Orienteering 35:00 
shoes: Integrators (Red)
Update: I wrote a whole bunch about this while sitting in Chicago and then my battery died unexpectedly and left me with nothing! Anyway, what happened...
I was all set at the start to be careful, with J-J's final instructions of "go slow" echoing in my head. I did move slowly, taking my time to figure out the first control, cautious of the 1:15 scale... but not actually picking a route and not actually keeping good track of where I was. Had to either follow a stream to the end around the green and then cut across to the ditch with the control, or cross over early before the green and go up the next system to the ditch.
I ended up being pulled across early and I *thought* I knew where that was. Spent some time trying to figure this out and hacking through green. Eventually crossed over to find my ditch where I thought it should be and found something that seemed very ditch-like going in the same direction - no control. Hopped back out, tried to make sense of where I could be, but there were no parallel features nearby... so I decided to bail to the bigger feature of the main reentrant system below. I did that, still totally confused. I made it make sense (stupid stupid stupid) and re-attacked. Got back to exactly the same place.
Now I was really frustrated, it'd been over 20 minutes (I'm telling the abbreviated story) and I obviously had no clue where I was. And I was not enjoying this terrain. I decided to look really big picture and figured that maybe I was several hundred meters too far south. It made some sense, so I went north along the ridge and eventually found *a* control - not mine, of course, but something on a feature. But that didn't help because I didn't know which reentrant it was in. Bailed back out to the ridge and, for the first time, saw something that really clicked with the map - a parallel ditch and ride.
At this point, well over 30 minutes in, I had so little confidence in where I was and I'd been wandering around for so long that I was pretty sure that it was just a coincidence and that I was yet again making the map fit my idea of where I was. So I half-heartedly attacked from the ride, got stuck in some green, didn't see what I expected to see, and made the very disappointing decision to call it a day. To say that I felt like a loser is an understatement.
Now for the worst part - the control I saw was on the blue course and I was able to recreate what I did based on its location. I estimate that I was at the edge of the control circle when I gave up. And, according to those who found the control, the ditch wasn't very visible, which would explain why I didn't see it when I was so close. Whether or not I would have wanted to finish the course if it had taken me almost 40 minutes to find the first control is another question.
What to learn from this? Well, aside from the obvious lessons about actually picking a route and keeping track of where I am, I should also trust myself when I see something that really clicks on the map. I had zero confidence in myself when I saw the ditch and ride, even though it really made sense. I don't know what the solution there is, except perhaps to think back to this incident and remember that I *was* right, finally, and way too close when I gave up.