Orienteering race 1:43:42  **** 8.9 km (11:39 / km) +150m 10:45 / km
18c shoes: Paul (inov8 Mudclaw 270)
A nicer day, way less rain, but I didn't quite manage to do that whole concentration thing, especially on the second control.
Started fine to the first control, and was actually in a nice little zone for those first 90 seconds. Then I turned my map to look at 2, oriented myself to run from 2 to 3, saw that I just needed to aim for the big road, and took off in a direction 180 degrees from it. Yes, that's right, I skipped a control in my mind *and* went the wrong way. Things made little sense, of course, and I even stood on an (unmapped, in my mind) trail for long enough to have a hunter in a hunting stand ask me if I was looking for my marker. I kept pushing towards the road until I saw a stone wall ahead of me. "Stone wall, stone wall...." I thought to myself as I searched for one of those on the map. Nothing. So I crept up to investigate what was beyond it, since it seemed open like a road, and was greeted by the site of a really enormous field. Huge, in fact. There was nothing like that on my map, anywhere. Yes, I unfolded it to check.
I almost panicked, since being off the map is never a good thing. But then I noticed that I wasn't running at all in the right direction and realized my mistake, or at least enough of it to know how to fix it. Decided to run straight back the way I came (saw the same hunter....) and intercepted a desirable route to number 2. This leg took me just over 13 minutes, which means I spent 6 or 7 minutes either in Lala Land or recovering from it. Which brings me to positive point number one: in the past this could easily have been much, much worse - I can recover from idiocy much quicker now.
Okay to 3 and 4, and then another 180 out of 4. Recovered much faster this time (learning still?) and okay from there on out. Marie-Cat caught me on the way to 11 and we were mostly within sight of each other the rest of the way, except for a few different meso-route chocies and when she was eaten by a swamp. My concentration improved as my competitive juices kicked back in (thank goodness). I did notice, however, that my usually good sense of which way I need to go out of a control was malfunctioning. Several times I really had to forcefully orient my map and turn myself, finding that I was not at all pointed the right way. This isn't usually a problem.
Conclusion: I was tired. I ran a half marathon a week ago and am recovering/suffering from a mild cold, and had 3 races behind me. Everyone was tired, and lots of people made bone-headed mistakes, some even as quirky as mine. Not being able to run quite as fast is a small issue. Not being able to think clearly is a problem. This was quite an example of what happens to your thinking when your body is tired.