Running warm up/down (Street & Trail) 5:38  0.52 mi (10:56 / mi) +34m9:05 / mi slept:5.9
OK and Possumtrot: Heart Brain Courage U.S. Intercollegiate Interscholastic Orienteering Championships in Shawnee Mission Park, KS. Warm-up jog from the assembly area at the marina parking lot, to the start at the top of the park. I was already short on time and getting ready to race when Peggy knocked on the door. She'd been helping at the start but it was too cold/windy and needed more clothes. I drove her back but by the time I returned to the parking lot, I knew I'd miss my start.
Orienteering race 1:15:40  8.9 km (8:30 / km) +325m7:11 / km spiked:17/18c
OK and Possumtrot: Heart Brain Courage U.S. Intercollegiate Interscholastic Orienteering Championships in Shawnee Mission Park, KS. Day 2 felt like a much better day for me. It started off with me running with a loose and fast feeling--I hadn't been feeling that lately. I figured that it had to do with putting in more intensity the day before. It felt like my younger self. The course was hilly in ways that didn't seem necessary but it wasn't punishingly difficult as has become the fashion at some recent Billy Goat events. I kept moving well spiking controls and feeling like I was taking some pretty good routes.
The feeling of being stronger faded on the #8 to #9 leg but I still spiked the control (a route choice leg in which most final attacks and even the whole leg could follow a fence). The route I took to #10 wasn't optimal. I misread the easy lower road approach to the right and went along the left. Some green I thought I saw wasn't on the map and that led me to deviate with even more distance than necessary. Going up a very steep short leg to #11, I made things worse by climbing too high too early. I recovered by dropping a little and contouring along some difficult sloping rocky terrain.
I got passed by a younger and faster OK runner (in the classic OK colors) when going the downhill leg to #12 but my speed started to improve again too. The climbing leg to #13 started with some unexpected wet ditches in a hillside field that I had to splash through--the recent rains filled up what otherwise would have been dry. The fortunate part of the weather was that predicted rain held-off while the temperatures did drop during the day--just some ocassional mist fell keeping things wet. I had on a long sleeve o-top with a short sleeve one over it, and I wore gloves. I only once thought this was being over dressed when about a third of the way through. I climbed a bit more than necessary getting a shorter straighter route but hit #13 well. I hit #14 and #15 well but I did slow to verify an extra control wasn't mine on the way to #15. I got moving well, climbing to #16; I used the trail under the power lines, then the mountain bike trail over an oddly steep bridge to spike it.
I took a risk going to #17 by taking a northern much longer route using trails that I'd been on for the Red course the day before. It avoided a lot of green woods and a reentrant on the straight route, plus it gave a solid attack point. Turning toward home, I ran quickly through the fields somewhat downhill to #17 and #18. I went a little left getting to #18 to use a easier passage through a tree wind break. On my run in yesterday, I was cautious to make sure that I hadn't missed any controls and knew where I was going; I was also tired. Today, I was energetic and had no question of where to go so after a few steps I put in a pretty good push.
The course was fun and I was pleased with my finish time over the hills. I felt like there's more opportunity to go after getting more speed in my legs again. The terrain at Shawnee Mission Park is the kind of place where you still need skill to execute an optimal route but the large reentrants without much detail to them keep me from overrunning my map reading ability. The decisions come-up just often enough that I can handle them with high confidence.
Orienteering (Shadowing) 1:16:20 3.31 mi (23:04 / mi) +46m22:06 / mi
OK and Possumtrot: Heart Brain Courage U.S. Intercollegiate Interscholastic Orienteering Championships in Shawnee Mission Park, KS. After finishing my race and downloading, I took a brief break. I'd seen Max hanging out in the shelter near the results. He subsequently disappeared and was actually hiding behind a wall. When I spyed him there he shrunk away and hoped I hadn't seen him. After a little coaxing and some bribery with sour drops as a promised reward, he was willing to go do the White course. Having been out myself, I assured him that the trails were better than the slush and mud he encountered yesterday. As we were getting ready, Peggy appeared and was readying herself to run. She had another start worker's car that she needed to return to the start area so we got a nice warm ride up with her. It was cold on top of the hill in an open windy field. Max hadn't taken any gloves. As we waited, we reviewed standard processes of orienteing the map, checking off trail intersections, and returning to the last place or control on the map that he was sure of if he got off track. As luck would have it, we were started after our start time and with Peggy--a family affair.
