O Log - Rusty

[18-Jan-04] 

    First race in 6 weeks. Had to drive three hours thru foul weather to get there. This is the longest layoff I've ever had from actual races. The first thing that seems to go is the short game. Boomed 5 of the first 7 controls close in, no real disasters. Simply a matter of being rusty. Did not read well into the circle, did not concentrate well, did not change speeds well. These skills are not internalized and automatic. Felt ok physically and mentally, tho. Still ran close to 8 min/k, but 7.25 may have been in the cards.

    The problem is the off-season technique training (I guess, among other problems). I've been re-running old courses as my off season training. This is a mistake. Its not the same. One thing I've noticed is that I seem to have a phenomenal map memory. I've been designing courses in my head without the map present -- I guess this is a handy skill, but I think it has been working against me in the technique training -- running these old courses is like going to the store for milk -- you just sort of know the way and go there.

    I don't know the solution, as I know all the local maps really well. If I draw a line O, I'll simply instantly recognize everything as I draw it, and those images are burnt in my head. Since I have the terrain memorized as well, that key connection is not trained. Hopefully with more practice, I'll internalize the skills that seemed to have rusted. I did get better in the second half of the race, so you don't lose much.

    Still no real races for the next two weeks, then difficult races. I'm not sure what I'll do. I may have to go to Harriman. It seems a bit much to drive 3 hours for training, but I guess I should feel lucky I can drive 3 hours to those maps. Of course I'm lucky I live so close to French Creek until I've learned the maps.

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