Orienteering 1:06:42  *** 8.8 km (7:35 / km) +210m 6:46 / km
spiked:14/18c shoes: 2007 Falcons
New Forest, Burley North - Brown Course. Was raining on and off most of the way down there, then really pissed it down just as we arrived. Plan was simple - sit in car 'til it stops. About 15 minutes later it does just that, and we're greeted with beautiful blue skies, sunshine, bit of a breeze and low teens temperature. In December. Absolutely gorgeous weather for orienteering.
Course was quite nice too - mainly in typical fast runnable New Forest woodland with a couple of forays out into the heathland. Started off not feeling great and really quite hesitant, drifting off bearings really easily and confusing rides/paths that I was hitting, losing 2-3 minutes across the first 4 controls. After the knee-deep stream crossing things started to pick up a bit - slowly got more of a running and orienteering rhythm, felt a bit smoother, until #12 where I was a bit unsure exactly where I'd come in relative to the very vague "distinct" veg boundary and lost ~1m30. But caught Jon who'd lost about 5... Then we were orienteering off one another, taking slightly different route choices but still hitting the controls pretty well. In front to the final control, was a bit unsure as to where I'd come out on the track and exactly which veg boundary the control was on - was partly thinking New Forest = 1:15 when we were running on a 1:10. Knew should have turned left but 15-20 seconds of hesitation and a sprint finish with Jon ensued - felt longer than the 130m it was purported to be...
I've noticed recently that I've been almost over-implementing the "straight is great" philosophy, often taking the straight route because it looks like there's nothing rubbish in the way. It's not necessarily a conscious decision - straight route looks OK, go for it, don't bother looking for alternative route choices. Even when there is a nice(r) alternative route, which could have the added benefit of navigational safety and a stronger attack point. And the going straight option often results in some significant hesitancy and/or mistakes.
Am thinking this is a "Southern England" type mindset, but something I want to move away from - don't think it will be as much of a concern in the Lake District but perhaps next weekend it could be...