Max does well in open fields. He was eager to get going so he oriented his map at the start timer signal, and saw #1 from the start. He took off at what was an 8 min/k pace (some time passed as he opened the map to orient it). He was even quicker planning a route to #2 (straight down a flatish ridge trail) and took off before I could get a glance at what he was reading. His split recorded a 6:15/k pace. Turning to #3, he spiked that just as quickly though the trail was more muddy.
Control #3 was a trail intersection almost under a power line. Max's speed got the better of him as he read quickly and took off downhill on a trail paralleling the power lines. To his credit, the map didn't have the trail segments at the intersection for #3, joined. With the added black on the map for a nearby fence, it wasn't easy for him to see what he should have done. After 300-350m, the trail Max took turned back to cross the power lines and he expected to see the control there on the other side of the power lines. I noticed that his focus was on the ground of the trail itself, not up in the air where the power lines could be seen. He oriented his map and I reminded him to look for big things that would help him know where he was. Eventually it dawned on him that he needed to go back to #3. Once there he took the correct trail and hit #4 which required no further turns. Muddy shoes and his muddly falling sweat pants (no tie at the waist) slowed him some. Control #5 continued straight on the same trail, but was at a crazy twisted cross of an intersection. After punching the control, I felt relieved that Max was able to slow down for a bit, choose the correct trail and spike #6. Controls #7 and #8 were straight down the same trail so he hit those well without trouble too.
Leaving #8, there was a short streamered route to bridge a gap between trails. The gap was small enough that one couldn't show it on the map other than a line similar to a normal leg line. It took Max a while to find the streamers but we bridged the gap quickly afterward. The streamers ended on the outside of a hairpin curve on a trail. Max turned onto the trail in the correct direction (unknownst to me since I couldn't see his map). A very short way away was another intersection that he needed to take. This one was with an intermittant trail that led to the control. I didn't even notice the trail or intersection or control as we went past it (it was there but an oddly bent branch went over the intermittant trail right at the intersection, at about 4-5ft.). We went along the regular trail getting further away, even noticing a small pond down below that the control would have been near. Eventually turning back, we went past the same intermittant trail intersection w/o seeing anything. We hit some wiggly trail bends and following instruction learned from his mistakes yesterday, Max stayed on the trail through every bend. It was obvious to me that one could cut straight across the slalom turns but I didn't say anything least I confuse him more. Emerging in a field near the finish, Max was flumoxed. He had little confidence in what would be on the map and what wouldn't. He didn't think the tennis courts would be on the map and didn't think to understand the bike trail and road being on the map--normally he would as he did yesterday with a softball field. Eventually Max figured out that the wiggles in the trail would lead back to #9 so up we went. After rounding the hairpin curve where the streamers ended, Max was still confused. We wandered on with Max thinking we'd never find it and with him getting colder (temperatures kept dropping). We walked this time so he was able to spy the control from where the intermittant trail intersected the main trail (again, the intersection was not connected on the map). It should be noted that other competitor times in his class would suggest they had no trouble with the streamers and intermittant trail intersection.
After getting #9, I think Max just wanted to finish. He knew the finish was near so he continued down the intermittant trail in the wrong direction to the tennis courts. He saw the finish but couldn't make the leap that he could follow the finish backwards to the Go control (#10). We went back up toward #9 and once in sight of it, I think Max realized he hadn't oriented the map correctly when leaving it the first time. He also didn't understand the scattered open/low vegation mapping on the straight line to #10; there was no trail through it but it was mostly open. He thought the symbol on the map represented mud. Decending, Max knew the control to be near but he couldn't see it. It was tucked behind some cedars at the end of a field edge/row of trees. Unfortunately, the trees there were mapped white. Even if mapped green, Max probably wouldn't have made the connection from that the control could be behind the trees--he expected to see it. Max walked past the control still flumoxed. He even crossed the trail and road. He turned around after more time and finally saw the control. His finish was fast. I had to run hard enough to keep up that I wouldn't be able to hold the pace for long. Max passed a woman as he ran but as the slope increased he ran out of steam at the end. The woman passed him just before the finish.
Max finished 3rd for the day, out of 3 in his class. He didn't feel so good about that but since one of the guys didn't finish the day before, Max pulled out second place for the 2 day competition. He wore his medal for several hours afterward, even on the airplane home. There was some realization that he did accomplish something on the course, even though he didn't race well and wasn't having fun much of the time. The lack of tears and anger that happened the day before was a great improvement. I told him that the real champions are ones that keep coming back to do better another time. I meant it and hope that Max will take it to heart, bravely, and smartly too, to compete again and again.
