orienteering race 2:08:29  *** 7.8 km (16:28 / km) +250m 14:12 / km
spiked:13/18c shoes: Icebug Spirit
Jackie Jones, Red M35, near the bottom, anyway. After application of heat last night, on Lex's recommendation, my back was distinctly improved, though certain motions still brought on crippling pain, and I was mostly walking the course, with some halfhearted jogging thrown in. Navigationally I had periods of brilliance interspersed with episodes of haplessness. SA says I lost less time than yesterday, but I felt stupider.
1-5 went great, not moving very fast, but navigating well. On #6 I got myself to within the circle, but when I looked up where I thought the control might be, I saw a woman looking around confusedly, so I figured it mustn't be there. After ruling out other possibilities, I went up to at least get a better vantage point, and there was the control. The woman was still there, and she had seen the control, but it wasn't hers. She was pretty lost, so I told here where she was, maybe 200-300 meters from where she intended to be. And she seemed to think that was a lot. (Note, this is foreshadowing.) #7 was a long leg, and I took the low road, and got stupid. Most of the way there, I went by a good sized marsh. Now, it should have been obvious that it was the indistinct marsh in the white, but maybe I was just eager to be there already, and my brain decided it was the crossable marsh in the green further on. I artificially made the features match up, and headed up the hill toward the control, and actually just went into a big patch of laurel. It took quite a long while to wade through that, and when I finally emerged, I knew where I was and went to the control with no further trouble. The next leg was relatively short, and I went high to avoid the steep, rocky hillside, but overshot, and spent a while fumbling around trying to decide what feature was what. And then on #9, I made a clerical error and my eye followed the wrong line to the (closer) #11. I got to #11 okay, but just before going around the boulder, I realized my error and headed for #9 instead. #11 wasn't far off the straight line to #9, but it sure wasn't a good way to get there. Boris and Wyatt flew by at #9, and I had no trouble with #10 and #11, but I was sure getting sick of blueberry and laurel.
#12 was the longest leg, mostly a trail run, and at the end I picked a route that went through some mature laurel (not too bad to get under) and then picked my way through a maze of other laurel. Daniel Schaublin appeared near the end of this leg and was close behind me for a few controls, eventually getting away but then getting reeled in again, so we were in the chute together. All the rest of the controls went fine except for #15, when I spotted a different cliff higher up that had a control, and also had Daniel at it. But the wrong code. We both punched, but as we were heading out, we realized out error and went to the correct control.
Pretty pathetic showing, due largely to sloppiness rather than infirmity. Magnus trounced me today. And we'll see how well I recover, no way of knowing if the exercise helped or hurt my back or neither.