Here is my Harriman/Sebago '04, M21 Day 1 map.
Here is my Harriman/Sebago '04, M21 Day 2 map.
This was a high quality meet. The courses were physical and technical.
Day 1 seemed more so on both counts, where we had to contend with blueberry,
laurel, rock, hills, heat (89F/32C by my car's thermometer), and what I
thought was an onslaught of technical navigation. Day 2 was cooler, went
thru less laurel, seemed less hilly, seemed technically easier, and the
blueberries seemed more benign. Over all tho, this was the fiercest crop
of blueberry bushes I have encountered. My legs are all yellow from the
pollen. One thing that was odd about the map was that they mapped the
blueberry bushes as light green, where on the old map I have they were
mapped as green slash. As viz was fine thru them, I'm not sure why they
changed symbols. It was a bit confusing at first but I got used to it.
Ironically, I got in a couple of patches where there was no viz, and they
stuck with the slash in those cases. Perhaps someone made a mistake.
Some people were complaining that the courses were too long on day 1,
but I felt the M21 course was of ideal length. It was the first course
this year where the WT was within the proscribed USOF range. I didn't
stick around for the day 2 results, but the course felt a touch short, and
I imagine the WT will come in low (but not absurdly low).
I finished about 6th or 7th on day 1, in a typical east coast M21 field,
which isn't too bad, tho nothing to write home about. I simply did not
have it physically at all. I did approach the race with a different game
plan -- most of my races I've been making one 4 minute boom, but I tend to
be pretty aggressive and take that chance. For this race, I knew the
would be more difficult than usual, and poor mobility and difficulty relocating
would increase penalties, so I decided to come with a slow and cautious game;
I decided I wasn't going to sit around afterwards regretting a 4 minute boom.
My boom total was about 1:30 - 1:45, which I don't think is too bad for this
terrain, but I just had no speed at all. I was playing not to lose rather
than playing to win. So I sat around after the race regretting not being
aggressive and pushing it harder. In my defense, I found it difficult to
push it due to the various physical factors, and the difficulty of the
navigation. I did try on occasion, but either rock, blueberry, etc., held
me back. You can't win. (Tho I think one thing that can be done is to
train histepping, or train alot in this sort of terrain). I actually did
bonk a bit near the end, at least according to split comparisons. I've
changed my training cycle this year, and perhaps that is leading to a
Saturday nadir, but I have not experienced such except for this weekend and
two weeks ago.
Day 2 I felt alot better, ran alot better, and navigated with more confidence,
but I also thought the course setting was easier and less physical. I did
boom #2, but my boom total was 60 seconds or less for the race. (So a total of
2-3 minutes for a weekend at Sebago isn't too bad, I suppose). I don't know
where my result is, but my time wasn't particularly fast. I felt like I had
a better race than my time indicates. I know I lost some time near the end
on route choice, but probably not a ton.
And route choice is I guess where I'm at now. While I certainly don't
feel I've mastered navigation, I feel ok with it if I can get thru that day
1 course at Sebago without being out there for a week (under the physical
circumstances). I'm certainly worlds better than similar stuff at the
team trials last year at this time. But I'm still one of these guys that
is happy to see controls, and I've got to get over that.
In other words, rather than think about navigation constantly, I have to
learn to work on route choice somehow. Where route choice mattered this
weekend, my routes were dreadful. Admittedly, its not something I really
have worked much on, but I have to find a way. The problem is, you can look
at two routes, but how do you know the better one without running both of
(These pages will not be updated again until early June).