O Log - Long O Champs

[05-May-03] 

    Here is the course with my routes

    The long O champs was one of my better races. I managed to say in contact with the map for most of 20K, hit all the controls (all spikes by my definition), and run about 7.8m/k over that distance. Not as good as the APOC champs last year, which was faster, but this was longer, the O was harder, and it was all forest and swamp as opposed to prairie. Definitely a top ten race. And it felt repeatable, which is good.

    I told myself I wasn't gonna run fast before the race. I wanted to treat it like a 20K line O. My goal was to run at "contact pace" and read every feature on the way. That seems stupid, but I figured over 20K, I could easily burn myself out by trying to push it. I took water at every control, and took Gu twice, and was as sharp at the end of the race as I was at the beginning. I've never had this level of concentration for that distance before.

    But was that the right thing to do? Could I have pushed it? I pushed it at APOC. At the end of this race, I wasn't tired at all -- I felt I could run another 20K. I was simply afraid to outrun my navigation, even tho at some points, I could have pushed and collected, I'm sure. I was just so gun-shy of getting lost out there, with all those swamps and hills looking the same. But if I ran 10% faster, and made 10 minutes of errors, I would have made a profit of about 6 minutes. 2 places. I would not have felt as good, tho. It becomes an economics game, in my case, being unable to keep contact at push speed in non-lollypop terrain. But realistically, 10% faster probably wasn't in the cards -- under 7m/k in full forest is something I rarely do, but 5% certainly felt like it was there.

    Even when I wanted to push it, my body failed to respond. It wanted to be in this groove. It didn't want to push on the trivial running near the end. I think it was afraid of blowing a basically clean race. But ending a race not tired is frustrating.

    My problems were minor. Leg 3 presented the biggest problems, I spent too much time hemming and hawing about going straight vs angling to the road and road running around to the left. I think I made the right choice, but was slow as I thought about it. I also made a parallel error approaching the area on the two swamps about 500m out, but didn't lose any time other than the lost distance. This is possibly something that could have been a disaster had I been pushing, but my proactive be-careful-of-parallel-errors mindset saved me. I think I lost about 2-3min en route on this leg.

    The route choice approaching 6 looks a bit dubious in retrospect, but I look for the lollipops. I didn't see the potential of collecting off the walls or swamps with a more lefty route, and didn't like the looks of the navigation that way.

    Leg 7 bothered me. I think my route is the best, despite the climb, but the field is posted, so I had to stay in the woods, which killed the advantage. None of the other private property was posted, and it all was clearly in bounds. One of my pet peeves is ambiguity of whether PP is in bounds. This property should have either been hashed out, or mentioned in the course setter's notes.

    My only real confusion was going into 9, where I hesitated about 20 sec with the streams. Not a big loss.

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