Orienteering race 1:04:01  5.0 km (12:48 / km)
shoes: Vavrys - studded rubber cleats
What with going to the US Champs in five days I thought it might be wise to remind myself what Orienteering is. I made extraordinary efforts to clear my calendar and partake in the event at Camp Stonybrook. I ran there last year and was pleasantly surprised with the ample route choices the terrain of the camp naturally offers. If only were a little less thick, it might be a perfect venue for Orienteering in SW Ohio.
I have been running fairly steadily for 5½ months. But I suffered a bit of foot pain about three weeks ago have experienced a noticeable drop in both miles and speed. Last Thursday I added a mild ankle roll to the right foot while doing a fun mountain Bike Trail run with Mike Minium. Nonetheless, I will be running next Saturday at Lake Moreau. Nonetheless, I was going out today at Stonybrook to get a bit of practice.
My intent was to refresh my memory on woodland orienteering. We have been doing a bit of parkland sprint O all spring and summer. It’s just not the same. Similar, yes; same, no. My brain uses different thought processes for these two event types. In addition I wanted to see if my forest running speed was at par with where I was 18 months ago. I expected that I was at least at that level. At the 2009 Georgia navigator Cup I managed a 2nd place finish in M50. I have been training harder this year and hoped that I was at least that fast again.
Oy vey. I was slow. 13 minutes per K. What the heck is that all about?
1: was a field and trail run. I was confused when I thought I should see the control and could not. I trusted my ability to run in the correct direction and bumped into the control somewhere in the woods.
2: grabbed the trail to 2, poking out to the road a moment early and learning right away that I wanted to avoid any more briar.
3: took the trail to a clearing, cut through to the far trail and bingo.
4: intended to find the indistinct trail and extend it over to the trail system to the south. Didn’t see it, was fighting through when I found myself back to the east on the larger trail. Ran the trails all the way from there. Lost 10 seconds or so.
5: ran straight west hitting the intermittent stream, looked for the trail, never found it, followed the stream to the road, through the fight. Followed the road through the large clearing to a ford across the stream, which was dry, nice to know, meant to stay south as I crossed the stream but ended on the north and wrong side of deep ravine, thus ran farther around than intended. Followed road and trail to control.
6: My first impression was there where too many options. I didn’t know which one to take so I just took off looking for what might be the physically easiest. I ended up running the simple trail just east of the direct route. I wondered what I would do when that piece of trail ended in a wall of dark green. I worked my way west around the green then straight down the slope to the stream. I ended up crossing the stream right where it cuts back to the right again; At least I knew exactly where I was. I attacked off of the NE stream bend looked for a low spur. Voila. I see it. I run to it. There is no bag. WTF. I use the neck to check all 360°. Nothing. I go to the bottom of the spur. I run to the top of the spur. Nothing. WTF. I think I detect an opening in all of the green to my North. I check it out and find a fire grate. WTF. That should be on the map. So there is an X. I attack from the X to my East. There is a bag on a second spur. Hot Damn. It is not until now several days later with adequate light and vision that I can see a hidden contour line on the map. It is obscured by a trail and the control circle. It may delineate a second southern spur that I am now intimate with. I lost 30 to 45 seconds.
7: I actually orienteered to like I used to know how. I went straight; roughly following the redline. When I ran into some picnic tables I followed their tailing trail to a bridge, road, and clearing. I was going to run up the spur to the shallow reentrant. But, I soon saw how thick the “light” green was. I changed direction into the western clearing and worked my way along a dear trail through the white open forest crossing the foot of the reentrant and climbed up and over the spur from the south. Bingo, right on the bag.
8: I contoured around the right past the reentrant top and directly into the bag. NP.
9: I started out running straight. Saw the deep reentrant. Turned to the right and found little relief. I settled on a suitable crossing without giving up much climb and followed the ridge line to the control. Bam.
10: Freaking A! This route choice stuff is the bomb. Way to go Mike. I got my way to the narrow trail that runs left and North of the route. Crossing the dry stream at the trail ford and getting to the semi circle of tent platforms. I was going to follow the trail to the trail bend but found the forest open and a dry ditch readily available. I was on track to hit the bag but was pulled left at the sight of a control stand. I knew it was wrong. It appeared to be a root stock. Not seeing one on the map I chose to be safe and check it out. It was the trail bend. I re-attacked my control and Zing. Lost 10 seconds for being
11: I finally made a real mistake. Imagine that. I am having more and more issues with eyesight; specifically not making out detail of the map. Sometimes this is critical detail. My exit plan from 10 was to run SW contouring the hillside to the trail; trying to stay out of the darker green to the west. I don’t remember what I was thinking, if I had been aware of my doings I would not have screwed up. But apparently I did not understand the map directly where I was when leaving 10. I only remember contouring and hitting a lot of fight. I was surprised and kept pushing forward doing a lot of ducking. I finally hit the trail, turned right, and began to run. I expected to be going downhill but was not exactly. Then I unexpectantly hit a trail junction. WTF. I kept running ‘downhill’ and checked my compass. I realized immediately where I was coming from. But I did not know I had gotten there until now. Apparently, with my failing eyesight, and my inattention to my surroundings, I overlooked the fact that I had to cross down across the reentrant to the south before contouring to the trail. I had taken off contouring the hillside, nearly 180° out of whack.
Realizing my mistake, without comprehending the cause, I relocated myself on the trail, and cut the corner towards the small building. Then ran the road, to the bridge, to the outhouses, to the hill top. Lost 1:40 or so.
12: I first see this set of earthen banks on the stream, Then I see a steep hillside to descend. Finally I realize I don’t know what the heck to do and that standing still is not so productive. The bridge and road is familiar and so I am off. Back to the North I run, through the tent platforms, down to the stone steps and bridge, up the road to the pool. I run past the green patch behind the pool to the far vegetation corner and head up the reentrant. The bag was low.
13-14-15-16: were all harder than I had hoped; most likely exactly as Mike had hoped. These took careful compass and thought. Even with that the routes were subjective with thick briars. Curses. Actually I was compelled not to curse as there were many girl scouts nearby.