Running 10:00  1.8 km (5:33 / km)
shoes: 201304 Inov-8 Oroc 280s
Warmup before the middle. My Orocs hurt my feet; the pressure on the studs can be unpleasant. I wonder if getting a slightly thicker insert or a snugger fit would help. I took too much time getting things together - I left my car 20 minutes before my WRE start with 1.8 km to run. I misplaced my control description holder, but fortunately Boris lent me his. Mental mistake: not organized prerace, which is usually an area I excel at. Yesterday, I got to the start with more than 25 minutes to spare, comfortably warmed up, and organized my thoughts.
Orienteering 41:14  4.93 km (8:22 / km)
shoes: 201304 Inov-8 Oroc 280s
US Middle Distance Championships, Letchworth West. Overall, this was a sloppy, sluggish run with potential but ultimately disappointment.
Because there are so many parallel small reentrants in Letchworth, it's very easy to miss too high or too low without realizing it from the contour data. I wanted to start solidly and run precisely. My legs felt heavy and sluggish from the weekend. I was rushed on my pre-start routine; I wasn't sufficiently mentally composed.
I started out by missing control 1 too high, and I lost 45s+. I hit the stream ok, but didn't appreciate that I was perhaps three lines too high for some time. From the splits, this was a common mistake. A clean first control is a good goal to have, especially in a technical race.
I recomposed myself and did ok on 2 and 3. Control 2 was lower than I expected - shaking my confidence a little, but I picked off the indistinct trail and the contour shelf, which led me right to the flag. I was a little hesitant running straight to 3, but I found the spur and gentle NE reentrant I expected for another spike. On Control 4, I lost 75s by doing exactly what I feared by drifting too high - I overshot, bounced off the stream, and took a little time to recompose myself. I was irritated with myself, so I took 5 cautiously but cleanly, where I ran into Schirm. I didn't know if the Schirm started before or after me and did my best to be indifferent to him.
Schirm and I drifted apart running to 6 - I think I was lower than him, but we came back together just after the swamp and ran around the hill into 6 cleanly. To 7, I decided to run down to the marsh and blast; the running was quite nice, but I felt ponderously slow. Schirm pulled away from me, and I only gradually reeled in Izzy. She remarked later that I was "not fast." In looking at the splits, the route was clearly good, as I was only 20s down on a 4 minute leg. Controls 8-11 were straightforward, though again, I felt slow and tired on them. I was in control - perhaps too hesitant to 9, slow on the uphill to 10, and hard pressed to get around all the junk between me and the flag on 11.
To 12, I started by exiting the control 30' to the right, hit the open marsh, and changed to the road. I climbed up the spur, then lost some time checking out the green. The control was mapped as being in the thickest green, but it turned out to be in whiteish woods above the green. I probably lost 20s at the circle.
Control 14 was my great dumb mistake: I chose to run right along the trail around the hill. When I reached the end of the trail, I started contouring over, but then saw a flag high above me to the left. I should have realized that this was not my control - especially because Schirm was rocketing down the hill in front of me, but I lacked confidence and ran up to it. It was actually on the trail three or four lines above mine, while my control was exactly on my initial attack; I blew a full minute due to foolishness. Control 15 was fine; on 16, my bail to the trail was sluggish, wading through too much green. I left the trail too early, only to run to the bend again. I was incredibly slow climbing up the hill; this probably cost 40s of noobness, though I was clean into the circle. 17 was fine; I was chasing down a Canadian chap, but in my haste to try to pass him, I chose a poor route to 18 for a loss of perhaps 15s.
Estimated time lost: 4:55.
What can be said? I lack the shape or technical proficiency I wanted, but I've still been flirting with contention in these races. I can't do anything about the weeks I've lost to training, but I can execute well given and despite my sluggish movement through the woods. I'm not at the stage that Emily notes: that my bad runs are good enough to beat others' good runs, but I can still do some damage. Soon, it will be time to start training for the Spring and to apply the lessons from this fall.