Orienteering race 1:07:33  *** 8.9 km (7:35 / km) +340m 6:22 / km
spiked:20/23c shoes: 2007 model Falcons
World Cup Round 9, "Middle distance".
What a weird format - supposedly middle distance, but with a 47-minute winning time and 1:15 scale. Strange.
Definitely did not feel 100% healthy, but started anyway. Stupid. I just absolutely hate not racing and just sitting by and watching, but I think I am slowly learning the hard way not to race sick. Got stuck in the green on #1 and missed #2 by about 30 seconds, passing on the wrong side of a treed from it. Was caught by Scott Fraser already on the way to 3 - not a good sign. Orienteered well for the next few controls and stayed ahead of him, but quickly realized that I just had no speed or strength at all and faded on the first steep hill, going up to #7. Pretty much clean, but slow after that all the way to the TV control, where I did not understand the map at all and was milling around about 10 meters away with like five other people - lost around 45 seconds, I'd say, probably all of it caught on video. No mistakes after that, just a couple of hesitations in an area that was unreadable at full speed at 1:15. Then trudged down into town for the last couple of controls, through the streets of Stein-am-Rhein. Felt like I might need to stop and walk the finish chute. A pretty pathetic effort all-around.
As usual, one needs to take away some positives in order not to go home and just give up altogether.
1) I guess my actual shape isn't as bad as the result shows, as the sickness must have had an effect. Does anyone know how big a difference being sick can actually make, in terms of minutes or percent?
2) For the first time since, perhaps, July, I felt like I was actually right on target with all my compass bearings. This is encouraging. It's totally lame to blame equipment, but I finally feel comfortable with a compass for the first time since I broke the last one I liked on Day 1 of O-Ringen. (I've gone through 4 since then!!)
3) I managed to focus and run my own race and actually had attackpoints and mental images of what the control circle would look like for most of the controls. This may have been, though, partly due to my low speed.