O Log - Flying Pig '06

[ 3-Apr-06] 

    Click here for my Flying Pig '06, M21 Middle Day map.

    Click here for my Flying Pig '06, M21-45/F21 US Sprint Champs map.

    Click here for my Flying Pig '06, US Sprint Champs; leg 1, fork 3(AB) map.

    Click here for my Flying Pig '06, M21 Classic Day map.

    Middle Day

    I had a very good race except for a 2 minute boom on #15. I felt I was moving well, pushing it, reading the map well and all that good stuff. Then I got over there in the deep gully and could not match the map to the terrain. May have been a bit of a brain bonk, tho that is a bit hard to understand for such a short race. Felt the orienteering was easy until I boomed, but didn't feel over-confident. Oh well.

    US Sprint Championships

    Eddie was right about having 2 championships on the same day. I don't recover well, pushed pretty hard on day 1, so felt I had to choose between this and the relay in the afternoon, and of course the team event takes precedence. Moreover, I'm not going to win anything in a sprint, and the relay is really the one thing I do care about winning.

    So, I took it easy, and ended up winning the US sprint championships in M40. There is sort of an irony to that, as the sprint is by far my weakest discipline, and I don't think I've ever won an individual championship in any other discipline. I will say that by taking it easy, the orienteering seemed really, really easy.

    The course was shared between M35-45 and M21. So, I wasn't the fastest M40 on the course. I probably didn't even place among the other M40s on the course. But I registered specifically for my age because I didn't want the race on my M21 ranking (because I don't trust the rankings math for sprints, and I expected to take it easy). So the championship medal is bogus. (Or, being more semiotically inclined, that's what happened, to be interpreted however people choose).

    Now, what I think should happen in these cases where the course is shared like this is that registration really shouldn't matter. The fastest M40 should get the M40 championship, and if they also happen to place amongst everyone else (M21-45), they should get an M21 medal also, perhaps winning 2 championships with one race. So, if the fastest M40 wants their medal, drop me a note.

    US Relay Championships

    Well, this is my super bowl, and once again I demonstrated proper relay strategy by picking my teammates well, and ended up with my second US 4 point relay championship.

    But, I did run a good race. In fact, a great race. I'm not sure if it is possible to have a perfect race, but I feel I came fairly close. And I pushed it pretty well also, tho I guess with day 2 speed (this should really be the first race of a weekend). I was happy with my routes, with the exception of getting tangled in the green between #5 and #6. Who knows, but I felt I picked the right mix of over and around the gullies. I even feel ok with my climb route out of #9, tho perhaps that was stupid, I dunno. It looked easier in the terrain.

    I had a pack following me, despite the fact that it was forked. I felt honored. At one point, I had the darnest time folding my map, and just stopped to do it. So did my pack. I felt really honored. But, on the hairy leg #7, I intentionally went a bit out of my way to verify I was at #4 (a conservative move I probably would not have done in an individual race), and they kept going. That was cool. I followed them a bit but took a bit of a different route into #7, and am not really sure where I lost them. This sort of thing is one of the fun things about mass start races.

    This was a good course. Challenging both physically and navigationally. There is talk on AP about leg #4, but I think #7 is also pretty interesting.

    And this felt good. And a couple good things about this, in light of the controversy leading up to the race, is that our team would have still been eligible under the proposed handicapping system. And I didn't hear any major complaints about the map, unlike our 2003 win, so that is nice also.

    Classic Day

    It would have been nice to follow up a 2 championship day with a fine race on the classic day, but it wasn't to be. I was shot both physically and mentally. Additionally, perhaps a bit too much celebration the night before. But the real problem was not getting any sleep, as these drunk, rowdy, mean and nasty sounding individuals checked into the hotel room next to mine. Normally, I would have banged on the door or called the manager, but one of them kept yelling "I ain't no killer and I ain't no rapist", and I guess I was too much of a coward to find out what he was. So, I didn't get to sleep 'til 4 after they moved me to a different room, and we also lost an hour on the clock change.

    So I decided I was going to blow off the race, but I did roll in there in time for my start, and went out. I think my race was ok, but it was certainly slow. And I didn't make the best decisions out there, but no disasters either.

    Alot of people, I think, didn't really enjoy the terrain, but I thought it was kinda cool in its own way. The club has to play the terrain they're dealt. It was my kind of stuff, reclaimed farmland/pasture land, forgotten roads and homesteads, serendipitous daffodils, etc. Grunge terrain, the sort of stuff I usually eat up. It was wet and thorny. And the horse trails were miserable and worth avoiding.

    There are some things to whine about. I've never really agreed with V. Zherdev's veg mapping. Others think its fine, and they are probably right, but I've always had issues with it, and this race was no exception. It pretty much seemed random what sort of runnability you were going to get. My routes may seem weird in light of the map, but they may reflect the reality on the ground, especially coupled with the lousy trails.

    Another thing to whine about is #14. There is no way (IMHO) to read the veg changes going in, so the indicated technique seems to be to aim off. And I hate aim-off controls, because that seems to add luck. I'm not sure what the technique is to force minimal time on the control. Attack off the veg boundary on the other side of the road thru the green seems dicey as well. I did aim off, and didn't lose much, but it is still luck.

    Otherwise, I think the controls were fair and a fine use of the terrain, such that it was (except for perhaps #17 which seems like another aim off problem (aim for the big thing) (except on this one perhaps little savvy goes a long way -- knowing it is probably an old homestead, and probably therefore on the highest ground, even tho there are no lines shown)). That marsh (or at least the veg, frogs, and wetness), was larger than shown on the map.

    Of course, the elites probably have ways to force no time loss on these guys ...

    Post Race Depression

    Eric W. (I think) once mentioned the concept of post race depression. I have a really bad case of that after this weekend. I wonder why? Perhaps because there is no where to go for me beyond winning a relay championship. I remember thinking on the way to #10 "geez, this is easy. Is this going to be challenging (and hence fun) anymore? Should I quit and do something else, like write another book or something". Of course, I preceded to boom #10 at that point. I just could not turn the focus on. But I think thoughts in this space are the root of the post race depression. Of course, its always challenging, and its not all about the race, but the lifestyle of training and exploring the planet and doing ones best and hanging with cool people. But I still have the post race depression. Hopefully, it will go away. Orienteering is really hard; I'm not sure why it has seemed easier this year. Probably because I'm getting slower, and that is the real depression, I guess.

    In any case, a nice weekend of races put on by OCIN. I think the two championships in the same day was clearly a mistake, however, and I hope that doesn't come up again. I think that is because people feel a need to put the sprint with something else. Perhaps they are right, but I didn't like it with the relay.