Slept poorly last night and had to resort to extra caffeine intake this morning to wake up to race. Alex was starting four minutes behind me and that helped put the necessary pressure to perform.
Orienteering race 1:00:33  8.21 km (7:23 / km) +171m6:41 / km shoes: NB wt00
Day 2 - Tyler Arboretum - Red course:
Angelica's secret dinner pasta recipe worked again! Legs felt good and I pushed hard for the duration of the whole course. No one with me today, which was fine. I navigated better, and because my speed is greater now I found it easier to let go of the super detailed map reading that I've been used to in the past. Practiced TG's approach, basically, and it worked well. The woods were very open though; controls visible from far away.
I almost punched the wrong #2 myself but corrected. Bashed to #3. Trails, trails to #4. Bad route to #5, up and right, maybe it was Ok but going left would have been better. Got totally stuck in the thorny bushes on the way to #10, lost 30sec. I wasted a bit of time going to #11 (dropped time for road crossing), which totally ruined my flow. Should have just kept going. Took the indistinct trail to #13 and attacked it well. I had a plan of going straight to #18 but then changed my mind once I hit the trail. This is not good O-practice. But, I got the control well. This portion of the course was nice. Jogged the next road crossing and streamed route. #24 was prickly. Last few controls were tough physically but I finished strong.
Time w/o road crossings: 57:15. Beat Sergei G. first time, yeah!
I was not particularly enthusiastic to race this morning. I blamed it on the snow but I actually think it was due to hesitation to test out my newfound fitness and relative speed. I was anticipating a possible clash between navigation and running or at least a lack of integration. My goal for this race was indeed to find a cohesive racing state. However, one race won't do it, and especially since it's the beginning of the season, more practice is needed.
Warmed up sluggishly by myself. Then Balter came along and gave me a little pep talk, which helped. I do find these beneficial in helping to put me in a proper racing state of mind.
Orienteering race 1:12:03  9.22 km (7:49 / km) +262m6:51 / km shoes: NB wt00
Fox Chaser II - Day 1 - Ridley Creek State Park - Red course:
My start was one of the late ones, which definitely helped by providing an abundance of footprints to follow and better (not great) packed trails.
The first few controls I was not in the game yet, kind of spaced out. #1 was a bit sketchy; I followed the indistinct trail but then had to stop on the side of the slope prior to veering right to get the control. Was a bit high on #2. Got totally stuck in the thorny bushes on the way to #3 while trying to find a trail, which was not that great once I did find it. Ok on #4, slow going to #5, lost some time here to other competitors due to lack of aggressiveness, I guess.. John caught up to me here and that kind of woke me up. Next few controls I stayed on his tail but he was pulling away. No, I was not blindly following and kept map contact at all times, but having someone faster running in front definitely provided incentive to move faster myself. I felt decent too. Hit #8 smoother than John and got ahead. Dropped to the trail on the way to get to 9, and really pushed it. Then came a route choice mistake getting to 10, where my reluctancy of fighting through the thorns cost me 30 sec. I dropped back to small trail instead of going straight where the woods were actually not that green at all. John then got to the front but went straight to #11 and I went around, which turned out to be a better route. #12 was silly. Next few controls Ok, trying to keep up speed to get to John. Another route choice mistake on #15, went high to the trail, going straight would have been better. Got stuck in the green on the way to #16. Thank goodness I had leg protection but hearing John curse the bushes due to lack of any lower leg protection was in it of itself painful. #18 was super fun and felt like flying because of such great snow footing. I picked another bad route to #19, or actually, it was more like I didn't have a proper plan. This cost me some time, and John pulled away from me. Last ones were good, fighting 'til the end.
Lost about 2 min to Alex.
Navigationally I did not do that well today with most mistakes being of the route choice and execution nature. But this was the first race of the season, and so I just need more orienteering practice before team trails. Oh wait, they're next weekend..
Running intervals 55:15 10.42 km (5:18 / km) +1m5:18 / km shoes: Altra 1.5
I so dreaded this workout b/c the treadmill versions were very tough mentally. Convinced myself to go today so that my legs could recover fully for the weekend. Jogged to Red Hook stadium from my work place and did six long intervals: 800, 1000, 1200, 800, 1000, 1200 m with 200 m rest in between. The sun was setting and there was goose poop everywhere. On first interval I felt good, strong stride, good form; on second one my stomach started messing with me but I told it to suck it; third one was 'no pain, no gain' mentality; fourth one was 'tough it out'; got a compliment from fellow runner, "you're doing great", on the fifth one; last one, however, was totally unexpected. Thus far, running has always been difficult for me, always felt hard. Or maybe I drilled that into my head. On that last interval I let go of that completely, set myself free from that unhelpful mindset, and just ran. I told myself, "running is easy", and it started to feel that way. Kind of an amazing feeling. Sure, it's probably because I'm in decent shape right now, but nevertheless, I liked the surprise.
Calves major sore but it seems it is just muscular.
Running tempo 1:00:00 11.65 km (5:09 / km) +27m5:05 / km shoes: Altra 1.5
There is grass! It is real. Verona Park tempo run on a drizzly morning. A bit over four loops. Lower calves and achilles tendons on both legs complaining quite a bit when I finished. Left foot / outer arch is better but still some pain.