I wasn't sure to go and traffic (as expected) was quite bad, so no warm-up yet again. I was also undecided on how to approach this, given where I am in the cycle (major races for the year are done, winter training ahead). In the end I decided to just treat this as a bit of a fartlek running training combined with map memory exercise: plan ahead 2 legs, memorise the current leg. I wasn't worried about results or strategy (and it showed). I have mostly been able to execute this plan.
That said, a couple of frustrating things happened. I started quite slow, undecided on strategy (and not warmed up), so initially changed my mind on the order of controls to take quite a bit. This also distracted my navigation a bit and made a few smaller mistakes - nothing major but if this was a proper race they would have counted. In two instances the Street-O map was not clear enough and I was lured into dead ends by nature of closed gates (street-O maps don't mark any gates so it looked like you could get though). I definitely lost a few minutes due to this and of course they could have counted for more points. I have also made a stupid error from the last control I visited on the route back to the finish - running roughly the same distance but using another crossing point I could have been running past another 30 points worth control...
That said, my strategy (which admittedly wasn't something I cared about) wasn't the best - doing the SE corner first I could have collected about 50 points more as well. Hence just with a different order (but still same running speed) I could have easily have gotten about 610 points which would have been 6th place. Again - not that it matters much.
Running warm up/down 9:50 1.78 km (5:31 / km) +8m5:24 / km ahr:150 max:161 shoes: VJ iRock
Orienteering race (Brown) 1:21:22*** 12.19 km (6:40 / km) +222m6:07 / km ahr:161 max:175 shoes: VJ iRock
November Classic / Southern Championships, Course 2 / M40.
Ran early so results/split analysis to come later. No elephant track that early and ran most of the course without anyone around. The advantage was that Orienteers have not yet disturbed wildlife as much, so I saw 3 deers passing close by.
As much as I dislike the New Forest for orienteering in general, today was an exception. The terrain was in all its autumn glory and colours, bright sunshine (though cold), and the bracken has mostly died down, although still a challenge and tough running in most of the rough open areas, but at least it wasn't trying to grab and scratch me like in the summer months. Also the map was generally of a high standard, better than most New Forest maps, and although with the 1:15000 scale in places I did have to use the magnifier extensively, it was nice to mostly be able to rely on the map for navigation. Sounds like an obvious thing but unfortunately many maps fail this test to a smaller or larger degree, especially when running off-paths.
In terms of general performance: Technique was mostly OK, used a variety of them and generally on top of navigation for 90-95% of the time. One major mistake but even there I was recovering it better than for example last year in this terrain, several smaller 20-40s mistakes though which all add up but still, heading in the right direction. Running was hindered from the hard running yesterday, felt like I could not push as much as I should have and legs did feel tired. Once again though, compared to running in this tough terrain with marshes and heather in lots of places, compared with a lot of races half a year or a year ago, it did feel like I was running more consistently, hardly ever slowed down to a walk, so it felt like an overall progress was made.
Provisional results puts me 4th/16 in M40L and 18/44 on the course (well M40 is the oldest age group running this). 3rd place was 7 minutes away and should have been realistic with a perfect run and more rest - note the I knew full well this was never going to be a comp with rest given my decision to run yesterday. Even though this was designated as the club championship event, the way the club championship is calculated I don't stand a chance with a few gents not much slower (if at all) but in higher age groups so this wasn't an objective. And although a level A event, I wanted to do well but couldn't justify building my preparation up for this, so the calculation of what performance may be possible is not because I think it would have been realistic today, only to see what would be realistic if I designate the event as a target event.
The provisional results site did not publish splits so can't analyse that, but based on my track and thinking:
1 - Chose to tun mostly on the tracks, ran around the area marked with undergrowth in the middle of the leg, in actual fact there probably was not as much undergrowth so could have been somewhat faster cutting across. Wanted to be safe instead, nevertheless probably lost 20s + 10s in the control circle where I was too far left. 2 - Did not simplify the map in the control circle enough so stopped to read through the details. Should have used the corner of the woods as the main target which is what I did in the end but not before the hesitation costing me 20s 3 - long leg through the rough open, lost my mental strength in a few spots through it and broke down my running into walk but not as much as in earlier races (nevertheless lost some time). In the control circle I again had to stop and use the magnifier to check that there were two earth banks, one of them just next to the control circle so difficult to see. The map was perfect, I just needed that extra 20s to read out the 1:15000 details. 