Orienteering race 1:20:09 9.4 km (8:32 / km) +282m7:25 / km shoes: 200908 Inov8 X-Talon 212
Day two of the BGR A-meet in Greenbush, WI. Given my clean run yesterday (easily the cleanest classic course I have ever run) and the knowledge that today's course would be less challenging, I decided to run more aggressively. Overall, I'm pleased with my performance - while this terrain is technical and requires concentration, it is not subtle, and I do not have much difficulty moving confidently. My run was clean by my definition - no navigational errors more substantial than the occasional 30 second bobble and hesitations - though I'm sure better orienteers would consider some of my actions mistakes today.
My run today was less impressive by its own merit and quality than yesterday's, though I think I did slightly better relative to the field. Examination of splits reveals that I'm generally consistent (though I do fluctuate more than the elites), though slower. Again, some of this is physical, but I think the largest component is technical simplification and hesitation. I will practice this over the winter.
I had one moment (control 13) where my zone of uncertainty grew quite large, but I spiked the control nevertheless because of my safe route (up high along the edge of the depression). I made a small parallel error at 8, but I immediately realized it and was not off my line by more than 30 meters or so - probably a 20-30 second error in total.
As I was leaving 18, I heard Ken Walker Jr closing behind me; I intensified my physical and mental efforts to try to stay ahead of him. I comfortably beat him to 19; the go control was on the other side of road along very obvious tracks. I pushed hard bailing out to the road, but I missed slightly to the north, and Ken and I reached the road simultaneously. I sidled along behind him to the go control and outkicked him in the finish chute (though he barely seemed tired, whereas I was dead). I had another modestly entertaining encounter while I was running to 14; I ran into Ross crossing my path. To my surprise, he followed me into the control. It turned out that he had gotten confused en route to 10 and used me to relocate.
I'm particularly pleased with some of my long leg route choice; while my splits on these legs relative to the leaders were not significantly better than average, I had simple, safe, and potentially fast routes (usually along ridges). That was true today on 3, 9, and 17. I suppose this is the norm for someone who is truly proficient rather than merely competent.
Other finishes of note: I was 2 minutes behind Jordan, 3 behind Wyatt, 12 behind Ebone and Clem, and 17 behind Will and Ross.
Orienteering race 1:43:09*** 11.3 km (9:08 / km) spiked:20/20c shoes: 200908 Inov8 X-Talon 212
US Championships Classic course by the Badger Orienteering Club in Greenbush, WI. The medial moraine terrain (as Leif told me) is very technical and difficult; relocation is not trivial. At the "model" local middle distance terrain yesterday, I noted that hills made good attack points because they are easily distinguished and are visible from a distance. I decided that my strategy was to sacrifice speed for accuracy; I wanted a clean run at almost any speed.
I succeeded in that goal; I had an immaculate run. I'm sure I lost time with poor route choices, and I was not as fast as the top runners, but every time I expected to find a control, I found one - usually directly in front of me. There was a cost to moving through the terrain; it required a lot of mental work and focus, but this was one of my best races, and about as good as I can realistically hope to do at present. Simplifying was very challenging. On a few legs, I planned a roughly straight route, then tracked from feature to feature on a computationally intensive path.
I lost 26 minutes to Will. I estimate something like 50-75% of that was from mental challenges (simplifying, e.g.) and hesitations, and the rest was from not running as fast. I was 16 minutes behind Boris, Eric Bone, and Ken.
I think this may be my first 80 point classic run; we'll see how the numbers come out. More analysis later.
Running warm up/down 20:00  3.0 km (6:40 / km) shoes: 200908 Inov8 X-Talon 212
Warming up while reading the model map before the US Classic champs. I mostly visualized running various combinations of the existing controls from the model course. I think running the model map the previous day and spending time getting into the map helped me during the race.
Running the 4.5 k middle distance course at the Badger Orienteering Club local event; this course was essentially the model event for the US Champs.
I took my time reading the course, stopping to examine features and think in detail about my route choices. The forest is clear, and the contours are both informative and tricky. I only made one mistake, losing about thirty seconds, but I wasn't moving at race pace. The terrain is gorgeous. I was focusing on running cleanly in an effort to simulate tomorrow's race, and I was pretty good at picking good attackpoints to get to the controls. Deciding at a glance which was is down or up in a particular contour region can be difficult, so I may spend more time reading my map tomorrow.
Running42:00 8.4 km (5:00 / km) shoes: 200906 NB MT620 BK
Running on the Fermilab bike path at 7 AM. I warmed up for 25 minutes, then ran 3x (3 minutes on, 2 minutes off). The morning was beautiful; in the distance, I saw the very distinctive main building (Robert Rathbun Wilson Hall).