US Champs Long
I knew that I had to kill it today if I wanted a chance at the team. I didn't. I lost 9-10 minutes on 2 and 3, with a few bobbles later on. After 3/4 things were better, not awesome but fine, and I just tried to push myself for the best possible race I could from that point on. Disappointing not to have 3 decent runs in a row.
At the start I flipped over the map and all kinds of funny words streamed through my head. I was expecting some rocks, but this map was like rock with a bit of white sprinkled in. I'm not sure if that shock is what threw me off, or whether I basically just refused to acknowledge that I was going to have to run through this stuff, but the first few controls were just a mental fight. I took the safe/wide/left route to the first control because I didn't know what the rocks were going to be like. Turns out the woods are pretty deadfally, and the rocky ground really isn't the main impediment. But the left route to 1 doesn't seem to be that terrible, and it was good for me to have a safe spike on the first control.
To 2 there was a nice line to the control, through the saddle, down the stream, through the clearing. And I did it just fine. I really don't know what happened after that, it seems like I thought I *hadn't* done what I planned, and for some reason I went down the slope instead of contour and then at the stream nothing made sense (there were more streams, it was wet) and it took me a bit to determine I was too low and head back up stream. Louise had just punched when I got there. ouch!
For 3 I was still skerd of the rocks (dude, get over it) so wanted to head left a bit to avoid a lot of them and hit the giant, totally unmissable marsh. With the way that I ended up going I should have really gone faster. Going doing the rocky gully/stream would also have been better, but at least if I am going to aim for the giant marsh I should have thrown myself downhill a lot faster. Once I got to the marsh and ran around, I didn't pay attention to the transition between yellow marsh/white marsh and then forest, so I confused the root stocks and attacked incorrectly, doing a loop on the hillside. Oof.
Okay, deep breath. Now that there was a break from the rocks I was able to get myself into O mode. Third fastest split to 4, so that worked okay.
Approach to 5 went well, contouring around the hill to the control, hit it right on. Now I felt more confident and orienteered more properly for the rest of the course. I got tired by the end, as evidenced by my route choice to 18. :-)
Done, disappointed, tired.