Ouch, the sting of Monday morning quarterbacking... At first glance, 17th of 104 on the GreenX course yesterday doesn't seem too bad. But looking over my splits this AM shows a different story.
Of 17 splits, I had two that were fastest in the entire field, as well as a 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th fastest split. In total 6/17 splits were in the top 5!! It appears my sprinting legs deceived me....
Moving myself into 5th overall at the 4th control, I elected to maintain high speed by going R staying in the open arena area and cutting up past the basketball court, but maintaining speed I think I hit the woods and mentally shifted gears from a 1:4k sprint into a 1:10k middle mindset as well as misinterpreting a dashed formline for the trail I was running on and quickly found myself up along side the marsh SW of #5 before realizing it was much too big to be the smaller one before my control. Backtrack at speed to #5 but losing 1:48 with the mistake.
Back up to speed and moving my way back up the field until the short leg from #12 to #13 where I read the map and noted control on edge of small marsh, blew right by my control seeing a flag with no marsh evident and winding up by the northern less distinct marsh (quite distinct w/ Friday's rains). And then just got totally flustered, couldn't match anything mis-reading gray building for basketball court while in sight of the finish arena and hearing my name on the PA and standing there staring at my map totally clueless.. Arrghh...
Around the basketball court then CLICK, brain reengages and I fly like a bat out of hell through the final 3 spectators controls into the chute.
So, for 15 of 17 controls, I had a fast, podium worthy race going but that's the thing about orienteering - you have to put all the pieces together and can't afford controls like #5 & #13. I need to get out there and practice, practice, practice so those kinds of errors have no room to creep in.
2 years until NAOC '14 in Ottawa, Canada where apparently the sprint will be contested as an urban sprint... Plenty of time to practice..