction I was facing or where the start might be on the map
- no idea what map scale we were on or if there was a 2-sided map (my first thought was it looked too small to be 1-sided)
- no idea really what kind of area we were running in and which techniques were going to be important
- no idea what feature I was looking for for the first control
I'd also been so disorganised in the morning that there was only just enough time to kit up and get to the start, still pinning my number on and tying shoelaces in the start lane. The idea that I'd need to concentrate on navigating for 16+ km hadn't crossed my mind.
In other words I just wasn't even remotely ready. Maybe that's fine for a nice informal short summer race in the sunshine, but not for an elite classic on waterlogged ground on a cold, wet day. Maybe it would be OK if I was running regularly and in a good groove, but that is definitely not the case.
In a way all this was quite cathartic. I've often not enjoyed races recently and this makes it pretty obvious why. So I resolved to knuckle down for next week's outing and then take it from there.
Terrain running race 1:09:50  15.0 km (4:39 / km) +450m4:03 / km shoes: inov8 roclite 285
Southern XC Championships
The course was tough and so long. With a long O race to come the next day I planned to run fairly steady at more of a tempo effort. I came about 500th so this was much more about the experience and a good training session than really racing.
It was fun to take part in a XC race with a bit more of a big event atmosphere about it.
Off-road running warm up/down 10:00  1.5 km (6:40 / km) shoes: inov8 roclite 285