O Log - The Game Slowed Down

[03-Jan-04] 

    I was thinking about my top 5 for '03 (I'm big into these sorts of lists; during my sanctioning nightmare I distracted myself by making a list of the 100 best rock albums of all time -- elsewhere on my website). I knew Dallaschye (day 1 of the Scottish Six Day) was my #1, but I wasn't sure of all the reasons, other than a sort of vague "coming together of things" where I felt I was alot better after than I was before.

    While I was thinking about this, I was watching the Fiesta Bowl and the commentator was talking about a player's improvement and said something along the lines of "midway thru the season, the game just slowed down for him". In other words (at least the way I interpret this), in a given unit of objective time, he could process more information about the game, and was moving faster relative to the speed of the game, its other objects, and the game's presentation of information. This was the way I felt at Dallaschye, in retrospect, and about my orienteering since. It is a feeling of running slower, yet having faster times when measured objectively by something like a clock. I always feel this way in a good race, slow, yet the clock shows a decent time. It is sort of weird, and I think, sort of important. Unfortunately, no more will come to me on this tonite, and I don't know how to force success here other than to practice by running O races, which we all do anyway. But I think there is something here relating information processing theory to effective information processing in O, and the subjective experience of time.

    So, I'll just have to go with my top 5 after all.

    •   1. Dallaschye. 18/71 in an international M35 field. Best international result ever. Especially encouraging given both the technical and physical difficulty of the terrain. This map was used for a WOC race. More importantly was this feeling of growth and understanding and improvement of technique.

    •   2. Relay Champs. Winning a national championship should make the list, and probably should be #1, but this doesn't seem as important to me as my experience in Scotland. The real important thing about this race, to me, was having a near perfect, fast race, under pressure and in a team setting. Alot has been said of the map, and most of these comments are valid; however, I think I still would have had the same personal race had the map been perfect (it was my preparation for and execution of the race that seemed important), and I still felt good afterwards, and still feel good about it today, yet feel bad for those who were denied an enjoyable experience due to the map.

    •   3. DVOA PEEC meet Nov '03. I don't like picking a meet by my own club, but I had two good races and placed well (for me) in a strong field. Outside the US individual champs, this was I think my best 2 day A meet result. And I didn't particularly enjoy myself at the US champs; its still about having fun, so meets I had the most fun at are making the list.

    •   4. Canadian Relays Aug '03. Running 5.75 min/k on an O course and the team winning always seems fun. But the real cool thing about this race was the course setting that allowed watching our anchor (Eric Bone) race against Ted de St. Croix to see who would win, and of course, the actual head to head racing. It would have been a thrill to watch this race as a fan; to be on one of the teams involved made it that much sweeter.

    •   5.Woodhill NZ Apr '03. I had a collection of bad races here. But it was good to get exposed to completely alien terrain, to be exposed to what has been described as the best O terrain in the world. I did do some good things here, and learned a ton, including the concept of applying semiotics to map reading, which I think has helped me. And despite my incompetence, the O was damn fun.

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