Here is my Mid Atlantics '04, M21 map.
Good run. Most likely my best ever, either that or the APOC '04 middle.
Won the Mid Atlantic champs. It didn't feel particularly good at the
time, was that clean and slow feeling, which
often ends up better than it feels. I have a theory about that feeling,
but I can't seem to figure the best way to articulate it now. Running felt
difficult -- blueberries and downed leaves. My guess is that this sort of
stuff hurts the competition more than it does myself. The cool thing was
I was able to run thru all those rocks without slowing down and keeping
track of each rock along the way. I think this is one way that the
blueberries helped in that I wasn't able to outrun my contact. I was
also fortunate to find every platform I wanted to.
All the planets seemed to be aligned -- that is, no nagging injuries, no 8
hours of course setting in the hurricane zone the day before, well rested
and mentally sharp, course setting that suits my style (control picking, not
alot of difficult route choice problems, minimal trail running), terrain that
suits my style (great vis, crappy running, lots of climb, subtle relief, no
parallel traps), and I managed to execute it with only a few tiny booms. I
also did take it easy that week of training like I was thinking of, and,
instead of my Friday run last week, due to really foul weather, rode the
stationary bike instead. Lightening up on the training probably helped.
The most important things, tho, were probably the new brand of veggie chips
I had the day before, and a particularly good run of heavy metal music on
XM42 on the drive to the park. (I actually do believe music before a race
is important, and am aware of a top runner who suggests opera before
competing -- I find punk or metal fires me up more -- and never really
could stomach those arias).
It definitely demonstrates the luck in venue selection -- its clear that some
terrains will favor some styles -- this was my sort of stuff, and it adds
to the thought that any meaningful ranking system should look at performance in
a mix of terrain, rather than a handful of races in one type.
There was also a relay after the individual race. I ran against Nadim in
the mass start. Nadim is a stronger runner than me, and that was clear
on the trail running portions of the relay. But in the forest, I could hold
my own, and really for the first time confirmed a theory with observation
that I have some strength at running thru the forest (which I guess is why
I come off as disdainful of new formats and course setting styles that
emphasize running on trails and otherwise out of the forest, and other talk
of emphasis of physical training on roads and tracks). Not that that stuff
doesn't seem important, but I get the sense that the technique vs physical
training thing may be a false dilemma -- as I've speculated before, running
in the forest itself is the skill to go after, probably as a line O, but even
volume work should be in the forest, or at least on crappy trails/XC. Perhaps
even intervals in the forest, rather than on a track, I dunno. I guess
I'll stop before I drift farther into the speculation zone.