The link for your blog from the WOC forest races is broken (missing the "_14"). Try this:
Now I've read the blog entry, and I'm impressed. I can fully appreciate how discouraging the Long race must have been. (In part because I had a somewhat similar experience at WOC '81 in Switzerland. I arrived in Europe in the best shape of my life, with every expectation of improving significantly on my so-so results in the previous two WOCs. But two weeks before WOC, I got a bad intestinal illness, presumably from something I ate or drank. I was somewhat recovered by WOC, but certainly well off the peak condition I had worked so hard to achieve. And therefore I had another so-so Classic race and was dropped from the relay team. A huge disappointment.)
So what impresses me is that with the disappointing Long weighing on your mind, and your body not fully recovered, you managed just two days later a pretty damn good relay run (in the opinion of this detached observer).
And what further impresses me is that you have spent your efforts since then on objectively analyzing--as evidenced by this blog and your AP log entries--what went wrong (and what went right) for you at WOC, and are hard at work using this analysis to achieve your potential at future events in general, and this fall's championships in particular.
So in closing I can sincerely say: Well done.
I have read several write-ups where the long leg 1-2 left them depressed and beaten so you are not alone.
I remember seeing a really long leg (3-4K) at one of the World Cup race maps a few years ago and thinking how that would just throw me. Than I was thinking that as part of a pre-race warm-up, it would probably be good to remind oneself that there might be a really long leg, or a really short one, or???? and I think that just being aware of the possibility would help. Of course, I don't do that type of thinking myself but, where I at a different level and at a really important event, I might.
I did anticipate a long leg, or several, being very decisive in the race. Not in my pre-race routine, rather in the five months of visualization and mental preparation I did for this WOC. It was my execution of it and my body's shut-down that destroyed me.
Thanks for sharing your story, Steve. I can understand the disappointment. And thanks for your support.