I remember one proximate goal from the beginning of last year, and that was
to lose weight. I lost some, but not as much as I wanted. Another proximate
goal was probably to increase training. I failed to do this, as I noticed
a correlation with injury -- particularly tendinitis behind the knee, which,
at least in my case, is debilitating. When I tried to increase, I felt some
tenderness. Perhaps just an excuse. I'm quite skittish about this injury
recurring, as it knocked me out a good six weeks or more last time. I can
never know if "listening to the body" is real or just an excuse, but I was
able to have basically an injury free year by being cautious. Perhaps I also
underachieved because of it. How does one know? I'm old, and recovery is
harder than for younger people, so the goal of increasing training is tough.
I was able to increase the quality of training, by adding speed work on a
Proximate goals for next year remain the same, tho I am not sure how to get
I orienteered much better this year. My average time per K declined 3.34%
over last year, and this was the best improvement since the large scale
improvements of the learning curve era before what seemed like those endless
plateau years. I don't know how much time per K means, but over a large
number of races, the anomalies should average out. More importantly, I felt
more like I understood what was going on out there at a near capacity pace
in the forest. The Dallashyle Effect carried thru from the end of last year,
which was a proximate goal. So I get to keep running 21, as my rule is
that as long as my time per K improves year over year, I get to do this.
Looking ahead, there is still improvement potential on the mental side
(booms), tho I don't see it on the physical side. Its really depressing
to get older and older, tho it remains an interesting challenge to see if
more optimization can be wrung out of the economic problem of O.
My place ranking is about the same, tho I think my time rank is better. I
think the 21 field is more competitive, so I have to be happy with holding
place. Unfortunately, the rankings were miscalculated, and this hurt me,
tho I'm not sure by how much or if it would show up in the math (a mass
start race was included that I did poorly in, while a race I ran
intervals in which I did great was not). It is something I would let pass
except for the fact that rankings affect WOC team selection, and we had
a selection decided by 4 seconds one year. There is actually a whole blog
topic here, but I'm hesitant to explore it further as my judgement is
obviously biased. I smashed my PR in the world ranking system, getting into
the low 300s. Nothing to get excited about, but a far cry from when
I started, which was wondering if I would ever even run a red course.
I orienteered 106.7 hours this year, by my counting system. That faster
pace per K prevents a more gaudy number, I guess. Other training comes out to
125 hours trail/XC; 0 hours road (I can aspire to be the highest ranked
orienteer that has never in my life trained or run a road race), and
about 50 hours of aerobic cross training. Also a decent amount of upper
body weight training, which I highly recommend. I don't understand the
biomechanics, but for some reason, upper body weight work improved my
running performance. In any case, pathetic numbers, but we play the cards
Best performances of the year were middle distance APOC race, 15th place
M21, 4th place Hudson Highlander, and winning the Mid Atlantic championships
over a strong field. The latter was especially sweet, and the best race of
all time, I think. Fortunately, it was only two months ago, which I hope bodes
well, but I feel so old sometimes. All of these were over-achievements
that show a glimpse of what is sometimes possible, tho there never seems
to be a way to force success to get there. You really do have no control.
When I'm in hopeless decline, I'll remember these three races, if nothing
else. I really believe that all races are training, even major
championships. Training for what? Training for the next race, of course,
even if its a club race, and that chance to experience that peak feeling,
that zone, that glimpse, which, at least for me, only occurs in a handful
of races each year.
Best US A meets of the year (and I don't count DVOA or SVO meets), and this
is based on organization, maps, terrain, course setting, and not my
performance, were --
1) Devil's Lake, Wisconsin
2) HVO Harriman meet
3) Telemark US Champs
There were alot of other great races this year, and it is a shame to leave
them off the list.
Best international meet I attended was Euregio 6 days, Austria/Italy.
Jackass award goes to WMOC, how such stupidity could abound at one of the
largest events on our sport amazes me.
It also occurs to me that I competed in championships (national or
continental), on 4 different continents this year. I wonder if that is a
Looking ahead, I will probably travel less. I did alot. I thought it
was important to at least once, try a little immersion (how's that for an
oxymoron). I learned so much, and certainly didn't race as much as
Europeans do, I imagine. It can only help down the road in looking to
become a decent course setter or coach.