The weekend started pretty well. I did a standard race in the sprint which I was happy with. It was a cool area with lots of underpasses through buildings. There were a few controls in little bits of woods, and I took very safe routes to them, maybe loosing a bit of time to the fastest. There was a very tricky control pick at the end which I should have taken slower as I lost small amounts of time on nearly every control. But I finished well and was happy enough with a solid run and a nice 5th place, near enough 2-4th spots but a long way off Helen Bridle in 1st.
My plan this weekend was to race. Up until now I have felt like I have always held back in the races to make sure I don't make big mistakes. But I was starting to get a bit bored of that, because I wanted to show that I am capable of more. So I ran hard on the middle. I nailed it for the first 13 controls. I was pleased, slowed down when uncertain, picked off big enough features. I felt good. Then we went into a patch of green. I know I am bad when the visability suddenly changes and I took the first control in this patch safely. Spiked. Good stuff. Then I set off on a compass bearing ready to tick off 3 small hill tops. I drifted to the left. Not cool. I half relocated, but then not enough to be absolutely certain. I ran to pretty near the control but in the panic I didn't really know what I was looking for and so continued headless chicken running. Finally, Pippa Archer caught me up and pretty much lead my into the control. Shame. I then ran strongly for the rest of the course. I ran together with Pippa although I was keen to show that I can navigate and run just as well. After a tough climb from the spectator, Pippa got a little gap and got a control on a boulder slightly before me. There was only one control to go, so I took that carefully and ran into the finish. Annoyed of what could have and should have been. But happy that when I run well, I can do more. No regrets, although I'm sure many would think it was a stupid strategy.
Kyle played spot the difference at the assembly area: Tess - highland cow?
I woke up for the long distance and I was dead. I felt dizzy and tired in the legs. I think I had run too hard the day before in tough terrain! But so had everyone, and I was confident my fitness was good enough. I got to the start line and tried to half push, but it never worked. I have no real explanations, just it wasn't my day, and honestly, I wasn't that bothered (which is slightly worrying given I trained so hard this year!). I made a mammoth mistake at the 9th and then went through the rest of course kind of with Helen Winskill but being a bit sloppy myself.
I was a bit disappointed with my weekend in some ways, but I was actually overall happy enough. I know I have more potential than what I showed in the early races, but I am not the finished product yet. There is a lot of technique work I still need to do. No surprise really, the snow is only just leaving Trondheim. I have the Nordic Tour and World Students to aim for, which gives my 8 more weeks of hard focused training. After that, its time to regroup and plan the next attack.
PS. I got WOC reserve spot. Very nice. I think based on sprint result, middle potential and solid results prior to this. Not sure on the weekend I deserved it but its a really nice acknowledgement of how far I have come this season.