O Log - Nutty and the Training in Spain

[19-Feb-04] 

    Here is my JWOC '02 Men's middle final map.

    Nutty is what I get when I come into work covered with scratches, bruises, and other O evidence and have to explain to people why I would risk almost certain Lyme disease to do this. It is definitely nutty.

    I think the reasons many people travel are nutty, whether it be to count countries or states, visit some tourist trap, or run thru the woods risking certain death from insect-borne pathogens and unmapped mine shafts. These may be the reasons some people travel, but getting you somewhere for a silly reason is good because the travel experience ends up being more unexpected and serendipitous, and the offbeat reasons force you to a place you may have otherwise never considered going to, so you know less, and learn more. I would have never in a million years had reason to go to Guardamar and Alicante, Spain, but they ended up being really cool and unexpected places, and I would have never realised how much fun it was to run thru flowering almond orchards.

    The real reason I went on this trip really was nutty; it was more for the training than the racing. I certainly would not have gone just for the training, but probably would not have gone just for the races, either.

    One week of technique training really isn't going to change anything, I guess, but I wanted to just do pure O training for a week, especially on my big weakness -- technical terrain.

    The training was really well organized and worth it. I highly complement the folks at Sun O, who I believe where the organizing force. They had at least 11 maps in the area, probably more, of both sand dune terrain and more typical inland terrain, both blank and with suggested courses. You could go out on your own, or participate in races they organized which even included epunching. The suggested courses were streamered at the locations. They organized a 3 loop Motala with a mass start in the dunes, which I guess would have been more fun had I been able to keep up with the top people; as it was, I was around 7 per/k but never really seemed to be with anyone.

    I think the highlight was the rerun the JWOC '02 men's middle distance final in the dunes that they organized. The winning time back then was about 22 minutes. I ran ~31+ or about 6.5 per/k, but this was on my second run of the course -- the first was a disaster, but fortunately the epunching system was on the fritz, so we'll never know how much of a disaster. It still seemed challenging the second time. Control #3 definitely seemed the hardest; I was shaky on my rerun. It would be interesting to look at the results from back then to see if there where any booms on this one. Later in the week I ran the course backwards, and had trouble with it then also. (I also felt running a course backwards that you had done before isn't the best training, I'm not sure why, but I didn't feel good about it).

    Two of the days I ended up running 3 hours or so in terrain and finding 30 to 45 controls. Other days I toned it down a bit. I never felt really tired because I guess it was the only thing I had to think about. It was like it was my job. Technique and confidence did improve, I think. It is clear how people that can do this week in, week out, will be better. Well, it was fun to experience it for a week.

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