Monday, August 23, 2010

OY6 - Whites Line

Oh dear, the OY series this year is not exactly going my way! I was definitely overtired after two really late nights and my knee was still not 100% (I had only run once this week...mostly cycling to keep up the strength as it doesn't seem to affect the knee much).

I started off okay, although a little shaky to the first control, but then I got completely thrown at #4 and I don't really know why or what happened. I thought I'd chosen a good route choice and everything seemed to be going right but I couldn't find it for the life of me so I ended up (after a bit of bashing around) heading out to the road and taking a bearing from the clearing back in again. I found it perfectly this way but it came up heaps quicker than I expected (I almost didn't check the code 'cause I didn't think it was my control!). Yeah, I really don't know what happened!

I don't know why it's dated 15 August since it was actually the following Sunday. Weird.

At #7 John Robbie appeared next to me and he seemed to be going the same way as I was to #8 although I knew he wouldn't be on my course but it distracted me way more than it should and I wasn't paying enough attention, ending up overrunning it and almost at #9 instead so I had to backtrack. Then all went okay again until about halfway to #12. I ran out into the cuttings and thought I knew where I was but the control never appeared where I thought it was going to so I headed up to the road to relocate, but worked it out on the way. Turns out I was way too far south. The terrain under food in the cuttings was absolutely awful and I pretty much had to walk. I think I cursed out loud when I saw I had another 2 controls to get in that area!

Once I got back into the decent forest I started going better again but was feeling pretty exhausted. It felt like quite a slog to finish. I don't think I stuffed up anywhere particularly there but to be honest I was so tired I'm not sure if I can remember it! But it turns out that most people doing my course had pretty long, exhausting races too so I guess everyone found it tough out there.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rogaine Series - Waiuku

I used to hate rogaines and score events (same as a rogaine...but only an hour long), preferring to just follow the set course that regular orienteering provides but lately I've really started to enjoy them...which is fortunate since I have a 12 hour in Otago next month and am then doing the World Rogaine Champs in November which is a grand total of 24 hours long so you'd really hope that I liked doing them otherwise that's an epically long torture session (okay let's be honest, it's probably a bit of that too)!

Anyway, Counties was running a 3 hour rogaine out at Waiuku. There were 2 seperate maps...Waiuku Forest North and South, each seperated by roughly 3km of road. North went uphill, South went downhill so each had pros and cons but it did make planning interesting as getting from one map to the other was not going to be quick. I was in a team with Cath and her partner Andrew who were heading off to Vanuatu the following weekend for an adventure race. Needless to say I was extremely jealous (it even has a snorkling rogaine...I mean how cool is that?!). Anyway, Cath wasn't feeling 100% so we were never going to be going super fast but that suited me anyway as my knee hadn't been that great all week!

The executive decision (Cath and I...Andrew doesn't do maps) was that we'd tackle the North map first and see how we went from there. I think we planned out a pretty good route to get all on the North map and they were really pretty easy controls. We probably started off a little fast for Cath but we all got into a good grove after a while. They are great fun to race with! Apart from forgetting to pick up #54 and having to race back down the road from #49 to get it, everything was pretty simple and straight forward and we got through our planned route quite a lot quicker than we expected.

The 3km down the road to the South map really took its toll on my knee injury from last weekend and I started to struggle. We hadn't really planned too much on this map as we really didn't expect to get through everything so fast but after a quick discussion I think we had a fairly good route planned out. If it wasn't for my knee and Cath feeling a bit sick, we would have pushed harder and tried to get a few more but it just wasn't worth it under the circumstances. We ended up coming in nearly 15 minutes early as I just didn't know how long I was going to be able to keep going without causing damage but it turns out we definitely could have at least go #46 on our way back. Oh well!

One thing that I think would have made it cooler would have been to have different controls worth different amounts of points 'cause that would have made it a bit more strategic. Also, some tougher navigation would have been good. But all in all, it was a fun event and we ended up winning the open mixed category despite having to come in early.

