Orienteering race (Foot) 1:10:04  5.9 km (11:53 / km) +210m 10:05 / km
EMPO US Long Individual Championships at Camp Wakpominee, NY (near Lake George). After the longer than planned warm-up, I felt calm at the start. I headed up the trail to the intersection at #1, cut right and went through the saddle intending to come under the stony ground. I kept an eye on the reentrant to my right which I knew pointed to the control. Coming up the unmapped ride, I could see the large cliff on my right. Remembering the reentrant, I felt mostly confident that it was my cliff though there was some doubt in not really being able to discern the cliff better on the map. My eyes were too watery-blury, even with my glasses on. I could only make out a blob that after the race and at home I could see was a cliff with tick marks. I walked across the rocks and other bad footing, not rushing at all and went straight to the control.
As I was leaving #1, I saw Greg Lennon and another younger person. I went up the reentrant and got ahead of them. From the notes, I thought the map had been updated for the new logging activity but it didn't appear to be. I danced over the branches on the ground, following a bearing and knowing that I'd hit a trail before the control. I intended to attack off of a trail bend but where I hit the trail, the bend was less evident. I also didn't realize that both trails were mapped--seeing two didn't slow me; it was just more unmapped stuff. On the last curving slope, I recognized the contour and being just below the control. However as I rounded the corner on the slow terrain, I didn't see the control (#2) in the reentrant. It was behind the mapped boulder but I lost just a little bit of time pausing.
I had left #2 just after another woman had left it (she hadn't given it away when I'd approached #2). I started down the newly cut areas since it was fast and I had been frustrated that dog legging as I had approached #2 would be slow again. This lack of patience in getting to the trail cost me. At the bottom, I failed to cut left to the trail and went a little more before hitting a different trail. Mistaking it, I ran on it a short way and then realized I needed to make a correction. I cut across woods to another trail and more to get close to the water--that was another error, I had to cut back to get around a pond finger and a cliff. I got over the cliff, then to a marsh. My attack from the marsh was badly off; too high. It took me some more time to get lower to the control (#3) and only after backtracking a little bit. This leg would have been nice to do over.
The error on #3 led to more rushing on #4. I ran out intending to take the lower trails to the ridge that #4 was on. On the first trail, I headed down a bit before second guessing myself. U-turned back up the hill following trails toward the ridge so I could attack from above. I left trail and then last big reentrant at a pond so I knew where I was. On the ridge, I got distracted seeing a control to my right, and on a small rocky knoll. This confused me at first but I figured I was above the control. I corrected and got there just after Tom Nolan who'd come from a slightly different direction.
Leaving #4, Tom was standing and reading and staring to the north. I commented aloud "Good question!" I looked for longer than usual but took off headed the way I'd come, up the ridge and past the control for another course. I felt that attacking #5 from the trail was the safest thing and that using the trail would be fast. Having come part of this way already when running to #4, I figured going through the light green wouldn't be too bad. I even found the remnant of an old ride that was going my direction to the NE. I stayed on the ridge. Visibility was not good but I moved steadily. Eventually things opened up and I cut more to the right. I climbed at an angle that eventually got me to the trail, and started running faster. David Onkst running the Red course was coming up the hill I was going down. I read the trail bends well and cut down on a bearing from NW of the control. I saw a boulder that I recognized to be mapped as I descended and seconds later, I could see the marsh, still well below. I ran to it, then scrambled across the new deadfall to spike #5. That made me happy and improved my anxiety at already having messed-up going to #3 and #4. Having gone slowly to #1 didn't bother me at this point since I'd spiked it.
For #6, I started going straight, thinking it not worth angling much to the trail. I also worried about getting to an difficult crossing point in the marsh ahead. It looked too risky to cross due north of the control though it probably would have been fine in hind sight, after having crossed near the first waterfall. I did cross by cutting east, away from the control, and this put me at the foot of the cliffs that I'd wanted to be further east of. I found an angling ledge that led me up the cliffs and took it. I should have just stayed low at that point. On top of the cliffs, I found a control and went on. Dropping across a reentrant, I found the trail and crossed, rather than seeing on the map how it curved toward the control if I'd have cut westward on it. I saw the ponds and knew where I was but had to go further south to get around them, and not lose too much elevation. On the other side, I found a water control on a ridge but it wasn't the control on the saddle that I was looking for. I paused and read the map a while before going down the ridge to #6. That was far too much time lost on a not so hard control.
The remaining terrain was easier. I went fairly straight toward #7 and used the corner of the ride to track my position once across the reentrant. I went over the hilltop just left of the line, then got a little distracted by the yellow, as I was looking for more significant drop off. I hit the marshy stuff and cut right, to come into the control from the NE.
I ran straight toward #8 but shifted sharper to the left to get around the marsh. I stayed low and followed the reentrant into the control. Going to #9, I passed Gayle Gagarin again, but got confused after passing some cabins and seeing what looked like a T-intersection much too soon. I paused a while, losing time, the followed the road to the left to the correct T intersection. Attacking, I got confused again by seeing rough open ground to the left--it wasn't mapped and I mistook it for more open ground that was mapped more to the north. I cut right to adjust but once over the edge of the hill, the control was way to the left. Going to #10, I ran straight but started to drift right after crossing the bottom of the reentrant. The map was busy here and hard to see the contours. I stopped a little bit and forced myself back down into the reentrant. I paused at a control that wasn't mine, then went on, straight to the correct control. I ran straight at #11 and hit it well. I had trouble seeing the control, read the code, saw the two boulders, and confirmed it was #11. A trail of people were headed toward my #12 but they were on other courses. I got around some of them before punching. For #13, I took off, passing others and using the road/trail on the west side of the stream. My thought had been to cross the stream on the road but I changed it when two others were going straight--it seemed faster so I risked getting hung-up crossing the stream. It was pretty easy to cross. I went over the hill and past the control on a boulder that others I'd passed were headed to. For #14, I played it safe, backtracking to the road the same way I'd come. I would have saved time cutting straighter. Entering the finish arena, I paused to read the map. I couldn't see where the control was with a bushy tree in my line of sight. I should have pushed more on the run in. As it was, I was only ~40 seconds ahead of Clint Morse for the day.
I left a lot of time on the clock by making errors and not being patient. By contrast, I ran with better navigation on the Middle the day before, only my main error was bigger because I couldn't relocate. Today, the navigation was easier so my errors didn't hurt me as much--I got second in M50+ which was nice but Joe Brautigam and Sergei Velichco were running M45+ this weekend and they've been running faster than me for several years now (since stopping speed training after my torn meniscus). Others didn't run in M50+ too, and of those that did, they often had cleaner races. After comparing notes with the other M50+s on Green Y, I'd been sitting on a bench, eating, and waiting for the awards to start and I got a nasty hamstring cramp in my left leg. I was able to stand but it didn't abate. My other leg started to cramp bur fortunately it held off. It was a fun weekend!