Monday, March 3, 2014

POM Day 2: Middle Distance

 Today was the first of the two middle distance races at POM. It was held on a map called Arcozelo Da Serra. This is the area for the rest of the POM. The assembly was a football pitch and that is also where we finished. The terrain is described as:
 "Varied terrain composed by a forest slope, with rocky details, where there is a variation between forest and open areas. Also cultivated areas and areas with difficult progression and visibility. "

It was a little bit more open than day 1 but still fairly green in places. I jogged to the start with Kirsten which was nice to kinda just chat and relax before. Then we went off and did our own drills and pre-race thoughts. She was starting two minutes behind me, but was trying not to let that pressure me at all. The plan for today was: to be calm, Look for the big features, and use my compass! 

The first control although a bit slow getting to was alright. Then got in the control circle to two and was having to check every boulder :/ Then 3 was where I really lost time. Went and just legged it to the path, but once i got to the path was a bit confused by which path was which and the rock walls and everything. Checked my compass and decided to ignore it all and just aim for the big rock. Well I think I ended up on the wrong side of the rock and ended up running quite far past the control. Bugger! figured out where I was and was heading back into the control when I see Kirsten coming out of it. I remember thinking "well there is the pressure off she has caught me now". But really that was probably the underlying mistake was that I was feeling rushed. Anyway calmed down and got into a rhythm and ended up staying with Kirsten for most of the course. Had a few bobbles in places and wasn't using my compass well enough. But powered through! Literally in one spot where I ended up pretty much going for a surprise swim when crossing a marked trail through some cultivated land. Then it was a big slog up the hill for a few controls and into the finish.

Overall it wasn't too bad of a race at all. ended up 55 out of 107 so very close to the top half which is what I wanted. Plus this run put me only +46% of Niggle's time which I think wasn't bad going. 

Tomorrow's WRE event is on the same area so what have I learned?
5 things to work on to gain time:
1. compass out of controls
2. simplifying the map
3. picking out the BIG rock features
4. Reading my control descriptions (not just number)
5. be calm/focused at the start

5 things I did "perfectly":
1. forgetting about past controls
2. good routes towards end of course
3. slowing down when I thought I was in the circle to minimize searching
4. picking up on smaller contour detail when I slowed down
5. Physically able to hold an ok pace

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