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Race Evaluation

QOC Patuxent: Blue


1. +00:08Before going out, I was expecting to be slow since I was out a long time on Saturday and had been standing around a lot in the chilly breeze whatching Max while Peggy ran. I finally got ready with essentially no warm-up and felt better than expected at the start. I thought for a little bit to go straighter but in the end I decided to take trails the whole way. I started to leave the trail headed for it but saw a woman climbing up a bit more to the left. I adjusted presuming she was leaving the control and had to cut right just a bit to get there.
2. +00:35Leaving #1, I wasn't careful and didn't hit the intersection. When crossing the trail, I suspected it to my right but since I didn't see it, I just kept going and angled across the flat terrain. Since I saved distance, I probably didn't lose much time but I had to work more for it. I emerged on the road, near the next trail intersection and followed the trail to the large sharp bend. I plunged across the large reentrant and angled up knowing I was getting a bit to the right. Over the corner, I recognized a reentrant below where I had set a control in a previous year when I course set in this park. I kept going but got too low. Seeing that I was running out of space, before the next big reentrant, I looked up and saw Kathleen Lennon leaving the control. I had to climb at least 2 contours.
3. At first, I didn't consider using the road. I ran straight and started to catch Kathleen. I ocurred to me that this was similar to what happened last week at Bowie where we both started late because we had to watch kids while Greg and Peggy ran. Not knowing where Kathleen was going, I still wanted to get ahead and didn't analyze the route much. I used what was mapped as a wet ditch (it was dry) to get to the maintenance area. Leaving the circle there, I started thinking about how running away from Kathleen was now what I should be doing and in the process wasn't thinking about where I was going. I got a bit left and crossed a reentrant and a trail without them mentally registering--I don't remember it now. When I got to the last trail crossing, I recognized it and wondered when I crossed the other afore mentioned features. I suppose I was running too fast. I kept trying to run a compass bearing but also was just steering clear of vegetation. I hit the very top of the stream that I knew I'd need to follow to the control. This meant I was a bit left of where I had wanted to be but was not bad. Following it a little confirmed that I was on the right track. I stayed close to the stream observing the curves and popped up higher at the end just in the right place, a little before the control.
4. +00:15I wanted to aim off the left. The vegetation kept pushing me that way too, making me feel slow. I hit the trail about +70m to the left and paused to try to confirm being left by looking for trail bends. None were very discernable so I cut right and made the right choice. I had always wondered where this bit of broken ground was. Once there at the control, I didn't think about it but neither did I see it.
5. +00:35I ran down the trail a bit to the bend, then cut in. The vegetation was again pushing me left of where I wanted to go. Very soon across the first trail, I found the linear marsh reentrant and followed it a bit. Some treefall across it pushed me out of the track left, then some more pushed me further left. I conciously had to keep turning right when I found my compass not lining up with my map. Eventually I got to clearer running and saw a man ahead running down the trail. It was John from Fairfax. He recognized me and introduced himself as I passed him on the trail. I had popped out very close to where I needed to leave the trail instead of closer to the marsh. I left the trail and kept running around the top of the detailed reentrant then plunged down to cross the stream. I hit the LP trail right at the bridge near the pond and turned left. At the top of the hill, I paralleled the pond and saw Kathleen to my left heading in the same general direction. There was enough stuff in the way that I didn't read the map well. I was thinking that I needed to cut right at the next large reentrant and find the control at the bottom near the pond. Going into the green there to cut a corner, I realized I'd misread the map. Looking in the correct direction across the reeentrant, I could see the control on top of the hill. I backed out of the green and crossed the reentrant cathing Kathleen on the way up.
6. +00:40Leaving #5, I misread the map and presumed I was leaving #15 which was to the right a bit. I cut right to try to use the white woods, right of #15. Oddly, I have little memory of crossing the reentrant right after #15--I suppose I'm really getting old now... At the road, I crossed over and continued to stay to the right. I read ahead to know which way to go once I left #6 and misread an upside down #1 as #7. This didn't hurt me right away. I finally popped out on the next trail near the recognizable reentrant between #6 and #1 (well NW of #6). Turning in the right direction, I went on to hit it easily but I was surprised at being so far to the right.
7. +01:45Leaving #6, I presumed I knew which way I was going and climbed out to the trail heading NW. With things in my way, I didn't relocate my position on the map until past the downed tree and about 2/3 of the way to #1. Realized my error and cursing myself, I turned around. I stayed on the trail going down the spur to the marsh where it ran out. Running along the banks and sometimes on the marsh wasn't bad except for a few places. My feet only sank in 2 times and I only had to climb up and walk once. I had confidence that I'd recognize the spur that the control was on and did. My map memory was a bit wrong. I was expecting the control to be lower but since I looked up early enough, I lost no further time.
8. I walked up away from the marsh and ran a bit to the left at first to get around some treefall, then right a bit to use the white woods. I hit the road at the corner and crossed. Cutting right along the reentrant, I at first had thought the control would be in the reentrant--I hadn't read the control description. I kept to the edge and saw it ahead.
