O Log - Good Races

[24-Aug-04] 

    Here is my Croeso Six Days, M35 Day 4 map.

    I wrote alot about bad races after Laramie, so I suppose I should write about good ones, again hoping something will fall out. Completed the Welsh Six Day, fifth overall in M35, second before people starting dropping low scores (you could drop 2 of 6), tho in all fairness, I think a couple top people were dropping DNSs. 4 booms over a minute in the 6 races, 1 in the minute range, and a handful of things in the 10 second range. Not bad, but the orienteering was easy (or did it look easy because I was doing well?). More likely easy in an "absolute" sense (boy would I love to go down that thread ...).

    5th out of about 20 is about 15th out of 60; 23rd out of about 60 at Scottish Six Day last year, so still year over year improvement, tho I don't know much about the strength of the start fields. Scottish Six day only allows one drop out of six, and as the drops generally help the field more than me, this result may have been even better. In any case felt better. Hopefully I'll have time to get the other maps up.

    (And my summer of competitive O immersion is over, hopefully, if it doesn't help me, it will help someone else someday if I ever have what it takes to develop into some sort of coach. I know I learned a ton, the question will be effective conversion of that experience over time).

    But, anyway, the real thing to focus on is Day 4. I'm not sure if it is possible to have a perfect race, but it felt almost that way. Just a half a line low on #13, which may have even been ok given the sloppy terrain in that area that I had to go around. Of course, other than #10, the O seemed brainstoppingly easy. But even tho I was having good races the other days, also on easy maps, I outperformed those results (relative to the field) in this race. First time in podium position outside North America.

    I was able to run close to capacity the whole race (which isn't much), except for #10, where both the terrain and difficulty forced a slowdown, which I executed well. I was seeing things to do to (appear to) optimize my performance every 10 meters or so. (And before the race, I had even analyized the finish chute for which part I wanted to run in, and which of the finish e-punch units it would be most efficient to use. It was just this incredible sense of attention to detail both before and during the race). I was happy with my routes, which in some cases may not appear to make sense, but most of that is due to density of bracken in the terrain that is not reflected the same way on the map.

    I had that "wonder" feeling before the race, like I did when I was first starting out, and again before the first A meet of this season. My legs felt like feathers. I'm not a scientist, but think of myself as a scientific thinker, so when I see a phenomenon (feeling good physically and mentally leading to a good race), I want to know the cause, and want to be able to repeat the cause. Was it something I ate, sleep, etc.? Was it the Laramie Effect (all those extra red blood cells still kicking around)?

    Unfortunately, I'll prolly never know, and here is where the story ends. Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes the bug. The more and more I experience this, the more and more I wonder if we really have no control. But it was fun, in any case. The important thing to remember is, that, I guess in my case, these experiences will be rare, and not to get discouraged down the line if most races don't live up to this, until we can get to the bottom of what is going on and can force more peak experiences. Of course, if every race is a peak experience, then they are no longer peak experiences by definition.

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