I "ran" a 5 kilometer orienteering course today -- well, actually, I walked most of it, and stood around peering at the map and scratching my head for some of the rest. I normally do the Orange course (intermediate difficulty), but decided to try the Green course (longer, and advanced) instead. It took me two hours and nineteen minutes to complete the course... but at least I didn't come in dead last.
I did most of the course at "yellow light" because I wasn't sure how well I'd do on the more advanced course. For not actually running, I did really well through the first five controls, and was actually passing people! I use a Silva Spectra 6 thumb compass, which lets me run down bearings, and I found the first five controls on the first try, from some rather far attack points.
Control 6 exposed my Achilles' heel -- distance judgement, or the lack thereof. I passed a pair of competitors heading into control 5, left on the correct bearing, met up with the Finger Lakes trail and followed it to the attack point... and didn't go far enough from the attack point. In part, that was because it was unclear which side of the ravine the control was supposed to be on (the circle included both sides), and in part because I wasn't 100% sure that I really was going from the attack point that I thought.
Fortunately, we didn't have electronic punching today, so I was able to take the controls out of order a little, and found #6 by working backwards from #7. But it still cost me a lot of time.
So did #8, which everyone hated -- it was a hard slog through very, very heavy brambles from any direction. I was bleeding when I finally exited the fight on my way out of the control. I also made the mistake of not aiming off on my way to #9, and arrived at the powerlines at the bottom of the gorge uncertain of which way I had to follow them to get to the control, and picked the wrong way.
But I did make it around the course successfully, and didn't embarass myself. I think I can handle Green, though it'll be a while before I can actually be competitive on it. Mostly, though, I need to start doing some roadwork to build up my stamina so that I can actually run out all of my "green light" legs; if I were in better shape, I think I could actually be challenging for first place on Orange.
Kage and Anita came along, and did the white course together. I think I've managed to hook Anita on the sport; she's planning to run by herself on the Yellow course next time.
Now I'm all showered and clean, and my bramble-filled backcountry clothes are safely in the laundry pile. Ann and Jason are coming up from Perry in an hour or so, and we're going to hang out and maybe go see a movie at the local queer film festival.