9. I remembered from course setting that I didn't like crossing the reentrant on the straight path to #9. My memory was that the leaves were very deep in the reentrant bottoms and there was some deadfall making it climbing out. I went around and wonder in hind sight if I crossed a bit left of straight if I'd have saved some time. My decision to go around was that the course was long today so saving climb would save energy for later. I actually used the road for a short bit, leaving it at the corner before going off straight. At one point, I thought I was crossing a formline reentrant but was actually descending getting closer to the control. I cut left a bit to go around the tops of some ditches and saw it ahead sooner than expected. I had set a control on the same spot in a previous year when I had course set.
10. Going straight, I didn't read the control description again. I presumed it'd be in the ridge gap but when I saw it on the ridge top, I had to recheck things.
11. I decided that going left or right to get to the road would be best, but not straight. After plunging down along the straight path, I cut right as the vegetation looked better. I cut left on the road so as to keep out of the windy field for as long as possible. I felt okay crossing the field but not particularly fast. While crossing the field knowing just where I was going, I looked ahead the the remaining legs. I contemplated taking trails to the right at first. Dave gave us too long to think because I was able to analyze other routes on the #11-#12 leg and picked one that would keep me off trail almost the whole way. I had forgotten to do one thing while crossing the field; I should have ate my Gu on the run instead of lengthening my water stop by eating it there.
12. Looking at my elapsed time, I was at 52 minutes and roughly knowing the lenght of the rest of the course, I figured that there would be no way to be anywhere near Ken Walker's finish time of 75 minutes. I cut right at first to use the trail to get to the pond. At the pond, I cut right and crossed the stream about where I had on the #4-#5 leg. I ran out up a reentrant that had a control at the bottom. I considered going along the bottom for a little bit instead of along the top but was worried about extra distance and debris. I kept in pretty good map contact as I ran. It was easier to read than the bland compass legs that I'd been on earlier. I hit the Air trail right at the bend where I wanted to, before the intersections. Once past the intersections, I cut right and proceeded on bearing. I was fortunate to pickup a deer trail that was mostly going my direction. It cut left as I approached a hill. I climbed it to be sure of where I was, the cut right a bit. I knew it'd be important to know just where I was when crossing the Entrance Rd. I came out at the reentrant that's white woods near the road and ran in the bottom of it mostly on the north side. I remembered the north side to have some good running. The woods here were white, having changed since mapped; there was what appeared to be the remnant of an old trail or road for a little way. I counted reentrants staying in the bottom before turning left and counting more reentrants to the control on the right. I took this safer route through the reentrants because I remembered having made some errors in the area in previous visits when sticking to the reentrant tops on the straighter path to the SW. I was fairly pleased with this leg but felt tired on the gradual climb toward the Entrance Rd.
13. I ran along reentrant tops to the control. At first, I kept stumbling on things. It was the first sign of getting tired. At the last reentrant top on my right, I almost went right of where I should have but checking the map let me look in the right direction and see the control ahead.
14. +00:15Out to the trail, I cut left. I kept trying to read the map to see if there was any better way to go than going on trails nearly the whole way. I kept getting interruped as I stumbled over junk--this was another sign of being tired. I enjoyed the general downhill slopes and stuck to the trails, picking up speed as I went. I cut right on the Air trail and right again to cross Point Branch creek. Across that I thought to cut left a bit off trail to save distance but it didn't seem worth it when I got a look. I also wasn't lining up my compass well at this point. On the LP (Lone Pone) trail, I watched bends and reentrants, then pluged down a white wooded one with a downed tree that I could run under. I could tell others had been there from the leaves being disturbed. At the bottom, I climbed over the next ridge then knew that to be a mistake. It was slow and the way around was short and open. I dropped down and found the control pretty easily.
15. +00:40I climbed out on the left side of the reentrant then went straight. I passed the first reentrant top on the left, then as the woods were getting greener, I mistakenly cut right a bit. I emerged far enough east of the control that I couldn't see the wrecked cars in the reentrant at first. I corrected.
16. Climbing out in a sense of deja vu (since I mistakenly thought I was running this leg on #5-#6, I used the white woods and did okay. It started to seem like I should be seeing the trail and I was having my doubts but I saw a guy running on it ahead. I accelerated and hit the trail just where it started to curve toward the trail junction.
F. I didn't bother checking my watch and wasn't sure if Jan Merka's finish time was 84 minutes or 94 minutes. I pushed in, remembering that I'd only finished ahead of his time at Bowie on our last meet. Having one guy in front of me helped me run harder--I caught him 30m from the control. I'd made errors on a lot of legs during this race but felt good that I did better toward the end and was running well through the finish. I like running at Patuxent River Park.

Total Time Lost - 00:04:53

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