It looks like I might not get around to putting in individual races from WOC and the World Cup, but the general upshots are more important anyway, so this is a start of the debriefing.
Needless to say, it was a highly frustrating and disappointing affair. While it would have been nice to conclude my international orienteering "career" in finer fashion, perhaps it is easier to terminate something when it is clearly not worth saving.
The positive aspects were I had no excuses. I was not injured, ill, malnourished, sleep deprived, or possessed. I was at times a bit distracted by the implosion of the HF industry, but not when it came time to race.
Anyway, I have determined that I really can't do orienteering as conventionally understood. I have faked it for a while (a long while, perhaps.) I have actually done very little orienteering recently (over the past several years) and when called upon to do it, I have failed miserably. I have done a lot of running with a map around the SE PA area, and deluded myself to think it is orienteering, but when you can visualize not only the map but most of the terrain of the places you run, what is the point of actually doing it? I might as well get a course and visualize what I would see if I were to run it.
I grew to like my pseuso-orienteering, and got good at it. It was fun to race against Wyatt and others at pseudo-orienteering. It was fun and convenient. Who would turn down going to a DVOA meet to do real orienteering? True, I could have done more on my own, but I really feel like I got lulled into a sense of complacency. I was eating pseudo-orienteering candy. And I was lazy.
Of course there were other problems. Last year at WOC I decided I needed to increase my strength and endurance some (maybe a lot). I think I did that during the fall and winter and then managed to injure my leg and my spirit. When WOC rolled around, I was probably 80-90% of my peak capability, which was unfortunate. So, perhaps I was attempting to orienteer at a miscalibrated physical capacity. And I crossed over the redline more easily than I had expected to. But, still. To have no good races out of 8?
My concentration is terrible. My attention span is not a strong suit generally, and it was a major failure point. I think I can maintain concentration for 20 minutes or so, which means I am only suitable for sprints (although that didn't play out at ORingen.)
Anyway, much more to be said. The conclusion, however, is that by now I should be able to orienteer. I think I have the raw skills, including problem solving, spatial relations, and the ability to read a map. I can tell people how to orienteer and can sometimes even do it. But, to be so bad when it is time to compete is ridiculous. So, it seems like the marginal benefit of trying to get better at orienteering, save taking some elixir, is just not worth it. I enjoy competing, I enjoy orienteering, and I really like pseudo-orienteering, but there is no point striving to get marginally better to compete internationally when the problems are so pronounced. To be good internationally, you need to be good when you are 17 and keep getting better. Not to be OK when you are in your 20s and get worse.
I thought it was really the death knell of TNT, but some long lost souls materialized and I was heartened. TNT persists, endures.