QOC Classic Long, F40 / Green
Today was one of those days where things went well for a long time and then a mistake at the end ruined my whole evaluation, both because I didn't have a chance to redeem myself later and also because it was so weird.
I felt a little better physically today than I had yesterday, probably more recovered from whatever illness plagued us earlier in the week. I felt constrained by my poor fitness and extra pudge but I did not feel like I was running at altitude. My orienteering was good, I was focused and hitting the controls well, though there was not much flowiness to it, despite being able to run continuously a little more often today than yesterday.
A bit before reaching the spectator control my brain started to slow down. I had a really hard time making any decisions out of the arena to 14 and probably only spiked the control because I remembered all of the terrain and the control location from the day before -- I had the seen the streamer, assumed it was for a Sunday control, and knew it was very visible coming up the nose. To 15 I was incapable of thinking, did not do what I wanted to do, and lucked out by seeing the control from pretty far away just as I realized that I actually had no idea where I was and vaguely kind of thought I was too high.
Luck ran out on 16 where I told myself I needed to go uphill but "left of the green stuff on top". I kept going "left of the green stuff" for a very long time and somehow it never clicked that I should have already hit the road. Or that I was only going left and never actually straight up. In any case, the RG does not do it justice -- I actually popped out at the road intersection! I cursed a lot and then quickly got myself back where I needed to be to finish the course. I think I had a glimpse of what people twice my age must go through when their brain stops doing all the things they want it to do.
Right after I finished I assumed I had lost enormous time on the brain fart at 16 but it looks like it was "only" three minutes. I think my "regularly run x miles to be able to run an x km course" rule of thumb is getting a bit of support!
Ended up fine in F40 but further behind a lot of people on Green than I want to be. Good weekend overall -- saw lots of people, enjoyed the terrain, and a bit more motivated now, too. The course today was ok, though I thought it was weird that there were no true long legs on a Long course of this length.