My first British senior title. How very exciting - although as Matt Crane (the men's champion) pointed out in a more funny way on his attackpoint training diary - night orienteering is a minority sport within a minority sport.
In general I thought I ran and navigated well. It was not a clean run but I wasn't expecting that at night, and this was probably as good as I could have hoped for. I think what I did well was know where I was within 100m all the time and that meant I could run quite confidently and so fast right up until the control. The exception to this was number 5 where I kept being unsure how far I had gone.
The next morning I ran the Watford half marathon - my main aim for the weekend! My target was 86 minutes. I went out hard (harder than I've been starting a lot of cross country races). I passed 5km in about 20 mins, 10km in about 40 and the half way in just over 43. So thats quite a lot of PB times being set. The legs felt good and I thought I was keeping up a steady speed but every since about 4 miles I had been overtaken by about 10 people per mile. By 8 miles I had had enough. I thought I must have slowed down a lot. I started doubting whether I would even break 90, and this got me very angry. I kept plugging away and finally we passed the 12 mile sign. The finish was in sight (we had to do a loop of the park) and I suddenly realised that 86 was realistic again. I crossed the line in 86.35 - fantastic. That means the second half was also 43 - so I should never have doubted myself. I was 4th lady, but as my very talented and very modest Highgate team mate Becky Penty ran 76 ish, we won the team prize.
Altogether a very successful weekend, though mostly because it has confirmed what I had thought in training so far - I am fitter than I was before, and I am navigating better and more confidently than before. Now the trick is not to peak too early and to try and keep this going until the bigger races in April and May, and ultimately the World Champs in August. Also, got to keep things in perspective. A Swiss runner who didn't make the WOC team in 2010 ran 80 for a half in the Autumn, and Minna Kauppi seems to be running 3 min/kms in her track sessions. Long road ahead.
Edit: lots of links. British Night Champs Results, Splits, Routegadget. Nopesport article and NTNUI Elite article. Half Marathon Results and Photos.