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.