Sometimes you are fortunate enough to see ways to improve. Not alot, perhaps
30-60 seconds a race once in awhile, but we take what we can get. Perhaps
I've been subjecting myself to false dilemma.
In philosophy and logic, false dilemma is simply the idea of being presented
with some choices, and (falsely) assuming they are the only choices, hemming
and hawing over which one to choose. For example, the gamemaster may
say -- your choices are to go left, right, or straight. Victims of false
dilemma will consider these three possibilities, no matter how evil they all
seem, eventually taking the lesser of evils, without ever saying -- what
about going back the way I came? Might not be the best thing to do, but at
least let me think about it. I imagine that in businessspeak, people
may call this "thinking outside the box".
So, I'm presented with the following route choice problem in yesterday's
(Apparently) I've trained myself to think of the straightish route, and the
around on linear features route. But both of these choices seemed so evil
that I thought about it some more, and found the compromise of linear
feature for a while, then straightish, which may have been the best
route. My considered routes in blue, actual route in red --
Even if it wasn't the best route, it seems like a breakthru to think of
more than the straight route and the around on linear route. The false
dilemma is that I only have tended to consider those two choices. I feel
sorta stupid, for chrissakes I've been doing this for five years now. Like
what is the big deal with seeing something like this, but (it seems) its
something I've been bad at. Had I chosen the road run, I would have
corrected the route to go over the hill on the fly, at the arrow, where
it is clearly better (for someone like me, a weak flat road runner,
yet relatively strong hill runner), but that would not have helped had I
chosen the (presumably) slower straightish route. The around the hill
linear feature run seems less bad when considered in the whole leg, as
opposed to as considered from the arrow. That is why it was viable in my
mind for a while. There is something valuable here in deconstructing the
leg and analyzing it part by part.
This illustrates a flaw with my technique, which is basically to consider
straight, then look for a trail run around alternative. I realise I have
programmed myself to look for just these two alternatives, and not a mix
and match approach, or look for more than two choices. I've been forcing
false dilemma on myself. (I didn't see the right trail run until now;
I don't think its better, but it would have been nice to be aware of it.
The problem is that it is a fourth choice).
It cost me 6-12 seconds to think about this at the time. It is not clear
whether or not I made a profit on this investment. I generally do not
dawdle at controls, and don't intend to start doing so. OTOH, it will be
important to train myself to find a way to scan for all the possible
routes. How on earth do elites do this? My guess is that it is done by
reading ahead, a glaring weakness in my game, as I'm happy just to find
controls. I guess its time to grow up and learn to read ahead while
still maintaining contact.