Orienteering 2:35:34  5.03 mi (30:56 / mi)
shoes: inov-8 X-Claw 275
@ Mt. Tom - Holyoke, MA
Many times this weekend I wondered why I was on a mountain in the middle of Massachusetts wandering around lost and, in the end, quite cold & wet. I'd never really seriously considered traveling to any orienteering meet - my affection for orienteering is pretty much is cancelled out by my disdain for the New Jersey turnpike. I thought the big meet I did last fall was a one-off because it was in my neighborhood - no need to go out of town to run around in the woods. But early this year, as I was trying to figure out how to get Vince to come into the woods with me, I noticed that Jeremy had a business trip in Cape Cod the week following the Troll Cup. I mentioned this to Jeremy (who is always desperately trying to figure out ways to get his bike to go with him on business trips) and said - keep me company on this Troll Cup thing, we'll drive up and we can bring your bike and I'll drop you off at Cape Cod with your bike and maybe I can tell Vince that he can join in too - something to prep for if he goes to the local meets. It'll be a family thing, Jeremy & Edda will try a recreational course. We'll have a picnic lunch. It'll be relaxing & fun!
As soon as I mentioned this to Jeremy, he got all excited - both for me to go orienteering (how can you possibly pass up something called the Troll Cup?!?) and him to have his bike with him. But he wanted his bike not only at Cape Cod, but he also told me about a bike race he wanted to to the same weekend in the same area - Tour de Battenkill and launched into a crazy logistical weekend which also involved a trip to RPI to see our friend Josh & a visit with the grandparents and then he promptly booked all his arrangements and made a complicated training plan for himself including plans to get down to "race weight" and then it seemed settled.
For this meet, I hoped that I would find a few moments in the woods where I felt sure where I was and where I was headed (of course, that is the most joyful feeling), but this was not the case. I had been worried about my hamstring, but that also was a non-issue because I walked. I still have trouble with parts of the map where it is very dense and where it is very sparse. And so many rocks! I have no idea what is going on with the rocks. As soon as I felt sure I found the rock that I was looking for, it would become clear that it was not the correct rock.
I have many questions, I don't even know how to ask them. I'm sure I'm making typical errors in navigation, but I'm not sure what to call them or how to correct them. I feel like I don't have the vocabulary to even start a considered conversation about what I'm doing. Anyways, it's always an adventure. At one point, I got to the top of a hill and I could see so far out into the distance and it was so beautiful and even though my traversal through the course was both slow and a slog (I didn't even know yet was was going to happen on Sunday) I felt lucky to have a chance to explore this place, that my body could bring myself to this point in space, that I was both alone and also with many other people.