O Log - Blue Hills Traverse

[17-Nov-03] 

    Here is my Blue Hills Traverse '03, Map 1 map.

    Here is my Blue Hills Traverse '03, Map 2 map.

    I had some business in Connecticut this weekend so I was able to hit the Blue Hills Traverse for the first time. It seems amazing that they have run 31 straight goats on these maps. I wonder if the locals know the map inside and out.

    My race was sorta neither good nor bad. Tepid, mediocre, blah. 5th, 22 min out, should have been 4th, 15 min out. Boomed the first 4 controls, but the total probably added up to 45 seconds or less. It seems hard to boom the first 4 controls in a goat race. Had another 4 minute boom, and lost a minute or two on a route choice leg.

    I had trouble reading the maps. On of the maps I think was a color photocopy. The contours just would not stand out for me. On the other, the course printing was hard to read. It also seemed the mapping was a bit over general. I was out of sync much of the race, was in a zone a bit from 5-12 only.

    There was alot of trail running on the course. That allowed me to hit about 8min/k despite rock, green, and hills. I don't care for lots of trail running, but it would be difficult to set a course on these maps without it. I was happy with the course setting.

    I boomed the spur control (#23) for 4 minutes. First significant boom in 4 races. I hate spur controls, they always seems so vague. I don't have a way to force a spike of spur controls, other than to find the spur and wander around on it. I had a solid attack and hit the spur, but think I hit it low. I followed another runner back to the control from the trail and found it the second time.

    I think the problem with spur controls, and any control not on a point feature (but it usually seems to be big spurs), is that I don't have confidence of where the bag is. If it is on a point feature on the spur, you know the field checker (and hopefully the course setter) has vetted the feature against surrounding features and it is exactly spot on. But with center of circle on spur looking for flag in woods, I just don't have that confidence and the right mental approach. I look for features, not flags, I guess. It makes sense, I guess, 99% of what you are looking at on a course is features.

    I bonked a bit at #20. Being out of my training routine is starting to hurt. It was more of a mental bonk, I think, but since mental processes are physical (IMHO anyway), I think its a physical/training bonk.

    I didn't prepare much for this race. I didn't get alot of sleep the night before. These things may hurt, I dunno. The race didn't count for anything, so I took preparation real easy. First time I've ever done that. Last time I'll do it also. I was just out of sync. I think physically, I felt pretty good until I bonked. But after I boomed #23, I just jogged it in -- no sense risking injury worsening for a minute or two in the results, since my place was fixed at that point.

    I tried a couple of new things. I kept my promise to myself to start trying to learn to read ahead. I only did this a few times. I was unwilling to unfold the map to do it, so I could only do it once in a while. I'm not sure folding and unfolding to read ahead would be profitable. I think looking over the whole course before folding may be the way to go, or folding/unfolding on a trail run. I wonder if these exercises would be profitable.

    I also tried to up my cockiness level. I believe that in O you are in trouble if you are too timid, or too cocky. You have to find that assured confidence sweet spot in between. I feel I've been on the too timid end recently. But, I think you can move the scale in an absolute sense, just like training can increase your aerobic threshold, today's cockiness may be tomorrow's assured confidence. But it didn't work, my cockiness lead to small booms. I'm probably wrong in this space, and this is a dead end for exploration. Cockiness seems antithetical to concentration.

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