O Log - St. Louis A Meet

[22-Mar-04] 

    Here is my Hawn Park '04, Day 1 map.

    Here is my Hawn Park '04, Day 2 map.

    First A meet of the season. I was determined to get the season off on a good note, unlike last season when a near perfect race was ruined by breaking my compass.

    This was a high quality meet. The first thing to report is that it is possible to have 100% acceptable 1:15 laser-printed maps. This was the first I've seen, and other clubs who insist on using non-offset should find out how SLOC did it. Then I can stop whining about non-offset printing. My only critique of the meet was that I felt the winning times on M21 were a bit fast. It was tho, a totally first class meet.

    I had a strange feeling before the first race. It was like the feeling I had when I was first starting out and everything was new and fresh. I haven't had that in years, and wondered why I had it today. I had a lot of confidence before the first race.

    Things looked favorable for me to have a good run -- very high viz and mobility, and the model seemed easy, and the bags seemed hung high. To top it off, it was approaching warm. On the downside, I didn't have my A speed. My legs felt like bowling balls. I'm not sure why, probably because I ran the model hard without proper cooldown, after two hard training days before that.

    I decided that if the course was as easy as the model, I would push it as hard as possible to make up for not having my top gear. I did think the orienteering was easy, and ended up running in the low 7s/K.

    I made one parallel error going into #7, which cost about 90 seconds. I had some hesitations here and there, but it all added up to less than a minute. Better to hesitate than get lost so I'm not sure if it should be counted as lost time. I was heckled by some of my competition for my route choice on #2 (not going to the trail). I ran leg #2 at 5.91 min/k going straight; I'm not convinced I could have run it faster by going to the trail -- tho there is always the notion of saving time later in the race. How do you know? Also, the thing with the trail is that the attack seemed a bit more dubious, and there is still a good bit of running thru the forest.

    I was also heckled for not taking the ride to #15. In retrospect, that would have been smart, but I think it is a bingo. I considered it, but up to now, the white woods were lightning fast, including the slash. This section, however, was pine, and was slower, and IMHO should have been mapped light green. Also, my experience with rough open power line rides is that they tend to be trashy. We got a glimpse of this one leaving #6, and it appeared that way (tho the area crossed there was double slash). Turns out it was reported that there was a trail along this one on the #14-#15 route choice. How do you know?

    Anyway, I was happy with the run, and spent quite a bit of time afterwards doing proper cooldown.

    Day 2 I had less confidence, but had my A speed. This is the first weekend I remember having my day 2 speed day 1, and vice versa. I felt the orienteering was more difficult day 2, that the woods were greener, and that the viz was poorer. Some agreed, some disagreed with that assessment.

    I was faster, but sloppier. I ran mid 7s/K. I had somewhat of a big boom going into #7. I don't believe my drawn route is correct (I don't feel I lost that much time), but it is the only route that explains what I observed and others reported, and the map still being accurate. I encountered an non-ruined fence junction with major drainage, thought I was at ruined fence junction drainage, but I believe I was in the drainage system with the control and an unmapped fence. So I talked myself out of spiking a control into a parallel error. No one else reported what I saw, however. It is frustrating because I don't know what happened.

    I'm somewhat happy with my races, but #7 sticks in my crawl. Certainly my year over year comparisons are better, and I'm always happy when being under 8 per k.

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