O Log - Georgia and Florida

[27-Feb-06] 

    Click here for my GNC '06, M21 Day 1 map.

    Click here for my GNC '06, M21 Day 2 map.

    Click here for my FLO '06, Sprint map.

    Click here for my FLO '06, M21 Middle/WRE map.

    Click here for my FLO '06, M21 Long map.

    This is the best series of races I think I've ever had. I remember one small boom in Georgia, and a couple in the long in Florida, neither more than about 15 seconds if you can trust the splits. I can't imagine having lost more than 2 minutes total in navigation over the 5 races. As for route choice, harder to tell, but I don't see any disasters.

    The orienteering at both places seemed easy. I mean really easy. Am I getting better, or was it, in an "absolute" sense (in as much as such as possible), easy? I would guess the latter.

    My speed appears to be down. Given how well I orienteered, I should have beaten various competitors by 2-4 minutes, but I didn't. It is important to figure out why.

    It is not because I was cautious. I was my usual aggressive self. It could be because my competitors have gotten faster from when I have made my comparisons. I think there is some of that going on. It could be that I am at a relative disadvantage when it is easy. I have a feeling I'd be smoked on a track, and I have observed this at places like Mt. Joy and in sprints; OTOH, I'm not all that good technically either. I think it has to do with when "easy" is defined in terms of stuff like crappy terrain and vegetation. These courses seemed easy in both the physical and technical aspects. Or, perhaps it is the temperature. It was cold in Georgia. It was colder on day 3 in Florida than day 2. Day 2, my best day, 4th overall, was the warmest. I wouldn't describe it as hot (only about 24 or so IIRC), but certainly the warmest. I thrive in the heat and hate the cold. There was a correlation between relative placing and temperature.

    Maybe I'm getting fat or lazy. I don't think so, but always a possibility. Perhaps 10 hour days walking around Disney on top of a couple days of training burned me out a bit. Maybe I was sick. I'm certainly sick today, the day after the long, and had a sore throat yesterday. Perhaps my body was fighting the pathogen, and was not up to 100% performance. I don't know, but damn if it ain't frustrating.

    Both meets were extremely well run. I can't think of a single thing to whine about. Well, I'll force myself -- it wouldn't be my olog without a little whine. My route choice to #12, day 2 in Georgia took me thru the call up and start lines for all the non M21 courses. That's fine I guess, perhaps it wasn't the smartest choice (but I thought it was ok due to a fast trail vs a slow trail and crappy veg), but what got my goat was not the fighting thru the crowd of JROTC runners who thought it was cool, but being yelled at by the meet staff for running thru their start procedure. Oh well. Not a big deal -- I guess either they should have been briefed, or the area marked out of bounds. I was not aware until I got there that it was the start area. But seriously, both meets were very well run and high quality, including the non-offset 1:15 on the long at FLO.

    While I was happy with all my races, the middle at FLO has to stand out as one of my better races ever. It certainly was a PR by a wide margin in terms of WRE points, if that means anything. But more to the point was that I was in a zone and doing everything right, even the little things. All at a pretty high speed for me. 5:30 per K, not too bad. I boomed #5 for about 10 seconds, and that's about it. Finished 4th in a decent field. I think starting behind Spike, and catching him, and ahead of Ted, and not wanting to be caught, had alot to do with focus. One thing I tend to do when ahead of a better orienteer is be cautious about leading. I feel nervous about being watched. But I was able to put that out of my mind and ignore everything but the map and terrain and pushing myself. I think pushing myself in this race left me a little weak for the long, but I imagine my competition was also pushing themselves.

    Well, I had some great races. Not great results, but great races. I can't beat myself up too much about getting whipped, because I don't think I can get to the bottom of it. My times per K were fine. Those guys are better, and that's life. I gave 100%. I guess in the past its always been about booms, which seemed controllable, now its about speed, which seems less so. That's the frustration.

    Being a geek, a couple stats to look at. FL was my 30th American state for O. I know alot of O'ers who track this. I can only count to 38 (US) possible, at least now (by my counting rules). Oh well.

    I've had 7 good to great races out of 8 this year. The only dog involved an injury (which, unfortunately, hasn't really recovered like I thought it did). I've never had a string like this before. Average min/k this season, including the dog, is 7.56. PR over a season is 8.97. Of course that FLO terrain helped, but it will be a tremendous screwup to not set a PR for average min/k this season. I also keep stats for relative min/k against my competition to see if I am really getting relatively slower, but I haven't felt like looking at those, and I usually only look at all of this stuff once a year. I just thought it would be fun to look at average min/k now since I knew it was so low, and probably not going lower.

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