Running warm up/down (Street & Trail) 4:08  0.37 mi (11:11 / mi) +28m9:03 / mi slept:8.0
OK and Possumtrot: Heart Brain Courage U.S. Intercollegiate Interscholastic Orienteering Championships in Shawnee Mission Park, KS. From the assembly area to the start. It was windy but running up the hill warmed me up.
Orienteering (Foot) 59:31  *** 7.9 km (7:32 / km) +195m6:42 / km spiked:16/17c
OK and Possumtrot: Heart Brain Courage U.S. Intercollegiate Interscholastic Orienteering Championships in Shawnee Mission Park, KS. It was fun running today. I wasn't very fast--lacking leg speed. I had a hesitation on #1, a questionable route choice and change of direction on#4 and #9, climbed just a
Iittle higher than needed on #10, and made another poor route choice on #16. The rest was pretty clean.
Running warm up/down (Street & Trail) 4:30  0.3 mi (15:00 / mi) +26m11:49 / mi
OK and Possumtrot: Heart Brain Courage U.S. Intercollegiate Interscholastic Orienteering Championships in Shawnee Mission Park, KS. From the assembly area to the start so that I could shadow Max on the White course.
Orienteering (Shadowing) 1:07:50 2.5 mi (27:05 / mi) +63m25:07 / mi
OK and Possumtrot: Heart Brain Courage U.S. Intercollegiate Interscholastic Orienteering Championships in Shawnee Mission Park, KS. Max has been out on plenty of orienteering courses before. Most have been when out with friends or shadowed by them. Going with his parents is more challenging. Today on the White course, I was trying to get him used to doing all of it by his self. The frustration started early when he didn't know what the dots for the vegetation boundary (field and forest) leaving the start were. My mantra had been mostly for Max to use his compass and read the map. It was frustrating for me to see him angrily reply with "I read the map!", then go and run off in the wrong direction. On #1, Max pulled up short of the control where I was just high enough to see it. Telling him to use his compass resulted in him leaving the field, and running north into the open woods where he found 2 controls that weren't his. He backtracked to the field, found #1, then #2 quickly. The trail to #3 was on a north slope and so it was a slush and plain flooded mess. Max pulled up early at a yellowish control off trail on a ditch but knew where he was when checking the code and finding it to be wrong. He picked his way through green parallel to the trail going onward because the trail was flooded and his feet were freezing wet. He finally got to #3 but not without some drama and encouragement to finish. Going out of the trail intersection, Max went the wrong way. He understood this after a short way and turned around. Back at #3, he was lackadaisical with orienting the map. He had it in his mind to go north to find #4, and that to him meant going back through the slush and green woods toward #2. We got back to the control on a ditch just off trail, then a little past it before the realization that #2 wasn't near #4, set in. Tears set in too. More encouragement and funneling of anger got him going--he stomped through the freezing puddles of water and slush for the third time. Telling him that this would be the worst part of the race may have helped though I wasn't sure of the truth of it. Max finally got back to #3. To his credit, I think there was a small map error in which a bend shown at #3 was further ahead. There were some more errors getting to #4 including Max going off trail again. Going to #5 was smooth. We passed Peggy and Mook going the other way over the stony causeway. Going to #6 across the field was no problem for Max. He visually found #7 about 2 steps out of #6. Leaving #7, he found a nearby red control but got to the corner of the ball field before not knowing what to do. Looking for a field, he saw a control in a field far off across the main park road back past where we'd come from. My mantra resulted in Max again repeating his standard reply. Once at the wrong control, I told Max to look for big features that would help him. He found the baseball field and connected it with the map. Then he was off and running hitting #8, and not even stopping to look at the map before the run in. He chased and caught a teenager at the end. I hope it was a learning day for him and that it will help for tomorrow. It was a learning patience day for me.
OK and Possumtrot: Heart Brain Courage U.S. Intercollegiate Interscholastic Orienteering Championships in Shawnee Mission Park, KS. I split some control pickup with Mike Eglinski. I was slightly off on one cliff. The controls were on stands. They were going to set them out again for day 2 so I just pulled them up all assembled. In some places where there was snow, fog was rising.
Running (Street & Trail) 26:35  3.38 mi (7:52 / mi) +38m7:36 / mi slept:5.9 weight:178.5lbs
From Northfield Rd., to Georgetown Pike via Greenwich Park, to Beech Ave., to Anniston Rd., to Ewing Dr., to Roosevelt St., to Jefferson St., to Northfield Rd. I worked late. I got out to run to keep from being a complete sloth. Taking my car in for maintenance and picking it up the last two evenings reduced some opportunities to train but taking a break also seemed in order. My quads were better today but not really where I expect to be in terms of speed. I could have used a bathroom for much of the run. It was about 42 F outside.