Orienteering (Foot) 1:48:22  9.8 km (11:03 / km) +390m 9:13 / km
QOC: Little Bennett Regional Park, MD. It was still cold out; still in the teens, F. There was still snow out too but starting late, and with it being sunny, there was less of it. I ran the Blue course. Everything was going well initially. I spiked 5 of the first 6 controls and got the fastest split on the first leg--I hadn't done that on a Blue course in a long while. I probably was running too fast. I realized it soon enough after #1, but was still moving without a good sense of pace afterward--I just haven't been training much for endurance lately.
As often happens when one gets tired, I fell on the way on the short leg to #7. I also happened to mispunch there. It was a control in a direct line, but oddly enough I seemed to remember seeing it. I can't remember if I fell first or saw it first, but on my fall, I went head over heels, doing a full roll on the down slope, and came up running. I ran on toward #8 by getting to the creek at a side stream intersection, then going upstream a short way to a creek bend. On the other side I very briefly checked my location by seeing a trail bend behind me that sloped upward. However, I wasn't confident of my check. I climbed the hillside at an angle and was confused at not seeing any rootstocks nearby. I must have climbed too high and gotten close to #9 before stopping. I turned back confused the a reentrant ahead and then my memory of being unsure where I had crossed the creek. I doubled back but stayed high. Eventually I got above, then dropped into the large fight green north of #8--a big 350-400m loop. The fight green wasn't really that bad, but it was a little thorny and I could see the reentrant that I had come across on the other side of the creek. I went south to get out of the green and went on to the rootstock.
I hit #9 really well. There was a bit of an elephant track through the snow to it. I had to stop there for a while since my mishap into the fight on the way to #8, had gotten my shoelace untied. It took a while to get my gloves off, to tie and tuck my laces, and get my gloves and compass on, and to get my epunch back onto my fingers.
I planned to go low toward #10 but as I got closer the bottom looked junky. A trail also happened to be going my way. It just climbed more than I had wanted it to. I ended up hitting #10 pretty well but my shoes got untied again! I took the time to fix that again since the laces are really long.
Going to #11, I first goofed by climbing high and west toward the field, instead of doubling back. What was really going on was partly frustration at having to stop for my shoe laces again, and really needing to go the the bathroom. I sucked up the loss of time, and relieved myself. In the process, I had to undo and put on my gloves yet again. As I was interested in saving time, I thought to put on my gloves while moving up the hill. After getting them on and almost reaching the road, I realized I had either dropped or left the map behind---@ X %
I went straight to #12 and saw or heard a few others going the other direction, including Dasa Merkova (course setter) and Kathleen Lennon. I had to tie my shoes again though. :(
I went on the trail and then straight to #13. It seemed to me that #13 was lower and more to the right than I thought it'd be, but I spiked it from the ride above. The feeling at #13 might have explained why I missed #14 so badlly (as did many others). I thought I was running a good bearing but hit to the right of a reentrant 100m off to the right of the control. The previous night, coming from the other direction, the same control seemed like it was higher than I thought it'd be. As I missed, I saw my son Max who was accompanied by David Onkst--they were trying the Green course (Max's feet got really cold so they didn't finish). When I saw the reentrant, I mistook it for another and went further right before turning back. I let Max and Dave know I'd found it before going on.
I hit the rest of the controls (all 8) rather well, but I was out of gas. The bad news of finding out I had mispunched at #7 almost felt like relief since I'd messed-up so much of the middle of the course.