I'm feeling pretty mixed after todays race. There were moments of genius, moments of stupidity, the performance was worse than expected but the result was better.
My aim was just a good solid performance. I had two things to focus on, my bearing on route and my attack points/nice lines into the circles. I had done a bit of preparation and seen that in previous events on the area, it was still possible to make mistakes even once you were within 50 m of the control.
I started off well. I sensed I was quite nervous to number 1, but legs were almost shaking and I was worried I had come too high and lost contact with the map already. But I calmed myself down as I ticked off a small open hill and ran nicely into the control. Number 2 looked very tricky on the map, so I wanted to get a nice line into the control with the contour details on the slope. But even getting there didn't look easy. But as I started running, everything started to click. I ticked off yellow open areas, small reentrants and I hit the control perfectly. I felt physically very strong and technically confident.
I set off to number 3 with a plan of following marshes but being careful on the way in. I had a mini faff midway when I first met the track. I should have just run along it, but I tried cutting a corner before I bailed out. Into the control felt fantastic. I ticked off everything, I knew exactly where I was and where the control would be. I had the third fastest time on that leg and I was in 4th position by this control.
I knew I need to keep my head screwed on and 4 looked difficult. I banana-ed a bit to try and avoid height loss which was silly. But I came down to the marsh, and I wasn't 100% where I was on it. At this point I needed to really nail it down precisely, but instead I continued on climbing up the slope. I knew I was going too far, but I had found a shallow reentrant and it was only when I hit the path that I realised what I had done. I lost a fair bit here, more than expected, but I think it was a combination of errors at all stages of the leg.
Instead of being sensible, I ran off without the best plan to 5, and found myself searching around with a group of girls for the control. After getting it, we then ran together for a few controls. We all ballsed up 7 quite badly. I led the group to 9 and then I felt quite confident and happy with where I was going, and got back into my rhythm again. I messed up 10, but at various stages. I didn't run fast and confidently and I got distracted by the group. Finally, when I was within 5 metres of the control I still didn't see it or have the confidence to really find it. From there to the finish was fine and I ran a strong run in to finish in 24th place. Click here for results, here for splits and here for route.
Physically I felt great out there. Always felt like there was another gear and I had so much more in the tank. I drank some sports drink that morning and I think that really helped. I don't usually do this, so I might try it again in future. Technically, there are lots of positives but also many mistakes to learn from. At the moment I'm thinking positively, but I'm also going to try and learn more from each mistake - surely its not necessary to make this many before I get good!?