orienteering race 1:44:04  *** 4.5 km (23:08 / km)
9c shoes: Inov8 O-roc 280 Redux
West Point Turkey Mountain Long - GreenX (F35+)
DNF. Rough estimate of actual distance completed including walk back to finish.
Set out on this and almost immediately felt tight and crappy through lower back. Physically just got worse and worse all weekend and the problem migrated up my leg to hip to back. The bed I slept in (bunks in cabin at Round Pond) usually doesn't cause me any issues, and we have been staying there for many years. But this year I was unable to find any kind of comfortable and pain-free position. So I had that and very poor sleep on top of everything else. Who knows what all the contributing factors were.
Got to 1 OK but wading through all the underbrush wasn't helping either. Almost quit right there but decided to give it a little more time as sometimes I work out of stiffness. Went NW to swamp and up along W side of cliffs/other swamps to the trail, then right past 8 on the way to 2. My only competitor caught up to me here, after having started ahead of me, and mentioned that I might in fact be able to make up the 8-9 minutes she had on me. I said I didn't think so...
We were near each other through this loop, neither one of us moving especially fast, but I felt like I was shambling along and said that I felt like I was in a zombie race rather than orienteering. I was having to be very deliberate about where to step, getting over obstacles, etc. with my shortened stride. Between 4 and 5 Tom O came over the top of a rise as I was coming the other way, making some kind of surprised noise and then said he had just seen a black snake over there. I thought he said he saw a BLACK BEAR and asked him to repeat himself. Whew. Not worried as much about a non-venomous snake and I did not see it anyway.
By the time I had reached 7, I had decided to go with my earlier plan of bailing after 8 if I still didn't feel well. The long distance to 9 and the rough looking terrain around 10 and 11 would have been a lot in my condition, and if I got down there and ended up in more pain it would have been very hard to get out. So after 8 I popped back to the trail and started walking it in. As I passed the black x pipes, my last chance to reconsider, Ann appeared out of the forest very shortly thereafter and said she was quitting too. I was pretty happy to have someone to walk back with.
Had I been feeling good, I think this course would still have been fun but physical (the loop I did was nice, and I found everything just fine, which at the speed I was moving I had better!)
My new plan is to take a few weeks off everything (no orienteering, riding, running) except walking on even surfaces and stretching. Get a massage. See where I am after that. If still bad, then a doctor of some variety is the next step.