Orienteering race (A-Meet Middle) 1:34:36  *** 9.74 km (9:43 / km) +25m 9:35 / km
ahr:132 max:166 spiked:12/16c (injured) shoes: VJ Integrator
CAOC Big Blues Ramble, Middle - Busse Woods Forest Preserve, Elk Grove Village, Illinois.
Blue Course: 5.9km, 25m, 16c. (1:10 000, 2m)
Course Setter: ?
~60F and sunny.
Possibly the worst performance of the year! Had trouble from the get go finding #1. I found Red #1 by the tree stump, but was unsuccessful using it to relocate. Thrashed around like a chicken with its head cut off, could NOT make sense of the map (no contours!) at all. So I bailed out towards the field's corner. From there I still wasn't confident attacking #1 (~200m). So I went to #2 to try working backwards. It's still about the same distance so I don't know why I thought it'd be easier at the time. Found the same tree stump again, searched around some more, and finally spotted the flag. The color on it was faded so it camouflaged nicely with the fall colors. I was so excited about finding #1 that I just ran off hastily to #2, thinking: "you just came from there, so it should be easy, right?" Gosh did I mess it up ever! Running in what I thought was the direction to #2, another competitor ran past in the opposite direction, and looked at me with an incredulous expression. Not knowing what to make of it, I pressed on. Then seconds later, I heard the dreaded "beep, beep, beep..." CRAP! I am back to the Start triangle! I wasn't actually there yet, but close enough to hear the starter beeps. I slapped myself silly and navigated to #2 on a correct bearing. But before I got there (~30m), my misadventure would take a further down turn! I was reading the map while maneuvering around some downfalls, only I didn't quite get around one of the trees! I must've ram into something sharp because it torn my pant pocket (lost whistle), gave me a nice long scratch and big bruise on the right thigh. It was so painful I stopped for a moment, and hobbled/limped along the rest of the course. All this happened before I even punched #2! What the ...? Going to #3 was slow, but I managed to correct an early bearing error and spiked the control. Then on a short leg to #4, the flatness got me once again. I never found the trail half way to the control, never mind using its bend as an AP. I circled around, tried re-attacking from different places, and still nothing. I simply wasn't reading the subtlety in the terrain. Many folks were also running every which way in this area, so that was distracting a bit. I briefly thought about quitting, but decided I might as well use the opportunity to train. After an eternity (12'), I found #4 with Feet punching right behind. He would quickly run away though as I was limping to #5. My bearing problems returned once more, and I overran the control by ~150m to the north. After that, I went extra slow, and made sure I checked the compass every few seconds. From there to #6 and onwards, it was a clean "run." The map was starting to make more sense as I learned to read the subtle changes in the terrain (dry marsh, veg boundaries, etc.). I even started running a bit from #8 on. I did manage to trip a couple more times though, and bruised my left knee on the run in to the finish! Incredible!
Orienteering race (A-Meet Sprint) 14:51  *** 2.73 km (5:26 / km) +9m 5:21 / km
ahr:174 max:189 spiked:11/12c (injured) shoes: VJ Integrator
A much better run than the morning. If only I could just take out the huge 2:30+ boom! Still can't run fast though.
CAOC Big Blues Ramble - Busse Woods Forest Preserve, Elk Grove Village, Illinois.
Sprint Course: 2.2km, 9m, 12c. (1:5000, 2m)
Course Setter: ?
60s and still sunny. Simply a gorgeous fall day.
Feeling quite dejected after the middle. I ate a pbj and some snacks to replenish the system. Bill also gave me a couple of Aleve to help ease the pain. It's still painful, but I felt that the slower running actually helped it stay loose. So I ran the sprints, perfectly content that it'd just be another training session. The course was fairly simple, basically take a bearing and run straight on every leg. This would've been disastrous in the morning, but I've got the kinks worked out by now so didn't have much trouble. Except for #8. I thought I drifted right and overran when I spotted a patch of darker green. (In reality, I drifted slightly left and still short!) I circled around, relocated twice from the bike path without success, then decided to run towards #9 and use the more obvious trail bend. Third time was the charm! Unfortunately, I had lost >2.5min already! Without the mistake, I would've been close to the top 5, and receive much more valuable points for the SS08. It just wasn't my day. In fact, it's been a bad 2-week spell to my right leg - bruise after bruise after bruise!
Back at the hotel lobby, I tried to show PG my battle wound to justify my bad day. He wasn't impressed a bit. Without saying so, he pretty much told me to HTFU! I think I have to agree, I was being a wuss.