Regarding JWOC: what went wrong?
I dont think it is useful in this case to do a detailed analysis of each race - the main issue was not technical or physical but mental.
Despite not actively saying it, I knew in the run up to JWOC that I would struggle to perform to my full potential - this is in spite of being measurably the fittest (and probably technically most competent) ive ever been.
I arrived on the start line of the sprint (and subsequent races) without an excitement to race. I really wanted to be excited, but the reality is that I wasn't. Instead I felt a real lack of mental sharpness and a need to 'get the race over with'.
I think this has quite a simple explanation; coming mostly in two parts:
1) I have undoubtedly raced too frequently this past 7 months. 6 x Selection races + 6 x Swedish Leagues + TioMila + Jukola. For me personally this has been to much - already in the lead up to the JK I was beginning to feel mentally tired and certainly by the time I got to Jukola I could really notice a lack of hunger to race.
2) My goal for this year was selection for JWOC rather than performance at it. Starting mostly from scratch after some time off last spring/summer this was a legitimate goal for the season. I cannot regret putting so much mental and emotional energy into the 6 JWOC selection races - my eventual selection was not guaranteed! Whilst I of course tried to re-evaluate my goal once I knew I would run JWOC, ultimately it was too late. To have my peak performance where it mattered would have required it to be the only goal of the season. (There is some positive in this though - next year selection should in theory be more comfortable and I managed to perform well at the first few selection races showing I can at least peak once per year).
I think the plan first then will be to regain my hunger for racing - I will take Oringen next week at a very easy pace and treat it more as training than racing. On from that I will attempt to avoid racing all the way to JEC in late September.
Of course it is really frustrating to feel like I have done all that I could to perform well (i.e. spending 7 months living as if I was a professional orienteer in Sweden) - but eventually be well below my own expectations. A good learning experience nonetheless!