Saturday, December 03, 2011

Scraped In

With a three hour cut-off time you'd have thought I'd get round easy. Get round I did. Easy it was not. It was unbelievably tough. As is normal for a novice orienteer, I entered the black route as I said I would. But being a beginner I made sure I got under-way as soon as the course opened - I had an inkling I might be needing all the time available...

Navigationally things got off to a slow start as my achilles heal kicked in. Nothing to do with my physical achilles, just my ability to royally cocking up the first control - and it was only 200m from the start - arse. That wouldn't be so bad but for the fact there was another 25 of the god damn things to go.

Anyway, with that finally under my belt things picked up and I got across to 4 in good shape. 5 was bloody miles away and rather than battle through the undergrowth - and believe you me the undergrowth was pretty bloody dense - I stuck to the forest tracks. A much longer route but far quicker as I got there ahead of those I was with at 4. Then it all gets a bit hazy. 6 was good but 7 sure as heck wasn't. Another cock up royale. It was so bad I decided to cut my loses, dropped down to the forest track, located a feature I could associate with the map and take a bearing back. That done I was then straight on it. From there I think I went OK round to 13 - I say think because my brain has gone and I can't really remember. I know 14 was another poor one though. It went alright from there all the way to 23 but I was getting tired and my brain was on its last legs. At one point I started running 180 degree the wrong direction but luckily my spidey senses were still working and I quickly stopped, took stock and started running in the right direction.

24 wasn't a great one. I was now going so slow I began to lose track of pace and distance, taking far longer to cover the ground I began to question my judgement. Luckily I kept going on the bearing and got there in the end. The final couple were equally poor. My distance judgement was shot and I could barely operate the compass I was so bonked. As the cut off fast approached I really thought I wasn't going to make it. I pushed on, the last of my strength ebbing away. Fortunately I made it to the finish inside the cut off but it was oh so close.

I don't think I will be last as I am sure some won't have got round in the time. Today's black course was a real eye opener. A true test of both navigational skill and bloody minded determination. In all I ended up clocking up 16k over the 10k course! And I am so totally shattered I really can't say whether I will have recovered enough to run the Cardington Cracker tomorrow. I want to but I just don't know if physically I will have recovered.

The only sour note on what's been a good day is that my bloody forerunner 205 has broken! So I won't be able to post my 'spider has crawled across the map' track of today's outing. It was working fine. I turned it off when I got home. Then plugged it in to charge from the computer and nothing. Nada. I've tried all the reset methods mentioned on the internet but zilch. This is the second one and I only got it replaced a few months ago. Garmin watches are really beginning to piss me off. Going to have to look at alternatives I think. For kit costing as much as they do you'd think they would use quality components. I guess they're like to make 95 pounds profit on a watch costing 100 - greedy mothers...

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