Orienteering 1:12:37  9.8 km (7:25 / km) +370m 6:14 / km
US Champs - Day 2 A lot of things were on my mind this morning as opposed to the morning the day before. The main question that occupied my mind was; what else could I do? How do I improve on already a very good outing from the day before? What Ross is going to do? Will he be running more conservatively knowing that he had a nice cushion? For one, I thought, that the pressure was on him and not on me, so that got taken care of. Should I be taking on more risk and try to be more aggressive from the start knowing how fast I faded yesterday at the end? So I took two GU with me to address that concern. Spend less time on planing and focus on faster approaches and departures from controls as in many cases routes were more or less straight. Focus on big features, don't read anything in between. Save time. Push harder where woods open up. Crash trough crap, but keep that line. Run through water and don't look for narrower spots to jump over. Stop if things don't make sense.
After a grueling walk to the start feeling tiredness in my muscles I took my first GU and off I went. Navigation seemed easy and legs started to feel better on the way to #2. Caught a glimpse of Nick, who started 3 minutes ahead of me, right before #6, and then caught up to him at #8. We began running towards #9 (the longest leg), I jumped ahead and started pushing it not really paying attention to anything but my way points on the map. Nick stayed close by but I jumped off the trail first and sped downhill on my bearing toward the bag. There was no sight of him when I got there, and I ate my second GU right then. Progressed through the short legs but was pulled away on #12 by what seemed like a larger cliff than I was expecting to see when in fact it was the smaller one of the two on that hill, so lost ~ 20-25sec. there. Then really cautious to #13 in the cliffs being extra careful with reading my cliffs. It took me a bit extra time to get down to #14 not wanting to really break anything but hit the bag with no problems.
With the technical staff now behind all I could focus on is move my legs as fast as I could. Going back up the hill to #18 was painful and my legs began to wobble right before the bag, but I didn't let it get to me. The rest was fast and easy with a slight hesitation at the last control that I hit from a slightly wrong angle.
I was happy to finish and was happy with my race. Not much else I could've done anything different out there than I already did. So with my fingers crossed I went to see the results and was like, "Really!?" Ross is a monster!
Realistically speaking, these were my cleanest back-to-back runs I've ever put together, and this gave me a very good feeling about this entire weekend. Also, beating feet, on both days, was just a bonus that I only remotely hoped for.