It was on the third race of the A-meet that my shortcomings were most obvious. I realized beforehand that I was not ready for a 12 km race through West Point terrain, but I decided, partly out of pride, that I had nothing to lose from the longer race. I felt groggy and sluggish the morning of the race, and Jeff and I arrived at the parking area over an hour before my start. I wandered around a bit taking pictures, and unwisely decided to walk the 1.8 km up to the start. This wasn't a problem physically, but it did leave me with less time to ready myself than was optimal. Jeff Teutsch, who started 4 minutes after me, ran to the start with me, and I arrived about a minute before my name was called. I took a Gu twenty minutes before my race and brought one with me in reserve.
My running speed was sluggish throughout the race. I made a number of small errors - I left 3 in the wrong direction, resulting in a costly sidehill traverse to get back on the line, I climbed too high at 4, I overshot 5 by about 50 meters, and apparently I hesitated at 7. On the way to 10, I started planning my route to 12 and was so focused that I ran right past the control. It took me some time to reconstruct the events, and I lost about 5 minutes. At 18, I left the ridge too early and wandered for a few minutes before reacquiring.
At control 14, I realized that my body was depleted, and I felt myself start to hit the wall. It was 2008
all over again, though I am in better shape and have much more experience than I did then. I had taken my Gu at 6, so I decided to walk as fast as I could for the remaining controls. Attackpoint graciously considers controls 15-19 errors; I started running (slowly) again to 20, then battled to hold off Jeremy Colgan on the long trudge up the road to 21. I was completely spent; I had nothing left at the end. I am happy that I won my private battle with the course against the temptation to quit, but my race was a failure, and the fault lies with my miserable conditioning.