4 - simplified this leg well, surprised to come across the control somewhat earlier than expected, I think this was on a spur when the control description said re-entrant. I was expecting it to be a few meters beyond. No time lost, but this surprised me. 5 - a few hesitations - on crossing the stream with some earthbanks I was (too?) careful, then stopped short of the control on an unmapped indistinct stream. I think in this area there were a few more water ditches than mapped, slightly difficult to figure out which were chosen to be mapped and which were not. 20s 6 - slightly too high on the spur, had to correct - 10s I think the vegetation was mapped a bit too sparingly in this area, thankfully the contours helped 8 - contoured onto the road out of 7, although still surprised as I got to it higher than I expected it. 9 - started to tire somewhat on this uphill even though it wasn't particularly steep... chose a conservative attack point which was wise as the depression with the control wasn't obvious, even though it definitely was longer to run. 10 - The first directional mistake that cost me considerable time. Veered right and ended up being caught by the stream - this surprised me as I was expecting the ride and the stream was further south. Had to stop and think it through to relocate so lost some time correcting myself. 40s 11 - Happy with simplifying my path run to pace counting due to no obvious attack point. This should not be normally noted, but I was quite poor so far with using that technique so a bit of patting myself on the back hopefully will keep me using it more 12 - The biggest mistake of my run. Veered right all the way on the long bearing, the first mistake was not checking my position as I crossed the road on the hilltop (oxygen debt?), I felt I should but then I just ran on. Then, I passed what I thought were the small open areas to the left of the line but which were in fact unmapped openings and "corrected myself", veering more to the right. I felt something was wrong when I ran far enough but wasn't sure where I ended up. In hindsight I hit the areas mapped as semi-open but my mind was still thinking I was further NE, so could not put 2 and 2 together fast enough. I then decided to get out to the corner of the opening where the wet ditch finally made sense (there were a few similar corners around) and got me the control. 4 minutes lost, which is quite bad but considering I lost about 18 early in the year (or was it last year) in a very similar area and circumstance, I need to give a bit of credit as well for a better recovery approach. Clearly not yet good enough though, but wonder if there is something better when the surrounding area is quite vague. 13 - Messed up the final approach from the semi-open area (not sure why?) by going too far right. 20s 19 - lost my direction as I crossed the final wooded area before the opening with the control which cost me about 15s
So probably just under 7m of mistakes.
Running warm up/down 2:21 0.37 km (6:24 / km) +2m6:15 / km ahr:139 max:145 shoes: VJ iRock
Running warm up/down 7:26 1.03 km (7:13 / km) +2m7:09 / km ahr:136 max:145 shoes: VJ iRock
Running warm up/down 5:05 0.93 km (5:28 / km) +2m5:24 / km ahr:145 max:149 shoes: Reebok One Cushion Trail
Running tempo (Parkrun) 23:43 5.03 km (4:43 / km) +12m4:40 / km ahr:156 max:184 shoes: Reebok One Cushion Trail
Bournemouth Parkrun #170.
A pacing event for most, but for me, given the two upcoming races this weekend, this was a shakeout session. HR-control for the first 3kms, then 4x strides in the last 2 kms.
Still, my 50th Parkrun... Shall I go for the T-Shirt or wait for my 100th?
Running warm up/down 5:31 0.95 km (5:50 / km) +1m5:47 / km ahr:136 max:142 shoes: Reebok One Cushion Trail
Urban Orienteering race 51:01**** 10.53 km (4:51 / km) +109m4:37 / km ahr:168 max:181 spiked:25/25c shoes: Adidas Supernova Glide
Salisbury City Race, course 2 (Mens Vets).
3rd/57 Mens Vets, 4th/75 on the course.
A few small niggles, not had time to warm up (again, note to self: try and leave more time when planning to get to events especially when not constrained by work!), but on the main ran well and no major mistakes other than a few smaller ones (listed later). Overall plan for the comp mainly worked well, so can't be unhappy. Will see tomorrow how much it took out of me.
3 - Took a slightly longer route than optimal, 5s 7 - wrong turn on one of the junctions, 20s 8 - I realised too late that I can run through the fielsd to get to the control and don't have to run around to the left, which meant I was already on the path and had to cut across the rough open, so lost some seconds by the slightly longer route and less optimal running surface. 10s 12 - running all the way next to the main road probably would have been slightly shorter - 5s 15 - ran around to the right and only realised then that the control was on the other side of the wall. I did it in time to avoid running into a dead alley but this way around was slightly longer, probably 5s? 16 - several smaller niggles on this route, slightly confused after the underpass, then the pavement was blocked by people walking so had to squeeze through the cars to get around them, then again the underpass next to the river was full with people so had to slow down. Probably 15s? 17 - Although I knew the route doubling back would have been shorter, wanted to avoid the people in the underpass so ran around the other side, probably 5s slower? 18 - started to tire at this point as the splits show, but no errors so can't justify giving myself seconds here! 21 - This was an easy control but that meant I spent most of the leg planning ahead, could not believe there wasn't a simpler solution to 24, so I was both running slower and so into the planning that I ran past the control and had to turn back. 10s
So probably a sum of just over a minute of mistakes, which is not bad. Probably need to do more endurance tempo training though over the winter as it is clear that I am slowing towards the end.
Just about made it there on time, so no warm-up. Again suspicious when they said "changeover control is where it was last year" and everybody knew.... so I'll be at a disadvantage as everyone knows the area except me...
Did not push running too much, although maybe I could have done as I was slowly getting dropped by the two guys who ended up in 1st and 3rd, but as it was fundamentally a training exercise for me, probably learned more by running alone. Even won a few splits later on. A few wobbles nevertheless especially at the beginning, took a while to get used to the 1:4000 map. Two real mistakes navigationally and one suboptimal choice of getting the sequence of controls. Quite a few people also were climbing uncrossable fences that I did not risk and instead run around, of course losing some time.