Wednesday, July 11, 2012
JWOC Middle qual, middle final and relay
I went into the race with the intention of taking the first control or two easy, so I could get into the map. Instead I ran fairly hard on them, and got lucky when stumbled across my first two. The rest of the course I did more or less intentionally, but I had some bad routes. Unlike the training maps, this map went through many fields, almost all of which were densely filled with young trees and nettle, making it very slow. I feel like I could have saved time by taking routes around these areas, but I still managed to do well despite. I could have saved two or three minutes on the course, but I'm still very happy with my result.
I intended to take the first couple of controls easy, like I had intended yesterday, but today I actually managed to do that. I still ran hard, but I made certain I was in close intact with the map at all times. After a couple of controls, I got into it and was able to run harder. At control fourteen, I read ahead to control fifteen, and thought I was about to enter the spectator chute and was very confused when I never saw it. Eventually I realized I still had to punch fifteen, so I lost about thirty seconds there. The control after the spectator leg was also shaky, and I ended up running up a hill to a control which I wasn't sure was mine. Turns out it was, and the last couple of controls went very well. Once again, very happy with my race.
This was possibly the best race of my life. Granted, I could follow people to controls which certainly saved some time, but it was still a solid race. I was in the zone the whole time, and I paced myself so that I was very tired when I finished, but still able to finish strongly. The entire course was either up, down, or contouring one of several large hills, but my training this spring prepared me well for the task. I was able to keep up with some very good runners, and I finished just less than three minutes behind the top time (which was 30:49. I was 33:47) on a five kilometer plus course. It was a terrific race to end this year's JWOC.
The middle qualifiers: going in I was a little nervous about what the map would be like but otherwise felt rested and ready for a good race! However that slowly changed as I painfully made my way to the first few controls. I took my time on 1 and actually felt like I was getting into a good rhythm but the rate at which things were popping up and the scramble of other runners in every direction really threw me for a loop... Literally. I circled right around 2 and 3.... And 4. Even though I knew I was going in the right direction I couldn't help but check the other controls. At 8 I finally got a good race going when I decided to let go of my frustration and ignore everything. I felt good going in and out of controls and other than a girl literally ripping my map from my hands to relocate herself at 12 it was a smooth ride into the finish.