Sprint Series - University of Auckland Tāmaki Campus

This was the final race of the sprint series but the only race I've been around to do. Sprints have never been my specialty but the actual courses can be quite fun. Unfortunately my knee was not feeling that great after my warmup so I knew it wasn't going to be fast and I could definitely feel the effects of a fair amount of cycling on my thigh muscles! But at least the knee wasn't actually hurting which is good.

Not sure my brain was thinking quite fast enough but it didn't go too badly. I did manage to overrun #4 which was really just plain silly since it was such a simple control but the scale (1:3000) took some getting used to. Then I took a bit of a weird route to #7. I hadn't been paying attention to where I was going to get through the buildings and it was a bit late by the time I realised I was taking the long route (no time for backtracking in a sprint!).

Some of the paths and stairs were super slippery which was a bit scary and then it was quite muddy once you got on the fields which was rather entertaining (sliding round into #3 was fun!). I mucked around at #12 as the control came up so fast that i got confused then by #14 I'd lost all speed (if I'd ever really had any to start with) and it was a bit of a drag to the finish but it was a cool little course.

I'm not sure if I'd call 3.4km a sprint course but it was definitely a well set course especially for such a ridiculously tiny map. Although you crossed back over youself time and time again it never felt like you were rerunning places you'd already been. Wish I'd been able to go to more of these 'cause it was fun.

Friday, August 6, 2010

OY5 - Pot Luck

Another OY at Woodhill! I managed to convince a friend to come along and give it a go too which was pretty cool.

Anyway, on the way to the start triangle I misread the map, thinking that I had to cross 2 tracks to get to the first control instead of just the 1 (I think it was because the start triangle was on a track and I counted it as one I had to cross) so I overran it but luckily not by too much as I realised I was coming too close to the sand dunes for it to make sense. The second control was out in the dunes but not too hard but coming out of that control for some reason I started heading off to #4 instead! Again, luckily I caught that fairly early and bashed back over the dunes to #3 but it was really frustrating because it should have been an easy control.

Then coming out of #6, chasing Imogene and Kate, I got my left leg stuck in some tussock but I didn't realise and kept running but of course my leg didn't come with me and I ended up twisting it. It hurt like hell and for a few moments I actually thought I wasn't even going to be able to walk, let alone run. But eventually I got moving on it again but at no where near the speed I'd been going before. So frustrating!

Navigation-wise everything was pretty good after that until #10 where I got confused about where on earth I was but ended up not being too far from the control and there were heaps of catching features so it wasn't too bad. Then it went vaguely alright until #19 which somehow I managed to wing but really I had no idea where I was or how on earth I was going to find out. Not the best of tactics! Then I completely disoriented myself attempting to find the last control which was really rather embarrassing. I ended up somewhere near #8 instead and then popped out on the road. I don't know how that happened!

It was a really nice day out in the forest and a good, technical course and I ended up doing pretty well but it's always frustrating when you know you could have done a lot better.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Adventures in Christchurch

I spent a few days in Christchurch visiting my friends and just generally hanging out...which involves adventures. On the Friday Brent and I tramping on the Port Hills. I'd prefer to run the tracks but you can't have everything!

Saturday was rock climbing at The Roxx. I would have liked to climb outside again but it was really a bit too cold for that. But the textured wall here is awesome. We don't really have anything like that at Extreme Edge up in Auckland.

Then Sunday was some club orienteering at South Brighton domain. I had 2 shocker runs (a 180 on such an easy course is really quite embarrassing!) but it was all good fun and I love orienteering. Plus it's always good to hang out with the PAPO guys.

And finally on Monday Michael took me out running at Halswell Quarry which was quite nice. It was a bit overcast and drizzly for any photos though but it's pretty cool especially when you're at the top of the quarry looking down. Would be nice to have more people to run with in Auckland...perhaps I should move to Christchurch!